Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Joy To All!

As most of you know my youngest daughter, Heidi Eitel, is Exhibits Designer at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington DC. My sister, Janet Houts, sent me this link to watch the United States Air Force Band and Chorus perform as a flash mob at the museum. Here is the link to watch the event or just click on the picture...

The best thing about the performance was not only the music, starting with Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and ending with Joy to the World; it was the absolute joy, wonder, rapture, and happiness on the face of all the visitors to the museum who were treated to this wonderful performance. 

Janet emailed Heidi to say: "I hope you were at work on this day!  Looks like it was a magnificent event."

I called Heidi and she said, "yes, I was a work and I was on the main floor in the crowd watching the performance. I looked carefully at the faces in the crowd and didn't see Heidi. She reminded me that she is short and she was at the back of the crowd. She knew it would be happening even though the visitors did not.

My wish is for joy and peace for everyone this holiday season.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Going Hexie

Can you believe that I have been quilting for 50 years and have just now starting making hexagon quilts. Now that I have started I am going hexie crazy. I stayed away from hexagons because the idea of turning fabric over little paper hexagons and then whip stitching them together was quite daunting. Then I discovered the "Y" seam. Sewing this easy set in seam with its gentle angle is a snap. My friend Gyleen Fitzgerald calls it a butterfly seam...nothing more gentle than a butterfly, right? I like to call it a boomerang seam because of its shape. If Aussies can have fun throwing a boomerang, then quilters can have just as much fun sewing them!

Now I just can't stop making hexie quilts. The current December/January issue of Quilt Trends magazine www.quilttrendsmag.com features my newest hexagon quilt.

Here is the quilt as photographed for the magazine. It is made using fabrics from  the Cachet collection from Benartex www.benartex.com. I strip pieced the fabrics for the striped hexagons and before cutting them out. The print fabrics in the collection are large scale so only a big, beautiful hexagon will do for this quilt! The photo makes the quilt look deliciously tempting.

The hexagons are cut using the large 8" size hexagon on my new Creative Grids Hexagon Trim Tool. www.jeanannquilts.com. I made the entire quilt top in just two days. I didn't do much of anything else but then, when I can spend entire days doing nothing but sewing a quilt, I am as content as a cat who has just gotten into the cream. Bet you can't sew just one! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Getting Organized

Getting organized is always a challenge for me. I love scrap quilts and I am happy to have a heap of scraps on my sewing table and "paw" through them to find the perfect strip to add to my block. I needed to make a second Confetti Hexagon quilt with my new Hexagon Trim Tool (both are available on my website) www.jeanannquilts.com and I needed to make it in a hurry.

I decided to have one orange, one teal, and one green strip to alternate with the pale yellow strips in each round of the strips surrounding my center hexagon. Keeping the strips separated by color seemed a challenge until I got the idea to use a cutlery divider tray to keep my strips divided. The tray fits nicely just to the right of my sewing machine and takes very little space on my sewing table. Each strip is readily available when it is time to add another color. The short space at the front of the tray for spoons actually holds my scissors and seam ripper. Both need to be handy and ready for use.

Here is my sewing area with my new organizer sitting just where I need it as I select the new strip to sew in place.

Here is the Hexie Confetti quilt I made in just three days using the trim tool, my cutlery divider tray and my sewing machine. It is already at the Paw Patch Quilt Shop in Ohio for a weekend trunk show. It is made from batik scraps in a designated color scheme with colors that are in the border fabric. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Quilts in Space - on the space station

While checking out the dates for the Fall Quilt Festival in Houston, I clicked this link to see the quilt block that astronaut, Karen Nyberg, designed and stitched up while on living on the space station. www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgJNcWncs8Y&feature=youtu.be

You really have to go watch Karen in the youtube video, I have seen it a few times and I end up with a great big grin everytime!

The link for Quilts Inc and information about the Fall Quilt Festival 2014 is: www.quilts.com
Scroll down the left side to find the fall show.

The link to find the rules to make a block in Karen's space quilt are under the Breaking News at the top of the menu on the left side. The rules are easy. You can do it! (You have until August 1st to enter).

