Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thinking of Fathers


I just finished this quilt top,
all made from shirts that were worn by my father, my husband and myself.



It includes seven pockets,



several shirt buttons,



a few labels,



 some tucks,



and a very special paisley that belonged to my dad.  



The shirt backs will make up the quilt back.

I'll quilt this one by hand, feeling the gratitude for 
my father and my husband, 
and how they've contributed to who I am today.

Happy Father's Day!









Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New Gwen Marston Online Classes!


"Red Square VI" by Gwen Marston, 2008


I was asked to review Gwen Marston's new "Abstract Quilts in Solids" class on iquilt.com
It's great!  


By Gwen Marston

This is one of two classes taught by Gwen on iquilt.com.  The other one is "Liberated Quiltmaking."
As many of you know, Gwen will retire from teaching next year.  
But we can take these classes forever!

So, if you've always wanted to take a class from Gwen and you've never had the opportunity, here it is!  

Click here to sign up!


Here is my review of the "Abstract Quilts in Solids" class.

Wonderful! It's almost like Gwen is working with you personally in your own sewing room. In her characteristic warm, clear and sometimes humorous style, Gwen shows you many of her tricks to making lively and beautiful improvisational quilts. Beginners and advanced quilt makers will learn how to make their quilts more artistic, exciting and playful with "little experiments" that Gwen shows you how to do. She demonstrates how to "liberate" traditional blocks, add odd angles, and create curves with ease. She also talks about choosing colors and designing as you go. Excellent class! Thank you!


 Here's an abstract quilt in solids that I made in 2011,
totally inspired by Gwen and her methods.
"Ode to Anna Williams" by LeeAnn Decker, 2011




Sunday, May 29, 2016

Utah's National Parks and English Paper Piecing

I've just returned from a two week trip to see some National Parks in Utah and Arizona.
There were long car rides, so I took along my EPP stars.


I started with this star in Seattle.




We flew to Las Vegas and rented a car. 
We also went to the Neon Museum, a fun place to visit in LV.




The first park we visited was Zion National Park in Utah.  
Wow!  A very beautiful place.  




After that, we went to Bryce Canyon.
Another natural wonder!




Next stop was Moab, Utah, which is close to many of the parks 
AND they have great a quilt shop!





From there, we hiked Arches National Park.
Incredible! 




Then we headed to Navajo Nation.  
On our way, we stopped at "Newspaper Rock"
and saw these petroglyphs, all made before 1300, A.D.



In Monument Valley I spotted these Navajo rugs.



Then we saw ancient ruins of the Anasazi at Canyon De Shelly.



The finale of the trip was the Grand Canyon.
Amazing!
  


Here's the chunk of nine stars I'd made before, (on the left,)
along with the 18 stars I finished on the trip.
Now they'll be packed up and ready for the next travels.

Besides having a great time, I developed a true appreciation for our National Parks, 
the Navajo Nation
AND for English paper piecing!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Exciting and not-so exciting news.


Wow!
There are two beautiful articles about my quilts in Les Nouvelles,
Patchwork et Creation Textile, the magazine of France Patchwork.  




My dear friend, Katell Renon, writes for the magazine.  



Even though I can't read French, I know she's written lovely articles, 
as she always does!
You can see more of her interesting and insightful articles about quilting here:






It's a gorgeous publication, mostly produced by and for the members of
France Patchwork.  
I'm honored and thrilled!



For not-so exciting news, here's my design wall today.  
I've been making these blocks from shirts that belong to my husband and me.  
No rulers, no measuring. The blocks fall into their own rows as they fit.



I've also started a new hand-quilting project.  
I'm experimenting with perle 12 thread, hoping it will be easier on my hands.
This photo shows both perle 8 and 12.  
It's hard to tell the difference in the look.  The 12 is definitely easier to pull through.



I've also dusted off my travel project for a trip to the national parks in Utah.  
We'll see how much I get done while gawking at the natural wonders there. 

Happy Spring!  



Monday, March 28, 2016

Grandma's Peaches

"Grandma's Peaches" 46" x 62"

It started with a peach print blouse and thoughts about 
my grandmother, a Texas farm girl.  
One day she ate a peach while sitting on her front porch.
It was so delicious, she wondered if she could grow a tree of them. 
So she planted the pit in the ground.
A tree did grow, and then another and another.
One was planted in our backyard, 
but it was unhealthy and 
had to be taken down.  



I started the top in 2011 with Stella Pettway in Sisters, Oregon,




And finished it in 2013 with Loretta Bennett in Arlington, Washington.  
They both liked the story about my grandmother.




I finally got around to hand quilting it this year.  
I used Perle 8 cotton and Barb's Baptist fan stencil.  




I had fun working around the shirt pieces that I left in the quilt. 




For binding, I folded the backing fabric around and stitched it,
like the Gee's Bend gals do.  




Maybe the pocket will hold the next delicious peach pit
until it can be planted in the ground.








Sunday, February 28, 2016

Three Days with Gwen

"Housetop"  59" x 59"
I've just returned from a lovely three-day retreat on medallion quilts with Gwen Marston. 





While preparing for the retreat, I thought I'd take all my spare blocks 
and work them around this Gee's Bend inspired log cabin.
It might have worked, but I decided to expand on the original design instead.





One old dress, two tablecloths, an apron and a friend's scrap later, 
it began to take shape.  
The corners are one log cabin block that I quartered--
one of Gwen's many brilliant suggestions.




The retreat was in beautiful Port Gamble, Washington, 
offered by the Quilted Strait quit shop.  




This sewing room was right across the street from the quilt shop.




This is the view from my sewing table.  
It's a miracle anyone got anything done!



Some of us ate lunch outside and enjoyed the quiet surroundings.




I caught the sunset on the ferry ride home.
A perfect weekend!




A windy photo shoot.  Good thing Mr. Nifty can perform Photo Shop magic!



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Amish Quilt for a Modern Baby


A friend's daughter is having a baby.  
We don't know if it's a boy or girl.


I was told the baby's home is "very modern...
clean lines, little color, mostly white and gray."
Definitely not my style.
What to do?



I consulted my go-to book for baby quilt inspiration.
Amish quilts look modern to me.  
They're also something I like to make.




I settled on this one.  
I like it for its scrappy strips and unique sashing.




I modified the design, used a modern color palate,
and quilted it with a modern grid. 




A quick bow and an Ikea bag,  
and I'm ready for the baby shower!