Saturday, May 9, 2015

Radar Update

I have been chastised by my Blogging Friends. I was shocked to see that the last post was in February!  My New Year's resolution to post more often apparently just fell to pieces! I have promised them I would try very hard to keep up with posting.  That being said, what's happening?
A lot!

Radar (pieced by my cohort Kevin, the Quilter and quilted by yours truely) has been a very busy boy. He was featured in On Track magazine. On Track is published by IMQA (International Machine Quilters Association).  We had a four page spread! Because Radar was in the magazine, I was also invited to place an ad!

Next, Radar paid a visit to AQS Paducah! Although we didn't win anything, we had a lot of fun.  This was the first time I was able to go to the awards ceremony. The cheers and squeals of the winning quilters filled the auditorium, especially a Girl Scout troop that won a ribbon.

The next day, Kevin and I found out that not only was Radar picked to be pictured in the Show Book, he also made the cover of the Catalogue of Show Quilts!

Next week is MQS in Cedar Rapids.  I will be there all week as  Dusty Farrell's (Country Stitchin') Teacher Angel.  Drop in and say hello if you're at the show!  I have 3 quilts there this year, another nail biter. It's always a great show with lots of amazing quilts. 

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Honor Flight Quilt and Pattern

One of my favorite guys.  I love this picture, I think he's keeping an eye out for me. More likely, he's waiting for a morsal to fall... Now I just need to learn how to remove 'green' eye.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Kevin (The Quilter) came over to use BeBe to quilt an Honors Quilt for an Honor Flight Veteran. After talking to him and my friend Dar (Dar's Patchwork Garden) I was inspired to also make a quilt for them.  I had a partial panel left from the quilt I made for Quilts of Valor. It was perfect for this project!

First a peek at Kevin quilting....  and the Honors Quilt he made.  Great job Kevin!

The Honors Quilt I made (scroll down for directions) finished at 36"x36". This quilt uses a method I learned from a friend of mine, Cindy, years ago.  And yes, it cuts the points off, BUT because it is consistant thru the entire quilt, THAT'S OK!  Also, you will be working with bias edges. I've been a quilter for over 45 years and I never knew until I joined a quilt guild 9 years ago that I was suppose to be afraid of bias. So I'm not and neither are you!

I used 4 of the leftover squares from the panel used in my Quilts of Valor project.

Since the squares measure 7.5"x7.5", I cut 4 squares (7.5"x7.5") from my white fabric.  Place a white square right side to right side with a panel square.  Stitch 1/4" on EVERY side.  Draw a line on the white fabric on both diagonals.  Grab only the white fabric in the middle, separating it from the panel fabric. Carefully clip open on a drawn line.

 Cut thru the white fabric on each line into the corner, but DO NOT CUT PAST THE STITCHING.

Press the white fabric open, being careful not to stretch the bias edges.  Measure the width of the block.  Cut 4 squares from the red fabric this size.

Place the red fabric right side to right side with the block.  Stitch 1/4" on EVERY side.  Draw a line on the red fabric on both diagonals.  Grab only the red fabric in the middle, separating it from the panel fabric. Carefully clip open on a drawn line. Cut thru the red fabric on each line into the corner, but DO NOT CUT PAST THE STITCHING.

I also like to trim off the extra dog ears.

Open the red fabric and press.  Careful of the bias.

I cut my sashing and border at 4.5" wide, with a center cornerstone at 4.5"x4.5".  Because you are working with bias, I find it helpful to pin before I sew.  It is also easier to stitch with the block on the bottom and the sashing/border on top.  This will help prevent the bias edges from stretching.

I finished my quilt with free flowing water quilting, bound with the white, and it's ready to go.  I hope a Veteran on the Honor Flight will like it.  A small showing of appreciation for all they sacrificed for our freedom.

Thank you Kevin and Dar for inspiring me to make this.

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Quilting Inspiration at the Museum

Yesterday my husband, Bob, and I visited the St. Louis Art Museum.  It was amazing.  I had not been there since I was a child!  We usually visit historical museums when we travel, but not the Art Museums. So what, you may ask, does this have to do with quilting??? Well....

Last fall a friend of mine, Casey York (Studiolo Blog) gave a program to one of my Quilt Guilds. She talked about using Art and Archtecture for quilt inspiration.  With a background in Art History, Casey gave one of the most interesting programs I've heard in a long time. A room full of about 80 quilters, so quiet you could hear a pin drop! Everyone's attention was completely focused on Casey.

So intreging was it, that I decided we needed a trip to the Art Museum.  There was quite a variety of style in the exhibits. Every thing from Modern to early 14th century to Ancient Egyptian mummies. Some I loved, some I laughed at, some were not my favorites and some I simply did not understand. After asking for the rules on photographing the art (no flash, stay behind the black lines) we began exploring.

My favorites were the Reneaisance paintings.  The absolute best was this painting, Judith and Holofernes c. 1554 by Giorgio Vasari, Italian, 1511-1574. I felt the detail in her clothing was just amazing. That strap across her back is extrodinary in it's fine details. I kept going back to view it again and again, finding new aspects each time. Right now, Giorgio Vasari is my favorite painter. I don't know what "quilty" inspiration I get from this painting, but I will eventually.

Moving right along on our Art tour, we come to the Ancient Egyptian mummies.  It's very easy to see how this could influence a quilter. Row after row of quilting motifs. 

This a piece of French wallpaper.  It was hard to see and photograph thru the glass.  In my eye this would be ideal for a thread painting. I can also see a few quilting motifs and patterns.

