Monday, February 28, 2022

Back to Creating

Like me, my QuiltCon quilts are back at home. They arrived Saturday.

I hope this also means that the woman - Sharon - who bought my "Illusions of Victor" quilt has received it in Las Vegas. I asked, and was delighted to get the buyer's first name and location. Yay!

I completed a post-QuiltCon survey in which I was grateful to have the opportunity to make suggestions for the next QuiltCon, and express my thoughts about a two lectures. 

Steph Skardal @stephskardal made this QuiltCon chart available on her blog. Data was collected by Laura Loewen @quiltfortco.

It's a good visual recap of what we saw at the show. As I'd heard, improv is the largest QuiltCon category. Since improv isn't my forté, I've never submitted to that category.

Of course, six days without sewing, along with seeing so much QuiltCon eye-candy,  made me eager to be in my sewing room again. 

First, I ordered Aurifil thread from Hawthorne Supply Co. (which I'd hoped to buy at QuiltCon, but wasn't available in the Aurifil booth). I have plans to use these 40-weight and 28-weight threads to quilt my Central Florida MQG Architectural Challenge quilt. 

Also from Hawthorne, I received two pieces of fabric.

For some unknown reason, I am smitten with fabrics by Sally Kelly, a designer with Windham Fabrics. This piece is "Paradiso," and I cannot fathom why I like it so much! Generally, I avoid prints with flowers, stars, hearts, and small creatures (like butterflies)! What's up with me?! I guess the colors attract me. I have no idea what I'll do with it. Sheesh.

I was more practical about the other fabric purchase which is (on the left) Candlelight Woven Mountain, in the color Ocean. It's fabric that's needed for the latest Curated Quilts Mini Quilt Challenge. The theme is "Utility." We're to use accessible fabrics to make a square utilitarian quilt that's between 10" X 10" and 16" X 16". A suggestion is to choose "treasured fabrics," so I pulled fabrics from my seemingly never-ending bag of vintage scraps from my grandmother (lower right). I don't yet know what's next.

While waiting for the thread and fabric to arrive, I started making a quilt that has been on my want-to-make list. Earlier this month @exhaustedocoptus had a 25% off sale on her Seaglass Quilt tutorial, so with Heat n' Bond Lite purchased at QuiltCon in hand, I got to work. 

My quilt top is 36" X 52", and will be ready for sandwiching today. That means I will have three quilt tops that need sandwiching and quilting. You know what I'll be doing later this week. 

I continue to find satisfaction in hand stitching, and have started a Boho piece -  a style of embroidery that is done on printed fabric, or around printed fabric pieces.

From my stash I chose this Alison Glass Abacus Sampler Panel (color Dove), onto which I'm embroidering various stitches with size 8 perle cotton. You can see that I've nearly used-up several thread colors, and thus was able to justify the purchase of more perle cotton from the Wonderfil vendor at QuiltCon! 

Book Recommendation
A couple years ago, I read a fascinating book about C.S. Lewis - Becoming Mrs. Lewis (I highly recommend) - so I was happy to see that Patti Callahan had written another book about Mr. Lewis - Once Upon a Wardrobe. 

It's 1950 and Megs is attending Oxford University. Each weekend she returns home to spend time with her parents and ten year-old brother, George, who is nearly bed-ridden with an untreatable heart condition. After Georgie reads The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he wants his sister to find Lewis, a tutor at the university, to ask him, "Where did Narnia come from?" What ensues is Meg's hesitation to seek-out Jack Lewis; Jack's brother, Warnie, finding Megs on their property; and Megs's subsequent visits to The Kilns (the Lewis brother's home) where she learn's Jack's story. Meg's visits result in stories that she takes back to George, and the truths she learns about life.

Linda's score: 4.6/5.0

I hope your sewing and stitching week is starting well. Linda

Thursday, February 24, 2022

3 - QuiltCon 2022

If you haven't yet viewed QuiltCon 2022 award-winning quilts (I'm not posting pictures of them) check them out here.

Continuing to share my photos of QuiltCon quilts... 

"Positively Square" is a blue jean quilt made by Tara Glasonbury @stitchandyarn. I became acquainted with Tara (we haven't met IRL) when she bought my "L Cabin" quilt at QuiltCon 2020 in Austin. My quilt is hanging in her sewing room, in her home in Victoria, Australia! 

