Friday, August 21, 2020

Tropical Quilting

Born in Michigan, raised in Palm Beach...Most of my memories are of 50 years in the tropics. I have two quilts made with the tropics in mind. Not far from my home in Florida was the home of the Orchid Society. They had a beautiful garden filled with all kinds of orchids. This is a larger adaptation of my Mirror Ball Dots quilt. I used a triple rail fence block to alternate with the circles in this quilt. Each of the appliqué dots features a different orchid plant. 

There were palm trees everywhere. We could pick up a coconut from the ground, bust it open with a hammer and screw driver to remove the husk. The coconut within had "eyes", little round circles that we punched open and drank the warm coconut milk on the spot. Next we cracked it open to pry out the coconut meat and have a nice tropical snack. 
Tropic Palms became a strippy quilt because I wanted to showcase the vertical pattern of he palm leaves printed in the fabric. There was very little piecing other than the Bachelor's Puzzle blocks in the center strip and the two vertical rows of Flying Geese units on each side. This is one of my favorite quilts. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Stack 'em Up

Except for hanging a few pictures I have settled in after moving. I have been busy folding and stacking all my quilts that aren't on my bed or hanging on walls. The quilts are in my new office space (originally the formal dining room). My dining area is at one end of the very large living room. Quilting is definitely more important than eating. 

On the left, is a section of my large bookcase that has my quilting books, antique toy sewing machines, fabrics and other quilting related materials. The hoosier holds my precuts, and my printer. A stack of quilts tops it off. On the right is a metal rack taken from the walk-in closet of my former apartment and repurposed to hold stacks of small quilts and my McCoy tea set. A very small framed photo of me as a four year old living in Michigan shares the same shelf. My computer desk is in the dining room along with a table I plan to use for You-Tube demos of my Creative Grids rulers sometime this fall. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Round Robin Quilts

 Several years ago there were quite a few groups on the internet doing Round Robin Quilts. Here are quilts from my Round Robin Quilt groups. Since many of us are still staying very much at home, this is a good way to quilt in a group. 

Birdhouse blocks were popular at the time and my flirtation with log cabin blocks is represented with the center log cabin birdhouse in the quilt on the right.

My friend Debby Kratovil was one of the quilters contributing to the Noah quilt.

Most of these groups were made up of 4 to 6 quilters. We had a list in order of who received the quilt after we added our part. We also indicated if a border or more blocks were to be added and if piecing or applique was used to make the next round. Each group made up their own rules. Mostly the rules were followed but sometimes not didn't matter, we were very forgiving if someone did their own thing.

Monday, August 10, 2020

A Tiskit A Tasket...Lets quilt Baskets

Baskets organize things, they collect things, they gather things. They also provide inspiration for quilters who have designed many basket patterns.

I have always loved basket quilts as have many quilters now and in generations past. The flower basket quilt shown above is a simple basket and the appliqué flowers in the basket were fussy cut from the border fabric. The quilt and pattern are in the first Circle of Nine book that my sister, Janet Houts, and I wrote together. In all we authored three Circle of Nine books. 

This is a basket quilt I made in a machine embroidery workshop at John Campbell Folk School in Tennessee. The flowers were cut from a printed chintz fabric, appliquéd in place and then various colored threads were used to execute machine thread embroidery over the chintz, using the print as my pattern to follow as I stitched. The basket pattern is called "Cake Stand".

Monday, August 3, 2020

Moving Day - Setting up

On July 29 I moved to a new apartment. It is larger and has a view of the Glover Archibald Park. Yesterday I saw a deer, right in downtown Washington DC. I have repurposed the dining room into an office and studio where I can make demo videos of how to use my rulers. Here is the new office space (minus the studio set up).

The quilt on the wall is Smokey Mountain Sunset. The photo on the right was taken by Kelly Wilkes for my book Little Log Quilts. The quilt uses the 6" Log Cabin Trim Tool. Book and tool can be ordered on my website: