Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday--Pattern 12

This week I'm back to my black and white drawings. I REALLY like color, but I love the starkness of black and white. This drawing was inspired by a beautiful sunset. Because the drawing is black and white, you can use your imagination to invision the colors that are most beautiful to you. Think of the most gorgeous sunset you have ever seen, print out this drawing, and fill in the colors! Enjoy.

As usual, I'm linking up with Lynn Krawczyky's Weekly Pattern Wednesday. Head on over and check out the other patterns. (Lynn has forgotten to do the link up for a couple of weeks. She has a lot going on right now. So, if you head to her site and don't find the patterns, check back.)


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Another Retreat--August 2015 (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the previous post. I couldn't fit everything everyone got finished at the retreat into one blog post--it just got too long--so here is "the rest of the story."

As I told you in the last post, Donna gets more accomplished in a short time than anyone I know. Here are the other projects she completed at the retreat. She used embroidery sets from Designs by JuJu for the next two quilts. For this one she used a jelly roll with the embroidered blocks.

Here is a closeup of the redwork machine embroidery.
This next machine embroidered quilt uses a "teen" theme and also uses jellyroll strips.

This is another charm-pack quilt.

Debbie made a quilt top using a kit from Craftsy called the Legacy Carriage Quilt.

She also finished eighty blocks for a River Log Cabin Quilt from the Missouri Star Mod Block Magazine--Volume 1, Issue 1. Here is one of the blocks. I love how the arrangement of the pieces makes it look like a round design.

Vicky made a Five and Dime Quilt using the Union Blues fabric line. This quilt top took one layer cake and one charm pack. It is made using raw-edge applique.

This is a closeup of the raw-edge block.

Jane quilted a Disappearing 9-Patch table runner and worked on other quilting projects and blocks.

She also worked on the quilting for a 42-Yard Dash quilt by Country Threads.

She finished a modified version of a Bricks & Stones Quilt. The original Bricks & Stones Quilt was designed by Bonnie Hunter. You can find that here.

Neva got several Christmas gifts made. (She's WAY ahead of me!) She made notebook covers.

She also made lots of "biscuit covers"--you know, those cloths you put into a basket to keep bread warm at dinner time. She explained that having the corners cut out keeps the cloths from bunching up when you cover your bread; each one is double sided.

It is wonderful to have good friends who share a love of quilting. I'm thankful for the time I can spend with them. I hope you are blessed with great friends.



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Another Retreat--August 2015 (Part 1)

I had the opportunity to attend another retreat with some quilting friends. I tend to work on fairly traditional, easy quilts while I'm at these retreats. That allows me to relax, zone out, visit, and de-stress (as if there IS any stress now that I'm retired). It is almost like meditation to me; I feel rejuvenated after these retreats (after I catch up on my sleep).

At this retreat, my goal was to concentrate on finishing a large quilt top. I bought the "Marcus Fabrics Strip It Pack" jellyroll of earth-tone fabrics from Craftsy while they were on sale for $20.07 and made the background from my stash for this one.

I had these really bright scrap blocks already made, so I joined them as I was sewing on the quilt above. I used these blocks as "leaders and enders." By the time I finished the large quilt, I had most of the blocks and rows sewn together for this quilt. This will be a charity quilt and should give me some practice machine quilting on my new Juki quilting machine (if I'm ever home long enough to do it).

Robin made this large chevron quilt with some bold "modern" fabrics. You can find this Giant Chevron quilt on the Sunlight in Winter Quilts blog.

She also made this sweet baby quilt for a gift. It was designed by Meadow Mist Designs and is called Looking Glass. You can find more information about it here.
I don't know too many people who finish projects as fast as Donna. She would say she is a "down and dirty" quilter! She makes me feel like I sew at slug speed. I only have pictures of six of the nine pieces she finished at this retreat. I'll show you the rest in Part 2 along with projects finished by some other friends at the retreat.
First, she finished the binding for this little Disappearing 9-Patch quilt.
For this quilt, Donna says, "I just cut up leftover material."

Her daughter, Audrey, likes orange and green. I'll bet this quilt is hers. Donna says this is a variation of the Disappearing 4-Patch block. She used a Lily's Garden Spice charm pack.

She used a charm pack she had to make this baby quilt.

She liked Robin's Looking Glass quilt so much she whipped one out.

This snowman throw uses an embroidery set from Designs by JuJu.

The snowmen blocks are machine embroidered. Here is a closeup.

My next post will finish up Donna's show and tell and show you things done by the other retreat participants.


Friday, August 21, 2015

You Should Buy This Book!

Let me preface this review by saying that the author of this book is a friend of mine. With that being said, I will give you my honest opinion about her new book.

As you can see, the book is titled "Pattern-Free Quilts--Riffs on the Rail Fence Block" by Kathleen Loomis. The book is well written, has more examples of different takes on a "rail fence" quilt than you can imagine, and has a wonderful gallery of finished quilts. One of the reasons I liked the book SO much is that after reading it, I felt like, "Yeah, I can do that!" I wanted to head right to my studio to experiment with some of the ideas presented in the book, and only one other book has ever made me feel like that.

I know I have a lot of traditional quilters that read my blog. Several of my traditional quilter friends definitely do not consider themselves to be "art quilters" but have expressed an interest in making more creative quilts. I think one of the reasons they haven't done it is because they just don't know where to start. This book would be a great starting place for them.

The book isn't just for beginners, though. I have been a quilter for a LONG time. I still love looking at and creating traditional quilts, but I have been working in the "art quilt" realm for awhile now. I'd like to have a copy of this book on my own bookshelf. It inspires me to think about traditional patterns in a new, more creative way, and I'm anxious to have a chance to get into my studio to try out some of the suggestions in the book.

