Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I Presented! And I'm Quilting.

The past several days were fairly busy. On Saturday, I helped members of our Central Florida MQG make badge holders. That was fun, and kept me on my toes too!

On Monday I went to Ormond Beach, about 1 hour 45 minutes east of us - Atlantic side of Florida - to Racing Fingers Quilt Guild. Their 60-plus members requested a program on modern quilting, and I was happy to fill the bill. Plans were made back in February.

"What is Modern Quilting?" is a 93-slide presentation that begins with how the modern quilting movement began, from social media, and fabrics to aesthetics and techniques seen in modern quilts. Of course, I talked about QuiltCon too, and what a great show it is. Gosh, it's easy to share with quilters what I'm enthused about.

Following my presentation, I gave a trunk show with 12 of my modern quilts. I could have taken along a lot more quilts, but I was cognizant of staying within my allotted one-hour time frame!

It was nice to have a reason to see some of these quilts again. They are usually stored in pillowcases the top of our closet!

This is "Ad Libbing," made by Lora Douglas and me in 2014. It was juried into QuiltCon 2015 in Austin, Texas, and received third place at the Daytona Beach AQS show in 2016.

"Shapes" is a favorite, made for the QuiltCon 2015 Bias Tape Challenge. It too was juried into the show. Both "Ad Libbing" and "Shapes" are double-batted with Quilter's Dream polyester and wool. They're both domestic machine quilted by me.

It was nice to share several of my most recent finishes too. This one is "Spin Art," inspired by Christina Cameli, and made with Painter's Palette Solids using a 9 degree ruler.

What better audience to see my Florida quilt?!  By the way, see how the photographer captured me in this photo? The halo? (It's probably an air vent.) Proof that I really am an angel!

It's a lot of work to prep for a program, but definitely worth it! I talked with several quilters who were very interested in modern and asked many questions. One of them later commented on my Instagram feed, "Thanks for coming. I think I'm a modern quilter and I didn't even know it!" Ahhh... that's music to my ears.

At home, I've continued to hand quilt. The timing of this quilt has worked out well as my Bernina was picked up Tuesday for servicing. Yes you heard that right. A tech comes to my house to pick up my Bernina, and then delivers it when it's done!

So this is progress over the past few days. All the circles are hand quilted now.

Currently I'm finishing-up straight line quilting in the vertical strips of the background.

The quilt will end up about 36" X 48". A nice size for a baby gift. I've begun to ponder a name for all those burnt orange and white circles. I've come up with "O-O Orange."

Once the binding is machine-sewn to the quilt top, I plan to do this (below). See the hand-stitched binding? Hand quilting to secure the binding seems appropriate for this particular quilt, don't ya think?

CREDIT: The above picture is from ShannonFraserDesigns Instagram feed, and am sharing it with her permission. She has some pretty stuff if you'd like to check out her blog too

Now I want to leave you with a funny. One of my students shared this with me a long time ago, and I came across it again. It's a classic, to share with your quilt-y sew-y friends.
I said to him:
"I don't ever want to be kept alive, dependent on a machine and fluids from a bottle."
He got up, unplugged my Bernina, and poured out all my wine.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Wedge Quilts

Since watching Christina Cameli's "Wedge Quilts Go Modern" Modern Quilt Guild Webinar in July 2015 (MQG members can watch it here), I have been intrigued by the variety of designs that are possible with wedges, whether they're 9-degree or 10-degree angles.

When Christina's Wedge Quilt Workshop book came out early this year, I was the first to get a copy and start imagining what I might do with wedges.

I already owned a 9-degree ruler, purchased back in the 1980s and used to make one wedge quilt that has since been donated (and for which I have no photo), and I started playing around with solids.

In March I blog-posted about my first experimentations. So many possibilities! And then recently posted about this 52" X 69" quilt finish: "Roulette." 
"Roulette," 52" X 69"
My "Spin Art" quilt started back in March, during Painter's Palette's "Inspired by Fabric: Mad for Solids." I blogged about quilting Spin Art here, but haven't shared finished pictures until now. 
Spin Art, 66" X 66"

I'm grateful to have a quilt-y neighbor-friend, Becky, who will drop just about everything to hold a quilt so I can take a styled shot. 

This past Monday evening I shared a "Wedges Go Modern" presentation with members of Central Florida MQG. I gave all credit to Christina for expanding the wedges concept. I used photos from the MQG webinar and Christina's blog to accompany my own photos as I reviewed the wedge-sewing process. My program was well-received, and I was tickled to get a few comments and follow-up emails about it. I hope to see some of our members trying a quilt design with wedges. We have Christina's book in our chapter library, so hopefully it will be put to good use. 

