Thursday, September 1, 2016

Let's Celebrate More Quilts!


I'm back again!  I hope you are all having a great day -- it's a great day for a WONDERFUL day whenever you can sit down for a few minutes and look at some quilts, right?  I certainly think so!  This month I have more of my local guild's quilt show quilts to show you.  These gals and two guys are world class, so I have no issues showing these quilts to you, and not as cast-off pictures.  They are great!  I also have a lot of pictures from some of you who sent them to me in July and August.  I'm still catching up.  I promised, several months ago, to show you how to make tassels and I'm finally ready to do that.  And, finally, I'll tell you what I'm working on now.  I wish I could work faster (come on now... I've been asking each of you to invent hours in the day and so far nobody has been any help at all, least of all myself.  Help!).

Lakeview Quilters Guild has about 300+ members.  We never get as many quilts as we'd like for our show, for some reason, so we general fill in a big "hole" with one of my favorites:  a few antique quilts!  Below are the ones that were shown at this year's shown.  First is a Grandmother's Flower Garden.

The Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt is made of hexagons (and a few half-hexagons on two sides) and is a pretty simple quilt to make.  It's never been one of my favorite designs, probably because I just cannot see myself ever making one.  I don't like making hexagons!  This one was hand-quilted, and quilting it by hand or by machine is no small task, as you can see.

Another old quilt pattern is Ocean Waves.  It is generally seen with off-white center squares but this version, with the pink squares and border, is quite nice.

I also like how the border is quilted, with the large triangles.  Sweet!  Another thing I like about Ocean Waves quilts is that they are usually two color or scrappy quilts and I love examining all of the different fabrics in the scrappy versions.  There are tons of different fabrics to study.  I've gotten away from saving pieces this size; it's just too much trouble to sew them all together one by one.

Here is a President's quilt made in the early 1900s.  It celebrates the presidents - and various embroidered motifs.

Here is William Taft's block.  You'll note that his date of death is blank... that means she forgot to add it after he died, as she did with the other two blocks shown below, or he died after she finished the quilt.

Here is Grover Cleveland's block.  I wonder if she had a pattern for each block that included the President's name and the embroidery... or if she just chose an embroidery pattern randomly.  Note that she added his year of death in 1908.

And here is John Tayler's block - with his death date added as 1862.  Wait a minute...  We never had a president named Tayler, did we?  No... it was John Tyler, who did, indeed serve 1841-45 as the tenth president of the U.S.

This quilt, owned by Sharon Meyer, is one of my favorite antique quilts.  It's a variation of a classic Princess Feather quilt.  It is beautifully made and wonderfully quilted.

Check out the quilting on this quilt.  It is stunning with its tiny little clam shell background!

Here is another classic quilt from the 1930s - a double wedding ring quilt.  I love how these quilts sneak in bits of cheddar fabric that give them a nice little spark.

And now for the guild members' quilts.  The first one is a Triple Four Patch made by Becky Stephenson and quilted by Cynthia Clark.  The original block design was from an old issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  The design source for the quilt was based on a June 1996 issue of Timeless Treasures.  Becky and I and others did quite a few block exchanges with each other to get a variety of blocks to put in our quilts.  What I love about this quilt is that the little four-patch blocks, made with a print and assorted shirtings, are placed such that they march in a line of little white and off-white squares that move around to create large diamonds in the quilt.

Carolyn Hughes pieced Heigh-Ho the Derry-O (81 x 100") and had husband Errol "Pete" Hughes, who is the longarm quilter in her family, quilt it.  He does wonderful work.  The blocks for this quilt were started in a guild Farmer's Wife "club."  Doing sets of blocks with others provides both information and friendship.

Pete quilted the quilt using a Jamie Wallen feather design in the white setting triangles.  All of the feather scroll borders and other quilting were Pete's original designs.

Carolyn Hughes also made Starstruck (72 x 87"), which was also quilted by her husband, Pete Hughes.  The quilt's design source was Winnie Fleming's Split Lone Star.  Winnie teaches this quilt in our local quilt shops.  Look at all the ribbons this quilt won in our show!

Carolyn likes oriental and metallic fabrics, so she included a number of them from her stash.  She said this quilt was challenging but fun to make.  The abundance of white space in this quilt design gave Pete plenty of opportunity to quilt to his heart's content.  He generally avoids quilting feathers, but he had recently taken a class from Jamie Wallen, who urged Pete to "do feathers."

Cherie Kridler's Twelve Friends (61 by 76") was made as part of an exchange.  Twelve of us agreed to make a 12-inch block along with two 4- by 12-inch sashing strips with a 4-inch cornerstone block.  It was up to the maker to decide how to assemble these units.  Cherie used the cornerstones and sashing strips to make a border on her quilt. 

