Friday, September 25, 2015

Piecing a double wedding ring quilt top from the past

Some stitching friends and I got together last weekend in Sewanee for a couple hours of Slow Stitching. One of the projects that came out of the UFO [unfinished object] pile was this lovely double wedding ring quilt top started by Claire's mother.
Unfinished double wedding ring quilt top.
We laid the bulk of the top across two tables to assess the progress. Except for a few pieces, the top is almost complete and Claire is determined to finish it. I love time-span quilts, don't you?
Assessing the next steps.
The rings are pieced by machine, but the muslin footballs and centers are all pieced by hand. This is not an easy pattern! Claire's mom was obviously quite a proficient piecer as the top lays very flat.
One ring needs to be removed and relocated to finish the top.
It appeared that all the necessary pieces were there in order to finish the top. One partial block had an extra "football" unit (above photo) that needed to be taken off to make the pieces fit together properly. Claire thinks this misplaced ring contributed a bit of frustration to the project and might have been the reason her mom set it aside and it didn't get finished. This will soon be remedied.
The misplaced football will go at the end of this row.
You can tell by the placement of the fabrics in the rings and intersections that the original quiltmaker had a definite color scheme in mind. Claire plans to keep the scalloped edge and has additional fabrics from her mom's fabric stash to use for binding. 
You can see the carefully executed color plan for this quilt.
Won't this two-generation double wedding ring be so charming when it's quilted and bound? What a heart-warming story it tells. I'll have to suggest to Claire to document the story on a label.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The last day of Chattanooga's AQS quilt show

"You'll never look at quilting
the same way again."
Saturday is the last day of the AQS quilt show in Chattanooga. If you don't go see it today, it's gone!

The lectures are entertaining, amusing and informative. The classes are enlightening and motivating. The vendor floor is buzzing with activity and inspiration. And of course the quilts… oh, the quilts... As the banner says, "You'll never look at quilting the same way again."

By the way, this banner with my quilt, "Pi" has hung over aisle 400 all this week. It's been on everyone's name badge, too, which has been very cool for me.

It's been a fun, exhausting and exhilarating week… running into past and present guild friends, former students, fellow workshop attendees, clients and various stitching comrades... meeting all kinds of talented quilters and making new friends in the classes, lectures and on the show floor—all kindred spirits.

I hope you don't pass up this wonderful opportunity! Over 180 quilts, plus 5 special exhibits.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chattanooga AQS QuiltWeek Opens, September 16-19

It's Opening Day at AQS QuiltWeek in Chattanooga! 
AQS QuiltWeek Chattanooga is open!
Septembre 16-19, 2015
Go see: 
  • the show quilts (marvel at the juried entries and the winners), 
  • the special exhibits (got your eye on one of the Egyptian appliqué quilts? They are for sale!), 
  • drop your dollars at the vendor booths (they're showing lots of cool new stuff), 
  • take a workshop or sign up for a lecture,
  • visit the other in- town exhibits (the WorkSpace exhibit has 40+ quilts and hand-crafted stitchery items for sale by local artists), and
  • munch out at the local eateries in downtown Chattanooga.
Blue Rhino Moon
by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
Here is my quilt, Blue Rhino Moon, that you can see up close if you go to the show. A photo of my entry from last year, Pi E2—Exponentially Embellished is being used in the AQS marketing materials this year and you can see a piece of it on all the name badges.

Make a day or week of it! If you're a quilter, you will appreciate the talent, creativity and exquisite hand and machine workmanship of these pieces.

If you are not a quilter and are not familiar with AQS [the American Quilters Society], these quilts are ART! They are not like the "old time-y quilts" you think of when watching black/white TV movies of settlers crossing the plains in covered wagons, or what someone's granny made from old clothes. 

This is an art exhibit with fabric and thread!  …with several pieces made by local Chattanooga area quilters. And it's here in ChattanoogaAQS QuiltWeek Chattanooga.

