Greetings! Before I forget, I want to mention that the full length video (about one hour) of me showing and talking about my quilts at the New England Quilt Museum exhibit and why I’m passionate about quilting is available now on You Tube via a password that I will provide you if you email me. The trailer of the video (about 7 minutes long) is available via a link on the front page of my web site at gladiquilts.net. Go check out the trailer and if you like it and are interested email me for the password for the long version. I know many folks couldn’t make it to my exhibit and this is a nice way to see it!!!
Many of us quilters enjoy winter because it’s a great time of year to work on our quilting projects. When it’s like this outside:
It’s perfect weather for hand quilting! I took a 3 week break on hand quilting Star Trek and got back to it a few days ago. I think I’m still on track to get to the border by April and have it ready for the Vermont Quilt Festival in June. I have 72 of 85 stars quilted and am working on filling in the blue spaces around the center edges (click on pics for enlargements):
I’m also making great progress in getting the center of Time of Plenty put together. Each row involves appliqué, embroidery, and piecing (the sashing) and 2 more rows have been completed since I last posted – only 2 short rows in the lower right corner are left and then I’ll need to design a border!
I have about 80% of the border blocks for Winter Solstice completed and I sewed the left side row together top to bottom so it’s ready to attach to the center of the quilt. It’s lying on my guest room bed as the design wall is occupied with the above quilt!
I made a major decision a couple days ago – I am going to have Winter Solstice machine quilted by a long arm quilter. I wish I could hand quilt everything, but I’m too fond of making quilt tops and exploring design ideas to spend more time than I already do hand quilting. I turn 70 this month and am keenly aware that time is limited. I can see that I am making more quilt tops since I retired 2 1/2 years ago and I can’t hand quilt them all. i already have a large quilt waiting for hand quilting when Star Trek is done, then Time of Plenty is after that and now the new appliqué project, Hospital Sketches, will be added to the list. Something has to give – and it’s going to be Winter Solstice. The indigo and batik fabrics would also be tough to hand quilt so I think this is a good decision! I’ve already gotten this lined up to be done in May and will pay extra for custom quilting. I’ll show it one more time when I get the borders on and then probably won’t show it again until after it’s quilted.
I continue to enjoy my “Unconventional and Unexpected” project! I think I now have about half the blocks I need. Here’s my process:
I pair a dark and a contrasting (usually lighter, but not always) fabric. The darks are mostly the hand painted fabrics and the contrasting fabrics are mostly from my asian style fabric stash – which fills an entire cupboard! I used to seriously collect these fabrics and now they are mostly out of favor with the quilting community. However, I think they are still beautiful and they are great for cutting up into small pieces that feature color. In fact, when they are cut up, sometimes they don’t even look asian.
For some of the blocks I’m using my own dark fabrics because I don’t think I’m going to have enough of the hand painted ones. I’ll put several pairs together and then start cutting strips:
I’ll combine the strips for one block with the foundation – I’m using Carol Doak’s paper, which I like a lot, because I had it on hand, but I also like June Taylor’s foundations – clip them together and line up bunches of the blocks to be sewn.
I chain piece 3 blocks at a time. Why three? Because seeing a completed block is so much fun and fuels me to keep going, therefore doing more than that would delay that gratification!!!
Here are my latest blocks:
And project #5 is the Hospital Sketches quilt along that Barbara Brackman is leading. You saw my first block in my last post. I drew and cut out templates for the next block:
It looks simple, but it can be tricky with all those deep curves.
Next post, I will share the last of my Houston Quilt Festival pictures. I’ve seen many pictures in various places on the internet of pictures from the show that I swear I never saw there – and maybe I didn’t! There’s an overwhelming number of quilts to see and it’s almost impossible to take it all in. Hope I get back there again soon, though am thinking probably not this year.
Speaking of quilt shows, I have been looking at pictures from Quilt Con. All the winners can be seen on the Modern Quilt Guild’s web site; instagram has a ton of pictures from the show. My impression is that the majority of quilts were made from solids. Printed fabrics used largely “read” as solids or had subtle geometric designs, dots, stripes, or text. I really did like a few of the quilts, but lots of them did not engage me emotionally – nothing new there. Just not my thing, mostly. I have such a love affair with print fabric that it’s hard for me to imagine making most of my quilts entirely of solids. But the few modern quilts that do engage me make me want to consider experimenting a little with solids……we’ll see….
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi