2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

This summer, I am thrilled to have joined up with a group of amazing new quilt bloggers for the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

The hosts this year are:

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

I am so happy to be a member of Cheryl’s group, The New Bees.

New Bee Button

I really encourage you to stop by the other New Bees members who are posting this week:

I started blogging in December of 2014 and the first quilt that I shared, Petals in the Wind (Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win!), is still one of my favorites.  This quilt has been accepted into the American Quilter’s Society shows in Syracuse, Grand Rapids, and Chattanooga this year.

Petals in the Wind

Petals in the Wind

Modern Log Cabin is the first quilt that I made after I returned to quilting last year.  It is a “potholder” style quilt that reverses from grey to blue.  This quilt was exhibited at the AQS show in Paducah earlier this year and will also be in the Modern Quilt categories at Grand Rapids and Chattanooga.

Modern Log Cabin

Modern Log Cabin

My pet project for 2015 is to make 50 mini quilts over the course of the year.  So far, I have completed 23/50.  Mini Quilt Mania gives me a format to experiment with a variety of quilting techniques without having to commit to a large project- it’s like keeping a sketchbook!  Details about this project as well as a full list of the mini quilts can be found in the Mini Quilt Mania post.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

π, pi, PIE!

π, pi, PIE!

Embellished Spring

Embellished Spring

Marsala Mini Quilt

Marsala Mini Quilt

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

Fruit Crush

Fruit Crush

May Flower

May Flower

Yellow Rays

Yellow Rays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you’ve seen a bit of my work, would you like to hear how I got here?

How did you learn to sew?  My Mom started teaching me to sew before I was even in Kindergarten, so the details are a little hazy.  My first quilt was completed when I was about eight, and once I was old enough for 4-H,  I did sewing projects every year for the next decade.  As I grew older, I moved away from quilting and toward clothing construction.  Quilting by hand was just so painfully slow, and after finishing one twin sized quilt, I was done.  In high school I did make a couple of machine quilted jackets that I received student awards for at the American Quilter’s Society Fashion Show in Paducah.

What did you do then?  I went off to college to get a BFA, and since I could sew, I was assigned to do my work-study job in the costume shop of the Drama Department.  I ended up double majoring in Painting and Theatre Design and Technology and later went on to earn an MFA in Scenic Design.  I have worked with many theaters over the years, including ten seasons with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and have worked at a few universities as well.

What has Theatre taught you about sewing?  I am pretty sure I can sew almost anything at this point.  I have created custom patterns and constructed clothing for almost every historical period, sewn stage curtains and drapes, done upholstery, and devised stage props ranging from drawstring bags to a 25′ long pleated, cylindrical (and very phallic), pink velour pillow with tassels at the ends.  Knowing that something very specific has to be created within a certain time frame means  there is little time to worry about messing it up- at some point you just have to dive in and make it happen.  You also become really adept at solving the “challenges” that seem to develop with each project.  This is excellent preparation for devising quilt patterns!

How did you return to quilting?  I was at a job where I wasn’t required to sew a lot, and I thought that maybe I would sew something for myself.  I wandered into a locally owned shop and was stunned to see all the new quilting fabrics.  Pair that selection with fact that machine quilting is now far more acceptable (even expected!), and I was hooked!

Quilting Tip:  Every once in awhile create your own challenge.  Limit it to a small, quick project like a mini quilt or simple bag.  Restrict parameters  so once you start so you will have already limited the choices you have because sometimes having infinite options can really slow us down.  I like to preselect a project, color scheme, and time frame.  An example could be:  One weekend to create a quilted bag using only the colors of black, white, grey, and green using fabrics and supplies already on hand. These small projects can force us to think creatively and can help improve our problem solving “toolbox” for other larger projects.

Blogging Tip:  At the beginning of the year  I created a eight inch square mini quilt that I have used as a background image for all blog “signage” that I have needed.  It provides a consistent element within the blog, and I always have an image available for posts that don’t have a feature quilt picture.

Random Facts:

  • Right now I do freelance work.  Most recently, I worked as a draper (costume pattern maker) for the Summer Nutmeg Series of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.  If you would like to see photos, please check out their Instagram at https://instagram.com/ctrepertorytheatre/  This summer we did Les Mis, Peter Pan, and Xanadu.  The metallic silk chiffon dresses for Xanadu are especially fun- so shiny!
  • I have traveled to 29 US states and lived in Ohio, Missouri, Utah, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Indiana
  • My favorite food is a pretty even tie between pizza, saag paneer, and any sweet baked good
  • Growing up I raised chickens (mostly White Plymouth Rocks)
  • When I sew I almost always watch Netflix (Downton Abby is a favorite) or listen to a podcast (I’ve been catching up on Modern Sewciety)
  • My most commonly requested baked good is a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter filling and chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Yum!

