Thursday, May 26, 2016

Crafted Applique Blog Hop and Giveaway (CLOSED)

Today is my turn to share my opinion of {BuzzinBumble} Lara B's new book, Crafted Applique... New Possibilities. She asked friends and fellow bloggers to read the book and make something with her technique. AND we get to give away one of her books to our readers! Keep reading for more information.

Lara explains her applique method and its variations extremely well. It makes using the tiniest pieces possible... without fraying. Just look at Heidi's work on Red Letter Quilts. She made the most detailed circles (for Quilty 365) and then designed adorable reindeer. Wow!

In addition to being so clever, Lara is a talented artist. Her book contains seven unique projects, each in a different style. I love the Mid-century Modern vibe of the camper on the cover but she also has a folk art throw quilt, a realistic moth on a pillow and a sewing machine cover that doubles as a gingerbread house. All the patterns and instructions are included in the book. Take a look at her blog for more project photos and more giveaway chances.

You will want to keep an eye out for future patterns from this talented quilter.

Although you don't see much evidence on my blog I actually know how to applique. I just haven't done much for a long time. Lack of practice made me quite hesitant to draft a design. Several quilts-in-process call for applique so I simply must buckle down. Finally I chose to make a pillow using leftover arcs from my Polka Dot quilt. {Starting small and easy for once.}

I sewed selvedges diagonally to a backing and batt as a foundation. Next I prepped the fabric as Lara taught then laid the arcs in interlocking circles.
Selvedge strings on the diagonal form the base layer, then quarter arcs are arranged on top to create circles on this pillow.
I pressed them with an iron and press cloth then sewed a straight stitch with matching thread on each circle. Here's the finished top - soft, pliable, and fray-less! It will be smaller once I sew the pillow back. I want to keep it but it's promised already. Guess I'll have to make another.

Linked circles appliqued on top of selvedge strings create this pillow top.
There are several ways to get a copy of Crafted Applique.
  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me how this technique will help you. I'll draw one name on June 4 and Lara will mail your copy.
  2. Enter a giveaway on one of the other blogs.
  3. Order a signed copy directly from Lara's Big Cartel shop.
  4. Order a copy from AQS.
  5. Order a copy on Amazon. They've already sold out twice.
By the way, the linkup for AHIQ is still active. Take a look at the talented quilters there and consider joining in.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 2016 AHIQ Linkup - Utility and Improvisational Quilts

Not much quilting here but I attended Blanket Statements at San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles recently. Kaffe Fassett juxtaposed antique quilts from the Quilt Museum (now closed) in York, England, with a contemporary rendition from his studio. A contemporary example appears in the background of this post. The colors are much brighter but the historic roots are readily apparent.

Below is a detail of the antique scrap Wheel quilt, maker unknown. The outer side of the wheel is curved but the inner side is straight. There were usually two congruent wedges in each wheel but the layout alternates light and dark.
Wheel quilt detail at San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum exhibit.
From Quilters' Guild Collection, York, England. Maker unknown.
Now look carefully at the purple-circles-on-white fabric in the photo to the right. The quilt has been mended! And the mender didn't want to sew those curves. S(he) simply made straight-edged templates for the damaged sections. The careful mending with good but used fabric indicates to me that s(he) was capable of sewing the curves but chose not to do so. I wonder if the maker's daughter made these repairs. What happy memories she relived while mending this quilt for more year of use by the family.

EDIT: I found a photo of the entire Wheels quilt on the Quilters Guild Connection (UK) website.

I hope you either had a chance for some quilting or a good time with your family.

Enjoy the day, Ann

InLinkz removed because site was hacked.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Boston and a String Quilt

Next stop, Boston. We've walked every day despite blustery winds and rain. And guess what? Another spring! The leaves are just starting to appear on cherry trees. Such a delight of pink, white and green. Plus star magnolias, tulips and more violets.

View of Boston's SW Corridor Path in bloom.
Boston trees budding

I enjoyed the detailed brickwork of the historic churches, the many statues, the granite curbs.

Trinity Church and Old South Church, both from the steps of Boston Public Library

The mother-to-be would prefer the yellow-and-white quilt so I laid it out again and stitched the top. Here's the first and final arrangements. Who'd have thought such small changes in the placement of these soft blocks would make any difference? But they do to me.

First and final layouts of string quilt in white and yellow

Another treat was using the featherweight to quilt the yellow and white string top. Parallel organic lines kept it simple. After a quick wash and dry, it fluffed up beautifully.

Yellow and White String quilt finished
Just for fun, everyone put a stitch or two in the binding. That makes it a gift from the whole family!

Details of quilting and binding
Quilt Details
Size: 41" x 41"
Pattern: String
Batting: Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon cotton
Thread: Gutermann cotton sewing thread in white
Quilting: Organic straight line on Singer featherweight

Enjoy the day, Ann

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Crafted Applique Blog Hop

Have you heard about Lara Buccella's new book? She developed a new method for applique that is raw edged but never frays. Best of all {for me} it's machine stitched! Since I still have to limit hand work and have several projects that need applique, this technique intrigued me.

