QM’s Block Party: Jennifer Chiaverini

BlockParty Wmsbg QMs Block Party: Jennifer Chiaverini

Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times best-selling author of the Elm Creek Quilts series of novels, was our keynote speaker on Friday night at Quiltmaker‘s recent Block Party in Williamsburg.

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She shared her journey as a quiltmaker and author. She never anticipated when she wrote her first book about quilters that it would turn into a series.

 

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The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini will be released October 30.

 

 

With 19 books already published, #20, The Giving Quilt, will be released October 30. She’s already working on the next one, to be released in 2013.

jenniferreading QMs Block Party: Jennifer Chiaverini

She delighted our audience with a sneak preview reading from her pre-release copy of The Giving Quilt. In this story, Sylvia and the Elm Creek Quilters are holding “Quiltsgiving,” a free week-long quilt camp to make quilts for Project Linus. Project Linus is a real-life organization that provides handmade quilts and blankets to kids in need.

 

logo QMs Block Party: Jennifer Chiaverini

I was thrilled to hear about this fictionalized connection to Project Linus—Quiltmaker has supported this worthy organization with a pattern in our Jan/Feb issue for many years. You can find all 14 of our free Project Linus quilt patterns at quiltmaker.com/projectlinus.

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Then, the evening got better. As Jennifer closed her session with questions from the audience, a woman spoke up and offered to pay Jennifer $25 for the pre-release book. From the other side of the room, someone else said she’d pay $50.

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Jennifer and I auctioned off the pre-release copy of her book.

Jennifer had already told me that she would give the book away—but we hadn’t decided how we were going to do that. Spontaneously I suggested to Jennifer that we hold an auction for the book with the proceeds going to Project Linus. And so the bidding began!

winner QMs Block Party: Jennifer Chiaverini

Jennifer Chiaverini, left, and JoAnn with The Giving Quilt

 

Here’s JoAnn, the winning bidder, with The Giving Quilt signed by Jennifer Chiaverini. I’ve sent the generous donation on to Project Linus.

Posted in Quilty Lifestyle, Scrapbag | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

QM Scrap Squad: Jennifer’s Old Glory

The QM Scrap Squad is a select group of seven QM readers. They take one pattern from each regular issue of Quiltmaker and make their own scrappy versions to inspire you.

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Old GloryThe Scrap Squad project from the July/August issue of Quiltmaker is Old Glory, designed and made by Margie Ullery of Ribbon Candy Quilt Company.

 

QMMP 120800 PATRIOT flat QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Old Glory

Old Glory, designed and made by Margie Ullery; appears in Quiltmaker July/August '12

 

Today’s featured quilt is by Jennifer Stevens from Holcomb, Kansas. Jennifer blogs here.

 

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Jennifer Stevens from Holcomb, Kansas

You’ll hear from Jen in her own words below.

Our three-month-old son is in the age of black and white and he’s mesmerized by our black and white dog ‘Ellie.’  So that’s how the idea of black and white paw prints was born.

jen3 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Old Glory

This started out as the quilt front but ended up as the back.

Here’s what I started with for the quilt front. I planned to use black and white fabrics for the paw prints. But once I had the strips sewn together, I wasn’t thrilled with it.

 

jen5 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Old Glory

So I started the front over using black and white fabrics for the strips and bright colors for the paw prints.

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I did my borders a little differently from the pattern instructions.

jen1 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Old Glory

The quilting in the center of the quilt is stippling with loops which is one of my favorites. My all-time favorite is the quilting on the borders. It’s paw prints, which fit this quilt perfectly!!

quilting QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Old Glory

Our son is enjoying looking at this quilt very much.

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Jennifer's finished pawprint Old Glory

By winter, he will be ready to use it, but for now, we’ll enjoy the summer!

Jennifer documented her quilt by machine embroidering on the back—she puts me to shame! And this illustrates a very good point: She moved after making this quilt, and now there’s a record of it.

jen6 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Old Glory

I’m sure lots of dog lovers will enjoy Jennifer’s quilt! And didn’t she make a good decision when the first plan didn’t work out? Never be afraid to change your mind mid-stream!

