Friday, August 1, 2014

Endless Quilts

This month, I almost tossed in the towel and thought I would just post a note saying, "I'm sorry, but I'm in total overload and I don't have time to blog this month and probably not next month, either" ...but I didn't.  I enjoy sharing my passion too much to abandon this blog.  It's just that...  I haven't had time to work on my Target Practice quilt; it only needs a final set of borders.  I haven't had time to finish all the Baltimore applique blocks that I've already prepped (and these are simple blocks!).  I haven't had time to design some new "complex" Baltimore blocks and I need to work on those soon.  I run from task to task to task, hoping that nothing falls between the cracks... and sometimes I wonder why I'm so crazy and why I don't just back out of some things.  But that's just not "me."  So you're stuck with me for a while... and I hope you enjoy this blog today!
This month, I thought I'd show you a few of the quilts that were in my guild's quilt show.  I am lucky to be a member of an awesome guild - with Cynthia England, Georgann Wrinkle, Cynthia WIlliford, Cynthia Collier, and many more talented quilt makers.  I'll also give you a peak at some hexagons and star blocks that a friend of mine made, and show you an interesting redwork quilt.  Then, you'll see some quilts that others have made, using my patterns... and finally, I'll show you what I've been working on.  Well... I'll show you part of what I've been working on; I can't show you all of it because I haven't even had time to take pictures!  So now... let's just roll!
The Lakeview Quilters Guild has a quilt show every even-numbered year.  We hang about 200 quilts for two and a half days.  This year's Best of Show was Une Belle Amitie by Cynthia Williford.  Cynthia is an exquisite quilt maker and designer.  Harold, one of her six sons, draws the blocks - but it is Cynthia's handiwork that turns them into masterpieces.  The photo below simply cannot do justice to Cynthia's quilt.
Even a detail photo can hardly show the marvelous work in Une Belle Amitie.  Take a look at this cornucopia.  Cynthia puts an enormous amount of detail into her blocks - and finishes each with flawless embellishment.

She adds lace and beads and ribbon - exactly where it needs to be to accent the design.

Her choice of colors is amazing.  This particular quilt was judged in the Houston quilt show and the judges at the show slammed it - they had not one kind word to say about it.  Really?  What did they not see?  To each his or her own...  but Cynthia was mortified and put the quilt away for months before her friends convinced her that her quilt had great value - artistically and historically (it is based on an antique Baltimore album quilt). 

Look closely at how she quietly incorporates silk ribbon and embroidery and beads in this block. 

Look at the ribbons on this block... check out how much work is put into each flowing band. 

Here's another close-up of the ribbon.  Look at all of the flowers in the ribbon, made of embroidered knots.  Amazing, simply amazing.  This is a quilt you can stare at for an hour and never stop finding new things to examine more closely.

Here's more - look at all of those knots!

Here is the whole ribbon; it's gorgeous.

Part of one block has a basket full of flowers.  The basket is made of couched ribbon... but in the basket are little "scenes."  Below, you can see a river flowing out of the blue mountains.  But that's not all -- look at the geisha woman to the right of the blue flowers.  And look at the bridge across the river in the middle of the photo.  And downstream from the bridge, you can spot a pair of tiny little egrets in the water.  Can you believe the amount of work Cynthia puts into her quilts?  Is it any wonder that it took her eight years to complete this quilt?  I think not!

Cynthia doesn't leave all of her handiwork to the front of her quilt.  Below is the label on the back of her quilt.  It is "enveloped" in her grandmother's handkerchief.

When you open the envelope, you see the label... full of a ton of detail.  I am in love with this quilt.

Here is another quilt that was in the Lakeview Quilters Guild show.  Are the Stars Out Tonight was also made by Cynthia Williford and quilted by Xing Tinsley.

Okay - I'm going to depart from my mantra that this blog is only about quilts, quilts, quilts and not about what I ate last night, where I traveled this summer, what I grew in my garden, or how wonderful my grandchildren are.  Below is Daisy, my youngest grand daughter (7 years old), and her first quilt.  She calls it her "helicopter quilt" because she designed all the applique - from the sun to the stars and moon to the heart and flying pig, to the helicopter.  It's nice to see children excited about quilting.

And below is Daisy's second quilt in the show - a simple checkerboard of polka dot fabrics.  She spent the best part of two hours laying out the squares "just so" and then she learned how to use the sewing machine.  Lastly, she learned how to use my longarm with "groovy boards" guiding her in making big circles.  With the right tools, kids learn to succeed.

For the rest of the quilt entries, I'll simply supply the name of the maker of the quilt, and its title - unless there is a story to be told.

