November 15, 2018: Houston Festival Pictures, Part 2; Purchases in Houston

Greetings!  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for me the past week.  Not only was there Houston, but yesterday I went to Walpole, MA, about 2 hours south of here, to do a trunk show for the Rhododendron Quilt Guild last evening.  What a wonderful, warm, and welcoming group!!!  Got to see Janet Elia (Janet Ann Creations blog) again – she belongs to this group in addition to the Silver City guild and was responsible for me getting to Houston last year.  Lots of fun!   Now I am finally settled back in at home and am not going anywhere for a while!!!

I’ve got more pictures to share.  Please be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them and see the great details!!!  Last time I showed you the fabulous first place quilt in the “Hand Made” category.  Here’s the beautiful second place quilt from that group:

The third place quilt in the Handmade category – loved the green color and the hand quilting and embroidery were wonderful:

I really like this next quilt because it features an accordion player!!! (I’m still practicing and playing mine regularly!)

Another lovely entry in the Handmade category – I just love these hand made Japanese medallion quilts!!  I want to make one some day!

I’m now showing entries in the large appliqué category.  Loved the one below even though  not a prize winner:

This was a wonderful, lovely red, green, and white quilt!!  Margaret has won top prizes in big shows and the hand quilting, appliqué, and trapunto were great (no prize though!):

Even though this next one only won an honorable mention, it may have been my favorite in the category.  I just love the colors and overall design!!!

This was the second place winner in the large appliqué category – an amazing work and well deserving of an award!!!  Incredible details!!!

And finally the first place winner in the category –  a beautiful Baltimore Album style quilt with wonderful detail work!  I wish I could have gotten a little closer to be able to capture some of those details better:

That’s all the pictures of quilts for today – many more to come!

So what did I buy in Houston?  My guiding principles were to try to buy only what would be hard for me to find locally and to buy only what I really, truly think I’m going to use!  My number one goal was to buy the reproduction Dutch prints that I didn’t buy last year and then regretted not doing ever since!   These were from the Dutch Heritage booth – from Amsterdam – and I saw Petra Prins there!  I certainly can’t buy these locally!   I bought the box:

and supplemented with a yard of the lightest fabric and half yards of some of the colors:

I LOVE these fabrics and definitely want to design something to use them – hopefully not too long from now!

I love indigoes so checking out what was available was my second goal.  I found some new indigo designs that I didn’t already have at Kimonomono and bought 7 pieces that I can use for the last blocks of the winter quilt:

And I really splurged at Shibori Girl and bought a pack of Glennis’ hand dyed shibori pieces plus 3 pieces of antique indigoes:

These will be inspiration for Spirit of Japan #6!

The other fabric I was looking for was 19th century reproduction fabric that would be suitable for interesting fussy cutting.  I only found a few pieces at the show  – not much 19th century repro fabric at the show.  However, I found several excellent pieces at 2 of the shops at which we stopped on the Saturday bus trip:

I bought ONE book – I would have had to buy this on-line, otherwise.  I’d read great things about it and it is, indeed, excellent.  It’ not just about the EPP technique.  There’s well written history about stitching, the history of EPP, etc.  A book worth having!

And few miscellaneous items – some high end embroidery thread, the paper I like for my EPP templates, 2 more spools of the 80 weight Aurifil that I’m liking for my EPP and a new needle threader;

I also bought this template:

It is supposed to be traced on a foundation (interfacing recommended, but I’m going to try it with the June Taylor fabric-like foundation which I can use in the printer to make copies) and 12 of them make this design:

Meeting folks and making connections is one of the benefits of attending a show like this.  I met Lori D from “Humble Quilts” briefly at the show – it was nice to make the connection since I have been reading her blog for a long time.    I kept my eyes open for Kyle of “Timeless Reflections” but didn’t see her – amazing we didn’t cross paths at the Dutch Heritage booth!!!  It was fun to spend time with folks from my own guild and get to know them better.

I can’t believe we are expecting our first snow tonight!!  I’m not ready!  But I don’t have a choice!  And Thanksgiving is next week.  2018 is almost over, time is flying….

