Friday, March 29, 2013


The triadic color challenge for Grateful Threads, my art guild, was due this week.  We were to choose a color on the color wheel and then look for its triadic partners.

My choice was yellow-green, red-orange, and red violet for the palette.  I went to the hardware store and found paint chips to use when I auditioned my fabrics.
Fabrics from my current stash were selected.  I had a wonderful batik that I had "saved" for a long time.  It was going to be perfect for this project.  I had an ample number of greens to choose from.
The bonus was that I had one fabric that had two of my colors in it already. I pulled several of my greens from the batik collection.  Then all that was left was the background fabric.  I had this wonderful creamy batik with a very subtle stylized tree pattern.  The picture does not do that fabric justice.

Next came the design.  I love trees and working with lots of trees.  One of my favorite trees is a weeping willow.  I had one in my yard when I was growing up and it was such a welcome spot to "crawl into" to read a book or just peer up through the branches and contemplate life.  After I was married and moved with my husband around and about I had several homes with weeping willow trees.  My daughter discovered the same fun when she was small.  She would take her doll and her doll blanket and play under the willow for hours.

A very simple tree was then prepped for fusible applique.  I made the leaves and then came the arrangement.

This design made me smile.  I loved using the asymmetrical borders and omitting the other two borders.
It is machine quilted using a stitch on my machine that is called "hand quilting stitch".  It is formed by using mono filament thread in the upper and placing a regular thread in the bobbin.  When I finished this I was so excited that the quilting over the tree looked like rain falling.
The quilting is straight line quilting spaced about 3/8" apart.  The backing fabric is a soft grey/cream toile pattern.

I thought that putting a regular binding on this piece would limit it on the edges.  I wanted the design to emphasize the infinity of the line; so I chose to use a facing.  I used the same fabric as the background.

To label this piece I wrote my name and the date and the name of the Challenge on the facing.  In an article I read recently, that author suggested that a quilter use cursive handwriting to sign her/his name so that in later years the person looking at the quilt would feel a more personal touch with the maker of the quilt.

Cannot wait to get this hung.  Have several spots in mind.  Just need to decide.

LilBit just wants me to get finished so we can take a walk on this beautiful afternoon.




Friday, March 22, 2013


A few days ago I read an article in my local paper* about a Quilt Showcase being presented by the Arts Center in Athens, TN.  A group of 13 quilters who call themselves Sisters with Artistic Attitude created a challenge for the group.  "Each challenger had to come up with a theme and then each month, the 13 created a block in size from 9" x 9" up to 12" x 15".  When that block was completed, it was returned to the originator of the theme and work began on the next one.  When all 13 were completed, the artists headed off to create a finished quilt, which 11 of them did."
This challenged each artist to branch out and try new techniques and styles. 

I was fascinated by the challenge and the photos in the newspaper so I invited some of my friends to go with me to see the exhibit.  Five of us had a wonderful time today. 

We were warmly greeted at the Arts Center and given a tour of the facility.  They are preparing a production of "Midsummer Night's Dream" on their stage; there was an exhibit of work lining the corridor from students of the local high school; and a beautiful display in the lobby of some permanent acquisitions which included an overhead mobile in bright rose and pink color.

Inside the adjoining display room is where we found the exhibit we were looking for.  I have included the artist's statement as well as a picture of most of the projects.

These photos do not do the works of art justice, but I thought it might give you a little idea about the creative style of each artist.

It was a fabulous day spent with my quilty buddies.

The Showcase closes on March 26.  Contact the Arts Center at 423.745.8781 for more information.  It is worth the short trip up the road.

*article written by Barry Courter appeared in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Sunday, March 10, 2013.


Four wonderful, excited women gathered for a 3-day Workshop.  Lots of laughing and sharing went on as we worked on our projects.

Day 1 was spent making small flying geese using a traditional method of half-square triangles.  These were combined with four patches and we had some wonderful Bear's Paw blocks.

 Then, we learned how to use Eleanor Burns Flying Geese ruler to make larger flying geese for the borders around our medallion center blocks.

Gayle chose some lovely modern fabric lines to make her blocks.  These make me think of springtime picnics.  I can just hear the birds singing!

You can clearly see the larger Bear's Paws that formed when the borders were added.  Jan's choice of Civil War fabric with cream gives this a much softer look.

This is Jane's blue and cream choice to coordinate with her blue/cream draperies in her dining room.  By using the variety of blue prints, she gave some real energy to her piece. 

Linda chose black as her background fabric.  Wow!  that just makes the red and greens pop.  She also chose to change the direction of her outer flying geese and turned this into a beautiful almost 3-D look with a Square-in-a-Square variation.