Now I have to think up a really clever star block....what will it be?

Just so you can have something to see, I am attaching a star quilt I made years ago...this is not my entry, just a starting point while I put my creative thinking cap in place and start dreaming of my star joining a star from outer space.

Here is a lone star quilt I made a few years back. There is a trick to make this quilt using an easy strip piece method.

Here is another star quilt I made. In this one I alternated the simple Sawtooth Star blocks with "X" blocks so it looks like the quilt is set on point but it's set together block to block.

Do you have a star quilt to share? If so, email it to me via my website with your name a a little bit about making the quilt...your pattern source, etc and I will post it. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Minneapolis Sewing Expo

I spent the past week in Minneapolis teaching workshops with the Sewing Expo www.sewingexpo.com. It was great fun and all of the quilters in the workshops were eager to learn new techniques. This past year I have taught Free Motion Machine Quilting, Lickety-Split Log Cabin and Easy-Peasy Pineapple workshops. Here are some photos from the pineapple workshop. I am having a great time teaching at the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo events. They are so well organized and presented. If a sewing expo is coming to a city near you, sign up for classes, visit the vendors, meet lots of quilters who share your interest in quilting and just be a part of the fun.

This is Rose Marie. She was in my Free Motion workshop and the Easy-Peasy Pineapple workshop. Rose Marie chose to position the light and dark values in her pineapple block a little differently than the traditional way...and the results are stunning! Perfect for a modern quilt. 

Close-up view of Rose Marie's Modern Pineapple block. Good job!

I couldn't resist taking this photo of Sue and her work space. She organizes her sewing just like I do...that is NOT at all. Everything is just tumbled where ever it lands as she works through adding rounds of strips to her pineapple block. We are kindred spirits for sure....or is it sisters in chaos?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sewing Expo - Ft Worth

The first Sewing Expo www.sewingexpo.com event in Ft. Worth was huge success. Everyone who attended had a great time taking workshops and shopping with the vendors.

Since I was teaching workshops and staffing a vendor booth to sell my books and trim tools. I found helpers for my booth (sight unseen). Leah Bowie and Joan Crittenden both showed up to work all day on Thursday while I was busy teaching. I had the best first day of sales ever and I sure wish I could take these two with me to Minneapolis next week.

Here is a note I got from Leah today:

"I enjoyed working for you and with you at the recent sewing and quilting expo in Fort Worth. Thank you for the Hexagon Trim Tool. I bought some material this week and finally had an opportunity to sit down and sew! I haven't sewn "for fun" in who knows how long. Thank you for the inspiration! I have attached a picture of my first three blocks that I have made.
Sincerely, Leah Bowie"

I love Leah's blocks and can hardly wait to see her finished quilt. Making hexagon blocks is sooooo easy with this new tool. I think I will abandon my computer for the rest of the afternoon and make a few blocks myself.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sewing Expo - Fredericksburg, VA

This past week I taught workshops at the Sewing Expo www.sewingexpo.com in Fredericksburg, VA. It's a good thing it was over on Saturday afternoon...I just heard on the news that today, 8 October, Fredericksburg is having a tornado watch.

Of course having thousands of quilters arrive in town for a three day whirlwind of quilting, quilting, quilting, is a tornado of a different kind! At every sewing expo there are workshops, demonstrations, and lots of vendors showing the latest books, products, patterns, fabrics and tools. I was there with my best friend from high school managing my booth to sell my own books and the trim tools I have designed for Creative Grids®. To see the latest tools for quilters visit Creative Grids on facebook www.facebook.com/CreativeGridsUSA

Back to the workshops...I taught Lickey-Split Log Cabin, Easy-Peasy Pineapple and Free Motion Machine Quilting for Beginners. Each class was filled to capacity and what a good time we all had. Everyone was enthusiastic and willing to work hard to learn how to quilt small projects on their home sewing machines. Here are photos from the free motion workshop. Pat James, the Bernina educator who helped in the classroom sent these photos she took of everyone as they learned new skills to take home and practice, practice, practice. Remember quilters, fast needle – slow hands!

