Friday, October 30, 2009

Speaking of Borders....

When I am making a quilt to go on a bed, one of my philosophies about borders has to do with how the border relates to the interior of the quilt -- I like the blocks/applique/whatever to exactly be the size of the mattress and the border(s) to drop down to cover the top of the box spring. Since I have a queen size bed, I wanted the top of my sampler quilt (it was a block of the month project) to measure 60" x 80". My mattress is a double pillow top, requiring a 13" drop.

My bright SoCal morning sunshine is spilling over the bed in this photo, but you can see my combination of floral fabric with a bit of piecing inserted in to add some interest to that 13" drop. I used two of the pink fabrics that had also been used in the piecing and added some narrow gold strips on either side to visually separate the pink squares from the floral border. This was done on three sides.

Since I don't tuck my quilts over and around the pillows when I make my bed, I just needed one narrow border to finish off the top.

With the top border being narrow, it isn't necesssary to fold the top of the quilt over on itself to avoid smothering when you sleep under it -- I just get too hot with two layers of quilt over me, although it was 28 degrees last night!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Packing Again -- Salt Lake City UT

This trip will be to Salt Lake City for almost a week and then Silver City NM to visit the Southwest New Mexico Quilters Guild, so out tomorrow and back on Sunday, Nov. 8.

Checking in 23 hours and 59 minutes ahead gets me a decent place in line for boarding -- my friend Tina Neal calls this procedure "cattle call" and flies Frontier instead! I'm just happy to be saving lots of $ by not having to pay to check my two 50 lb. bags...

So -- what to pack? My Halloween costume for the party tomorrow night -- check; class materials, including a pattern, for my new Halloween applique class -- almost check (still have to trace the ghost and pumpkins onto a master); demo stuff for my two day machine quilting class (have to pack those times 2 because I'm teaching that in both locations) -- check;

and demo stuff for Borders & Bindings, all of which I stuff into that Omnigrid tote you see off to the right. B&B uses a lot of stuff: a small quilt to demo mitered borders, another small quilt to demo prairie point finishes; a scrap piece of quilted fabric and fabric to cut into strips to bind it with; and a piece of fabric and bias cut strips to demonstrate bias scalloped binding.

As well as all the quilts for my trunk show in Silver City -- and, oh, maybe something to wear? All in two 50 lb suitcases?

Hoping for a miracle.....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

North Cities Quilt Guild -- Placentia CA (Part 2)

As promised, the "Show & Tell" quilts from the North Cities members -- drum roll, please!

This picture is a little larger to enable you to see how detailed the embroidery is. I really like how stem stitch embroidery has gone from one color, such as "redwork" or "blackwork" to multiple colors. For a Halloween take on hand embroidery, click here to go to my blog write-up on Starry Night Hollows, a quilt store that had a very cool Crabapple Hill quilt done this way.

Speaking of Halloween, here are two quilts shown Monday night. The bottom one was made by Phyllis, the Program VP....

LOVE scrappy red and white!

Couldn't get the whole quilt in from where I was sitting, but the outer border is the same floral print as the squares....

This alphabet Christmas quilt is a Crabapple Hill pattern; it was made by Sheri Siedentop who owns The Quilt Cupboard. She says she sews at the shop by day and embroiders by night! That's a lady with a passion for fabric!

Today I've been working on a quilt for my friend Susan; I would very much like to get it in the mail tomorrow, but with packing for my next trip (leaving on Friday), just don't know if that's gonna happen!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

North Cities Quilt Guild -- Placentia CA (Part 1)

After a two hour drive and a short time getting settled into my room at the Embassy Suites in Brea, I met the board for dinner at the Marie Callender's right down the street from the church where the meeting was going to be held. Since I can get lost in a round room (even with a GPS, it seems), I asked Phyllis, the program VP, if I could follow her over.

Well, you know you're going to a fun quilting place if the person you're following is driving this car, right?

Once we got to the church, I unloaded the suitcases from the car to the church to the table where the quilts would reside until my talk, and then took a walk around the room as everyone was setting up for business....

There was a lot of folding going on here -- they called it the "crafts table"! Folding, rolling, filling those yummy baskets....

Block of the Month is always a big favorite -- for October we had cat blocks and November was leaves. Had to take a closeup of the bat-fabric cat, of course!