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

 

 

 

 

November 12, 2018: Houston Quilt Festival pictures, Part 1

Greetings!  I just got home from Houston last night.  As expected, the festival was wonderful – filled with gorgeous quilts and plenty of vendors and lectures.  I didn’t take any classes, but I did spend one day on a bus trip that included the Texas Quilt Museum in the town of La Grange and stops at several local quilt shops.  Today I am going to share pictures of the top winning quilts, plus one of my favorites.  I wasn’t so good about capturing which category winning quilts were in but I’m not sure that info is critical to your enjoyment of the quilts.

BEST OF SHOW – WOW, this was a completely amazing quilt!  Not sure you will appreciate the intricate details in my pics.  Sherry Reynolds made this in honor of her mother and it took several years to complete.  The workmanship is astounding!  Click on pics to enlarge for details.

Somehow I didn’t get a shot of her description of making the quilt and I know why – there were too many people crowded around while I was there and I never got back to take a picture of it!

I absolutely loved this completely hand made quilt – just incredible!!!!:

Another one of my very favorite quilts – I wanted to take this one home with me!!  Of course I LOVED the vine border!!:

This one won the award for contemporary artistry:

One of the awards for thread artistry – beautifully done:

The artist is Andrea Brokenshire and I apparently didn’t get a picture of her description of the quilt.

An award for machine quilting – a gorgeous whole cloth quilt by a man (!) from Spain:

I forget what the exact award was for this a amazing portrait:

Another portrait winner:

Those were all the MAJOR prize winners.  I’m finishing up today with pictures of the first place winner in, I believe, the hand made category.  I LOVED this amazing quilt!!!!:

I took a lot of pictures so will be posting pictures from this show for a long time!  Next time I’ll show you my purchases and many more pictures!

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

 

November 6, 2018: “Star Trek” update; Off to Houston!

Greetings, friends!  I am in the midst of packing for Houston.  We will have to leave the house at about 3:45 AM tonight in order to get to the airport in Boston for my flight to Houston which leaves shortly after 7 AM.  I’ll have to try to take a nap tomorrow afternoon at the hotel so I can enjoy the preview tomorrow evening.  I’m excited!  And you can be sure I will be posting lots of pictures from the festival, but not until after I get home on the 11th.

Meanwhile, I’ve realized  I had better get cracking on the hand quilting of Star Trek.  I counted 85 total stars in the quilt and 84 “spiral galaxies.”  I’m  quilting each star shape 3 times, plus 4 parallel lines in each of the blue “strips along the star edges.  And, as you know,  each galaxy gets a spiral quilting line.  I have a dozen of the stars and galaxies done so have about 72 of each to go.  If I get 4 of each done per week, I will need 18 weeks from mid November to finish the quilt center by early April.  That will give me April and May to get the border done – all in time for the Vermont Festival in June.  This is how I often break my hand quilting down if there is a deadline – in small “chunks” over specified time periods.  This really helps me stay on track.   I think this should be very do-able!!!  And if the winter is tough and I’m stuck at home a lot, I may finish it well ahead of time! (probably wishful thinking!)

(Click on pics to enlarge)

And here is how the back is looking!

I hope to post some festival quilt pics next Monday or Tuesday after I’m back home!

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

 

November 1, 2018: Fussy cutting fun; A few more quilt pics from the Cocheco show

Greetings.  I’m always amazed to meet or hear of a quilter who works on one quilt at a time, from start to finish.  As much as I love the process of making quilts, and even though repetitive stitching can be meditative and relaxing, there are times I get bored and need to switch up what I’m doing.   For me, working on several quilts at once in different stages of development and featuring different types of  stitching – e.g. hand quilting, hand appliqué, hand piecing, machine piecing, and embroidery – is the way to keep me happy and engaged.  I can just choose to work on what I most feel like doing at any given time.

Recently I got a little bored with the embroidery for the Winter quilt.  There are 80 blocks and each block has embroidery embellishment and a small appliquéd circle:

59 blocks are completed – 21 to go!  AND, I spent a lot of time studying the quilt for border ideas and think I have an idea that will work.  Always a great feeling when that happens!!   But I needed a break from these blocks, so this week I’ve worked on my hexagon stars, having a lot of fun with fussy cutting, making new stars.  With the right fabric design, one can make more than one star – sometimes multiples! – with that fabric.

Here’s one fabric I used:

And look at the two stars I made:

The fabric:

And the stars:

The fabric:

And the stars:

I had this next fabric in  3 color ways:

The fabric:

the star:

I couldn’t ‘t fine the fabric I used for this one!

