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Quilted Beauty, 2013

Quilted Beauty, 2013 thumbnail

Last week I went to the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, California. PIQF is a large show (at least, the largest one I’ve been to) and always features an exhibit of quilts from top international quilters. Seeing the work of these consummate artists is humbling for an everyday quilter like me, but it’s also inspiring. I took some photos and thought you might like to see just a taste of the different styles on display at the show. Here’s a crazy quilt stitched in 1885. I loved the owls:

Crazy Quilt from 1885

Crazy Quilt from 1885

Here’s a modern take on the Log Cabin quilt, In the Shadow of the Gardener I, by June Atherton:

In the Shadow of the Gardener I Janet Atherton

A New York Beauty variation called Rainbow for Tucker, by Kimberly D. Hess. Check out the pattern of the quilting:

Rainbow for Tucker Quilt Kimberly D. Hess

It’s hard to convey how perfectly fresh and springy these applique flowers looked.  The quilt is aptly named Springtime in the Garden, by Terri Schneider.

Springtime in the Garden Quilt Terri SchneiderAnd how about this whole cloth quilt, Susanna in Waiting, by Kathleen M. Collins? The image was drawn on the fabric with ink and colored pencil:

Susanna in Waiting Quilt If I get industrious, I’ll post some more glorious quilts later in the week.


Friendship Star Quilt Block: Yet Another Take thumbnail

Friendship Star Quilt Block 4

I found this sweet red-and-white Friendship Star block a couple of days ago in a pile of the blocks I inherited from a longtime quilter.  Two things set  this block apart from the basic Friendship Star (tutorial here):

Friendship Star Quilt Block 2 Large or this easy variation:Friendship Star Quilt Block 3 Color Large

  1. The contrasting triangles in the four corners of the block.
  2. The quarter-square triangle in the center.

The finished block looks almost like a cross between the basic Friendship Star and a Snowball block. I’ve got to try this in a quilt sometime soon.


Log Cabin Baby Quilt

Log Cabin Baby Quilt thumbnail

This little Log Cabin quilt (30″ x 42″) is going to my new step-niece, Allison. I bought the Log Cabin blocks on Ebay years ago and decided to assemble them as part of my “clean the sewing room by making new projects” initiative. This is a limited success as a cleanup measure, but it does feel good to finish projects that have been hanging around for months or even years, waiting to be made.

The quilt is made with a puffy polyester batting for softness and warmth, and backed with my last piece of a flowered flannel I’ve always really liked: Log Cabin Baby Quilt Flannel Backing

 The batting came as part of the treasure trove of things I inherited from a long-time quilter who died last summer at age 95. The various histories of the quilt components make this quilt a memory quilt for me, even though it will be completely new to the little recipient. Just one of the wonderful things about quilting, isn’t it?


Work in Progress Wednesday: Still Mardi Gras in the Sewing Room thumbnail

Flying Geese Pinwheel Quilt Block

I recently received a treasure trove of quilting supplies from my daughter’s cheerleading coach. The coach’s  grandmother died at age 95 last summer. She was a dedicated quilter and quilted right up to the very end. When I went through her boxes of fabric, trim, finished blocks, buttons, templates, and all the miscellany of a quilter’s life, I found a completed Mardi Gras quilt top with the batting already cut and layered. It just needed to be basted and quilted.

My daughter’s coach and her grandmother had been very close, and I knew she would like to have one of her grandmother’s quilts. So I offered to finish the quilt for her. That’s what I’ve been working on (with a several-week hiatus because of a stiff hip that gets worse when I sew.)

Here’s just one of the Mardi Gras blocks. Each one uses different fabrics. I used two of my new sewing machine’s decorative stitches to quilt the inner seams of the pinwheel, then a small stipple on the white section. I’m going to use different decorative stitches on the orange, yellow, purple and green sections. I’ve done the stippling on two blocks and have ten more to go. Sometimes I wonder why I open my big mouth and volunteer to do things like these, but I know that in the end I’ll be happy and so will the coach.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced today for Work in Progress Wednesday.



Work in Progress Wednesday: Pink Baby Rag Quilt thumbnail

I’m cheating a bit by posting this on Work in Progress Wednesday, because this little baby quilt is actually as finished as it will ever be, but here it is!

Pink Baby Rag QuiltThis quilt was part of a pink reduction project I’ve been carrying out in my sewing room. I’m trying to shrink the size of my fabric stash, starting with some of my less favorite colors, which means pink. The backing squares are scrap pieces of the polar fleece I use to back most of my quilts. I really like using a few different colors and mixing them up. It makes an interesting “sashed” effect on the front of the quilt.

Here’s another view of the quilt, wiht apologies for the poor lighting:

Pink Baby Rag Quilt Flat

The quilt may be finished, but the pink reduction project goes on — that’s the work in progress part. I think my next move will be to make a pink pinwheel quilt. Pink and pinwheels go together like… like ice cream and chocolate sauce.

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced today. If you’re a Freshly Pieced visitor, please leave me a comment, and I’ll come over and visit your blog.




Roman Stripes String Quilt

Roman Stripes String Quilt thumbnail

Roman STripes String Quilt FoldedLike many of my quilts, this newly finished quilt has been a long time in the making. Roman Stripes is a pattern that used to be popular with Amish quilters (and may still be, although I didn’t see it when I visited Pennsylvania Dutch country a few years ago.) I adapted the pattern by making the striped half of the blocks from fabric strings. I started out with this pile of scraps:Scrap Pileand began making string quilt blocks a couple of years ago. Then I spent some time considering which fabric to use for the “plain” half  of the Roman Stripes block. In the end, I chose this dark maroon. Audition Block

Next, I made a bunch of blocks, then lost about half of them somewhere in my sewing room. After much searching, they have yet to be found. Someone will dig them out from behind a piece of furniture after my funeral, I guess.

This week I got a new head of steam. I made enough new string blocks to complete the quilt, then laid them out:Roman Stripes Quilt Blocks Laid out

Sewing them together was positively exciting, because it was the first project I did on my brand new sewing machine, a Janome Memory Craft 8900.  janome_8900The same goes for the binding, because I got to use my new decorative stitches for the first time. Here’s a detail that I hope shows you the blanket stitch and floral stitch I used to secure the binding.

Roman Stripes String Quilt Detail 2

Here’s another detail view just for the fun of it:

013And here’s the finished quilt. It’s very satisfying to see scraps turned into something beautiful. Roman Stripes String Quilt


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