Lollypop Trees by Liza Harrison
Detail, Lollypop Trees by Liza Harrison
Almost Amish by Renee Eudaley; quilted by Renee Eudaley
You'll see some fabulous quilting on this quilt in the detail photos.
Almost Amish, detail
Almost Amish, detail
Almost Amish, detail
Cottage Garden by Lee Ann Ferring; quilted by Lee Ann Ferring
Scuba Girls by Peggy Baldwin-Clayton (designer and maker); quilted by Denise Green
This is a fun quilt - fish, frogs, a diner, dogs... and more!
Santa's Vacation Snapshots #1 by Peggy Baldwin-Clayton; quilted by Marcia Henry
This is an unbelievably FUN quilt:  Santa is relaxing on the beach after a busy Christmas; Peggy lives on Galveston Island, so this quilt is quite appropriate.  Check out the detail shots, below...
Santa's Vacation Snapshots #1, detail
What you may not notice in the photo is that the palm tree is covered in twinkling little battery-operated Christmas lights.  They rest between all of the beribboned ornaments.  Peggy outdid herself in creating this original quilt; it's pure delight to look at all of the detail she put into the quilt.
Santa's Vacation Snapshots #1, detail
Notice that Santa is surrounded by "post cards" in the border around him.
Santa's Vacation Snapshots #1, detail
Surrounding the entire quilt are flip flops.  And each pair of flip flops uses different fabric... and has a different embellishment on the strap.  Here are yo yos with Santa skiing.
Santa's Vacation Snapshots #1, detail
Here are buttons.
Santa's Vacation Snapshots #1, detail
And more buttons - with some wild polka dot fabric!
Santa's Vacation Snapshots #1, detail
Here are some little yo yos of a sort - they look like island flowers to me.
Millenium by Priscilla (Pat) Koester; quilted by Diane Helmer
Fire and Ice by Peggy Richards; quilted by Rosann Gilbert
Circus Tent by Elaine Haycraft; quilted by Denise Green
Circus Tent, detail
It Makes Me Happy by Lecia Majewski; quilted by Cindy Gravely
This quilt, along with the one above, were made by a group of guild members who exchanged blocks with each block to be made of 1930s "Aunt Grace"reproduction fabric.  Compare the different border fabrics these gals used.  It's fun to see two such interesting quilts!
It Makes Me Happy, detail
I always find it interesting to see how different people quilt the same quilt.  Compare this one to the quilt above, made by Elaine Haycraft.  The quilting is quite different, but both quilts look great.
Intertwined by Lecia Majewski
This quilt won the "President's Award."  At each show, the current guild president is asked to choose her favorite quilt.  Georgann Wrinkle chose this one.  Lecia, the maker, asked why she chose it, since Georgann doesn't really make geometric or modern-looking quilts.  Her answer:  because it was so pretty!
Intertwined, detail
Part of what made this quilt so pretty was the quilting.  Cindy Gravely quilted this quilt and she tends to break quilts up into geometric spaces that she then fills.  Her quilting is always unique.
Intertwined, detail
Momma's Closet by Lecia Majewski; quilted by Cindy Gravely
This quilt stole my heart -- it brought back memories of what moms and gradnmothers wore when I was a child.  The pattern is so simple and the blocks are all identical - but the quilting made each dress very unique.
Momma's Closet; detail
Momma's Closet; detail
Momma's Closet; detail
Momma's Closet; detail
Dutch Baskets by Georgann Wrinkle; quilted by Denise Green
Beginners by Sue Green
Bugs and Blooms by Marsha Fuller; quilted by Denise Green
Legacy of Love - Happy 40th Anniversary by Marcia Henry; quilted by Marcia Henry
This quilt was made for Marcia's parents on the occasion of their 40th wedding anniversary.
Legacy of Love, detail
Burgoyne with a Flair by Marcia Henry; quilted by Marcia Henry

