Sunday, April 28, 2013

Paducah Quilts Post #3

Home from Paducah, but still sharing many of the photos I took. Today's photos show quilts that use subtle – or not so subtle – strip piecing for the background with appliqué over the newly pieced ground. All of the quilts in the show were spectacular and a book is already published showing all the quilts (with outstanding professional photography). Order the book from:

Turtle Bay (79" x 93") by Claudia Pfeil of Krefield, Germany. This quilt captures the beauty of the sea where turtles live in a calm, soothing, silence. Claudia longarm quilted her original design.

Claudia used curved strips for the background of her quilt representing the gentle waves of the turtle's undersea environment. JA

Blue Jay (44" x 56") by Sonia Grasvik of Seattle, WA. A perfect blue jay feather appeared beneath Sonia's mailbox after her sister died. She viewed it as a "Hello, I'm fine" message from her dear sissie. This original design was quilted on Sonia's home sewing machine.

Sonia used many blue fabrics and some soft cream fabrics to make the background for her quilt. More strips slightly gent or curved make the appliqué feathers on the quilt. JA

Ruby Sue Sows her Seeds In The Sea (40" x 64") by Marie O'Kelley, Seattle WA. This red crab from Christmas Island dances in celebration of the next generation as she casts her eggs into the sea. This original quilt was appliquéd, piece and quilted on a home sewing machine.

Marie strip pieced the underwater portion of her quilt to mimic the undulating waters of the sea. JA

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Paducah Day 2

Since I have been making so many quilts with fabric strips...log cabin, courthouse steps, and pineapple, I was attracted to all of the quilts that used fabric strips to create the quilt design. Here are some of my favorites. They all use strips in creative ways.

Magic Carpet Ride (32" x 32") by Carolyn Vogt of Kennewick, WA – This quilt combines an interesting technique with a simple skewed block. The colors were influenced by the Bedouin carpet in Carolyn's studio. Inspired by a Carol Taylor workshop and the Tipsy pattern from Fons and Porter's Quilty Magazine. Machine pieced and quilted.

Autumn In The City (45" x 45") by Christina Larrson of Lidingo Sweden – Christina's inspiration came from the happy autumn leaves and color on a windy day. It was pieced and quilted on a home machine.

Feathered Friends (62" x 56") by Karen Hull Sienk of Colden, NY – This quilt was inspired by the beauty of autumn in New York and the joy of the daily visit by Karen's feathered friends. Karen quilted the original design on her home machine.

While Hearing Brahms (69" x 80") by Mitsuko Sugimoto of Kawasaki Kanagawa, Japan – This piece is made with cloth from Paducah. Mitsuko created this quilt in gratitude to her supportive husband while listening to him play Brahms. Inspired by a log cabin pattern by Nihon Vogue.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Paducah - Day 1

Here I am in Paducah, Kentucky at the American Quilter's Society annual show. It was a long drive up from Marietta, GA - about 7 hours. We spent all day yesterday looking at quilts in the main exhibit areas and we haven't see all of the quilts yet. We did spend some of our time visiting vendors as the exibit quilts and vendors are paired together in the different exhibit areas. I took lots of pictures of my favorite quilts and here are some of them.

The first paragraph after each photo describes the quilt and gives a statement by the artist. The second paragraph gives my thoughts about the quilt and why I took the picture.

The Jennings Homestead (69" x 45") – Made by the Milwaukee Art Quilters, in gratitude to Paul and Teresa Jennings for providing the space to meet, the 26 art quilters made a slice quilt of the Jennings Victorian home. Longarm quilted by Terry Kirchner.

I like the quilt because of the construction It is made of 24 different squares, each square having a slice of the total picture and using colors of the quilters choice. When stitched together there is an intriguing dimensional quality to the finished piece as the color varies from slice to slice. JA

Cross Country Skiing (52" x 59") – by Paulette Landers, Camp Nelson, CA. "Cross country skiing in Sequoia National Monument offers a serenity like no place else. Among the tall cedars and ponderosa pines nature speaks to the soul." Quilted on hand-dyed fabric on a home sewing machine.

I took this picture for my sister, Janet Houts who lives in Sun Valley, ID. She often says she is going to do some winter scenes of the mountains that surround her home and I hope this inspires her to go ahead and just do it! This quilt also has a variety of fabrics sewn in large patches in the background making the entire piece more interesting than it would be if the snow was shown as a large, plain white area. JA

White Tulips (47" x 39") by Emily Parsons, St. Charles Illinois. "The unlimited color of flowers and textures in the leaves never cease to amaze me."

