August 27,2016: More pictures from AQS Syracuse show; updates

Greetings!  This past week would have been my return to work thus it was technically the first week of my retirement.  I went swimming with my grandkids on what would have been the first day!  Our weekly 2 days with them for the summer has just come to an end since they return to school next week.  I am thoroughly enjoying the leisurely pace of my days but feeling somewhat guilty – all my adult life I have been oriented toward being ultra “productive.”  It is going to take some time to let that go.  I always viewed my work as “service” and I want to find something to fill that void as well; probably some type of volunteer work, but I won’t rush into it and will take my time finding the right thing for me.

Meanwhile, I am making steady progress on the first baby quilt – the top is complete!

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I started piecing together some chunks of Kaffe fabrics for the back:

82716 babyquilt back

I have to decide if I am going to machine quilt with a walking foot or send it out.  Since I have so much more time, I’m inclined to do the quilting myself on this one.

I am also hand quilting the points in the palm leaf blocks of “Joyful Noise” to supplement the machine quilting and make those areas lie flatter.”  This means quilting 2 V-shaped lines in each of those blocks – easy and this shouldn’t take very long:

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I recently saw the acronym WISP used to describe some quilts – “works in slow progress.”  I think this is a good one for me!  I’m not a fast quilt maker, usually preferring to make something more involved and challenging that takes a relatively long time.  But I do finish almost everything eventually!

Here are more wonderful quilts from the AQS Syracuse show.  Click on the pictures for enlargements and enjoy the details.

Here are two lovely traditional quilts, using reproduction fabrics, something you don’t see a lot of in the big national shows.  Each of these is machine quilted and pieced beautifully.  I showed pictures of the second one last year when it was at Vermont, but it deserves another look!:

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82716 ginger#1 82716 ginger#2 82716 ginger#3

I like some abstract quilts.  This next one really “spoke” to me on some level and I loved it.  I especially liked that it is hand quilted.  That’s probably why it reminded me of Gwen Marston’s abstract quilts.

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Although the program for the AQS show listed all the contest quilts and stated where we are from and the techniques used to make the quilts, there was nothing about the quilt makers’ inspiration or feelings about the quilts which I found very disappointing.  For the above quilt I would have loved to know what inspired the name!!!

Here’s another non-traditional quilt that I liked a lot.  This one is machine quilted and from a distance it looks like there are tree branches.

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Margaret Solomon Gunn had her beautiful Bouquet Royale in the show.  Her construction, design, and machine quilting are flawless!  And a scalloped border with piping!

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The first place ribbon for long arm quilting went to this quilt which was covered in crystals.  This is not may favorite style, but her work was amazing:

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I thought the next quilt – a wall quilt – was fabulous.  What a great design and excellent execution of it:

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I enjoyed the beautiful colors in this wall quilt:

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Baltimore Album style quilts are not as popular as they used to be and it seems I’m seeing fewer of them in shows, but this one was one of the winners for machine quilting.  I remember seeing an article about Cheryl Kerestes 20+ years ago in Ladies Patchwork and Quilting magazine and loving her applique work.  I wish I’d taken a few more closeups of this:

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That’s it for today’s show pictures with still more to come!  After my last post, I felt a little guilty that I hadn’t given equal time to my grandson Dmitri whom I enjoy being with just as much as his sister.  During last week’s visit we had our musical friends Craig and Liz over for a musical evening.  Dmitri has been playing viola for 3 years.  We just got Sveta her first rented violin and she’ll start playing with the school this fall.  So much fun to play music together!!!

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Here are all of us except that my chair is empty and accordion not out yet!

82716 music night

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

August 22, 2016: Svetlana’s quilt; Pictures from “Portraits” exhibit at the AQS Syracuse show

Greetings!  My granddaughter, Sveta (short for Svetlana; she’s 8 – almost 9), and I have been gradually working on a quilt together for her this summer.   The top is almost done!  She picked out the fabric from my stash; I cut out the pieces.  She arranged the blocks to her liking; I pinned the blocks together.  She did all the sewing – good job with the 1/4 inch seams, especially the long ones!  I did the ironing.  She decided she wanted to add a border and picked out the fabric.  I cut the strips and she has sewn the top and bottom ones on.  We’ll finish the top when she comes for this week’s visit!

