Saturday, June 1, 2013

Quilt Friendships

I love blogs.  I can get lost in them.  That's the problem... I can also waste a lot of time - but is learning, being inspired, and seeing what everyone else is doing a waste of time?  I think not.  Facebook?  Well, that's another story.  I haven't figured out their real value.  Yet.  I'm not in a hurry to learn, either.
So, this month, I am once again behind on all of my projects.  Nothing has gotten finished, little has gotten started, and yet the first of the month came rapping on my door.  Hello?  Anybody home?  I was out of town for most of the week (more on that, later), and when I got home, a blog post from a friend of mine popped up on my laptop:  Denise Green (an amazing friend and longarm quilter) had just posted photos from her trip over to see the quilt show in Kerrville, Texas. 
Here's what I found interesting about her post:  since she's a longarm quilter, her view of quilts is different than mine.  So are her photos and comments.  I emailed Denise and asked if I could use her blog for my blog.  Answer:  "I'd be honored!"  I'm actually the one that was honored by her quick and positive response.  What I thought I'd do is to show you all of her photos along with her comments... and then add my own comments.  It's interesting to see how we both view the same quilts.  If you want to catch up on Denise's blog directly, you can find it here:  Let's get this conversation started, now.  Denise's words are in italics.  Mine are plain old straight up and down.
D:  We arrived at the show and my friend, Susie, met us there.  She is a member of the Hill Country Quilt Guild and had a few quilts in the show (with ribbons on them!).  One of Susie’s quilts – I quilted this for her – her quilts are a delight to quilt – she is very good piecer and I love her colors and pattern choices!
S:  I love how Denise quilts Judy Neimeyer quilts -- she honors the pattern but adds her own spin with feathers, spikes, swirls, and unique designs.  The color choices on this one are great.

D:  (This is) Susie’s Prairie Star (a pattern) – yes there is a ribbon on the right side!
S:  Well deserved, I'd say!
D:  I quilted the quilt below for Susie earlier this year – I really enjoyed this one!  What I enjoyed almost as much was I sent her my king-size triple 4-patch to quilt and I just got it back.  That was a GREAT TRADE!
S:  I love the soft colors in Susie's "Love is in the Air" quilt.  It's from a Lori Smith pattern.  I especially love the use of all those golds and blues and browns in the sashing strips.  Are those are four-patch sashings?  Yes!
D:  (Susie) added the pieced sashings as well as the applique border. The pattern had plain sashing and border.
S:  I love those sashing strips.  I wish I could think of things like that!  This picture needs to go into my folder of "great ideas."  Susie machine appliqued the non-pieced blocks/borders.  She did a nice job with that.


D:  This quilt of Susie’s ("Sew Many Colors") was made as a block of the month from Pinwheels and Posies.  Each block is the same (except for fabric placement), Susie quilted this one!

S:  Pinwheels and Posies is a local quilt shop in Dickinson, Texas.  They did this block of the month a while back and it clearly turned out nice.  If Denise hadn't pointed it out to me, I don't think I would have noticed that the blocks are all identical.  There's a lesson in there for all of us about the importance of value (how light or dark a color is), as it can have a dramatic effect on what a block looks like when you are finished making it.

D:  Another student, Linda B, was also working at the show and had a ribbon (or 2) on her Glacier Star Quilt that was started in a class I taught at Pinwheels and Posies.  I love how she added to the main body of the quilt with her “tucked” border and this beautiful Jason Yenter print.
S:  If you have a chance to take a Judy Niemeyer class from Denise (her workshop schedule is posted on her blog), it's worth the trip.  Denise is an excellent teacher with endless patience for anyone and everyone.  In general, I'm not a fan of "cheater cloth" pre-printed borders and blocks.  The border on this quilt, though, is really wonderful and frames the quilt nicely!! 

D:  Kim’s quilting (her longarm business is called "A Busy Bobbin") was honored with the ribbon for Best Machine Quilting – WELL DESERVED!  Our local longarm bee is excited to have Kim as our speaker Monday night at our monthly meeting.  She and Linda B. will be joining us and talking about the rulers Kim uses and how she fills all that empty space with all of that gorgeous quilting.

