I am excited to write about my progress this week. I have actually made headway on two of my current WIPs: the Craftsy applique class project and the Sew Sweet Simplicity quilt.
The star block was a quick applique, even with the sharp points. Using freezer paper templates gives the edges crisp lines. I was daring again and applied all the stitching to the star, then slit the back open to remove the freezer paper. The bird was stitched down in a similar fashion, but required different preparation with the inside curve along the bird’s back. The wing still needs stitched down, but will go quickly.
These simple shapes are so fun & easy to applique. I really love these fabrics, too. I did some auditioning of the fabric to determine exactly where to position the star template and the bird wing template for cutting. Both are cut from the same fabric in a different colorway. I love how the center of the flower design gives definition to the shape.
I sat down to my Bernina on Saturday afternoon and started FMQ. Again, I had done enough thinking about shapes and decided to just start stitching. Ultimately, I quilted designs I hadn’t even thought to quilt. I repeated the loops across the square sections like in the previous two blocks. Then, I began adding curves from one point to the next, followed by organic swirls and radiating lines. I looked for ways to quilt in a continuous line, creating some squiggles and stitch-in-the-ditch to move into the next corner section.
Overall, I am satisfied with the quilting. I have found that my quilting is not steady and I often cross over patches or my lines are not straight or do not curve smoothly. I know that some of this is due to the shoulder surgery I had several years ago. Prior to that, my quilting was smoother. I am beginning to accept the changes I see occurring in my quilting and just begin finishing quilt tops. Some experienced quilters will likely state the mantra, it’ll get better the more you practice. Sorry, but I can only quilt in small sessions. The longer I quilt the more unsteady my movements. This square was all I could complete on Saturday.
I am overcoming my obstacles to finishing projects. One of those obstacles has been perfection. Have you seen some of those prize winning quilts? Check out this Judge’s Choice from AQS Paducah by Setsuko Matsushima of Japan. This is awesome! These quilts set the bar too high and leave amateurs like myself frustrated with my projects. When did quilting become so competitive? I want to enjoy my quilting again and that begins with accepting my work for what it is. I hope to pick up more of those long forgotten projects and finish them, as I continue to accept where I am at and the outcomes I achieve. They are uniquely me and that’s okay.
What project did you work on last week-end? I’d love to hear about it. Until next week…keep on stitching!
String blocks are fun to make and use up scraps. I pulled several purple strips from my scrap bins, along with some white and greens for accent. I made sixteen 5-inch blocks, stitching the strings diagonally across a muslin base. I like to use the muslin, although you can piece the block without it. I like the clean look on the back of the pieced blocks.
I’ve alternated the direction of the blocks to create square designs within the piece. It will measure 18″ X 18″, perfect for a throw pillow; part of a wedding gift for my nephew and his finace.
I plan to participate in the Cozy Afternoon BOM by Jacquelynne Steves.
Her designs are so cheerful. The first two block patterns were released today and I haven’t even picked out my fabric. I plan to create the applique blocks. There’s still time to sign up; just click on the button to the right.
The National Quilting Association quilt show begins soon in Little Rock, AK. I entered the SewBatik Challenge again this year. Although I will not be attending, I am excited to see pictures from the show. I won’t be able to share pictures of my challenge quilt until some time in the future, since I neglected to take pictures before shipping if off to the show. It will travel as an exhibit over the next year, so no chance of seeing it anytime soon.
Now to finish my pillow project. What have you been stitching up lately?
I enjoy quilt shows and putting my own quilts into shows. The Bay Heritage Quilter’s Guild show was this past week-end. I entered my Rose of Sharon applique quilt made for the American Quilt Study Group 2014 Civil War quilt study. Quilters could choose to have their quilt judged.
Rose of Sharon by Pamela Koppleberger
Many quilters shy away from having quilts judged. Many quilters do not feel that their work is good enough to put into a show, let alone have it judged. However, judging is a great way to find out what part of the quilting process you are good at and what part you can improve upon. The judge’s comment sheet from this show stated at the bottom, “This critique is intended to help you improve your quilting skills. Please use it as a learning experience, remembering that the finished quilt was judged, not the quiltmaker. Thank you for entering your quilt!”
You may have noticed a red ribbon on my quilt. I was fortunate to receive a second place ribbon in the Mixed or Applique, Individual, Machine Quilted category. There were twelve categories and seven additional awards, including Best of Show. Having lots of categories gives entrants more of a chance to receive recognition.
Check out this overhead view of the quilt show, followed by a few pics of my favorite quilts.
Courthouse Steps by Carol Collins
100 Year Quilt by Nona Simnitch of Frankenmuth, a good quilt friend of mine
Butternut and Blue by Nancy L. House
Cathedral Window by Lois Reminder
Circle Dance by Eleanor Henning
Primitive Gatherings by Kay Vink
We Find the Defendant Quilty by Laura Patterson
This last quilt was my pick for Viewer’s Choice. It was totally stitched by hand. Here are a couple more up close pictures.
I hope that you enjoyed my quilt show post. There are lots of quilt shows springing up and I hope that you’ll have the chance to attend a few.