Find the free pawprint applique patterns, along with all the other Scrap Squad applique variations.

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Post: Monique Dillard on Block Party

Today’s post is written by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts. Monique is a QM 100 Blocks designer and joined us recently in Williamsburg as a teacher for Quiltmaker‘s Block Party.

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Monique Dillard

We just got back from a fun-filled retreat in Williamsburg, VA. This was the first Block Party Quiltmaker organized and they did an outstanding job! All the wonderful details that they put into the retreat were enjoyed by everyone. There were giveaways, interesting speakers, a wide variety of classes and an excellent hotel.

BlockParty Wmsbg Guest Post: Monique Dillard on Block Party

 

I was blown away with the number of goodies that each participant received, including the teachers! We got a welcome pack that included patterns, batting, books, retreat information, thread and other goodies.

 

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Tote bags were filled with surprises from our partners and sponsors in the quilting industry.

Each evening, there were more gifts and giveaways and everyone went away with a special package that included fabric, books and much more!

 

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Our generous industry partners and sponsors filled the tote bags with quilty treasures.

One of my favorite parts of the retreat was meeting all the retreat goers. I enjoyed getting to know not only the students in my classes but also my table mates at dinner. Each teacher sat at a different table each night. It was a great opportunity to talk to lots of different people.

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Six guest teachers at Quiltmaker's Block Party mingled with attendees each evening.

One of my favorite things to know about people is where they are from. We had many different areas of the country represented as well as a lady who lives in France and several Canadians. So much fun! It’s fascinating to me how quilting brings us all together with such a common love.

monique Guest Post: Monique Dillard on Block Party

For the three days of the retreat, I taught a design class using my block from Quiltmaker‘s 100 Blocks Volume 1.

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The class was called Red Rover – Playing with Design.

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I had my students do some pre-cutting and pre-sewing so they could really have fun and work with their design in class.

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This student sewed happily in Monique's Red Rover design class.

I heard a few grumbles about the pre-sewing but everyone was thrilled when they got to actually see the results of their labors during class.

 

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Another happy quilter in Monique's class

They finished blocks  in the morning and in the afternoon we played!

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Here are some of my students’ designs.

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This block creates interesting secondary designs,

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depending on how it is rotated.

 

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By changing the fabrics, colors and level of scrappiness, they had amazing results!

 

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PFAFF ambition 1.5: We Have a Winner!

One of the really fun things that happened at Quiltmaker‘s Block Party in Williamsburg is that we got to give away a sewing machine!

blockparty logo PFAFF ambition 1.5: We Have a Winner!

And not just any sewing machine! PFAFF generously donated an ambition 1.5 with an MSRP of $1299.

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PFAFF ambition 1.5

This machine boasts favorite features like PFAFF’s Integrated Dual Feed (IDT) technology, a large high-resolution touch screen and a spacious sewing space—perfect for machine quilting. It also includes 195 stitches and a bobbin thread sensor.

 PFAFF ambition 1.5: We Have a Winner!

Patricia Hansen, left, with QM Editor-in-Chief June Dudley, won the PFAFF ambition 1.5 sewing machine.

Here I am with Patricia Hansen from Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. She was so excited to win this machine. I’m sure it will provide her with years of quilty pleasure!

Congratulations to Patricia and a big thank you to PFAFF. Be sure to check out the ambition 1.5 and other sewing machines from PFAFF.

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Introducing Hoo Patch

I’m pleased to introduce Quilty Pleasures readers to the newest member of the Patch Pals Collection.

 

QMMP 121000 OWL 350 flat Introducing Hoo Patch

Hoo Patch is patterned in the Sept/Oct '12 issue of Quiltmaker.

His name is Hoo Patch and he appears in the brand new Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker. In case you’re a new reader, below you’ll find more Patch Pals.

 

QM110601 Introducing Hoo Patch

Ruff Patch, above, appeared in the May/June ’11 issue of Quiltmaker.

pokey11 Introducing Hoo Patch

Pokey Patch from Quiltmaker Sept/Oct '11

Pokey Patch is from the Sept/Oct ’11 issue of Quiltmaker. We started the Patch Pals Collection at the beginning of 2011. The last one will be in the final issue of 2012. He fits with a holiday theme.