Crafted Applique: New Possibilities is a delightful read. Lara's artwork is charming; the ones inside the book are a delightful as the cover.

I'm planning a couple of projects to test my ability that I hope to share soon. In the meanwhile, here's a calendar of her blog hop. Take a look at the many different ways Lara's technique can be used to create amazing art. As a bonus, each hopper is giving away one book.

Crafted Appliqué… New Possibilities Blog Hop - May 1st to June 5th 2016
Crafted Appliqué: New Possibilities Blog Hop
May 1st to June 5th 2016

Introduce Tour   

Valerie Smith
Dana Gaffney
Lorna McMahon
Mary Schuberg
Alycia Carmin
Sherri McConnell
Lara Buccella
Guest Post

Christina Cameli
Melissa Corry
Soma Acharya
Angela Pingel
Sandra Walker

Cheryl Brickey
Judy Murphy
Yvonne Fuchs
Cindy Pieters
Connie Campbell
Cynthia Brunz

Jenn Trott-Zisserson
Paulette Horn
Sandra Jansen

Christine Sherman

Darlene Simmons
Giveaway Winners Announced!        

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sulphur Springs

I've been helping family this past month which entails traveling around the state and across the country. One of my favorite sights in Texas is the beautiful county courthouses. Hopkins County boasts one of the loveliest examples. It's built on the northeast corner of the square providing more room for a spacious park including a WWII memorial, board game tables and a small fountain.

Hopkins County Courthouse (Texas)

But the most amusing sight was this restroom. Sulfur Springs built a clear glass unisex restroom on the courthouse square. At night, floodlights around the base keep the outside brighter than the interior so no one can see in. But you clearly see everything around when inside the room. A bit disconcerting. I used the facility. Would you?

Sulfur Springs public restroom viewed from the outside and inside.

Handwork is still iffy and most of my relatives don't have sewing machines. {They depend on me for all sewing.} However, She-Who-Wore-White has a featherweight. At first I thought that wouldn't work for quilting then remembered my first quilt was done on a featherweight. As it happens, I want to make a baby quilt for a friend living in the same town. Here are two possible layouts.

Possible string block layouts
You might recall these blocks. I sewed them around New Year to clear out my scrap bag. They both include the same whites. Do they look better with black or yellow?

Enjoy the day, Ann

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kaleidoscope of Butterflies and a Trip to Kansas City

The plan to quilt my kaleidoscope was waylaid by several issues. Now that it's back in working order I'm out of town. However, I did create a link button that you can pick it up on the right sidebar. I thought Kaleidoscope of Butterflies (and other pollinators) might be a one-off linkup but there's been continued interest. I constantly notice more butterfly quilts, too. How does that happen?

Link Button
Rhianon created dimensional butterflies on The Nifty Stitcher.  Don't miss Koka Quilts' post either. Linda's reinvention of a classic butterfly applique block is stellar. I want to start one this summer! Thanks for sharing, Linda.

Where have I been? Walkabout. First stop: gorgeous Kansas City. Spring was in full bloom. {Lucky me; a second spring this year.} Time to stop and smell the lilacs, something I haven't seen for years. Tucked in the corners of flowerbeds, lovely violets peeked out. They grow between the flagstones of our backyard but much earlier. Long gone now. Such a treat to have this second encounter of the year.
Lovely lilac, dogwood and violets abound
While DH worked, I played. Fortuitously, the Quilt Guild of Greater Kansas City met the first day of our visit. I took a bus and then walked through a charming neighborhood of shady trees and wide lawns. Many of the residential streets have sidewalks on one side only. This great plan means less concrete, less maintenance, more grass and I believe, more neighborliness as everyone walks on the same side.
The trees are just leafing out on these gracious street.
Tilework abounds. Many walls and towers are decorated with it and the intersecting sidewalks all had street names tiled into the concrete. Charming and useful.

QGGKC is an active and friendly guild meeting in a Lutheran church just over the state line. In fact, it's on State Line Rd. I walked from one state to another. {Yes, I'm easily amused.} The guild sets up long tables with chairs on either side which lets them work on projects all morning. My guilds always set chairs in rows. Easier, perhaps, to see the program but not as much sharing among neighbors.

My new friend, Mary, invited me to sit with her. We even met up again for a little shopping that afternoon. She was so fun and informative, telling me to walk up Ward Parkway to see more fountains.

With over 200, Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains. I only saw a small selection of these but each was beautiful. Mary told me this was Fountain day when KC begins turning the water on for the summer. Lucky me!
Fountains of Kansas City
The following day I went to the National World War I Memorial and Museum. The museum is through the doors under the tower. The layout reminds me of the World War II Museum in New Orleans with many thoughtfully organized exhibits, films, and interactive storytelling.

There were two quilts in the exhibits. The one on the left is made from tobacco souvenirs called flannels while the one on the right is a remembrance quilt of Kansas men who served in the war.
The two quilts at the WWI Museum
I also noticed this charming, compact sewing kit carried by soldiers.

WWI Sewing Kit
Although I haven't worked on any kaleidoscopes, I hope you've been more productive. By the way, there's two more days for the Ad Hoc Improv Quilt linkup. Another fun group!