Each lady's personality was quite evident.  It is always fun for me to see what choices for fabrics the students make as they prepare for a class.  I really get to know who they are as they make their projects.  Some will follow the sample I provide exactly and others will personalize it to make it their own.

When I look at this display, I immediately associate each lady's smile and style to her blocks.  Sometimes you see a bit of personality emerge that is not always evident when you are simply having a conversation.  The photos are always such a fun reminder to me of the wonderful folks I meet when I teach.

Here is the sample they were given to introduce them to the project.

What a wonderful three days!!!  I was unable to get pictures on Day 3 since I left my camera at home.  <SOB>

Maybe I will get the opportunity to photograph their completed projects later and share them with you then.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I only have one finish to show for this week.  I finally quilted my Modern Mystery Quilt that was designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr and was offered by AQS on their website.
This is the palette I chose.  I used Kona gray with some brights from my stash.

I love seeing the light shine through the quilt top before it is quilted.  Of course, every seam shows this way!
This is not the best photo of this piece but it will have to do for this post.  I plan to hang this in my family room in this orientation.
Thought I would include a photo of the back.  Another way to use up some of my old stash.  Just keep clearing it out!
I rigged up this clothes line thingy on my upper back deck so I could hang quilts for photographing.  Well, it doesn't work the best sometimes.  Like here, the light makes the front of the quilt show through.  Although, I think that little shadow is kinda interesting.

Another project I am working on is for my grandson.

The beginnings of another gift quilt.  Is this just the sweetest palette?
No in-progress post would be complete without showing work on my Hexie quilt.
I have these three units just about ready for this next round on the Hexie piece.
See how these are going on?
Then, of course, there are my socks!  Well, I have made some pretty good progress but I hit a snag and put it on hold for a few days until I can talk to my mentor/friend, Linda, to figure out what I need to do differently.  It just does not seem like it is right//!!

A few other things I have been doing are some sketching of landscapes and working on a design for a quilt for another grandson. 

"I will take charge of the remote while you sew, Mom!"



Sunday, March 10, 2013


I spent yesterday with my Modern Quilt Guild buddies at our monthly meeting.  We had such a good time!!

I thought I would show you a few things that they had for Show and Tell.  Please note that the projects lying on the floor are resting on top of a beautiful rug that is part of the shop decor.  It does create some competition with our quilt showings, though.  Just adjust your vision as needed.  :-)

Sharon shared her Spring Table Runner!!  Love those colors!  And the design is original.

Gerry shared another of her beautiful Convergence quilts with the leaves made from ultra suede fabric.  It goes to her son-in-law's office to hang.  Lovely!

Jean shared a design she originated using the Kaleidoscope ruler.  The construction is unique and un-traditional.  She hasn't decided how she wants to use this component/technique.

This is Gayle's beautiful neutral palette quilt.  It is so soothing.  I am   sorry I do not remember whose pattern she used.

These are some of Melody's selections.  Some are pieced and others were fused.  Her fabrics are hand dyed cottons and silks.  Lovely, aren't they?

BJ shared this cute little album piece that she designed.  It has an overlay of black net to give it the night time feel.  She told us about a tip she uses on some of her work.  On the back she made notes to herself of things to do differently or things not to do when using these materials and techniques the next time.  I thought that was just so smart!  And, of course, she signed and dated her work.

I shared my completed Modern Mystery Quilt that was designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr and offered by AQS on their website.

Melissa introduced us to some fabrics that she just purchased.  These were the newest Batiks to arrive at Sew Bee It, our quilt shop where we meet for our guild each month.

Gayle has started a Block Lottery project for us and each month she will introduce us to a different block to make.  Here are the finished blocks for the Mod Mosaic that we did for the month of February.  Here is where you have to concentrate to separate the blocks from the rug.

The new block for us to have ready for the April meeting is the Celtic Twist.  Requirements are to use white/black print as the background and scrappy greens throughout.

We have a drawing of the participants and declare someone the winner of the blocks.  In order for her to win again, she must bring a completed top using the blocks back to the meeting.

Six of us have just returned from attending Quilt Con in Austin, TX.  This was the first Quilt Conference for the National Modern Quilt Guild.  It was entertaining, informative, and educational for all of us.  We had so many goodies given to us by vendors at the show that we made up goodie bags to share with the members.  Here is Jean passing out some of the bags and you can see the gals opening the brown paper bags to see what they got!!  Don't quilters just love more stuff?

We had so much conversation, sharing, and fun!!  I am so glad I did not miss this meeting!

Lil Bit is telling me that she likes to quilt!!  "Why do I have to stay home?"


                                    -   sandi