Burgoyne with a Flair, detail
Spring Flowers 2014 by Marcia Henry; quilted by Marcia Henry
Cranberry Chutney by Merridy Pyer; quilted by Xing Tinsley
Glory Bound by Patty Dillon
America by Patty Lang; quilted by Denise Green
Civil War Spikes by Tanya Smith; quilted by Laurie Stone
The certified NQA judge for this show, Marcia Kaylakie, awarded this quilt a special ribbon:  an Award of Merit for Outstanding Achievement in Quiltmaking.  This allows the quilt to be automatically juried into the next NQA show that Tanya enters this quilt in.
Bubblegum on the Sidewalk by Tanya Smith and unknown maker (the blocks are antique blocks); quilted by Tanya Smith 
I absolutely LOVE the name that Tanya gave this quilt. 
Nine Patch Path by Marsha Fuller and several members of the Gulf Coast Quilters Guild;
quilted by Betty Findley.  This quilt was made from blocks given in an exchange group.
Here's Looking at You by Sara Norris; quilted by Sara Norris
Poppy in Bloom by Sara Norris
Dancing in the Rain by Sandra Greve Thompson; quilted by Kris Bryson
Waxahachie Fields by Trudy Davis; quilted by Denise Green
Sew Tweet by Tonda Helm; quilted by Kris Bryson
Sew Tweet, detail
Alpha Omega Mariner's Compass by Vernell Fesperman; quilted by Quilt Divas, Hemphill, Texas
My Happy Daze by Vernell Fesperman; quilted by Quilt Divas, Hemphill, TX
Pattern by Sue Garman!
My Happy Daze, detail
Winter Wonderland by Connie Martaindale; quilted by Connie Martaindale
Over the River and Through the Woods by Virginia Spiers (piecing) and Marilyn Cheak (embroidery); quilted by Denise Green
Over the River and Through the Woods, detail
Lincoln's Ruby Watch by Ronda Stockton; quilted by Denise Green
Lincoln's Ruby Watch, detail
Words to Love By by Ronda Stockton; quilted by Ronda Stockton
Purple Stars by Jan Just
Pinwheels R Us by Saro Draviam; quilted by Saro Draviam
The Quilt I Made for my Ungrateful Sister and Kept! by Pauline Stavrakis
There is a story here, obviously... let's just say I think the quilt name is priceless!
Little Houses 2 by Lee Ann Ferring
Little Houses on a Hillside by Renee Eudaley

One of the bees that I belong to has a biannual challenge; we decide on a theme... and each person makes a quilt and we enter them in the quilt show.  This year's theme was "footsies."  Each quilt had to be one square foot in size.  We chose this theme because none of us had time to make a larger quilt when we chose the theme.  It was a fun challenge!

Hawaiian Footsie by Fran Gentry; quilted by Fran Gentry
Pets to Love by Jean Cloyd; quilted by Jean Cloyd
My Mother's Influence by Marsha Fuller
Tic Tac OH NO! by Sharon Meyer; quilted by Sharon Meyer
Tootsie Footsie by Sue Garman; quilted by Sue Garman
Our quilt show has a lot of offer, so we regularly have people drive long distances to see the show.  These gals drove all the way over from Beaumont, Texas.  It was nice for me to meet them and talk to them for a little while.
The next set of pictures show an assortment of quilts made by Rebecca Yarbrough.  She has some challenges right now, but I'm sure she'll soon be back quilting in style.  This lone star quilt is wonderful.  Check it out...


Here's a close-up of the star.  Notice that each large diamond is made up of nine smaller diamonds.


And four of the diamonds within the diamond are actually string-pieced.  For newer quilters, that means that they are made up of irregularly cut strips of fabric.  It's a wonderful way to use up scraps!

Even the border is string pieced.


This particular quilt is made up of English-Paper-Pieced (EPP) stars.  That means that each of the diamonds in the star were made by wrapping fabric around a diamond template, stitching or gluing the fabric in place, then stitching the diamonds together and then removing the template.  English paper piecing is quite popular right now.

 Here's even a more detailed shot.  Rebecca was quite careful in building the inset diamond out of the striped fabric, and then mitering the intersections of the strips.


Personally, I like secondary patterns, so one of my favorite things in this quilt is the large indigo-blue "star" around the diamond star.


Check this one out -- plaids!


And here is an entire quilt made of EPP stars -- but notice that some of the hexagon shapes are not stars; they are just fussy-cut hexagons.


Lots of us were looking this quilt over -- the border is quite a treat to see.


Here are twoof the fussy-cut hexagons, below.


The stars, themselves, were very interesting.  With fussy-cutting, you can end up with some interesting patterns.

Here are more stars....
And now here is some more eye candy.  I bought this quilt top several years ago on eBay.  I thought it was an interesting redwork quilt and the price was relatively low.  I'm ready to give this quilt away now, so it will be in my guild's annual auction (August 18 - check out the guild website for details).  It's a big quilt and has been washed, so there are several stains that I could not get out.  Nonetheless, it's a keeper, for historical purposes.  Once it is quilted, my guess is that nobody will notice the stains and it will serve as a nice utility quilt.

