Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Summer Vacation


We’ll see how this month’s blog goes, but I don’t feel like it will be very lengthy.  Want to know why?!  My family, my sister’s family, and some neighbors all went an Alaskan cruise at the beginning of the month.  It was fabulous!  Seriously, a vacation of a lifetime.  We saw so many beautiful sights and so much wildlife, and learned so much about the history of Alaska, the glaciers, the flora and fauna… best trip EVER!  I even got to visit a quilt shop in Skagway.  LOL!  Pardon me for sharing a few of my favorite photos from the trip…

Dawes Glacier at the end of Endicott Arm Fjord.
Just walking around taking a few photos on Meade Glacier.
Watching whales in Juneau.

A mama bear and three yearlings in Tongass National Forest in Juneau.

Rainforest in Ketchikan.

Don’t forget that the Texas Quilt Museum is hosting an exhibit of Mom’s quilts this summer.  It opened last week, and runs all the way until September 30.  If you’re in Texas, or can make your way down, make sure to stop by.  I know Mary and I will be planning at least one road trip this summer, if not more!


Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas.
Remember my friend, Sheila, who I started teaching to quilt last month?  She’s finished not just one, but TWO quilt tops since then!  And, we made a trip out to Painted Pony 'n Quilts this last weekend to pick out fabrics for her next two.  They’ll both be from Joyce Lundrigan’s All-in-One Club, which I’m a part of.  I want the practice using her patterns, but haven’t had time to make the tops yet.  So, Sheila has agreed to make a couple of the tops in exchange for my quilting.  It’s a win-win!

Myrtle's Broken Dishes from Connecting Threads

Toile de Jouy quilt from Connecting Threads
And finally, yes, I did actually get a couple of quilty things done this month.  First, remember that baby stars from last month?  I got almost all of the colored pieces cut out.  Whew!  If you know me, you know I hate cutting, and that was a lot of cutting.  Are you wondering why I said “almost” got the pieces all cut?  It’s because we haven’t picked the colors for the last few months of our exchange.  Again, if you know me, I have some pretty OCD tendencies with things like this, and it’s driving me absolutely nuts to not know.  I mean, how am I supposed to mix and match centers and points evenly when I don’t know the last few colors???  LOL!  I’m still working on getting this month’s set of stars sewn together, but I’ve at least got most of the parts sewn together, and it’s only the first week of July.

All my little pieces cut out, minus the last three months!

My July set of stars, close to being complete!
Last but not least, I finished quilting that Christmas Halo quilt that will be up for sale at the Lakeview Quilters Guild’s auction next month.  Wow!  I used Joyce Lundrigan quilting patterns for almost the entire thing (the exception being the cornerstones), and I think it turned out absolutely gorgeous!  I was so worried about my thread color choices and pattern selection, but in the end, I’m totally happy with the final product.  And it is all for a good cause… support of my guild.

I do have another quilt top that I’ll be loading up to quilt tonight.  It’s a really cute red, black, and white top, again for the guild’s auction.  I think this one will be a pretty edge-to-edge design, and I’ll play around with black and white variegated thread.  Pictures of the finished product to be posted next month!

Another quilt that I'll be quilting for the guild's auction next month.
That’s all I’ve got for now.

See y’all next month.  Keep on quilting!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

School's Out for Summer

It's hot in Texas, as usual, we've already had a named storm in the Gulf, and both my son and my husband (a teacher) are getting to sleep in every day now.  It must be summer!!!  I was so relieved and overwhelmed by my guild's quilt show being over that it took me a week or two to get back into the swing of things again.  My brain, I think, needed a little time to rest and think about nothing!  But, that didn't last too long.  Let's see, what can I show y'all this month?

Let's start with something that I actually checked off of my list this month.  To start, I put another border on my medallion quilt.  Yippee!  I started this quilt a little over two years ago, when I took Winnie Fleming's Ultimate Borders class with Mom.  Since then, it's basically been sitting in a box, waiting for me to pick it up again.  I can officially say that I've picked it up again, and I'm still loving the colors and the way it's shaping up!  There's only one more border left to do (plus another floater border) before it's finished.  The last border will be half Lonestars, using the same colors as the center Lonestar.  It'll be gorgeous, although I'm not looking forward to all of those y-seams!

Another border complete on my medallion quilt!
Speaking of medallions and Lonestars, here's a photo of my friend Cynthia's medallion quilt.  In the photo, she's auditioning a nice dark print for the setting triangles.  My medallion quilt is similar in setup to hers, except for some of the middle border choices... and the colors, of course.  She's almost finished and I'm not scared admit that I'm a little jealous of all those finished half Lonestars!  So pretty!