The blocks were all to be star blocks, so many of the blocks came from Carol Doak's "50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars."  Cherie's setting was inspired by Sharyn Craig's "Twisted Sets" book. It is an older book with very unusual settings - particularly for those who do a lot of sampler blocks.  The block below was one of my favorites.

And the block below was actually my block!

Below is one of the border strips.  Note the beautiful quilting on it!

Cindy Gravely and Amanda Bass made Navajo Nights (55 by 64").  We don't often get to see Cindy's quilts in our shows.  She's a longarm quilter and most of her time is spent quilting other people's quilts (when she's not raising her family and teaching school and coaching physical education!).  She's prolific... and does WONDERFUL longarm work.  She made this quilt for a friend's retirement after seeing the design in a Houston quilt show.

Debbie Shabot made Hugs and Kisses (62 by 62"), which was then quilted by Cathy Carnew.  The design came from Cotton Rainbow, made by Georgette Dell'Orco of Cozy Quilts Designs.  Debbie used different batiks from her stash and my guess is that she had a bit of a challenge finding gradations that worked together.  At least... I would have been challenged!  Debbie liked the way the design and the fabrics allowed for lots of movement within the quilt.

Debbie had two different friends make the same quilt with different fabrics from her stash and says each quilt is beautiful in its own right.  But she says that her quilt really came to life when Cathy Carnew put her magical quilting into it, with medallions in the negative space and lots of other designs in the remainder of the quilt.  Take a look - the quilting is amazing!

Diane Helmer made and quilted Arkansas Beauty (75 by 75") after buying a magazine with the Gail Hatcher pattern - and then she bought the same fabrics.  She didn't start working on it until 2014, though -- nine years later.  I imagine that we all have done that at one point or another.  I love the dynamic symmetry of the blocks in this quilt - including the outer border.

Diane says that if you look closely, you can see some of the hand applique in the outer border and in some of the blocks.  She says there are almost 700 half-square triangles in this quilt.  Wow!

Dottie Pope is a fan of Kaffe Fosset fabric, which is what she used in making her large quilt, Never Enough Kaffe (82 by 110"), which she quilted herself.  She says this quilt started out as a small lap quilt (can you imagine it?) but it just keep growing and growing.  She says "Guess I had more Kaffe fabric than I thought I had...."  Photos do not do this quilt justice; the fabrics and the diamonds showed up brilliantly when the quilt was hung.

Dottie Pope also made this quilt, Red Millefiore (55 by 66") and quilted it.  It was a knockout in our show with its detailed array of paper pieced units based on La Passacaglia by Netherlands' own Willyne Hammerstein in her Book 1, "Millefiore Quilts."  This was Dottie's first paper-pieced quilt and I'd say she learned her lessons well. 

La Passacaglia literally means "Italian musical movement."  Millefiore is an Italian term suggestive of the glass paper weights that have been popular for many years.  Dottie says that this circular pattern was difficult to stitch, even by hand -- but also very addictive.  But she also says she couldn't put it down until it was finished. 

Here is another detailed picture of the piecing that had to be done on this quilt.  I can't even figure out how she did it using paper foundations.  There is so much precision in Dottie's piecing!

Elsa Tutt made her Disappearing Pinwheel Sampler (70 by 82") with daughter Sara Tutt, and had it quilted by Linda Brandon.  The design source was Disappearing Pinwheel Block 1 - Book 4 by the Missouri Star Company.  Elsa has been championing our guild's sampler bee for a number of years -- they meet monthly and each month a different member (one or more depending on the number of members who have joined for the year) is chosen to present their block and have everyone make one for her, using her choice of block and colors.  It's a great way to get new members involved in our guild bees, which is the primary source of a lot of creativity among our members.  This quilt was made with Moda batik layer cakes and charm square pre-cuts.  Elsa chose to combine four different versions of the Missouri Star Company's disappearing pinwheel blocks with a pieced pinwheel border.  I believe that Elsa chose a unique way to enlarge her quilt without just adding a big huge border to it; the smaller inserted partial borders add interest and uniqueness to her layout.  And look how her four different pieced blocks each look so different just based on her choice of colors and backgrounds. 

Faye Broaddus made and quilted her quilt, Journey (60 by 77") based on a design of the same name by Joanne Rewicki.  She made this quilt by buying a kit and working on it at two different retreats.  Quilts like this are wonderful for retreats -- the blocks are repetitive and "mindless" to work on, giving you the opportunity to sew to your hearts content while also visiting with and making new friends.