I am teaching the same 3 workshops in Birmingham, Alabama on October 10, 11 and 12. Then in Ft. Worth, Texas on October 17, 18 and 19, and lastly in Minneapolis on November 7, 8 and 9. I hope to see you in one of them. Here is the website to sign up: www.sewingexpo.com

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hexies are HOT in HOTlanta!

The Hexagon Trim Tool www.jeanannquilts.com is here. I sold in my booth at the Georgia Quilt Show in Atlanta this past weekend. They flew out of the booth like flapjacks off the griddle. I am attaching a photo of the tool and also the story board I used to demonstrate how it works. It actually works a lot like the Log Cabin Trim Tool. I am having lots of fun making projects with this one!

Hexagon Trim Tool

Hexagon Story Board

Here is how it works.
1. Cut a 2-1/2" strip of fabric. Position the pointy end of the trim tool at the end of the strip and cut the top point of the hexagon. Then turn the tool, line up the marked cutting line on the tool and finish cutting the hexagon shape.
2. Sew strips of fabric to each of the six sides of the cut hexagon. Then line up the hexagon you see in blue on the illustration directly on top of the center hexagon. Trim each side to finish the first round of strips.
3. Sew a second round of six strips and trim just like the first round but this time using the 3rd hexagon shape in the line of hexagons.
4. Add a third round of six strips and repeat the trimming process using the middle hexagon in the line up to finish the block.
Result: A perfect pineapple strip pieced block every time! YEAH!
The ruler cuts 2", 4", 6", and 8" hexagons. The 8" hexagons can be cut from layer cake squares. The smaller hexagons from 2-1/2", 4-1/2" and 6-1/2" strips.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Family Affair

From time to time I divert from quilting to let you know what my daughter, Heidi Eitel, is doing as exhibits designer at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum - http://airandspace.si.edu/. Today is the opening of a short, six week visit of Leonardo da Vinci's sketchbook featuring the page with his Codex of Flight. Heidi is checking out the lighting in the box. It has to be just right to deter fading that might cause damage to the centuries old sketchbook. It's all in a day's work and I am a proud mother as I see the interesting work my daughter is doing.

I plan to see the exhibit on December 13. I am teaching quilting workshops at the Fredericksburg, VA Sewing Expo - www.sewingexpo.com on October 10th and 11th. It is just a short drive from there to Washington DC on a Sunday morning to see this amazing sketchbook. What could be better, quilting, seeing my daughter and granddaughter and then seeing such an important artifact from antiquity all in one weekend. Life is good.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Here at last!

Quilting a Circle of Nine - the sequel to the original book that my sister, Janet Houts, and I wrote is here at last. From the day we started until the day it was printed and ready for sale it took about nine months...the same amount of time it takes to have a baby and just about as involved but pain free. Well, almost pain free. Making the quilts was pure fun but putting all the parts together to finish the book can be painful as every tiny detail is checked and rechecked.

You can order the book from my website www.jeanannquilts.com - it sells for $24.95. In this new book Janet and I explored the design and use of spacers in much more detail than in the first book. there are patterns for 12 quilts in the book...books are such a bargain when you compare books to patterns which usually start at $10 and can run up to $15 for a pattern for just one quilt so getting 12 patterns with directions, diagrams and bonus lessons is a real deal. 

For a look inside the book you can check out the Landauer Publishing Youtube video for Quilting A Circle of Nine that takes you on a video tour of the pages in the book complete with photos of the projects and the lessons. It is a fun video. I think this is my favorite new TV show! (but then, I am prejudiced) Here is the link.....


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kingsport, TN

I spent last week in Kingsport, Tennessee. It's a lovely mountain town with lots of quilters. The guild sponsoring the workshops was the First Frontier Quilters of Kingsport. www.firstfrontierquilters.org

Like all quilt guilds in America this one has more than it's share of talented quilters. Theresa Richardson is just one of them. Of course her quilts attracted me because she loves to make Log Cabin quilts. On my first afternoon in Kingsport I was excited to see an exhibit sponsored by the guild at the local Renaissance Center. The quilts were in their annual challenge, "Don't Bug Me". Each quilt in the challenge had to have 2 bugs visible on the surface to qualify.