Testing setting triangle fabrics on Cynthia's medallion quilt.
Back to stuff I've been checking off!  I've been participating in Barbara Brackman's Antebellum Album block-of-the-month group this year, and had fallen behind.  Actually, I was just putting it off because Month 3 was a block with about a bazillion y-seams in it!  Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it scared me to death.  I finally decided to go for it, and got it done!  I'll admit that I had to rip out some seams and restitch because it was looking too lumpy for my taste, but I'm happy with the final outcome.  I also finished the Month 4 block, and will start working on Month 5 in the next couple of weeks.

Antebellum Album Month 3 - Friendship Star

Antebellum Album Month 4 - Quaker Pride
I also got a couple of community service quilts done.  The first is a brightly colored string quilt.  I played with variegated thread on this one, since it was already so colorful, and I like how it turned out.  I'm most proud of the second one.  I practiced my custom quilting skills and used several Joyce Lundrigan patterns, which I'm absolutely in LOVE with!  The borders are fantastic, and the blocks are gorgeous.  I'm going to have to make a duplicate quilt to keep for myself!

Community Service string quilt.

Close up of Community Service string quilt.

Community Service custom quilted.

Close up of Community Service custom quilted.

Back of Community Service custom quilted.

Now, on to what I've started this month.  I know I have enough already started to keep me busy for years, but sometimes I just can't help myself!  A couple of quilter friends and I have started doing an exchange of teeny tiny, 2-inch (finished) stars, to make the quilt Stardust from the book Every Last Piece by Lynn Harris.  It's such a beautiful quilt!  We're going for a smaller version, more twin size than queen size, only because we want to finish in our lifetimes.  It takes me about an hour per star, and we're making 15 stars each month so we'll finish toward the end of next year.  Whew!  It will be gorgeous!!!

My set of tiny test stars.  Pay no attention to the one with the off-kilter point.

Month 1's stars complete!
I also started teaching my very good friend, Sheila, how to quilt!  After going to my guild's show, she said she wanted to give it a try, so I sent her to Connecting Threads to pick an easy-to-make kit.  She came over and spent a whole day cutting, learning to use my machine (a Bernina 930), and stitching her heart out.  She's hooked!  And I think her husband is hooked as well... he's been researching sewing machines and has already found her a good 930 to buy for herself!  I can't wait to see my fledgling quilter finish her first quilt!!!

A very proud Sheila with her first completed block.
A project that I'll be starting (and finishing) very soon is this Christmas Halo quilt.  The halo star blocks were made by Mom.  Our friend Becky put them together in this beautiful wall hanging size quilt top.  I'll be quilting it and then we'll put it in our guild's annual auction to raise money for the guild.  Knowing the plans I have for quilting it, I may have to bid on it myself!

Christmas Halo wall hanging, not yet quilted.
Very last thing to note... the Texas Quilt Museum folks were here this week to pick up 30 of Mom's quilts for an exhibit there this summer.  The exhibit will run from June 28 through September 30, so if you're in Texas in the next few months, make sure you drop by to check out the show.  It should be a good one!

See y'all next month.  Keep on quilting!
Jenny Arkinson

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Celebrating Sue!

Whew!  I am exhausted after a VERY full month of finishing up my quilts to hang in my guild's quilt show, and helping out with the show itself.  The theme of the show was "Celebrating Sue!" so there were a lot of quilts that were her patterns, or were inspired by her.  It was awesome.  The show ended yesterday, and that's the focus of this month's post... some of the winning quilts, some of which were mine!  These are my very first ribbons, and I was awarded four.  So amazing and exciting!

I want to start with the Best of Theme winner, which also received a First Place for Hand Appliqued Made by 2 or More Persons.  This is The Grape Quilt, made by Jerrianne Evans, and quilted by Cindy Gravely.  This is one of Mom's patterns that hadn't been released yet, only because we didn't have a finished quilt to put on the cover.  We do now!  It's an absolutely stunning quilt, with a whopping 1620 grapes appliqued onto the vines.  I just can't express how much I love this quilt!  If you're interested in making your own, check out the pattern on our website: The Grape Quilt.