Fran Gentry always seems to be making quilts for her children and grandchildren -- I don't know if this one is going to her family, as her children have both been married a long time and her grandchildren are not old enough... but it's a beauty!  Her Wedding Ring of Stars (76 by 78") was quilted by Denise Green who recently opened a new quilt shop in Luling, Texas (go visit her and then stop by the Luling City Meat Market for the best barbecue plate in Texas!).  Fran says that she has two Judy Niemeyer patterns and says they are challenging - but hers sure turned out gorgeous.  I love how she made the maroons and greens play together so well with the gold splicing between them blocks.

Sea Urchins (45 by 45") was made by Jana Albritton and quilted by Marcia Henry.  This may have been a small quilt, but it had a big impact!  Jana took Deb Karasik's class on foundation piecing at the Houston quilt festival several years ago and loved foundation piecing and all of the tips that Deb offered.  She made this quilt based on Deb Karasik's pattern, Batik Wheels. 

This was also Jana's first foray into doing curved binding.  She said it was not easy but rewarding when done.  Take a look at Jana's choice of colors in her quilt.  Wonderful!

Janet Gouveia is another bee-mom in our guild, and below is her Colorado Beauty Happiness (64 by 80").  The quilt was made based on a kit that Janet bought from Five Bucks a Yard at a booth at our quilt show a while back.  This was the first quilt that Janet had ever made for herself!  The kit contained 192 five-inch charm squares -- enough to make twelve blocks.  The block is the Colorado Beauty block which is made entirely of half-square triangles.  Janet says the colors really made her happy.  The quilt was quilted by Janet on her Handiquilter Avante.  Nice job!

Jenny Arkinson is a relatively new quilter (and she happens to be my older daughter!) and we decided to make the Summer Medallion quilt that we saw on the Temecula Quilt Company's website.  Jenny's quilt, The Other Twin (49 by 48") was a delight to see come together, because she learned so much about piecing, making borders fit, and how to recover from errors.  While Jenny and I both used the same pattern and fabrics, our two quilts came out slightly different, primarily because Jenny believes she has to follow the pattern, while I'm inclined to do my own variation of the pattern.  We both loved our final quilts and completely enjoyed sewing together that summer.

Jenny Chiovaro is one of our adventurous quiltmakers, always making quilts that are quite different than everyone else's.  I love her work.  In Ghost Mountains (35 by 35"), she pieced and quilted a simple quilt -- but experimented with a different method of making half-square triangles.  She had a lot of 3-inch squares left over from another project and as she was assembling them on her design wall, they started to look like mountains to her, so she added "ghost" mountains with her quilting.  I love the fresh look that the quilting gave to Jenny's quilt.

Judy Samuelson pieced her Barne Babe (83 by 91") quilt as part of a block exchange with fourteen other quilters.  The design (Barn Loft) was based on a quilt seen at an exhibit at Galveston's Customs House.  Judy machine quilted the quilt on a friend's longarm machine.  There is a richness of color in this quilt, despite not really containing a lot of bright colors.  Many of us who saw this quilt saw it again, in a remade rendition, when a set of blocks showed up at our guild's auction a couple years ago.  The bidding on them was furious!

Judith Cohen made At the Beach, which was quilted by Cindy Gravely.  The design source was Kafee Fasset's publication, Quilts in Sweden.  I love the name of the quilt; it is so descriptive of the old beach "tents" seen in the 1930s on Galveston Island. 

Judy says, "This quilt is very lively, and therefore is a definite treat to the eyes.  It now lives with our grand daughter who enjoys the lively and bright colors.  I love the deigns that Cindy quilted into the quilt; they repeat the notion of a beachy quilt!

Judy Schmidt made and quilted Dancing Dresses (36 by 48").  The design came from a Better Homes & Gardens book on 101 full-sized quilt blocks.  It is such a sweet little quilt; it looks like it ought to be framed!

Here is a close-up of one of the blocks.  Each one is decorated with its own lace and ribbons and buttons.  This would be a grand quilt for a little girl.

Karle Colle made the quilt below, which she called Karla's Christmas flag; she had Denise Green quilt it for her.  I am so jealous!  I've seen this quilt design (Christmas Flag by Tina Curran - it was also printed in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in 2012 n an installment basis) a few times in quilt shows and every time, I just marvel over what a fun quilt this is!

The quilt is paper pieced and involves using a lot of scraps.  Karla says the quilt was a great way for her to use up a lot of her fabric.  What I love about this quilt is that each row or "stripe" on the flag has a different motif on it:  wreaths, snowflakes, snowmen, gifts, mittens, candy canes, ornaments, lights, gingerbread, musical notes, and poinsettias.  What a lot of fun!