All of the quilts were hanging high on the wall so my photograph is not taken at a straight angle. I had to tilt the camera up to get the shot. Theresa appliquéd two butterflies, one in a block and one in the border, to meet the challenge requirements. The black border with just a touch of appliqué to add drama and interest to the blocks.

On Thursday Theresa took my log cabin workshop and learned to use the Log Cabin Trim Tool. She loves it! Now her log cabin quilts will go together so much faster. Here is Theresa at the log cabin workshop with her first block make with the Log Cabin Trim Tool Two. www.jeanannquilts.com

Theresa says that her next goal is to learn to fly an airplane...let's hope flying won't take time away from quilting. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Spy Hexies

A friend of mine, Colette Kocinski, is making an I Spy quilt using a prototype of the new Hexagon Trim Tool. Here are the first two blocks. The quilt will use a mix of 6" and 4" center hexagons. It also uses one focus fabric and 6 fat quarters, plus the fabric for setting the blocks and the borders.

Colette is off to a good start. I can hardly wait to see the rest of the blocks and the finished quilt. Good sewing Colette!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hexies Rule!

Actually, it's a Hexagon Trim Tool. Works like the Log Cabin Trim Tool. I am so excited about this new tool. I am having so much fun making Hexagon quilts. I never thought I would say that! I have always resisted hexagons because of the "Y" seams that are required to sew the hexagons together. After making two small projects I have recovered from my "Y" seam phobia and I am making my 4th hexie quilt right now.

If you live in Georgia, come to the Georgia Quilt Show at the Galleria in mid-September to visit my vendor booth. Be among the first to see own and use a Hexagon Trim Tool.  http://www.sewingexpo.com/GeorgiaQuiltShow.aspx

Here is a quilt just finished. It's a wall quilt named "Have A Cuppa". I fussy cut the cups using the 4" hexagon markings on the ruler, then sewed two rounds of strips around the hexagons to make the 8" blocks. Using the seam intersection holes on the ruler I was able to mark the points where the "Y" seams make their 30° turn and it went together very easily. 

Hexagon Trim Tool - available October 1. Preorder Hexagon Trim Tools and patterns now from my website www.jeanannquilts.com or look for it at your favorite quilt shop this fall. The tool is manufactured by Creative Grids® and sold in quilt shops exclusively. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kanuga Quilt Retreat

Kanuga Knitting and Quilting Retreat - Registration is now OPEN. We have a full workshop each year, so register early!

The 2014 quilting retreat at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. The retreat is always scheduled for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend so we get an extra day to sew.

Here is the quilt I designed for the retreat. It uses only one fabric jelly roll plus 1-1/2 yards of background fabric. I love this jelly roll with modern prints and every strip a bright color.

The Quilt is made using my new Hexagon Trim Tool by Creative Grids®. The tool is in manufacturing right now and will be available for shipping from my website www.jeanannquilts.com in October. It will also be available at the conference for quilters who are interested.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cats Know Comfort!

Warning! This is going to be a long post because it includes the directions to make the featured quilt.

A few years ago Debby Kratovil and I discovered the Comfort quilt block. We found it is just perfect for using those yummy oversize prints. Between the two of us we have made a half dozen or so variations of this block.

Five years ago I was invited to give a program at the Textile Museum http://www.textilemuseum.org in Washington DC. This is an excellent smaller museum just north of Dupont Circle. It is well worth making the trip to visit if you happen to be visiting our nation's capital. This talk launched me back into giving programs about quilting to various quilt guilds and quilting venues. You can learn more about my programs and workshops by visiting my website: www.jeanannquilts.com

I stayed with my daughter, Heidi Eitel, who is an exhibits designer at the National Air and Space Museum http://airandspace.si.edu. Heidi came to the talk and fell in love with this quilt that features Amy Butler fabrics http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/products/. These same fabrics may not be currently available but Amy Butler has many exciting new fabrics that will sew up magnificently into this same quilt pattern.