S:  I am spoiled rotten by living in an area filled with quilters -- Denise started a longarm bee quite a while back, before it seemed that nearly everyone had some sort of quilting machine.  She schedules speakers every month for the members -- and I can't wait to go to hear from this speaker.  Look at the unique combination of quilting designs in this quilt....

D:  (Here is...) Linda's sweet mini!

S:  Sometimes it's the little things that count, right?  I want to point out that the Kerrville guild puts a wooden clothespin on every quilt.  Quilt show attendees can then grab the clothespin to see the back of any quilt without having to hunt down a white-glove lady.  What a great idea!

D:  I took several pictures of quilts that I enjoyed the setting of the blocks.  I love how (Holly Nelson) set these blocks.

S:  I love the wonderful quilt edge, too.  And setting those blocks inside a scalloped circle... wow.  Holly designed these blocks for an applique class she taught in Fredricksburg, Texas.

D:  Here's another great way to set blocks.

S:  Love the blocks.  I wondered where Holly Nelson planned to put this piece and was able to read the tag on her quilt, which said she designed this quilt for applique classes in Bandera, Texas - and the layout was an "experiment" as she's running of space for wall hangings. 

D:  This is a great setting for those hexie blocks.

S:  I love the rich reds against those deep gray-greens and yellow-greens.  The information on this quilt says that "Perseverence" was made by Merry Ann Rothe and quilted by Donna Scofield.  The pattern is from "Quilts from Grandmother's Garden" by Jaynette Huff.  This is a delightful quilt and the quilting makes it come alive.

D:  I love Stephanie Brandeburgs panels – I like how this quiltmaker broke up the panel.

S:  Carol Pope made "My Summer Garden" by using a 22 by 44" panel because she liked its shape and design.  Her quilt was quilted by Donna Scofield (I hope I read that right; the label was pretty blurry...).  I am always amazed when people can take something like this big panel and have the confidence to slice it up and add some long pieced and printed strips.  It's wonderful!

D:  Great bargello quilt – I love the addition of the leaves in the border.

S:   You're right Denise - this is a great combination of a contemporary bargello design and a set of classic pieced blocks.  Don't you love the little green piping between the outer border and the binding?  Little additions like that make the difference between a good quilt and a great quilt.  And the quilting is wonderful, with feathers ruffling their way across the bargello and a great leaf shape on the maple leaves.


D:  And the quilting ideas I find at shows!

S:  I have so much to learn!  Denise is right - the quilting is phenomenal and offers lots of unique ideas for quilting; it changes from feathers to pumpkin seeds to cross-hatching without missing a beat.  "Pottery II" was entered by Linda Humphrey, who says this was a "pass around" project of the Sew Bee It Bee.  Linda made the center block and then passed it to each bee member to add a border.  Other bee members include Helen Ridgway, Anita Crane, Holly Nelson, Marilyn Lampman, Ro Molder, Isabelle Tolliver, and Marvene Wallace.  The finished quilt is 38 by 21 inches.  And it won a Judge's Choice ribbon!

D:  Amazing quilting!

S:  Absolutely.  Great ideas here!

D:  Gorgeous quilting!

S:  Ditto!  This quilt, called "Walking Home," was made by Julie Schlichting.

D:  Awesome quilting!

S:  Tremendous!  This 16 by 18 inch quilt, called "Desert Hills," was made by Jane Kutach.  It was inspired by a workshop with Karen Eckmeier in 2012.

D:  More quilting to love!

S:  I do!
D:  Quilting!

S:  This is a great example of how to fill a square without just doing "doodling" in it!

D: And these were just fun quilts; the colors are probably what draws me in.  Love the colors for the Wild Goose Chase – a pattern by 

S:  I was attracted to the design (how did they do those flying geese -- I would assume paper piecing?).  And I love that diagonal border!



D:  Love the color in this one too!  Great block!
S:  Yes - this block is incredible, both in the body of the quilt and in the border.  My bucket list has a Lemoyne Star quilt in it.... hand pieced with 3 or 4 inch stars. 

