2013 Quilty Resolutions Giveaway

In episode 113 of my "Quilting...for the Rest of Us" podcast, I describe the requirements to enter into my 2013 Quilty Resolutions Giveaway. I also said that I'd be embedding the online submission form into the show notes for that episode. As it turns out, for some reason Wordpress won't play nicely with this online submission form, so I've moved it here to my blog.

Please be sure to listen to episode 113 (using the link above or the embedded player on the right of this webpage) before completing this submission form to enter the giveaway--otherwise you won't know how to complete the form! The giveaway closes on January 15th, 2013.

Photos to go with episode 98

 Here are the photos of fabrics I talked about in episode 98 In Which I'm Alive, posted Saturday, August 4, 2012.

(I already posted the pictures of fabrics from The Fat Quarter Shop here.)

One set of eight 10" squares of South African fabric. 

Second set of eight 10" squares of South African fabric.

Third set of eight 10" squares of South African fabric. 

Fourth set of eight 10" squares of South African fabric.

Fifth set of eight 10" squares of South African fabric. (Which means yes, there are forty squares altogether.)

Notice how the last square is folded--it's distinctly two-sided! Although others in this set could also be used right or wrong side, this is the only one that actually looks like two completely different fabrics. Pretty dang cool.

Thanks to Vickie, my friend that gave me these. They're definitely the best quilty toys ever!

Episode 71 posted--and a note about iTunes

Hey everyone--I posted episode 71 "In Which We Shop Online" earlier today. It's available at www.quiltingfortherestofus.com, like usual. It's also available in iTunes. However, if you use iTunes software to subscribe to podcasts, the new episode may not automatically download. You can either go into the iTunes store and "get" episode 71 directly from the store, or you can select the podcast in your podcast list in the iTunes software on your computer, right-click, and select "Update podcast." (In my right-click-pop-up menu list, that's the third one down.)

I've had a couple of emails back and forth with iTunes tech support to try to figure out the problem--the usual fixes haven't worked yet. I've got about a week to try to fix this problem before my next podcast. Not that I wanted to spend any time sewing or anything...nah. Much rather spend it monkeying around on my computer and making conversation with tech support!

Hand-dyeing Fun

Like my last post, this one is also related to episode 66, "In Which We Go on Retreat," of my podcast series. In that episode I described the class we had in dyeing fabric. What a hoot!

The first example is my least favorite, which is why I'm starting out with it. Maybe seeing the others below will blank this one out of your memory.

That being said, parts of the stripes look like a reflection on a calm lake...so I can easily see some fussy-cut-utility here.

I heart this one. Blues, greens, and lots of white space.

My first attempt at the Shibori technique. (For a great blog post about Shibori, visit here.)

Didn't work so well because my fabric really wanted to come unwrapped when I scrunched it down the PVC pipe. I like the colors and it's still a very usable result, but I wanted a more distinct pattern...
...and so I tried it again. Got a much better pattern this time, but traded off the heavy orange at the end of the last one with a lot of white at the end of this one. This technique takes some practice.
I had no idea the blue was going to turn out this brilliant...and no, no photo-editing involved! The other color is raspberry, which also came out pretty intense, but I did dunk the hey out of it so I suppose it's no surprise. Digging the results.

I believe I just wadded this one up randomly and wrapped rubber bands around it at a variety of angles.

No idea how I did this. Wish I could remember because it's a look I'd love to replicate in other colors. It's a mix of teal and plum. (The center looks bright white in this picture--it's actually more of a very, very soft teal.)

And my other fave. Looks like a frosty windowpane, doesn't it? Super cool. Too bad I have no idea how I did that one either.

I had a blast dying fabric. So much so that I've promised myself I'm not going to buy any of the supplies to do more until I've used at least a few of these pieces in a project.

So I guess that means I have to get to work!

UFO Finish! The "Cautionary Tale Quilt"

Yippee! It's finally done!

Actually, it's been done for a couple of weeks. I just finally have the time to sit down and blog about it. Doing lots of catch-up this week!

This is the "cautionary tale" quilt I talked about in episode 56 of my podcast, "Quilting...for the Rest of Us." (A lot of listeners shared their own cautionary tale quilt stories in episode 59 as well. Entertaining--be sure to check it out. And it's never too late to leave comments with your own cautionary tales!)

