December 10, 2017: Quilting thoughts and projects; Houston Festival pictures, Part 7

Greetings!  First snow was yesterday and it looks beautiful in the sunlight today.  I love the seasons!

I forgot to mention in my last post that – for me, at least – there are three “magical moments” when finishing up a quilt one has been working on for a long time.  Because I hand quilt there are a lot of basting stitches to remove when the quilting is done.  It took me 2 hours to get all the basting stitches out of Stardust!  There was a huge “thread nest” when I was done!  Those stitches tend to obscure the beauty of the quilt design.  The first “magical moment” is seeing the quilt for the first time in a long time without all those stitches.  While hand quilting there are strips of backing and batting hanging off all edges of the quilt.  These tend to fray and get dirty over time.  The second “magical moment” comes when I cut all those off and get my first glimpse of what the quilt is really going to look like.  The third “magical moment” comes when the last stitch is taken in the binding and the quilt is finished.  What a great feeling after all that work to see a beautiful result!  I really enjoy the finishing process.

I cut the fabric strip for the sleeve:

But decided there’s no rush to do this right away since I found out the delivery date for taking my quilts to the museum is 1/5 – plenty of time to finish sleeve and label over the next month.  I decided to take a break and make some holiday ornaments for gifts.  I fussy cut pieces for some hexagon stars out of a fabric I’ve had for a long time and decided to leave the papers in and sew 2 together to make double sided ornaments.  Here are the fronts:

And here are the backs:

Then I use #5 pearl cotton embroidery thread for the hanger:

I also was feeling a desire to do some sewing on my machine – so much hand work over the past few months!   So I started to make a baby quilt to donate for our guild’s “Community/charity” quilts projects.  I decided a few years ago that I wanted to make at least one “donation” quilt per year and have fallen short.  I now have more time since retirement so want to re-commit to this.  I pulled some lovely blue and yellow fabrics from my stash and started to make half square triangles:

I have 2 of the 12 strips sewn together:

I cut enough squares of the yellow and blue prints to make another baby quilt and will use lighter blues for the second one:

I have started to embroider more stars on the border of the silk quilt – picture next time.

Here are some of the art quilts that I loved at the Houston show.  Please click on the pics for enlargements so you can enjoy the wonderful details!! This first one was one of my favorites and I was happy to see it won a Judge’s Choice award.  It’s lovely!!!  Just love the black, white, and red colors and I love trees and birds:

I love warm colors and the colors in these next 5 quilts really “spoke” to me!

Gorgeous piece with great colors!:

Loved, loved, loved this quilt with elephants!

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




December 5, 2017: “Stardust” is quilted and bound!!; Houston festival pictures, Part 6

Greetings!  I just put the last stitches in the binding of “Stardust”!

(click on pic to enlarge)

Not the best picture, but the quilt is too big for any floor spaces I have and I still have to put on the sleeve for hanging and the label.  I’ll have better pictures when the quilt is hanging in the New England Quilt Museum next month.  I started “Stardust” in early March, 2015 when I couldn’t resist the great pictures of star blocks being posted from Barbara Brackman’s “Stars in a Time Warp” online sew along.  I finished the top center in January 2016 and then spent the next year appliquéing the border.  I started the hand quilting in March of this year.  The “Baptist fan” quilt pattern adds a lot of great texture.  “We Are Stardust” is 93 inches square – big!!!  It’s not unusual for it to take me nearly 3 years to finish a quilt that is this large!!   When it’s home from the museum in late April, it will go on our king size bed.

The exhibit of my quilts at the New England Quilt Museum starts on January 10th and goes to April 29th.  The opening reception is at 11 AM on January 20th.  If you are in the area, I hope you can join me – it should be fun!!!

After my last post, I looked through my pictures from the Houston show and found several more hand made quilts which I’m sharing today.  I had the pleasure of seeing Bobbi Korengold’s fantastic “Threads of Friendship” quilt again.  I first saw it – and met Bobbi – at the Vermont Quilt Festival this year where her quilt won best of show.  It did not get any ribbon in Houston which gives you an idea how incredible the competition was.  I still think it was deserving of a “ribbon.  Here are several pictures, better than the ones I showed after the Vermont show:

I was also happy to see Janet Atkins’ beautiful quilt again – also saw it at Vermont.  She has perhaps the best quilting stitch I have seen!

