Friday, March 30, 2018

Bringing home the loot from Lancaster

     Yes, the quilt show was inspiring. I also comb the vendors because I want to see what is out there that can help me do a better job. I no longer have any close LQS. I just can't go browse on a regular basis. I sew on vintage machines, so I skip all the machine booths. I tried to be frugal, but spent more than I thought I would. I bought some half yards of Kaffe fabric, some wonderful Dear Stella fabric (wish someone near me sold this), some tools and some surprising patterns. 
The overall damage
I saw the cat fabric, went back and bought the others to go with it
Swan fabric, well because, my last name is Swanekamp.
Got a special price on three of these to try. Hope they work and I don't nick one the first time I cut
Fork pins from an Australian vendor who showed how these hold nested seams on HSTs better than 2 pins.
The Kaffe choices
A chalk marker that shows up and doesn't smear away. Also new chalk refill for my pounce applicator that supposedly doesn't just fluff away when long arming. Also a stencil that has a mesh in the opening so all the chalk doesn't goop in one spot.
Met the lady who designs these Cutie patterns for fat 1/8s. Great idea, cheap pattern, written great. She had examples of the quilts. Using the Dear Stella fabric to make Sun Kissed. Baby quilt with Jack's Star. Only $4. Quilt Basket
A beautiful sheen No. 8 Perle cotton from Spain, Finca from Presencia. For my Big stitch quilting.

More Lancaster show quilt inspiration

    The Cherrywood Challenge this year was spell binding- I couldn't stop going back and gawking. Other years, I went through once (Wicked, Lion King). This challenge was based on Vincent Van Gogh's work and the creativity was stunning. Of course, the ribbons are all the ones that execute his paintings as is, most realistically. They are beautiful, but so many others did grand interpretations and innovations. The online information is They did allow pictures, so are the winners, followed by what I thought were original ideas inspired by Van Gogh. Once again, the crappy point and shoot camera did not capture the colors as well as the display area was poorly lit. The quilts are 20" x 20".

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Why go to a quilt show?

     I hear this all the time. I have been fortunate to be able to attend some large shows, like AQS, Houston, Quilt Canada, and other regional shows. It takes time, money, and energy. So why go?
     Because quilting is something I treasure putting time, energy, money, and effort into, I need to look beyond myself at times to see what others are doing who are not like me and are much better. I need to hear what other quilters are dealing with, solving, or discovering. If I was content to make one designer's quilt pattern line or focus on one type of quilt or kits, maybe I would not need to go. I have a pretty clear idea of what types of things I want to design/work on, but I would be foolish to think that others have nothing to teach me. Creativity is often putting together disparate ideas and distilling something new. 
     I have no desire to compete in a show. I have observed that nine times out of ten, I can predict what wins: complicated traditional patterns, photorealism, and supercomplicated piecing/applique in a traditional vein. The innovative or unusual ideas do not win. Ok, I get it. The problem is when viewers only look in awe at the ribbons and not the gorgeous others in the show.
    Getting to AQS Lancaster was costly, had difficult snow conditions (no restaurants open on Wed.), and was fatiguing. Yet, the quilts inspired me, taught me, new products were tried, some bought, new fabric lines, met quilters of all stripes, and was a bigger step in my quilting journey.
     Because I took my little point and shoot, the photos are not great due to low lighting, so I apologize. If anyone has a small camera that shoots great photos in low light, let me know. My big Canon DLSR was too heavy to lug around, so it stayed home. The photos below are a few of those that inspired me. The next post will have some of the Cherrywood Challenge Van Gogh quilts and Korean.
Quilt made into a plaid by color stitching
Improv quilt with sections
Improv quilt detail
Wholecloth quilt all in black thread
Dellightful quilt called Carrot Breath
Neat idea of a colorwheel
Happy coneflowers, cool background
Gorgeous multiple methods quilt
Confetti detail
Quilt made by someone I know locally, Karen Sienk
Not sure how the spools fit in, but a very fun quilt

A cut work tablecloth layered and quilted by Cindy Needham, who had an extensive display.
Pretty amazing wall quilt
Another amazing scene and fabric
Extra special quilting made this quilt unique
Over the top piecing and detail

Such a unique perspective on vases on glass shelving
Karen Kay Buckley applique- she taught our fall workshop
And finally, the one quilt that I thought truly deserved a ribbon-
a difficult perspective on an old block done exquisitely, also not a tall enough display hurts the look

Friday, March 16, 2018

Did it get there yet?

     Over the past couple of days, I have moved every block of the OBW multiple times. Quite sick of it, but I did not want to take it down and throw it in a box. I want it done. I realize that the fabric, although it looked promising has some issues when cut and assembled in tone similarities and tones. I refuse to give up. I decided to do away with the swath of red and put it more center and swirl the other colors around it- the oranges and blues and then have yellow top and bottom. I think it works. I will leave it on the wall another day, and then evaluate again. Otherwise, it is getting sewn up.
Last iteration of the red swath
Hope, hope this is it

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

OBW shuffling and shuffling...

     I had started another One Block Wonder a while back, this was the fabric.

 I finished the blocks at the retreat. I grouped them loosely in similar piles on the ironing board at home before putting them on the design wall.

     I have messed around with the layout for 4 days. I took maybe 20 photos. I think I am close but it doesn't scream ready. I wanted the red to flow across the middle. There was a lot more orange and other colors than I thought. It does not at all look like I thought it would when sewing.

After lots of shuffles, still doesn't grab me