Due to the wonders of photo-editing you can't really see how completely out-of-square it is, although if you look closely you can figure it out. Do me a favor: Don't look closely.

Still, I love the fabric and the colors, and my niece will presumably love it as well. This is based--with the greatest apologies to--a Fons and Porter episode in which they did the "Flip-a-Coin" design. The issues are not with the design; the issues are completely the quiltmaker's. I'd put a link to it but you have to be a F&P member to see it anyway so, if you're a member, just search for "Flip-a-Coin" on their website.
Here's a close-up of the quilting detail. The quilting was done by Andrea Nardi of Olde Glory Quilting. She doesn't have a website, but if you live more or less in my area email me and I'll send you her contact info. She does pantograph (all-over) designs--no custom--but has a great eye for what patterns will enhance a quilt. Love her work!

Off to take advantage of an unscheduled afternoon and make more progress on other projects. Now that I'm done traveling for awhile, my blogging will resume it's usual much-more-regular schedule. I've missed y'all--glad to be back!

Lines in Quilts--Supplemental Post to Episode 63 of Quilting...for the Rest of Us

In this week's QFTRU podcast episode, Jaye and I spoke about line as a design element. These pictures of my mom's and my quilts will help illustrate some of the things we talked about it. (By the way, that's Jaye of artquiltmaker fame. The link takes you to her blog which has additional information on this topic.)

First is a picture of Mom's Irish Chain (actually, technically, a Triple Irish Chain, I believe, as it's three rows of squares in a column). Clearly the blocks themselves create strong lines here--including the darks and the mediums in the squares themselves creating several visual lines in tandem. This photo was evidently taken before it was finished--whatever quilting she ended up doing on it (I don't remember and one of my sisters has this quilt) would have created another set of lines that either emphasized or complemented the strong diagonals. Dig those crazy 80s colors.

Here is one of my early quilts, "Bugs in the Cabin." The basic log cabin is extremely versatile and a fantastic example of how blocks themselves create lines and understanding how those lines work are important in understanding design. Here I liked having the stair-step feel because this quilt was originally intended for a impending baby who would have been attracted by the repetition of high contrast. (This quilt was made using the Eleanor Burns quilt-in-a-day method, btw, one of my earliest quilts, probably circa 2000-ish. I later quilted it with invisible thread and made a huge mess and finally consigned it to the basement for my kids to use while watching TV. Too bad. It was a cute quilt. Said baby was probably about 6 or 7 years old by the time I finally sat down to try to fix my original mistakes and ultimately gave up. Fortunately, said baby's mother never knew I'd been working on a quilt and was quite happy with the set of onesies she got instead.)

The log cabin block is one of my faves because of it's versatility. Here's another one I made a year or so after the one above--probably somewhere around 2002 or so.This one turned out much more nicely! Note that it's the same block as the image above. But a different setting creates an entirely different feel. In this case, you have a couple of different sets of lines--the light and dark "barn-raising" setting, plus the more zig-zaggy lines of the fabrics themselves: the heavy blue that appears as cross-shaped outlines, and the directional floral print also create lines of its own.

You can't see it in the picture but after consulting with Mom, she suggested that I could quilt each "log" down the center to make each individual piece of fabric look like two pieced together--very strongly emphasizing the lines of the blocks. And boy, did that make it look even more impressive! Loved that effect. Took for-freakin'-ever, but turned out nicely. This wasn't anyone's pattern--just a standard, traditional log cabin quilt I made for an extended family member. I miss it. Someday I'll make myself one with these exact colors, sigh.

Mom also made me a quilt with the log cabin that, using variable width and length "logs" (fabric strips) creates a circular line. Very cool. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have any pictures of it. I'll try to remember to take pics of that one later.

Back to Mom's quilts for an example of how line can become evident through settings. Here's a sampler quilt with sampler blocks alternated with an Irish Chain variant block to create strong diagonals.

I don't know anything about this quilt--found it after Mom had passed away. Has the look of a block-of-the-month to me, and it's clearly a more recent quilt based on the fabrics, but Mom wasn't particularly consistent about labeling. If anyone recognizes the pattern and can identify it for me, let me know! (I kept this one--it's so cheery!)