Karla embellished the quilt with all kinds of ribbons and bows and threads... after she finished quilting it.  Good idea!

Karla Colle also made Shimmering Kaffe (59 by 59"), which was quilted by Denise Green.  The design came from Shimmering Triangles by Jenny Bowker.  Karla says she had always admired this quilt and thought it would be a great pattern that would show off some of her Kaffe Fassett large prints.  Alternating big prints with tone-on-tone or small print batiks giave the quilt a shimmer effect. 

You can see the combination of Kaffe prints with tone-on-tones and small prints in this close-up, below.

The quilting finishes off some of the fabric designs in the solid areas extending the design and making a feature of the larger, plainer areas.  That is a great idea for how to mingle a quilt center with its border, too.

Kristen Bryson was also taken by Jenny Bowker's Shimmering Quilt when she saw it on the internet and fell in love with it - and then she was lucky enough to see the quilt at the Houston quilt show as a kit.  Kris added her own spin to the kit and here is her quilt, Shimmering Stars.

I love how these quilts dance before your eyes.  I have to really study this quilt to determine where a block starts and stops... and decided that you just have to map out your fabrics when you start making it.  The use of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, one again, makes this a fabulous quilt!

Lecia Majewski entered Board Auction Quilt (60 by 60") in this year's show -- she didn't make it or quilt it; she bought it at the guild auction last year.  It was made by the guild board, who always makes a quilt for the auction.  It only has five blocks in it, but it's a pretty striking quilt!  The pattern was based on a design, Arlington, by Paula Barnes.

The quilt was quilted by Cindy Gravely, who added new dimension to the quilt with her unique quilting.

Linda Ainsworth decided to explore the use of a two-color quilt when she made and quilted Red and Blue Heaven Around the Block (90 by 110").  She pulled many shades of reds and blues -- and added a light blue background fabric to go with them.  When she had made all of the blocks, she auditioned them and played around with them until she found a setting she liked.  At first, I tried to find where the blocks started and stopped, thinking they were larger blocks.  I finally realized that the blocks were all small:  each block is only 3 little triangles and a single larger triangle.  Can you see it now?  How would you have set them?!!

Marcia Henry made and quilted For My Valentine (68 by 84"), based on the design Metro Rings by Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I like this interesting variation on a double wedding ring quilt and the unusual use of different colors in the quilt. 

Marcia Henry also made and quilted Scarlet's Jewels based on the pattern Faceted Jewels by Glad Creations.  This quilt was made when a block-swap group led by Ronda Stockton decided to exchange Faceted Jewels blocks.  Marcia was inspired by Civil War reproduction fabrics that take her mind back to one of her favorite movies, Gone with the Wind, and a time when she was teaching 8th grade American history.  Her choices made an interesting and pretty quilt.

Marcia quilted her own quilt and it is gorgeous!

Marsha Robinson made Grand Illusion (88 by 88"), quilted by Lee Ann Lively.  The design was based on Bonnie Hunter's 2014 Mystery quilt, and was Marsha's first attempt at making a myster quilt.  I'd say she got a winning design in this one!

The quilt was quilted with overlapping circles - a perfect choice for this scrappy quilt.

Mary Jo Thompson, a quilter with one of the biggest hearts in the world, made Sentimental Stars (90 by 110").  It was quilted by Marcia Henry and designed by Winnie Fleming.  This quilt is Mary Jo's interpretation of her love for her grandson Cody and his lovely soon-to-be;wife, Kinsey.  This is a stunning quilt - and a perfect wedding quilt.

Mary Jo says, "May God richly bless their lives."  Take a look at the detailed quilting in this quilt.  Oh my - be still my heart!

Merridy Pyer saw Kris Bryson's quilt like this one at our guild's last spring retreat and thought her neighbor would enjoy it as a gift for all she had done for Merridy and her husband.  It's a beautiful quilt and very southwestern in coloration. 

Merridy called this quilt Haze Kilm.  Quilted by Xing Tinsley, the quilting motifs are perfect for the design and coloration of the quilt.  The quilt has a lot of piecing in it, but Merridy says she enjoyed making it.

Mona Keegan made and quilted My Faithful Lone Star (69 by 69").  The design was based on a 1979 edition of The Lone Star Quilt handbook by Blanche and Helen Young, published in 1969.  She machine pieced the quilt in the 1981-82 timeframe with her old Kenmore machine.  In 1982, she went back to school to study accounting at the University of Houston, and packed this partially-set quilt carefully with tissue in a box.  In 1986, she became a "working girl."  Four years later, her family moved to Pearland and the box went up into the attic for storage.  She retired from ExxonMobil in 2007 and resumed quilting in late 2008.  Mona retrieved the quilt from the box in the attic and discovered that it was still in great shape... so in 2013, she got up the nerve to reset it.  She reworked the middle of the star a bit, with the advice of friends.  She had enough of the original diamonds to make a pieced border.  Here's the border...