The addition of red bias tape is what makes this design successful, as well as her addition of hand quilting, which I understand wasn't easy to do through denim. 

"Along the Way" was made by Daisy Aschehoug of Norway. 

Daisy says she was determined to sew this only from her stash, and so pieced together various whites/neutrals for the background. 

Can I just say that I'm a big fan of quilts made by Sophie Zaugg @lunalovequilts of Switzerland? They are always identifiable by strong graphic design, and beautiful color combinations. "Spotlight" is one of five quilts Sophie had in the show. 

Sophie and her friend, (also) Sophie, stayed at the same hotel as me, so I encountered them often there, in lectures, and at the show. I follow Sophie's blog to keep tabs on what she's creating. 

Since taking two virtual workshops with Maria Shell during 2020, I have a deeper appreciation for improv quilts - specifically, "patterned improv," which is Maria's signature style. So when I saw this quilt, I was sure it was Maria's. Nope. "On the Fence" was made by Lenny Van Elk who learned patterned improv from Maria. Lenny is @modernstitchwitch on Instagram

Lenny and I actually met-up!

And even better... I remembered to take a picture.
"Everything All at Once" is a quilt made by Maria Shell! It was a winner in 2021 QuiltCon Together (virtual). Winning 2021 QuiltCon quilts were also displayed at the show. 

"Stovetop" was made by Linda Leake of California. I'm attracted to the colors, and the patterned improv. 

Since seeing quilts made by Jen Broemel @jen.broemel of Indiana at QuiltCon 2020, I've become fascinated by her work which features hand stitching. "Happy and Unabashedly" appears to be made according to a quilt-as-you-go technique. 

Hand quilting is dense! 

This is Jen's "Blue Gratitude."

The back was a riot of color and loose, dangling threads. 

It looks like Jen hand-stitched together these patches. It's also interesting to see how she used machine quilting lines as a guide for hand-stitches. If she had attended the show, I would have asked her about her process. 

I was surprised to see a Kawandi at the show, as I've never thought of Kawandi as a modern technique. However, this "Jubilation" quilt by Melinda Gross was, in fact, made after her Kawandi workshop with Sujata Shah. Melinda's planned layout is really effective with many tickli (Indian for "dot") scattered across the design. 

I didn't take photos of Community Outreach Quilts, except for this one, made by my friends in the Central Florida MQG @centralfloridamqg

Community Outreach Quilts were made by MQG chapters, according to this prescribed color palette: 

Quilts were either NFS (not for sale) or for sale for an indicated amount, with monies going to the Navajo Indian Craft project. Our quilt was NFS because it will be donated it to New Life Christian Church that hosts our monthly meetings. It will be raffled this fall to raise monies for a church mission. 

The Temperature Quilt Exhibit was great! So many different quilts with different ways (many I'd never even thought of!) for tracking and recording temperatures, precipitation, and even the quiltmaker's mood! My 2019 Temperature Quilt is on the far right.

This temperature quilt, called "A Year of Travel," was made by Audrey Butler @goiahawks. Believe it or not, she's a former Iowan who lives in Florida... just like me! It was a happy coincidence to get to meet her! 

Audrey kept track of her daughter's travels, and temperatures for a year. Her daughter globe-trots working for a mission relief program. For example, one drastic color change is when her daughter was in Florida, and the next day went to Iceland. The quilt was longarm quilted with a design that's a map of the world. In the right-hand picture you can see Florida. 

My temperature quilt was NFS.

My "Playin' Around" quilt was for sale, but it didn't sell. 

"Illusions of Victor" was for sale... and it sold! I'm thrilled about that, as the sale nearly covered the costs of going to QuiltCon! Best of all, I don't have another quilt to stuff into a pillow case for storage in the top of the closet. 

I took one workshop, "Piecing With Templates" with Melissa de Leon Mason @quiltallthethings I now have instructions for making the "Sonder" quilt that's behind Melissa in this photo.

I also attended seven lectures. The best one was "Minimal Design: Maximum Impact" by David Owen Hastings (an Iowan by birth) who struck a chord with me in his mastery of simple designs. His mantra is "less is more," and I want to adopt it.

His best slide was this because the last line encapsulates everything about QuiltCon 2022. 