 

14034 pattern img Introducing Hoo Patch
Banana Patch is from the May/June ’12 issue of Quiltmaker

 

If there’s a little monkey in your life, maybe Banana Patch is the quilt you need to make. It’s from the May/June ’12 issue of Quiltmaker.

 

 

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Polar Patch

Here’s something you may not know. All of the Patch Pals are the same size, which means that the centers and the borders are all interchangeable. And back issues or digital issues are available for all of these patterns. Pretty cool!

You can see all of the Patch Pals here. Enjoy!

 

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Block Party at Williamsburg: Quick Glimpse

BlockParty Wmsbg Block Party at Williamsburg: Quick Glimpse

Wow! We had a great time at Quiltmaker‘s Block Party in Williamsburg, Virginia last week with about 120 quilters, eight teachers and six staff members.

 

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Fast friends at Quiltmaker's Block Party

People were greeted at registration with our Block Party tote bag filled with goodies from our generous partners and sponsors. Keep reading for a chance to win one of the goodie bags!

20120806 200551 Block Party at Williamsburg: Quick Glimpse

Block Party tote bags were filled with quilty treasures from our industry partners and sponsors.

 

We kicked off Wednesday night with a peek “Behind the Seams” at Quiltmaker and a show and tell of some favorite and upcoming QM quilts. We had nine of the 12 Patch Pals to show, including Hoo Patch from the Sept/Oct ’12 issue. Those attending had a sneak peek of the Nov/Dec ’12 Patch Pal and gave us suggestions for its name. He’ll be the last Patch Pal in this collection.

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Nine of 12 QM Patch Pals were in attendance at QM's Block Party.

It was fun to find out that most people drove to the event, with many coming from 500+ miles away. The longest drive was 2200 miles, starting in Colorado and picking up a friend “along the way” in Michigan.

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Classes with Nancy Mahoney were popular at QM's Block Party.

 

I think many cars stopped at quilt shops, too! We had a registrant from Canada and another from France.

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Class instructor Monique Dillard demonstrates her tools at QM's Block Party.

 

There’s so much to tell, we’re going to share the whole story in multiple posts.

 

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Class instructor Lynda Howell visits with an interested quilter at QM's Block Party last week.

In the meantime, if you didn’t get to come to this Block Party, tell me where you’d like to go for a future Block Party. Leave your comment by midnight Thursday, August 9 and I’ll pick someone to win one of the Williamsburg Block Party tote bags stuffed with goodies.

[update: for those just joining from the Quilter's Village newsletter, leave a comment by midnight Sunday 8/12 and I'll pick a second winner. #165 Robin Cole wins the first goodie bag. The goodie bags haven't made it back to our office yet, so it will be a while before we can ship them. #127 Regina wins the second goodie bag. Congrats!]

Sincere thanks to our generous partners for this event:
FreeSpirit
Gammill
Handi Quilter
Northcott
PFAFF
Quilting Treasures
RJR Fabrics
Red Rooster Fabrics
Robert Kaufman
Rowan Fabric
Timeless Treasures
Troy Fabric

Here are some of the goodies given away at Block Party. (Items in this goodie bag giveaway will vary from those shown.)

20120806 201429 Block Party at Williamsburg: Quick Glimpse

Our generous industry partners and sponsors filled the tote bags with quilty treasures.

Posted in Giveaways & Contests, Scrapbag | 1,093 Comments

Tips for Foundation Piecing: How to Paper Piece a Quilt Block

In the September/October ’12 issue of Quiltmaker, we focus on foundation piecing. You’ll find the innovative Pile O’ Leaves from Caroline Reardon, the more traditional quilt Faith, Hope & Love by Carolyn McCormick and Sonja Callaghan’s whimsical quilt project, Did Someone Say Treat?

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Pile O’ Leaves by Caroline Reardon

 

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Faith, Hope and Love by Carolyn McCormick

 

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Did Someone Say Treat? by Sonja Callaghan

So many different looks from one technique! And if you’re new to foundation piecing, we’ll even take you through the basics, step-by-step.