And here’s the above  blue fabric in a brick red:

This time I cut the star with the design going in a different direction and alternated the order of light and dark stripes from piece to piece:

So much fun!!!!  And I cut several more stars to take on my trip to Houston next week as my “travel project.”  Hand piecing these is a great take-along project!

Here are some more pictures from the Cocheco show.  I’ve shown  you two of our “Meet the Quilters.”  Last, but not least of these is Laura Parsons:

A few of the smaller quilts – my apologies for not getting pics of the ID cards:

One last quilt:

I’m a long time Red Sox fan so it was a great October!!!!!

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

 

October 25, 2018: “Long Journey Quilts”; Part 3 – Cocheco Show Quilts

Greetings!  I don’t have an Instagram account and generally don’t look at Instagram, however, I occasionally connect with some Instagram sites as I am reading through the blogs I follow.  Recently I landed on Jeanna Kimball’s (well known appliqué expert and author) Instagram site and enjoyed  seeing her projects.  I particularly loved how she called some of them “long journey quilts.  “She says, Some quilts are ‘long journey quilts.’  These are meant for slow stitching and enjoying the journey – no schedules to meet, no looming deadlines – just for the joy of stitching!”

A majority of the quilts I make are “long journey quilts.”  I just love that phrase!!!  Many take years to finish.  I tend not to encumber myself with deadlines and I relish the journey.  Most recently the two “long journey quilts” I’ve been working on are the silk quilt, Star Trek – hand quilting (click on pics to enlarge):

and my “Winter” quilt:

I’ve been adding the embroidery embellishment and the little circles to the blocks.  I’ve been studying how this looks overall to see how big I want it to be.  The blocks finish at 6 inches so 8 blocks across and 10 down would be 48″wide by 60″ long.  If I add an 8″ border all around it would finish at 64 inches wide and 76 inches long.  I think this is what it will be.  I’ve also been studying what kind of border I want to add – not sure at all right now.  If I don’t put a border on, this will look very modern!  But I don’t think that’s what I want.  I’ve been looking at lots of pictures of quilts for ideas – no “ah ha” moments yet.

You probably didn’t  notice, but the first picture above with the Winter quilt in it, shows that I made a new design wall for my room!  It is about 8 inches wider and 8 inches longer than the previous one which was about 16 years old, showing its wear and tear, and sized originally for a different room.  I bought the felt for the new one TWO YEARS AGO and finally got around to making it now!  I bought it just before I fell and fractured my arm and leg so initially had an excuse for the delay, but…..2 years!  That’s because this was a CHORE and I’d rather do more enjoyable things!  But, happy to have the extra design space now!

The third project I’ve been working on recently is what I now will call a “short jaunt” rather than a long journey!  This is the table runner for the dining room I mentioned in a recent post.  As I took parts of this off the design wall and looked at them on the dining room table, I made several decisions.  I decided this project looks better as a “table topper” than a “runner” so the size was changed.  I decided it needed a darker color, rather than lighter gold in the center, and, most importantly,  I decided I did not want to spend time appliquéing a vine with leaves on this, especially since the center will be mostly covered up with my decorative bowls and pots.  I looked through my stash and found this lovely brown based print which looks right to me!!  This is just the top – it’s yet to be layered and quilted:

Now for more from the Cocheco Show!  One of the “Bees” from the guild decided to do a round robin project and it was fun to see the results:

There was a special exhibit of quilts by Susan Powell – very different aesthetic from the above round robin quilts!  I liked that she creates her own designs and enjoyed her bold use of color:

Another one of our “Meet the Quilters” was art quilter Jaci Lawson.  How about those “ski” chairs she used to decorate her space!!!!

Last picture for today is my doll quilts at the show – I did not have them judged:

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

October 21, 2018: More pictures from the Cocheco Guild Show

Greetings!  Today I’m happy to share more pictures of quilts from the annual Cocheco Quilters Guild show.  I’m so glad to be a part of this great organization.   Every year our show is one of the best in the area; the job we quilters – all volunteer! – do in putting on this show is incredible and every year I’m amazed that we are able to do this so well!