This is another quilt that has a pieced background. Emily also used a variety of fabrics in the applique to more accurately represent the myriad of colors that are present in nature. One of my favorite ways to choose a color palette for a new quilt is to take close-up photographs of nature as Mother Nature puts colors together in a way that I would never think to be possible and yet they work in harmony and beauty. JA

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Week #6 Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery

Here is the final clue at last. I can't believe it has been 2 weeks since I last posted. Where has the time gone? This weekend you can finish the quilt. Are you ready for the big reveal?

Step 1. Hourglass Blocks: Cut 7-1/4" squares, 1 using lime fabric and 1 using teal fabric.
Cut in half on the diagonal twice, then sew together to make 2 hourglass blocks.

Step 2. Arrange the blocks as shown in rows following the layout in the quilt as shown in the diagram. Sew the rows together.

Step 3. Cut the gray fabric into (5) 2-1/2" x WOF (width of fabric) strips. Trim two of the strips to 
2-1/2" x 40-1/2" for top/bottom borders. Sew remaining strips together end-to-end and cut (2) pieces 
2-1/2" x 48-1/2" for side borders. Sew side borders to quilt top, then sew top/bottom borders in place.

Step 4. Cut (5) strips white 1-1/2" x WOF. Trim two of the strips to 1-1/2" x 42-1/2" for top/bottom borders. Sew remaining strips together end-to-end and cut (2) pieces 1-1/2" x 52-1/2" for side borders. Sew side borders to quilt top, then sew top/bottom borders in place..

Step 5. Cut (6) strips 3-1/2" x WOF. Sew all strips together end-to-end then cut (2) 3-1/2" x 54-1/2" side borders and (2) 3-1/2" x 48-1/2" top/bottom borders. Sew borders to sides of quilt top, then to top/bottom to complete the quilt. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Red Hen Fabrics

Two summers ago I designed some fabric collections for Newcastle Fabrics. So far I haven't seen them in any of the local quilt shops. Last week, when I stopped in at Red Hen Fabrics I was surprised to see they now stock several bolts from the collection. My fabrics were spread across two tables so I brazenly rearranged their display to put all of my fabrics on one table. Then I dashed home to get a Log Cabin quilt I had made from my own fabric collection. I draped the quilt over the table and put the fabrics on top. Good thing I am good friends with Mary Ann Henderson, the shop owner. She took it all in stride and the display remains in tact. She is always happy to have a quilt made from fabric collections to show with the collections as it helps sell the fabric.

Here is the display at Red Hen Fabrics, Marietta, Georgia

The Log Cabin quilt is in the Barn Raising setting and it is featured in my new book
Log Cabin Quilts, the Basics and Beyond. 

And....the book and the tool. Naturally I used my Log Cabin Trim Tool to make the quilt. Both are available on my website:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sunbonnet Sleuth Week #5

Sunbonnet Sleuth took Easter week off. Now she is back on the job. Here is the 5th clue for this mystery. This week we will be making Square-In-A-Square blocks. There are only 6 of them, so it won't take long!

Next week we will make just 2 blocks, the final blocks for the quilt. Then we will sew the blocks into rows and the rows into the quilt top. The week after we will add the borders and except for the quilting, we will be done!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hall County, GA Quilters

On April Fool's Day I traveled to Hall County GA (near Gainesville) to present a program and lead a workshop for the Civil War Potholder quilt table runner. Ir takes a bit of gumption to teach a group of southern quilters to tackle a quilt project popular with the Union ladies during the Civil War. But we did it and the quilters learned new tricks and techniques for marking quilt blocks with impromptu "templates" from the kitchen, using their machine walking foot to stitch gentle curves and how to sew their double fold binding with mitered corners, both front and back, on the sewing machine.

It was a lovely day. The Show and Tell is always my favorite part of a guild meeting when visiting a quilt guild. I am always amazed by the creativity of the quilters when they show their finished quilts. Almost always there is a group showing of quilts made for charity. The Hall County Quilts make quilts to be given to children in the hospital. Here are some of this month's donations.

Next came a big surprise for me. Lisa Reichenberg is a new quilter started her first quilt in my Lickety-Split Log Cabin quilt class last October at the Sewing Expo's Georgia Quilt Show in Gwinette, GA. (The class uses my Log Cabin Trim Tool - Lisa showed her finished quilt and I was so proud of her. She used whimsical fabrics with frogs in the quilt along with other bright prints for a really fun first quilt. She is on her way to being a power quilter. Welcome to our world, Lisa!