On Saturday, 24th March, I participated in the March for Our Lives in Seattle. I applaud the young people taking a stand for the implementation of common-sense gun regulations and wanted to show my support for this cause. The march was peaceful and there was a feeling of optimism and hope that this is a beginning for positive change. Several of our St. Barnabas Church parishioners participated along with other members of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia including the Bishop. Here I am marching with our church banner, one of my rare applique quilts, made in 2000.
The banner was much admired during the march. This is one of the more challenging quilts that I’ve made.. The Island, church, shield and lettering are done using a combination of hand, machine and fusible applique. The ferry boat was pieced and then the whole thing appliqued onto the background. We have a beautiful red brick church and I expressed my idea of our community extending beyond the parish by quilting lines radiating out from the lit up windows. The blue u-shaped piece in the border was cut from a large piece of fabric so that it could be made from just one piece. The quilt was machine quilted on my domestic machine. It has a split hanging sleeve on the back to accommodate the banner poles.
I spent several weeks working every day on this banner just after my father passed away in the spring of 2000, and the experience was very soothing. I donated it to my church in his memory. He was an Anglican priest and a Canon of Newcastle Cathedral, (U.K.), and this seemed a fitting tribute to his ministry and my fond memories.
In October, I taught at the Thumb Butte Quilters’ Guild in Prescott, AZ. I stayed at the lovely home of the Programs Chair, Kathleen Bond. Kathleen has an impressive body of work including many hand applique quilts. Her fabric choices and combinations are unusual and often very busy, but she has a way of pulling them altogether to make stunning quilts. Last week, I posted pictures of two of her quilts and this week I am presenting another three.
This Serptentine 1930’s Fans quilt was made from blocks that Kathleen purchased at a Guild rummage sale. She assembled them in this striking layout and filled in the white spaces with beautiful quilting using her long-arm quilting machine. Of course, the person putting the blocks in the sale loved the finished quilt and regretted parting with them!
Pretty Rosettes, is Kathleen’s original design. The nine sunflower blocks were hand-pieced and appliqued. Once again, Kathleen has used an eclectic selection of fabrics to create this beautiful quilt. Surprisingly, the wide striped sashing and wide borders work well to display the attractive blocks.
Going Away Eagles, is a quilt made from eagle blocks appliqued by Kathleen’s friends and given to her when she moved from Colorado to Arizona. The fabric in the border is Colorado toile depicting historical Colorado scenes. I love the triangles separating the eagles in the center from the border and adding more contrast to the piece to make it alive and to highlight the toile fabric.
Kathleen’s quilts are inspiring. As well as making a strong initial visual impact, they display her attention to detail as well as fine workmanship. It was a delight to stay with her and to be privy to her work.
In October, I taught at the Thumb Butte Quilters’ Guild in Prescott, AZ. I stayed at the lovely home of the Programs Chair, Kathleen Bond. Kathleen has an impressive body of work including many hand applique quilts. Her fabric choices and combinations are unusual and often very busy, but she has a way of pulling them altogether to make stunning quilts. My next couple of blogs will feature some of her work.
This hexagon quilt was one of my favorites. It was hanging wrapped around a curved wall in the Kathleen’s hallway. Large print fabrics are featured in windows created by English paper-pieced hexagons with rows of diamonds in between. The pattern is 13 Panel Hexagon Quilt, designed by Brigitte Giblin.
Kathleen made this gorgeous applique bed-quilt using a pattern by Jan Patek. She calls the quilt, Cowboy Christmas because many of the fabrics included are cowboy themed. It’s a little hard to see this, but there are fabrics with cowboys on horse back, horse shoes, cowboy hats and boots and more. This quilt is stunning from a distance and so interesting close up to see the variety of fabrics used and what is hiding in there.
My current major quilting project is a commissioned bed-quilt. My client is reasonably local, so we have met several times. I have been to her house to get a feel for the ambiance and her color pallet and she visited me to look at my quilts and tell me what she liked. She wants something traditional and geometrical in purple, magenta, orange and turquoise, and was drawn to my Feathered Star quilts. We decided on a large 28″ Radiant Feathered Star for the center of the quilt with a 9″ compass in the middle.
I fussy-cut the Paula Nadelstern fabric for the star arms. As shown in the photo on the right, the triangles making the feathers are foundation paper pieced and are in a color gradation of oranges. Next, I made four 16″ diamond star blocks, strip-pieced with fussy-cut center diamonds from the same Paula Nadelstern fabric.