Mona continues, "By early 2015, I was brave enough to put it on my longarm and do my own quilting on this dear quilt.  It is a combination of free-motion feathers and ruler work.  It only took about 33 years to complete!  It is truly My Faithful Lone Star!"
Take a look at her quilting -- she is certainly an expert in both quilting and design -- not to mention piecing!

Patty Dillon made Love Letters (56 by 89") and had Denise Green quilt it for her.  The quilt was designed based on a pattern by Sherri K. Falls of This and That Patterns.  I love this pattern! 

This was a block-of-the-month from Painted Pony 'n Quilts in LaPorte, Texas.  Patty said, "this quilt was a piecing challenge, and really improved my skills.  I'm just glad it's finished now!"

Patty Lang made Great Balls of Fire (50 by 50"), which was quilted by Xing Tinsley.  This was Patty's first attempt at making a paper-pieced quilt and she loved the technique.  It took a year for her to finish the quilt, but she is so pleased with the results.  I love the motion in the quilt!

Patty says, "It really looks like great balls of fire."  Yes!!!  And look at the fabulous quilting that Xing did in this quilt.  Xing works in our local quilt shop and is a first-rate longarm quilter.

Renee Eudaley made and quilted Diamonds are Forever (66 by 66"), based on a design taught in a master piecing class our guild sponsored in 2015.  I have long held that most 3-6 hour workshops do not give most quilters enough of a learning experience to make them much better quilters, so about three years ago I pushed for our guild to sponsor $100 3-day workshops taught by some of the best quilters in the country, who each had a different technique to teach.  Nancy Amidon taught prepared-edge applique and gained a whole new following of prepared-edge piecers in our guild.  Jan Krentz taught the lone star design and precision piecing.  Wow!  We've had others, too -- consider pushing this in your own guild; it's a great way to improve the skill base in your guild!  Take a look and you'll see, below.  

Ronda Stockton made Another Day in Paradise with Kafee (74 by 74"), which was quilted by Denise Green.  The design is a Fire Island Hosta by Judy Niemeyer and is a paper-pieced project; Ronda chose to add piping around the leaves to add pop to her quilt - and it worked!  Sometimes the smallest addition really adds a huge amount to a quilt, as did Ronda's piping.

Another quilt that Ronda Stockton entered in our show was Hot Salsa, which was quilted by Cathy Carnew.  The design was from Jan Krentz's Lonestar Summer Salsa.  This quilt was also one made in the master quilt sponsored by our guild.  See what happens when you teach good people good techniques?!!

Look at some of the details in this quilt.  I wish I had been able to take the class but I had a teaching conflict at the time.  Darn!

Ruth Marcott made Field of Texas Wildflowers (60 by 74") and then had Marcia Henry quilt it for her.  The design came from Bethany Reynolds' 45-degree Diamond Magic Lemoyne Star in Magic Stack-n-Whack.  Ruth fell in love with the Texas wildflower fabric about five years ago and pieced the blocks at the guild's spring retreat about three years ago.  Late in 2015, Ruth decided it was time to finish the quilt... finally!  I love how she used nine-patches as the cornerstones in the sashing strips.

Ruth grew up in Central Texas and she says that the spring wildflowers are always a highlight of the year.  This quilt is destined to become a favorite of hers.

Stella Koryciak made her Nine Patch Illusinos (75 by 90") and had Marcia Henry quilt it for her.  She started the quilt when she took a class at a local quilt shop.  She added more blocks to enlarge the quilt from 12 to twenty blocks - a nice-sized bed quilt!  I love the geometric simplicity of this quilt.

I made this quilt last year, and quilted it.  My daughter also made one, though she did not put the "floater" border in the outer border set.  The design idea was inspired by an antique block in Carol Hopkins' Thorns and Roses quilt.  My daughter and I made so many of these blocks that we had oodles left over... so we gave enough to our guild's auction to auction off the blocks for three more quilts like the one below! 

I also chose to put a few different centers in the blocks -- a square-in-square, a four-patch, a half-square triangle, and more.  I believe that it adds interest to have differences within the quilt.

I also made and quilted this quilt, Good Golly (70 by 88").  I love scrappy quilts and I love cheddar (orange) quilts.  This is an original design - which demonstrates my love for intricate piecing... as long as I can paper-piece the blocks!

Here is a close-up of a portion of the quilt.  No, I never bothered to count all the half-square triangles in this quilt!

