Monday, August 31, 2015

Block Swap, not stock swap

    When I told my husband I was participating in an online Block swap, he thought I was talking about a stock swap and was instantly agitated. When I showed him the blocks, he calmed down. I made 80 bowtie blocks to participate in Barb's bowtie block swap. I am making the modern ones. I had to buy gray fabric, but had plenty of brights for the bowties. I made an extra 40 so when I get the blocks back, I have enough to make something a little bigger like a lap quilt. I have them all in ziploc bags ready for the post office tomorrow. 
     I have always wanted to be part of a block swap since I met Lynn Roddy Brown at a quilt workshop and bought her books on block swaps, but couldn't interest anyone to do it with me. I would love to do a 4 patch swap.
One group of 40

Another group of 40

My extras, one block of all the colors used

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dance away, stars

      A long while ago, I took a Square in a Square Workshop. Bought the ruler and the books. Made two quilts. I just don't like the method- I think it wastes a lot of fabric and everything is on the bias. The easy quilt has been long given away. The Dancing Star pattern was a lot of work and trimming. It is finally done and quilted- just needs a binding. I just am not in love with it. It is a comfort quilt, so I am hoping to find it a home where someone really likes it. First time using the ruler on the long arm for a lot of the lines. Boy, I really stink at it.
Back of quilt
Front of Dancing Star, a Square in a Square Pattern

One off, another on

     Film at Five is all sewn, waiting for a backing and quilting. I really, really like it. The more variety of scraps you have, the better. So, it is off the design wall.
     On the the wall is Little Boxes. I had made a pink version, which is still waiting for quilting. I finally had time to lay it out. Now, I have to cut a multitude of white strips for the rows and top and bottom. The pattern is free from
     It works great for WOF strips. Good thing I bought some more Kona white on sale at Hancock's of Paducah.

Needs white strips in between rows yet,
trying to figure color placements

Friday, August 21, 2015

Big Rails

     In the workshop in May I took with Sujata Shah, I made a sample rail fence block from her book, Cultural Fusion. She is now hosting a Rail Fence Quiltalong. Although the book calls for 5 1/2" width strips, I had a pack of Tonga Treat batik strips that were 6" that I mistakenly bought on a sale at Craftsy. So, I decided to use these strips. However, I did not read the warning on the package that says the sizes vary. As a result, I am pairing the strips, and then after sewing the strips together, I am trimming the sewn strip at 5 1/4" and then making the 5 1/4" squares. This makes the block 19" when finished, kind of big. Well, I will just make a big  quilt. Someone will want a big, bright quilt.
   The strips are all primary and secondary color batiks and I had to add in some of my own fabric to pull this off. Here is a sample of two of the done blocks that are 19 1/2" now.

Coming together!

    A while back, I made Fading Charms from Wedding Dress Blues. I love using the scraps and the clean look of Deanna's designs. I use Kona White but would love a white that did not ravel as much. Is there one out there? 
    I started, as my next scrap/leader-ender project, Film at Five by her also. I chipped away at it, as a leader-ender projects and lastly sewed all the sashing, some when I was traveling with the trusty Featherweight. Finally, I laid it out on the design wall. I sewed it together, column by column (9 of them) like Wanda taught me. This keeps everything in order. Then I split the web halfway down and sewed the bottom rows together. 
     All that waits is the top half rows and then sewing the two halves together. I love it! Takes all those disparate scraps and makes a beautiful quilt. In the big blocks, I did do a dark/light pattern and always had the corners in darks. I think it holds together better that way.

Layout on wall, bottom sashes missing
Bottom half sewn, top half webbed, rows need to be sewn.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Back to sewing

    Last week was our annual family vacation in the ADK, around Old Forge, NY. We have been going there for a week for about 20 years. Now, my kids are grown and married but still come. My grandkids, 3 and 5, came with all my husband's siblings and their families. We canoe, hike, eat, shop, and get real tired. Internet and cell phone coverage are rather spotty. I could keep up with email and reading blogs, but that is about all. 
Part of family paddling the Moose River
My all time favorite- the water lily.
Very small and sparse this year.

   I took my Featherweight and cut bags of projects to sew and put together. Two projects were all done except for borders when I got home. Some other chain piece projects had progress made on them also.
This one was made from blocks given to me.
I added sashings and border.
An exploding square quilt, black and white with kid's prints. Yellow polka dot border to make it big enough.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

That Frond Fabric!

      At AQS Syracuse, my favorite booth was the Frond Fabric booth. The colors were breathtaking. I had never seen this fabric. Although I made myself look all through the booths, I came back, bought some, came back, bought more. It is a good thing I had to go home. The Frond fabric starts as real paintings, not digital. They are then used to print the fabric. The colors are so saturated. I was able to talk to the founder of Frond, Stephanie Brandenburg, and gush how much I loved it. Everyone working in the booth was so passionate about their fabric. It was such fun to have them show the fabric. They had lots of 1/2 yards in bags, so I could try a lot of them. I love the plaster of paris, raku, and colorwash fabrics. I bought a crazy print also. I used the Canon SLR at home to photo them, but you can go to their site,, and see them better. 
     Now, I have to figure out how to make a quilt out of them. I wish Wanda lived next door, I would bug her about these over coffee.
     No one in my area carries them, as people here love repros, Civil War, mostly very greyed, traditional fabric in the stores.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

More AQS Quilts

     I did not photograph a ton of quilts and totally forgot to photo the Egyptian ones (had a migraine then). The ones I am showing made a big impression on me. I only had my point and shoot camera, not the SLR as it is too heavy to lug at a show.
Cathy Geier Landscape, gorgeous colors.

Medical illustration meets quilt, called Neurons
This has so much quilting that it was very textural.
It made me happy looking at it.
By Timna Tarr. I love her quilts, detail
below, done uniquely
The circles were quilted with the squiggle lines around. Very neat.
Such a fun quilt done so well, could not believe no ribbon!
Detail of quilt above
More fun details. Isn't the quilting just the best!

Monday, August 3, 2015

AQS Syracuse Quilt Week

     It is the first time AQS held a Quilt Week in Syracuse, 2 1/2 hours from my home. A friend of mine was willing to drive and go with me. We stayed over and went to the quilt show Thursday and Friday. I had been to AQS Paducah in April. Of course, Syracuse was smaller. There were some good things- like the rep from Nolting that I could talk to about my machine and try the handles on the new one and see and buy fabric that I had never seen.
    There were also some hiccups that I saw. The upstairs of the Oncenter Convention Center had a carpet that was one of the most yucky, dirty and stained I had ever seen. The lighting upstairs for the quilts was subpar. The hanging of the quilts was not professional- all the fold creases and such were visible and not well done. The downstairs had some special exhibits that were well done, like the Egyptian tentmakers quilts, the Nine Patch from the quilt museum wonderfully hung and lit in a very nice room. 
    My favorite was Frond Fabric and I will show what I bought on another blog post. The women were so super and passionate about their fabric.
    The architecture from downstairs looking up was really super and I think a quilt could be made from this photo.

I was wondering if I could do something like this
with denim and hand dyed lines.
I don't know how this was sewn.
Like the medallion idea, I have a center of one
and this gives me ideas.
This is the quilt I wish I had made. I love everything
about it and in it.
Close Up of what I love