New Scrap Scramble Block of the Month

Well, the inimitable and amazing foundation piecing queen Carol Doak is at it again!  Woohoo – another mystery block of the month called Scrap Scramble.  You can get the instructions on her Yahoo Group.

Here is my September block:

SeptemberI’m using bright 1940’s reproduction fabrics of which I have lots of scraps so it seemed quite appropriate!

The last mystery block of the month was great and my quilt will be in the Trinity Valley Quilt Show THIS WEEKEND!!!!

Ready-for-ShowIf you are in the North Texas area, please drop by the show!  I’ll be there!

Done, Done, Done and Almost Done!!!

I’ve been finishing up on projects right and left in the last few days!

I have a couple of quilts that will be in the Trinity Valley Quilters’ Guild Quilt Show (August 20-22).  The quilting, binding, sleeves and labels are done!

Here is Tranquility Blue:

Ready-for-ShowThe quilting was done by Susan Corbett.  I think it’s gorgeous!  I did have to wash the quilt to get rid of the special thread used in the Trapunto.  This really made me nervous but it all just poofed up fine:

Quilting DoneI will also have my TCU Retirement Quilt in the show.  This quilt has such special meaning to me.  My quilting friends and co-workers made all these blocks for me and surprised me big time at my retirement party!

Ready-for-ShowThis week I also got out a half done frustrating project: The Jelly Roll Basket.  I took a great class in July with Pam Barr at TVQG. You take a jelly roll, add some long strips of batting and make these really cool looking baskets.

Show-and-Tell---Pam's-baskeEveryone’s basket was so cute, except mine.  It was a total flop.  Literally, a flop.  I could never get the darn thing to turn the corner and go up.  The more I stitched the bigger and floppier it got.

So I put it away for a few weeks (months maybe).  Then I had the idea that I would start from the other end of the cording I had created and try it again from the beginning.  If it turned the corner and went up like a basket should, then great.  If not, then I’d trash the whole thing.

Well, it worked the second time around.  Floppy basket on the right was disassembled as the good basket rose upward as it should.  Believe me, all those zigzag stitches made quite a mess as I ripped them out.

undoing-flat-basketBut I’m so pleased with the final product!

Finished-BasketNow I can move onward and work on finishing up a few more lingering projects.

Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week is up on the design wall:

GMC-on-Design-WallI will arrange and rearrange for a few days.  Then sashing and borders.

Sashing-and-border-fabricThe purple dragon fly fabric will be sashing.  The turquoise with orange dragon flies will be the inner border and the purple big flowers will be a larger outer boarder.  The blocks are so bright and crazy, I’m trying to use the sashing and borders to calm it down a bit.  Hope it works!

So I’m done, done, done and almost done!  Have a great Labor Day y’all!

BOWs, BOMs and a Mini

A quick update on my BOWs and BOMs – that is my Block of the Week and Block of the Month projects.

Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week treats us each week to a bit of history on Women’s Rights movement and a quilt block pattern. Last week we had the block Nameless Star and the history touched upon The Lucy Stone League.  My Nameless Star:

37-Nameless-StarThis week the block highlighted the many misconceptions about women’s anatomy – including the historical (hysterical) view that we should not ride bicycles or sit astride horses.  I’m sure all the ladies in my cycle class would heartily disagree.  Nonsense!  Thus the block this week is named Nonsense!  My Nonsense:

38-NonsenseThe Dixie Diary Block of the Month (also written by Barbara Brackman) includes Civil War history and a monthly block.  The May block is called Token of Dried Roses – here is mine:

DD5-Tokens-of-Dried-RosesWhen I first started the Dixie Diary blocks we were given an option to applique a star or a heart on the block.  My first block I appliqued a star, but the rest have been hearts.  So I’ve gone back and replaced that first star with a heart – I think this will give the quilt a nice consistent look.  Next month will the the 6th month – I’ll play with laying the blocks out and show them to you as a group.

I’ve also been working on a miniature quilt for the TVQG Quilt Show Auction in September.  I was inspired by my friend Suz’s work on the log cabin row houses during our retreat but decided I wanted to make houses out of our favorite (ok, one of our favorite) fabric designers – Kaffe Fassett.  So here is a miniature – 13.5″ by 18″ – called “Kaffe’s Crazy Neighborhood.”