As for me, I'm not "over" wedges yet. Linda

Monday, October 8, 2018

Exciting Times Two

In the past week I received two pieces of exciting news.

First, this new book arrived. 

My English paper pieced "Hexagon Pillow," with instructions, appears on pages 20-25.

Second, I have been invited by quilter Pat Sloan to be on "American Patchwork and Quilting Talk Show/Podcast!" Goodness gracious!

I've signed the contract, submitted answers to Pat's questions about my quiltmaking/quilting, and sent a couple photos for their website. On November 8, I'll be interviewed for 12 minutes. Then on a Monday in December, at 4 pm Eastern time, the podcast will be broadcast

What quilt-y things to chat about may be challenging. Chatting will be effortless!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Two-Color Quilt

I've been working on a mental list (I'm not a paper-and-pen list-writer) of quilts that I wanted to complete by particular dates. Several are QuiltCon entries.

So, having recently completed those to-dos, I was time to decide whether or not to enter the MQG's American Patchwork and Quilting Two-Color Challenge. All QuiltCon entries are due November 30.

Maintaining my resolve to NOT purchase fabric in 2018, I limited myself to choosing fabrics on hand. I have a decent stash to work with, but don't have enough yardage of any particular pieces to make a large quilt.

I narrowed the two colors to orange ("Always add orange," right?) and white (I bought a 10-yard bolt of white earlier this year, and it's more than half gone), and proceeded to do a little designing. You'd think that I'd open EQ8 to design, but I had an idea in my head, and didn't have a clue how to go about using EQ8 to implement it! I am more familiar with Pages software, the Mac equivalent of Microsoft Word, so that's what I used to design this.

Having recently purchased all five widths of Clover Bias Tape makers, I thought to use all the sizes in a design. Of course, after cutting out fabrics, and putting them on my design wall, I moved around around strips and bias tapes to end up with this. It's about 36" X 48". I wasn't able to use the widest bias tape - 2" wide - because I couldn't get it to lay flat around a circle. 

The background is pieced, of course. Circles and bias tape are machine appliquéd on top using a straight stitch and Mettler Transfil Monofilament (invisible) thread. After appliquéing, I cut away the excess layers on the back, including the background behind the bias tape.

Fabrics are a Kaufman print, "Spot On Wide" that perfectly matches white and burnt orange Painter's Palette Solids. Batting is Quilter's Dream Select Cotton. 

I'm big stitch hand quilting with DMC #8 perle cotton. But because I had only white DMC on hand, that's all I've been able to quilt so far. After checking at three local stores for DMC burnt orange (color 946), I had to place an online order ( that will arrive Tuesday. 

These circle templates have been invaluable for marking circles for quilting. I use a Hera marker to make the marked crease. 

Not sure yet if I'll quilt the bias tape. If I do, I'm thinking about stitching little "x's" on them. 

This is such relaxing handwork as I'm listening to audiobooks. Recent finishes were: The Wife by Meg Wolitzer, and The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox. Out of 5 stars, I'd give each of them 3.

I'm also reading a print book (not while I quilt though!) The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, a story about Ernest Hemingway, and his wife.

Bet you can tell I've been doing my favorite happy things. Linda

Friday, October 5, 2018

Smoothie Bowls

After recently overindulging, I've been back on smoothie bowls. One new combination is this.

In a food processor, blend:
  • sweet potato cubes - steamed then frozen
  • cauliflower pieces - steamed then frozen
  • banana pieces - frozen
  • fresh papaya pieces
  • coconut milk
  • 1 T agave
  • 1 t goji berry powder
  • 1 t hemp seeds
Top with (R-L):
  • fresh banana
  • fresh papaya
  • homemade granola
  • chia seeds
  • wheat germ
Even better was this smoothie bowl, made following a recipe posted on Instagram. It was such an interesting flavor combination with mint.

 In a food processor, blend:
  • frozen banana pieces
  • half of an avocado
  • handful of fresh spinach
  • fresh mint leaves
  • almond milk
  • cacao nibs
Top with (R-L):
  • chia seeds
  • homemade granola
  • walnuts
  • flax seed meal
  • and a few more cacao nibs
It was sweet and tasted like mint chocolate!

Below is a tropical bowl with papaya, mango, coconut and bananas.

And this bowl was a pure chocolate delight with cacao powder, cacao nibs, along with peanuts... in the smoothie! I think you're getting the picture! 

I'm happily hooked - healthy eating, and maintaining weight loss - and still coming up with new combinations. And it doesn't hurt a bit that I love the color combos in my favorite Fiestaware. Linda

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Quilting Spin Art

Because the quilting design I imagined for "Spin Art," wasn't happening - I couldn't figure out how to implement my idea - I resorted to simple walking foot quilting on my Bernina. 