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I’m not much of a machine quilter though have quilted baby quilts with a walking foot.  Sveta and I will have to decide if I’m going to try quilting this or whether we are going to send it out.  It’s been wonderful fun doing this with her!

Meanwhile, I have been making circles for and appliqueing leaves on the 4th border for “We Are Stardust.”  I’m close to finishing!  Then I’ll have the challenge of figuring out how to do the corners and I may be adding some applique in the setting triangles of the top so it is still going to be some time until that top is done!

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I still have so much to share from the quilt shows!  Today I’m sharing pictures from the SAQA exhibit on People and Portraits at the Syracuse AQS show.  I don’t make this type of quilt but I admire those who do it well and this exhibit was excellent.  Click on pictures to enlarge them so you can enjoy the details!

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I’ve seen many of Carol Goddu’s almost 3 dimensional quilts over the years as she has exhibited at Vermont a lot.  The details are always amazing.

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The quilting detail in this next one was exceptional.  Love how she did the hair!:

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I think the next 2 by this Japanese artist  were my favorites.  The graphic design, the Jester-like figures, and the background details were amazing:

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And another amazing one by her:

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The next artist uses cheesecloth to create her portraits – incredible!

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The next one is humorous!

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Jenny Bowker is well known for her portraits of Middle Eastern men:

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Another humorous one called the Nine Muses.  I think you can see the name of the artist in  the first picture; I didn’t get a separate shot of it:

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And a lovely Mother and Child:

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I really admire these artists’ work!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

August 18, 2016: Third doll quilt top done!; Maine quilt show photos

Greetings!  I finished the applique border on this year’s third doll quilt and am ready to move on to the hand quilting:

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I don’t think the corners need anything else, but I may crop the border width a bit so the proportions are in better balance.

Here’s the baby quilt on the design wall with the center all sewn together, but still waiting for the sashing strips to separate the border from the center:

81816 baby quilt

Here are some pictures from the Maine quilt show.  I still have  A LOT of pictures from the Syracuse AQS show, but want to show some of these first:

Maine’s best of show.  I love the colors; I’m a sucker for red, green, and yellow (click on pics for enlargements for details!):

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I loved that the next 2 quilts, from a Judy Neimeyer design, were displayed side by side so you could see how color choices and values and different quilting designs make a difference in how the quilt looks:

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The next quilt got an award for machine quilting – naturally, as it was done by Margaret Solomon Gunn who has won numerous national awards for her machine quilting.  I loved this quilt!  I especially enjoyed the “cool” color range – very soothing.  My favorite colors are usually in the “warm” range (red, yellow, orange, warm greens) but this quilt makes me want to make something in the cool color range.  I love the pine burr design and it has long been on my “to do” list.

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This next quilt was very creative!!!!  It has the outline of a kimono or Tori gate and uses oriental fabrics but is more 3 dimensional – something this maker, Pat LaPierre is known for.  Those are individual strips of red fabric with individual squares attached.  The black background is the curtain behind the quilt, not part of it.  Her quality of construction is excellent:

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I’ve always liked this tessellating pinwheel pattern and see myself making something like it some day:

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I liked the combination of piecing and applique in a “strippy” format in this next quilt:

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I’m going to close this post with several shots of a Lisa Bongean quilt.  She was a teacher at the Maine show this year and there was a small of exhibit of teacher quilts.  This is a beautiful Baltimore Album style quilt with wool applique but what makes it truly special is the wonderful embroidery on the wool.  Enjoy!!!!:

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Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi


August 13, 2016: Conclusion of today’s earlier post! (More AQS pictures)

Greetings!  I had to cut short my post earlier today because I couldn’t download any more pictures.  It turned out that my “media library” was full.  I would have to either purchase more space (right now the amount of space my blog uses is free) or delete pictures to make more room.  I chose the latter, which took me a while to accomplish, and it looks like I should be OK for a while.

