Friday, June 3, 2016

Houston: Quilt Central

Perhaps I can get paid for my predictions, except they don't matter to anyone else in the least.  That makes them worth about zero cents... hmmmm... I was right though: it is looking like a papercut year for me. And perhaps a bit more.  The last few weeks have been really fun!

Carolyn König was visiting Houston from Australia and gave a great lecture at my local shop. I attended and was in total awe the entire time! If you are not familiar with her gorgeous work, you must google her name and take a look. Also, she has a terrific book published by QuiltMania, Creating Heirlooms. Here are just a few photos:

Isn't her work absolutely beautiful? Her store in Australia also sells patterns, fabric, and BOM's. No excuses, you can do it!

Then, I just happened to get in to a three-day class with Cindy Needham because someone dropped out. My lucky day!!! It was a class based mostly on design, so I figured I could learn a lot and continue with my hand quilting.  By the morning of the third day, Cindy had me machine quilting and  doing quite well! She is a genius! And an excellent teacher. I have tried to machine quilt countless times and been an abject failure. Why was this time different? You will have to ask her.  I have my eye on a new machine and plan to get it and add machine quilting to my repertoire of skills! I can practice!  Here are a few of Cindy's beautiful pieces. Oh my!!!

Okay, I know it's like teasing to show you just glimpses of Cindy's work, but you have to see it in person to really appreciate it. And you will be able to! This year at the Houston Quilt Festival, IQA, Cindy will have an exhibit where you can come see her beautiful quilts.  She is also including a "petting zoo" for those of us who can't keep our hands off the quilts! The queue might be very long indeed!  So, if you needed just one more reason to come to Houston this year, here it is!!! These are very personal quilts. I have never seen anything like them. If you want to meet me at Houston Festival, you will know where to find me!!! 

Now, do I dare show you what I have been working on??? I want to make my own photos teeny tiny! Is it fair to say I have been distracted? I decided to try to finish up what is in the works before starting anything new and major. It's not nearly as much fun, but I find it is good for me now and then to do just that. So here goes... but no comparing to the photos above! 

I pulled out Sutton Grange, by Di Ford. I am up to the melon border. I am working on it. All the squares are cut and all the melon shapes are cut.  It's appliqué time.  

I am testing a few buttons for the centers. This is such a fun quilt. It is going to be finished!

Next, I am working on my paper cuts in aqua greens. 

I did get the center finished and am appliquéing the border area. 

But then I got impatient to see what another project is going to look like. It is simple paper cuts in dark blue on light blue or white. I prepared two blocks to make sure I like them before I commit to the whole project! Oh sure! I like it. No, wait, I love it.

Still with me? My local shop is dangerous! Is yours? I went in there the other day for needles and came out with so much more!!! Anyway, here is a pattern and templates that I am very happy I picked up. I made a star quilt 2 years ago, but it was my first EPP and I chickened out and went with 1 1/2 inch sides on the stars and hexies.  The original was 7/8".  It turns out this pattern is 7/8" on the side.  I bit the bullet and started it.  It is all hand pieced, not EPP.  I am liking it.  Yesterday, I sat and cut a lot of pieces, so I can sit and sew one or two star units a day.  At the end of the year, I will have 300!

This photo shows the finished quilt at 1 1/2 inches on a side and the new star at 7/8"!

Although I am using Karen Styles pattern and templates, one can actually do any layout with the pieces once they are made up.  I went back to my original layout and will recreate it in the smaller dimensions. 

One other quilt I am working on is a gift for a friend. I am using the pattern, Dutch Treat, by Judy Garden and have interpreted it into a Japanese floral with black. It doesn't quite look like Delft tiles, but I think it is still very appealing.

The blocks finish at about 4 inches each. I am outlining the reverse appliqué with a silk pearl #10. (Lipstick Playground, by The Thread Gatherer). I also used some silk ribbon for the tiny spaces.

My husband would compare this progress to dragging a 747 forward with a small rope. BUT, we have come a few inches!!!! We have been absolutely inundated with rain here in Houston. I hope it dries somewhat before October/November.  If not, bring galoshes! It is green!!!! My family and I have been very fortunate. We are still in our home. Many have been forced to evacuate theirs. Let's hope we get a bit of a respite soon.

Enjoy every moment of every day.

Happy quilting,


Piper is ready for sunshine!!!