Awesome Elephant Quilt

My good friend and long-arm machine quilter, Wanda Rains, recently completed this delightful elephant quilt. This appliqué pattern is by Edyta Sitar, Laundry Basket Quilts. Wanda hand-appliquéd the elephants and just for fun, turned one elephant facing the opposite way from all of the others.

Check out these detailed shots of some of the elephants. I love Wanda’s choice of fabrics and all the elephants have eyes. The checked corners in the blocks and border and the dark sashing strips make a pleasing setting for this herd.

 

 

Quilt: Serenade for Anne and Denise

I’ve recently completed a quilt that I’ve been working on for a few months, just in time to take it to Italy to give as a gift for dear friends who moved there in April. I’m so excited about going to visit them and the quilt is a surprise. By the time this blog posts, I will be in Italy. This busy design includes very personalized fabric choices. Anne is an accomplished musician and Denise is an electrical engineer. There’s beer for Denise and prosecco for Anne. The grand pianos and piano keys are a major feature along with the flowers for these avid gardeners.

The large flowers are the new ones in Italy, (Anne and Denise and the flowers they will plant) and the small classical flowers are the Italian ones. Here’s a closer shot for more details. They love cats and have one which traveled with them from US to Italy. After completing the quilt, I realized that I omitted any reference to their sporting allegiances, so I added the Seattle Mariners compass, appliqued on and visible close to the center of this picture. The Seattle Seahawks label appears on the back of the quilt (see below).

In this picture it is a little easier to see the three different blocks in the quilt: Snowball, Jacob’s Ladder and Shoo-fly. The detailed shots below show the corner blocks in which I used technology fabric for Denise. Denise generously gave many hours of her time to completing all kinds of technical projects at our church, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on Bainbridge Island. She made tremendous improvements to the lighting, so the fabric with light bulbs seemed most appropriate. The shots also nicely illustrate the grand pianos. One of my students brought some of this grand piano fabric to my Bargello Quilts with a Twist workshop and fussy-cut the pianos for her blocks. They looked great and I loved the fabric, so I found it on-line and ordered it for this quilt.

I long-arm machine quilted the quilt with the help of my good friend Wanda Rains, using her long-arm machine. Wanda helped me with the set-up on the machine and advancing the quilt after each pass of stitching. I quilted in a watery meander pattern. The back of the quilt is yellow and sunny; sunshine and water to nurture these new flowers in Italy.

 

Highland Quilts, Athena, OR

In May, on my way to the John Day quilt show, I spent a day teaching at Highland Quilts in Athena. I met the owner, Elaine Shaw, when I taught last year in Walla Walla. She was enthusiastic about my work and asked me to contact her anytime I was visiting the area. Athena is a tiny rural farming town between Walla Walla and Pendleton. Elaine’s shop is at 312 East Main Street, (pretty much the only street), and well worth the small detour off the highway if you are passing. Here’s Elaine outside the store and inside.

We had a cozy class of 10 students at the back of the store for my Bargello Quilts with a Twist workshop. Elaine had made a beautiful sample for the class, which was hanging in the store, along with the quilt she began at my Kaleidoscope Puzzle Quilts workshop last spring. These samples really make a difference in promoting my books and patterns in the store.

The store is one large room with a good inventory of fabric as well as the essential notions, books and patterns. The upper walls are lined with beautiful colorful quilts to inspire. Elaine will give you a warm welcome and you should enjoy this gem.

 

The Quilt Shack, Prineville, OR

In May, I did a quilting road trip to Northeastern and Central Oregon. After my time in John Day (see last two posts), I went to Prineville where I taught at the Crook County Quilters’ Guild. My quilting hostess took me to the local quilt store in town, The Quilt Shack, and I was welcomed warmly by the owner, Rhonda. The store is located at 1211 NW Madras Hwy/Hwy 26. This place has great character both outside and in, and I loved it.

The store is light and has a spacious feeling even though it is quite small. There’s a good selection of monochromatic fabrics as well as several fun novelty prints. I found the perfect red fabric for my current project.

Here’s some new farm themed fabric and a nice barn blocks quilt sample.

There were some wonderful touches, for example, this pretty basin full of buttons of every color. If you are in Central Oregon, take some time to stop by.

Grant County Piecemakers’ Quilt Show, John Day, OR

Last week, I posted pictures of my quilts hanging in the John Day quilt show at the Fairgrounds on 19th and 20th May, where I was the featured artist. Here is a sampling of some the other quilts in the show made by guild members and locals. The first is a Carpenter’s Wheel, made by Dotty Parsons and machine quilted by Mary Lou Drury. Dotty made this quilt for her grand daughter, Halle. I love the blue background to offset the the horsey, western themed fabrics.

The delightful farm quilt was made by Karen Hinton. The hearts quilt is another by Dotty Parsons made for her grand daughter, Halle and quilted by Mary Lou Drury.

Karen Hinton made this curved strips quilt. I love her arrangements of the colors and all the different fabrics.

This denim Memory Quilt won the People’s Choice Award. Faith Hundley used materials collected from her relatives. Her Mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunts and daughter gave her fabrics, trims and pillow cases. There is white silk from a World War II parachute and fabric from a wedding dress. Faith combined these beautifully and the outstanding machine quilting by Nancy Rowland really enhances this charming quilt.

