Friday, July 1, 2016

Quilt Shows and More

Hello, dear friends -

This month I have a rather short post, not out of desire or lack of inputs, but simply because I wanted to post something this month rather than delay my post again.  More on that later - first, I want to show you some gorgeous quilts!  My guild had its biannual quilt show in May and I am going to share half of the photos I took.  You'll see the other half next month, assuming all goes well and my energy level picks up a bit.  I'll also share some of the photos that were sent to me, as well as give you a glimpse of some quilts I've been working on - including a few surprises.  So let me dive in and start sharing!

I am a member of the Lakeview Quilters Guild -- and it hosts a quilt show in every even-numbered year.  Quilt shows are a lot of work, and our guild members work hard to put on a great show with wonderful quilts.  Below are a few of them.

Becky Stephenson (Fairfield, Texas) is a good friend and she fell in love with an antique quilt she saw in a magazine.  She finally kept her promise to herself to make and finish the quilt - a bunch of 3-inch bow tie blocks sewn together to make a 63 by 72 inch quilt, which she called All Tied Up.  Bow tie blocks are among her favorite blocks.  Cynthia Allen quilted Becky's quilt.

Here is a close-up of the qult.  I love scrappy quilts as much as Becky does - and I especially love the "Baptist Fan" or "dinner plate" quilting motif.  It looks good on just about any (non-appliqued) antique-style quilt.

Becky was busy and entered several quilts in this show.  Here is her Bar Fight quilt (61 by 85"), quilted by Cynthia Clark.  Becky adapted a pattern from the book "Sunday Mornings Quilts" by Amanda Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison when she made her quilt, using her stash of plaid fabrics.  Becky confessed that her attempt to reduce her plaid stash was not very successful.  I think we are all in that category:  we think a big scrappy quilt will eat up a ton of fabric... but it never seems to work out that way!

I love that this quilt is so bright and colorful.  Here is a close-up of the quilt.  Becky just strip-sewed pieces together, then cut them into "strata" (strips of strips), which she sewed together to make the face of the quilt.  This quilt is quilted with spiral-circles.

One of my favorite designs is a New York Beauty quilt.  Becky had two New York Beauty quilts in this quilt show.  Below is her Christmas Beauty (50 by 50"), which she quilted on a domestic machine.  Her design was based on my Sleeping Beauty pattern.  She said she loved this quilt so much that she's ready to make another one!

Here is a close-up of the spiked quarter-circles.  I love Becky's use of red and green fabrics.

And here is a close-up of the intersection of sashing strips.  All of these units were made using paper foundations.  That certainly adds to the accuracy of the piecing!

When Becky said she was ready to make another New York Beauty quilt, she wasn't kidding.  Below is Texas Beauty (72 by 94"), which she made with Cynthia Allen, who machine quilted it.  This quilt was done using a lot of navy/civil war blues along with a sprinkling of other civil war fabrics.  These colors are not commonly found in New York Beauty quilts but I love how this quilt turned out.

Here is a close-up of a block and its sashings and cornerstones.  Note that the quilting motifs in this quilt are different - Becky used a cluster of hearts in the centers of the blocks instead of circles.  Both are perfect choices.  I also want to note that in both of these quilts, the "spikes" are all quilted in the ditch.  I've seen several New York Beauty versions where the quilter chose a "short cut" and just did loops in the background fabric.  The results were not as striking, as the spikes did not stand out like they do when they are quilted in the ditch (along the seam lines).

One of the traditions our guild has is that at the end of each year, the members each make a designated block for the guild president, which is presented to her at the installation of the new officers in December.  We used to "surprise" the president and choose the block we would give her until one year it was my job to designated the block.  I decide that I wanted the guild president to actually LIKE the block I chose, so I asked the president, Georgann Wrinkle, to tell me what block she would like to receive a stack of.  Georgann chose a simple Evening Star block - and put them all together in her quilt, Presidential Stars (84 by 92").  Marcia Henry quilted it for Georgann.  I love that Georgann set this blocks with little red cornerstones in the sashing strips.  It adds to the uniformity of the quilt and makes it sparkle!

