Saturday, October 30, 2021

Quilt Show - Modern

Last weekend's (Oct. 23-24) quilt show - the Broward Quilt Expo in Pembroke Pines, Florida - was a nice, and very-much-missed opportunity to see modern quilts in person. This bi-annual show is jointly put-on by seven different quilt guilds, one of which is South Florida Modern. 

Quite a few of modern makers earned awards for their quilts. Of course, those are the quilts that attracted my attention. Also, these quilters have become friends during my virtual membership in South Florida Modern. 
Category: Modern - Two Person
First Place - Sherry Pasquariello @otterbeequilting
Quilter - Deborah Krajkowski
Brightline 60" X 60"

Category: Modern - Two Person
Honorable Mention - Catherine Wilson @cwi1sOncot
Quilter - U Sun
Happy Daze 65" X 45"

I know Charlotte well enough to share that this quilt (below) was not accepted into QuiltCon 2021. Happily, she's trying again for QC 2022.
Category: Modern - Single Maker
First Place - Charlotte Noll @kirkenoll
View Through My Quarantine 64" X 54"

Charlotte also won "Best Hand Quilting" and that's a well-deserved award. The whole quilt is big stitch quilted. 

Her stitching is remarkable!

Category: Small Quilts
First Place - Cheri Ucci @cheriucci
Trier House Side Chair 27" X 40"

Close-up of Cheri's quilt.

Category: Small Quilts
Second Place - Diane Paquin Provost @dianepacquinprovost
Compote 26" X 37"

Category: Small Quilts
Third Place - Lori Monaco @loloquilts
Groovy Baby

Again, I was attracted by the big stitch quilting. 

Category: Small Quilts
Honorable Mention - Diane Paquin Provost @dianepacquinprovost
Q is for Quebec 22" X 22"

Intermediate - Single Maker
Maureen Drudi @maydecemberquilts
It's Just Beachy 51" X 61"

I love that Maureen quilted this herself, and wrote beach words across the quilt.

Though this quilt isn't modern, it's very significant to me, having had breast cancer (diagnosed in 2013), and October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. Is it significant that the maker's last name is Acevedo... the same as my oncologist, Dr. Acevedo?
Art Quilts Original Creative Design
Liz Acevedo
Facing Cancer 30" X 40"

And, as long as we're attending quilt shows... this is my Illusions of Victor quilt that's now hanging at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Two friends attended, and each sent pictures. I appreciate their thoughtfulness.

I made this quilt in 2020 for the Central Florida MQG "Mid Century Modern Artist Challenge." Inspiration is from the work of Victor Vasarely. 

If you'd like to view a two minute video of the exhibit of Modern Quilts at the International Quilt Festival, check out Sarah Ruiz's @saroy Instagram story . Nineteen modern quilts were in the display, and I'm very honored that mine was one of them. Illusions of Victor will next be displayed at QuiltCon 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Book Recommendation
Where I Lost Her by Tammy Greenwood is a story about the love and loss experienced by a woman who cannot bear children.

Husband and wife, Jake and Tess, live in New York where their careers are in the book publishing world. When they return to visit friends in Tess's hometown, a small, summer-vacation community, Tess is only surviving, living on past unfulfilled dreams of becoming a mother by adoption.

When Tess makes a late night drive for wine, she sees a small child on a lonely road and stops to help. However, when she reports this "lost girl" sighting to local police, they're doubtful. No one has reported a missing child. Still, a community hunt ensues... without success at finding her. Tess must face those who disclaim her statements. In addition, Tess is facing the fact that Jake has been unfaithful. So, Tess remains at a her friend's house, determined to find the little girl, even if it means looking for answers herself.

Linda's score: 3.8/5.0


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Broward Quilt Expo, African Fabric

Quilt-y stuff has been coming and going, and making me feel excited about future projects.  😀

On Friday, I drove 4½ hours south to Pembroke Pines to teach quilting. On the way, I spent about a half hour in a traffic back-up due to a serious accident (four cars, and a road-tarring tank that turned over and smashed a guard rail).

I had time to take a picture of the tollway sign:

Florida Turnpike: The Less Stressway

Not so sure I'd agree. 

But once I was in Pembroke Pines, it was simply lovely to meet-up with many South Florida MQG quilters who I've gotten to know since joining that chapter last year (during the pandemic) and being involved virtually. Several of them are friends - so I had the chance to share meals with several of them, and others popped by my workshop to say hi. I stayed two nights at a Hampton Inn.