Kaffe's-Crazy-NeighborhoodI still need to quilt, bind and label it, but had to share the bright and cheery little quilt.  And, if you want to bid on it, be sure to come to the TVQG Quilt Show in September!

Have a happy weekend, y’all!

Grandmother’s Choice – Wreaths and Dreams

The last two weeks of the Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week have been challenging in more than one way.  Each week Barbara Brackman gives us a taste of the history of the suffrage movement and the struggles encountered by our grandmother’s as well as a quilt block representing that struggle.

Week 26 was Ladies’ Wreath: Mourning for Mother which covered the appalling lack of birth control (which was frequently outlawed) and the sad fact that many women had baby after baby until they died.  We are so blessed with the choices we have regarding our reproductive health – thanks to the Grandmothers!

Here is my Ladies’ Wreath block:

26-Ladies'-WreathOn a somewhat happier note Week 27 is Grandmother’s Dream: The Houghtons in which the dreams of Caroline Houghton for her daughters’ education are described.  An interesting story, especially since one of my favorite actresses, Katherine Hepburn was Caroline Houghton’s granddaughter.

Here is my Grandmother’s Dream – all hand pieced with those super challenging Y-seams.

27-Grandmother's-DreamThe Grandmother’s Choice Flickr group has continued to be a great source of ideas, inspiration and support.  For other interpretations of these same blocks be sure to check them out!

I’m off to the Dallas Quilt show tomorrow with camera in hand.  I hope to bring you lots of pictures this weekend.

Homage to Houston

Holy cow, y’all!  The Houston International Quilt Festival was amazing!  I went with a friend who had never been before so the first thing we did was look at the BIG winners.  She was blown away!  I have a billion pictures, but thought I’d first share with you these mind blowing winners:

Best of ShowAmerica, Let it Shine (Sherrie Reynolds from Laramie Wyoming)

This is an original design which just simply sparkles with detail and Swarovski crystal embellishments.  Here is a close of up the back which highlights the outstanding quilting:

The Founders Award – ElaTed (Ted Storm from ‘S-Gravenzande, The Netherlands)

I thought it was interesting that this quilt design was inspired by Delftware – which is blue and white pottery from the Netherlands. The artist was challenging himself by starting with browns and plaids.

The World of Beauty Award – Hot Africa (by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga of Kollumerzwaag, Friesland, The Netherlands)

An original design based on a photograph the artist took in Kenya.  Here are some close ups:

The Robert S. Cohan Master Award for Traditional Artistry – Crème de la Crème (by Bonnie Keller from Chehalis, Washington)
Another original design, inspired by the works of William Morris.  Photography does not do this quilt justice.  The quilt has a subtle grey green tint because the artist used a vibrant green Morris print facing inward as the backing. It is beautiful.  Here is a close up:

The Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry – Prairie Fire (by Ruth Powers from Carbondale, Kansas)

I just happened to catch a picture of the artist with her quilt.  This is her own design of a spring burning of the Flint Hills in Kansas.  Here is a close up:

The Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry – My Gentle Giant – “Ben”
(by Patt Blair from Mt. Baldy, California)

This was an original design using painting with ink and free motion quilting.

The Maywood Studio Master Award for Innovative Artistry – Fiesta Mexico (Karen Kay Buckley and Renae Haddadin from Carlisle, Pennsylvania)

The artist, Karen Kay Buckley, is pictured above with the quilt.  This was her original design inspired by the bright colors of Mexican pottery.  Renae Haddadin’s quilting is gorgeous:

And the hand applique is spot on perfect:

The Superior Threads Master Award for Thread Artistry – Silk (by Hollis Chatelain from Hillsborough, North Carolina)

The quilt artist’s use of silk from Thailand combined with the design depicting Thai women spinning and weaving the silk is simply stunning.  Here is a close up:

What struck me as I wrote the descriptions above is that each of these quilts – these award winning and beautiful quilts – is an original design by the maker. Not only have these artists perfected the techniques involved (piecing, applique, quilting, fabric choices, etc.) but they have taken their art to that extra special level where what they have created is wholly unique and completely breathtaking.  Very inspiring!  Congratulations to each!

I hope to share some more photographs over the next few days, but I’m really feeling the urge to sew rather than write!  Have a great day, y’all!

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