Thursday, September 29, 2016

Field Trip Recommendation: Circular Abstractions at the Muskegon Museum of Art

My husband and went on a short get-away to the Grand Rapids area in Michigan early in September. While driving along the highway one day, we noticed a billboard advertising a quilt show at the Muskegon Museum of Art.  I got out my phone and Googled it to find out more information.  I excitedly told my husband about the show and he said that we should go see it on the last day of our vacation. This card shows the information about the show:


It was a cool and rainy Saturday when we arrived at the Museum of Art.  We found a parking spot very close to the entrance of the museum and headed down the stairs to the gift shop to purchase our tickets.  The lady behind the counter told us that it was "Super Saturday" and admission to the museum was free!  Once a month, they have a free entrance day to encourage people to come in and see the art. It was our lucky day! 

As we entered the hall where the quilts were displayed, my jaw dropped to the floor!  We took our time walking around to see all of the quilts, first taking a long view and then getting up close and personal with each quilt to examine the piecing and quilting in each quilt as well as reading the artists' statements. 

Each of the 51 quilts on display were about 80" by 80" and all were based on 4 bull's eyes, reminiscent of the New York Beauty pattern.  Forty-one artists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA took several months to make the quilts. The quilts were curated by Nancy Crow.

 The colours were bright and bold.  It was fun and interesting to see how each quilt artist interpreted the theme. Some of the quilts were displayed on the wall and others were suspended from the ceiling so that we could see the back of the quilt as well as the front.

We actually went around the room twice, making sure that we had taken a good look at every quilt.

While we were looking at the quilts, a mom with three young children came in to see the exhibit. "Look at all the beautiful blankets!", she exclaimed.  I smiled to myself when she said this...  She then asked each of her children to pick their favourite "blanket"--the one they would want on their bed at home.  They toured the room, somewhat more quickly than my husband and I were, exclaiming their delight and discussing the reasons why they liked each "blanket".  The youngest, a boy about 5 years old, picked his favourite out fairly fast.  He liked the red one on the white background with the black centre in the picture above.  He told his mom he liked it the best because "It just sucks you in, Mom!"   I had to agree with him!  It actually reminded me of a geode...

The exhibit is on display until November 6th, 2016 at the Muskegon Museum of Art. I recommend that you run, not walk, to go and see these quilts!  I think they will "suck you in" too.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Whooooo saw an Owl? or Two!

Christine and I got together to sew one evening last week.  We each made an owl block for our Fancy Forest quilts.  The eyes were a bit labour intensive in both the cutting of the pieces and sewing them together.

I felt like I was being watched!!

By the end of the evening, I had my owl together, although, he did have a bit of a problem with his beak...

I unstitched and re-sewed that seam,  and he looks much better now.

We each have one owl and two fireflies to go!

I noticed after I took this picture that Christine forgot to bring her owl home at the end of the evening! 

My next own will be red and white. It is all cut out and ready to go.   Christine and I are getting together again this week to sew our owls and maybe another project as well.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Broken Dishes Swap

After reading about Kathy participating in a Bow tie block swap last year, I decided to jump in and join this year's swap at Fun with Barb.  Barb actually is running two swaps--both with 4" finished broken dishes blocks.  I joined up for the modern swap using solids (red and another colour of my choosing) and Christine signed up for the Civil War swap.  Barb was hoping that 40 people would sign up for each swap but only 30 signed up for the Modern swap. (I think 40 signed up for the civil war swap.)  The instructions soon arrived by e-mail.  I needed to make 60 blocks--30 in each of two colours with the constant red.  (Christine needs to make 80 blocks--in a way, I am happy I only needed to make 60!)

For my first set of 30 blocks, I decided to pair orange with the red.  I used my Go cutter to cut out all of the triangles...

A lot of sewing ensued followed by pressing and then more sewing.

I had some tension issues with my sewing machine so I switched to my older machine and took the newer one in for a check up at the sewing machine doctor...

I thought I had done enough sewing but, after counting, discovered I only had 28 1/2 blocks! Just 2 1/2 blocks to go.

More sewing, more pressing, more sewing again... This morning I finished off the blue and red blocks.  I am all done!

Christine and I will be mailing our blocks together so I will put mine in a bag, ready to go, and wait for her to get her civil war blocks made.