To prove how comfortable this quilt is, Heidi's two cats, Annie and Andy, have chosen it as their #1 place to take their many daily naps. At night the quilt provides comfort for Heidi and Brian as it rests on their bed.

Here is the quilt that was featured in QUILT magazine the not long before I retired as editor-in-chief in 2006. You can see we made pillow cases, and an accent pillow to complete a full bed ensemble.

Here are the directions to make the quilt. It's so simple to make that you can figure out the sewing on your own after you have cut the the blocks. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mango Berry Pineapple Quilt

I spent the weekend sewing. I finished 2 quilts, one for the jelly roll book and another for the Pineapple Trim Tool. The pineapple quilt goes up to Checker Distributors for their quilted "wall of fame". This wall has a quilt made for the Creative Grids rulers designed by quilters like me. Here is my Mango Berry Pineapple Quilt, pieced, quilted, bound and ready to be mailed. I am preparing a Cut Loose Pattern for this quilt and it will be available about mid-August.

I used Andover's Many Eyes Looking fabrics for the blocks and a yard of butterfly print I found in my stash for the border (who knows how long it had been there). I was just happy to be using up something from my stash. Then I pulled out a bright gold rose print from the stash for the backing and when I read the info on the selvedge I was surprised to see the fabric was designed by my good quilting friend in England, Barbara Chainey. Happiness is a finished quilt and 2 pieces of fabric out of the stash and into a quilt.

The pineapple blocks are 10" and the borders are 5". I was able to use the backing fabric without having to seam it together. I quilted it on my new Brother sewing machine and used i cute little round, clear plastic foot with a hole in the middle (kind of like a donut) that is meant for echo quilting. I did a meander quilting pattern but the round foot is perfect for any kind of free motion machine quilting. I made the entire quilt in a week. Love that Pineapple Trim Tool www.jeanannquilts.com. No math, no measuring and NO paper piecing, and a perfect block every time. 

You will have to wait until the jelly roll book is out to see the other quilt I finished. We are tossing around names for the book. I like Jelly Roll Jambalaya. What do you think?

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Hex on Quilters

The hexagon is enjoying a big comeback with quilters. I have just designed a hexagon trim tool similar to my log cabin and pineapple trim tools (coming to a quilt shop near you soon). The inspiration for my new trim tool came from an antique quilt that was shared with the Kanuga quilters www.kanuga.org last January. This 3 day workshop over the Martin Luther King weekend is like a laboratory for my sister, Janet Houts, and I to test out new ideas while teaching a choice of 2 different projects to the quilters who come to sew the weekend away. It is definitely a mutually beneficial event.

Hexagons are popular in Alabama too. I photographed these two quilts featuring hexagons at the Birmingham show last weekend. The difference in the quilts show just how versatile hexagons can be, from sophisticated black and white to pretty pastels. Both quilts are blue ribbon winners. Way to go hexagons!

Elayne Bogmild made her Hexagon quilt using the book, One Block Wonders by Maxine Rosenthal. 

Baby Girl's Flower Garden by Nanny Dinavant. I really like this one because it combines strip piecing with hexagons. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Birmingham Quilt Show - strip pieced quilts

Here are some of my favorite quilts from the Birmingham Quilt Show. I took just over a dozen photos and I am going to upload them over several days. I have put the quilts in categories to help show why they appealed to me. Today I am showing strip pieced quilts by Sally Brus because I have spent the past 2 years making log cabin, pineapple and jelly roll quilts so I am really into stripping! I think Sally and I may be soul stripping sisters.

#1 in A Series - what a teaser, I like this one so much with its asymetrical design that I can hardly wait to see #2, #3, etc. The bold dark colors are even more tantalizing set against the lime green background fabric.

Crazy Geese - Not all of Sally's strips are horizontal, in both right and left sides of the quilt she added a minimum of short, vertical strips. The flying geese panel is offset to the left, another great design element. The quilt would not have been nearly as interesting if the geese were flying smack dab up the center.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Birmingham Quilt

This weekend I am at the Birmingham quilt show. I have a vendor booth to demo and sell my books and rulers. This is a new activity for me -- my second show. The Pineapple Trim Tools are hot, they are almost sold out. Log Cabin Trim Tool sales are steady but not as hot as the Pineapple here in Birmingham.