Here are some close-ups of the redwork blocks.  It is interesting to me that the blocks are all of things that were common to daily life (farm animals, pets, children, flowers) or were scenes that had an emotional appeal (sailing, etc.) at the time the quilt was made.


 The next two blocks are a clue to the date of this quilt.  The first one is President McKinley, who died in office in 1901.  The second one is his wife.  My guess is that the impact of a president who was killed in office was a very unsettling event in 1901 and became the genesis for including these blocks.  No other authority figure is included in this quilt.

Between the redwork blocks are nine-patch blocks.  Some of them were quilt well made, such as this one - the squares are pretty... well, square!

All of the squares were not quite so well-made.  You can see that this one is not one you would want to receive in a block exchange with the uneven sizes of the squares within the nine-patch!

But here is something you may not have noticed.  If you scroll back up to the original quilt, you can find TWO blocks that are nine-patches with the colors flipped; they have five red squares and four white ones, instead of the dominant four red squares and five white squares.  What do you think caused this problem?!!

The next sets of quilts are always a delight to show -- quilts made by other people.  In this case, many of them are made, based on my patterns.  I love seeing all of these quilts because I always learn something interesting or I'm inspired by others' choices.  Here is my own Ancient Stars quilt.  There's a lot of piecing in it, but it's worth it; it's a beautiful quilt.

Lisa Smith Green made Ancient Stars -- here it is.  It's wonderful!  The red border makes it sing!

Here is a close-up of the quilt as it was being made...

And you can see by the dime, here, that the pieces are about an inch in size!

So... are one-inch squares too small for you?  How about half-inch squares?  I love them -- it's how I taught myself to precision piece.  I say that anyone can make a 12-inch nine-patch and fudge it to fit in a quilt.  It's a lot tougher to make a bunch of 1-1/2 inch nine-patches fit together nicely.  But in my Omigosh, I finally overcame my fear of the "P" word (Piecing).

Those half-inch squares are a challenge, but plenty of people have taken that challenge.  This is a quilt by Glenna Denman and when I saw it, I was amazed!  She took the Omigosh pattern, added sashing strips around the Shoo Fly blocks, and thus made them float amid the chains of nine-patches.  In addition, she increased the size of the squares in the nine-patch from 1/2-inch to 5/8-inch.  As she said to me, "It just told me to do that rather than set it as you set your fabulous quilt.  But you understand how quilts do tell you what they want!"  Yes, I do!

When I was over in Georgetown, Texas, doing a workshop on feathered stars, she showed me her quilt.  In person, it is stunning!  She used browns and reds on off-white background.  Sheesh, she makes me want to make another Omigosh with these color combinations!
Here's another quilt that I made several years ago for The Quilt Show.  I called it Stars for a New Day.  
I got an email this week from Ron Bedard.  He had made his own version of Stars for a New Day -- and he used exclusively Ricky Tims' hand-dyed fabrics.  He's now thinking about making Friends of Baltimore.  Yay - an applique fan!  I love this quilt and asked Ron if I could post this picture.  The fabrics are reminiscent of the American Southwest, so Ron named his quilt It Waits for Dawn which he says is the name of a Navajo constellation.  This quilt is so appealing to me - I think it's the combination of colors that Ron used - and how he placed them.  It may have been accidental or it may have been planned - but in either case, it worked!

The next quilt is one that I made for my youngest grand daughter a number of years ago.  When my daughter Jenny (not Daisy's Mom) came to me and said she wanted to make a baby quilt for someone in her office, I pulled out the pattern for this quilt.  It's kind of large for a baby quilt, so we discussed how to "downsize" the quilt.

We decided that if she just sashed the 16-inch blocks, the quilt would be a nice baby-sized quilt.  Please note that the picture below does not show the final quilt with a dark blue binding on it - the blue frames it nicely.

Jenny's piecing is perfect. Somehow she must have gotten that gene from my engineering-physics husband, as it took me 30 years of quilting to learn precision piecing.  Quilting a well-pieced quilt top makes it soooo much easier for the quilter!  And so I quilted her quilt in only about 6 hours.  Yee haw!

The gender of the baby is known but not the name -- but Jenny decided to just put "Baby Schell" on the quilt instead of a name - so the quilt will serve its purpose for any of the Schell children, if there are more.  When she finished appliqueing the letters, she did not like that the edges showed the markings on the white fabric (she had marked the outline with pencil), so I told her to use some darker blue embroidery floss and outline the letters with a stem stich.  It was the perfect answer; it made the letters stand out nicely against the lighter blue.


Jenny has become quite an accomplished quilter in a short time.  This was her first applique quilt -- she made it this Spring based on one of my patterns.