Here is a close-up of the beautiful quilting that was done by Marcia.

Jaelyn Greeson made an unusual quilt, Butterfly Kiss (88 x 94") which my grand daughter declared to be her favorite.  Cindy Gravely quilted it for Jaelyn.  The design source was "Butterfly" by Tula Pink.  This is an unusual quilt with all the different piecing units in it and the combination of different fabrics/colors.

Cindy's quilting made it a stand-out, no doubt.  Cindy loves doing unique quilting motifs and is unusual in that most of the time, she just starts quilting a quilt without a lot of thought as to where the design will take her as she starts.  Her method has never failed, to my knowledge - she is one of the best quilters I know of!  Below is a close-up of the quilting in Butterfly Kiss.

And I love how Cindy made the butterfly antennae part of her quilting design, as seen below.

Janice Schwausch is a long-time member of Lakeview and made Galaxy of Stars (65 by 65") after being part of a block exchange with other guild members at a 2006 Fall Retreat led by Lisa Moore.  Piecers included Janice, Lisa, Sharon Meyer, Denise Green, and various other retreat participants.  The design is original.

Below you can see the beautiful quilting done by Marcia Henry, another fabulous longarm quilter in our guild.

A fairly new quilter, Jenny Arkinson, made "Twister" (62 by 78"), which I quilted for her (since she's my daughter!).  You'll see its twin later ("Bean Soup").  We both saw a quilt in a book (Civil War Legacies II) by Carol Hopkins and liked the blocks in the quilt, so I made a paper foundation and we proceeded to make the blocks and develop our own setting layout.  This was another quilt that was designed as a "scrap-eater" but it hardly made a dent in my scrap box or Jenny's!

Here is a close-up of the blocks in the quilt.

Lecia Majewski made "Fall Fun" (65 by 80") -- her friend, Ivy Croft, made the blocks and Lecia set them using Electric Quilt.  Cindy Gravely quilted the quilt when it was finished.  The blocks were made as part of a block of the month done through Cactus Quilts, a shop in Texas City.  The fabric colors used in this quilt are wonderful.

Here is a close-up of the blocks and the quilting.  As always, Cindy did a great job quilting this quilt.

Laundry Basket Quilts' "Blue Bell" pattern by Edita Sitar was the source for Marcia Henry's quilt, "Bluebells to Honor Texas."  Stars have always been one of Marcia's favorite blocks, and she used them in a great setting in her quilt.

This block is one of my favorites - and Marcia's use of the zig-zag border is great.  Below is a close-up of the block and the quilting; Marcia quilted this quilt herself.

Marsha Fuller used my pattern, Afternoon Delight, to make her own quilt which she called "Afternoon Delight in the Thirties" (88 by 88").  Lee Ann Lively quilted Marsha's quilt.  I love how Marsha chose to make this quilt using 30's reproduction fabrics; it gives the quilt an entirely different flavor.  Marsha used care and fussy cut some of the cute motifs in the 30s fabrics when she cut out her pieces.  It added a lot of interest to each of the blocks.

Below is a close-up of some of the blocks and the quilting.  The quilt motifs used were especially unique and wonderful.

Marsha also made "Omigosh, Baskets and Cheddar!" (76 by 87") in her rendition of my Omigosh pattern.  Marsha added a unique touch to this quilt by substituting basket blocks for some of the shoo-fly blocks I had used in my version.  And she set it all with a cheddar civil war print, which adds quite a bit of zing to her quilt.

Below you can see some of the blocks - as well as Lee Ann Lively's scrumptious quilting.

"Wedding Star" was made by Mary Jo Thompson (94 by 94") and quilted by Marcia Henry.  The design source was Judy Niemeyer's Wedding Star quilt.  Mary Jo made this quilt for her grandson, Cody and his beautiful bride-to-be, Kinsey.  They got married last weekend after eight years of dating. 

