Sunday, April 26, 2009

Back from the AQS Show in Paducah

I'm back from the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, KY. I really enjoy this show. One of the nicest things about it is that the entire town welcomes the quilters to the show. Almost every business has a window display and/or sign welcoming all quilters to town. It is VERY cool. I'll be posting some pictures from that show a bit later. I still have a few from Chicago I want to share. What I'm trying to do is show you quilts that really struck me for some reason. They may not have won an award at this particular show, so you might not get a chance to see them otherwise.

The following quilts are all from the Chicago show. This first quilt was made by Laura Wasilowski from Elgin, IL. It is an original design and is fused using hand-dyed cotton fabrics. This one did win an award. I loved the colors and design.

The next quilt really didn't "catch my eye" right off the bat; but when I got close to it, I was mesmerized! Each of the blocks is made up of pieces appliqued to the fabric to make it look like a stone wall. There are THOUSANDS of appliqued "stones." It was just amazing. I did include a closeup for you to see. The quilt is called, "Castle Wall," and was made by Trudy Kleinstein from Switzerland. It is hand quilted and has about 3,400 separate pieces! Remember, you can click on the picture of the quilts to get a better look.This is the closeup of a block from "Castle Wall."The shows have proven to be a good place to check out quilting books I can't find around here. I ended up purchasing several books--"Taking Flight to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings," "Fabricate," "Mixed-Media Self-Portraits Inspiration & Technique," "Penny Haren's Pieced Applique More Blocks & Projects,"Mixed-Media Collage: An Exploration of Contemporary Artists, Methods, and Materials;" and I pre-ordered "Inspired to Quilt: Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery." (The last books isn't due out till May 1.) I LOVE books, and tend to collect them. I get such inspiration from the creative projects I find in them. Every time I go through them, I am SO inspired. I did buy a few other things at the shows...a few patterns, notions, and fabric (for a project I'm doing at the house to go with my new color scheme). I purchased way less than usual, because of the UFO Challenge. It has given me a whole new perspective on starting new projects.

Check back...I'll be posting more Chicago pics along with some from Paducah.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More of the Chicago Quilt Show

I've added a subscription device to my blog. That will make it easier for you to keep track of when I post a new blog. If you sign up, you will get an email that alerts you to a new post; that way you don't have to keep checking back to see if something has been added. The add-on is located at the bottom left way under my picture. Check it out.

My house is still in the process of rennovation....meaning it is still in a mess. I have to move furniture to get to anything I need. Hardwood floors have been put down in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. They still have to put hardwood in three closets and a stairwell and all the rooms in the house have yet to be painted; so I have spent my day removing breakables, cleaning out closets, and taking things off the wall. I can't even get to my computer until after the workers are gone for the day. It is pretty hectic and VERY dusty!

I am heading to the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah later this week. I always look forward to that. There is still packing to be done, though! I did want to get some more of the Chicago Quilt Show pictures up before I leave. Enjoy! I'll share more when I get back.

Self-Portrait '08 is an original design by Kathy York, Austin, TX. It won a second place award. I really liked the colors. The hair was done with beads and braids--lots of texture. The iPod was a nice touch.
On the traditional side, this is "Birthdays and Borders" by Terri DeLano from Montgomery, IL. As you can see, it is a scrappy 9-patch set on point. The design was adapted from an antique quilt. The 9-patch blocks finish 1 1/2"!

This is a close up of "Birthdays and Borders." I can truly say that the pictures don't do this quilt justice.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chicago Quilt Show--No Complaints!

Each year I go to the Chicago Show, and each year I'm amazed at the creativity displayed. I've got several pictures I'd like to share with you, so I'll be posting some over the next week or two. Check back to see them all! I like every type of quilt, so I have very contemporary quilt pictures and very traditional quilt pictures--all are beautiful. I'll try to post a combination each time I post. Enjoy!

"Perpetuo Mobile" was made by Rachel Covo from Israel. It is machine appliqued, machine pieced and quilted, and uses tie-dyed, discharge dyed, and hand-dyed fabrics. Rachel says she got her inspiration from a book called "Variations in Chenille" by Nanette Holberg. You might check that out if you like this quilt. I thought you might enjoy the closeup below.

The next quilt title is "Pieceful Nights" and was made by Christine Williams (Aurora, IL) and quilted by Julie Karlak on a longarm machine. Lori Smith's Pieceful Nights pattern was used to create this quilt. I just love the subtle colors. It is made with 1800s reproduction fabrics.
"Turn Left at the Gate/55 and Over" made by Mimi Wohlberg (Merrick, NY) is the next quilt. It is made using the raw-edge applique method. I really like the bright colors in this quilt. The inspiration for the quilt made me laugh; it was something about a retirement community that only allowed those 55 and over to live there. (The left corner is a bit obscured by the stand holding the quilt information.)
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"Snug as a Bug" was made by Carol Taylor from Beaumont, TX. She used flannels to make this beautiful quilt. It really looks cozy.

