Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Book

I was flattered, yet surprised, when Rayna Gillman asked for one of my quilts to be used in her new book. I had always thought that Rayna was all about surface design and I am mostly about piecing. Well, I received my copy of her book in the mail yesterday and, who knew, we are doing a lot of the same thing.

Her latest book is mostly about using strip piecing to make improvisational, free-form original quilts. She uses a lot of scraps and left-overs and puts them together in new and exciting ways.
She offers many suggestions with great photos and clear, concise directions. She works with "units", much as I do, although hers are more spontaneous looking than mine.

That's my quilt, Spring Thaw, on the left, with my skinny, wiggly piecing used with some of my snow dyes.

I was also amused by how serendipitous it was. I belong to FANE, an art quilt group led by Jane Davila. We have put on two shows at a local library gallery and have published books of each show. This year Jane thought it would be a great idea if we also had tutorials in the book of some technique used in our quilt. I chose skinny wiggly piecing and had just finished all the writing and making the step-outs. It was lot of work just for that one little tutorial and it gave me an even greater respect for those who write books. I had "Spring Thaw" spread out on my worktable to remind me of how I did those strips. So when Rayna's book arrived with a similar technique and my same quilt, I had to chuckle.

After reading her book, I have a lot new ideas and inspiration for using my strips in different ways and maybe loosening up a little in my approach. It's a great book that would be a welcome addition to any quilt book library and it's available at Amazon.

I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I know that I have a lot for which to be grateful. I usually spend the day at my niece's home, but a wedding got in the way and I was delighted to receive an invite from a friend. I don't have to be there until 5PM, which gives me all day to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, make the one side that I am contributing to the feast, write my blog and now go off and sew some more wiggly skinny strips. Life is good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bye, Bye Green

Yippee! I finally finished quilting Emerald City and am ready to put away the green mess that was on my work table. I still have sooo much green fabric left and I will save all those left over strips for another day, too.

Here she is, all done except for the facing and that can wait. It ended up being about 48" x 48". It gave me so much trouble in the quilting. The size wasn't the problem, although quilting a smaller piece is easier. It was all those seams. I would be merrily quilting along and the darned thing would refuse to move, having the quilting foot caught up on a seam and I would end up with tiny, tiny stitches. Or I would tug on the quilt to get out of that tight space and I would have galloping big stitches. Argh!!

Here are a couple of details. It's not horrible, but not up to my usual standards.

Here's a detail of a quilt that I did last year. I ended up not liking the quilt and I have since cut it up, but I did like the quilting. And this quilt was full of seams, too, and about the same size so I don't know what the problem was with the green monster, but now it's on to greener pastures.
Or maybe not so green.

Remember to click on each picture for a bigger view and comments are always welcome.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Boutique Finds

Every year my guild, Northern Star Quilter's Guild, has a boutique before its November meeting. I always manage to find some treasures.

This is a piece made up of antique Japanese kimono scraps. It is pieced square and true, but I just plopped it down on my carpet for the photo. I'm not sure what I will do with it, perhaps make a tote bag. It measures 25" x 34". It is not quilted and has no backing or lining. I think I will have to back it with interfacing before doing anything with it, since it is so soft and slippery. Be sure to click on each picture for a bigger view.

One woman had a table where she was trying to get rid of a friend's huge accumulation of sewing paraphernalia. Her friend was giving up sewing. Imagine that! She had pint sized zip-lock bags of buttons for three dollars each. This was called "brown blend". There are some interesting ones in there. Note the one with the whimsical duck and the big one with the anchor.

This was"white blend". Maybe not as interesting, but still fun to look through. Note the small plastic bag at the top left with tiny buttons that might have marched down the back of a bride's dress. I also liked the little strung-together group of daisies in the middle. I got to her table late and she didn't have a lot left.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011


I know that this is Veterans' Day, a worthy holiday to remember and honor those veterans who fought and gave their lives for our country.

But on a much lighter note you may not know that it is also Corduroy Appreciation Day. I first heard about this on NPR a few years ago. It was started as a spoof of all the silly holidays and/or secret societies out there and as a fiber enthusiast I find it very amusing. If you think about it, the numbers 11|11 most closely resemble the ridges in the corduroy fabric. There is a Corduroy Appreciation Society that meets twice a year on January 1 and November 1, but this year 11|11|11 is their really big year. It's all very tongue-in-cheek, of course, but there are parties being held all over the country, such as Portland, OR (no surprise there), Chicago, Boston and New York, the biggest one of all, where I heard that tickets have been sold out for months. I had thought about having a CA party where everyone had to wear some corduroy, but I looked in my closet and no corduroy was to be found. I thought I had couple of old pairs of jeans, but they must have gone to Good Will.
At my quilt group today Barbara did have on a pair of corduroy pants and she kindly posed for this picture. So happy 11|11|11 to you all, however you choose to celebrate it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kurt

Now, you have to admit, that's one cute kid, although I may be a bit prejudiced. That's my son at eleven months (he walked at ten months) and today he turns 34! Wow, how did the time go by so fast? It seems like only yesterday that he was an adorable toddler and now he's well over 6 feet and still pretty cute. Happy birthday, Kurt, from your Mom who loves you a lot!

Monday, November 7, 2011

More from Houston

One of the exhibits at the show was of photography, Eye of the Quilter, and the theme this year was Friendship. It was beautifully done, as were all the exhibits . This gives you a very small view of the scope of the show. It takes up the entire Bush Convention Center. The main floor is the size of three football field and is about half filled with quilts and the other half vendors and food. The second and third floors are for classes, lectures and special luncheons.

I entered a photo I had taken in Kyoto, Japan of teenage girls dressed in kimonos out shopping.
I was so pleased to have it juried into the show.

The photos were grouped by theme, mine was with other Asian people. There were children, adults, pets, flowers and many more.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I was so glad to get away from the snow and devastation here in CT and head for Houston and the International Quilt Festival. I was not only looking forward to the show, but to the anticipated warm weather. Surprise, surprise, they had a front come through and it was in the 40's and very windy. We were inside 99% of the time, so it didn't matter much. The convention center, as usual, was over air conditioned and we were chilly inside, too.

I was delighted to part of this, the largest quilt show in the world, even if I didn't win a ribbon. Here I am with my quilt, Of Cabbages and Kings, in the painted quilt category.

I loved the quilt hanging next to mine, Artichokes in Bloom. I thought they were wise to put the two veggie quilts together and the colors were so compatible. Andrea Brokenshire was thrilled with her Judge's Choice award.

Gloria Hansen's quilt won a first in the Digital Imagery category. It was stunning, as are all her quilts.

I was so glad to get a chance to meet Sheila Frampton-Cooper. She was just as beautiful and exuberant as her quilts. Hard to believe that she just started quilting three years and ago. She had three quilts in the show and she won two awards. This one, "A View From Above" was a First Place in Art Quilts Abstract-Small. Be sure to check out her website and blog.

Also by Sheila is "Life in the City", a ribbon winner in Art Quilts Large.

You can see all the winners if you go here.

I'll post some more tomorrow.