Just a note to let you know Tranquility will be shown at the American Quilter's Society show in Grand Rapids, MI this August 22-25. I won't be able to attend the show, but if you are there I hope you'll look for it!
70s Child is a recent finish that I only started a couple of months ago. I wanted to do a quilt based on improv curves. These blocks were cut free hand with a rotary cutter and machine pieced. I have done curves before, but never so many in one quilt. It turns out I really hate doing them. It's one reason the blocks sat for a bit before I got back to them. I first made the small (approx 5") blocks, then made the four larger triple curve blocks in the upper right. I set them aside to finish some other things, but every time I thought about getting them out I was turned off because I hated the process so much. In the end I realized the design had potential and I should really just suck it up and finish it. I made some more larger curved blocks (about 6"), then the rectangular blocks, and lastly the three largest ones at the bottom.
I just found out that 70s Child was accepted into the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase at IQF Houston this year, so that will be it's first outing as I need to mail it off soon. I don't know why they need them so soon when the show's not until November, but there you go.
It took me a little while to arrange them and start to put it together. When the top was finished I machine quilted with dense straight lines (1/4" apart) which is my go to for abstract modern quilts. It's not terribly original, but it's my thing. I'm done trying to come up with some fabulous free motion design. I really don't enjoy that and in the end I feel it can be limiting. In this case, the quilting adds lovely texture, but no (or minimal) character. I am not really interested in having someone else quilt it for an exorbitant price unless I am dealing with something too large for me.
I finished it with a binding pieced from scraps and I really like the result. By the way, the color palette started with the mustard yellow. I added the reds, pinks and gray and then needed something else and turquoise just seemed to pop. It started to remind me of the 70s while I was working on it. Partly it was due to the mustard yellow/harvest gold color and partly due to the shapes. Plus, I'm a 70s Child myself as I turned 6 in 1970. So, don't expect any more improv curves from me, except perhaps in small doses.
Are you ready for Quilt Week? This is the biggest week of the year for quilters in Central Oregon and for thousands of visitors from all around the world leading up to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on Saturday July 14. Activities happen all week, starting with the Quilt Walk Kickoff tomorrow, Sunday July 8; through a week of classes, lectures and events; and even past the show itself to Quilt Show Sunday on July 15. It's sure to be a fun week. I will be in Sisters for the show on Saturday and on Thursday to go to some artist receptions and meet friends. It should be lots of fun! Here's a link to the Show Guide.
I will have 7 quilts in the show this year, including several for sale. I have quilts in the Storybook special exhibit, the Central Oregon SAQA special exhibit, and the Mt Bachelor Quilters' Guild special exhibit "Periodic Table of the Elements". There are also 4 in the general show that are for sale. If you see something that you like here I suggest you contact the show directly as they already have my quilts.
I'll be posting here about all the activities, but here's a few photos from last year's show to whet your appetite.
March was a busy month in the studio. I made a goal to complete a bunch of UFOs that had been taking up space in the closet and I managed to get through 6 of them before having to move on to other projects. The first one was an old project from a Rosalie Dace class 5 years ago. This was a 5 day workshop where we were inspired by the artwork of Paul Klee. This piece was a real favorite of mine until I started machine quilting it. I made the mistake of doing that very heavy quilting in the circle and despite trying everything I could think of to flatten it out, I was never able to. I started hand quilting the radiating lines, then added machine quilting between. I also blocked it like crazy and nothing worked. You can see that I didn't complete the hand quilting on the left side. In the March madness of UFO completion I decided to do the binding and leave it as is. It's wonderfully soft and I still love the design. I'm not sure it will see the light of day, but it's now complete.
The second UFO finish is another one inspired by Paul Klee (Little Painting of Fir Trees). This was also from the same workshop with Rosalie Dace. In this case, the top was done except for some organza overlays that I had intended to hand stitch over the top. It was that part that kept me from finishing it, so in the end I just quilted it as is. I think this is more my style and I really like how it came out!
Quilt number 3 was this Starry Owl quilt. The blocks were mostly done and I just needed to combine them in to this small community quilt that was donated to the guild.
Quilt number 4 is called Autumn Baskets and it's a wall hanging. These blocks were started several years ago when I taught liberated basket classes. All the blocks were finished except for one. I had to frame the blocks and put them together.
The fifth quilt is another owl quilt and will also be donated to community quilts. This one required more work as I had only the smaller squares that you see above. I added strips to make each block 9.5 inches square. This is a favorite size for charity quilts because I have a 9.5 inch square ruler, so cutting to size is super simple.
When I'm making a charity quilt I like to keep things simple and having blocks of consistent size help with that. I know that most people work with consistently sized blocks on a regular basis, but when you are a liberated/improv quilter you are often working with various sized blocks which is fun to do, but requires more time to puzzle together. On this quilt I also used many of my most vibrant, rainbow colored hand dyed fabrics. I think these are beautiful, but I almost never use them in my regular work, so I was happy to use them on this bright and cheerful quilt. I hope it brings some cheer to a child in my community.
The last quilt for this March madness UFO series is called My Happy Stars. It was made from some star blocks that were already finished. I also had some colorful curvy shapes made with wedge shaped pieces. I ended up cutting those down to rectangles to frame the stars. I really like how this came out and when I showed it on Instagram lots of other people liked it too. In fact, one person asked about purchasing it and I was happy to take her up on it. She even got naming rights! I hope she likes it for many years to come.
My quilts just arrived home from QuiltCon so I thought I'd share the judge's comments which I always find interesting. My comments follow.
Rhythm of the Rails was in the Improvisational Category.
- very cohesive overall
- quilter's voice shines through pattern
- colors are chosen well
I really like comment #2 for Rhythm of the Rails (more photos here) because I think that's true. This one really feels like me. It's also nice to know they thought the design was cohesive and that the colors are chosen well. As far as the colors, they were pretty intuitive for me. I didn't plan anything out or create a palette before starting. I started with some scraps and picked out cut yardage to go, but I also had other colors I didn't end up using. In this design, there was a very particular tomato red (one of my favorites) that I was running out of and just couldn't find the right substitute for. My friend Jan gave me a piece that she had in the just the right color and I think it makes the quilt. You might have another idea of what color makes the quilt. Jan actually told me she thought it was the mustard color that did it.
Arches and Tunnels was in the Small Quilt Category.
- quilting supports the theme
- color palette is cohesive
- variation in sizes of arches and tunnels energizes design
My favorite comment for Arches and Tunnels is #3 (more photos here). It was my intention from the beginning to make the sizes vary. None of this was cut from templates so that was pretty easy to do. I used a fold and cut technique, but it was all cut freehand. I also like that they thought the quilting supported the theme. I was actually unsure of that. The color palette on this one is cohesive, but also awfully bold. If I had started this one today I think I would have toned it down a bit.
QuiltCon was really just a two day affair for me this year as I left early to spend the weekend in San Diego with my daughter. It was a good time though and I went to some amazing lectures. I will have a couple of posts about the show coming up in the next few days.
PS- Here's another post about judge's comments in case you're interested.