Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quilt Show For The Soul

I have been rather blue lately over my daughter's upcoming move out of town. I recently went to a local quilt show with some friends. The Lauritzen Gardens (Omaha, Nebraska's wonderful botanical gardens) started Quilts in the Garden three years ago. I have not been able to attend before as it is usually in early November when we are generally out of town, but this year it was a little later in the month.The small quilts were hung among all the mumsSpending time with my best quilting buddies was just what I needed and wandering around the beautiful gardens was good for the soul.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Mayflower

Two weeks ago I was starting a new Ladies of the Sea (Sue Garman's pattern) block and realized The Mayflower was in the unfinished pile. Well, with Thanksgiving right around the corner that gave me motive to get her completed. What a ride she must have been, only 63 feet long and 11 feet wide with 102 passengers and the crew on board. They were at sea for two months, September and October in 1620.

I now have half of my ladies completed.
I am on call at the hospital for part of the upcoming weekend so I will not be able to have anything in the oven Wednesday evening. Pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars are on my agenda for today but for now I am going to sneak in an hour or so of sewing. Under my needle is The Turk, a Mediterranean coastal fishing vessel from the mid 18th century.
Happy Thanksgiving All, I pray for calm weather and smooth "sailing" if you are on the road to be with family and friends.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Applique Quilts at the International Quilt Festival

I had a very short visit to the International Quilt Festival this year. The above quilt caught my attention because it reminded me of my own grandchild. This quilt was by Japanese quilter Hiroka Miyama, a recreation of a private conversation she witnessed between her grandchild and her golden retriever.
I also was fascinated by the next two quilts with their all over applique, it was like looking at tapestries. The first was by Deborah Kembel from Santiago, Chili. I came back to this quilt several times and saw new details each time. The next quilt was by Liz Jones from Herefordshire, United Kingdom (it really is an INTERNATIONAL quilt festival) and her applique method was the satin stitch,beautiful work.
Because applique quilts are my favorite I really wanted to study how they were quilted, especially the background quilting or fillers behind the applique blocks. For the rest of this post I am going to show a picture of the quilter's name and quilt description and then a picture of the whole quilt picture, and finally the close ups of the quilting. I thought it was interesting the quilter divided the block in quarters and did simple parallel quiting lines in different directions on opposing quarters.

The feather quilting with the flower motif corner stones was a good hiding effect over the block seam lines. The applique background was a dual line cross hatch
I really like traditional applique quilts and was happy to see this red and green four block applique quilt. The quilting does not show wellbut there were feather motifs surrounded by echo quilting.I did not get the picture of the entire quilt on this next one, but I was so glad to see that just a simple stipple is still used as the background.
The next quilt was quilted with cross hatching as a background filler.

In conclusion, as I work on two applique album quilts and wonder how I am going to quilt them, I have decided you can not go wrong with the classics: cross hatch, echo, or stipple, but a few feathers or other quilting motifs thrown in for interest is always fun.

I have saved my favorite quilt designer for last, the applique background quilting is a cross hatch. It was a joy to see Sue Garman's Friends of Baltimore in person.

Happy Stitching All

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pearls From The International Quilt Festival

I have been traveling the last couple weeks and while in Houston I spent a day at the International Quilt Festival. I took two long arm quilting classes, one from Linda Taylor and one from Jamie Wallen. When ever I go to lectures or classes whether they be seminars through my work as an ultrasound technologist, or quilting or even Bible study classes, I always like to jot down the "pearls", those little bits of information that are new or interesting, and reread them for a week or to until I can remember them.
Sue McCarty - Winner of

Sue McCarty - Winner of "Best Of Show" at Houston
Linda Taylor interviews Sue McCarty - the winner of the Best...

Linda was not only teaching at the IQF, she was also one of the judges of the quilts entered in the show. I thought it was very interesting that she mentioned the difference between ribbon winners and quilts without ribbons was the starts and stops in machine quilting...whether that be long arm or domestic machine. She went over starts and stops in the long arm class and her "pearls" were to start and stop on a long edges in quilting not an intersection or corner. As far as long arm quilting starts and stops she actually guides the hopping foot on the machine with her index finger to take those 5 or 6 small locking stitches thus insuring she goes neatly over the previous line of stitching. Some of Linda's other "pearls" were to stabilize the quilt by doing all of your quilt in the ditch first for the whole quilt and then go back and do the quilting motiffs and background fillers. She emphasized that this is slow work and I think that the most important thing I picked up from the class was that this is still meticulous work even on a long arm machine. Linda Taylor has a quilting school online at with wonderful videos, drop by and check out some of the free ones.

This is becoming a wordy post so I will quickly add some of Jamie Wallen's "pearls":

Do not tear out quilting until you are finished quilting the whole quilt, sometimes what you perceive as messy or an error blends in just fine when the whole quilt s finished.

He also said several times to remember a great quilt is just one "wash" away, meaning that when a quilt is washed the shrinking effect shows off the quilting and mistakes you thought you were making never show.

He encouraged keeping a sketch pad to practice quilting motiffs while watching TV, building muscle memory. He practices his quilting motiffs with pencil and paper daily.

When I get home I have pictures of quilts in the show, but I am sorry to say IPad and google blogger do not play nice together

Happy Stitching,