Tonda Helm made Sherbet Star (68 by 78"); it was quilted by Kris Bryson.  The design was based on a class Tonda attended in our guild that was taught by Pepper Cory.  Pepper's choice of quilt fabrics were darker and made with reproduction fabrics.  Those of us who know Tonda, though, knows she likes to use bright, clear, happy fabrics and more "modern" fabrics.  Tonda says that during the class, Pepper designed a quilting pattern for the four setting corners.  I love the use of Lemoyne stars across the top and bottom of the lone star variation.  They remind me, for some reason, of airplane propellers.

Here is a close-up of the quilting in this quilt.  Nice job!

Trudy Davis made Autumn Delights based on the cover of a McCalls Quilting magazine ad.  She had Marcia Henry add her magic by quilting it.  Trudy made this quilt for a new daughter-in-law -- and because Autumn is her favorite time of year.
*  *  *  *  *
That's all for this month, when it comes to my guild's quilt show quilts -- but there are still more to show you next month.  Hopefully, without a hospital stay, I'll be posting regularly from now on.  Now, though, I'm going to show you some quilt pictures that some readers have sent to me.  I love seeing these!
First of all, Sandy Kristoferson sent me pictures from the Not from Baltimore exhibit that was held in Denton.  What a bunch of fantastic quilts!  The title reflects the inclusion of a civil war bride album quilt and a Jacobean album quilt as well as the fact that we are not from Baltimore.  Take a look at a few of them....
This one has a fabulously interesting outer border - and I love the crazy meandering sashing along with the dots all over the quilt.  Cool!

Here is the civil war bride's quilt that Sandy referred to.  I don't know that I've ever seen one with a cheddar background before.

In fact, here is another quilt with an interesting choice for a background fabric.  Nice!

I love all the roses and leaves in this quilt.  It's gorgeous.  I also love the lack of sashing strips in this quilt.

Of course this one looks familiar -- the blocks are my design!

Again... this quilt uses an interesting background fabric, along with a lot of purple fabrics.

Here's a classic album quilt, for sure.

And this quilt has classic album blocks, all surrounding a very detailed center medallion. 

And here is the Jacobean album quilt Sandy talked about.

Belinda Betts set me a picture of her Omigosh quilt.  She said she has been working on it for a long time - perhaps as long as two years - and it is finally done!  She is undecided as to what she wants to do with her borders, though, but loves the center.  Nice job, Belinda!


At the same time, Beth Cavers sent me a picure of one of quilts in her guild's quilt show.  It was made by Beth Nagel and measures a staggering 108 by 108"square!  Okay... but wait... until you hear this... Jeanne said she made TWO of these quilts in THREE months -- one for her daughter and her family in Calgary and one for herself.  She said there were approximately 20,000 pieces in each quilt.  Eek!  I'm flabbergasted!!!  The quilt was quilted by Emily and June Bockstrom of White Fox, Saskatchewan.

Bryn Wood sent me a picture of her Afternoon Delight earlier this month.  She bought the pattern after starting to follow my blog.  She used lots of shirtings (as many as she could find) and about 40 different fat quarters from "The Morris Apprentice" by Brackman - so Bryn calls her quilt William Morris's Delight.  It won ribbons in her two guild shows in Massachusetts (congrats!) -- a Best of Show as well as first place in the Bed Quilts/Applique category in the Rhododendron Quilt Guild in 015, and a First in the Bed Quilts/Applique category this year in her Quinoequin Quilters Guild.  That's quite an accomplishment, Bryn - and a tribute to your work in making this quilt.

This has rarely happened before but this month I got a bunch of the same quilt from those who sent me pictures! 

The quilt below, Ladies of the Sea, was made by DeeAnn DePaul.  DeeAnn says she fell in love with the quilt when she saw it advertised in Quilters Newsletter Magazine.  She made it a labor of love to dedicate it to her now-retired longshoreman husband.  She decided to use blue for the sawtooth borders to mimic ocean waves, even though the traditional Baltimore album quilts called for red fabric. 

Here is a detailed picture of one of the blocks in the Ladies of the Sea quilt.

And here is a close-up of a portion of the border of the quilt.

I love this next set of pictures, sent to me by Peggy Green.  She made Ladies of the Sea and says, "I want to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of making that quilt.  Her first showing was Labor Day weekend of 2014 and she one a blue ribbon.  In November, she was shown at a local quilt show and was awarded Viewer's Choice.  In the Spring of 2015 she began to show at larger shows, including AQS shows.  She has shown at seven AQS shows, the most recent being Lancaster, PA.  She has garnered several ribbons in her travels."

