Monday, March 25, 2013

Rock The Block Workshop

On Saturday I was a student in a quilting workshop, a nice change from being the instructor. There were some 16 quilters in a workshop with Joe Cunningham, or, Joe the Quilter,

I don't often take a workshop but this one really caught my attention, plus I have known of Joe the Quilter since I started as editor-in-chief of Quilt magazine some 25 years ago. I have always been intrigued by his innovative quilts so when the East Cobb Quilt Guild brought him to Atlanta for workshops and program I signed up immediately. I am so glad I did!

Here are photos from the workshop. I can honestly say I didn't do the most creative work in the class although I am satisfied with what I produced. I wish I could have gotten photos of more of the quilts because so many of them were really outstanding. I did get a couple of photos to share with you.

Joe Cunningham with Akito who didn't follow the rules for Rock the Block, but really dazzled Joe with her incredible design. Starting with Joe's instructions Akito took off on her own and created some spectacular blocks. 
Here are Akito's blocks in a different arrangement.

Nicole followed the rules to make her blocks but then threw them over and got very creative when sewing them into a quilt. I wonder what she will add next?

I followed the rules to make the blocks except for one thing...I first made fifteen 6" blocks (not pictured) then decided they were too small so I made these fifteen 8" blocks. I have figured out how to use both 6" and 8" blocks in one quilt. Stay tuned.......the finished quilt will appear sometime in the future.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Week #4 Mystery Clue

You had so much fun last week making half-square triangles that I know you are going to be excited about making even more of them this week. There is an added step this week. After making the half-square triangles they will be sewn into a pinwheel block. This takes making the half-square triangles a step beyond the simple units.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Air and Space

A couple of weeks ago I posted an exhibit sign from the Time and Navigation exhibit opening next month at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. I think I mentioned that my daughter and a graphics art staffer designed the exhibit. Here is a new photo of my Heidi supervising the installation of an airplane in the exhibit. Heidi is young woman with red hair standing in the lower right corner of the photo.

To see a slide show of the installation of the many large (boats, cars, planes, spacecraft, satellite, etc) go to this link:

When you get to the air and space website scroll down the webpage a little bit and click on the column on the right you will see the slide show.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Zandy's colorful world

Every year my sister, Janet Houts, and I teach a 3 day workshop at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. This year we offered a Log Cabin quilt and a Courthouse Steps table runner using my new Log Cabin Trim Tool

Like any quilt teacher, Janet and I absolutely love getting photos of finished quilts that were started in our workshops. Here is one that appeared in my email box this morning.

Zandy Jordan has been coming to our workshop in Kanuga for the past 5 years. She has a fantastic sense of color and how to use it in a quilt. The colors in this quilt are not those that might be chosen by a less courageous quilter, but Zandy is bold and decisive when putting unlike color combinations together. I love the 3 dimensional effect that Zandy's color placement has achieved. The use of dark values, bright, popping orange and red along with calmer colors provide big eye appeal for this quilt. 

Zandy lives in Florida and chose a nautical theme for the baby quilt she made for a young relative. This is her second Log Cabin quilt since the conference.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Week #3 Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery

Half-square Triangles - This is a unit that every quilter needs to learn how to cut and sew. There is a simple formula to determine the size you need to cut fabric squares to make a half-square triangle unit.

First determine the size of your finished half-square triangle unit. The half-square triangles we are making today are a finished size of 6" x 6".

Now add 7/8" to the finished size to get the cut size. Therefore the cut size of the half-square triangles we are making today is 6-7/8" x 6-7/8".

You can use this formula for any size half square triangle you may want to make in other projects.

Now let's sew the half-square triangles for this week's sewing step. Just follow the directions and you will be quickly done.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Charlotte NC Quilt Show

For the past 3 days I have been in Charlotte NC take a try at having a vendor booth at a regional quilt show. I took along a helper, Elizabeth Kiefer, in anticipation of lots of sales. It's a good thing I did! We were swamped with sales and a big demand for my Creative Grid trim tools. I demonstrated as Elizabeth wrote up the sales. We worked non-stop both days.

