A New Year and Lots Going On!

It’s been a while since our last post and it isn’t because nothing is going on.  Quite to the contrary – 2017 projects have made my days busier than ever!

So, let me break down what all the activity was about.

CUSTOMER QUILTS:

Below are a few of the quilts that came in the door in the last couple months.  Customer 2017 projects include many gorgeous quilts, and I am sure the folks who received them were thrilled!

Such a fun border on a quilt for a lucky husband.

This quilt was finished in a leaf pattern and sage colored thread that melded with the sage and purple theme, just lovely.

One lucky little girl received this beautiful bed covering quilted in boots and hats (a Texas favorite!) I also heard something about getting a real-live horse for the holidays. Lucky girl indeed!

My Own – an absolutely beautiful quilt with many paper pieced blocks.

This stained glass beauty was quilted out using a large meander and black thread! The finished product was so beautiful.

SEWING PROJECTS

When I was not working on customers’ 2017 projects, I have had a few of my own going on as well.  The first are my entries in the Dallas Quilt Show – 2017

This isn’t a quilt? Sorry – until the show, I have decided not to show images of my “It’s a Charmed Life” entry or my entry for the Master 103 one-person wall quilt.

 

It is not without a great deal of excitement that I refrain from posting images, I just would rather not jinx anything. If you are as excited as I am to see beautiful quilts from artists around our area, join us March 10-12, 2017 at the Dallas Market Hall.

Due to the number of client quilts, I have had less time to finish some of my own.  Below is a patriotic quilt that did make it through the process.

This is Old Glory (bite me) and was created in a very organic way. This is pretty much the way I do most of my quilts. After choosing a favorite block, I continued on until all but a few very small snippets were left of the available fabric.

 

In addition to quilting, I am working on some sewing projects as well. Nearly finished is this green rose cloak.  The finishing touch of adding beads to all the trim will complete this in time for Sherwood Forest Fair 2017.

Green Rose lined cloak

I am also mostly done with a tuxedo-style jacket for Selesti and should be finished with that in the next couple weeks.  And, of course it’s blue!

And… a CRUISE!

Yes, after over 15 years, hubby and I finally took a proper vacation and headed to the Caribbean for a 7 day cruise. I highly recommend this type of vacation for anyone who has trouble letting go and relaxing.  No phone service and limited internet coupled with being pampered every minute made it impossible not to relax!  We had a great time and hope to do it again soon!

Houston International Quilt Festival – 2016

Houston Quilt Festival – 2016

As I mentioned a few days ago, this year was my very first visit to the Houston Quilt Festival.  It took 3 years living in Texas for me to find the time to go and I will tell you one thing – I will be going every year hereafter!

What an amazing day we had, and a tiring one at that.

So many vendors!

First things First!

The Best T-Shirt Award Goes To....

The Best T-Shirt Award Goes To….

Although we were tempted to dive right into the row upon row of quilts being displayed, hubby and I tore ourselves away to visit the vendors first. The Houston International  I had some specific purchases in mind, and wanted to get all that out of the way before we ventured into the forest of quilts.

The lanes between vendors were literally packed with people, but a few really did stand out. These lovely ladies were happy to pose for a picture.  I told them how much I loved their shirts and their reply was that a friend had them made custom.  Here went my hopes of finding one for me at the Houston International Quilt Festival!

 

 

 

20161105_132458Stitchin’ Heaven had such a fun booth, complete with longhorn!  At first I got to take a picture of them haming it up, but ultimately, they got Terry and I by the steer for a picture.

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So, with list in hand, we went booth to booth and I must admit that I didn’t always stick to my list – there are just some things you can’t pass by!  In fact, I bought some finger-less gloves for both my daughter and myself.  Mine were blue, of course.

 

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Soon enough, I found the Superior Threads booth and was able to check off a large portion of my list.  While I usually do order online, I am in the middle of a couple customer quilts that really benefited from seeing the colors in person.  After stocking up on thread and needles, Terry took a quick picture and I was off to check more off my list. (little did I know that some poor woman would be bending over just at the wrong moment!)

 

Time to see the quilts

A couple hours later, and I will not mention how much $$ and I was done shopping and ready to visit the quilts at the 2016 Houston Quilt Festival. Next year we plan on doing this in a couple days and not just a one-day trip.

We started at one end of the hall (the one closest to the vendors) and worked our way across to the other end. Here we were met by one amazing quilt after another.  All we had to do was turn a corner and a new adventure presented itself.

So many of the quilts we saw have been celebrated by others who also visited the show, but for me, I found there to be a couple categories that stuck out.  The first category is:

Quilts that Made me Smile!

The quilts above did just that – each one of these made me smile.

Quilts that fed my inner geek

Not all the quilts I fell in love with would fit within a pre-determined category.  This next one can only be appreciated in 3 individual images:

What a masterpiece which consists of three masterpieces!

Some quilts were so popular that it took patience to get a good picture.  This Alligator (or is it a crocodile?) was one such quilt.

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As you may know, there are at least 1,700 quilts on display. It is very tough to pick images of my favorites.  All I can say is that it is worth your while to visit Houston for the International Quilt Festival and see which of these amazing quilts are your very own favorites!

So, home we went and I got started on some projects. I can’t wait for next year to roll around again!  Did you go to the show?  If you did, what were your favorite quilts?

Houston Quilt Festival – Here I Come!

