Sunday, September 17, 2023

Improv Quilt Finish

Last Tuesday morning I had the honor of sharing my What is Modern Quilting? program with 80-90 members of the Lake County Quilters' Guild that meets in Tavares, Florida. 

While I always enjoy sharing my love of quilting with others, it was their enthusiastic response to my program that truly made my day. Many women came up front afterward to look at my trunk show quilts; ask questions; let me know that they were interested in modern quiltmaking; and simply to say nice things. It was a very happy day. 

In my sewing room last week, I spent most of my time prepping four quilts to enter into QuiltCon. Entries opened September 1, and will remain open until October 31. But I'm anxious to get quilts photographed, named, written about and submitted.

So, I set up and rearranged my studio for picture-taking, using my Canon point-and-shoot camera to take photos, rather than my cell phone. I think colors are more true with the camera. 

Here are a few of the final pictures of Alternate Route, the 57" X 67" two-color quilt I started in April when I took a virtual, two-session improv workshop with Irene Roderick @hixsonir. 

Before quilting, I randomly added hand-appliqué circles where I thought they were appropriate. 

In addition to domestic machine quilting with a walking foot, and ruler work, I added big stitch hand quilting with lavender-colored Cosmos embroidery floss, and patriot blue-colored size 8 DMC perle cotton. 

For the backing, I pieced a design from Kelly Young's myquiltinfatuation book, Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs. I'm happy to say I used-up all the leftover parts, including a few un-used circles! The quilt has a faced finish. 

At the moment, the only thing keeping me from entering quilts online is naming two of them. Since watching the MQG video about entering QuiltCon quilts into their proper categories, and also learning that jurors and judges rarely, if ever, read written descriptions, I decided it's more important than ever to thoughtfully give a quilt the "right" name. I have yet to name my maximal quilt, and another quilt made two years ago with 98 hand-appliquéd circles. 

Funnily, I'm noting that three of my four entries have hand appliquéd circles. 

Alternate Route

Maximal category, No Name.

Modern Traditionalism, Jacob's Ladder block, No Name

Book Recommendations
None of This is True
 by Lisa Jewell was captivating.

Josie and Alix, who don't know one another, have a chance encounter at a pub, where they both happen to be celebrating their 45th birthdays. They're birthday twins. When Josie learns they were born in the same hospital, she takes more interest in Alix who is a famous podcaster. 

Intentionally drawing closer to Alix, Josie begins revealing parts of herself, and her odd family situation, including the fact that her husband is 27 years older than she is. He married her when she was a teenager. 

As Alix records Josie's story, she begins to wonder how much of it is true. And when Josie runs to Alix's home to get away from her supposedly abusive husband, both Alix and Alix's husband want her out. 

The audiobook presentation of this story was what made such an entertaining listen. Numerous narrators speak in character, and even the podcast recordings sound like listening to a podcast. For me, the best part was recognizing one of the voices - her pronunciations and inflections. I had to stop and Google one of my favorite PBS shows Unforgotten to identify the voice. It belongs to actress Nicola Walker, who played DCI Cassie Stuart in Unforgotten, and Annika, in Annika. She does a fantastic job as narrator!

Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

Rick Mofina is an author one of my friends really likes (👋 Karen 😀). The first Mofina book I read felt "dark," but this one - Her Last Goodby - was less so. 

Jennifer attends a monthly book club and typically returns home to her husband Greg, and their son Jake, by 10:30 pm. Greg awakens in the wee hours of the morning, and Jenn isn't there. Eight year-old Jake is at an overnight with his pal, so after not getting responses to calls and texts to her, Greg spends hours driving along the route Jenn would have taken to return home. Later he calls 911 to report his wife is missing. 

Detectives are called in, and as circumstantial evidence begins to mount, it appears that Greg is the perpetrator (of course). Yet, other suspicions and suspects begin to arise. Jenn's past - 30 years ago, at age eight, Jenn was the only survivor in a house fire that claimed her parents - seems relevant. And what's the significance of the angel chimes candle? 

While listening, I was sure I knew who the perpetrator was. Not surprisingly, an unexpected twist at the end proved me wrong. 

Linda's score: 4.1/5.0



  1. Love alternate Route Quilt! It was interesting to see how you photograph quilts. I'm about to start down that path myself.

  2. Alternate Route is such a great name for your gorgeous quilt and I really like the backing you made. Good luck coming up with names for the two that are meaningful to you!

