With all of the hoopla of getting my inaugural quilt pattern prepared for release, several quilt finishes and other projects have slipped under the blog radar, so here’s a little summary of what’s been going on around the Pretty Piney studio! (Please note that cleaning and organizing the studio is NOT on the list. This time. Soon!)
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show
I thought I’d be able to go to Sisters this year, but maybe in 2019. So my blogging friend Tierney tracked down my bargello to get some pics for me! Check out her blog for more about this years Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.
Farm Fair Finishes
I made this top in an introductory paper piecing class in either 2014 or 2015, but never finished it. Its number came up this month for the 2018 UFO Challenge with a local quilt club, so I decided to get it done in time to enter it in the Burlington County Farm Fair.
Every year, the Farm Fair Home Arts Committee chooses a fat quarter to be used in the quilt challenge. This year, it was the Kanvas Merry & Bright snowflake fabric in the border. I used the book Build-A-Barn: No Pattern Construction by Julie Sefton for the barn section, and found a great YouTube video to learn how to make a miniature wreath. This piece will be donated to the local Farm Bureau Women’s Committee for their annual silent auction fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House.
The judges seem to like my work.
Swap Quilt Finishes
Last year, I signed up to get an overseas partner for the International Miniature Quilt Exchange hosted by TheQuiltShow.com. I was partnered with Clare Hickman, a talented quilter from Harare, Zimbabwe. We got to know each other a bit through e-mail and WhatsApp, and decided to make our quilts independently and without following a common theme. I chose to make mine a metaphor for my quilting journey.
It’s made with silk, scraps from the bargello quilt that hung at Sisters last week, and stretch denim that I stretched a tiny bit while stitching so that the other fabrics would ripple. Gentle improvisational curves created streams, and quilting that blends into the denim created a current which I interrupted with small circles of variegated thread that matches the colors in the bargello strips. The title, “Skipping Stones,” refers to how making small changes can create ripples that affect the current of your journey by creating new textures and dimensions that you couldn’t have anticipated.
“Skipping Stones” and the quilt that Clare sent me (which will have a blog post of its own) each had incredible journeys to get to their destinations. Clare expressed reservations about using her local postal system, and proposed alternate delivery methods. First, a friend of hers from the States visited her and picked up the quilt she made. The friend carried it around Africa with her during her trip (for about a month, I think) before bringing it home with her to North Carolina and mailing it from there.
Then, she checked her son’s work schedule–her son is an airline pilot. She sent me the address of a hotel he stays in–in Alaska. I sent my quilt to Alaska. Her son then carried it with him to New York City, then Chicago, then to his home in South Africa, where it stayed until Clare got down there to visit. Phew! It finally made it, and Clare was kind enough to send a shot of it hanging in her sewing space.
Another kind of improvisational curve method went into this swap quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild’s miniature quilt swap. My partner first had a broken sewing machine, then sustained an injury that has required several surgeries. She insisted that I hold onto the quilt until she could finish mine, but when I heard that her latest surgery was happening on her birthday, I decided to ignore her and sent it on. I love this mini, and may have to make a similar one for myself.
Today is Day 15 of the #100Days100Blocks2018 quilt-along with Gnome Angel. Sometimes I work a bit ahead, but even when I don’t, the blocks work up quickly and it’s not stressful to make one and get it posted on schedule. I’m using hand-dyed fabrics that I dyed especially for this quilt-along, and as the sponsor of Day 100, I’m giving away a pack of 10 fat quarters of the fabrics I used.
My My Happy Place row turned out to be a combination of three happy places for me! I’ll let you know when my day to post is as soon as I found out.
I’m glad Jen had to delay the start of the Border Quilt Quilt Along, because I still can’t decide what fabrics to use. And now you have more time to plan, too!
Finally, I’m creating a series of Instaquilt postcards for Free Art Friday. I started making Instaquilts for friends a while back–I take one of their Instagram photos and remove most of the color in Photoshop. Then I find an appropriate quote and print it along with the photo directly on to fabric. (I use a Sawgrass sublimation printer, but discuss other ways of printing in this post, like using printable inkjet fabric sheets.) Next, I arrange the words, stitch them down, and finish the quilt however I choose! For these, I opted to not quilt them, but fuse them to Peltex (a sew-in like Craf-Tex would work fine, too, but I would stitch the words down through the stabilizer instead of stitching before fusing) and add a postcard for the back.
I plan to make several of these highlighting different colors, then release them into the wild during a local arts festival.
I’ve finished a test block for my next quilt pattern, and picked the fabrics for the cover quilt. Can you tell I like a colorful quilt? As I recently commented on Instagram, “You can’t go wrong with rainbows!”