In the quilt below, I think Sue’s use of the Japanese taupes was excellent and her machine quilting outstanding!   Sue has machine quilted a few of my quilts and done an outstanding job. This quilt was deserving of its Judge’s Choice award:

The next 2 quilts are excellent interpretations of Judy Neimeyer patterns.  This first one won a Viewer’s Choice award;

I think the next one is an excellent use of these bright fabrics:

This next quilt was another of the Viewer’s Choice award winning quilts.  I absolutely love the hand stitching she did at the intersections of the rings:

English Paper Piecing!!!  (By the way, my EPP demonstration went really well!)  This quilt is the “Lucy Boston” variation – fun to examine closely to see the fussy cutting:

I’m a cat lover!!  Outstanding machine quilting on this one:

Love the design of this next one.  I do someday want to make a “houses” quilt and this layout is interesting:

Great job of exploring the “flying geese” triangle shape in this modern style quilt and I LOVE red and gold colors together:

This next quilt is very subtle in its use of color,  but very effective!!  I love the embroidery embellishment:

We showcase 3 quilters from the guild each year in our “Meet the Quilter” exhibit.  For the past 2 years this part of the show has been my responsibility.  This year one of our quilters was Nancy Starks-Cheney.  Take a look at her beautiful Ruth McDowell style quilt and the “cartoon” that shows how it was drawn!  Nancy did a great job “decorating” her space with her lovely quilts:

I’ll be back soon with more quilts from the show and an update on my own projects.  Only two and a half weeks til I go to the Houston show – can’t wait!!!!

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

October 15, 2018: “We Are Stardust” is Best of Show!; Some words on “stitching”

Greetings!  “We Are Stardust” was honored with the Best of Show award by the judges at the Cocheco Quilters Guild show this weekend!!  (Click on any pics to enlarge!)

Naturally, I am thrilled.  “It Takes a Village” was awarded a blue ribbon and a “judge’s choice” – always an honor!

And “Summer Breeze” was awarded a blue ribbon:

I’m sharing a few of my favorite quilts in the show today.

Every year I look forward to seeing what Regan Martin makes.  She often quilts by hand and has excellent workmanship.  This year she made a fabulous hexagon log cabin inspired by an antique quilt she saw at the Vermont Festival one year.  WOW! This deservedly won  Judge’s Choice and  Viewer’s Choice awards:

I really, really, really want to make a quilt like this!!!!

Rainy Stevens’ mini quilt that she entered into the guild’s annual “challenge” was fantastic.  The workmanship is out of this world.  The theme of the challenge was “time”:

I enjoy Wendy Coffin’s relatively simple but beautifully made quilts that show off lovely fabric exceedingly well.  You’ll notice that I’ve been buying and using a lot of this fabric recently!  She did a great job with the border!!

This was a gorgeous appliqué – I think this was a Becky Goldsmith design from a while ago, but doesn’t it look great in these colors and fabrics?!

I have more quilts from the show to share in future posts, but want to share something I read recently on stitching.  There are some great blogs and web sites that have interviews with artists.  These interviews often have interesting and insightful thoughts on the creative process and about working with specific media.  I recommend “World of Threads Festival.”  The web site is worldofthreadsfestival.com  There are over a hundred interviews which are a few years old, but most of the information is essentially timeless.  I recently read the interview with Canadian fiber artist Kit Vincent.  Here’s what she had to say about “the stitch”:

“I am drawn to the liveliness of the stitch when working with textiles.  The stitch is an entirely different mark making tool than a pencil or brush.  I don’t aim for perfect form when stitching or a perfect length of stitches.   I want my stitches to speak, to add texture, and to sparkle, if necessary…..The other aspect I love about stitching is the ability to create texture….I can also create LINE with stitch……Then there is thread color.  I think of stitching as an endless opportunity to create impact.”

I was thinking about Kit’s comments above when I realized that perhaps I should consider using some different colored threads in the “galaxies” I’m quilting on “Star Trek.”  Here’s the quilt in the hoop:

I had been matching my thread to the background color of each star and using blue on the blue background.  Here’s a “galaxy” with blue thread stitching between the spirals:

I decided to try gold thread, thinking the specs of color could look like stars in the galaxy – but risking that any uneven stitching might show up more! (Click to enlarge so you can see the stitching!)

I love the look of the gold stitching, even though some of the stitches are slightly uneven!!  I plan to keep doing this for the rest of the “galaxies.”

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