Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Texas vibes

**This post was written before Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey hit Houston and the Texas coast, wreaking catastrophic havoc. My heart continues to break for the people of Houston. I'm from Dallas and lived in Houston for two years. I have a ton of friends there, and my dad and step-mom actually just moved to Houston two weeks ago. I remember thinking the flooding that happened with Hurricane Ike while I was living there was astonishing. That was nothing compared to this devastation. The pictures are truly unfathomable. Houstonians are a strong bunch, and they will pull through, but it's going to take a lot of time, and they're going to need a lot of help. If you haven't already, please consider donating to a local relief charity. Texas Monthly has a great list of organizations who could desperately use your help. Thank you for the outpouring of support in every possible way for the people of my home state. It seemed appropriate that this should be the project that I posted about today. Houston Strong.**

All of my recent couch time hasn't just been good for applique; it's also been good for embroidery. I've really been wanting to dive into more embroidery classes ever since I took a class with Alison Glass at QuiltCon, and this Texas pattern by Nydia Kehnle had been calling my name.
I used four colors of perle cotton (also purchased at QuiltCon, incidentally) in my favorite color scheme.
I suspect there will be more of these in my future. It was a a pretty quick sew and just turned out so cute.
And, luckily, embroidery is great for the car, too. I knocked out this little project on our drive home from the beach. The pattern is by Wild Olive.
These pics also show off my favorite embroidery tool -- a great stabilizer with the silly name of  Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy. You can read all about it on Wild Olive's blog, but it's a water-soluble stabilizer that you can print or trace on; it sticks right to the fabric (no iron needed); and when you're done, it dissolves in water in just a few minutes. I used it on my Texas project as well, and you can see it left no trace behind. So handy!
Ta da!
Try it out!

Monday, August 28, 2017

August do.Good Stitches blocks

For the August block for the Emerge Circle of do.Good Stitches, Betsy went easy on us, choosing a sweet little set of houses as her inspiration. Her design is based on Dutch Comfort's Happy Village quilt.
She asked for a solid roof in bright rainbow colors, a fun print for the house, and low-volume prints for the sky.

This should definitely make for one happy little village.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This is Modern: The St. Louis MQG's first quilt show

About a month ago, the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild held its very first quilt show, and it was a rousing success. A show had been on our minds and in our dreams for quite some time, but the size of such a project had been too daunting. Thankfully, after some group discussion last year, a committee stepped up and decided to finally take it on.
The committee put so much hard work into making the show happen, and the entire guild truly stepped up to for the show weekend. We were so pleased with how it turned out. It was truly a guild-wide effort, with roughly 180 quilts and quilted items from over 50 of our members.
I didn't take nearly enough pictures, but here's just a little taste of all of the goodness. I had the pleasure of including eight (I think) of my works, including the flamingos popping out below.
Overarching, the improv Gateway Arch quilt below, was our guild's QuiltCon charity quilt last year. It will be donated to a local charity in the fall. It also served as the backdrop for our publicity (see first pic above).
Little B, with two of my minis (Austin House and I Heart STL) on each side.
I spy my Tessellation quilt.
And there are my Ebb pillows!
Our Viewers' Choice winner was Annie Cook and her Tennessee Waltz quilt. I think it appealed to both the modern and traditional guests, and the quilting was just fantastic.
Time to start planning the next one!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


It's amazing what a whole bunch of couch time will do for your hand-sewing game. Just before we headed to the beach in July, I managed to finish up my Hesperides pillow (pattern by Carolyn Friedlander).
I simply adore these Little Town fabrics by Amy Sinabaldi. I mean, seriously, look at those little houses and critters.
Most of the appliqued fabrics are from Little Town, with some solids, Carolina gingham, a bit of Carolyn Friedlander, and a Dear Stella crosshatch thrown in. The silver metallic dot background is from Cotton + Steel, and the rest of the background is metallic Essex yarn-dyed in Water.
I decided to keep the quilting simple and stuck with some big-stitch quilting using embroidery floss and perle cotton in a variety of coordinating colors.
I made this pillow as a sample for the needle-turn applique class I taught at my LQS last weekend. To show off the pointier templates in the pattern, I decided to do a little quilt hoop.
The 12" hoop is big enough to showcase all three of the pointy shape sizes and was a fun alternative to another mini quilt or pillow. I had intended to add some quilting or embroidery to it as well, but in my excitement, I trimmed off the extra fabric too soon. Oops! Thankfully, I still like it the way it is.

The class was a great success and lots of fun. I had eight wonderful students who took to the techniques right away. I'm excited to teach it again soon!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Carolyn and Amy

I got to kick off my summer with workshops by two wonderful creative minds, Carolyn Friedlander and Amy Friend. A few days after the St. Louis Quilt Market, Carolyn stopped by the LQS where I work for a workshop on machine quilting. It was a modified version of the one I took with her at QuiltCon, so I mostly sat in on this one as an observer, but it was still so fun. She started off with a show and tell of some of her quilts, discussing the quilting on each and her thoughts behind her quilting choices. Her new Eads quilt is oh so lovely.
The quilting shows so well on the back of the quilt, with its light Architextures crosshatch fabric.
Her Catenary quilt has lots of examples of how she uses different quilting motifs in each part of a quilt. The crosshatch in the outside borders sets them off so nicely.
That evening, she had a trunk show down in the shop, and we all got to admire more of her beauties and just chat. She is such a delightful person. So kind and full of ideas, which she readily shares.
She actually taught a workshop at my LQS about two years ago, shortly before the shop had moved to its current location. That workshop was where I first learned to do needle-turn applique, and it was based on her Catenary quilt. The original quilt was traveling in shows at the time, so we didn't get to see it, which made its appearance this time a special treat.
A few weeks later, the St. Louis MQG brought in Amy Friend (@duringquiettime) for a trunk show/lecture and two workshops. Her lecture was so interesting and informative. She was great at talking through the ideas and inspirations behind her designs, as well as every little detail, from the fabric to the quilting.
I was a student in her first workshop, which used the techniques from her second book, Improv Paper Piecing. My design was based on an offset diamond, and I jumped right in with some bright solids.
I managed to finish four blocks during class, and this project is high on my list of works in progress to get back to. We took time in the second half of class to talk about layouts, and I have several I want to try once I have a few more blocks to play with.
On Sunday, I sat in on the second workshop, which focused on large-scale paper piecing, specifically stripes. It was great to hear some more of her tips and lots of fun to see the students' work come together.
As a guild officer, I got to spend some extra one-on-one time with Amy, and she is a treasure. So sweet and soft spoken but with a wealth of knowledge to share. It was lovely to host her.

It always a great experience to hear others talk through their own creative journeys and how they think about and deal with designing. You can't help but walk away inspired.