I am absolutely addicted to foundation piecing, so I thought I’d share some tips.

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Stack of foundation-pieced blocks ready to assemble

Paper: When selecting paper for this technique, consider how you will print the foundations, the paper transparency and tear-ability. Most of the time I use plain old copy paper, but I recently tried and highly recommend Simple Foundations Translucent Vellum Paper from Anita Grossman Solomon and C&T Publishing.

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Simple Foundations translucent vellum paper

You can see how much easier it is to position the patches under the translucent paper.

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It’s easier to see through the vellum.

Fabric: Any cotton fabric you use for piecing and applique will work in foundation piecing, but my very favorite are batiks. Have you ever sewn a foundation piece wrong side up? When I use batiks, I don’t even have to think about it–there is no wrong side!

Cutting the Patches: This is a foundation piecer’s biggest challenge. You want to be sure patches are big enough without too much wasted fabric. I use the Add-Enough tool by Carolyn McCormick from CM Designs, Inc. (addaquarter.com) for measuring patch sizes. Just line it up with the bottom of the patch, note the measurement and add 1/4″ to the dimension for a little insurance. I’ve never run short. (And it can also be used to fold back the paper before trimming.)

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Add-Enough tool

For really odd shaped patches, try this: Copy the foundation onto freezer paper and cut apart the pieces. The freezer paper pieces are used as templates. Just iron to the back of the fabric and add an additional 1/2″ on all sides. The fabric can be stacked and the freezer paper re-used to cut several patches. I prefer keeping the straight-of-grain along outside edges, and often use this method for corner patches.

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Freezer paper template ironed to the back of the fabric

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Sewing in a patch cut from a template

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Works like a charm!

Testing: Always make a test block first. I keep a list of my colors and patch sizes. When I know the sizes will work and the fabrics look good together, then I cut multiples.

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Recording my cutting dimensions

Trimming: My “must have” foundation piecing tool is Carolyn McCormick’s Add-a-Quarter ruler. It has a lip that butts right up to the folded paper to cut that perfect 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Using the Add-Enough to fold back the paper and Add-a-Quarter to trim

Pressing: I like a hot iron (no steam!). For small patches, I sometimes use a “little wooden iron.”

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Using a wooden iron.

Unsewing: Smaller stitches make ripping more difficult. Using a seam ripper with a sharp point, I cut every third or fourth stitch from the fabric side.

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I work from the wrong side to take out stitches with a seam ripper.

Turning to the paper side, I lift the top thread and gently tug. If the paper rips too much, mend it with transparent tape before re-sewing.

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Remove the paper by tearing gently.

Removing the paper: Once all the seams around a foundation have been sewn, the paper can be removed. To make it easier, I use a larger needle (90/14) to perforate the paper and Aurifil thread which doesn’t break easily. I start by removing the paper at the outside edges of the foundation. To remove inside papers, gently pull the fabric away from the paper at the seam line, and the paper will pop right out.

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Removing paper on a test block.

We think you’ll enjoy sewing up any one of the foundation quilts in our magazine, but you can also find many easy foundation patterns on our website under Project Linus.

If you have a foundation piecing tip, please share it with us by emailing editor@quiltmaker.com.

Posted in Quilting 101 | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Day I Made a Bag

Working here at Quiltmaker is really fun because we get to see and try so many new things. I’ve learned new techniques, tried new patterns, and had to go WAY out of my comfort zone to try, test and write about various quilty patterns and topics.

One thing that I have never been able to master is making bags. Do you make bags? A while ago I made my peace with the fact that I just don’t make bags. Some people can make them in their sleep – tweaking, twisting, turning, embellishing, etc, but I can’t. Believe me, I’ve tried.

But not too long ago I found myself alone for a.whole.Saturday. And I decided that I was going to conquer my fear and make a bag. Even it it took me all day, I was going to do it and I was going to enjoy it. You betcha.

