Monday, April 25, 2016

Just another manic Monday...

It happens whenever we get ready to leave town: I get the heebie jeebies. That's when every project I am working on demands to be at the top of the list - or least on the list. And I have always found it very calming just to get things down in writing. That's what this post today is all about.  On the design wall is a baby quilt for next Sunday.  When I blog about the finished quilt, I'll tell its sad and fascinating involving the day my mom died.  I am using all the blues in my stash and love this scrappy look!

Mid-May we are going to Budapest and doing an Eastern Danube River Cruise that ends in Bucharest.  Right after we return, I must be ready for Glamp Stitchalot.  Preparation is coming up with a palette of solid fabrics.  So I studied my trusty Kona card and then realized I have all the solid fabrics in the colors I want to work with ALREADY IN MY STASH!  Go figure...  Except for a wonderful deep red.  And doesn't this fit in well with my continuing resolve to not buy any more fabric. I did think perhaps this might be an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and work with some different colors.  But I don't want to.

This is a high school graduation t-shirt quilt for Nazarath senior Emily.  She knows about this quilt and wants to arrange her t-shirts, so I am waiting for her to come over.  The back of the quilt will incorporate a baby quilt that an aunt of her mom's made for her.  I need to get this to Frank and Terri's for longarming and then bind it.

All the parts for this Jinny Beyer Sprectrum quilt are ready to go.  The strips are finished and finally off the design wall.  I've done my math and know the dimension of the sashing and borders, all of which will be Kona snow.  This quilt isn't going to be gifted until December, so I have plenty of time.

 This pile of greys and backs and whites is just sitting here.  At the top of the stairs to the studio.  So I walk past it perhaps a dozen time a day.  And I look.  And I think.  I don't know what these fabrics will be or how many things they will be.  But they will be something.  At some point.  And it's great fun to think of all the possibilities.  Without embarrassment I will admit that I will regroup/resort at least once a day.  It's a great excuse to touch all these fabrics.  Fabric-enabler friends Holly and Sarah S were instrumental in the development of this grouping. 
 And this is one of those "don't ask" projects.  Last month Chicago quilter Sarah Nishuara did a workshop on Alternative Grids in  Quilting.  I was not a part of this workshop.  But somehow I wound up with the blocks created during this workshop.  So my next trip to Joann's will involve finding the same white Sarah used for the background of these blocks.  I'll do a sort of floating squares layout.  It'll be a great charity quilt.  Someday.

 These final two pictures fall under the "monkey see, monkey do" category.  Have you see this tutorial for a Scandinavian table runner from Sew, Mama, Sew?  It's a quick applique project.  Since I had some Insul-brite batting, I used it so that I won't have to use pads under hot dishes.  I love how this turned out, and it's on the table.  John doesn't like it - he thinks it's too light for our house.  Meanwhile, it's still on the table, and I think he's getting used to it.  Maybe.   Ok, back to the baby quilt...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Meanwhile, back in the Studio...

 It's T-Shirt Season, and this is the second one.  Rory is an 11-year old whose father died five years ago.  His mom gathered these t-shirts - the black one in the middle with the sign language symbol is a special sign that Rory and his dad had.  It was bound in cornflower yellow, and his mom is excited to give this to him this weekend.
I have made slow but steady progress on these two new Sloan bags.  Somehow this fabric and this pattern belong together.  One bag is for guild buddy Jen, and the other is for me.  But I have a feeling my sister might need one of these bags.  So I did buy more of this yardage - I can't bear the thought of being without it.  NonQuilters, I know how odd this sounds.  Quilters, thanks for your understanding!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

International Quilt Festival - Drunkard's Path Exhibit

drunkards path 
This quilt is an example of the traditional drunkard's path - there are 16 blocks here. Each block has a wonderful curve. And you can see the wonderful loopy roadway created by these blocks.  The International Quilt Festival asked the Chicago MQG and other Midwestern quilters to create modern twists on the Drunkard's Path design. And the results are astounding.  Here are some of the quilts, including all submitted by my fellow guildsters.

Pete and Repeat by fellow CMQG Amy Struckmeyer

Disappearing Drunkard's Path by fellow CMQG Sarah Shulman

Paint Drips by Angela Pingel, South Bend IN

Runaway Flowers by fellow CMQG Emily Lang
Yellow Brick Road by Jane Bronson, Aurora, IL
Pretty Good for a Drunk by current CMQG president Sarah Evans

Quilt for Our Bed by fellow CMQG Laura Hartrich.  This quilt was voted People's Choice at QuiltCon 2015 and has been travelling.  I don't think it's been on Laura's bed for very long.  And she has written the pattern for this quilt.

Here's Bill's quilt exhibited next to Emily Lang's.
It's Clouds" Illusions I Recall. I Really Don't Know Clouds At All by my Canadian friend from Ontario Bill Stearman.  This quilt is a reflection of his life and memories and inspired - obviously - by Joni Mitchell.  The following is Bill's piece next to Emily's.  Bill and Amy's quilts fall in the same happy category, to my eyes.

New Year's Eve Confetti by fellow CMQG Rebecca Cynamon Murphy.

My Drunkard's Path:  Elongated and Staggered as exhibited

This piece was hand-quilted, sashiko style.  Much of the stitching was done shortly after my mom's death at the end of 2014.  I continued adding more stitches until January of 2016.  Here is my blog post about this quilt.

The happy quilter
And here it is at home on the Quilt Rack that my uncle Leonard White made me. 