My task was to teach an all day Saturday walking foot/free motion quilting workshop (more info on my Programs and Workshops page) in conjunction with the Broward Quilt Expo, an event at the Dodge City Center that was meant to happen in April, but was postponed due to COVID.

My "classroom" was in the convention hall, screened from vendors and the quilt show by black drapes. Joe Cunningham taught an improv workshop "next door."  Though 20 students registered for my workshop, 18 attended.

I didn't take nearly enough pictures, so I'll just have to tell you that I saw lots of enthusiasm and smiling faces as quilters were quilting. Maybe that's because, for many of us, this was the first time in more than a year that we've attend an in-person quilt show. 

Or maybe because I was so excited about teaching my favorite topic again - quilting! - that a little bit of my enthusiasm rubbed off!

No matter what the reason, the workshop was successful, and I'm very optimistic about many of these quilters becoming proficient domestic machine quilters.  

Even though I had limited time to view quilts, I made sure I stopped at the vendor booth: Kianga Art. Owner Kianga sells African fabrics that I've become interested in since hearing a prediction by Carole Lyles Shaw, that two new trends we'll be seeing in modern quilts are: 1) maximalism; and, 2) the use of African prints. 

Kianga was very helpful, explaining how African prints are made in Africa - similarly to batiks, but African designers prefer their own manufacturing process. You'll know an African print is of high quality when the design on the front and back are indistinguishable. The only way to know which side is the front is by reading the words on the selvedge. Four of the five pieces I bought are high quality.

The hand of African fabric feels stiff, but that's because of residual wax used in the printing process. Kianga recommends washing fabrics before cutting and piecing into quilts. 

Many of the print shapes and designs are symbolic of the West African language Adinkra. Kianga referred me to to learn the meanings.

Choosing these pieces was simply based on my attraction to happy, bright colors. Fabrics were only $10 a yard!

This is the only quilt I saw in the show that was made with African prints.
2nd Place: Blocks for Aye, 59" X 63" by Mary Sample and Janice Devitto

For now, I don't know what I'm doing with my African prints. Might be that one will become a shirt for me! But I'll definitely use them. Perhaps I'll create a 2022 challenge for myself?

I'm glad I got my too-brief walk-through of the show late Saturday afternoon. 

This happened late afternoon Sunday. 

According to the post on Instagram: 
And this is what happens when a child runs thru the quilt show unsupervised
and tears down the entire display.
Yep, the child ran through the quilts, grabbed the pole, twirled, and the quilts came down in a domino effect. We couldn’t stop it.
Can you imagine?! Apparently the parents were "speechless and embarrassed." I bet that child won't be allowed to run amok at a quilt show again!

In my next blog post, I'll share some pictures of quilts in the modern category at the Broward Quilt Expo.

Book Recommendation
The People We Meet on Vacation
 by Emily Henry is all about "opposites attract." Poppy meets Alex at college in Chicago. They're surprised to learn that they're from the same Ohio city, though they attended high schools on opposite sides of town. After college, Poppy doesn't want to return to Ohio, preferring life in New York City where she home-bases while traveling everywhere as writer for a popular magazine: Rest and Relaxation. More studious Alex continues earning advanced college degrees, and enjoying small success as a writer and teacher at the high school back in their home town. But Poppy likes Alex's height, his almost-smiles, and his dry wit, and so, each year invites him on a "summer vacation. Together they experience new places while she gathers information for her next magazine article.

Though you'll probably figure out where the story is headed, it's a light-hearted read, with glimpses of humor that will at least make you smile. Linda's score: 3.6/5.0

Last week, Big Cypress Quilters celebrated five years as a chapter of Quilting Guild of The Villages (Now totaling 1100-plus members in 26 chapters). My friend, Peggy was a birthday party co-chair, and made these adorable sundae pin cushions for everyone who attended the party. Thank you Peggy! It's too. Darned. Cute! 

That's a glass sundae cup, filled with a felted wool ball that's covered with a piece of chenille blanket, topped with a crocheted chocolate circle, an artificial cherry, and pin head sprinkles. It stands about 8" tall, and makes me want a Twistee Treat ice cream every time I see it! Linda

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Entered QuiltCon

Truth be told, these past couple of weeks have been crazy-busy! Amongst giving a big stitch quilting program locally; finishing the piecing on the Finger Paints QAL (by the way, I wasn't the winner of the longarm quilting, but a good friend was); being part of a blog hop (see last post); prepping to teach a quilting workshop in South Florida; and finishing and taking photos of QuiltCon entries (deadline, October 31), I have felt the pressure.