Check out the great pantograph quilting done on this quilt.

Pat Switzer made "Dots for Suzi" (67 by 78"), which was then quilted by Kay Naranjo.  The design source was Spinwheels by Tricia Cribbs (Turning Ten).  Pat made this quilt for the 18th birthday of one of her great nieces and nephews.  I love the soft colors with the contrasting dark print.

Below you can see some of those colors - along with the fabulous quilting done by Kay.

Patricia Chilton made "Mariner's Compass - Guiding the Way" (105 by 105"), which was quilted by Denise Green.  This was a very striking quilt when hung in the quilt show.

Below you can see some of Denise's detailed quilting.  Denise just opened a new quilt shop between Houston and San Antonio.
Here's another close-up of the quilting.  Wow!

Patricia Mayer is one of the founding members of our guild, and her work is always first-class.  Her "My English Garden" (63 by 72") was quilted by Cathy Carnew.  The design source was one that Patty adapted from a pattern by Edita Sitar.  This was Patty's first attempt at English Paper Piecing and she says she enjoyed making the quilt.  All of the fabrics came from her stash except the last border.

Here is a close-up of Patty's quilt.

Another Patty, Patty Dillon, was the winner of the guild's 2013 raffle quilt, "Reminiscence" (90 by 73").  Many guild members worked on this quilt, which was quilted by Denise Green.  The design source was a pattern from the Rabbit Factory.  One of my favorite things about this quilt is that 9-patches were used as sashing strips between the appliqued blocks.  Genius!

Here is a close-up of one of the many gorgeous blocks in this quilt.

Sharene Carr did her own version of magic when she created "Texas Country Magic" (101 by 102").  This quilt was a block-of-the-month series offered by Stitchin Heaven, a great source for block-of-the-month quilts.  Starr Designs hand-dyed all the rich and rustic fabrics for this quilt of stars.  The blocks were all pieced using paper foundations.

I don't believe these blocks could have been made very easily without paper foundations. 

Rosann Gilbert added her magic by quilting this quilt for Sharene. 

"Basket Case" (66 by 75") was made by Sharon Meyer.  A smaller version of this quilt is available (9 blocks with little baskets as sashing strips) is available in kitted form at  Sharon started the larger baskets many years ago at a workshop in Bandera, and Sharon decided when our guild offered a UFO challenge (to finish 5 quilts in 10 months).  She added the little baskets as sashing, which made all the difference in the world!

Here is a close-up of the baskets.  This was another scrap-eater, for sure.  Sharon quilted this quilt on her domestic machine.

Sharon also made her own version of my Afternoon Delight pattern, which she called "Delightful" (87 by 87").  She said, "the small applique blocks were a delight to create.  The double nine patches, not so much.  However, they do form a perfect union." 

Here is a close-up of Sharon's quilt.  Take a look at the quilting done by Lee Ann Lively.  It was perfect for this quilt!

And Lee Ann's choice for a border motif was wonderful!

Here, you can see a close-up of the quilting across 9-patch block.  It took a lot of time to quilt this quilt, for sure!  But it was worth it...

...because Sharon won Best of Show at the quilt show this year!  Aren't those ribbons terrific?  Our guild members always make the ribbons that hang on the quilts.

Sharon had another quilt in the show based on my Lily Rosenberry pattern.  She called it "Sharon's Lily Rosenberry" (86 by 86").  She made half of the blocks in this quilt and a friend made the other half as part of a bet.  Unfortunately, Sharon lost the bet... and had to make all the blocks for herself because she really wanted this quilt.  That's commitment!  It's also friendship; as Sharon said, "Best of all, we are still friends!"

Cindy Gravely quilted Sharon's quilt for her - and did a wonderful job, as you can see.