16_houston_festival_ol_v9I have been so excited because I am actually going to make it to the Houston Quilt Festival this year! This will be Year 3 as a Texas resident and about darn time!  The downside is that I can only afford the time to go Saturday. So many friends have gasped when I told them we will only be doing a day trip, so I am prepared to do all I can.  It is pretty safe to say that they will be proven right and next year we may plan a mini vacation around this event.

There is no question in my mind that this will be one of those Saturday’s when my fitbit earns its keep tho!  And I have so many specific things to find and purchase.

 

 

1700 Quilts on Display?

Many friends have already posted pictures of their adventures.

You can be sure that I will be taking a ton of pictures in between the required shopping. So, when I return to post once again about all the treasures I brought back and the pictures I took.

Did you attend Houston Quilt Festival this year?  What did you buy?

From Kits to Custom – Trunk Show and Presentation

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I never really thought about it.

Every month, our local guild “Johnson County Quilt Guild” which meets in Joshua, TX, would have a new speaker.  With each new presentation, I was impressed by the beautiful quilts sewn, interesting books written, or historic tales to tell.

Admit I must that aside for the sumptuous meal shared and rich conversation with my sisters and brothers in quilts, the speaker was my favorite part!

I never really thought about giving a presentation myself, but here I was, just last Monday giving one to our own guild.  While trained as a public speaker, I was a tad nervous for two reasons.

  1. I had little time to develop a presentation and prepare and….
  2. This was my home guild and I really wanted to do well!

Needless to say, things went swimmingly and I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

I took great care to lay out each quilt in reverse-order so it would be easy for my helpers to lift up each quilt as I talked about how it fit in my “custom” scheme.

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This Trunk Show is one part “Show and Tell” and another part information on how to break free from emulating someone else’s project to the letter.  My goal is to provide encouragement to create quilts that show off your own personality and skill set.  By building on the concept of inspiration and breaking down the elements that comprise our quilts, I present ways to customize an existing design or go full on One-of-a-Kind!

Applique Flowers

Applique Flowers

I also present many of the tools that I use to make the concept become the reality.  And YES we talk about math and how to avoid being overcome by the technical aspects of creating custom quilts.

King Cabin EQ7 Layout

King Cabin Crane Electric Quilt 7 Layout Version

King Cabin Crane Quilt - 2016

King Cabin Crane – Finished Version

Feel free to give me a holler if your own group or organization would like to invite me to speak at an upcoming meeting.  Also – choose an option that best describes the way you quilt the most below!

 

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Row by Row Texas – Home Sweet Home – 2016


rowbyrow2016This is the 3rd year I have participated by collecting rows and the 2nd year that I have produced a quilt and presented it at a local quilt shop. The process is both exciting and fun! I highly recommend participating in the Row by Row Adventure.

My Row by Row 2016 was turned in at Country Stitches, Burleson, TX on July 5, 2016.

The Home Sweet Home theme is a concept close to my heart as it represents how comfortable it feels to be a resident of the great state of Texas.  I just could not envision living anywhere else!

As many of you know, I am just not a Kit sort of gal.  I like to do things my own way – challenge myself. Each year, I visit shop after shop and while there I pick out a few fat quarters that I feel will work well with the row they offer.  Each year, I try to make the quilt my own.

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This year’s challenge centers on values but let me start at the beginning.  Just prior to the Row by Row event, my husband and I redecorated our living room.  Because of this, I thought it would be nice to make a quilt that would complement the rich, warm brown tones we used.  This gave me the inspiration to do a sepia sort of pallet – shades of brown offset by a large white on white fabric.

I actually found this background fabric at the annual spring sale at Golden D’or. I fell in love with the large random floral pattern.

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The main challenge for this project is to create balance within a small range of colors.  There are many ways to test your choices when working in this manner.  Some people will back up from their design walls and squint their eyes until they are looking at a blur of tones – if there is enough of a difference in values, they know they are on the right track.  Other folks will take black and white images of their wall to be sure their choices do not run together.

I try them all, and then rely on my gut to sort it all out.  If I like the way it looks, I do not overthink.

The blocks I chose for this project are listed below – each of the shops was a joy to visit!

Sandy’s Quilt Shop – Joshua, TX

Country Stitches – Burleson, TX

Quilt Among Friends – Arlington, TX

Cabbage Rose Quilt Shop – Fort Worth, TX

Richland Sewing Center – Hurst, TX

Sew It up Bernina – Hurst, TX

Peggy’s Quilt Studio – Pantego, TX

Suddenly Sewing – Fort Worth, TX

 

Now compare these rows to the finished product and you can see where the challenge of values really kicks in. (and yes, I labeled this image and printed it out when I turned in my quilt so the process would go smoother – I’m glad I did)

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The quilting was done with the intent of making key elements of the block stand out as well as providing a softening element for the overall quilt.  A row quilt can get so hectic if for no other reason than that the rows are designed by different people.

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I think the most challenging job when doing Row by Row is to create and assemble the rows in such a way that they look like they belong on the quilt together.

This quilt will hang at Country Stitches – Burleson, TX for a while until either they need the room or the contest concludes.  In many ways, I can’t wait to get it back.  I really grew fond of many aspects of this quilt and I did make it to complement our home too!

Last, but not least, just like last year, I chose my 25 Fat quarters prize to specifically make a couple new projects.  Here are the fabrics I choose.  Sometime soon, I hope to present the quilts that result from this!

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Are you a Row by Row quilter?

 

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