I have been thinking a lot about gathering inspiration for quilt designs and color schemes and will probably be writing a post on this soon.  What are your thoughts?  Where do you find your inspiration?  Do you tend to be more inspired by quilt related items (books, magazines, quilt shows, etc.)?  Or do you tend to draw more inspiration from seemingly unrelated sources (art, nature, architecture, etc.)?  Is it a combination of these?

Thank you so much for coming by, and I hope to have you visit again!

Modern Log Cabin is Back!

Modern Log Cabin” has spent the last few weeks in Paducah for judging and exhibition in the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week show.  It was exciting to have one of my quilts hanging in a national show, and I was so glad that I was able to go see it there.  (I will be posting more about the show as I work my way through the photos I have taken.)

"Modern Log Cabin" at the American Quilter's Society Quilt Week Show in Paducah, Kentucky

“Modern Log Cabin” at the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week Show in Paducah, Kentucky

Last week my quilt arrived back home, which is always a relief.  Even though I know that it is pretty rare for a package to disappear in transit, I am always just a little worried whenever I send something that is not easily replaced.  Does anyone else feel that way?  Has anyone ever actually lost a quilt while with a shipping company?  If so, did it ever turn up again?  Maybe I don’t want those answers- no- I do . . . I think 🙂

Included in the return package with the quilt was the show book, display card, judging sheet, and cloth tag for the quilt.  This picture also show the Catalog of Show Quilts open to “Modern Log Cabin.”

AQS Quilt Show Tags and Books

I always like to see judge’s comments that people have shared for their show quilts, so I thought I would share mine as well.  I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was my first time receiving a comment card.  My quilt was also in the Modern Category of Large Wall Quilts, and much more simple in appearance than most of the quilts at this particular show.

AQS Judging Card

Best Feature(s):

  • Clean- Fresh accent
  • Fabric Choices
  • Quilting

Area(s) to Improve:

(nothing)

While I am most likely in the minority, I am always surprised and even slightly disappointed when there are no suggestions for improvement.  There is something strangely comforting to have a tangible goal to work toward.  I will qualify this by saying that my BFA is in Painting and my MFA is in Theatre design, so over the years I have become accustomed to pouring myself into a project only to have it painstakingly critiqued and/or ripped apart (sometime literally).  Repeating this process  weekly over the course of seven years results in a pretty thick skin.  It almost feels like I’ve been cheated if there is nothing to improve upon! A bit sick- isn’t it!

I consider it a great honor to have a quilt displayed in a national venue.  I have entered this quilt in a few more shows, so I hope it may have some more travel in its future!

I’m linking up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts this week.  Please drop in to see all of the lovely work being created!

Quilted Name Tag: Mini Quilt #14

I recently got up the nerve to go to a local quilt guild meeting (a goal for this year!) Everyone there was lovely and shared such amazing work.  I am really looking forward to becoming involved with a group of such creative and inspiring people.  This group encourages name tags, so this week’s mini is going to serve that purpose.Name Tag front

My quilt of the year for 2015 is red, orange, and pink flying geese on a white background.  While I didn’t want to make a copy of this quilt, I thought it would be fun to incorporate the same colors and some triangles into the design.  I also knew that I would probably want to put a few of my quilt pins on this little quilt.  I hadn’t looked at my pin collection in years, and I had a lot more than I remembered.  Not all of them made the cut- just the membership pins, my blog pin, and a couple show pins with sentimental meaning.

As I worked on the design for the quilt, I decided that I wanted to break up the overall shape so it wasn’t just a rectangle.  Then it came to me- prairie points!  I feel like I have made prairie points at some point in my past, but I cannot remember what project it would have been for!  These tiny prairie points across the bottom of this mini quilt make me very happy, and I hope that the rounded top corners won’t flop down quite as quickly as square corners may./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

I considered several options for adding my name to the quilt.  Embroidery, fused lettering, writing with a fabric pen, and printing all seemed to be within the realm of possibility.  I wanted the lettering to be clear, bold, and easy to read.  I ended up deciding to go with the printed name.  I had drafted the name tag to scale and then used Photoshop to experiment with font size and style.  To print the name I used white Kona cotton which had been soaked in a Bubble Jet prep liquid, dried, and then ironed to freezer paper to stabilize it.  Once trimmed to the size of letter paper, all I had to do was hit print and watch the lettering appear directly on my fabric.

