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.