Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Quilts

Christmas is Coming! I used to go all out with decorating, take all the pictures down off my walls and hang up my large collection of Christmas quilts. It would take me three days to decorate the house between the tree and all the quilt hangings. Well, my days of wanting to spend three days decorating are done. I have given away most of my quilts to a non quilting friend who was just thrilled and loves them (I think she left them up well into spring the first year she had them). But I still have a few of my favorite ones. The above and below quilts are small table cloths, I just really like how contrasty they are.

This next quilt I call Wonky Christmas Trees. It is a pattern from the Buggy Barn folks and it is one of those fun quilts where you stack the three colors of fabrics and then rotate the top fabric, then the top 2 fabrics, then 3, etc etc giving it is very scrappy look. This quilt has a flannel back and is a great cuddly quilt usually thrown on the couch.
The following Santa quilt is on my front door, I like this quilt because of it's size, perfect for a door.
The next quilt, Trees and Stars, is the first Christmas quilt I ever made. It is about 18 years old. The pattern was in a book by Sally Schneider about pieced borders. This was just a fun quilt to piece, it hangs on my dining room wall which is at the front of my house. I love seeing it thru my dining room windows when I drive home from work in these winter evenings when it already dark and the lights are on in the house, it always gives me a warm feeling.
The final quilt I take out for Christmas is the first quilt I ever made. It is over 20 years old now, the pattern is broken star. I completely hand pieced and hand quilted this quilt. This was made in the days before rotary cutters and I can remember drawing each diamond with a template I had made from some of my husband's sandpaper glued to one side of a piece of cardboard. I very boldly entered it in my local quilt guild's annual show and it won a blue ribbon in the 1st quilt category.

Christmas is coming, the first Sunday in Advent is here. I wish you all a happy holiday season and a blessed Christmas.

Happy Stitching All,


Friday, November 19, 2010


I knew when I returned from my recent trip I would be working on a very special quilt. I can not reveal all of the quilt yet, but I have been asked to quilt it. I am machine quilting with my regular machine (not the mid arm).
I had some ideas of how I would quilt this quilt, there is sort of a water theme going on, there are turtles in the border and I have outlined them in the background of the body of the quilt with surrounding pebbles. To keep the border as densely quilted as the body of the quilt and because the border fabric is dark and would not show any quilting I just quilted some wavy, watery lines.

The "oops" comes because I thought I would give the Supreme Slider, a special Teflon mat that fits over the bed of the sewing machine, a try. This mat is suppose to make machine quilting much easier, and make the moving of the quilt over the machine bed much smoother, especially if you are doing a lot of small, detailed quilting. When I run out of bobbin thread I usually place a straight pin to mark my spot and earlier this afternoon I pinned right thru the slider - oops.
Now I find out I have sewn right thru the slider - OOPS - the slider slid right along with the quilt. I do not think this is how the designer of the slider envisioned it's use. For this evening I am calling it quits and I will start fresh in the morning.
Have a good weekend all and happy stitching,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hawaiian Quilts at the International Quilt Festival

I have a few more pictures from my day at the Quilt Festival in Houston. It has been fun to see which quilts or quilt collections the different bloggers have been sharing on their posts from the show. Our interests are all so varied and it shows with which quilts we chose to photograph and share on our blogs. I am currently working on Roseville Album so I was very interested in Kaffe Fassett's exhibit which I included in my previous post. I also like Hawaiian applique so I have pictures of four quilts that were in the show. The echo quilting was just outstanding, I think it is one of the hardest types of quilting.
I liked the bright colors, but I also really liked the subtlety of this tan and white Hawaiian applique.
I also tend to migrate to the more traditional quilts and I spotted this one way across the convention floor and liked the colors. On closer inspection I was astounded to see all these little pieced log cabin squares, probably about 1/4 inch logs.

The vendor area was overwhelming. The new gadget that I found was a rotary blade sharpener called True Cut by the Grace quilting frames company. There was an electric model and a model that just required running your rotary cutter against the sharpening stones that were set in a wood block.The Roxanne's glue people also had a new container for their glue that I use all the time in applique, it is a sort of accordion bottle and a new cap for the needle that keeps it air tight and is not suppose to need cleaning of the needle dispenser.

The last pictures I will leave you with is a couple close ups of Mystique, the best of show quilt by Sharon Shamber showing her amazing quilting and applique.This is her third best of show at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. What a talented quilter she is.

Happy Stitching All,

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Day At International Quilt Festival

We just returned home from 10 wonderful days in Oklahoma and Texas. One day was dedicated to the International Quilt Festival and I have lots to share but I thought I would start with a few pictures from the Kaffe Fassett exhibit. The exhibit (and his lunch lecture that I was able to attend) was entitled Simple Shapes and the quilts in the exhibit were made from squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles. I have mentioned in a previous post that I was not a fan of the fabrics when they first started showing up in the quilt stores but then the right quilt (Roseville Album) came along and I was hooked. I have looked at these quilts in the last couple of books by Kaffe Fassett but when I saw them in person the thoughts that kept coming to my mind were how warm and vibrant these quilts are. The pictures I tried to take to show this areall close ups, not the quilt as a whole but that feeling of being absorbed into these colors.

Congratulations also to Founders Award Winner Nancy Kern's and her spectacular Mary Simon Rediscovered. I happened to catch Nancy sitting by her quilt and answering questions about the quilt and her quilt making process.

Another favorite of mine was Pat Holly's quilt Paisley Peacock. What I like about this quilt is that Pat's applique method is raw edge fused and a small machine blanket stitch.I have Pat's (and her sister Sue Nichols) book, Raw Edge Applique, and use their methods when I machine applique, I was happy she won a major award at the show using this technique.

There was also a variation of the Civil War Bride in the show. This quilt was made by Marion Woods, she did some wonderful Broderie Perse applique and I loved the owl face fabric she managed to find for her quilt.

I will save the shopping side of my day at the quilt festival for another post.

Happy Stitching,