Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring Shoots is Done!

I put these blocks together this weekend. It's a collaboration with my sister-in-law, Bonnie. We each made half the applique blocks. The quilt is inspired by one in Applique Outside the Lines by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sisters Quilt Block Contest

The Sisters Quilt Show has a block contest every year. They send you some fabrics and you make a block. You can only use the fabrics they supply. Here are the fabrics they sent.

Since I just took the 19th Century applique class with Gwen Marston, I decided to cut out some paper and design an applique.

Here's what I'll be sending off today. I don't expect to win, but I had fun!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vase of Tulips

I just finished the hand-applique on this, and thought I'd make it into a pillow cover. I designed it last weekend in a class with Gwen Marston.

So I laid it out on the back of the couch to see how it would look. It just so happened that I laid it on top of a quilt that lives there. I really liked the way the points looked around it.

So I made some points and tried them on the design wall. Hmm, lay them out like this?

Or this?

Ah, I like this. What next?

How about a solid border. I tried gold, orange, red, yellow and fuschia, then decided on turquoise. What next?

This quilt represents a recent day at the tulip fields. Part of the day was seeing thousands of cut tulips dumped into the back of a truck. So I wanted to have some loose tulips falling around the border. Will it work on an 8" wide border? Yes, but...

After measuring the grey fabric I have left, I found I only had enough for a 6" border. Will that be too narrow? Shall I piece some other fabric with it? Hmm, I'll have to sleep on that.

Meanwhile, I have a question for you. Is this process improvisation? I know it's the process that many of us use. Design as you go, use what you have, don't use a pattern, follow your heart.

But there's no wonky lines! And my points match! And the quilt will hang straight! Does that mean it's NOT improvisational? There are a lot of wonky cut quilts, with points cut off, that don't hang straight. I've made plenty of them. We call them "improvisational quilts." Yea, they're design as you go and all that. But I wonder if quilts like this one can also be called improvisational. My process is the same, although I'm using a ruler this time, and the look is more traditional. Is "improvisational" a process or a look? Or is it both? What do you think?

I've been following the very thought provoking conversations called "Improv Mondays" over at Sherri Lynn's blog, Daintytime. She calls improvisational quilt-making a process of self-discovery. I love that. Plus her quilts are fabulous. I don't think there are any right or wrong answers, but it's a fun topic to think about!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Day with Gwen

Yesterday I got to take a class with Gwen Marston! It was all about making 19th century applique. Here she is with one of her early pieces. I love Gwen's approach, steeped in history and playful at the same time. She is an excellent teacher and a real joy to be around.

Gwen and Tonya are buddies. So I brought one of my blocks from Tonya's book, Word Play Quilts.

Here's the piece I started in class. I thought I was going to make something else, but I was so inspired by Gwen's work and the older applique she showed.

When Gwen suggested we start with a vase, this picture came to mind. Can you tell?

Meanwhile, the Pojagi is growing. I'm thinking about adding a few more inches so it will fit in the back door window.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The current issue of Quiltmania magazine has a great article on Pojagi (or Bojagi), an old textile art from Korea. And I've become obsessed! I had an hour today to make this little bit, with many thanks to Victoria's tutorial at thesillyboodilly. Hers are absolutely stunning. I used some old shirts--one with tucks--and a few shot cottons. It's just a start. We'll see where it goes.

Aren't these beautiful?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Shoots

My sister-in-law, Bonnie, and I are collaborating on this quilt. Last night I received her blocks and stuck them up on the wall with mine, completely randomly. We're going to make a few more rows, and there will be more orange stems. But the combination of her blocks and mine was so exciting, I just couldn't wait to show it. We're using the pattern from Applique Outside the Lines by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.

Happy Mother's Day weekend! Hope you get lots of time to enjoy your family and sew.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Road Trip Weekend

It was another road trip weekend, and I got a lot of hand sewing done in the car. This is the start of a collaborative quilt with my sister-in-law, Bonnie. The pattern is in Applique Outside the Lines by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.

Some girl friends and I went to Walla Walla, which is in the Southeastern part of Washington. The countryside is beautiful. You can see for miles and miles.

Can you believe how my friend, Joan, matches the scenery? She says she didn't plan it that way.

Here's some jelly bean art from the candy store.

I did find the fabric shop. They also sell hot tubs there.

Two of my favorite things, all in one place!

Going away, you think about your life from a new perspective. And this block pretty much sums it up.