This painting, Interior of St. Peter's, Rome, 1731 by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765) almost looked like a photograph. The illusion of depth makes you feel like you could step right in.  Casey's book Modern Applique Illusions has a lot of good information on depth and perspective.  Be sure to check out Grand Canal, the one I quilted for the book.  This is another painting I kept going back to view.  It speaks to me, my brain is trying to create a 'depth' quilt with the arches. 
For more information on the quilting of Grand Canal, click here --> Grand Canal

Another painting, Portrait of a Woman, c1606, by Nicolas de Largilliere (1656-1746) caught my attention.  I'm not sure if it is because of the vivid colors or the amount of items painted in such detail, but I like it.  Maybe a scrappy sampler?

This painting, St. Helena and the Emperor Constantine Presented to the Holy Trinity by the Virgin Mary, 1741-42 by Corrado Giaquinto, Italian (1703-1766),  amazed me mostly because of the sheer size, including the long name. I'm curious how many hours were involved in painting this? Another painting with lots of vivid colors and fine details, it had a feeling of wave movement to me, swirling from the bottom up.  I like quilts that have the illusion of movement and give direction for the viewer's eye to follow.  My friend, Kevin (the Quilter) and I incorporated the illusion of movement and direction in our quilt Radar giving the viewer's eye a path to follow. 
For more information on our quilt click here -->  Radar 

Although the color in this painting did not photograph well, I still like the flow of color in the background. I started playing with painting and dying fabric last summer, so this caught my eye. I plan on doing a little research to see if I can find a better picture of this painting.  
Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion, 1812, John Martin, British (1789-1854)

A metal door just inside the Museum is definitely quilt worthy!

A fun exhibit by Nick Cave rounded out our tour.

Lots of bling! Each is maybe 6 foot in diameter.
Sock monkey covered costume. Maybe 7-8 foot tall!
Yes, those are buttons! Full size figures.

I hope you enjoyed my little Museum Tour and go check out your local musuems.  Bob and I had a great day exploring.  Thank you Casey for inspiring me to go to the Art Museum. 
Thank you for visiting my blog.
Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Quilts of Valor Panel Pattern

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to present a program on LongArm rulers and templates to a local HandiQuilter Guild.  I had a great day sharing my ideas and techniques with some wonderful quilters.

Each of the ladies brought me a donation of fabric to use for Quilts of Valor. Some of the fabric went to Kevin The Quilter to use for backings for the block drive quilts. The rest I used to piece this top. Unfortunately I ran out of time to quilt it, but fortunately, my local QofV group, "Eastern Missouri Quilts of Valor" are hand quilters!  So they will receive the top for quilting.

I started with the panel I received and 3 coordinating fabrics.
              Red - 2 yds
              Blue - 1 1/2 yds
              White - 2 yds (enough for binding also)

There were 15 squares in the panel and I needed 20 to get the size required, minimum 60x70. So off to one of my favorite quilt shops Osewpersonal in O'Fallon Missouri to buy another panel!

Each of the squares in the panel measured 6 3/4" square.  I always try to round up my squares into 1/2" increments.  Just makes life easier.  6 3/4" + 1/4" = 7" + 1/2" (seam allowance). I cut the squares at 
7 1/2" x 7 1/2".   

Next I cut my strips at 2 1/2". This makes it easy to figure strip lengths or to use a Jelly Roll. Cut 20 pieces for each size listed below.  I cut my largest lengths first, I find it waste less fabric.

F - 7 1/2" White 
E - 9 1/2" White and Red
D - 11 1/2" White and Red
C - 13 1/2" White and Red
B - 15 1/2" Red  and Blue
A - 17 1/2" Blue

Here's my strips all laid out and ready to chain piece.

Piecing is just like a half log cabin,  Piece the white and red sides first.    

Add the blue strips last.

My finished top!

A better picture of just the top half.

It's now ready to give to the Eastern Missouri Quilts of Valor quilters to hand quilt, then off to a deserving Veteran!

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Quilts of Valor Presentation at Perky Piecers

As most of you know, my friend Kevin the Quilter had a block drive last year for Quilts of Valor. Almost 6,000 blocks were donated from all over the US and even a few other countries!  My local quilt guild, Perky Piecers, had the privilege of being one of the groups helping sew the blocks into tops.  A couple of marathon sewing days, help from some very talented long arm quilters, and we were ready to present a few of the quilts to 4 of our local veterans.

Kevin did the presentation.  After Kevin gave an explanation of the meaning of Quilts of Valor, each Veteran was called forward individually to receive his quilt. The quilt was wrapped around his shoulders and he was thanked for his service to our country. If you have never been to a presentation, find a way to get to one!  It is one of the most moving presentations you will see, especially if Kevin is doing the it. Quite a few eyes were not too dry this day.

We had the honor of presenting to one WWII veteran, and three Vietnam Veterans.  I have the privilege of personally knowing two of these men.  To respect their privacy, no names.  Our WWII veteran has 17, (yep, I said 17!) medals, including 2 purple hearts.  One of our Vietnam Veterans was Special Forces, one a Marine.  All of our veterans gave part of their lives to defend our country and we owe them so much.  This is one way, we as quilters are able to show our appreciation and I am very proud of my guild for their participation!

Kevin starts the presentations.

Our first Vietnam Veteran.

Our second Vietnam Veteran.

Our third Vietnam Veteran.

Our WWII Veteran

Our Veterans with their Quilts of Valor!

I am so proud to be allowed to be part of their day!
Happy Quilting!