Sherrie Thomas also made "Lily Rosenberry" (89 by 89") and had Cindy Gravely quilt it for her.  Sherrie, owner of Painted Pony 'n Quilts, said "I loved this quilt from the minute I saw the pattern.  I didn't think I would ever have the time to work on a project of this magnitude until I had to have a total knee replacement.  That's what gave me the start and it took two years to finish."  Sherrie is a very busy lady, so I'm surprised it only took two years!

You can see that Cindy chose a different set of motifs to quilt Sherrie's quilt.  I love them both!

Of course, I entered my own Afternoon Delight and quilted it on my longarm machine.  This was a really fun quilt to make:  the pieced blocks were a mindless stitching effort at various quilt retreats - and once the prep work was done on the applique blocks, they could each be stitched in a long afternoon - hence, the name, "Afternoon Delight."

Here's a close-up of the quilt - you can see that my quilting motifs differed from other people's.

I also entered "Feathered Star Heaven" (81 by 81"), which I machine quilted based on the way Cindy Gravely had quilted our guild's raffle quilt.  I had designed our guild's 2016 raffle quilt, which I liked so much that I made this one for myself.

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That's all of the quilt show quilts for this month - I'll show you more next month, including some really spectacular ones.  In the meantime, several of you sent me pictures of your quilts, which I'll share below.  I love seeing what people have been busy making!

Here is a version of "Omigosh" made by Belinda Betts.  She said had been working on it for about two years and finally finished it - though she hasn't decided if she wants to add an outer border or not.  I love this quilt every time I see it.  Yes, it takes a lot of time to make it, but my thought is that it is the perfect quilt to work on at retreats and sew-ins because you can just cut strips and start sewing without having to worry too much - and you can enjoy all the conversations going on around you as you sew!

Beth Cavers sent me the picture below from her guild's quilt show - the culmination of a year of planning and lots of meetings to make it all happen.  The quilt is a king-sized one (108 by 108") - wow - made by Jeanne Nagel and quilted by Emily and June Bockstrom.  Jeanne said "I made two of these quilts in the last three months, one for my daughter Vivian and her family in Calgary and one for me.  You can see lots of 1-inch pieces - approximately 20,000 in each quilt!"  I can't believe how much effort Jeanne put into making two of these quilts so quickly - I'm quite impressed!

Doris Morelock Henderson of Basehor, Kansas, made her own version of "Lily Rosenberry", which was quilted by Theresa Ward.  She made the quilt when she traveled to Sanibel Island in Florida.  She was rewarded for her effort with a First Place and Viewers' Choice ribbon at her local guild's show.  Her work is stunning - her ribbons are no surprise to me.  The layout of a 4-block version of Lily, along with the borders around it and her choice of colors is wonderful.

This is definitely a quilt that I hope Doris sends to national shows so that more people can see it.  In the close-up below, you can see why.  The quilting is wonderful, but notice the binding and the detail in it.  You don't often see such excellence, but here it is!

The quilt below was made as a gift for a dear friend.  Jenny Arkinson purchased it as a kit from Lone Star Quiltworks ( ) in Bryan, Texas, home of the Texas A&M Aggies!  Jenny called this quilt "Welcome Home" because she is giving it to one of her old college roommates, who moved back to Texas after spending 14 years working in Washington, D.C.  Jenny quilted this on my longarm - her first longarm-quilting job, ever!  She used the Baptist Fan/dinner plate motif, which really set off the quilt nicely.

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So what am I working on?  Well... mostly, I'm figuring out what I can finish in the next year or so.  For those of you who did not read my May blog post, I was diagnosed with Stage Four lung cancer.  I'm very blunt about how much time I have left; I'd rather not bury my head in the ground, but instead choose to focus on enjoying family, friends, and quilting in the months ahead.  I did get some good news last month -- after doing a molecular profile study of my lung fluid, my M.D. Anderson Cancer Center oncologist told me that I have an unusual genetic defect that gives me 2 years instead of one year of a median life expectancy.  I'll take it!

So here is one quilt that I have had on my pole frame for about a year and a half.  I've finished about three-fourths of the hand quilting on it, and hope to finish the rest of it in the next few months, between other projects.