Here's Peggy standing in front of her quilt.  I have to say that there is a genuine thrill at seeing your quilt, for better or worse, ribbon or not, hanging in a show.  It's a real affirmation when your quilt gets juried into a national show - and I can guarantee that others were inspired and thrilled to see the quilt, as much as you were.  I know I always am when I see a great quilt in a show.  I keep standing in front of it, hoping that some of the talent will rub off on me, I guess!

Look at the spectacular quilting in Peggy's quilt.  Oh my - that was a LOT of work!

Kerry Burke, whose work I love, sent me a picture of her Friends of Baltimore quilt.  It won an Excellence in Workmanship for Applique at Quilt Canada!  Congrats to Kerry - her work is impeccable and if you follow her blog at all, you will learn a LOT!

Sandy Axelrod said she had been thinking about me and thought that sending me a picture of her Ladies of the Sea quilt would make me smile.  Oh yes, indeed, it did!  Her quilt was hanging in a quilt show when she took the picture - and she had finished the quilt!  She had always wanted to make a tall ships quilt and thought that the amount of work and talent was overwhelming... until she saw my pattern.  She loved making this quilt and had a longarmer quilt it for her.  I love the blue background fabric, too.

Doris Henrickson set me a request for permission to enter her Lily Rosenberry quilt in the AQS Des Moines quilt show.  The quilt was quilted by her colleague, Theresa Ward.  They both did a stunning job in completing this quilt!  Doris spent the past year fighting a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer -- and says, "the bonus that came with my cancer" was that she learned how people felt about her and was fortunate to hear it before her death.  She says not everyone is lucky to have that opportunity.  I second everything that Doris said to me -- I have been blown away by all the unbelievable hopes and prayers and wishes that have been sent to me by readers here - as well as through cards, letters, visits with friends, phone calls, and more.  I am so, so blessed, despite knowing that my life will not be what I ever hoped it would become.

But back to this quilt.  Can you believe it?!!!  It is fantastic!

Here is a close-up of the quilt.  I am still just in perfect awe of this rendition of Lily!

The quilt below is a rendition of my Ancient Stars pattern that was entered into the Canadian Quilt Show and won "Excellence in Workmanship for Piecing."  Bravo!

Great friend Kathy Ashlock shared a picture of her status of in making her New York Beauty quilt using my pattern.  I can't wait to see the finished quilt -- she's doing a great job on this quilt!

Pam Windberg was in a class I taught last summer at Tennessee Quilts, where she made her Rose Fans quilt ("so far").  She says she took a good deal of design liberties in making the quilt so far after deciding that making one center block was good enough.  Guess what, Pam?  I LOVE when people take design liberties.  The only bad thing about it is that I often - and your quilt is no exception! - see ideas that I wish I'd incorporated into my own quilt!  Pam says she hasn't decided if she's finished with the quilt yet, or if she wants to add a border and call it finished.  I say keep on keeping on, Pam, and the quilt will tell you when you need to call it finished.

 Pam also sent me a picture of her Mary Mannakee quilt, which she finished a couple of years ago.  Thank you, thank you!  This quilt is spectacular!  I'm so glad you sent it to me and once again inspired me to start another red and green quilt.

Dear friend Vernell Fesperman, one of the sweetest ladies you could ever meet, and whom I had the pleasure of working with when I was at NASA, sent me a picture of her Happy Daze quilt.  She entered her quilt in the Quilt Guild of East Texas in March, which has a plethora of quality quilt entries.  To Vernell's delight, she received a first place and a special ribbon for Best Traditional Quilt.  Congrats, Vernell!

Vicky La Fleur sent me this picture of her and her Sarah's Revival quilt.  She said she made some changes to it to make it hers - which is fine!  It won Viewer's Choice at her guild's show in July.  She used 36 different red fabrics on muslin... and found a repeat of one of the reds when she started quilting it, or she would have had 37 different red fabrics!  This quilt is fabulous and I love the cable border on the border.  It's one of my favorite quilting motifs.

Sue Norfleet made her rendition of Sarah's Revival, "Oh Sarah."  She says it gave her the perfect change to show her love for hand applique and batiks.  She used a different batik for each of the 36 blocks in the quilt and changed the block settings and border design.  This quilt is so "happy."  It reminds me of the Mexican papercut place mats with their bright colors and happy designs. 

Wendy Spey sent me a picture of her All Around the Quilt quilt - which she finished right after she finished nursing school in May.  Double congrats, Wendy -- two wonderful accomplishments!  Wendy says she had so much fun choosing all the fabrics for the houses and the grass.  I love the picture - this is still an old favorite quilt design for me.