So what do you see at a quilt show when you are tied to a vendor booth? Rosie! She was the most adorable visitor to our booth. We were so enthralled with Rosie we forgot to demo the rulers and lost a sale...but who cares.
Rosie rides! This is a dog stroller. Her mom says she got it on amazon and they have lots of colors but of course Rosie needed pink.

Rosie wore her pink dress to the quilt show. Rosie's grandmom sews all of her little outfits and makes matching hair pieces for them all. Apparently Rosie loves to dress up. It's a dog's life!

Oh yes, there are lots and lots of quilts at the show but none as captivating as Rosie.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jelly Roll book in progress

Today I am off to Birmingham, Alabama to be a vendor selling my books and rulers at their quilt show. If you are anywhere nearby come to the show and stop by to say "hello".  www.bhamquilters.com
Using the scroll down menu, tap on Quilt Fest 2013 for directions to the show. See you there!

Here is what I am leaving behind!

I am almost finished sewing the quilt tops for the new Jelly Roll book. Two quilts have already been quilted. Want to see what a book in progress looks like? Here is the pile of quilts and quilt tops stacked up on my big reading chair in my sewing room. Guess what I will be doing next week? Longarming and machine quilting the quilts in this stack. What fun!

Jelly Roll quilts in progress.

On Tuesday I drove over to Clarkesville GA to present a program to their quilt guild. Clarkesville is in the North Georgia Mountains. They have a large, active guild. Much to my surprise one of the members made my Sweet Sixteen Hundred quilt in sections just like the one I shared on my blog a few weeks ago. It was such fun to see it! My quilt was all in strips of reds, oranges and purples. You can see that hers is multicolored. The instructions to make this quilt will be in my new Jelly Roll book which is scheduled to "roll out" in late fall this year.

Mountain Laurel quilter with her own version of the Sweet Sixteen Hundred quilt.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rolling Log Cabin

I am sewing everyday making quilts for my new Jelly Roll book. It will be released in late fall. It is so much fun figuring out the math (did I really say that?) to use the strips to best advantage rather than just cutting them up to sew traditional quilt blocks. Here is one I just finished. It is a "wonky" log cabin. Wonky being a new word for crazy in quilt making. A hundred years ago this would have been called a Crazy Log Cabin Quilt. I am calling the quilt Tipsy Log Cabin. I used a Moda jelly roll called "Twirl" and a fabric called Ziggy Candy by Timeless Treasures for the borders. And, oops, I broke my rule not to ever do another mitered corner on borders.

Tipsy Log Cabin - to be quilted, this is only the quilt top. I love it, what do you think?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I have been sorting through some old photos of quilts I have made in the past. This is the distant past as I made this one in Florida over 20 years ago. I had just learned about charm quilts and decided I wanted to make one too. In a charm quilt each fabric is used only one time, no fabric is repeated. At the time I made this quilt I had already amassed a large fabric stash to work from. Charm squares cut 5" square had just become very popular and quilters were trading these squares at guild meetings, quilt shows and wherever they happened to meet. Here is my charm quilt....

Quilt Name: Tree of Life...and So They Were Charmed

This quilt is entirely hand made, every stitch by hand even the binding. Except for the tree trunks in the center and the borders not one fabric is repeated. Notice the rounded corners on the outside edges. I didn't know how to do mitered corners in the binding...solution, round the corners. At the base of the large center tree Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam are leaning against the trunk back to back. Did you notice the snake slithering down the tree to tempt them with forbidden fruit? Sue is holding the apple, but like Eve, will she take a bite? There are seven stars and a quarter moon surrounding the top of the tree. Every leaf is hand cut in slightly different sizes. Appliqué is needle turn method only. Quilting also by hand with the baptist fan pattern at the bottom for the earth and wavy lines with little clouds at the top for the sky. The border is more or less echo quilted around the trees. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

On the Road - Washington DC

Here I am in Washington DC visiting my daughter and granddaughter for a 6th birthday celebration. Yesterday I had the luxury of spending the day at various Smithsonian museums. I visited three, the American Indian Museum, the Modern Art Museum and the Air and Space Museum where my daughter works as an Exhibitions Designer.