I’m now working on four compass blocks and have completed two of them. These are 14″ compasses with 32 points. For these, I am using Robin Long’s strip-piecing method and special ruler. Her technique is really slick and very accurate. It took me about eight hours to make this compass including hand-appliqueing the center circle. Check out Robin’s website. Once all the compasses are finished, I will work out how to put it all together and will be adding smaller Ohio Star blocks between these compass and diamond star blocks. The finished quilt will be in the 80-85″ square size range. In two or three months, I hope I’ll be posting a picture of it!
I saw this stunning hexagon quilt on display at a National Trust property, Lanhydrock House, in Cornwall, UK when I was there at the end of July. The house was built in the early 1700’s and then renovated in Victorian times after a bad fire. The quilt was on the bed in the nanny’s room. My guess is that it dates from the late 1800’s, judging by the Turkey red and the patterned fabrics. On the detailed shot you can see some embroidered crowns on some of the blue hexagons, so perhaps it is from even earlier. If any of you readers can date it more accurately, please write me a reply.
Someone spent hundreds of hours piecing this beautiful quilt and planned the pattern of the colors of hexagons carefully. I love the arrangement of the concentric rings of hexagons with the defining red rows. Even the areas between the red hexagon outlines are well planned in regular patterns with symmetrical spacing of the colors. This is a magnificent 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.
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.
Last week my blog featured a quilter, Ann Trujillo, whose beautiful quilts were show-cased in a special exhibit at our Kitsap Quilters’ Guild show. Two more quilts displayed at the show and illustrated here were also made by Ann, who thrives on complex, detailed projects. Millefiori-style quilts have become popular recently. Their amazing kaleidoscopic designs are made up of several English paper piecing shapes in which the fabric is often fussy cut to create spectacular results. When fabric is fussy cut, a particular motif or section of pattern is selected for the patchwork piece. Repeated identical pieces used in stars, hexagons, or other shapes generate wonderful patterns. Millefiori (Italian: [milleˈfjoːri]) is defined as a glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware. The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words “mille” (thousand) and “fiori” (flowers).
This quilt, Dance of the Dragonflies, took Ann a year to hand-piece and was quilted by Marybeth O’Halloran. The quilt is stunning from a distance, (the overall photo doesn’t do it justice as it was located in a dark spot), but there is so much more when you get up close to look at the all the detailed work. The designs formed by the combinations of the fabrics, many with fussy-cut motifs, are awesome. The pattern came from the book, New Hexagons, by Katje Marek and Ann was inspired by another guild member, Andrea Rudman, who was piecing beautiful sections and started a small group of quilters who met to share this passion.
Remembering Donna, was made by Ann to honor one of our guild’s founding members, Donna Endresen, who passed away last year and is missed by us all. Donna loved reproduction fabrics and loved flowers. Take a look at the two fabrics and note that all the centers of the hexi flowers were fussy cut from the blue fabric and all the background fabrics in between the stars were cut from the beige material. It’s beautiful.
Ann used the pattern, Garden of Fortgetfulness, to make this quilt and it was quilted by Gladys Schulz.
I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to AZ, where I taught at the Havasu Stitchers annual Quilting at the Lake event held at the London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu. The guild has a membership of over 200 and about a third of them are snow birds. They are an active, busy group who gave us teachers a wonderful welcome. In the lobby of the resort there is a replica of the golden carriage used in Great Britain to take British royalty to their coronations. The railing surrounding the carriage was a perfect place to display quilt tops made for American veterans!
In honor of Veteran’s Day, I thought I should revisit the American Heroes Quilts project. At our Bainbridge Island Quilt Festival this September, there were several American Heroes quilts exhibited and the opportunity for show attendees to stitch quilt blocks at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Our local American Heroes quilt group meets on the third Thursday of the month at Esther’s Fabrics and is open to all. You can also pick up American Hero blocks at Esther’s to make at home. (This may change as Esther’s is about to have a new owner).
The American Heroes Quilts project was established in 2004 to provide recognition and appreciation to wounded service men and women who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The quilts are like metaphoric hugs and a way to express gratitude. There are over 800 volunteers participating in the program. As of the January 2016, over 21,500 quilts had be given to deserving service men and women and their families. The quilts are sent to Madigan Hospital at Joint Base Lewis McCord, other Warrior Transition Centers in the US, and directly to bases in Afghanistan.
The quilts are made using red, white and blue fabrics, often with patriotic prints. Quilters seem to be generous by nature and this is one of many examples of the outreach projects in which they participate.