Oh my goodness - it was such FUN to find out that I had won first place in the Group Quilts category of the International Quilt Association (IQA) show in Houston this month! The suspense just gave me butterflies in my tummy on the night that the awards were announced.... they started out with an Honorable Mention (not mine), then Third Place (not mine... tension rising!), then Second Place (not mine... oh my goodness - I GOT FIRST...), then FIRST PLACE. Many thanks go to the IQA for hosting such a wonderful quilt show, to the judges for their hard work in choosing from amongst so many beautiful quilts, to the sponsors (APQS Sponsored Group Quilts -- these sponsors put their profits into promoting quilting!), and of course to my friends. Some of you already know, but 5 blocks were made by dear friends who asked if they could each applique a block for me in order to help me meet a deadline. They are Jerrianne Evans, Cynthia Clark, Pat Cotter, Georgann Wrinkle, and Marsha Fuller. I have long said that the growth of quilting is founded in the fact that quilters form much-needed supportive communities - and this quilt is a small example of that.
And here is another of my quilts that was juried into the show: Lily Rosenberry. It did not win a ribbon, but that did not bother me one iota. It is an honor to be juried into this show, and the judges have a difficult time selecting the winners from a select set of quilts -- I have no argument over any of their decisions, nor should others.
In future blogs, I will be showing pictures of other quilts from the quilt show -- but here were two of my favorites. The first, below, was made by Melinda Bula and is called And Our Flag Was Still There. It brought tears to my eyes -- in her words: "Attending my son's graduation from Marine Boot Camp in August, 2010, I was moved by the young men who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. I consider myself patriotic, but nothing prepared me for that day. This is for all the families like mine, who raised proud and devoted young Americans who have and will continue to protect the United States and what it represents, with their lives." The quilt is phenomenal!
And the quilt below caught my eye -- the wooly bear was so realistic! I make it a practice to take a photo of the page identifying the quilt, its maker, and the caption about the quilt but in this instance, I somehow failed to take that picture... so I cannot identify this quilt's maker. Nonetheless, I love this quilt - and the fact that it has a very uneven border on it. That takes skill!
As I said, I'll post more photos later - right now I'm in a rush to get back to the convention center to pick up my quilts! Before I close though, here is just a quick breezy trip through what I've been working on this month. First, I am continuing with the great block-of-the-week program offered by Homestead Hearth - but I'm making SEVEN of each block. That means that at year's end, I will have over 350 blocks! What am I going to do with them? Two of them are being exchanged with a friend in the program, one will go to my guild's auction... and the remaining four... I will figure out how to set them all differently! Here's the stack so far -- 38 weeks times seven...
and here are the past week's blocks. They are easy and fun to make!
I'm also working on some 3-inch basket blocks. They are so very fast to make. I don't know what I'll do with these yet -- either set them in some nice array, or perhaps use them as sashing strips, or perhaps use them as a border around a set of basket blocks. Time will tell me what to do with them, but they are mostly just a nice "take along" project that I can stuff in my purse and work on at my leisure.
Finally, I want to show you what I finished this morning. You may recall that I showed a challenge that one of my bees decided to take on -- I drew a tulip vase design (12" square block), and the group agreed to each take the design and change it, colorize it, modify it, etc., in whatever way they wished. When everyone is finished, I'll share the set - but so far I've seen it enlarged as a 24" block with a border, shrunk to an 8" block and paired with 3 others to make a wall quilt, set on point as a 12" block... and someone is even making pieced basket blocks and just using the tulips in the border. Quilters are so creative! My choice was to enlarge the block to a humongous 36 inches... And then to make four of them!! So here's the quilt; it measures a hefty 84 inches square...
It's certainly different - but I love it's obnoxious colors! One might wonder how I got all those blocks to be cut square and more-or-less "centered" in the 36 inches. Well... my little pea brain had this idea! Just take my 20-1/2" ruler and mark the vase on it with a dry-erase marker!
I then marked the corner point with a pencil (don't forget to include the quarter-inch seam allowance!) so that if the ruler slipped, I'd know it.
And for each block, I just laid the ruler onto the block, lined up the dry-erase vase marked on the ruler, and cut the block out. Easy enough, I'd say! I love it when a plan comes together!
Okay, friends - that's all for now. I will be back in just a couple days... Quiltmaker's One Hundred Blocks Blog Tour begins in just a day or two and you'll be hearing from me again then!
I am a quilt designer who loves all aspects of quilting. Applique is my first love, but I am also very fond of complex, intricately pieced quilts. You can see many of my designs on my website -- WWW.COMEQUILT.COM. And if you want to contact me, send an email to: SHGARMAN @ VERIZON.NET. Take a look around and come back often - I hope to inspire you with my work!