2018 Year in Review

Around the beginning of every year, I like to look back on the previous year.  I have usually accomplished more than it feels like I have, and 2018 was no exception.

  • I started the year with a 100 Day project which culminated in Resonance.  Aurifil liked it so much they displayed it in their booth at Spring Quilt Market.  Later in the year, I became an Aurifil Artisan!

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

  • QuiltCon 2018 also included four of my quilts in the contest.  Lateral Ascension (upper left of the photo below) even received third place in the Minimalism category! (It also received an honorable mention at AQS Spring Paducah and a 2nd Place at AQS Grand Rapids!)

 

  • My first cover quilt also came around last year.  Raise the Roof is a particular favorite of mine, and it also received a third place at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.
  • Upward Perspective was a mini made for a Curated Quilts Challenge, and it was selected for inclusion in the magazine!

  • In 2018 I also started my second Block of the Month with Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  This year’s quilt has pictorial representations of key Columbus landmarks.

  • I also designed the 2018 Row by Row for Dabble and Stitch.  The theme was music, and I based the block on the state song, Beautiful Ohio.

  • My most exciting moment of 2018 was having my quilt, Infused Plaid, added to the permanent collection of The National Quilt Museum.

Photo courtesy of The National Quilt Museum

  • The 2018 colors of the year were Ultra-Violet (Pantone) and Tiger Lily (Kona), and I had a great time putting them together into this quilt!  Zenith received a second place in the Modern category at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.

  • As 2018 drew to a close, I had exciting news that three of my quilts, including Complementary Convergence (below), were selected for QuiltCon 2019!  I have added sleeves and labels to them this week, and will be shipping them off at the beginning of next week- now that is a great way to start 2019!

Curves Mini Quilt Challenge

At the beginning of last month Curated Quilts Magazine issued a mini quilt challenge with the theme of “curves” for an upcoming issue.  I have been sewing lots of curves and circles in the past few years, so this challenge is a really good fit.

The only thing that made it more perfect was the color palette.  I already had every color in the palette in solid fabrics and in multiple weights of Aurifil thread.

I have been sewing a lot of full circles lately using the Classic Curves Ruler by Sharon of Color Girl Quilts to do the cutting.  For this mini I used a similar technique to create partial circles.  I also incorporated 1/8″ pieced slivers into the design for added interest.  I like the way the piecing adds detail in the all solid fabric construction.

Each section is machine echo quilted with 28wt thread, except of the dark green that is quilted in 50wt thread. I left a few open areas to add hand quilted details.  The large stitch hand quilting is done with 12wt thread in straight stitches, plus stitches, and a row of french knots.

I love how the colorful thread and hand stitching transfers the pieced design to the back of the quilt.

The edges of the quilt are finished with facings so the curved design is not interrupted by a binding border.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Converging Curves

Size: 16″ x 16″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Echo quilting with a walking foot quilting on a Bernina 1008 and large stitch hand quilting

Fabric:  Cotton solids

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with Aurifil 12wt, 28wt, and 50wt in five colors matching each fabric

Binding:  Faced with the Kona solid to match the backing

QuiltCon Jury Results

Every year I enter at least seven juried shows, and QuiltCon is probably the one I fret over the most.  It is definitely the show that I have received the most rejections from!  Thankfully, the jury results come in very quickly for this show- just 17 days this year.  There were only 400 accepted quilts out of over 1750 entries.  With less than 23% of quilts accepted, it’s like going through the college admissions process each year!  I am ecstatic that this year three of my quilts will be in Nashville!  Below are all four of my entries with the description I submitted with each.  The first three were accepted, and the last was not, but more on that later.

Ebb and Flow (51″x64″) is my entry into the Two Color Challenge.

“This quilt stemmed from a desire to create a design that contained equal amounts of two colors while allowing each color to take turns holding a dominant position.   The choice of high contrast black and white fabrics enhance the overall effect of the composition.  The pieced strips in this quilt start at 1/8” wide and increase incrementally across the quilt.”

Complementary Convergence (66″x78″) is in the Use of Negative Space Category.

“Complementary Convergence is based on two separate diamond shaped motifs containing small pieced sections of complementary colors, one bright pink and green, the second turquoise and orange.  Each colorful section of fabric has matchstick quilting running through it that is done with a matching 12wt thread.  This extends the design across the quilt and activates the surrounding negative space.  The magic of the design happens when the quilting lines from the separate motifs converge at either side to create a new, dynamic, and entirely quilted plaid pattern.”

Synthesized Slivers (22″x19″) is in the small quilt category.  I have entered a small quilt almost every year, and this is the first time my entry in that area has been successful!