Of course, she has an easy pass to get her quilts quilted by me!

I couldn't figure out how to quilt this quilt until I remembered a quilt I'd seen on a recent lecture trip I'd taken - I pulled out my old pictures and was able to quilt this quilt in no time at all.

Here's a closeup of the border and sashing.  Easy-peasy!


I also got an email from Charlene Morrison a week or so ago.  She had been in a workshop of mine a while back and made the center block in this quilt.  This is quite a quilt -- the purple sawtooth border and the green borders are made of Dupione silk.  How luscious can you get with that?!  Whee!!!

Here's a close-up of the center block.  This is the Rose Fans block from my Bed of Roses quilt.


Next, I saw on the internet that Barbara Black's quilt Red and White - By the Numbers was selected as the 40th Anniversary Commemorative Quilt to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the International Quilt Festival and all of their Ruby Jubilee activities this year.  You may have seen this quilt in all of the publicity for the upcoming big Houston quilt show; it's awesome!

Barbara also said she'd received notice that two of her quilts will be in the Special Exhibit:  500 Traditional Treasures.  That is the title of a book due out in September - I have several quilts in that book, also.  So... first, here is my Washington Medallion quilt.

But look what Barbara has done with the pattern!  Her quilt, Joyful Journey, is a real treasure with its jewel-tone fabrics.  Congrats to Barb -- I love your rendition.  You can all read about her journey on her blog post:

Another surprise for me came from Jacque at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods Company (  Her shop in Adel, Iowa, is featuring my Afternoon Delight pattern and will be starting it as a block-of-the-month series on August 1.  Here's their rendition.  They have selected a wonderful set of fabrics for this quilt; you can order yours today!

Here is a close-up of their quilt.

And some of the blocks....

Okay - so what have I been working on?  Actually... I have not had time to take many photos so you'll have to wait until next month and hope I can invent more hours in the day or I'm going to be in deep mud!  One of the things I've been doing, though, is organizing two 3-day workshops for our guild on prepared-edge applique, led by Nancy Amidon of Amidon Quiltworks.  Here's the project Nancy will be teaching; it's called Nesting Goose and is based on a Pearl Pereira pattern.

I've spent an enormous amount of time getting things ready for my trip to Baltimore on the Prairie in September.  Here was an early draft of one of the blocks that I'm going to be teaching.

And here is the finished block (yes, it's appliqued; it almost looks like a digital rendition).  It's a 15-inch on-point block, as I'm designing an on-point Baltimore album quilt.  I've been having great fun with it, but need a lot more time to get it further down the road toward the finish line.

And silly me... I'm simultaneously doing a straight-set version of each block; I'm going to be making a smaller straight-set album quilt at the same time.  Somebody needs to invent more hours in each day (without us getting older), or else I need to learn how to apply the brakes when I have these super ideas!

So here is the stack of fabric for the Baltimore on the Prairie workshop.  No, I'm not making kits - everyone is on their own with a list of supplies and fabric to bring.  Yes, when I teach, I make samples of each step, so I need five separate sets of fabric for my samples.  Hence... the piles you see below.

And here is a "sort of" look at what I have to make before September:  four samples!

I've marked my fabric so I know how many stems to make for each of five blocks, and four different greens...

And I've prepared the stems for each of those workshop samples... I just need to press and trim them all.

At the same time, I have to have my follow-up block made.  Eek - slow down the clock!!!  Here's my rough-cut of the next block...

And the beginnings of that block, sitting on my light box....

And finally, finally... the finished block. 

Okay, there's just one little problem (well, actually, there are probably a ton more, but I'm only thinking about one of them right now).  I cannot say NO.  My daughter and I have had a wonderful time making a quilt together (meaning that we're each making a quilt, not both of us making the same quilt) and have decided that we want to sew together more often.  We have chosen this quilt:
It's from Civil War Legacies II by Carol Hopkins.  Here's a close-up of the quilt; it seems simple enough and will be even simpler for us as I'm going to make paper foundations for the blocks.
So what was the quilt that Jenny and I were both making, that we've enjoyed so much?  It is one called Summer Medallion that the Temecula Quilt Company offered as an 11-week, one border a week, quilt.  The borders have been so easy and simple.  The picture below shows only a 36-inch square quilt; there will be three more borders added to this quilt before we're done, so we have another three weeks ahead of us.  I love the design; it's based on an antique "frame quilt."


I have tons more to show you, but I'm going to wait until September... and shower you in photos!  Until then... happy quilting!



 (c)2014 Susan H. Garman