This quilt was all silk and the hand quilting and appliqué were lovely:

This next quilt was not hand made, but I loved the fact it was made with ties – definitely one of the best “tie” quilts I’ve ever seen:

I was thrilled to see this next quilt in the SAQA exhibit.  I had seen it on line and loved it and it was fantastic to see it in person.   I love the design and the Mola style reverse appliqué was amazing!!!!

2 more gorgeous hand made quilts!:

Still more to come!

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




November 27, 2017: Houston Festival Pictures, Part 5; Down the home stretch with “Stardust”

Greetings!  I am now working exclusively on “We Are Stardust” until it is finished.  I have one final border to hand quilt.  I am quilting around the vines and flowers and adding diagonal lines, 1/2 inch apart:

When I need a break from the quilting, I’m making the binding (done and ready), sleeve, and label.  I won’t show another picture until I’m finished!  I plan to include on the label the quote from a New York Times article that gave me the name for the quilt.  I’ve included it in my blog in the past, but that was a long time ago, so here it is again:

“Joni Mitchell beat Carl Sagan to the punch.  She sang “we are stardust, billion year old carbon” in her 1970 song, “Woodstock.”  That was 3 years before Mr. Sagan wrote about humans being made of “star-stuff” in his book, “The Cosmic Connection”  – a point he would later convey to a far larger audience in his 1980 T-V series, “Cosmos.”  By now, “stardust” and “star-stuff” have nearly turned to cliche.  But that does not make the reality behind those words any less profound or magical.  The iron in our blood, the calcium in our bones, and the oxygen we breathe are the physical remains – ashes if you will – of stars that lived and died long ago.  That discovery is relatively recent.  Four astrophysicists developed the idea in a landmark paper published in 1957.  They argued that almost all elements in the periodic table were cooked up over time through nuclear reactions inside stars – rather than in the first instants of the Big Bang, as previously thought.”

Now to continuing my sharing of pictures from Houston!  Today I am showing more of the hand quilted, hand appliquéd, and hand embellished quilts from the show contest – I think this may be the last of them.  They are all wonderful.  Click on the pics to enlarge and enjoy the beautiful details.

This quilt was one of my favorites and a first place winner.  Incredible details!

Beautiful appliqué and color:

Of the 13 quilts in the “hand made” category, 12 were by Japanese!  Here is the lone USA entrant in that category.  I love the calm simplicity of the color choices and the perfect construction:

Another gorgeous appliqué quilt with wonderful trapunto quilting:

I showed a full view of this quilt previously, but no details.  The details are well worth looking at!!!!:

A lovely quilt from Spain:

This one was lovely, but different!  Love the red/green/ gold colors and I especially liked the border on this one:

Two more fabulous medallion style hand made quilts from Japan:

Finally, one of my favorites from the “In Full Bloom” special exhibit.  Again, love the red and green color scheme with orange!!!

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

November 22, 2017: My quilt is in Quiltmania magazine!!!; Pics from a special exhibit in Houston

Greetings!  I discovered yesterday (thanks, Susan for alerting me!!) that my quilt, “Spirit of Japan #3: Kuruma” is in the latest issue of Quiltmania in their piece on the Vermont Quilt Festival!!!  It is featured on a full page and their photography really does the color and the quilting justice.  I’m so pleased!!!!  What an honor!

I’ll be on cloud nine for a while!!!!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.  I sign off every post with a message to “be grateful” and I sincerely believe that this is a daily attitude we all should cultivate.  This Thursday is the day we officially celebrate all we have to be thankful for, but we, of course, should be thankful every day.  One of the special exhibits that I really enjoyed at the Houston festival was the large quilt made by quilt makers from Bern, Switzerland and the similar quilt inspired by it that quilters from Mexico made.  These quilts are excellent examples of people being inspired by those in other places and cultures and working together to create something beautiful.  We need this in these divisive times!!!

Enjoy these pictures (click on pics for details!) and have a great holiday!

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


November 17, 2017: More from the Houston Festival; project updates

Greetings!  There is so much to share from the Houston show!  Today I am going to focus on some of the major prize winners and show you a silk quilt favorite.  First let me say that I have no quibbles with the prize winners – they were all deserving!!  What I did notice, however, is that many of the winners in the regular categories were good enough to be big prize winners too.  It’s like a beauty pageant in which all the contestants are beautiful and talented.  I’m sure the final results have to do, at least to some degree, with judge’s bias.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the judge’s room!!