“Irregular, broken blocks merge together to create a cohesive whole in this improvisational quilt.  Breaks in each block are mended with the addition of a contrasting sliver of fabric.  These unexpected shots of color, metallic flashes, and shiny silk bring a sense of luxury to the utilitarian aesthetic of the dominant fabrics.”

“Resonance uses colorful quilting thread to create a sense of outward movement and reverberation from central points.  Thread that coordinates with each fabric creates a blending sensation as the quilting merges the appliquéd circles with each other and the background.  This quilt was my first 100 day project that ran from New Year’s Day 2018 to my birthday, which fell on the 100th day of the year.”

Resonance (79″x79″) was not accepted into the appliqué category, and I’m fine with that.  This quilt was completed in April, and was the result of my first 100 days project.  In the eight months since its completion, Resonance has been to Spring Quilt Market with the Aurifil booth, and it was in all three fall American Quilter’s Society Shows.  Between these four events, it has been seen by thousands of people already, and I hope some of them were inspired by it!

Ultimately, my main hope is that my quilts can inspire others as much as I am inspired every day by the work I see on Instagram, blogs, and in person at my guild meetings.  I am so excited for February to roll around so I can see and meet all of the amazing quilters at QuiltCon-whether or not they have quilts on display there!

Ebb and Flow

Each year The Modern Quilt Guild includes a style/technique challenge category in QuiltCon, and this year the challenge is a two color quilt.  I was excited to approach this project because I had been casually considering what it would take to make a dynamic quilt top that used the same amount of two fabrics.

For most quilts, I tend to create a set of parameters for the design.  I find that working with some constraints helps me to achieve a more cohesive result.  For this project the parameters are:

  • Two Colors
  • Use equal amounts of each of the colors
  • Use the colors in a way that does not equally distribute the colors in each section of the quilt
  • Make the graphic quality of the design the star (let the quilting take a back seat on this design)

I went through lots of designs before I finally landed on this one.  I liked how the visual weight of each color shifts from one end of the quilt to the other.  The strips are cut in incremental widths with the narrowest strip finishing at just 1/8″ wide.

Many of my show quilts evolve organically, and take a fairly long time to construct, so it was a lot of fun to be able to cut and sew a quilt top in a day!

Ebb and Flow was quilted on my domestic sewing machine, but I did the basting on the longarm using a water soluble thread.  I also tried using a large scale stippling technique for the basting.

The quilting is simple lines, spaced about 1/4″ apart.  I was able to get this quilted while I was a quilting retreat with a group of friends, which was a great way to break up the monotony that comes with stitching hundreds of straight lines.

Once the quilting was finished, I soaked the quilt to remove the basting stitches and blocked the quilt on a frame.  

By the time it dried, it was perfectly flat and ready to be trimmed and finished.  I decided that a facing would work better with this design than a binding because I wanted to to allow the lines of the piecing to extend all the way across the quilt without the frame that a binding creates.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Ebb and Flow

Size: 51″ x 64″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Linear machine quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008 domestic

Fabric:  Kona Cotton in black and white with a Moda wide back print

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with Aurifil 50wt in white and black

Binding:  Faced with black Kona Cotton

Back to the Bionic Bag

Most of my go-to sewing supplies and notions live in a Bionic Bag that I made several years ago.  It travels around the house from sewing machine to sofa or patio for hand stitching, and it goes with me to guild, sew-ins, and shops when I teach.  This bag is frequently admired, and following several recent requests, I will be teaching this pattern next January at Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.

It was so much fun to choose new fabrics for the shop sample!  I love to mix and match fabrics from different designers and lines, and this project was no exception.  The main outer fabric is from Carrie Bloomston’s new Wonder line, and the other fabrics are a mix of designers including Alison Glass and Tula Pink.  I used a walking foot to do some linear quilting on the bag exterior.  I like the look and texture of the quilted bag, but you can also choose to use an iron on interfacing and skip the quilting step.

One of the things I love about the design of this bag is the way the front folds creates a tray when the bag is open.  In this section, I like to add magnetic snaps to hold the dumpling pouch and a small pin cushion.  I use the dumpling pouch for wonder clips, and the pin cushion is stuffed with scraps of wool batting and keeps pins and needles within easy reach.

Between the four zippered pockets and the pouches formed between them, you can fit almost every supply you need for a day or more of sewing.  Once you have made one of these bags, they go together very quickly and make great gifts for sewists and non-sewists  alike.  I have made several over the years, and you can check one out in this Bionic Bag post from a couple years ago.  The Bionic Gear Bag pattern is available for download on Craftsy.

If you would like to join me for the class, it will be held at Dabble and Stitch on Saturday, January 12, 2019 from 10am-4pm. During the day, you will construct most of your Bionic Bag, and you may or may not have time to to work on the optional dumpling pouch.  I hope to see you there!