My pattern was by Anna Maria“Multi Tasker Tote”. I had a pile of 10″ squares from my most favorite line of fabric of all time ”Make Life” by Sweetwater, so I thought instead of using just one fabric, I would sew a bunch of 10″ squares together and use those. How hard could it be? Ha.

 The Day I Made a Bag

I got my squares sewn together and cut out the outside panels. So far so good.

 The Day I Made a Bag

I had some leftovers, so I used them to cut out the pockets too. Making good progress here.

 The Day I Made a Bag

Guess what. It wasn’t a leftover. How could I do that? Seriously? Who DOES this?

 The Day I Made a Bag

I sewed some more squares together and made the second panel. Then I followed the instructions and “put them aside”. I put them far, far aside.

 The Day I Made a Bag

14 hours later I had all of the pieces cut out. You know, I really like cutting out my quilt pieces in layers. I can cut 6, 8, or 10 layers without any problem at all, but when you make bags, you can’t do that. Just an observation.

 The Day I Made a Bag

It took me a while to sew it together because I had to read every step about 72 times before I was brave enough to sew. Right about here I was thinking that perhaps I should have taken a class first.

 The Day I Made a Bag

Right about here I almost gave up.

 The Day I Made a Bag

After sewing and twisting and sewing and turning inside out and right side in and out, POOF! Look what happened! It’s a miracle! How do people design these things???

 The Day I Made a Bag

Right about here I was thinking that perhaps I should have picked a different fabric for my handles so that I don’t look like I have a snake hanging over my shoulder. But there was NO WAY was I going to cut, sew and turn those handles again. Snake, it is.

 The Day I Made a Bag

22 hours later (it seemed) I finished my bag. And I LOVE it!

 The Day I Made a Bag

Here’s a couple of pockets for my cell phone and ipod. Did I tell you that I love, love, love this fabric?

 The Day I Made a Bag

Here’s the pocket that I cut out of “leftovers”. It’s pretty cute though, isn’t it?

 The Day I Made a Bag

And here’s the other side. I love the big pockets on the outside too. Lots of room for my junk.

 The Day I Made a Bag

That was my day. My WHOLE day. I actually enjoyed myself a lot.  So this weekend, I will be home alone again. Will I make another bag? Guess we’ll have to see. icon smile The Day I Made a Bag

What are you working on this weekend?

Happy sewing, Paula

 

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A Grand Juxtaposition

I spent a few days last week teaching at QuiltNebraska, an annual summer event. While I was there, I had an interesting experience. It was at first perplexing, then thought provoking. I’m not sure how to write about it, but I’d like to try.

 A Grand Juxtaposition

Nebraska

There are always lots of quilting teachers at this event. They’re divided into two groups. The first group is well-known national teachers, folks you’ve probably heard of. The other group is Nebraska teachers; that’s where I fit in.

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All Drezzed Up by Diane Harris appeared in Quiltmaker March/April '10.

All the teachers were asked to bring a quilt they’d made, to be hung in an exhibit of teachers’ quilts. I took All Drezzed Up, a quilt I designed that appeared in Quiltmaker a few years back. It’s a quilt I’m fond of.

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All Drezzed Up by Diane Harris appeared in Quiltmaker March/April '10.

 

It’s happy and fun and original (at least as original as a traditional block can be). It’s a quilt in which I have some pride.

 

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Sharon Schamber

Now pause for a moment and think of a prize-winning quilter you may know about: Sharon Schamber. Sharon was one of the national teachers at this event.

 

The Spirit of Mother Earth full web%5B4%5D A Grand Juxtaposition

The Spirit of Mother Earth is one of many prize-winning quilts Sharon Schamber has created.

 

It’s no stretch, in my opinion, to say that Sharon is one of a handful of quilters worldwide whose work is utterly astonishing. Exquisite. Breathtaking.

 

fall quilt market pics 073 A Grand Juxtaposition

 

If you’ve ever seen one of her quilts, many of which have won big prizes in big shows, you’ve probably stood there in awe, as I have. So much planning, detail and execution. Jaw-dropping stuff.

