Cowslip Workshops, Launceston, Cornwall, UK (5)

I’m continuing from a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about the exhibition of quilts in the barn at Cowslip Workshops, near Launceston in Cornwall, UK. Quilters were invited to participate in a challenge themed around a view through a window. This beautiful Celtic Cross quilt, View from my Window, with a background of the Cornish coast was made by my quilting friend from Cornwall, Lesley Coles.

Lesley writes, “Many of my quilts are inspired by Cornwall and the sea I can see through my window. I look over St. Austell Bay and The Gribben headland with the day mark to warn miners of the rocks below. The Celtic Cross, central to this window, represents my faith which is central to my life. The cross was inspired by the stained-glass window at St. Uny Church, Lelant.” I love the stained glass effect with all the different “stone” fabrics in the cross and the pastoral marine scene behind. This is a stunning quilt.

Here is another window quilt made by a local group, the Trevithick Quilters. Cornwall Through the Window of Time is made of 12 blocks pieced and hand appliqued by members of the group. Others in the group assembled and quilted this interesting quilt depicting a variety of local Cornish scenes. The detailed shot shows the remains of an old tin mine on Bodmin Moor.



Cowslip Workshops, Launceston, Cornwall, UK (4)

I’m continuing from last week when I wrote about the exhibition of quilts in the barn at Cowslip Workshops, near Launceston in Cornwall, UK. The featured quilt today warrants a blog on its own so that you can enjoy the detailed photographs of this stunning piece. Quilters were invited to participate in a challenge themed around a view through a window. Kay Vanstowe depicted her own house and garden with colorful flowers and figures in the window observing the view. This quilt, (actually a pair of quilts), is entitled Raffi and his Grandad Looking Through the Window at Coombe: The Effects of Light On and Through Windows.

Kay writes, “I was inspired by this picture of Raffi looking out of the bedroom window. I also wanted to use this lovely piece of Liberty print material (The Garden Flowers) which I bought in Liberty’s, London a few years ago. I was also intrigued by the way the light had different effects on the various windows and glass door and I have tried to replicate this.” Check out the detailed shots to see the intricacies and how the quilting helps to pop highlight all the beautiful floors. I love the blackbird and birdhouse too! This is a charming work of art.




Cowslip Workshops, Launceston, Cornwall, UK (3)

See my blogs from the last two weeks for more on the quilt shop, cafe and classes at Cowslip Workshops. Store owner Jo Colwill recently appropriated one of the large barns at the farm to use as an exhibition space for quilt shows. The inside is freshly painted and the walls were adorned with quilts made by Jo, local teachers and students. Most of Jo’s quilts are quilted by long-arm machine quilter, Sandy Chandler. Quilters in the area were invited to participate in a challenge themed around a view from a window. Some of these quilts will be highlighted in detail in my next two blogs. Here’s a sampling from this barn quilt show.

The row of the pictorial quilts are part of the View from a Window exhibit. The others above were all made by Jo.

The lovely antique-style medallion quilt, Cowslip Perrencombe, was machine pieced and hand appliqued by Anne Payne and machine quilted by Sandy Chandler. The pieced borders add so much to set off the delicate tree in the center. The quilt on the right is a delightful summery beach sampler made by teacher, Helen Brookham as a workshop sample.

Do visit Cowslip Workshops if you are in the Launceston area, (Cornwall, UK).



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).

Kitsap Quilters’ Guild Show – Maggie’s picks

I’m always drawn to the traditional pieced patterns, so it’s no surprise that three of my four top picks from our recent Kitsap Quilters’ Guild show fall into that category. Along with the attraction of the designs, these quilts display excellent use of color, value and outstanding workmanship.

Terry Loy made this gorgeous quilt, Georgetown (My Version), using a pattern by Jen Kingwell. She was having so much fun that she made twice as many of the circular pieces than needed! There are four different white fabrics and many Kaffe fabrics. The beautiful quilting by Marybeth O’Halloran enhances the crisp bright look of this lively, cheerful quilt.