One of the raffles -- there seemed to be several going on -- this one for a whole basket of fat quarters....

This raffle was for different items -- one was a table runner by the gentleman at the table. Phyllis told me that he was not only a terrific quilter but his "day job" was teaching special eds to 3 year olds! I'm convinced there is a special place in Heaven for people like him!

When they showed his donated quilt, Phyllis said (loudly!) "I hope I won", to which he responded, "You did!" So of course she let out a whoop and ran up to the front to grab it!!!
Here's the guild library -- lots of books and magazines to go through and even a nice store-style rack...

The guild is very proud of the number of charity quilts they make each year and rightly so! One of the events at the meeting was a presentation by H.I.S. House, a local charity that is run by the church where the guild meetings are held. The director of the charity did a PowerPoint about the house, telling about the people who lived there and the various services that were provided to help them get back on their feet.

After she finished, president Mary Lou Ripper presented her with a check from the guild to H.I.S. House for $1,000!!!

Next post -- Show & Tell pictures!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It Always Looks Worse Before It Gets Better....

Tomorrow I'm off to visit the North Cities Quilt Guild in Placentia CA, so I'm more than knee deep in quilts trying to decide which ones to take with me and which to leave behind.

I've got two 30" suitcases with the expando part zipped out so that I can pack even more. Since I'm driving on this trip, I can take a third small case with all my personal stuff and I don't even have to worry about how much each suitcase weighs! If I can lift it, I can take it!

So since I don't have to worry about excess baggage fees, the temptation is to bring everything! Of course, the lecture has a finite time and I should probably take a peek at my contract to see what they actually hired me to talk about so that I will bring the appropriate quilts -- plus a few more for good measure!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Machine Quilting -- Fixing Boo-Boos

Everybody makes mistakes -- seems to be one of those rules that we end up obeying even when we don't want to! So I will show you how to fix them when quilting. I do it the same way, whether I am straight stitching or doing free motion -- as soon as I realize I have made a mistake or wandered off the path, as it were, I do two things. First, I fix it right there by getting back on the line and stitching it correctly. Second, I mark it with a boo-boo pin.

This particular boo-boo pin is a regular size 1 safety pin with a plastic pin jacket attached to it. You could also make a boo-boo pin by tying a piece of yarn in the little hole --what you are trying to do is to make this pin really noticeable so that you come back to it. I usually keep a count of how many pins are in the quilt I'm working on so that I don't miss any. It's really embarrassing to go to a quilt show, see a customer's quilt hanging in the show and notice one of your own safety pins right in the middle of it because you forgot to go back and clean up -- don't ask me how I know this! You can probably guess......

After I'm done with all the quilting, I sit myself down with a seam ripper and a pair of scissors and hunt down all the boo-boo pins. I take each pin out and remove the extra stitches. Doesn't extra stitches sound so much better than mistake? Since I have already fixed the problem area "on the fly", my quality control just consists of a little stitch removal.

Almost finished -- actually this looked pretty good to me until I took the picture; the camera picked up some additional stitches to be removed.

After taking out those couple of stitches that showed up in the picture, this mistake is totally fixed and I can go on to the next. Once all the pins are out, I know the quilt is done!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dinner and a Pillowcase?

Wednesday night my husband Dan and I went to dinner and the theatre with a good friend and neighbor, Charlene Wasilczyk. We have season tickets to the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles with Charlene and her husband, John, but John was sick and missed out on all the fun -- and, of course, the food!

We went to Ciudad, a restaurant owned by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (you might remember them as the Two Hot Tamales of Food Network Fame) and located just a few blocks from the theatre. Had to take a picture of my dinner before I totally demolished it -- this was my entree, which was grilled mahi mahi on a bed of saffron mashed potatoes and accented with strands of saffron and two sauces -- it was totally YUM!

And that was after the ceviche and before the most delectable chocolate cake -- woof!

Now on to the pillowcase part of this post: When my goddaughter Destiny went off to college, I decided that I would make seasonal pillowcases as little surprise gifts. She liked the Halloween one so much that I went off in search of fabric suitable for Thanksgiving -- I joked with her that I was looking for turkey fabric with cranberry sauce trim!

Didn't think I would find anything even close, but I went into Bolts in the Bathtub yesterday afternoon and found turkey fabric! And that's not exactly cranberry sauce color, but it works.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Show Me the Whole Quilt!