We met lots of interesting quilters and had a really good time. We were so busy I only had a few minutes at the end of each day to catch a glimpse of the over 200 quilts on display. They were amazing! I also met another Creative Grids ruler designer and we got to know each other and exchange ruler ideas.

Charlotte, NC Quilt Show Booth

Elizabeth and I made a lot of notes on what to bring the next time we do a vendor booth, like bandaids to tape up a thumb after a box cutter mishap. Also table coverings, floor mats, and such. I used my ipad mini and a GoPayment devise  to take credit and debit card sales. It's a good thing because most sales went through the GoPayment system. 

My next show? Jacksonville, FL the last weekend of September. I'll be ready. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week #2 Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery

Time to sew our first set of blocks for the new mystery. Lisa has done a "test" make of the quilt and we both agree that it is a perfect quilt a beginning quilting class, especially for a quilt shop. You have permission to gather the clues and teach this quilt (after the final reveal) if you are a quilt teacher.

Here is the first sewing clue:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quilting Friends

From a forwarded email sent to me by Susan Fisher:

"Here's an unsolicited bravo for your Log Cabin ruler from Eve Hall. She makes teaching samples and teaches at a quilt shop either in Tehachapi or Bakersfield, I'm not sure."

"I picked up Jean Ann's rulers in Houston and Debbie's [quilt shop] has been carrying them. Creative Grids has allowed her to order them on consignment...We've had two free workshops to demo how the ruler works, mention the web demo, spotlight the book and other patterns. We are going to do one more. If you buy the ruler, the workshop is free.  I've had fun playing with it.  She has sold a dozen so far. Two samples are at Debbie's and three other tops need to be finished. I'm only sending two pix to share. One is Jelly Beans not quilted and the other is the Cut Loose Press pattern hand quilted with the big stitch. Thanks for the ruler Jean Ann."

30's Half Log Cabin is at the top and Jelly Beans is on the bottom.

I met Eve Hall through Susan who used to be my managing editor for QUILT magazine. We have known each other for many years and Eve helped us set up quilt photo shoots in California. My message to Eve is. "I am having great fun with the ruler too. I have made a dozen or more quilts since I designed it. I am thrilled to hear the way your local quilt shop is marketing it. Thanks for sharing."
Rulers are available at your local quilt shop or on my website:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sundae Sherbet Mystery

It's a little early for summer and ice cream, but here is a mystery to get us in the mood for the warmer months. I am designating colors preferred by modern quilters, but you can select your preferred color palette and prints. For the best visual impact of the finished quilt try to select similar colors and values if you change the fabric palette.

Lisa made a sample quilt to test the pattern and she substituted Christmas fabrics for the colors I have chosen. In the fabric requirement list I have revealed the use of each of the fabrics so if you want to use a different color palette you will have some indication of where the fabrics will be used to help with your choices.

The finished quilt size is: 48" x 60"

Saturday, March 2, 2013

the Engagement

If your grandmother is a quilter and your mother is a quilter, and an heirloom sewing enthusiast (not to mention the hundred or so aprons she has designed and made), then how do you propose marriage to the love of your life? With a banner of little apron like banners your mother has made for you, of course.

My grandson, Robert, proposed to the love of his life, Elizabeth, this is her birthday weekend. They are at the family summer cottage in Black Mountain, NC. The house is on a small lake in the town with the Blue Ridge mountains in the background. Over 25 years ago Robert's father proposed to his mother in nearby Franklin, NC. A family tradition?

Elizabeth also sews, so she will fit right into our family like hand to glove. We have already come to love her. She is a very special young woman. If you are going to the Charlotte Quilt Quilter's Guild Show in Charlotte, NC next week, you can meet her. I have taken a vendor booth to sell my rulers and books and Elizabeth is coming with me to help in the booth.

Ellen (my daughter) says that Robert's youngest sister, Madeline thought up the idea of using a banner for the proposal and Woody, the family dog, helped. You can see from the photo that Woody is trying to turn the banner into a tug-toy, but it's too big for him to drag away.