I was very happy to see that 3 of the 8 major prize winners were completely hand made quilts – all made by Japanese quilters, of course!  Here is the astounding Baltimore album style quilt that won the Founder’s Award.  Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them so you can see the wonderful details.

This quilt won the “World of Beauty” award.  I talked with the maker and she worked on it for several hours nearly every day for a year and a half!!  The details were amazing and hard to capture on camera, especially since we couldn’t get as close to the major award winners as to the other quilts.

Think of the patience it must have taken to do all the appliqué work in this winner:

Janet Stone won Best of Show for her entirely machine made quilt which looked PERFECT!!!  Every aspect of the quilt was excellent – design, construction, details, embellishments, etc.  One could spend quite some time looking at this and still not see everything!

The last quilt from the show which I’m showing today was winner of first place for innovative appliqué and was one of my favorite quilts in the show.  It’s all silk!!!  Pat Holly has been making silk quilts for a while and I think this is her best one so far.  What an inspiration!  I just love the colors, the design – everything!!!!  Please enjoy all the closeups.  Also, you may want to go to and see the recorded interview Alex Anderson does with Pat in which she explains the inspiration for the hand made border edging:

Below is a closeup of the hand made edging:

As for me, I am continuing to hand quilt “We Are Stardust” to get it done for my NEQM exhibit starting in January.  Many thanks to Barbara Brackman for featuring my 3 “Stars in a Time Warp” quilts in her recent post on her Civil War Quilts blog this week!!!  And, of course, many thanks to her for doing the quilt-alongs she does every year!!!

Above is the corner in which I do my hand quilting, using our gembay drum to hold my supplies!

I’ve also been working on the “Twinkle” border.  I finished the top border with the stars and sketched, then stitched one of the corner blocks.  I had to lay it out on the floor as my design wall is “occupied” by my silk quilt.

I’m also working on the silk quilt border:

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


November 11, 2017: Updates on silk quilt border and hexagon stars; What I bought in Houston; More pictures from Houston

Greetings!  I’ve made a decision on the silk quilt border.  It’s going to be blue with the red thin inner border and I am embroidering stars in bright colors on it.  I worked up a sample of these stars to see what it would look like and I like it!  Here’s the sample:

So I cut my first long border strip, interfaced it to prevent raveling, started to draw the stars, and am now ready to start stitching!

My reproduction hexagon star flowers project was supposed to be a “long term” project, just worked on when I’m out of the house and need handwork and taking – years??.  However, seems like I have been traveling a lot recently – plus I’m addicted to making these! – so I have now completed 52 stars and have about 30 more cut and ready to go.  Here’s the latest batch with some closeups (click on pics to enlarge):

There were hundreds of vendors in Houston and I did my part for the economy!  I love books and bought 3 – would have bought more, but I did not want to have to send a package home so limited myself to what would fit in my suitcase.  Of course I had to have the new book on Indigo in Japan:

And the third book in this series on English Paper Pieced quilts which is filled with fantastic projects!:

And I happened to meet Yoko Saito in the Martingale publishing booth and she signed one of her books for me:

Yoko had a fantastic exhibit of her quilts at the show and I will get to sharing many of these with you in another post.

Of course I bought some fabric!  I found this excellent fat quarter stack (17 pieces) of Japanese indigo fabrics and bought a 2 yard piece of creamy white brushed cotton fabric to go with them:

Thinking of maybe making a blue and white quilt.  On the other hand, I’ve been looking at the waning autumn colors recently and seeing a lot of – cheddar!

Blue and cheddar/gold would be a nice combination – we’ll see!

I also bought 2 packs of “fat eights” of lighter/softer colored reproduction fabrics (my collection tends to have more of the darker/brighter colors) plus a few fat quarters and am mulling over possible designs to use these in – no decisions yet.  “Lady of the Lake” or some sort of basket pattern are prime possibilities, with an elaborate appliquéd border, of course!!  I do have a basket of similar lighter/softer fabrics that I have been collecting the past few years to go with these so there is plenty on hand to get started – but I think I want to move current projects further along before I do that.