As I have done before, last Sunday I reset my sewing room to turn it into a photography studio with extra lights, and took pictures of four QuiltCon entries. It took a couple hours to take pictures because... straighten the quilt, check lighting, look at pictures on computer, adjust, move a light, take close-ups, remove a thread, take another picture... you get the idea.

Then, it was time to write descriptions. When I write on the computer, I tend to start by "dumping" everything I can think of, then leaving it to "puddle." Later I return to rewrite it. Then I leave it again to later return to fine tune it. I go through this process with a computer document. When I've got everything photographed and written to my satisfaction, then I open the QuiltCon submission page to begin filling-in information. 

These are my four submissions ($15 per entry). 

2019 Temperature Quilt, 72" X 84"
1) 2019 Temperature Quilt - Everyone has seen it, if not on my blog, in the MQG webinar that Jo Avery, Karen Foster and I presented in February. 

2) Playin' Around - my South Florida MQG "Curve Around Challenge" quilt (pictures to come)

Orbits, 70" X 80"
3) Orbits - my Central Florida MQG "Modern Scrap Challenge" quilt

4) Columns - the Windham Fabrics "Artisan Cotton Fabric Challenge" quilt (pictures to come)

Illusions of Victor, 48" X 65"
5) Illusions of Victor - my Central Florida MQG's "Mid Century Modern Artist Challenge" quilt.

This quilt was accepted into the MQG's display of modern quilts at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, so it's automatically accepted into QuiltCon. 

I don't think you'd be wrong to say that I take on quilt challenges, probably because I've discovered that they push me to do something different than quilts I typically make. 

Now the wait is on. It will be December 15 until I learn whether or not a quilt has been juried into QuiltCon. Whatever happens, I'll be attending QuiltCon 2022. Are you?

Book Recommendations
The Family Upstairs
 by Lisa Jewell is a story that takes place in two eras: present day, and 25 years ago. In present day, Libby has just learned that she's inherited an old, abandoned home in the fashionable area of Chelsea, on the Thames River. With the house come revelations from the lawyer: about her birth - she's the ten month-old baby found abandoned in her crib the only survivor in the house -  her parents suicides; siblings who have vanished; and the unusual people who lived in the home with them. The more Libby learns, the more she becomes fearful. Someone doesn't want her to get to the truth of what happened.
Linda's score: 3.8/5.0

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz attracted my attention when I read that this book would become a PBS "Masterpiece" TV series in 2022: Magpie MurdersWritten in 2017, this story is nearly 16 hours of attention-keeping listening. Of course, throughout, I wondered how writers will turn this into an understandable story because this is a story within a story.

Susan Ryeland is in a relationship with Andreas, and is a Cloverleaf publishing book editor. She begins the narrative explaining that she must read Alan Conway's latest novel - a novel that changed her life. The story then turns to that Conway novel, another book in a series about Atticus Pünd, a renown detective who solves crimes in English countryside villages. That story is engaging in itself (think Hercule Poirot, Father Brown, and Miss Marple). When the narrative returns to Susan, missing pages of the manuscript, and a sudden death, Susan's personal story takes a turn. She becomes the detective. 

Linda's score: 4.4/5.0

My favorite quilt photo-taking spot has changed grown! Due to needing to remove the lowest, dying-off branches, our dear Bismarck palm is now eight feet from the ground! It means that if I want to take a picture of a quilt hanging from the lowest branch, I have to get our tallest, eight-foot step ladder out of the garage and climb. Sigh.

We love this palm, but it's growing much faster than we ever thought. 

Hubs was at it again... making pizza. This time it was his homemade crust topped with homemade refried beans. Then: hamburger, salsa, red leaf lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, sour cream, and crumbled corn chips. Messy, but oh-so delicious!

Temperatures have begun to cool enough that in the mornings we open a door and windows to let in fresh air. The same is happening in Texas. This is our youngest grandson, Luke, watching TV on a Saturday morning while snuggled under the Color Block Postage Stamp quilt finished in 2020 and given to them in July. 
A picture like this warms my heart. Linda

Monday, October 18, 2021

"All Dressed Up" for a Blog Hop

When Kelly Young of MyQuiltInfatuation (@myquiltinfatuation on Instagram) contacted me to participate in her social media hop to promote her new book Scrappy Improv Quilting I first felt honored, and then quickly said "yes!" I mean, who doesn't like to sew with scraps?