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So who wants to know how to make a tassel?  It's not everybody's choice to do, but if you are making a flag on a Baltimore album quilt -- or want to put a flag on a pole, with ropes and tassels, on a quilt like All Around the Town, above, here is an easy way to do it.  Thank you to Georgann Wrinkle who showed me how to make this a year or two ago... finally, I'm getting around to sharing the method with you.
First of all, choose the thread you want to use.  There are all kinds available - most if it is in the embroidery area of your local fabric shops, along with embroidery books and pamphlets.  I like either the size 5 Perle cotton (the gold thread in the picture below -- it's a nice weight without being too big) or the size 12 Perle cotton (the pale purple thread below -- it's a thinner thread good for tassels that are a bit smaller).  I don't like using regular embroidery thread (the darker purple below) because it just doesn't have enough body to it to "look" like a tassel when it's done.

Once you've chosen your thread, grab a credit card.  I'm going to show you how to make the tassels, using both the size 5 and the size 12 thread, so you can see the difference. Wrap your thread around the credit card (I used a Walgreens points-card instead, as it's the same size) lengthwise 30 times.



Take the thread off of the card.  Fold it in half.  After folding it in half, use another piece of thread and tie it in the middle using a square knot (right over left, left over right).
Next, cut an 18-inch length of thread and wrap it around the fold ten times, 1/4-inch down from the fold.  Tie it off with a square knot and let the ends of the thread hang down with the tassel thread loops.
Take a rotary cutter and trim the ends of the tassel off with the ruler on top of them to keep them even.
There you go - you have a nice tassel now!  Yes, there will definitely be moments when you wish you had an extra hand or finger... but this entirely doable! 

So now here is another idea for tassels.  This comes from a 1965 McCall's Needlework & crafts magazine.  Check out the woman with the sweater.

Check her out closer.  How about those tassels?!!!  (not on your life!)

That's all for this month's little mini-tutorial.  If there is something you'd like me to do a tutorial on (and I know how to do it!), let me know.  I'm here to help. 
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So what else has been going on?  What have I been working on?  Unfortunately, my disease has really slowed me down, which is disappointing to me.  But I have so many other blessings in my life that I cannot complain.  I had thought that I would have started working on my blue and white quilt, Blue Heaven, again, but that hasn't happened yet.  Here is how much of it is done, plus two very wide pieced borders.  Once I get started on it, I'll have it finished in no time at all.  I just need more energy!

Instead, I decided to start working on the pattern for my Target Practice quilt.  I had thought that I had started the pattern and spent a good deal of time searching for it... and then realized that perhaps I had just wished I had started it.  It will take me a while to write up this pattern; as you can see, there are a lot of pieces in this quilt.  Actually, though, there are not that many!  There are the center blocks (and half blocks in the border), little cornerstones in the middle and in the corners, a middle border, and an outer border.  Hopefully, it will only take me a couple of weeks to get this pattern written and tested.  Let's hope that I can get it done soon, for sure, before I lose the pieces I prepared already! 

I have also (barely) been working on my grape quilt.  Most of the pattern is already done for it, since it consists of applique templates (which are finished) and assembly instructions (which will be easy to finish).  The problem is just that there are hundreds of grades in this quilt and my applique is hampered by my chemo, which essentially cracks the skin in my fingers.  Ugh!  So I have to go slowly.  I've tried lots of solutions (gloves, thimbles, plastic dots, little rubber things you stick on your fingers, and more...) to no avail.  I just have to go slow, very slow.  Here is an early draft of one block of this quilt.  I'm tempted to call it "Grapes of Wrath."

Here is an early layout, without the grapes...  I've gotten a lot further on it but there is still a lot further to go, as there are the equivalent of 9 of these blocks in this quilt.

I have also finished designing and tested one more block - a double oak leaf reel.  I love oak leaf reels, and this one is really cool with its double layer of red and green reels which all lie on top of a three-color pale tan pieced background.  I can't wait to show it to you - but I don't have enough done to do that yet.  I'm sharing all that I've been working on because I just wanted you all to know that my cancer may be slowing me down... but it hasn't gotten me down.  I'm still a work horse, but just a slower one!  Your words of encouragement and support have meant the world to me.  I have found that family, faith, and friends - though many of us may have never met here on the blog - are truly life-giving.  For that, I give you a thousand wishes for happiness, health, and love!  No... I take that back.  I give you a thousand million such wishes!

Until next month, hang in there and keep on quilting!  I know I will.

(c)2016 Susan H. Garman

PS...  some goofy idiot posted porn in a comment on my blog and I deleted it.  Sadly... I deleted about 20 other comments at the same time.  If yours was one... my apologies!