Here's another example out of Mom's lifetime compilation of quilt-work. I'm guessing 80s, again, based on colors and fabrics. No idea about the pattern or designer--anyone recognize it?

In any case, here the line is created by block, color, and quilting lines. Notice how the quilting lines in some places echo the general hexagonal shape of the overall design, whereas in other places it emphasizes the individual lines of the blocks themselves.

Keep this quilt in mind whenever we do start talking about balance. It's also a good example of radial symmetry. Gotta love a two-fer.

Now we're going to get even more funky. How many lines does this design have in it? And how many types of lines?

Lots of wonderful eye-travel going on in this one--your eye follows the diamond around the center and then swirls through the fan shapes that are both diagonal and curvy at the same time. Very cool.

Another of Mom's quilts--it had been completed except for the binding when she passed away (although I think the top was several years old at that point), so I finished off the binding. This became a wedding gift for a close family friend that Mom would have most certainly given a quilt to had she still been with us.

Again, no idea on pattern or designer. If someone recognizes it, let me know. (Mom did design some quilts herself but not usually in this style.)

Sorry about the bad picture--I think I might have taken this one on my cell phone. Mom did this one sometime in the late 90's, I think. Again, this is someone's pattern/design that I can't identify and (sigh) Mom didn't label it. Now you know why I'm such a label evangelist on my podcast.

Would you normally look at a design like this one and think "line?" Why or why not? What basic lines do you find here? How do the blocks work together to create those lines?

Does it help is allow your eyes to blur just a little bit so you're seeing shapes more than individual pieces? You'll get more of a sense of line  that way.

And finally, for a wild-and-crazy line. We're finishing with one of my favorite of Mom's quilts. And this one I can identify as a pattern by designer Karen K. Stone. I seriously dig it. It always reminds me of a story Mom told about another New York Beauty-esque quilt she'd made: Dad, who was normally extremely supportive of her quilting, had said he'd never sleep under that quilt because it looked "too sharp and pointy." So think about that design question next time you're making a quilt for a bed. Is it too sharp and pointy for comfortable snoozing? Tee hee.

In any case, what does this quilt tell you about line? (I did eventually get a binding on that one and it went to one of my very funky nieces.)

That's it for this week, podquilters! 

Some Pics to Go with Episode 25 "In Which We Consider Thimbles"

If only Podbean would play nicely with multiple photos, I wouldn't have to send people all over the place to check out pictures that go with one of my podcast episodes. Sigh. Sorry about that.

This week's episode is all about thimbles. My sudden interest in thimbles  stems from having inherited about 30-some-odd thimbles used by various relatives reaching back at least three generations, if not further. Pretty nifty keen. As I was doing a little research trying to figure out if I could place any of these thimbles in a particular point in our space-time-continuum, I picked up a little information along the way and decided to share it in an episode.

This is my family tree in thimble form. There are definitely thimbles from my paternal grandmother and maternal grandmother, as well as a maternal great-aunt or two. There are a few that probably go back to a great grandmother, and one set that I suspect may go back even a little futher.

BTW, the classic display case is an antique printers' drawer that used to store letters for printing presses. It was a gift from BFF/BQF Kate--she found it during one of her estate sale haunts and picked it up with an eye towards me being able to display my heirlooms. Thanks, Kate--works beautifully!

Close-up of some of the thimbles, along with my Mom's notes on the back of the box as to who most likely used the thimbles that had been stored within (the two sitting to its left).

The thimbles on the bottom shelf are all advertising thimbles--Prudential, a flour company...a little piece of capitalist history.

These are two of my faves. First off, really nice decorations. Second, the box. I tracked down the name on the box to a jeweler shop in a little town in France. The town and street are still there, but the jeweler's shop is long gone.

We have a French-Canadian branch to our family--they emigrated from Canada in the mid to late 1800s, I believe. Not sure when they went to Canada in the first place, though. So I'm not sure how old these thimbles might be. Also, only one probably was originally in that box--I don't think it would fit two; but the three items were all in one zip-loc bag. They're the ones I'm trying to get some information on from an appraiser just to see how far back in my family these may go.

It's a little bit of a rush to put these on my fingers and imagine my great-great-greats working their own stitchery magic with them. Maybe the thimbles would magically pass their skill along to me...?