Though I have more pictures, and thoughts about QuiltCon, it's time to move on to new ideas and new projects that are a result of attending QuiltCon. If nothing else, QuiltCon is an inspirational recharge. I'm already anticipating QuiltCon 2023, February 23-26, in Atlanta. Linda

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

2 - QuiltCon 2022

As I scrolled through 268 photos I took at QuiltCon, it occurred to me that most of you probably aren't interested in knowing which category a quilt appeared. Whether the category was assigned to: minimalism; improv; piecing; use of negative space; modern traditionalism; appliqué; group or bee quilts; small quilts; or challenge quilts, most of the 481 quilts displayed in the show were beautifully modern. 

In addition to those (above) judged categories, special, non-judged exhibits included: youth; a temperature quilt exhibit; Community Outreach quilts (made by chapters to either sell at QC to support Navajo Indian crafters, or  donate at home); Latifah Saafir (keynote speaker) quilts; and Suzanne Woods quilts (owner/editor of Lucky Spool Media who passed away).

Here are some of my favorites, with detail pictures, and credit given to each maker.

First up is "Tiny Bubbles," by Marla Varner @pennylanequilts. It was my vote for People's Choice, which sadly it did not win.

These tiny patches were hand-pieced.

"Sealights" was made by Paola Machetta of Italy. Those colors!

Narrow insertion strips pieced into this improv design are minuscule.

"Escape from Alignment," by Sharon Swanson of Kansas City MQG just makes me happy. 

Many quilts were simply walking foot quilted.

It's color that first draws me to a quilt, and Nancy Lambert did it with "Surf's Up."

Refreshing orange colors are in Cassandra Beaver's @cassandra.beaver "Emergence" quilt. 

You can always count on Cassandra's quilting to be beautiful, and the addition of hand stitches makes it perfection. 

Kathy Cook @kathycookquilts had five quilts accepted into QuiltCon (the maximum allowed per person). "Planet Triangle" is 47" X 47". See the pink rocket ship in the upper left?  

As in many modern quilts, hand quilting complements machine quilting. 

If you've been following my blog for a few years, you may remember that in 2017 my friend Di @darlingdi came to visit for a month from Sydney, Australia. We attended QuiltCon in Savannah, where some of you likely met her. Well, Di had a quilt in this show, and I'm happy to share it here. Di's work is stunning. 

"City Lights" is entirely hand stitched with size 8 perle cotton. 

I connected with my friend Connie @gynconnie who I first met at QuiltCon Nashville. This is her "Where's the Cheese?" quilt that sold! Each entrant has the option of making a quilt "NFS" - not for sale - or have a price indicated on the description card beside the quilt.

It's always fun to meet someone on Instagram, especially when we've been following one another. Such was the case when I met Clara from New York, whose Instagram handle is @bimbambuki_blog. This is her blog. Together, we walked to each of her quilts so I could take pictures.

This quilt has a story. Block were made by quilters in Russia - each block is pieced with the name of a quilter - who sent them to Clara to join them. She explained that after piecing the top, it looked so bad that she cut it up and sewed it back together again. 

Clara is a hand quilter, and as you can see, she quilts very densely.

Clara said she made "Lemon Quilt" on a day when she needed a little color in her life, spent piecing a lemon. 

She densely hand quilted it with X stitches and straight lines. The texture seemed like a lemon peel!

This quilt is pieced from blocks made by Clara's bee mates who each used Kona colors she selected, and sewed into their interpretation of the Henri Matisse painting La Danse. 

Clara earned a third place ribbon in Bee Quilts. 

She hand quilted a spiral using six-strand embroidery floss. 

Being a garment sewist too, I'm pretty sure Clara will hang this pieced denim quilt in her sewing room. 

The "make something" text is her handwriting appliquéd using yellow elastic. 

Clara has just written about her favorite QuiltCon quilts, so take a peek at her blog so you can see which quilts she liked best.

Though my own entry into the Artisan Fabric Challenge, sponsored by Windham, wasn't accepted into the show, I was just as happy to see my friend, Maureen's @maydecemberquilts quilt in that category. It has lots of detailed hand stitching. 

Phoenix has some pretty cool murals scattered in the downtown area. Karen (also of Central Florida MQG) and I took advantage of this smashing backdrop.

More pictures to come! 

In the meantime, if you haven't seen the award-winning quilts, go here. Linda


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