Stay tuned for more Chicago Quilt Show pictures to come.

Chicago Quilt Show--Some Complaints

I just got back from the Chicago Quilt Show. I took some pictures and will have those posted some time today (hopefully). Please check back to see the photos. The show itself was very good, but the organization (as far as dealing with the crowd when the doors open) was terrible. You would think as long as they have been doing this they would have learned a better way. We came in the front door of the convention center approximately 15 minutes after the doors had opened and could have entered the show through doors directly to our left (there was no crowd at this point), but guards wouldn't let us enter. They sent us through some back room--around and around through a "maze," and we ended up right back where we would have been if they had just let us go in to begin with! By the time we wound around the "maze," they were letting people right into the show doors. WE WERE NOT HAPPY! Hopefully, improvements will be made for next year.

Also, while I'm "airing dirty laundry," it seems to me there are enough open dates on the quilting calendar to have the Chicago Quilt Show and the AQS Paducah Quilt Show in different months! The AQS show in Paducah has always had their date in April (as far as I know) and have been having this show much longer than the show in Chicago. I really think having those two shows so close together (both in date and location) hurts both shows. Some of my friends choose (or alternate yearly) between the two, because they don't feel they can afford to attend both within such a short period of time. (I don't think they are the only quilters who do this.) Vendors have also mentioned that they just can't "do" both shows in such a short period of time, so they too are choosing between the two. This year the shows are on back-to-back weekends. It seems we go for months and months with no shows close enough for us to attend, and then we are hit with two of the best shows too close together (date wise). Surely the "owner" of the Chicago show could schedule a time that would be more conducive to attendance by quilters who would otherwise attend both. For the good of the quilting world (and the vendors who have to travel from one show right to the next), wouldn't a change in the date of the Chicago show make sense? What do you think?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Finally...Back to the Computer

I apologize for not updating the blog for a bit. I'm having some work done in the house (walls knocked out, new flooring put down, painting done, etc.). I haven't been able to get to the computer without moving furniture. All my living room furniture is in my dining room and in the computer room; it is really a mess here. I think we'll really like it when it is finished, but right now it is a real pain in the......

Anyway, today I was "stuck" in my sewing room all day! There wasn't any place else I could go. (Now you know I hated that!) I did get quilt a lot of sewing done. I finished six (of the twenty 6-inch) blocks for The Quilt Show 2009 Block of the Month (Stars for a New Day) quilt. I also finished several more of the 4" border stars. I even made four little Monkey Wrench blocks. Check them out.Here is a closeup of the blocks that measure 6 1/2" unfinished. They really take a long time to do. Each of them has lots of pieces (as you can see). The seams have to be pressed open and each seam has to be pinned. It is fun, though, to put the different fabrics together. The blocks are exactly the same, but look how different they look depending on what fabric is used and the placement of each fabric. Some would say I'm in half-square triangle hell! I may feel like that before I get all twenty done!I mentioned making a name tag in my last blog. I finished it and wore it to the guild meeting last week. I used a couple of fabric beads I made to decorate it and attached a piece of an old necklace so I could wear the name tag on a cord. The shapes were cut from hand-dyed and batik fabrics and were fused in place. They were then stitched down with clear polyester thread. I printed my name out on the computer and used that as a pattern for the letters in my name. The edges of the name tag were satin stitched with variegated thread. I used boot Pellon (a Timtex-like material) for the base. The name tag measures 4" X 6". I think I may make a couple more. I'll post them if I do.

I'll be heading to the Chicago quilt show later this week. I'll try to get some pictures to share with you, so check back!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Time is at a Premium

Due to family issues, I haven't gotten to do much of anything quilting related. I did get a new quilt guild name tag started. I'm thinking that a program including techniques for making new name tags might be fun to present to the guild in May. We have so many new members that we really need to be wearing name tags. Currently, most of the tags are pretty "run of the mill," so it might be fun to do something a bit more creative. I'm not sure...regardless, I'll post a pic of mine when it is finished. I'm having so much fun playing that I may make more than one. We'll see what time permits.

Nate and I worked on our taxes today--not fun! It did turn out that we will be getting a refund! Whoopeeeeee! Now that this is finished, I may be able to work on some machine quilting of this month's UFO. I'd really like to be finished with the quilting and machine work on the binding so that I can hand stitch the binding during the upcoming Dirty Monday meeting. I'll let you know how that turns out!