Sunday, October 2, 2011

Three... Two... One... and a Half....

I'm pedaling as fast as I can this month, trying to get ready for the big quilt show that comes to Houston in just four weeks... wow! I have received notice that my Friends of Baltimore has been awarded a ribbon, and am honored. In addition to Friends of Baltimore, four other quilts of mine will be in the show. One is my bubble gum pink and chocolate brown Lily Rosenberry quilt. The three others are older quilts which are to be included in the Lone Stars III: Texas Quilts Today exhibition that includes some of the quilts in the book being published this Fall by Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes. One of those quilts will actually hang at the new quilt museum that is opening up in LaGrange, Texas - the city famed for its "chicken ranch house of ill repute" captured in the the old Burt Reynolds/Dolly Parton "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" musical/movie. But all of this aside... there is so much to get done... and so little time... So before the night escapes me entirely, I'll give you a quick tour of what I've been working on lately.

First of all, my Borrowed Roses quilt is now finished! I am just so happy every time I take a look at it -- I love the colors, the design, the quilting... and the fact that, believe it or not, it was so easy to make! The pattern is available from Quakertown Quilts ( - but check your local quilt shop first!

Here is a close-up of some of the quilting in the quilt. I love quilting quilts -- it is the final step that brings them to life. I don't quilt for others (in general), as I just don't have time and honestly don't relish the responsibility. On occasion, I will trade binding for quilting with a good friend of mine -- and I consider that a fair trade, given that I really dislike binding quilts!

But HERE is the quilt I really want to show you: Sarah's Revival! I almost called it Murder on Queensburg Lane because 1) I live on Queensburg Lane, 2) there is a lot of blood-red fabric in this quilt, and 3) I watched so many murder mysteries while I appliqued the blocks in this quilt. Ha! This quilt is still in process; I have yet to add a couple of flowers, finish the corners, and then baste, quilt, and bind it. But it excites me to see it at this point already. I used an entire spool of red thread to applique this quilt - no surprise there, eh?! This quilt will be sold as a block-of-the-month after the quilt show -- and after I finish the pattern-writing. What fun it was to make -- it went together so quickly and so easily!

One of the fun parts to make was the cornerstones and top center medallions; they are entirely appliqued, which meant that they went together so easily!

In the meantime, since I never work on just one project at a time... here is a rather poor picture of a really lovely quilt. It is a bed-sized extended 9-patch quilt with a border of 3-inch evening star blocks. I just love the black bars separating the blocks and the outer border from each ohter -- they really make the blocks stand out. This quilt was not made by me; it was made by Becky Stephenson as a fund-raising quilt for The American Cancer Society's annual Relay for Life. This is the third year I've quilted the raffle quilt for Becky; we all know people who have been affected by cancer, and this is one way I can contribute to helping find a cure. Becky's work is impeccable -- which makes it a joy to quilt her quilts!

Here is a close-up of the blocks in the quilt -- the stars are quilted in the ditch, while the 9-patches and setting triangles are all quilted with feathered wreaths.

I liked Becky's quilt so much... that I decided to make my own version. It took part of a day to do each of the following steps: cut the units, sew them together, assemble the quilt top, and quilt it. In the photo below, you can see my quilt, and though the binding is sewn on, it is not sewn down yet. Whee! It's fun to make quilts that come together in such a short time.

At Quilt Market this year (the wholesale show that preceeds the Houston Quilt Show), I will be doing a schoolhouse for vendors on what I believe is a trend among quilters: they are working out of their stashes, with the price of fabric now topping ten dollars a yard. They want to make quilts that use their stash, are a bit more complex than "yellow brick road" types of quilts, but don't take forever to make. I will be showing several new quilts that meet those criteria... and you'll eventually see those quilts when I update this blog. So for now.... the countdown has begun and I need to get back to sewing; time is flying!!!

Happy sewing to everyone -


(c)2011 Susan H. Garman