The Grape Quilt by Jerrianne Evans
Next up, we have the Best in Show winner, which also received First Place Pieced Quilt Made by 2 or More Persons (Large).  This is Another Halo for Sue, made by Sharon Meyer and quilted by LeeAnn Lively.  This is another of Sue's patterns, the Halo Medallion Quilt.  Beautiful!
Another Halo for Sue, by Sharon Meyer
The quilt that received the Merit Machine Quilting ribbon and a Judge's Recognition ribbon is absolutely incredible.  This is Butterfly, made and quilted by Marcia Henry.  The quilting is so intricate and beautiful.  It's no wonder she received the merit ribbon for her work here.

Butterfly by Marcia Henry

Closeup of Butterfly by Marcia Henry

Closeup of Butterfly by Marcia Henry
Switching to a much more whimsical quilting style, here is Whatever, made and quilted by Karen Shively.  The bright colors and characters are so fun, and the quilting is really cool and different.  The characters are supposed to represent guild board members.  LOL!
Whatever by Karen Shively
The quilt that took Second Place Hand Appliqued One Person is another that is based on a Sue Garman pattern, Baltimore Squared, using the Cherry Wreath block.  This is The Cherry Wreath, made and quilted by Lee Ann Lively.

The Cherry Wreath by LeeAnn Lively
Miniatures!  I do love the tiny quilts, and it seems like that's been my focus for the last year or two.  Maybe it's because I can finish one so much more quickly than a large quilt.  First Place Miniature went to Cynthia Clark for Mini Hugs and Kisses, a tiny version, as its name suggests, of Sue's Hugs and Kisses quilt.  So cute!  And those little, teeny, hand appliqued blocks are impossible to imagine doing myself, not to mention that little, teeny crosshatching!
Mini Hugs and Kisses by Cynthia Clark
I got both Second Place Miniature and Third Place Miniature, for Rings of Love and Baby Bear, respectively.  I was floored! 
Rings of Love by Jenny Arkinson
Baby Bear by Jenny Arkinson
And that leads right into Mama Bear and Papa Bear, which received ribbons for Third Place Pieced Quilt Small Made by One Person and Honorable Mention Pieced Quilt Small Made by One Person.  The whole Goldilocks family got ribbons!!!  I'm thinking very seriously about creating a pattern for these cuties, so folks can create their own Three Bears!
Mama Bear by Jenny Arkinson
Papa Bear by Jenny Arkinson
We had a pair of fraternal twins win First Place Pieced Quilt Small One Person and Second Place Pieced Quilt Small One Person.  They are both based on the pattern Surprisingly Red by Jacqueline de Jonge.  First went to Surprisingly Cool, made and quilted by Dana Robbins.  Second went to Disco Rainbow, made and quilted by Judy Smith.  It's really fun to see pairs together like this, where you can really see different color choices up close.
Surprisingly Cool by Dana Robbins
Disco Rainbow by Judy Smith
Jerrianne Evans received another ribbon for her Reels quilt.  It was made by Jerrianne and Marci Henry, and quilting by Marci Henry.  This quilt received Second Place Mixed Technique 2 or More Persons.  I love the color choices, the symmetry, and the quilting.
Reels by Jerrianne Evans and Marci Henry
There was another Halo Medallion quilt that received a ribbon, this one for First Place Pieced Quilt Large Made by One Person.  This is Halo Medallion, made and quilted by Peggy Richards.  I love the colors that she chose for this version.  It makes me think of the beach, or a nice summer day.
Halo Medallion by Peggy Richards
Second Place in that same category went to Cynthia Clark for Bubble Gum Beauty.  This quilt is a pink and brown version of Sue's Sleeping Beauty quilt.  I love the colors and how it turned out.  Beautiful!
Bubble Gum Beauty by Cynthia Clark
The last quilts I want to show are the youth quilts, all of which receive a ribbon.  I really enjoy seeing our young people getting into quilting at a young age.  Here we have Scrappy Fox, made by Brooklynne Ford and quilted by Belinda Soderberg; New Beginnings, made by Sofia and Marcia Henry and quilted by Marcia Henry; and A Child's Fantasy, made and quilted by Amanda Lively.
Scrappy Fox by Brooklynne Ford
New Beginnings by Sofia Henry

A Child's Fantasy by Amanda Lively
I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of the Lakeview Quilters Guild 2018 Quilt Show.  I didn't post all of the quilts, or even all of the winners or all of the categories.  It would have been too much!  See you next month!

Keep on quilting!
Jenny Arkinson

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spring Retreat!

As you may already know, my guild, Lakeview Quilters Guild, has a retreat every spring in Galveston, Texas.  A nice size group of quilters, somewhere between 80 and 90 this year, settle in for four and half wonderful days of solid quilting and camaraderie.  So, this month's blog is nothing about me and my work, and everything about the awesome projects and inspiration that I saw at the retreat!