Sorry, guys, it wasn't really very nice to just give a teaser and show a small part of one of my quilts draped over the arm of the sofa instead of the whole darn thing -- and you let me hear about it!

I call this my "Six Year Quilt" because I pieced it in 2001 when I first saw this Hoffman Christmas fabric and then finally got around to quilting it in 2007 when I dug into the pile and decided it was time! That's trapunto in the light blocks; that fabric is a tan on cream print that looks like it is tea-dyed and then has tiny stars sprinkled across it.

The pieced block is one I found in a book somewhere. It wasn't an entire quilt pattern, just the block. I grabbed a few books this morning to see if I could find it again, but one of you will probably recognize it and then I'll post it.

Here's a closer picture of the block and below is the trapunto quilting in the light "plain" blocks. If the quilting design looks suspiciously like the one in my blog header, it's because they are the same stencil, #SCL-215-11 from The Stencil Company.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Waiting for Winter!!!

The temperature finally dropped a little over the past couple of days -- 75 for the high, rather than 90! I live in Palmdale CA, which is located in the "high desert" area of southern California, about halfway between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. We are considerably warmer than LA from mid-May through about now and then we get quite a bit cooler, sometimes with snow!

All I need is my Kindle (for those of you not Kindling yet, the Kindle is a battery powered book reader from Amazon that holds lots and lots of books -- perfect for travelling when you have to keep your baggage weight down -- and only weighs 10 oz.!), a mug of tea and a spare hour or two to curl up with my quilt in that spot of sunshine....

Monday, October 19, 2009

El Camino Quilters Quilt Show -- San Marcos CA (Part 3)

This is my last post on the El Camino Guild show. I'll show you the last of the pictures and what I bought -- you knew that had to be in here somewhere; couldn't keep my hands off my wallet for the whole show!

"Saint Flora" by Judy Hay was "inspired by a Karen Cunagin Palomar College class project". I saw more of these hanging, but this was the only one with applique as part of the background area. There were two samples of this "face in a sun" in one of the vendor's booths; they both had a pieced background for the appliqued compass.

"Mod Quad" by Marilyn Hearnsberger is made from a commercial pattern, but the author's name is not given. I liked the tiny shots of color that sparked up all the black and white.

I guess my purchases from this show reflect all of the pretty quilts I have been seeing lately that are made from printed panels. These fairies have the sweetest faces and are just perfect for when you just need to whip something out for a gift or just to hang on the wall to celebrate a new season....

Sometimes I just want to mindlessly sew -- a kit can be just the ticket to putting the brain on hold.....I purchased the panels and the kit from the Inspirations Quilt Shop booth. The shop is located in Valley Center CA and, if you have to have this, too, you can contact them at 760-751-9400 or click on the shop name to go to their website.

This must have been the quilt that inspired me to buy all those cute panels -- it couldn't have been that I think fairies are the cutest things imaginable, could it? This seemed like a neat way to use some of them -- not too symmetrical, not every-one-framed-the-same-way piecing.

My photo cut off just enough of the title of this quilt to make it unreadable -- Margarete Jones made it from a class at Palomar College taught by Karen Cunagin. Margarete said it was challenging to make all the different sized borders and then put it all together....I liked the various borders, but especially liked all of the piecing in between the printed blocks. A lot of little colorful squares goin' on here....

"Shooting for the Stars" by Louise Strickler, quilted by Sylvia Fox. What appealed to me about this quilt is that the background of each block is half tan and half cream. It pulls the eye diagonally in a dramatic way. I would love to make this in brights!

"Woodland Creatures" by Nancy Ganske, quilted by Shawn York. In the statement pinned to the quilt, Nancy said that when she saw this quilt, she just had to make it, so it may be a pattern? Maybe of the same name? What made the visual impact, to me, was the beautiful green background that makes all of those applique pieces really stand out. This is quite a sizable quilt; I think I would be blind if I had done all that applique on a dark color like that, but -- oh, my gosh -- is this quilt worth the work!

Pat Carriker's appliqued roses quilt is quite striking. It wasn't stated whether it was original or from a pattern.

Originally, I took the photo on the right because I liked the way the border quilting was done -- Pat used a different stencil for the corners rather than "turn the corner" with the feather design. I took the picture to stick it in my "idea folder", then looked closer at the applique and decided to share the whole quilt with you.