QuiltWeek name badge includes a photo of my quilt,
  Pi E2—Exponentially Embellished.
See you there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Countdown Day 1: Sneak peek at Chattanooga QuiltWeek

Rapid-fire post #7 and Chattanooga QuiltWeek eve. We hung the first group of quilts on Monday afternoon. Let me tell you, there is some stunning work on display in the Chattanooga Convention Center!
Hanging the quilts for Chattanooga AQS QuiltWeek 2015.
The AQS staff has the system down pat and many hands make the work go quickly. Here are fellow Choo Choo Quilters, Ginny, Sherry, Vista and Cristy with our official 2015 royal blue Volunteer aprons.
From left: Ginny, Sherry, Vista and Cristy.
Choo Choo Quilters volunteers.
Ginny and I had the privilege of hanging some of the bigger quilts—one being a Dear Jane quilt. Yes, Dear Jane is still alive and kicking and there are some amazing hand quilted quilts in the show as well. Hanging the bigger quilts takes some stamina, however. Those babies are heavy! (Nothing 2 Advils and a good night's rest can't cure.)

I laid out my "work clothes" for Tuesday's quilt show duties—including a well-worn and well-loved 1999 AQS Paducah T-shirt. It's ready to see another quilt show in the making. We're reporting at 9 a.m. to hang the special exhibits.
1999 AQS Quilt Show T-shirt.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Countdown Day 2: Turning orphan blocks into cuddle quilts

Like many quilt guilds, my guild, the Choo Choo Quilters, has a community service project. We make lap size quilts for a local children's agency. These two cuddle quilts were completed in August after our annual guild Cuddle Quilt workshop (an all-day sew-in and get-together).
Cuddle Quilts.
While tidying my studio recently, I uncovered this quilt top, made with 4 orphan blocks and miscellaneous scraps. Oh gosh, I think I pieced this top 4 or 5 years ago. See what a little house cleaning will do?? 
Lap quilt made from 4 orphan blocks.
38.5" x 36"
There were three 10" blocks and one 9" block leftover from two previous projects. How to make them fit together? Turn them on point, "sash" with over-sized corner triangles, and let them float. This made four 15" blocks and the basis for a good-sized lap quilt. Can you tell which is the smaller block?

The top got machine quilted and bound [by machine] this weekend and these three cuddle quilts will be turned in at the next guild meeting. Finito! Nope… no Slow Stitching on this project.
Three finished Cuddle Quilts.
This is rapid-fire post #6 and 2 days until Chattanooga AQS QuiltWeek® opens. I've volunteered to help hang the quilts in the show, so I'll get a sneak peek.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Countdown Day 3: English Paper Piecing

3 days until Chattanooga AQS QuiltWeek® and rapid-fire post #5.

As a follow-up to rapid-fire post #4 on the Slow Stitching Movement and English Paper Piecing (EPP)... this is Paper Pieces. It's a cool little shop in a huge, high-ceiling-ed house in the arts district in Paducah, KY. You could call it "Hexagon City," as it's home to all things EPP—tools, templates (paper and acrylic), books, patterns and EPP inspiration to the hilt! If you want to try piecing/quilting with hexagons, visit Jess who runs the store or go to the Paper Pieces web site.
Paper Pieces, Paducah, KY
The shop is located close to the National Quilt Museum and other galleries, stores and artsy venues near the Paducah riverfront.
Millefiori Quilts book by Willyne Hammerstein.
By the way, have you seen the New Hexagon Millefiori quilts? Talk about Hexie-mania! This is the hot new trend in fussy-cut, kaleidoscope hexagon quilts. Here is a book by Willyne Hammerstein, here is Katja's QAL, and check out Sharon's posts about her La Passacaglia Quilt at the Lilabelle Lane blog.

BTW, Paper Pieces has paper piecing packs for La Passacaglia.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Countdown Day 4: The Slow Stitching Movement

Slow stitching with hexies and micro fills.
4 days until Chattanooga AQS QuiltWeek®.

Rapid-fire post #4 is about the Slow Stitching Movement. Have you heard about it? It's the brainchild of crazy quilt guy, Mark Lipinski. Wanna learn more or be part of the Slow Stitching Movement? Get an overview in the "Welcome" blog post here.

Here is a WIP [work in progress] photo of a slow stitching project—hexagons with free-motion quilting. The hexies are pieced and appliquéd by hand (aka: slow stitching). And even though the quilting is by machine, when you do a lot of micro fills, it's not fast!

My hexies are simple and minimal but they show quite nicely on this saffron shot cotton [Peppered Cotton] background. This piece is included in the Chattanooga Quilts Trunk Show I mentioned in rapid-fire post #3.