First up are a couple of quilts that my friend Becky Stephenson has been working on.  The top one is a square in square quilt that she and a group of friends did an exchange with, and she recently finished.  The colors and movement of the quilt are just mesmerizing to me.  Note that the white "border" isn't really a border.  The squares are all sewn on-point, and then white triangles are added to the ends to square up the quilt.  It turns out creating an imaginary border! 

The quilt just below that one is the center block that she's been working on for the Happy Trails quilt by Pearl Pereira at P3 Designs.  Being a native Texan, I can't help but love a boot filled with yellow roses and bluebonnets!

Becky's Square in Square Quilt
Becky's Happy Trails center block.
This next quilt is an Aggie quilt made by Sara Genoa.  And, she hand quilted it!  I went to Texas A&M, so Aggies are near and dear to me.  And all of those little words quilted into the border just stole my heart!
Sara's Aggie Quilt

Closeup of Sara's quilting.
Speaking of Aggie quilts, my friend Cynthia Clark spent most of her retreat time working on one for her soon-to-be step-grandson.  It will be a beautiful Aggie log cabin!

A stack of Cynthia's log cabin blocks in work.

Cynthia's first finished block!
This Bed of Roses quilt has a very unique story.  The blocks were made by Deborah Salisbury, who had Alzheimer's disease and was unable to finish the quilt.  The blocks were given to Marlene Lewis, who asked Mom for help with it.  Mom helped her to square up the blocks and figure out how to put it together.  I think she even cut some of the sashings for her.  I think it turned out just lovely, and I love the story that goes with it.
Deborah's and Marlene's Bed of Roses
Sometimes, we start new projects at retreat after seeing something inspirational in the room with us.  That happened here!  This first picture is a block that Carolyn Hooks made, called Far West.  She and a group of quilters exchanged fabrics only and made their own blocks.  Becky saw the block and really liked the look of it.  But, she thought it would sure be nice in a smaller scale.  Becky's sister, Jerrianne went ahead and made her a small version.  So cute!  I think we may have to make a full size quilt of small blocks!
Carolyn's Far West block
Jerrianne's/Becky's mini Far West block
We also have non-quilt items that are inspiring.  Here we have a small sewing case that Johnnie Nottingham made for Holly Cagle.  Look at all of that embroidery and detail.  It's absolutely gorgeous!
Holly's sewing case, outside.

Holly's sewing case, inside.
This next quilt, I think Mom would have loved!  Linda Ainsworth took her Bunny Block Sampler blocks and took them to a whole new level.  She added multiple borders and tons of embellishments, and she's working on hand quilting it.  Beautiful!
Linda's Bunny Block Sampler quilt.

Linda's Santa Bunny, with embellished gift sack.

Linda's Halloween Bunny with pumpkins, a spider, and almost Mardi Gras-like mask.

Linda's Thanksgiving Bunny, with added turkey and carrots.
Marci Henry actually finished a quilt at retreat (something I always wish I could say).  I have an affinity for blue quilts, and this is no exception.  I love it!
Marci's blue pineapple top quilt.
Nancy Ferverda made this lovely Shabby Vintage Rose quilt using pink and purple fabrics.  I like the look of sampler type quilts like this.
Nancy's Shabby Vintage Rose quilt.
This next quilt caught my eye when Jeanne Whittle put it up on a design wall.  The bright colors and waves going both vertically and horizontally add so much interest and movement. 
Jeanne's Crown Jewels using the X block.
And as soon as Jeanne's quilt came down to be sewn together, Mary Ann Alexander put this next quilt up, with even brighter colors.  This pattern is called Gemstone by Henry Glass.  Again, the movement and colors draw me in and make me want to keep staring.
Mary Ann's Gemstone quilt.
And yet another eye catcher was this Chains quilt that Phyllis Grounds was working on.  Lovely florals in soothing colors.  I can imagine myself wrapped up in the finished quilt, keeping warm by a cozy fire.
Phyllis' Chains quilt.
Last but not least, this quilt top is one that Mom purchased several years ago for $20, and it wasn't all put together when she purchased it.  A group of quilters has since completed the top and finished the applique that wasn't quite finished.  It will be quilted and up for auction in our guild's annual auction this August.  I'd guess it'll bring the guild a nice sum of money.  So pretty!
Antique quilt top.

Antique quilt top
That's all for this month.  I hope you enjoyed viewing some of the works of art from my retreat, and maybe got some inspiration of your own.  Have a fantastic April, and I'll see you next month!

Keep on sewing!