  3. That's a very professional set up for your photo shoot, Linda. You'll have quality photos for the entries. Interesting about the names of the quilts having significant importance. Outer Limits comes to mind for your maximilist entry, but I'm sure you'll have to let those ideas percolate for a bit. Wishing you success with the entries.

  4. I’m impressed with your quilts and all the work you’ve put into them. They are so cool and unique 🥰! I’m guessing you have a favorite technique for appliquéd circles? 😻

    1. Hello Pamela! Well, in fact, appliquéd circles were made using two different techniques. One was as simple as drawing around the cap of a prescription bottle lid; using a gathering stitch to draw it up around a piece of cardboard; pressing; and removing cardboard. The other method was using Appli-pops, a set of metal rings that nest within one another. You nest fabric in a pair of rings; paint liquid starch along the edges; press; cool; and then take apart. I bought Appli-pops online from The Craft Table in Orlando.

  5. Alternate Route is looking like a winner, I believe! it is so fresh and vibrant in just those two colours! While I was reading I kept thinking "Go Your Own Way", the Fleetwood Mac song as a name for it. Mayeb there is a song title that would fit your other entries. "The Circle of Life"? "Can the Circle Be Unbroken"? It might be something you might think about. I love Nicola Walker too but don't enjoy listening to audio books with more than one narrator. I find I lose my concentration. Although I do enjoy Lisa Jewell novels. Happy sewing!

  6. Linda, your quilts are really snazzy. I can see all of them took a lot of work, and careful consideration. I am impressed.
    One day you will be famous!!

    1. Hi Rosemary! Thanks for thinking my quilts are "snazzy." Indeed, lots of time went into each one, which makes it extremely difficult to put prices on them... though I always do. I don't need more quilts! I have sold a total of four quilts at QuiltCons. Never "famous," but happily trying to just have a quilt accepted into QuiltCon.

  7. I love all of your work and love reading your blog. The second quilt name could be “Orange you Happy!” And the the other makes me think of traffic lights for some reason, like “ Psychedelic Traffic Lights”. Just a thought for two homes. I meant to much earlier, I too was saddened by the demise of your beautiful palm tree out front.

  8. It was supposed to say “Just a thought for two names, not homes! Lol
    I meant to “say” much earlier….also. I ready need to read my comments before I hit publish! Cindy Pilkington, St. Augustine, FL. I’m really not anonymous! Lol

    1. Hello Cindy! Thanks for your comments, which I would reply to privately, if I had your email address. But thank you very much for liking what I make, and for reading my blog! I really appreciate your quilt name suggestions. Until I make a decision, all ideas are on the table. Gosh, I'm touched that you remember us having our Bismarck palm removed. That was a tough decision to make, but really, the palm was beyond hope. Very sad. Now, you can't even see where the tree once was. The grass has grown back nicely. I appreciate your comments! Thank you!

  9. Such awesome work, again. I love the circles and the big stitch quilting is perfect. As always, thanks for the book recommendations.

  10. Wow Linda, Alternate Route is a fascinating quilt! Learning that you added the circles afterwards where they felt right made me take a second look because they had seemed an integral part of the quilt right from first view! This one should imho win something as it draws me in again and again. Naming quilts alternates from east to hard for me. I’ve recently discovered Lisa Jewell thanks to a feature of her books at my library. I’ve read a couple and really enjoyed them. I love Nicola Walker! She was great in Last Tango in Halifax —another great British series we enjoyed several years ago.

  11. I'm reading None of This is True now and your review made me wish I was listening instead of reading it!

  12. All three are amazing - I love the Alternate Route one - what an amazing piece! and your photo set up is wonderful!

  13. Bravo on completing "Alternate Route", it is beautiful, and unique! The back is fantastic, and could be an "alternate" to the top ha.ha. Good luck submitting your quilts at QuiltCon. You are so talented, that I have already decided that these quilts were winners. I listened to "None of it is true" and it left me feeling uneasy...Immersive audiobook really brought up this book to the next level. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

  14. That was a very well attended meeting! Gosh, Alternate Route is unbelievable Linda and the backing also, I don't know how you pieced this incredible quilt together, I shall be keeping fingers crossed for good luck with acceptance of this one and your other entries.

  15. Your blue and white quilt is very successful and I love what you did with the back!

  16. I find it fascinating to look at Alternate Route. You did such a wonderful job of piecing together the parts into such a captivating whole. The added circles really ties it together well and your hand quilting adds so much interest. Good luck with your naming and entries. I hope they all get in.


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