Turns out, after receiving my copy of the book, it's not just for those of us who like scrappy. It's also for anyone looking to expand skills by trying an infallible method for improv-piecing, and do it in a smaller way. 

Scrappy Improv Quilting: 22 Mini Quilts to Make with Easy Piecing has 22 patterns for mini-quilts that can be made for a season; for a table topper; for a pillow; and for any wall. 

The design I chose to make is "All Dressed Up" which, as you might guess, gets its name from the bow tie blocks that comprise the quilt. Instructions  are on pages 105-107 of the book. 
"All Dressed Up," 24½" X 24½"

Kelly's version uses three values of a single color. 

Making it my own, I chose three different colors - those that are the most abundant in my scrap bins. Then I "made fabric." 

I selected white, pale aqua, and pale yellow Painter's Palette solids to contrast with each scrappy bow tie block. 

After piecing, I quilted free motion hooked spirals in the backgrounds. 

Then I added big stitch quilted circles using size 8 perle cotton. I love big stitch, so how could I not?! A friend pointed out my stitching makes them look like baseballs. 🤷

back of "All Dressed Up"

An orange and yellow striped binding adds a bright finish. 

Doesn't it look good on our living room wall? 
"All Dressed Up" -  24½" X 24½"

Indeed, I have a 22 foot-long, orange living room wall, and I love it. 

I also love this book, and highly recommend it!

If you:

 ✅ love scrappy 
 ✅ want to have a play with improv piecing
 ✅ like to make small quilts 

...then this is the book for you! 

If you'd like to see the other 21 quilts in Scrappy Improv Quilts, check out blog posts from other makers: 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Vintage Redwork Quilt Top

If you regularly read my blog posts, you know that back in late May, over Memorial Day weekend, my siblings and I met with our cousins at the Ohio farm that once belonged to our late uncle, and before him, our grandparents. 

The house hadn't been kept up, yet everything had been kept for decades. So it was our task, over three different visits to the farm, to go through everything - decide what to keep, what to pass on, what to donate, and what to toss on the burn pile.

Many textiles were unearthed, all of which were at least shown to me to ask how to handle them. Initially, I received a whole bunch of vintage scrap fabrics, likely belonging to our grandmother. Fabrics included four quilt tops (four UFOs!), all of which - except for one quilt top, and some of the fabrics - were sent to a friend in Austin, Texas. Another round of discovery unearthed a box of pieced four-patch blocks, and more scraps, all of which I kept. The last round revealed a round top, wood trunk full of very old books (written in German), very old infant clothing, and a large stack of hand-embroidered redwork blocks. (Links are to blog posts.) 

During a FaceTime chat with Melissa, another friend in Texas, she reviewed and acceptedwhat I wanted to offer her. I was thrilled to find a quilter who appreciates vintage fabrics more than I do. Even though these were family pieces, I knew Melissa would give them the care and attention they deserve. 

So, on Instagram, I watched as she turned these dirty old embroidered blocks into a clean, trimmed, and beautifully set quilt top. These are a few of her Instagram pictures.

You might imagine my surprise when one day in September, a parcel arrived for me with a note from Melissa.

She explained that she couldn't keep the embroidered blocks/quilt top because they are our family's heritage. Accompanying the quilt top was the extra fabric she'd bought and used for sashing. Honestly, I had tears in my eyes when I opened up the quilt top to see, in person, what she'd created. It's simply beautiful!
redwork quilt top, 57" X 57"

After emailing my cousins about Melissa's generosity, and having a lovely phone chat with Melissa to thank her for her thoughtfulness, my youngest cousin Karen, in Baltimore, Maryland, offered to be the keeper of the quilt top. Whether she has it finished (she isn't a quilter), or stores it as is, she knows the significance of the quilt top, and will preserve it. 

What's sad is that we really don't know who stitched the blocks. Since our grandmother was born in 1894, it's not likely her. But if this block was stitched in 1899, perhaps it was grandma's mother?

Is this great-grandma's now 122 year-old UFO? Very possibly. Doesn't that make you feel better about your own UFOs?

It's made me realize that I need to add notes, with dates and details, to the few UFOs I still have and will never finish. Perhaps decades from now a future great-grandchild will appreciate knowing who started them. Linda


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