My SewBatik Challenge quilt is shipping out to the National Quilting Association annual quilt show tomorrow morning. H2O is the name I’ve given the quilt. The theme of the show is Going Green! I chose an ocean waves pattern for the design and stitched together four blocks. I did modify the look by placing white triangles in the outside corners of the blocks. These corner blocks have sayings and statistics written on them about water and the effects of using bottled water.
The FMQ was completed over several weeks. I used two quilting designs from The Free Motion Quilting Project by Leah Day. I chose two different patterns on her blog and incorporated them into the quilt. The first design is pebble ripples and is worked into the center of the quilt. I quilted waves in the blue triangles of the HST (half square triangles), making a curve from one corner of the triangle to another. Lastly, I added underwater rocks in each of the white HST sections.
I used four different blue batiks to make the ocean waves blocks. The lower left batik is the challenge fabric. The center fabric is a paisley design called blue green karachi by Modern Quilt Studio. I purchased a packet of fabrics from their booth at the AQS show in Grand Rapids last August. The colors fit perfectly with my design idea and I was able to match four batiks pulled from my stash. I used Aurifil 50 wt. thread for the piecing and quilting. Here is a closeup of the center.
I found a quote about water that I added to the quilt. It speaks to the necessity of water. The remaining corners have statistics written in them culled from online about the cost of and waste from consuming bottled water. Writing on the quilt proved to be challenging. It can be nerve racking thinking about writing on a quilt. One night, I finally took the leap and calculated the spacing for the words. After the first stokes of the pigma pen, I completed each one until finished. My quilting stretched the edges of the quilt, so that some of the letters were lost when stitching on the binding. But, I am still pleased with the results. I’ve never made a perfect quilt and I am my own worst critic.
This quilt will hang at the show in Columbus, Ohio from May 23-25, 2014. It will then travel around the country to various locales as a part of a traveling quilt exhibit. My last entry travelled to seven locations, including Oklahoma, Oregon, Kentucky, Indiana, Nebraska, and Nevada.
If you’re in Columbus for the NQA show, check out the SewBatik Challenge display. I am always amazed at the creative ideas that others come up with to make these 20-inch square quilts. Now, I off to place the quilt in a ziploc bag and place tags on everything for shipping.
My local guild, Mid-Michigan Quilters’ Guild, had it’s biennial quilt show this weekend. Titled Spring in Michigan, everyone welcomed the opportunity to look at colorful quilts rather than the stark white of the long, cold winter we have experienced. Our raffle quilt brought in $1500 plus in ticket sales, which will help to support community education activities sponsored by our guild. Some of you may remember the raffle quilt that I helped design.
Raffle Quilt with Quilt Show Committee
I’m on the far right, next to Roberta, who calculated the raffle quilt dimensions and fabric requirements, while I planned the applique border, prepared templates, and determined color placement. Check out some of my favorite quilts from the show.
Hexagon Rainbow-hand quilted
Hexagon Rainbow Closeup
Hexagons & Diamonds
Edyta Sitar Applique
Baltimore Album closeup
Center of Wool Applique
Upper Corner of Wool Applique
Applique Birds by Bea Oglesby
Applique Club project Heart Sampler by Laurene Sinema
You’ve probably noticed that I enjoy applique. A couple years ago, I organized an Applique Club within our guild. The above Heart Sampler quilts is the first project the club completed. Applique birds is our second project. One member made every bird in the book and her quilt was juried into the AQS show in Grand Rapids last August. Here are a few more pieced quilts from the guild quilt show.
I didn’t write down the pattern name
Feathered Star center
Rainbow Log Cabin
These next quilts are three that I entered. I just finished each of these in the last month, in time to enter them in the show. The first is a baby quilt that I made for my great-niece Charity, to commemorate her birth. Many will recognize my Riley Blake challenge quilt. The last is a block exchange quilt from several years ago. I exchanged blocks with four other ladies in the guild and had enough blocks for two twin size quilts. This is the first of the two that was finally quilted last year.
Farm Animal baby quilt
Orange Dotty Quilt
Hopefully, you enjoyed the virtual quilt show.
I finally got back to the sewing machine tonight. I have a baby quilt I started a few weeks ago, but got sidetracked with the AQS show in Grand Rapids and family activities. The highlights at AQS included meeting Jacquie Gehring and seeing her quilts, along with purchasing some cool modern fabrics at the Modern Quilt Studio booth.
I don’t know what I’ll make with these fabrics, but the bundles called to me from the bin. The book was on my list of planned purchases. I also found a thimble I had been searching out, some pins & needles recommended at the hand applique class I took from Mary Sorensen, and a pattern by Lori Smith at her From My Heart to Your Hands booth.
I took two other classes, learning to piece a New York Beauty block with Karen Stone and quick piecing a star block for perfect points by Klaudeen Hansen. The pattern, Dancing With The Stars, uses flippy corners and piecing that eliminates stitching seams at the points.
Now, all these projects will be relegated to the WIP pile, while I get back to my previous projects. Last Sunday, I was able to stitch together then scrappy 9-patches with the farm animal blocks. Just needs borders and it can be quilted. Tonight, I picked up the Elizabeth Hartman Charms Squares Baby Quilt, and began stitching the strips together.
I have decided that I need to get back to stitching just a little every day. Otherwise, I will not be able to finish any of my projects. However, faith and family will always trump quilting, making quilting time wanting. Until next time…