Thursday, March 28, 2013

Back in the Saddle

On Tuesday I spent the day in Clayton, NC, exercising my "visitation rights" to use my Gammill longarm quilting machine.  I got both of my baby quilts done!  Well, almost!

I did my granddaughter's first.  Her nursery is a mermaid's paradise!  I quilted in some wavy water, seaweed, a few fish, and a few hearts and other motifs that were in the theme fabric in the border.

The quilting shows up better on the back.
In my attempt to do some stash-busting, I have been piecing my quilt backs from whatever fabrics might coordinate with the quilt top.
I actually made the bias stripe binding and applied it yesterday, and it is about three-fourths sewn to the back by hand.

The next quilt was for my great-nephew, Lucas.  His top is a riot of bright colors and jungle animals.  I decided to do some balloon-type round shapes, with some sunbursts and other shapes thrown in when I got bored.

All was going well until I got to the last four or five inches from the bottom.  I was getting ready to baste the bottom edge to the batting and backing and take out the pins. 
I ran out of backing fabric.  If I kept on quilting, I would be sewing right into the canvas leaders!
I just took the quilt off the machine and brought it home to add some more fabric.  Of course I did not have any more of the blue fabric.  Notice I had already added some pieced fabrics from the top to extend the blue fabric a bit.
When I trimmed the extra fabric from the other sides, I had enough left to add a narrow strip to the bottom.  Then I had to quilt the last few inches on my home sewing machine.  Oh, my!  Not easy to make nice circles and loops.

But it's done!  I have cut the pieces for his bias striped binding.  I love the way bias stripes make a candy-cane effect around the edge of the quilt.  Will show the bindings next time.

We are leaving for a long weekend in the mountains for Easter weekend.  It should be cold, but not rainy.  I am ready for spring!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Another Baby Quilt Top

In my last post I showed the collection of baby fabrics that I purchased at the Charlotte Quilters' Guild show from Quilters' Loft.

I decided to try a pattern with simple directions, called Grandmother's Secret.

You start out with squares, cut them in half on the diagonal, and again three inches on each side of that slice.  You sew the two long pieces together, and then add the triangles.
I made 20 squares from 20 different fabrics.  When I had the two long pieces sewn together, I pinned a whole stack of these to take to the machine.

You trim the finished blocks to the same size square.   Then you have fun arranging them in a pleasing manner on the design wall.

This quilt will be for my newest great-nephew, Lucas. 
I haven't met him yet, but I know we will be seeing a lot of him.  He is my sister's grandson. A little known fact is that his mother, Melinda, was named for me.  My middle name is Melinda!

Tomorrow I am heading out to visit my Gammill quilting machine in Clayton.  Since we are trying to sell our house, I took it down and asked for a volunteer to "foster" it for me until our house is sold.  I will be trying to get two baby quilts done tomorrow, one for Lucas and one for my granddaughter, Charlie.  Here is her top.

It will be nice to get back on my machine and have fun with these colorful quilts!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More Quilts from Charlotte Quilters' Guild Show

Here is another look at some of the quilts I liked from the Charlotte Quilters' Guild show, which I visited on March 8.

This one is a good example of hand-stitching used as an embellishment.

Yucca Mountain, by Donna Hartenstine

This quilt is made from the Mexican Star pattern, but I admired the machine quilting.  It won the Best Machine Quilting Award sponsored by Quilters' Loft.  I also liked the illusion of movement in the stars due to the lines in the fabric.
Mexican Star, made by Jeri Kellett, quilted by Janice Hayes and Jeri Kellett

The next quilt is also from a familiar pattern, but I like the interplay of fabrics to make the secondary circular designs, and the leafy and other patterned fabrics to create interest.
Batik Winding Way, by Claudia Reynolds
Here is a beauty of a traditional bed quilt.  I like the soft pastel fabrics and the beautiful machine quilting.
Bean Station Beauty, made by Sandy Dean, quilted by Quilted Thimble Cottage

Her is a detail of the quilting.

The next photo is out of focus, but you can see the striking combination of gold and black, enhanced by the gorgeous quilting.  It takes courage to use such a contrasting thread color.

Cosmic Jewels, Made by Mildred Gwinn, quilted by Janice Hayes

Another large quilt that I admired was this French Braid that literally glows with color.
Autumn Splendor, made by Vonnie Schulze, quilted by Jenn Reeve

Here is one that I liked because it gave me some ideas on how to re-use some funky blocks from an old row-by-row challenge that I have had for years.

