Here in the Northwest, quilt show season kicks off in February. We just had NW Quilters Guild show in Portland. Every year I try to enter at least one quilt. This year, however, I could not find the time.
Instead, I got to quilt an amazing quilt pieced by Dianne Denhem. We received the president’s award.
I love my job as longarmer when I get to work on a quilt like this and many more.
The variety of quilts that come through my business is amazing. One day I could be working on a modern quilt and the next day it’s flower basket applique my client’s mother started decades ago. From first time quilters to a 92 year old lady my clients have very diverse ages and styles. It keeps the privilege of choosing designs interesting.
I am thankful that I’ve been so busy with work. However, I somehow squeezed in a small project to submit to the NW Quilters Guild show in May. The guild graciously awarded me the 1st place ribbon in the small quilt category. I had a lot of fun working on this one. Lots of ruler work and some feathers.
Speaking of ruler work, I got to teach a couple of classes on ruler work for longarm quilting. I was nervous about teaching (though I used to teach English in Japan when I was younger). But some quilter friends encouraged me and talked me into it. For which I was very thankful because I had a lot of fun. It gave me great pleasure to see light bulb moments for my students. I hope there will be more teaching opportunities in the future.
Breathe. That’s what I’ve been saying to myself. My clients have been non-stop with their work. I have not made a quilt since last fall! It’s not that I haven’t been having fun quilting for my clients. I have done some really interesting work on so many beautiful quilt tops.
I also had a fantastic time at Quiltcon in February. Although I was inspired by many quilts in the main exhibit, my favorite was the special exhibit on Molly Upton. I attended the lecture on her as well and it made it more meaningful to me. She was a very talented quilter from the 70’s and ended her own life too soon. Her work would fit right in now. Just amazing and so sad.
Another inspiring quilter was the featured speaker, Gwen Marston. She was the most fun and energetic speaker at age 79! Sorry, I didn’t get to take any pictures. But you can look her up at http://www.gwenmarston.com/index.htm. I liked that she talked about mastering the basic sewing skills before attempting what she calls “liberated quilting.” I’m not brave enough for the kind of abstract work she does but never say never, right?
Happy New Year! I expected January to be slow but I was wrong. My new and regular customers have been keeping me busy. It almost seems like everyone decided to start off the new year with a resolution to finish their UFOs (unfinished objects). Including myself.
I finished this quilt right before the QuiltCon deadline. I had to slap on binding by machine in order to make the submission deadline with just about 1 hour to spare. I hope never to do that again. It didn’t make it after all that effort and stress. Of course, I’m disappointed but not too surprised. It probably was too traditional and not original enough though it is my original pattern. Many friends have given me very positive feedback and I’m pleased with the quilt.
It taught me a lot. One is to never rush, never use new products for a show quilt, and plan ahead to name a few.
I wanted to design a quilt that fits in the modern traditionalism category. So, I started drawing on paper first and then in EQ7 software. Wanted to have a lot of negative space. I took out blocks from the center, so I could quilt a medallion. Originally, I wanted the setting to be on point (diamond instead of square center). But it was going to be too big. Instead, I decided the background quilting could be on point.
I marked the center design before I started quilting but I came up with the rest of the design after it was on the machine. My border deign could have used pre-marking for sure. Some of my goals were: 1. not to quilt it to death (I know it’s still pretty dense), 2. not to use swirls because it’s usually an easy filler.
I love the Tula Pink backing. I’m glad fabric designers are starting to pay attention to backing fabric as well. This one is satin like, very smooth and you can’t help but slide your hand over and pet it.
I hope 2016 will be another year of experimenting and learning. Happy Quilting!
I often take pictures at a show and seldom do anything with them. I should really make a folder of the inspiring photos and look at them every once in a while. Here are some of the quilts that caught my eye at the show.
I was really attracted by more architectural quilts rather than traditional, probably because I don’t do it. A lot of phenomenal quilting. Some day I would love to enter a quilt. Some day.
This week I got to quilt 2 quilts for Sam Hunter for the Quilt Market for Hoffman Fabrics. @hoffmanfabrics. This is her design (available for purchase fromhttp://huntersdesignstudio.com/). Can you believe it’s all Hoffman batiks? Batiks are not what they used to be. So beautiful and bright. Love this quilt!
I found many interesting and inspiring quilts at this weekend’s quilt show. My favorite one was this by Sidnee Snell. I love how it captured a moment. The same way paintings do. It makes me wonder who lives there and what kind of life they have or had.