Sunday, January 31, 2016

Art Quilts Around the World Facebook Group: Book Challenge

 My Facebook art quilt group Art Quilts Around The World has a challenge reveal today and the subject is a favorite book. I thought about the many great favorite novels I have read and nothing jumped into my head that I would want a quilt made out of and the time spent making the project. I was looking at my quilt books for something unrelated and I saw my favorite quilt book "Pattern Play" by Doreen Speckmann and decided to use it as my inspiration for this challenge. Doreen was a quilter from Madison WI and I was a new quilter in the 1990s when I first saw her speak at the Darting Needles Quilt Guild in Appleton WI. She inspired me like no other quilter at the time because she used a variety of prints in each quilt and that is what I wanted to do and she gave me permission! She had a great sense of humor and she created characters called Peaky and Spike out of two triangles in her quilts.
Doreen's book was a book I used exclusively in the 90s and early 2000s. I saw her lecture and took a few of her classes. I made over a dozen lap and wall hangings based on the patterns in this book. At the time Doreen used templates but I have switched it up and use foundation piecing to have more accuracy these days. Doreen used to do quilting cruises and dance the Electric Slide at these events. On a cruise in 1998 Doreen died of a heart attack on the dance floor and the quilt world lost a great creative woman.

I created a version of Doreen's Peaky and Spike style piecing for this project using some of my favorite colors. I used a rayon variegated thread I bought in Houston and my new sewing machine's decorative stitches in the borders. It is not an art quilt but more traditional but it represents the challenge theme. I added the cute little button to keep with MY theme of having a portrait quilt!

This is the inner cover of Doreen's book where she autographed it and I love it to this day. RIP Doreen Speckmann!! The next challenge due March 31st is "Folklore" which will be a challenge for sure. I get to choose the challenge after that and I have it selected so be prepared!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Gen X Quilters - Quilt Inspiration | Quilting Tutorials & Patterns | Connect: Bonfire BOM: Monthly Giveaways!!

 I am starting a new Block of the Month from Gen X Quilters and there is a monthly giveaway and any participants need to link up our blogs to their blog so here it is!! The title of the BOM is called "Bonfire" and two blocks either 9" or 12" are made and we can chose to swap blocks with another person if we want. I chose the 9" size to keep the finished quilt from becoming too large for me. The fabric in the second photo is the outer border fabric. The sample quilt used a solid beige and I'm so not into beige that I have none in my stash and this large scale floral seemed nice while it's freezing cold in January! 

This curved block reminded me of constructing block for the New York Beauty block-not difficult but lots of clipping the curved edge and lots of pinning. Sewing is very slow and accurate. Fun!!
Gen X Quilters - Quilt Inspiration | Quilting Tutorials & Patterns | Connect: Bonfire BOM: Monthly Giveaways!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"All Dots!" Second 2015 Block of the Month Quilt Completed

 This is a BOM quilt I started in March 2015. It is called "Mishka's Playground" and the designer is Michelle Foster. Michelle has a Facebook page devoted to this BOM and it is called Aiming for Accuracy Quilt Along. Twice a month 1-3 blocks were emailed to participants and we made our quilt in any colorway we wanted. Each month when complete we would post our blocks to the FB page.

It was extremely fun to see all the great yet different color variations in this project. Some people had a patriotic or Christmas theme; some did scrappy and some did muted primitive colors. I chose brights with a white dot and a white background. I had plenty in my stash and bought several more. The BOM ended in October-November with the three borders. The triangle pieced border was time consuming but adds so much to the quilt! I did the borders while at quilt retreat in November because I could be uninterrupted and focused. I did the border in a rainbow color wheel order because that made sense to me!! A few people on the FB group page chose to not tackle the triangle border and that's their choice. One woman added extra fabric to the quilt to fit her bed. It was already 60" x 80" and larger than I usually like to quilt but it is such a happy quilt I went ahead with it anyway! 

I machine quilted with all white thread mostly in the ditch and added accented curved lines in the white fabric areas and echo quilting in the sashings and borders.
This is a photo of the backing fabric which is spiffy too! I repeated the color wheel colors and I found a repeat of a dot or circle. I usually don't pre-shrink my fabrics but did for the backing. After working on the quilt for a week or so machine quilting it the white fabric didn't look as white as it started out to be and was dingy. When the entire quilt was done I took a chance that the dotted fabrics would not bleed in the washing machine. I set the washer on cold and added a small amount of soap and crossed my fingers it would not bleed especially the dark purples. I opened the lid of the washer while it was doing it's thing and it was fine. I put in in the dryer to give it an old fashioned "bunchy" look! I added a sleeve it to hang on my wall so I can look at it better. 

The time now is to return to making portrait quilts. I am going to do two quilt challenges up next-the 2016 Hoffman Challenge due in July and a black/white/one other color challenge due in June for the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison next September. Time to design!!!