Greetings! It’s always a wonderful feeling when a quilt is finished, especially when it has been a long term project. I started Joyful Noise about 2 years ago and finished the top about a year ago. It took a while to decide to have it machine quilted and that finally was done several weeks ago. I worked diligently the past 2 weeks on completing the extra hand quilting it needed at the seam intersection points and yesterday finished putting the binding on. (Click on pictures for enlargements and details.)
And here’s the back:
I’m very happy with how this came out! Though I learned that I will think twice about making any quilt design that has 12 seams coming together in one place!! In hindsight, I might have chosen to cover those areas with appliqued circles or another shape and cut out the bulky seam intersections to make the quilt texture smoother. However that would have altered the design… I made the sleeve yesterday and will get that sewn on in the next week or so. I also made the sleeve for Many Moons and need to make labels for this, Joyful Noise, and all 3 doll quilts before my guild show next month. These are the little details that make finishing quilts more time consuming! And why am I basically almost ready for my October show already instead of scrambling the week before the show as usual? Retirement! Here are Al and I celebrating retirement on our deck with a lovely meal made by him:
After completing Joyful Noise yesterday, I turned to the hand quilting on doll quilt #3. I am focusing on seeing how well I can do the stitching. With few seams to quilt through and a thin batting, I am having no trouble getting 11 stitches per inch pretty consistently:
This week I took out a tote bag project that I cut out 2 years ago and never made; I decided to finish it finally and here it is sewn together. It still needs the eyelets and string tie that will “close” the top of the bag but that requires a trip to JoAnn’s – will show the bag again when complete, but here’s what it looks like now. Isn’t that Paris fabric wonderful!!:
Recently I’ve heard about some changes in the quilting world that are significant enough to seem somewhat unsettling, especially when taken together. Probably most significant to me is the demise of Quilters Newsletter Magazine. I’ve had a nonstop subscription to it since I started quilting in 1994 and for a while I collected older issues so that I have almost all of them from about 1980 on as well as many from the 1970’s as well. I loved these magazines and looked forward to receiving them. I even made the cover of the September 2004 issue and had a quilt patterned over 3 issues in 2007. These were great honors for me! I have to admit, however, that over the past few years the issues have been less and less inspiring. I have to believe this is because of the internet. I now can go to web sites and blogs for most of my quilting information and when I resubscribed to QNM earlier this year I thought twice about whether it would be worth it. The other changes that have struck me are 1) the demise of the National Quilting Association about a year ago 2) the decision by AQS to stop publishing books after this fall 3) the closing of quilt shops, most notably The City Quilter in NYC and 4) the closing of the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA.
What does all of the above mean? I think the impact may be more in the quilting business community that for those of us who just make quilts. I think there is “survival of the fittest” occurring and perhaps the quilt business community grew too fast and is now “shaking out.” Again, I think the access to information and shopping on the web is a huge reason. I’ve also read that many of us dedicated quilters are aging and perhaps not enough younger folks are quilting. I also know that I am doing more shopping from my own stash of fabrics and buying less – trying to use of up what I have as well as be discerning about how I’m spending my money now that I’m not working anymore.
In any case, I’m not particularly worried about quilting in general as I think there will always be a core of us who love the art and craft of quilting and will find ways to be creative and to connect with others no matter what is happening in the business sphere.
So here are some more wonderful quilts from the Syracuse AQS show to demonstrate that the art of quilting is still very alive and well!!!
I love “real” kaleidoscopes” as well as quilted ones. I’ve loved these since Paula Nadelstern first started making them years ago and have always dreamed that some day maybe I will do one… This one is gorgeous!
I’ve been intrigued with “tile” quilts and toyed with the idea of doing one some day. This one uses my favorite oriental style fabrics and the machine quilting really highlights the designs:
Another great quilt from Ann Horton:
Here’s a cool quilt of fantastic flowers from Australia:
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi