Saturday, March 31, 2012

1850 Mosaic Hexagon Quilt From England

In February we had the most wonderful meeting with our Nimble Thimbles Quilt Guild.
Professional Quilt Appraiser and Historian Karen Houser was our guest speaker.
We could bring in any of our antique quilts for appraisal, and Karen would discuss them in an open forum.
(more about that later)
What really knocked my socks off was a quilt Karen brought to share:
1850 Mosaic Hexagon Quilt From England
As a historian, Karen has purchased quite a few antique quilts for her personal collection.
I was in awe just to be able to get up close and to take pictures.
With the resurgence of popularity for hexagon quilts, I have a great appreciation for the amount of work and talent that went into the creation of this beautiful quilt.
Ann gave a very informative lecture.
I knew I liked her right away when she said "Treat your quilts the same way you would your favorite people. Don't keep them in a closet."
I took a lot of photos, from far away and up close to give you a more detailed idea of how amazing this quilt is.
A muslin back has been hand basted to protect the stitches.
You can still see the paper foundation in many of the hexagons.
These military and bank papers help identify location, and date the years the quilt was constructed.
I will be showing you more quilts from Karen's collection, and also from members of our guild.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Square Wheel Color Dance

Yesterday I shared with you my discovery of Arizona quilt designer Ann L. Petersen.
She had two quilts in the Arizona Quilters Guild show that were my favorites.
Square Wheel Color Dance won a 1st place ribbon in the Scrap category.
(It shouldn't surprise you that I loved the scrap quilts the most)
Ann wrote "Blending one color into another around the color wheel is endlessly fun play. Made to showcase many piecing patterns and fabrics."
As we were standing by Ann's quilt ooohing and aaahing over her design, a woman nearby spoke up.
She is a fan of Ann's work and began telling us a little bit about her.
She said "Are you aware that Ann free motions her own quilts completely on her home machine?"
Very impressive.
I would have guessed that she used a long arm to get such detailed results.
She continued "Ann also teaches online classes in machine quilting for Craftsy. If you would love to take a class from her, but don't live nearby, you can always go to the Craftsy Website and sign up. One of the beauties of taking a class from Craftsy is you can play the tutorial over and over as many times as you need."
Once I got home I did an Internet search and found Ann's class called Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine.
In reading Ann's bio I also learned that she entered her first quilt in a show in 2002 and was surprised that she began winning right away.
I'm not surprised.
Among her many honors, she took a 1st at Houston International Quilt Fest in 2007.
At one time Ann worked for The Great American Quilt Factory in Denver, CO and taught classes and designed for their book and pattern company Possibilities.
If you would like to read more about Ann, and to view quilts in her gallery, make sure to visit her web site Obsessive Quilter.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Peek A Boo Monsters Quilt

When you move to a new state (like I have) it takes a little while to discover the local quilt talent.
Who are the names everyone seems to be talking about because we love their work?
In the quilting world we all have diverse interests, which is wonderful thing because it allows many people to shine.
While attending the Arizona Quilters Guild show, I discovered my new favorite Arizona designer, and I can tell you that I will be watching everything she makes.
Ann L. Petersen is originally from Colorado, but lives in Surprise, AZ for the winter.
She designed this wonderful baby quilt Peek A Boo Monsters for her grandson's nursery.
This quilt took a first place ribbon in the Mixed-Small category
Ann wrote "My daughter-in-law planned a nursery with cute monsters in black, white and green. This is the quilt I designed to hang on his wall."
Do you see the Saguaro cactus monster?
Of course I fell in love with this quilt!
Are these not the cutest monsters?
Ann does all of her own machine quilting, too.
Wonderful fabrics.
Wonderful colors.
Tomorrow I will share with you another quilt from Ann, and tell you some of the things I have learned about her.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Magical Midnight Garden

I still have a few quilts to show you from the Arizona Quilters Guild show.
With over 300 quilts hung, it was a hard decision to know which ones to photograph.
My eye kept going to the quilts with black background and bright fabrics.
Magical Midnight Garden by Judith Ritner
Quilted by Cindy Phare
Blue ribbon winner under Group Category
Judith wrote: "This original design was created and executed by the Designing Women Quilt Group."
Techniques: Paper Piecing, Pieced and Hand Applique
More intricate paper piecing is on my someday list.
I'd love to practice on stars like these.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sewing Room Ideas

I love to see quilter's sewing rooms, where they create and find their inspiration.
I am especially happy to view organizational ideas that make our work spaces more efficient.

Kathy Silva and Kathy O'Brien
Kathy S. recently remodeled her back porch to make a quilting room, and invited Kathy O. and I over for a quick tour.
It's a long, narrow room, with great light provided by the windows that span the length of the back wall.

Kathy is a big fan of Ikea. (me too!)
Love this idea:
She placed an Ikea shelf over her design table to hold rulers, and other long objects.
I like how the current pattern she is working can also be placed on the self.
It's right at eye level and easy to access, and yet not in the way on the table.

She used the same idea by cutting the shelf down into sections to hold her threads.

So pretty.
I know the best advice for longevity of thread is to keep it in a cool, dark place free of dust and sunlight.
This back wall is free of direct light, and sometimes we want to be able to see our thread choices.

On one wall Kathy keeps most of her fabrics in a set of Ikea cupboards.

Complete with great roll out bins.

Just the right size for fat quarters and fabric scraps.

And I had to laugh at Kathy's sign.
Well put!
Thanks so much for the tour, Kathy.
I've come away with some ideas I'd like to use in my future sewing room.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Yo Yo Rows

Many of the quilts and projects that caught my eye at the Quilters of Trilogy show were made by Linda Orth.
We could be kindred spirits.
I especially liked Yo Yo Rows
Linda wrote that she found the pattern in the June 2011 edition of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
A total of 409 yo yo's in all.
I love this quilt!
I'm always on the lookout for stash busters.
So different than the traditional yo yo quilt, and also a great way to use up scrap fabrics.
One Man's Tie is Another Woman's Purse
Linda also made this cute little purse out of a man's tie.
Can you see how the closure flap is at the end of the tie?
(sorry, my pictures are not the best)
I've been hunting on the Internet for a link to the pattern and found that it's a Karen Fyke Original.
The pattern isn't listed, only a purse for sale on Etsy.
Anyone else have more information?
Love the added vintage button.
Looks like a quick, easy project that would be fun to make in a class or at a guild meeting.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weaving with Trudy Johnson

Many of the quilters I know express their creative talents in several ways besides quilting.
In fact, if money and time were not an issue, I think most quilters would like to do it all: quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, gardening, cooking, rug hooking, pottery, stained glass, painting and scrap booking, just to name a few.
That is why when I see a quilter sharing her varied talents at a quilt show, I'm immediately taken in, like a moth to a bright light.
Trudy Johnson has been weaving for 35 years, and she set her loom up for demonstrations at the Quilters of Trilogy show.
Trudy uses small scraps of fabric to weave the most wonderful things!
I could have stood by her side all day and watched her create patterns on her loom.
Weaving is on my someday bucket list.
Such beautiful colors as she makes her own fabrics.
Trudy made a cape for her daughter from 11 yards of wool.
I know it may seem odd to cut up wool, just to weave it all over again, but I related to the process.
Remember we are quilters who cut up perfectly good pieces of fabric into little itty bitty bits and then sew them all back together again.
Just because we can.
And must.