There isn't much for me to criticize about this book, but I do have a bit of a problem with Kathy's view on the way I happen to I do my creative work. (My method is the total opposite of Kathy's.) She says the following of (what she calls) the "plan first, sew second" approach of creating a quilt (which is MY preferred method), "I don’t like this approach, because it seems that all the fun—the creative decisions about how the quilt will look—is over before you sew your first stitch. If you know exactly how the quilt will look before you even sit down at the sewing machine, why bother? You could just as well send it out to China to be made up." Now, I have to take offense to this. I get GREAT joy, have lots of fun, and feel VERY creative working the way I do--which is to draw up my design and stitch the quilt according to my vision. The challenge and fun for me is to see if I can make my vision become a reality. I make creative decisions both when I draw up my design and when I work to make my vision come to fruition. I'd like to think my work is unique and would be hard even for someone in China to duplicate.

That being said, there is WAY more to like about this book than to dislike. The book is well worth buying. You can purchase it here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday--Pattern 11

This drawing was inspired by some hand-blown glass art I had the opportunity to view. If you notice the edges on this drawing, it is because I had to cut this drawing out and place it onto a clean white paper. I had tested all my pens on the original sheet--it was a mess!

As usual, I'm linking up with Lynn Krawczyky's Weekly Pattern Wednesday. Head on over and check out the other patterns.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Wise Old Owl and a Bluebird of Happiness

I belong to a group that does a community art project. This year we are working on pieces for a child advocacy center. I was really stumped as to what I might make but have finally settled on little quilt that includes a whimsical owl, bluebird of happiness, bright blue sky, and a tree. I hope the children will be attracted to the colors and feel happy when they look at the piece. I have the owl finished.

The owl is made primarily of hand-dyed wool onto which I have done some hand embroidery. The beak and feet are made of leather. The "belly" is cut from some "fabric" I made and is attached to the piece using French knots. It is VERY textural.

I also finished the bluebird (who will be sitting in the tree) for the piece. This little guy is made from pieces of fabric I hand-dyed. I have used two different colors of blue thread and a couple different embroidery stitches to attach them to a muslin and felt backing (the same foundation I used for the owl). The beak and legs are satin stitched, and I used silk embroidery thread to stitch the rosy colored breast.

I'm hoping to get the tree and leaves finished this coming week. I'll post a picture when it is finished.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Did You Know?

I have a "did you know" piece of information for my traditional quilting friends. This was shared on Facebook by Ann Marie Brown to the Quiltville's Open Studio page. This is a great way to use up a fat quarter if you don't have anything else you want to do with it. This is particularly useful if you are into making scrap quilts.

If you have a scrap quilt finished, I'd love to see it. Leave a link in your comment!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Progress on the Forever Hexagon Quilt

I have been diligently working on my hexagon quilt. For those of you who are new to the blog, this quilt has been an on-going project for quite awhile now. I was inspired to draw this up after visiting a hotel in French Lick, Indiana. The floor in the hotel is made up of thousands and thousands of individual tiles laid by Italian craftsmen years ago.

The fabric hexagons I'm using are 1/2" hexagons. Here is the progression of my work on this project.

I don't have dates for the photos above. I sure wish I did.
March 11, 2015
May 30, 2015
June 15, 2015

This is the latest photo. At this point in time, the quilt measures 86" at it widest point and is 47" tall. There is a maroon "spike" I'll be adding to the top (similar to those on the sides), but I haven't done that yet. I figured it would get in the way as I work on adding rows to the piece.

August 12, 2015

I'm starting to see the "light at the end of the tunnel;" I might actually finish this thing. The biggest problem I'll have is how to finish it off. I love the shape it is (more hexagon-ish; not square), but I might have to "square it up" using hexagons to fill in. I COULD applique it to a solid background. That would provide lots of space for some interesting quilting. Hmmmm, decisions, decisions. What color background would set this off the best? How would YOU finish it off? I'm really interested in suggestions. PLEASE leave a comment.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday--Pattern 10

I call this pattern "Skunk Flowers." It isn't a very attractive name, but the flowers remind me of skunk tails. Of course, I didn't notice that until I finished the drawing. I do like it anyway and hope you do too. I've been drawing up lots of patterns lately. I realize if I only share one a week, it will take a LONG time to show them all. Don't be surprised if you see one pop up every now and then on a day other than Wednesday.

As usual, I'm linking up with Lynn Krawczyky's Weekly Pattern Wednesday. Head on over and check out the other patterns.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Spike is in a Magazine AND at a Quilt Show--WOOHOO!

I'm really excited to tell you that I finally have a piece in Quilting Arts Magazine. The current issue has a full shot and detail shot of Brain Freeze (a.k.a. Spike). Jane Dunnewold writes an article for each issue. Her article this month is about alignment. She asked me if she could use Spike to illustrate her point. I couldn't say "yes" fast enough! Check out Jane's article on pages 21-24. Spike is on page 22, and I even get a mention on pages 23 and 24! If you need a refresher as to what Spike looks like, you can see a picture of Spike along with info about the piece in the Gallery section of this blog. Check the menu at the top of this page.

You can see Spike (in person) along with lots of other great quilts at the Patoka Valley Quilt Show currently being held at the Krempp Gallery in Jasper, Indiana. There are lots of tradtional quilts and some art quilts too. The show runs from now till August 30, 2015. You can get more information about Krempp Gallery here.

What am I working on? Well...I'm busy making more LITTLE hexagons for my BIG hexagon project.

I'm also working up some designs for hand-stitched pins. I'll be working on those as soon as I get a chance. What are you up to?