This is an original design - a New York Beauty with an oak leaf reel encased in the blocks.  I LOVE this quilt but since I stitch in the ditch around every seam, it is taking a lot of hours!

Several of you have asked about my "Blue Heaven" quilt and its progress.  I haven't worked on it in three months but have every intention of picking it up to finish the borders (two are done - you can't see them in the picture below).  And I'm working on the pattern for it as I make it.  Those little squares are all 1/2-inch in size, but the quilt is surprisingly easy to make since it is all strip-pieced!

I made the Princess Feather quilt below quite a while back, so now it's a matter of quilting it.  My friend, Cindy Gravely, has agreed to quilt it for me, just to make sure it gets done!  I love Princess Feather designs.

And a couple of you have asked about the status of my "Target Practice" quilt.  It's done... AND quilted!  I finished the quilt about a year and a half ago... and it has been sitting around, waiting for me to figure out how I wanted it quilted.  I finally figured it out:  I would get Cindy Gravely to quilt this one for me, too!  This was a fun quilt to make -- I started out by making one block... and then just started adding more to it, without knowing exactly where it was headed.  One of the things I knew I wanted to do, after making the blocks, was to make a "border" of circles.  I had seen that done in an antique quilt a decade ago or so... and that memory never faded.  So here it is!

Cindy's quilting really made this quilt shine - she chose to ignore the sashing strips and just go with whatever moved her as she quilted it (kind of like me, when I made it).  He work is stunning!  I would have liked to enter it in the Houston quilt show this Fall, but they do not allow ANY quilts where the quilter has been paid for her services.

Here's another close-up, where you can see the border of circles.  It was so fun to make this!

And finally, here's a close-up of the border.  Whee - it's done!

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And now...  I have one more surprise to show you!  If you went to the Houston Quilt show in 2015 and dropped by Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms' booth, "The Quilt Show," you may have seen their block-of-the-month, Rajah Revisited.  It was a replica of the quilt made by women prisoners onboard the ship Rajah as they were being shipped to Australia from England.  The quilt was a nice-looking one with a lot of history behind it, but it also had a lot of English-paper-pieced units on it... which I just don't do and don't want to learn to do!  I talked to Alex about using the same fabric kit they used in the Rajah Revisited quilt... and making something entirely different with those same fabrics.  Hmmm.  What would this turn out to be?  I had no idea (seems to be a lot of that going on) but decided to just start working and see where it led me.  Here was the first quilt I made with the kit - The Star Medallion quilt.

Here is the center block of the quilt - a feathered star, another one of my favorite blocks.  The instructions for this block make it easy for even a beginner to make!

But wait... there's more!  I still had a lot of fabric left from the quilt kit... so I used it to make this lap quilt.  It is a fast and easy one - perfect for a gift for someone, even if it's only yourself!

Here's a close-up of the quilt so you can see the quilting in it.

But wait, wait... there's more!

I still had a lot of fabric left over from the kit, so I made a little doll-sized quilt and a little teddy bear covered in crazy quilting, of all things!  He's the perfect little teddy for a young child to cuddle up with. 

So just imagine - if you buy the kit for The Rajah Quilt, you can make all of these quilts and the teddy out of just one kit!  Go to or and find out how you can purchase the kit and get your patterns for a large lap quilt, a smaller lap quilt, a doll quilt, and a crazy-quilted teddy.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer - I am staying indoors most of the time because the Texas heat is already oppressive (after months of frog-strangler rains) and we aren't even close to August, when it starts really boiling!  And when I've got the energy, I'm working on finishing quilts.  My chemo treatments take away a lof of my energy, and leave me about an hour and a half to two hours a day when I'm "productive," but that's alright - I'm doing well and life is good.  I send thanks to all of you have commented here or sent cards and emails of hope and courage and grace to me.  They really do give me a sense of being connected to all of you.  Quilters are the best friends in the world.

Happy quilting!

(c)2016 Susan H. Garman