It was so much fun to be a part of the International Quilt Festival!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

International and Local Quilters at the International Quilt Festival, Chicago - The Mod Squad

Today's pictures are all from The Mod Squad exhibit - open only to quilters in the U.S. and Canadian midwest. 
Survivor is by my friend Jennifer Benoit-Bryan.  I purposely didn't crop out the background because this quilt has such a big visual impact.  Look carefully at the word beginning with the V of Survivor.  Intentional for sure.  This quilt of Jen's is in the same category with the powerful quilts of Chawne Kimber.

Bill Stearman is a quilter from Ontario.  He contacted the Chicago MQG and asked if one of us would be willing to take pictures of his quilts in these two exhibits.  I told him I would.  So imagine my surprise when I saw his quilt and my quilt side by side in the Mod Squad Exhibit.  Like it was meant to be...

My World by Bill Stearman was begun at a Men's Quilting Retreat in Vermont and is loosely based on the disappearing 9-patch. 

This is mine:  My Answer is Yes with the fabulous quilting of Frank Karls.  See my blog entry about this quilt.

Leftovers a la Gwen by fellow Chicago MQG Laura Hartrich.  She is a young powerhouse of a quilter.

Deconstructed Lone Star by Amy Struckmeyer is one of fellow ChicagoMQG Amy's many clever quilts.  She is one of our many architects in the guild, and she just sees things differently.  Below is Amy's quilt next to my friend Wayne's quilt.

Atomic Age Color Study by Erin Davis, a fellow Chicago CMQG member although originally from Canada.  This quilt focuses on the colors and textures from the 1950's. 

QFF Rhodes submitted his Purple Prisms piece.  He insists it was an easy pattern - tumbling blocks variation using squares and rectangles.  This piece was in my front hall for a few weeks - everyone who came in the house was captivated by it.

 Enough of the Mod Squad.  Tomorrow?  Drunkard's Paths Exhibit! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

International and Local Quilters at the International Quilt Festival, Chicago

I often discover what I like by taking pictures of quilts that catch my attention.  The following quilts fall into this category.  All were displayed at the International Quilt Festival this past weekend:
In Carrboro by Chawne Kimber.  Check out Chawne's blog Completely Cauchy - she is the most thoughtful modern quilter and the absolute master of tiny piecing.  Each one of her quilts moves me.

Ablaze by Helen Scheffer, Quebec.  The power of reds and improv piecing speaks to me.  I wonder if the maple trees and fall foliage inspired this. 
Emilie Whispering by Kye Sun Yoo, South Korea.  The inspiration for this piece was a mosaic from a Klimt mosaic painting.  She captured the rich golds so nicely.

Bamboo Forest by Hong Joo Kim, South Korea.  The simplicity of these elegant lines and monochrome richness of the greys appeal to me.

Mysterious Letter by Noriko Nozawa, Japan,  reminds of Paginini's Variations on a Theme.  This quilter took one key letter, the Kana letter, and varied the placement, scale, and color.  

The Remarkables by Camilla Watson, New Zealand.  These tessellating triangles are based on a mathematical formula by John Conway and Charles Radim on 1994.  The two things about this quilt that caught my attention:  First, I have been in the Remarkables, a mountain range in New Zealand.  Second, that bottom border?  LOVE.
Gelmorodo IX - 1926 (Lyonel Feininger) by Katrin Schroeder, Berlin.  I like architectural pieces. 
The City:  Past, Present, Utopia? by Anna Hergert, Moosejaw, Canada.  Who doesn't love a tryptich?  But what really caught my eye was the design inspiration:  Austrian artist and architect Fredensreich Hundertwasser.  When my Chicago MQG did an art swap a few years ago, my partner Terri Karls used this same artist as her inspiriation! 
Rooflines #10:  Mountain Village by Colleen Kole, Grand Rapids, MI.  The colors of this piece caught my eye, and then I realized this is a quilter I know.  I met her at Camp Stitchalot in November, 2014, when I also met Chawne Kimber.

Meridian Hill Park - Fountain by K. Velis Turan, New York.  I love the low-volume of this winter scene.

Thus ends the international and national portion of what captured my attention.  Tomorrow I'll post quilts of the "local" quilters of the International Quilt Festival. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Work vs Art vs Play

"Work is what you do for others - art is what you do for you."  I love these words of Stephen Sondheim from his musical Sunday in the Park with George.  For today I am changing the word ART to PLAY.  And here's what I've been playing with today.  I have cut into my last yardage of Art Gallery Fabric's Hello, Bear line by designer Bonnie Christine.  Last week I gave my good friend the Sloan Travel Bag made from this fabric, but I need to make another one for myself - and one for another  good friend who just had a birthday.

After two days of "play" I have all the bag parts prepped for sewing.  What you see above?  Exterior pieces, interior pieces, pockets (there are SEVEN with each bag, pocket flaps, zippers - 4 for each bag, magnets, d-rings - ok, ok, you get the idea. 
The interior of these bags is another Art Gallery Fabric - all cotton but with a nice "slidey" feel - from Pat Bravo's Floral Elements collection.   The lighter grey is the interior of a rather large inside pocket.
Because I had a fixed amount of the feature fabric, I had to get creative with the straps and bottom of the bag.  It's hard to tell from these photos, but the stripes on this dark fabric are wonky and match the feel of this feature fabric.

Making purses and bags is like solving puzzles in 3-D, a task which for me isn't work - it's just wonderful play.