Destiny and I enjoyed the show and got to spend some quality time together looking at quilts, chatting and catching up with her new college experiences. The next few times we get together will be busy -- Destiny, my husband and I are going to Australia for three weeks in Dec./Jan.! Can't wait!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

El Camino Quilters Quilt Show -- San Marcos CA (Part 2)

I took a lot of pictures at this show, so I'm breaking them into two posts; this one contains the quilts that fell more into the "art quilt" category and the next will be more traditional quilts. I also photograph the quilt descriptions as written by the quiltmakers so that I can accurately label whether a quilt is from a pattern, a class or an original work, if this information is given.

If it is not given, I have left it blank rather than take a guess....

"King Tut" by Bettyann Heineman was inspired of her love for all things Egyptian since her childhood. This is an original work. Here's a close-up below...

"St. Mark's Rose" by Lois Bretzlaff is from a pattern designed by Nora McMeeking and was from a guild workshop. Can you tell those quilt blocks to the right were from a totally different quilt? Got to get better at this picture taking thing!!

"Bamboo Spikes" by Judy Brook was completely paper pieced from a design by Judy Niemeyer. I really liked the colors and movement in this quilt...

"Glowing Embers" By Dee Fletcher, quilted by Susan Ramey. Dee used "Gelato" fabric by EE Schenck Co. to make this quilt, which was designed by Mary Lou Hallenbeck.

Some of the quilts at this show were for sale -- I noticed that "Glowing Embers" had a SOLD sign on it!!

My timing was good on this one -- somebody else had just finished taking Sondra Gordinier's picture next to her quilt "Southwest Sunset", so I just asked her to please not move! Sondra's artist statement: "This pattern was from a class given at Rosie's Calico Cupboard by Lisa Moore. Lisa is from Sitka, Alaska, my home town. However, her pattern was of the Northwest with ice, snow, animals and fish. Mine, of course, was of the Southwest -- Voila! It was machine quilted by Wendy Knight."

"She Walked in Beauty" by Cherie Brown. I was intrigued by the beauty of the quilt, the three dimensional fabric embellishments, use of a border print for the "frame" and the decorative stitching in the fabrics radiating out from the cameo center. There are a couple of close-ups below.

This was the quilt that got my BEST OF SHOW vote....

The picture to the left did not come out as clear as I would have liked, but I wanted to show the rosette and some of the decorative stitching.
More decorative stitching below....I thought it was an effective way of using a decorative machine stitch.

Lots of fun, art-y things!! Next, I'll cover some more traditional quilts, including applique and what we can do with those pretty panels that we are all (well, at least I am) buying!

El Camino Quilters Quilt Show -- San Marcos CA

Last month, I taught and did a program for the El Camino Quilters Guild in Vista CA. While I was there the members were planning the quilt show to be held on the California State University campus in San Marcos, a nearby community. Since this is the very same campus where my goddaughter Destiny Kincaid is a freshman, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to spend the day with her and see the quilts.

Destiny has made five quilts so far, including two that were auctioned off for charity. She made her first quilt when she was 11. She made the quilt in a kids' class at the local quilt shop and then spent quite a bit of time at my house quilting it on my Bernina (her mom bought her one later when we all agreed that Destiny really loved sewing!) and then the two of us did the binding together.

The quilt show was yesterday and today, October 16-17. Parking is free and admission is $8.

I will take probably three posts to show all the photos I took, but in this one I'll cover the pictures of the "small quilts" that were pretty intriguing. The collection above is a quilters' journey challenge from the Free Spirits Art Quilters friendship group. All of the quilts were small and very detailed, with each of them concentrating on what was important to each quilter at this time in her life.

Here are photos and descriptions of a few of them:

"A Path Beyond Meadows" by Suzanne Orton. Her artist's statement: "This quilt is machine pieced with fusible applique, embroidered by hand, using photo-print organza."

"Journey of Women's Heart Disease" by Lynne Retmier. There are words in the background detailing the symptoms of heart disease in women, which can be very different from men's symptoms.

I did not get the title of this quilt; it is an original design by Cherie Brown. It has quite a lot of hand beading and embroidery; the colors are gorgeous....

Another interesting grouping of small quilts; they are a little larger than potholders with long corner strips to tie them together. This looked like a guild cooperative effort with the guild initials in the middle.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...