D:  Isn't this little mini pretty?

S:  I love the rich reds and greens.  This quilt is another round robin quilt, with each person (Marvene Wallace - owner - and Anita Crane, Linda Humphrey, Marilyn Lampman, Ro Molder, Holly Nelson, Helen Ridgeway, and Isabella Tolliver) adding a border.  The entire process took 8 months to complete.  That's dedication!

D:  Bright and colorful...

S:  Yes - and a lot of work!

D:  I love the poppies on this grey scale quilt (that's hubby in the photo).

S:  This is another beauty!  Kerrville has some pretty wonderful quilters in its midst!

D:  This was a group quilt.  They started with a photo, cut it apart.  Each member of the group was given a section of the photo to reproduce in cloth - and now you see the quilt put back together.  I think this would be really fun to do - what do you think?

S:  These quilts have always intrigued me.  I see them all the time in the Group Quilt category at the Houston quilt show... and they are stunning!  This quilt is called "Infinity Interrupted" and was made by Wanna Bee members.

D:  See the seams?  This shows where each member's work was added!

D:  I am not usually a fan of T-shirt quilts - but this one I love!  This was a wonderful t-shirt quilt!

S:  I agree Denise -- I love the random way the t-shirts were added.

D:  And of course, I left the BEST for the last - Best of Show went to this beautiful quilt - this pattern is Ladies of the Sea by Sue Garman.  Sue is a friend of mine and she was working on this quilt when we travelled to Brigham City, Utah, a few years back.  If I remember correctly, the compass corner stones were inspired by some wall art in the facility where she was teaching (I went as her helper because I am originally from Utah).  It is a marvel to watch Sue work - she is AMAZING!  I hope Sue will enjoy the substitution this quilt maker made to the original quilt.  The submarine honors a family member if I remember correctly.

D:  (Here is a) substitution to the original quilt (which is all tall ships).

S:  What a gorgeous rendition of this pattern!  I love when people personalize quilts and make them speak to themselves or their families or their experiences.  It makes the quilt extra special -- and the USS Carbonero is a great substitute for another historic ship!

UPDATE!  Thanks go to Susan Longacre who Chaired the Quilts in Motion Quilt Show of the Hill Country Quilt Guild in Kerrville, Texas.  She sent me some additional information on this quilt.  The maker of this quilt is Barbara Woodman, a very accomplished quilter, formerly of Uvalde and now living in Kerrville.  She won ribbons for:  First Place in Category, Best of Show (large), and Viewer's Choice.  The most heartfelt information is that Barbara made this quilt for her husband who served on the USS Carbonero submarine but, unfortunately, he died before she finished the quilt.  This quilt is such a beautiful legacy for Barbara and her family - and I thank her for sharing it with other quilters.

D:  Scrumptious quilting!

S:  Boy, you've got that right!  I'm so sorry I don't know the maker and quilter's name for this quilt -- it is SO well done!

D:  I hope you enjoy my tour of the Kerrville Quilt Show and if you are in the area for Memorial Day weekend in 2015, you should add this show to your list of activities.

S:  Absolutely!  What a great set of quilts - and definitely a beautiful town to visit!

Thanks, Denise, for sharing -- I appreciate your friendship so much.  Isn't it great that quilters seem able to make friends with complete strangers in a heartbeat?  That's what happened with Mary Clendennen when I met her a few years ago.  We bumped into each other at the Houston quilt show and she was so excited that I had gone over to Austin to see their quilt show and her quilt had just won best of show and I featured it in my blog back then.  She is just the sweetest person you could ever hope to meet -- and we parted, saying we ought to get together some time. 

So here we are, a few years later... and we bumped into each other at two more quilt shows... and she again invited me to come visit her for a few days.  Below is her quilt, "Ruffled Roses," based on the pattern I wrote for Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims' on "The Quilt Show."  I just love the fabrics in it - all from an Elly Sienkiewicz line.  But most of what makes this quilt so wonderful is Mary's exquisite piecing.  I've never seen such precision!