 

 

SchamberSharon CrimsonPromises MAInnovativeArtistry1 A Grand Juxtaposition

Detail of Sharon Schamber's Crimson Promises

 

So you can imagine my—what’s the word? shock? amusement? humiliation?—a little of all three—when I came around a corner in the teachers’ quilt display and saw All Drezzed Up hanging next to Sharon Schamber’s “Crimson Promises” masterpiece.

 

 

sharon3 copy A Grand Juxtaposition

Crimson Promises and All Drezzed Up

My reaction is hard to describe. I know I was amused. I’m just a regular quilter who loves to write and is lucky enough to have a job in the industry. I make regular quilts. I am not Sharon Schamber.

Seeing All Drezzed Up hanging there, looking so very humble, so very ordinary, I actually felt sorry for her (the quilt, not Sharon).

A couple of people asked me if I was hurt by the way the quilts were displayed. The answer was absolutely not! While I don’t pretend to play in the Big Leagues, it was kind of cool to have my baby in such good company. What are the odds?!

And in the end I came to this conclusion: Sharon’s “Crimson Promises” is inspiring because of its grandeur. But perhaps All Drezzed Up is inspiring too, because it’s a quilt anyone could make. And there’s something to be said for that.

*     *     *     *     *

I’d like to know: How would you feel if your quilt was hung next to a masterpiece? Please tell us in the comments below.

Posted in Scrapbag | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Quilt Colorado and Quiltmaker

Every two years, the Colorado Quilting Council hosts a multi-day symposium called Quilt Colorado. I am fortunate to be a member of this wonderful statewide guild and have volunteered on the committee for several years. Earlier this month Quilt Colorado 2012 took place over 4 days in Loveland, CO with 18 national instructors teaching classes, a packed merchants mall and a fantastic quilt show. As I wandered the quilt show and admired all of the beautiful quilts, I found a few that were familiar to Quiltmaker.

P1020148 sm Quilt Colorado and QuiltmakerThis is Irish Sam in the Fields by Daisy Boulter of Greeley, CO and quilted by Janel Borg. It was a design option to our pattern My Irish Grandma Sue designed by Carol Goin which appeared in Quiltmaker Mar/Apr ’05. The quilt was awarded a Director’s Choice ribbon.

Take a look at Janel’s intricate quilting. Oh my gosh!

P1020149 sm Quilt Colorado and Quiltmaker

Another Quiltmaker inspired quilt was this one by Jill Moe, Lakewood, CO and quilted by Merrie Jones, Aurora, CO. The pattern is Cathedral Stars designed by Bonnie Hunter. Bonnie’s column Addicted to Scraps appears in each QM issue. I love the vibrant colors.

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P1020180 sm Quilt Colorado and Quiltmaker

Janet Pugh of Fort Collins, CO received basket blocks from her bee which included a Quiltmaker basket design. She filled them all with a variety of goodies to create this one-of- a-kind quilt entitled Arizona Friendship Baskets.

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P1020198 sm Quilt Colorado and Quiltmaker

Also spotted was this beauty, America, Let It Shine by Sherry Reynolds of Laramie, WY which appeared on the June/July ’12 cover of our sister publication Quilter’s Newsletter. Sherry won Best of Show at Quilt Colorado 2012. It is amazing!

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P1020212 sm Quilt Colorado and Quiltmaker

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And just because you can’t have too many quilt pictures, a few other quilts that caught my eye:

Tribute to Rose, quilted by Sandi Fruehling with machine embroidery by Kathy Emmel received a First Place ribbon. Kathy placed each embroidery design individually. Wow!

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P1020144 sm Quilt Colorado and Quiltmaker

 

On the Wings of a Prayer by Jane King, Longmont, CO received a Meritorious award. Beautifully hand-dyed, painted and quilted.

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Indigo Plume by Doris DeGenova, Littleton, CO and quilted by Rita Meyerhoff. I liked the unexpected size of this one, not to mention the quilting!

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P1020171 sm Quilt Colorado and Quiltmaker

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of Quilt Colorado and maybe next time you can visit in person – 2014 will be here before you know it!

 

 

 

Posted in QM Issues, Quilty Lifestyle, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 9 Comments