This quilting design is individual circles (not spiral quilting) with stops and starts for the circle and skipping appliquéd pieces of color. So I figure I've tied and buried more than 300 thread tails!

I buried so many threads that my Sench needle broke. The eye just popped off. Sench brand is still my go-to thread-burying needle though, as it has a slide slot for slipping the threads into the eye. The other brand (Clover) has a pop-the-thread-in-the-top opening that I find shreds the threads. 

Those thread "smears" I hope make the blobs of "paint" look like they're flying around. "Rotation" is what I meant to emphasize with the quilting.

"Spin Art" has been rinsed and spun spinned? (Ha! I made a pun!), to remove blue wash-out marker. Now it's blocked and air-drying on the tile floor. It measures 67-1/2" X 67-1/2", and is 96" diagonally through the center.

Binding is up next, but I'm stumped as to what color to use. I'm afraid it needs to be white, and that's my least favorite binding color because once the quilt is used - if it's ever used - that's the edge that will get dirty fastest. 

"Spin Art" is the result of my participation in Paintbrush Studio Fabrics' March Madness earlier this year. The bundle of Painter's Palette Solids was curated by me, and was named "Tiffany Lights." Painter's Palette is awaiting pictures of this quilt finish, so they can social media about it!

Now for something completely different.... or not so different.

Do we look alike? Could this be my sister?
L-R: Me and Joanne
Since meeting Joanne last fall at Bible study, and subsequently responding to an invitation to visit her church (Amazing Grace Lutheran), people frequently ask us if we are sisters. One man, who was a stranger to me, went so far as to speak to me saying, "Good morning, Joanne." The fella's wife set him straight. Our daughter Jill thinks the likeness is "scary."

I'm grateful for a special friendship with Joanne. She's the gifted designer behind the kites and valances I made for the Early Learning Center. She's also one of our fall Bible study leaders. Next week we'll dig into "Faithful, Abundant, True" by Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore, a study I did back in 2010 when we attended Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines. When we purged in anticipation of moving from Iowa to Florida, I intentionally saved all my Beth Moore (Lifeway) workbooks, in case I ever had the opportunity to repeat a study. I'm glad I did!

Meanwhile, I'm preparing for several teaching moments in October.

On the 8th, for Central Florida MQG I'll be giving a program and demo about how to piece wedges based on Christina Cameli's book Wedge Quilt Workshop. My program is another reason to finish "Spin Art!"

On the 13th, also for Central Florida MQG, I'll be leading members as they make a name badge holder (in anticipation of wearing it to QuiltCon next February) during our monthly Sew-In.

On the 15th, for Racing Fingers Quilt Guild in Ormond Beach, I'll be giving my program "What is Modern Quilting?"along with a trunk show of my modern quilts.

With the start of choir practice, as well as continuing my usual activities (did I mention that I love Zumba?!), everything is piling up in October, and making me feel overwhelmed. One day at a time... right? Linda

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Texas Friends

The winner of the Zen Chic pattern giveaway (previous blog post) was Carla, my friend in Kansas City who once blogged at Lollyquiltz. Yay, Carla!

I was surprised to receive only 17 entries/comments. Everyone wants to win fabric, I think! Thank you to those who commented who gave great book and TV program suggestions to keep me entertained.

Recently we drove to/from Texas to visit friends - Patty and Greg. Dan and Greg went to high school together in Iowa, and as couples we hung out... in 1971-1972. Dan and I were in their wedding 45 years ago.

We arranged to arrive so I could attend the September 15 Lifeway/Beth Moore simulcast event at Patty's church. She also invited another friend, Debbie, to the simulcast. Debbie is also a former Iowan who was a bridesmaid in Patty's wedding! I hadn't seen her since! So, us together at the simulcast was a good occasion to put together a 45 year-old reenactment of a wedding photo. I think you'll agree... we've all changed a little bit. :-)

Gen (Genevieve) is Patty and Greg's new dog, a rescued border collie/black lab mix who's 18 months old. Gen loved Hogan, and nearly wouldn't leave him alone! Here, Hogan was sleeping, but Gen still had to be near - nose to nose.

When we were outdoors by the pool, so were Gen and Hogan.

Quite a few deer visit their property fairly regularly. Patty gives them corn, and sometimes kitchen scraps. They love watermelon rinds.

As members of the Pedernales Cellars wine club in Stonewall, Dan arranged for us to pick up the latest shipment. We took advantage of the winery visit to enjoy free glasses of wine while sitting outdoors and appreciating a lovely view of Texas Hill Country.

For dinner we found The Pig Pen, a barbecue truck in Albert. We ate at picnic tables under this stunning live oak tree. 