Yesterday, my husband and I went to the apple farm to get some pumpkins and apples. I just love the colours of  this season! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sewing Day with Jacqui

Several months ago, the members of the Elgin Piecemakers each donated several 10" squares of fabric with words on them.  Jacqui had a pattern for a quilt using the squares and the donated squares would make two comfort quilts for adult chemo patients at our local hospital.  Today, Jacqui and I got together to cut the squares up and sew them back together again to make a quilt top.  We both sewed on Featherweight machines in Jacquie's sewing room. She has a great design wall which we used to lay out the pieces.

The two blocks missing on the bottom row were at my sewing machine, waiting to be put together.  I took this picture for reference in case a breeze blew in the window and rearranged our fabric pieces! 

Everything was going swimmingly until I ran out of bobbin thread...  Luckily, I had only tried to sew one block with the empty bobbin!  I was soon back on the rails and sewing again.

At this stage, we had all the blocks together and Jacqui trimmed them while I sewed rows together.

The pattern for this quilt is called "The No Waste Windmill Block" by Anita Grossman Solomon.  (The book is called "Rotary Cutting Revolution.")

There are several different fabrics in this quilt.  Here are a few close ups so you can see some of them.

I liked this one ...It says "a fat quarter is not a body part."  LOL!

 I don't think I would ever choose to put all of these fabrics together but they all hang together quite nicely in this quilt.

The border fabric came from Jacquie's stash and had pins on it.  It frames the quilt quite nicely!

We were both very happy with the finished top, done just in time for me to head off to an appointment!  We will get together again in a couple of weeks to put the second top together.  It is all cut out and just needs to be arranged on the design wall and put together. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Back on the Horse!

While rooting around in the sewing room this week, I found a UFO!  I know, this is shocking, isn't it?!  I decided that I needed to get this project done and out of the UFO pile!

 I did the wool Applique by hand ages ago...

And then started quilting it before getting distracted by another project or event in my life...

But today, I will get at it again!  I am back on the hand quilting horse and I will stay on until this squirrelly project is done!  Pinky swear! (When my daughter was little, that's what she said when she made a promise, while connecting pinky fingers with her friend. So, I promise to get this done! )

Friday, September 16, 2016

Red, Black and Gray

I am trying to get ahead of the game with my comfort quilt blocks for the Elgin Piecemakers.  My September block has been made since June and yesterday, I made the October block.  Each month, we have a colour scheme or theme to follow. Everyone brings in their blocks and two people get together to put the blocks together.  I will try to get my November block, using 30's prints, done this coming week.

It is always fun to see everyone's blocks and how they come together into a quilt.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Flannel Vortex DONE!

I had some time yesterday to do some sewing so I laid out the backing, batting and top of the flannel vortex on the kitchen floor and did some pin basting.  I would really rather do this on a table but no table was available at the time.  My back likes me to use a table!!  LOL.  

All pin basted and ready to quilt!

I used my walking foot to do a wavy cross hatch. There are a lot of seams in this quilt and I wanted to make sure I hit most of the pieces of fabric with a line of quilting.

Here is a close up of the quilting.

I trimmed it up and made binding with some of the golden brown flannel with the animals on it.

All done and ready to give to a friend who is having a rough time at the moment.

In an effort to use up more of my flannel stash, I pieced the backing from odd hunks and chunks of fabrics that I used on the front as well as a few leftover slabs from the front. Here is a picture of the back:  

It is a very cozy quilt, just how I like my quilts to be.  FYI--the label has been added to the bottom right corner in the picture but I covered it up by turning up the corner of the quilt.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

More Rabbits!

I had a few challenges with last week's rabbit block...  Luckily, Christine noticed my mistake before I got too far along!

I soon was back in business!

'Ears to you!

Both of us did a bit of unstitching during the process of making our rabbits!

Here is my finished rabbit:

And here is Christine's:

Next up,  owls!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Modern Wedge DONE!

This quilt has been a long time coming, but it is finally done.  I started it at a workshop over two years ago with Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession. It has been a pondering quilt.  I have worked on it off and on, with lots of thinking time in between sewing to figure out what to do next.

The background is quilted with an asymmetric grid, as suggested by Jacqui Gering at the walking foot quilting class I took in the spring.

The curves are quilted with curvy organic quilting--the narrow one is quilted with turquoise thread.

I used red thread on the wider one.

I matched the binding to the background fabric and the adjacent wedges. 

While I was taking pictures in my yard this morning, I noticed this decorative grass seed head...

It goes with the curves of my quilt!