Featured Artist at Grant County Piecemakers’ Quilt Show, John Day, OR

Last month, I drove across the mountains on a long teaching road trip to northeastern and central Oregon. I was invited to be the featured artist at the Grant County Piecemakers’ quilt show in John Day on 19th and 20th May and then taught my Bargello Quilts with Twist workshop there the following day. I took about fifteen of my quilts representing my work over the last 20 years, plus an addition 12 Bargello block quilts. Seeing them all hanging together was quite something. Many of the large quilts stay at home when I travel to teach and even those that travel frequently are never hung altogether, but usually shown one at a time during my lectures. I have to admit to having a, “Wow, did I make all of those!” feeling!

These four are Glacial Stars (the blue and white one), Trip Around the Garden, Celestial Garden and Stars Around the World. I designed Glacial Stars for the 2017 Kitsap Quilters’ Guild raffle and worked with other guild members to piece the quilt top. Barbara Seitz, one of our guild members, won the raffle and kindly let me borrow the quilt so that I could display it at the show. The pattern is available at my on-line store. Trip Around the Garden is featured in my book, Traditional Quilts with a Twist. Celestial Garden was a finalist in the 2003 National Quilt Museum’s contest, New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Feathered Star. It placed 5th in that contest and hung in the museum in Paducah for three moths before touring the US for another 18 months. My most recent quilt, Stars Around the World, was made for my daughter and son-in-law using 64 fabrics that they collected from 27 countries on their one-year trip around the world.

I displayed several of my template-free Kaleidoscope quilts including the two Op-Art Kaleidoscope quilts on the left of each picture, Retro-Radiation and Tropical Matrix. Dragonfly Dance has on-point Kaleidoscope blocks. There are three Bear’s Paw variation quilts, all featured in Traditional Quilts with a Twist. The quilt with the large green triangles is my Almost Modern Jacob’s Ladder, a finalist in the 2013 National Quilt Museum contest which also hung in Paducah and traveled around US. Down at the far end is my black and green Radiant Feathered Star. Patterns for the template-free Kaleidoscope quilts and the Feathered Star are available at my on-line store.

The right picture shows my Mongolia table where I had items for sale to raise funds for the Mongolian Quilting Center. Both pictures include examples of my Gateway to Mongolia design (pattern available) which is one the most popular classes that I teach. The Woven Rainbow is a relatively recent piece and I’d like to experiment more with this idea. The black, white and red quilt is my Original Octangles in which a large print is featured in an octangle surrounded by triangles. Further down the row is the tree quilt made First Graders at Blakely Elementary School, with hands for the leaves of the tree and woodland animals drawn in the borders. This quilt is featured in my first book, Creative Quilting with Kids.

I had a large class with 18 students the day after the show in the same hall at the Fairgrounds. We left all the Bargello block quilts hanging to inspire my students. These are all featured in my book, Bargello Quilts with a Twist (available for mail order at my on-line store).

The Covered Wagon, Torrington, WY

In April, I taught in Torrington, WY at the Goshen County Quilters. Torrington is a small farming community close to the NE border. The population is less than 6,000, but they have a vibrant quilting group. Their local quilt store closed a couple of years ago and became a doll shop. Recently a quilter purchased the store, The Covered Wagon, and is bringing back the quilting supplies.  She is gradually expanding the quilting inventory as well as continuing to sell the remaining dolls and a whole variety of craft items from yarn to dressmaking and embroidery.

There is a long-arm quilting machine and a selection of fabric (more arriving soon). I loved these barn quilt blocks and the tractor.

The specialty Wyoming fabrics include this digitally printed panel based on the Grand Tetons Mountains.

The next nearest quilt shop is some distance away, so this store is much appreciated by the locals.

Teaching in Torrington, WY: Bargello Quilts with a Twist

In late April, I taught at the Goshen County Quilt Guild in Torrington, WY. This is a small farming community with a population of under 6,000, but the quilt group is thriving and active. I had a huge class of 22 students for my Bargello Quilts with a Twist class. I was concerned about teaching such a big group, but they were wonderful and all did really well. I loved teaching this as a two day class and snowy weather didn’t deter anyone from showing up on the second day. Having the second day allowed everyone enough time to complete a good number of blocks and to play with the orientation to design their quilt tops. There were so many options and a great variety of different fabrics. Here’s a sampling.

For the purple one, the large squares in the blocks were cut separately so that the little mountain scenes and trees could be fussy-cut and their orientation manipulated to the right way up. The striped fabric in the other one adds to the secondary patterns created when the blocks are put together. Both of these have 16 blocks.

The elongated pattern made from 16 blocks is an interesting design. On the right, this lady made 32 blocks and this was her first ever quilt!

These last two are made from the larger 9-1/2″ block size. On the left, we were auditioning different sashing fabrics to see which ones worked best. On the right, the large squares were cut separately, creating a lovey kaleidoscope design in the center.

Teaching in Cheyenne, WY: Kaleidoscope Puzzle Quilts

In late April, I taught at the Cheyenne Heritage Quilters’ Guild in Cheyenne, WY. It was a large class of 19 ladies and each designed their own unique Kaleidoscope Puzzle quilt. It’s always fun to see the patterns emerging and the variety of fabrics that the students bring to class. They learn a great deal by looking at the fabric combinations used by their fellow students and also the importance of choosing a variety of values, (contrast between the different fabrics), so that the patterns they create are easily visible. They could design squarely set or on-point quilts. Here’s a sampling of their work.