At The Pig Pen, Dan dug into the largest hamburger he's ever eaten!

We also made day trips to Comfort and Bandera for window shopping. In Bandera, we found a quilt shop with very traditionally-styled fabrics and panels. We also ate at this restaurant where, if you wish, you can eat at the bar while astride a saddle.

On our last evening, we ate at La Hacienda restaurant. I do love Tex-Mex.

Now I miss being with our friends! We get along well, even if Greg beats all of us at Mexican Train dominoes. Every time.

On the long car ride to and from Texas, I did a little knitting and a little English paper piecing. I actually knitted four dish clothes, but left two of them with Patty. Hers were variegated dark blue.

With only three more star units to English paper piece on my LindaNova quilt, I'll soon find myself unable to travel with this project, as all 20 stars need to be added to the outside edges of the medallion that's growing large. It will be a bit too cumbersome to work on in a car. 

I'm back to quilting now, doing some walking foot quilting on my Spin Art quilt. I hope to have something to share soon. Linda

Friday, September 21, 2018

Pattern Giveaway

Remember when I was focused on finishing this quilt by August 31?
"Diamonds in the Pond"
I was in a hurry to get it done because I wanted to be entered in the Bernina Zen Chic giveaway of Playing With Triangles QAL prizes. Winners were chosen randomly from among more than 200 finished Playing With Triangles quilts! Prizes were a weekend at Bernina in Switzerland; Moda fabric bundles; Aurifil thread; Bella fabric assortment; and Zen Chic patterns.

My name was chosen to win a Zen Chic pattern. I could choose one of Zen Chic's 47 PDF patterns!

After looking at them, I realized I would likely never make any of them. Not because they aren't great. They are! But because I'm trying more often to challenge myself to create my own designs. Not always, but more frequently.

So, after swapping emails with Brigitte Heitland - she is Zen Chic - she wholeheartedly backed my idea to make the $11.95 pattern PDF a giveaway on my blog.

This is the link to the 47 patterns that one lucky winner will have to choose from! Below is the pattern I probably would have chosen.


Now, one of you will receive my exclusive pass code to make your selection!

Here are the easy things to do:

  1. Comment. If you're a "no-reply commenter," be sure to include your email address in your comment, so I can notify you if you're the winner.
  2. In your comment, please recommend a book, movie, or TV series... so I can enjoy it too!
This giveaway is open internationally. Just leave your comment before next Monday morning September 24.
I'm looking forward to hearing from many of you who otherwise never comment on my blog posts! 

By the way, the latest good book I read is "The Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline. The story is based in truth, about children traveling by train from the East to various Midwest stations where they are "adopted" to work. It will tug your heartstrings. Linda

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Zippered Pouch

After reading my Aussie friend, Susan's blog post about the zipper pouch she made, I swapped a few emails with her to find out whether the pouch would be the right size for my purposes - to hold an EPI  (epinephrine injector) pen for Luke, our four year-old grandson who is allergic to peanuts. 

Since Susan is a teacher at an all-boys school in Melbourne, she has been trained how to use an EPI pen, and assure me this pouch pattern would work to hold all the parts. Here's the link to free pouch instructions by FelicityQuilts.

Basically, you can piece the exterior from a charm pack or 2-1/2" fabric squares. You need 42 of them to lay out in a 6 by 7 arrangement. Since I have a little Swiss fabric left over from my trip to visit my quilt-y friend, Edith in Switzerland in 2002, I thought to use it to give the pouch a sense of "emergency." I know. I know. It should be red crosses on a white background, but at least it's red with crosses!

After piecing together the outside, I positioned the layers, adding one more layer to the stack - Insult-Bright by The Warm Company. Because this pouch will be used in Texas, I thought it would be beneficial to add a layer of insulation to keep the heat out, and the epinephrine drug viable.

So the stacking order was: interior fabric, Insul-Bright, Annie's Soft 'n Stable, and the pieced exterior.

Here's it's all pieced and layered, and ready for walking foot quilting in a diagonal cross-hatch design.

Quilting and sewing through four layers was a little more than I'm accustomed to, but my Bernina was up to the task.

I added a handle at one end, that was not included in the instructions.

This pouch was in a box of presents we shipped to our daughter-in-law, as today is her birthday! However, the pouch wasn't gift-wrapped, nor meant as a present for her. 

It's just something that she can use to carry an EPI everywhere, including leaving it a pre-school when Luke attends twice a week. 

Makes me glad I know how to sew, and can occasionally make something that's actually useful! None of us who sew can deny... It's fun to sometimes pick up a project that's quick to sew. Quicker than making a quilt, anyway. Linda


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