 Here is a close-up of her quilt -- take a look at the piecing, but also the quilting (done by Angela McCorkle).  Quilting can make or break a quilt, and Mary is certainly fortunate to have found someone who knows the craft well.  By the way... Mary doesn't applique (yet), so she had a friend prepare the pieces for her and then appliqued the prepared units in place.  She's determined to learn applique in the future.

And so.....  last week, I headed over to Marble Falls.  Mary lives on her ranch along the Colorado River, which, when combined with the sweet blessings of Mary's warmth, hospitality, and friendship, gave me a piece of heaven on earth.  I spent several days with Mary and her friend Marcie Wendrock and some others -- sewing, learning, relaxing, and enjoying my first time away from home in several years.  It was a sweet breath of fresh air.

Watching Mary work was an inspiration, in itself.  Check out one of the blocks she had made:

Do you want to know why it was such a joy to see her work?  Because she is the QUEEN of precision piecing.  I learned that I need to pick up my pace if I want my blocks to be as good as Mary's.  But wait!  Wait!  There's more!  Check out the back of her block.  Look how she works to press the seams open!  It was a great "light bulb moment" for me to see her block from the underside.  It's perfection, plus!  No wonder her quilts look so great.

When I arrived, here is the quilt Mary was working on.  She finished adding the final two borders while I was there, and was on to other projects.  You can probably guess, by seeing the block above, why Mary's quilt lies perfectly flat.

Some of the gals were working on Jo Morton quilts....

And Marcie was designing and working on a brand new quilt based on an antique.  I fell in love with it and can't wait for the pattern to be done.  You'll have to wait to see it... but the wait will be worth it!!!!
One of the women there showed some quilts -- here is an antique spools quilt...

And a close-up of it...

 And Zell Cook's quilts were stunning - she does a lot of quilts using tsukineko inks and embroidery - here's one with very detailed embroidery work in it.

And a close-up of one of Zell's blocks...

Now that I've finished sharing all those photos, one of you might be asking... but what are YOU working on, Sue?  I've been working on lots of different things... and have no photos to share this month.  Hang in there - they will show up soon enough.  And I think you'll be glad I've kept busy, busy, busy, getting my next quilts ready.

Several of you asked how they could find out what my lecture/workshop schedule is.  Here is an incomplete list; where the location is undisclosed, it is because the group has asked that they be the first to announce me coming:
  • June 15, 2013 - Lakeview Quilters Guild, Nassau Bay, Texas - precision piecing workshop
  • June 29, 2013 - Sugarland Applique Society, Sugarland, Texas - applique workshop
  • July 1, 2013 - Baytown Area Quilt Guild, Baytown, Texas - lecture
  • July 15-16, 2013 - Hill Country Quilt Guild, Kerrville, Texas - lecture and feathered star workshop
  • August 5, 2013 - Piecemaker Quilt Guild, Corsicana, Texas - lecture
  • October 7-12, 2013 - location undisclosed; lecture and several days of applique workshops
  • October 17-20, 2013 - Greenbriar retreat center, Athens, Texas - lecture, feathered star workshop, applique workshop
  • Late October/early November - reserved for the International Quilters Association quilt show, Houston, Texas
  • Winter, 2014 - 4-5 day personal workshop in my home, demonstrating design, process, etc.
  • February 23-27, 2014 - Applique Away on Galveston Bay, Galveston, Texas - two 2-day applique workshops
  • March 5, 2014 - Coastal Prairie Quilt Guild, Missouri City, Texas - lecture and workshop
  • May 20-21, 2014 - Marble Falls Quilt Club, Marble Falls, Texas - lecture and workshop
  • June 4, 2014 - Alvin Quilt Guild, Alvin, Texas - lecture
  • June 24-25, 2014 - Ozark Piecemakers, Springfield, Missouri - lecture and workshop
  • August 21, 2014 - Pride of Prairie Quilters, Naperville, Illinois - lecture and workshop
  • September 17, 20, 2014 - West Houston Quilt Guild, Houston, Texas - lecture and workshop
  • September 9-14, 2014 - location undisclosed; lecture and several days of applique workshops
  • October 25+, 2014 - reserved for the International Quilters Association quilt show, Houston, Texas
  • April or May, 2015 - Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild, northwest Chicago, Illinois - details to be determined
  • June 18-20, 2015 - Trinity Valley Quilt Guild and Denton Quilt Guild, Dallas area, Texas - lectures and workshops
  • Late October/early November - reserved for the International Quilters Association quilt show, Houston, Texas
Much of my time over the past two months has been spent preparing for these workshops.  I like to have plenty of examples of how to do things, including options for those who want a simpler or more unique option.  Perhaps we'll get to meet at one of these events in the future!