This intricate Log Cabin is stunning. Snake River, was made by Betty Ekman who admits to finding the small piecing challenging! She used a pattern by Judy Martin. It was quilted by Pat Sloan. I love the use of the beige fabrics in the background of the design. These give the quilt a wonderful warm look. All the small red pieces give the illusion of curves in the quilt and the scallop look inside the piano keys border is extremely effective.

Here’s a classic blue and white Feathered Star, entitled Feathered Stars, made by Mary Polensky and adapted from Marsh McCloskey books. The outstanding machine quilting, (which earned the quilt, the Best Machine Quilting in Show award), was done by Jacque Noard.  Jacque made full use of the setting squares to enhance this precisely pieced quilt with beautiful quilting patterns. It is a gem.

My final pick for this blog is an applique quilt, Piece O’Drama, made by Wanda Rains from a pattern by Piece O’Cake Designs. I’m drawn to this piece because of Wanda’s fabulous choice of fabrics. Firstly, the dark background makes the floral designs in the blocks look stunning. Secondly, the fabrics used in the flowers and leaves include unusual beautiful prints that I wouldn’t think of as prime candidates for applique blocks. Finally, the choice of sashing fabric brilliantly frames the blocks and they look gorgeous. I love this quilt.

Kitsap Quilters’ Guild Show – Ann Trujillo, Featured Artist

At our local Kitsap Quilters‘ Guild’s recent show, our featured artist was guild member Ann Trujillo. Ann has been been quilting for about 20 years, but has been involved in crafts such as embroidery and sewing doll’s clothes for much longer. She has won many awards for her colorful intricate quilts and the booth looked beautiful with her magnificent array. She loves to try different techniques and complex patterns.

Ann has a hard time pinning down her favorite technique because she loves it all. She writes: “For me, the slow and steady progress on an intricate project is like a mediation. I love puzzles and complex things that take a long time to do! I love to learn new things, try different things, and challenge myself to never say it’s enough. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!”

This bird quilt is a project in progress, with birds from the book Bird Dance by Sue Spargo. Ann inherited vintage lace from her mother and decided to use it in her blocks. She is now adding more beads and embroidery and planning the border. These birds take on their own characters with all the wonderful embellishment.

This luscious water-lily quilt, Emerging Beauty, was designed in collaboration with Ann’s sister, Mary Hennington, who painted the oil painting. Ann took a photo of the painting and enlarged it to life size and used this to create the pattern. The quilt is hand appliqued and the silk is hand painted. Marybeth O’Halloran machine quilted it.

Ann is generous with her time and talents and loves to share, teach and encourage new quilters. She finds helping quilters to achieve their goals very satisfying. Once a week she volunteers, teaching quilting and sewing at the Washington Correctional Center for Women in Purdy. Last year, their charity program produced over 2,500 items for the less fortunate. In addition to quilts, they make knitted items, stockings for our military, food bowls for the hungry, backpacks for kids, and much more. Ann works part-time at the quilt store, Quilted Strait, in Port Gamble, where she gives customers a warm welcome and  puts her skills to great use helping them with their fabric selections.




The Making of a Guild Quilt Show

My local quilt guild, Kitsap Quilters’ Guild, held their annual show last weekend. It was successful and everything ran smoothly. I’m blown away when I consider what it takes to put on an event like this with all the volunteers and the hours they contribute. Our Quilt Show Chair, Gail Mann, did an outstanding job with excellent planning and communication with all the various quilt show committee people. This was our 31st show and our experienced members know what to do. Our quilt hanging techniques have improved dramatically in the 25 years that I have been with the guild and the drop-off check in, and take-down procedures are slick. The pictures below illustrate some of the many components of our show.

First of all there’s the quilts! We had 199 in the show, plus a special exhibit from our talented featured artist, Ann Trujillo. I will post more pictures in subsequent blogs.