One Thing; Two Things; No, Three Things, Made by Carla Handshaw, Quilted by Robbin Dorrier

Next is a very dramatic quilt.  The applique blocks are complex and interesting, but it is the dark blue background that really pops the color.


Midnight in the Garden, by Donna Penzell

The interesting thing about the next quilt is the intriguing fabric, which appears to be sun-printed.
Mutual Friends and Common Interest, by Phyllis Tarrant

At the guild's boutique shop, I noticed the display of pet garments.  Roberta Morgan mentioned doing a charity fundraiser at Capital Quilters' Guild's next show.  It would be an "Arfwork" challenge to make things for pets which would be sold in a silent auction.

There was a special category of challenge quilts called "Postcards from the Garden."  They looked very festive hanging from a clothesline against a black background.
Vonnie's Garden, by Vonnie Schulze
Out Again!!!, by Ellen Mabry
Staring Contest With an Italian Grasshopper, by Donna Hartenstine


I really liked this entry in the Non-Traditional, Wearables, & Specialty category.  It is a mixed media book inspired by trees.
Passionate Roots, by Susan Edmonson

As I mentioned in my last post, there was a large vendor mall at the show.  I visited one of my favorite quilt shops, Quilters' Loft of Mooresville, NC.  I just had to get this packet of jungle-animal themed fabric.

In my next post, I'll show you what I did with it!  Yes, I have already finished a quilt top from these fabrics!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Charlotte Quilters' Guild Show

'A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Charlotte Quilters' Guild show, named "Through the Garden Gate."  It was held in the Metrolina Expo, a large facility, March 8 and 9.  I would say that the space was fairly equally divided between quilt show and vendor mall.

There were beautiful hand-made floral ribbons for the winners.

Each quilt was identified with an information card, attached to the quilt with a floral clothes pin (made from yo-yo's and buttons.)
I liked the reminder to wear the plastic gloves if you want to touch the quilt.

Here are some more of the beautiful ribbons.
They were attached to this quilt, awarded Best of Show.

Flowers for Jacob, Made and Quilted by Melanie Paul

Melanie stated that she began making this quilt when her Great Pyrenees contracted a tumor in his shoulder and could not go up and down stairs.  She needed a project to work on downstairs.  This quilt is in his memory.
I did not have very long to linger at the quilts since we were only making a quick stop  in Charlotte.  I buzzed through the displays looking for the art quilts and also those that were original or different.
How about this one?

Guardian of Generations, Made and Quilted by Selena Sullivan

The quilter explained that she believes that people from previous generations watch over us as guardian angels.  This angel watches over an African woman, a Masai warrior, and a woman from the post-slavery era.


Here is a display of some of the smaller quilts.  I loved the piece with the tree and roots.  It is Tree of Life, by Alice Earl.

The one on the left is Take Time to Smell the Roses, by Vickie Amon.

There was a a big display of smaller quilts and miscellaneous pieces.  That jacket was the only garment in the show.
The next quilt is a group project by WOW bee members.  I have shown this to my art quilt bee as a possible challenge in the future.  Each member designed a centered floral block with a common color scheme.  Blocks were then quartered and redistributed resulting in six unique blocks.  Each block owner put her final quilting and embellishments on her block.
WOW x 6, Made by Pat Hopkins, Quilted by WOW members

More next time!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Whacky Ladies Quilt Bee

I am really behind in my quilt-related posts!  The Whacky Ladies met in Franklinton on March 7.  Here is some of the Show-and-Tell that we enjoyed.

This large sampler quilt is by Lori Mann.  It's not quilted yet, actually, but isn't it pretty?
Lori also made a tote bag from a Cathedral Window quilt remnant that someone gave her.
Mary had several beautiful items of show-and-tell.  First up was this star quilt made from a pattern.
Mary likes to make quilts from large pieces of beautiful fabric to which she adds a border.
She also pieced this floral quilt.
Finally, she brought us a pieced top to see if we liked her sashing fabric.
We did!
Sharon had several projects to show.  One was a St. Patrick's Day wall quilt that was not quite finished in time for our March quilt bee.
We all had purse envy for the great-looking bag that Sharon made.
The afternoon before the meeting, I took Kasey for a walk along a new section of greenway in Wake Forest that connects with the Neuse River Trail.  There is a huge pedestrian bridge over the water.
Standing on the bride affords some great views of the river.
I love seeing the reflections in the water.

I thought that we might run across some deer in this woodsy natural area.  Nada...but I found out why on the way home.
All the deer had gone for brunch at this grassy field right next to the Credit Union on Rogers Road!