One of my best purchases was this pack of freezer paper sheets:

I had been drawing each of my hexagon templates individually on regular freezer paper.  Now I only need this one master copy and can run the paper through our printer for more!  Also this paper is a bit sturdier than regular freezer paper so is good for templates for EPP.  I also bought a pack of pre-cut diamonds the right size to connect my hexagon star flowers and the acrylic template with which to cut out the shapes:

Other purchases included a number of packs of different size needles to replenish my supply, another pair of Kai scissors, and some blades for my rotary cutter.  A one yard piece of a gorgeous shade of green silk fabric made me buy it :):) (No picture because green does not photograph well for me.)  Everything fit nicely in my suitcase!!

I still marvel that I made it to the Houston show!  I loved the whole experience.  If I go again, I will attend more lectures and perhaps sign up for a class, but I really appreciate the time I had to really look at the quilts.  The quality of the quilts in the competition was outstanding!  The special exhibits were wonderful.  Just about the only negative thing I can think of to say is that I did not find much authentic Japanese fabric in the vendor section.  Out of the hundreds of vendors, I only found 3 that had authentic Japanese fabric (very limited selection!) and a couple of those had a very, very small selection of antique indigo fabrics and I didn’t think the quality of those was particularly good.  I loved, though, that there were vendors from France, Netherlands, Australia, Africa, and South America!!!

More pictures from the show:

Here is the additional information about the quilt in my last post that was not identified (one of my favorites!!):

Here are 2 additional pictures of the beautiful quilt that won first place for “embellishments” (see previous post for full picture)

And here is a closeup of the border of the basket quilt from my last post:

This quilt won first place for traditional appliqué – and it’s a real stunner!

This wonderful quilt won first place in the traditional piecing category.  I love how she used circles in her design – they add a lot.:

And this gorgeous quilt won third place in the traditional appliqué category:

This was the second place winner in traditional pieced (tiny pieces!!!):

Oops – can’t find the ID card for the above – will include in next post.

Linda Roy – one of my quilting idols! – had another lovely quilt in the show, but it didn’t win anything.  That just shows how tough the competition was and how outstanding the quilts in the show were!!

Another gorgeous Japanese quilt:

Many more pictures to come!

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

November 7, 2017: Back from Houston!; some pictures from the show; silk quilt border update

Greetings!  I had the most wonderful time in Houston at the quilt show!!!  What could be better than viewing beautiful and/or powerful quilts, attending talks/lectures on quilting, and shopping at hundreds of vendors?!  Quilt heaven!  Now – back to earth and my normal routine.  But, wow, was I ever inspired by all the wonderful quilts I saw.  I would go back to this show in a heartbeat.  I’m very glad I had 3+ days in which to do it all.  That amount of time really allowed me to spend quality time with the quilts and attend some talks.  I’m almost embarrassed to say (gulp!!) that I took 918 pictures!!  That does mean, though, that I have much to share on the blog over the months to come.

Let me start by saying that my wonderful trip came about because of Janet Elia’s (blog – Janet Ann Creations) generosity in inviting me to join her (see my previous post).  Thank you Janet!!! She was a great roommate and we had a fun time together.  She had a quilt in the special exhibit “In Full Bloom.”  Here is a picture of her with her beautiful quilt, along with some close-ups (click on pics to enlarge and see details!);

Now I am going to share some of the quilts from the show, in no particular order except I’ll probably start with some of my favorites (there were many!!!).  Unfortunately, I have run out of space in my media file for uploading pictures to put on my blog so I am only showing a few today (I will have to delete some older pictures in the files to make more room for next time) and I think I have pictures of more details from these quilts that I may post in the future.

This quilt was absolutely gorgeous!!!

This quilt was inspired by one of my favorite quilters, Noriko Masui:

This quilt was absolutely gorgeous, but the information card didn’t upload because of the space issue.  I’ll add it next post, but here’s the quilt:

After my last post, one of my readers, Wendy C. suggested I consider a royal blue border for my silk quilt, extending the background of the quilt.  I thought this was worth looking at so I did a mock-up with and without a narrow red strip separating the border from the center of the quilt.  Here are the pictures:

With the red strip:

Without the red strip:

So…..I like both of these options better than a simple red border!  But, after looking at these carefully, I like the narrow red border included.  So I have decided that’s what I’m going with!  I didn’t have enough of the blue fabric for a border, but, luckily, the company from which I bought my fabric was vending at the Houston quilt festival and they had the blue silk there so I bought more!  I am pretty sure I am going to embroider some stars on the border – similar to the ones in the centers of the stars in the center of the quilt.  Will do a sample first just to make sure.

I hope to be back soon with lots more quilt pictures and more thoughts about the festival.

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