I took lots of pictures at all 3 museums. The first set of photos I want to share are exquisite hand made dolls by contemporary doll makers that were featured in the American Indian Museum. The dolls are from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection at the American Indian Museum http://nmai.si.edu/home/

A visit to the website will give you more detailed information. Here are photos of the dolls that I liked the best. The dolls were in glass cases so there are some reflections in some of the photos. Each doll was about 18" tall. There were several dollmakers and all of the dolls seemed to be made to a standard scale. 

Many quilters also make or collect dolls so I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. It is worth a visit to the museum to see them in reality. My photos don't do them justice. The detail on each doll was amazing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Circle of Nine - back by popular demand

Our original Circle of Nine book is not being reprinted. Instead Janet Houts and I have written a brand new second edition featuring this innovative setting. We have learned much from teaching workshops at the Houston Quilt Festival and other venues using the Circle of Nine setting. We designed 12 great new quilts for you to make and lots more info on choosing and making spacers. Here is a sneak peek of one of the quilts that I made for the book. It is called Rondelet.
Rondelet Quilt by Jean Ann Wright
Fabrics by Westminster

More sneak peeks to come...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is officially May 31, but it is always celebrated the last full weekend of May...which happens to be this weekend. Memorial Day is the day we remember those who have been killed in one of the many wars that America has fought in. It is a day we visit the graves of our brave soldiers, clean the grounds and plant a flag.

I live walking distance from a National Cemetery in Marietta, GA. This week little flags are flying at each and every grave. The cemetery is on a hill with many trees providing shade. It is a peaceful setting for those who served their country at great risk and in times of great danger. At times I have attended services there on Memorial Day. But mostly I remember my uncle, Ronald Havers. Uncle Ronald was awarded the purple heart for injuries received in the battle of Bouganville, Solomon Islands; recovered and sent back to his unit. The unit was sent on to the Phillippines where he was killed near Manila in 1945.

Ronald Havers, US Army, killed in battle 1945

I can't plant a flag on my uncle's grave because he is buried in the Phillippines http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/ml.php. So this year I made a flag quilt in his memory. There are enough flags flying in the border fabric to be placed by his grave on memorial day for centuries to come. 

Flags A-Flying

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jelly Rolls - my new book

I have just finished book #3, sent it off to the publisher and crazy or not, I am starting book #4. This will be a book with fewer pages (48 page count) and it will focus on patterns and projects.

It's interesting how this book came about. Since January I have been buying fabric Jelly Rolls. I have never been tempted to buy jelly rolls even though they have been around for years, but all of a sudden I just couldn't help myself. As my column of jelly rolls grew and grew until it was about 36" tall (I stacked the rolls one on top of the other on my cutting table) I had no idea what I would be doing with them.

The Jeramy Landauer, the owner of my publishing company, Landauer Publishing Corp www.landauercorp.com called and asked if I would be interested in doing a book featuring fabric jelly rolls. YES! I said.

I have been working with fabric strips for years. Here is a quilt that I made in 1988 using strips that I sewed into vertical rows, holding a few brightly colored strips back to applique over the top. I cut out the border along the edge of the curved design and appliquéd to the top on one side and left it free form on the outside. Next I cut out some of the little figures in the fabric, scattered them over the surface and appliquéd them in place. I called it Move Over Miro. It's the first art quilt I sold and sometimes I am sorry I no longer have it.

Move Over Miro by Jean Ann Wright

Fast forward 25 years for my second venture into sewing random strips together to make a quilt. Yesterday I finished making the quilt top for the first quilt in my coming Jelly Roll book. I have been intrigued by the "1600" methods of sewing strips together. I wanted to do something a little bit different so after sewing one long strip I used a formula to cut and sew the strips in units, cut the units up then sewed them together again and made this quilt. All it needs now is quilting and binding. Yumm!

Sweet "1600" – Mixed Berries with Mango