One more thing before I close.  I am struggling with a creativity block.  I want to start a new quilt - probably a block of the month - and cannot seem to focus on anything that really grabs me.  So... what have you been looking for, what is your favorite type of quilt to make, what would you like to see me design?  I'll listen to any ideas you have!

Happy stitching -

(c)2013 Susan H. Garman 


  1. Best of show from Sue Garman's Ladies of the Sea was made by Barbara Woodman - she has named it "Woodie's Ships"

  2. Quilt maker for the Best of Show quilt is Barbara Woodman - she named her quilt "Woodie's Ships"

  3. I love all your quilts, but would love to see another medallion quilt. I'm sure the next one, no matter what you decide, will be spectacular. Can you tell I'm a fan?

  4. I prefer a quilt that isn't square or if it is then one which additional borders could be added easily. I recently completed such a quilt and was able to added flying geese to both the top and bottom. To me it really completed the quilt. I don't mind some appliqued blocks but I really prefer pieced. I also like to have a quilt pattern which includes additional tips and tricks. I've completed a 9 quilts, 3 large queen sized but most were larger throw quilts. One of the quilts completed was your Stars for a New Day which I love. I always look forward to your monthly posts. Have a great creative month.

  5. My suggestion for your "creative block" would be to shelve the BOM for a month, and instead challenge yourself to make something completely "out of the box" just for yourself. Maybe you can experiment with a modern quilt, or do a pictorial quilt, or an abstract or some kind of art quilt. Whether you end up loving it or hating it, either way your creative juices will be flowing again and you'll have plenty of ideas next month. Have fun!

  6. I have done 6 of your Monster Quilts for my grandsons.I made one for one grandson and the others each wanted one! I would love to have you design something fun for my two new little grand daughters!

  7. I did your Monster quilt for my first grandson and ended up doing 5 More for the follwing grandsons! Now I have 2 new grand daughters and would LOVE something fun like the Monster quilt for them!

  8. I have reconnected with my cousins on Facebook. After 40 years of just hearing things through my mother - who was indifferent to cousins - I now know what is going on in their lives. I use to say I knew names of fabric collections by sight and did not know the names of my cousins kids. That has changed as I now see and hear things several times a month. And when I tell a story to my kids I start by saying - Facebook says...... tongue in cheek as why Facebook knows more about family then we do. But I am going to enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts --- I can see it is changing and peeps will not use it in the future as they do now.

  9. Mimi - I feel the same way about Facebook. I have been able to connect with friends that we no longer live near and I have met many of my cousins and distant cousins because of Facebook. I have also been able to keep up with the little things in the nieces/nephews lives and their children. We are scattered across the US and I love watching these young families grow up via Facebook.

  10. Thank those of you who have called for the Sugar Land Applique Society function this month. But, no surprise, we are at the limit.
    Those in our area will have several more chances at other guilds!

  11. Thank you to all who have contacted the Sugar Land Applique Society regarding our event with Sue this month!
    We are at capacity, but there appear to be several more guild meetings over the next couple of years in our area.

  12. Barbara Woodman's Best in Show quilt features the S.S. Carbonero, which is the submarine her late husband, Woodie, was stationed on while in the Navy.

  13. Today was my first visit to your blog and the eye candy was over the top. I am going to re-read this at least 2 more times just to take it all in.

    Thanks so much for sharing and I will definitely be back

  14. Loved this post! What talented ladies!