The first quilt right by the entrance which captivated the attention of show-goers was our opportunity quilt, Glacial Stars, designed by yours truly, pieced by me with major help from other trusty guild members, and beautifully machine quilted by Gladys Schulz, (more on this one in another blog). I’m proud to say that over 7,000 chances have been sold. Also near the entrance door, there was a welcoming membership information table.

Here’s the lucky recipient of two of the silent auction baskets. There were over 60 baskets containing items donated by guild members and local businesses. This is quite a fundraiser for the guild and putting together the baskets was a tremendous amount of work. We also had a guild boutique, where members could sell unwanted fabric, books, half-done projects etc with 10% going to the guild. The other picture shows some of the many quilts made for our Kitsap Snuggles program and two quilters busy at work piecing quilts. The quilts are wrapped around dolls and stuffed animals and distributed throughout Kitsap County to children in crisis and children with cancer.

Of course, the quilt show would not be complete without our vendors giving everyone the opportunity to go shopping!

I hope that you will be able to support quilt shows in your area and that you will express you appreciation to the volunteers who you meet and who make it all happen.

Kitsap Quilters’ Guild Annual Show, 17th and 18th February

My local quilt guild show is coming up soon! See Kitsap Quilters website. I designed the opportunity quilt shown in picture and coordinated making the quilt (more on this in another blog). If you live locally, I hope you will plan on attending the show.

I am part of a team of four responsible for organizing peer judging of the show. This is a good educational opportunity to tell guild members, and also to publish in our program, the criteria that judges use when judging quilts. I will be orienting the judges before they begin the process. They judge in teams of three and care is taken to avoid having them judge a category in which they have entered a quilt. Guild members are given the option to enter their quilts for display only, but the vast majority opt to have their quilts judged. We don’t have the time to write a constructive critique of every quilt, so we use a process of elimination and the team of judges has to come to a consensus. Judges are asked to consider the criteria when looking at each quilt, rather than simply considering whether or not they like the quilt. The names on the quilt labels are covered so that judges cannot see who made the quilts. Here are the judging criteria:

  • Visual impact of design and originality
  • Color and value
  • Balance and integration of design (scale, relationship and arrangement of quilt components including borders)
  • Overall appearance (quilt is clean, free of odor, and hangs squarely)
  • General construction – workmanship (piecing, appliqué, borders even)
  • Level of difficulty/complexity of design
  • Special techniques (if applicable)
  • Hand quilting (stitches even size on front and back of quilt, starts and stops not visible, quilt marking lines not visible)
  • Machine quilting (stitches of even length, no tension problems – bobbin thread should not show on top and top thread should not show on back, starts and stops not visible)
  • Quilting design appropriate to quilt top, density of quilting consistent
  • Finishing (binding applied securely, evenly and accurately, square corners – no dog ears)

Feel free to copy this list for judging and educational purposes. It is based on the criteria used by the American Quilt Society and the International Quilt Association.


AQS Des Moines Quilt Show (4)

I’m still savoring the many beautiful quilts that I saw at the AQS Show in Des Moines in October. With Christmas rapidly approaching, this seems an appropriate time to share a couple of gorgeous star quilts that were exhibited. The first was in a special exhibit, The Art of Quilting, Quilts by Judy Woodworth. Sawdust, 90″ x 90″, is an original design pieced by Mary Sue Suit and quilted by Judy Woodworth. This award winning quilt is one of several on which Mary Sue and Judy have collaborated. I love the rich colors especially the royal blue which majestically frames the stars in the center.

The second is Feathered Star quilt which was in the judged show. I have a soft spot for these especially when they are well executed with exquisite quilting like this one. Fine Feathered Friends, 71″ x 87″, was made by Tamara Gross of Wichita, KS and long-arm quilted by Jan Hutchison. I like the way different background fabrics were used for the stars, adding interest to the quilt. There’s an attractive variety of browns used too and it all looks very crisp and clean. The intricate machine quilting patterns tremendously enhance this beautifully pieced and appliqued quilt.