Here are the rest of the Ann Horton pictures (see my earlier post today for the full shot and please click for enlargements so you can enjoy the details!):

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This quilt was the third place winner in the machine quilting category.  Check out the great use of various machine stitches for embellishment:

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The next one is another amazing piece from the prolific Kathy McNeil whose pictorial quilts are phenomenal.  Check out the incredible details (and she didn’t even win a ribbon!):

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The use of color in this next one was excellent and the construction was fine, too:

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I’ll finish today’s group of pictures with 2 humorous ones.   Pauline Salzman has made a series of humorous dog quilts, all excellent!

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Love this chicken quilt by my fellow New Hampshire quilter, Lynne Tyler.  So clever!!!:

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If you are reading this and missed the beginning of this post from this AM, please scroll down and keep reading!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi



August 13, 2016: Project updates plus AQS Syracuse show pictures, Part 4

Greetings!  I’ve been working on the third doll quilt and the first baby quilt.  Here’s the doll quilt with the 2 side borders appliqued (click on any pictures for enlargements for details):

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I plan to add similar stems on the top and bottom and am not yet sure what will go in the corners as I’m waiting to see what this will look like first with those borders on.  I’ve been doing the applique while I watch the olympics and am happy with my progress!

I’ve started sewing the blocks together for the first baby quilt and have the horizontal rows all sewn together.  Here’s a picture of them so far.  The second picture shows half the circles laid out along 2 borders so you get an idea what this will look like.  I’ll eventually add a one inch wide strip of fabric to separate the borders from the center:

81316 babyq#1 81316 babyq#2

One goal for me at the Syracuse AQS show was to find a border fabric for my UFO project.  I used a lot of shot cottons in it and was looking for a shot cotton border.  I was looking for a darker blue – but not too dark – to represent an evening sky and found what I think is the perfect color in Pepper Cory’s “peppered cottons” line of fabrics:

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I am planning an applique border – of course!!!!  It will contain gold stars, but I’m not sure of the exact design yet – creating a design is on my “to do” list!!!!  I’ll be calling this quilt “Twinkle” from now on to identify it, but am not sure if that will be the final title.

A reader asked me about the construction of the blocks in this quilt.  The individual blocks, after being sewn are 6 inches tall by 3 1/2 inches wide.  I cut strips of 30’s fabrics one inch wide and sewed 5 of them together.  This gave me pieces, as illustrated below, 5 1/2 inches tall:

81316 twinkle#3 strips

I then cut one inch wide strips from these.  I cut strips one inch wide and 5 1/2 inches tall from the shot cotton fabrics and cut some strips one inch wide and 4 inches long from them as well for the tops and bottoms of the blocks.  Here are the pieces laid out, ready to be sewn together.  Obviously the top and bottom horizontal strips are sewn on after the center strips are sewn together:

81316 twinkle#4 block layout

If you are interested in making these blocks and have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!

I still have so many quilts to share from the AQS and Maine shows!  Here are some more from AQS.

First is this beautiful log cabin made from 30’s fabrics.  I absolutely love the border!!  It is machine quilted; I think the simple cross hatching and cables are perfect for it.  Just to show you how different judging can be from show to show, this quilt won first place in the home machine quilted category at Paducah and did not get a ribbon in this show.

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I was particularly drawn to this wonderful quilt by Ann Horton who has had works in lots of shows and won awards in the past.  I just loved her use of fabric in this quilt.  Look at the hair!  And I love the dress fabric – just perfect!  And the workmanship was excellent:

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Oops!  I have just run into a problem with downloading any other photos to my blog at this time so I am going to have to work on this.  I hope to return later today – or soon! – with the rest of the pictures I’d hoped to share!!  Thanks for bearing with me!

I wanted to share this quote I read earlier today in “Our Mutual Friend” by Charles Dickens:

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.”

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi




August 8, 2016: Liberated!; plus more hand quilted quilts from AQS Syracuse

Greetings!  Every day since I made my decision to fully retire 8 days ago I am filled with thoughts and feelings that I have made the right decision – no wavering or second thoughts.  I feel liberated and am very much looking forward to the future.  I was so fortunate to have work that I loved and which was fulfilling, but I am ready for a change and a slow down from the hectic pace and intensity work required.