If you wanna see some amazing, over-the-top hexie work, check out Katja Marek's magnificent pieces in this Slow Stitching blog post.

In tomorrow's rapid-fire post, I'll share a cool place to get all kinds of hexagon and English paper piecing paraphernalia and inspiration. Until then, get your Zen on and try some slow stitching...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Countdown Day 5: Additional quilt exhibits are on tap in Chattanooga during QuiltWeek

5 days until Chattanooga AQS QuiltWeek®. Rapid-fire post #3.

In addition to the AQS quilt show at the Chattanooga Convention Center, here are two other quilt exhibits for your viewing pleasure. My friend and fellow ATC artist, Karen Downer, curated the exhibit that is now hanging at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. Twelve quilts, representing a variety of quilt styles and techniques, were made by Chattanooga area quilters. "Marketplace," one of my improv quilts, is among the twelve.
Chattanooga WorkSpace is also hosting a "Quilts of Chattanooga" Trunk Show September 15 - 18, from 3pm to 8pm. This exhibit, sponsored by one of our wonderful local quilt shops, Chattanooga Quilts, is a delightful collection of quilts made by patrons of the shop.
Chattanooga Quilts Trunk Show, September 15 - 18 from 3pm to 8pm.
WorkSpace is located downtown, across from the downtown YMCA. At last year's trunk show, there was artwork by local artists, hand-crafted ceramic mugs and fabric bundles available for purchase. Need a unique holiday gift? Might wanna check this out!

There is also going to be a display of small format quilts based on the Game of Thrones TV series at Spool Quilt Shop, on Friday evening, September 18. All the quilts use a specified selection of Peppered Cottons designed by Pepper Cory. Tickets for the exhibit, called "Game of Quilts," are on sale at the shop.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Countdown Day 6: Piecing batting, method 2

6 days until Chattanooga AQS QuiltWeek®.
Rapid-fire post #2. Here's another way to join pieces of batting together. This method works well if you have a large batt laid out on a table ready for basting and you find it's not quite big enough.

Batting prep and Cutting:
1) Slide a cutting mat under the batting. Overlap the two pieces of batting.
2) With the rotary cutter, cut a curve through both layers.
3) Remove the trimmings and abutt the pieces together.
1) Overlap the pieces of batting. 2) Cut a gentle curve through both layers.
3) Remove trimmings and abutt edges.
I like to make a curved cut so the join is more random and distributed—not in a straight line. This minimizes the chance that the join coincides with where the quilt might be folded.

Sewing the Seam: Use a thread color that blends with the batting so it won't show through the quilt top. (A darker thread was used here for visual purposes.) Thread a hand sewing needle. Knot one end of the thread or use a few short stitches to secure the thread.

Join the pieces with a hem stitch,
Batting joined with a hem stitch.
… a zigzag stitch or whip stitch.
Batting joined with a zigzag stitch.
End with a couple of small backstitches to secure the thread. I normally don't make a knot on this end. The stitching just needs to hold the batting together until the piece is quilted. Once quilted, the batting stays in place and no one knows it was pieced.

Anyone else use this method to piece batting?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Countdown: 7 days 'till Chattanooga AQS QuiltWeek

The AQS QuiltWeek® Chattanooga is a week away: September 16 - 19. To prime the pump, I thought I'd do a rapid-fire series of short quilting posts on various topics—whatever comes to mind—a tip, a tool, an exhibit, or a photo of something that is currently in the works. (LOL… that's an on-going list that gets ever longer.) So, with 7 days to go, I'll start with a tip.

I recently learned this tip from a fellow guild member, Dawn J., at our guild's annual Cuddle Quilt workshop. Ever have chunks and pieces of batting that are too big to throw away but aren't quite big enough for the project you're working on? Yup, we've all been there. This is a quick seam method for piecing batting:
Use a 3-step zigzag stitch to piece two pieces of batting together.
Dawn abutts the pieces of batting together and uses a 3-step zigzag stitch on her sewing machine to secure the join. The batting lies flat—no lumps. The 3-step zigzag is flexible, is secure and probably easier to sew than a regular zigzag. And, it's fast (compared to one of the methods I've been using, which I'll share tomorrow).
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...