Since the pieces were so small on this project, the top was foundation paper pieced.

The backing fabric is a reprise from the quilt of the year.  Since this project is so small, I “bagged it out” prior to quilting so I wouldn’t have a binding strip taking up any space on the front of the quilt.  Simple, linear quilting finished off this little project.

 

Name Tag back

Quilt Stats

Title:  Name Tag

Size:  4″x4.5″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing, Prairie Points

Quilting:  Straight line quilting with a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  White Kona cotton and assorted scraps of prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white, and white cotton machine quilting thread

Binding: None! (quilt was stitched with right sides together and then turned out)

What was new:

A wearable mini quilt!

Small prairie point edging

Quilt 14 / 50

Quilt 14 / 50

 

I’m linking this up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the fantastic work being shared!

Modern Log Cabin Quilt

When I first decided that I wanted to return to quilting, I wanted to create a piece which had been floating around in the back of my mind for awhile.  Modern Log Cabin Quilt

Several years ago I had been to an exhibit at The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut which included a “potholder” quilt from around the Civil War.  A potholder quilt is created by quilting and binding individual blocks before whip stitching them together to form a quilt.  This technique was popular during the US Civil War for group quilts made to send to soldiers.  Each person working on the project could piece, quilt, and bind individual blocks.  When the group would meet, they could whip stitch the blocks together and quickly produce a finished quilt.

This quilting technique would work well in a modern context because:

  • The individually bound blocks naturally create a quilt which has a design on both the front and back of the quilt- Its like getting two quilts for the work of one!
  • Since much of the design comes from the binding of the blocks, you can really show off some of those gorgeous fabrics that are available to us now.
  • It is completely plausible to quilt even the largest quilts on a domestic sewing machine using this technique since you are only quilting a small portion at a time.
Modern Log Cabin Front View

Front View of “Modern Log Cabin”

I wanted my first project using this method to be fairly straightforward, but I didn’t want to go with a super traditional layout of square blocks either.  I landed on the idea of creating a modern Log Cabin block on a large scale.  Each “log” is its own bound block.

First, I drafted the layout for the quilt.  I planned accent strips (the orange stripes in the finished quilt) to add visual interest and create a natural place to seam fabric together for “logs” longer than the width of the fabric.  (I always try to design in necessary seams when I can!)/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Portfolio/Misc. Projects/Quilt

Originally, I planned to unite the front and back of the quilt by making the accent pieces the same color as the reverse side of the quilt.  While selecting fabrics, I decided that both sides of the quilt wanted a jolt of color.  I went with an orange from Carolyn Friedlander’s collection since it worked well with both the grey and the blue sides of the quilt./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Portfolio/Misc. Projects/Quilt

For the quilting design I used straight line quilting paired with radiating arcs.Modern Log Cabin Quilting Detail

The binding is cut on the straight grain and each side is bound individually (rather than with mitered corners) as a nod to how quilts were sometimes bound in potholder quilts.  Side note- I still prefer doing bias with mitered corners.  I seriously considered how to join the blocks.  The traditional method would be hand whip stitching (I did this on the quilt Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win), but I wanted to experiment with using a sewing machine, so I selected a triple zig zag stitch.  Modern Log Cabin Detail

This quilt came together pretty easily, and I am really happy with the result.  I finished this quilt back in September, but I hadn’t gotten around to sharing it yet.  Today seemed to be a good day to share because I recently found out that this quilt will be exhibited in the Modern Quilt Category at the American Quilter’s Society Show in Paducah, Kentucky this April!  I have been to this show a few times (and as a high school student had a couple of garments in the fashion show there), but this is the first time I have had a quilt in a major show.  This was an awesome surprise since I almost didn’t enter this quilt!  (I had also entered Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win, which was not accepted even though I thought that it would have a much better chance.  It is so hard to tell what each show is looking for in a given year.  For now, I guess I will keep entering shows with a couple different style quilts and just see what happens- It can’t hurt, right?)

Back View of "Modern Log Cabin"

Back View of “Modern Log Cabin”

Quilt Stats

Title:  Modern Log Cabin

Size:  53″x63″

Techniques:  Bound Blocks (Potholder Technique), Machine Pieced and Quilted

Quilting:  Straight Line and Radiating Arcs

Fabric:  Assorted Cotton Prints

Batting:  Warm and Natural Cotton Batting

Thread:  White Cotton Machine Quilting Thread

Binding:  Cotton print, cut on grain in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

  • Bound block technique
  • On grain binding
  • Binding each side individually (no miters)

I’ll be linking this quilt post up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Please take a few moments to stop in and see all of the lovely projects being shared!