I wonder if my retirement – my “liberation,” so to speak –  was “foreshadowed” while I was in Syracuse.  The AQS show had a large area filled with their out of print books for $5.00 each.  I couldn’t resist these Gwen Marston books:

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With more time available, I would like to explore and experiment with making some “liberated” style quilts.  Perhaps as a way of celebrating my retirement!  However, since my guild’s annual show is coming up in October, I have some quilt goals to complete first.  That sounds far away but the reality is that it’s only 2 months from now!  I have several projects to finish before I can comfortably start a new one.  I just finished the second doll quilt, the “Friendship Star”.  I did a line of embroidery stitching along the inner edge of the binding – my version of piping – for accent.  Click to enlarge:

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I fused circles for 56 blocks – 28 for each of 2 quilts – and buttonhole stitched by machine around the edges for the 2 baby quilts I’m making.  Now I have all the blocks made and will proceed to put one together for the baby coming in October.  Will hold off on the second one for now since not due until January.  I am attending a quilt retreat in November and that will be a good time to complete the second baby quilt.  Here’s a representative sample of those blocks:

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Next I turn to doll quilt #3 – hope to have something to show by next post.

Today I have several other hand quilted quilts from the Syracuse AQS show to share with you.  This is actually most of the rest of them as the vast majority there were machine quilted.

I enjoyed this very traditional red and green quilt:

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The “explosion” of color in this quilt was fun and the hand quilting was excellent:

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Nice combination of applique and hand quilting:

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A very lovely small whole cloth quilt by Jane Holihan who has won many hand quilting awards over the years:

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A nice traditional Hawaiian style quilt but in purple, which is somewhat unusual:

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One doesn’t often see this style of New York Beauty hand quilted!:

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And, finally, a complex quilt from Japan:

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Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi


August 4, 2016: A Major Decision Made; Top Winners from the Syracuse AQS show

Greetings!  I made a major decision this past weekend – I am fully retiring from the practice of medicine and not returning to the University Health Service this fall for the 20 hours per week I had planned to work. I received word last Friday that I was being assigned to work with a different team in a different location of the building.  I won’t go into details, but this would have involved adjusting to quite a few changes for me, not least of which would be leaving the office I’ve had for the past 21 years and not working closely with the nurse with whom I have established a wonderful rapport.

I have been having a wonderful summer with an extended period of time away from medicine for the first time in a very long time and the news of the changes at work were the nudge I needed to seriously think about whether I wanted to return to practice this fall.  It didn’t take me long to make this decision and I am certain it is the right one for me.  I feel liberated!  There is a lot of stress in the practice of medicine (not to mention the additional stresses I had as Medical Director for 21 years) and I feel that 45 years of it – 4 years of med school plus 41 years of nonstop practice since then – are enough!  I want to be the master of my own time for the years I have left and am looking forward to exploring my options for the “next chapter” of my life.  I’m sure it will include lots of quilting!!!!

Today I’ll share with you pictures of the major winners from the AQS show in Syracuse.  First is Best of Show by Janet Stone.  Her quilts are original designs – mostly based on an alphabet theme – and the details of her work are exquisite.  Her machine applique, machine quilting and use of embellishments are nearly perfect:

(Please enlarge pictures to appreciate the details!!)

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Another quilt by Janet won an honorable mention award and I like it perhaps more than the BOS:

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The best wall quilt award went to an amazing 3 dimensional quilt.  Hope you can see the changing pictures from the angle at which you view it.  My pictures don’t convey this as well as when you see it live:

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Best use of color award:

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Best home machine workmanship:

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Best longarm workmanship:

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The above quilt was amazing, especially from a distance.  I’m not quite sure what techniques were used to make it, but it is raw edge, possibly fused?  Here are a couple of closeups:

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I’m not as keen on raw edges, preferring smooth, turned edges on most pieces.  However, if you keep your distance, it looks beautiful and the work that went into it must have been incredible.

Next post I should be able to share a finished second doll quilt!  I’ve also been working on those 2 baby quilts, the first of which is needed by October.  Also, I have SO MANY more quilts from the Syracuse show and Maine show to share!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi