Monday, 16 March 2015

.: Bust-A-Kiss block - our first blogtorial :.

February was Jodi's month in our Care Circle of doGoodStitches - and as February was also QuiltCon month, I ran a little behind in sewing my blocks.  Jodi had asked for improv blocks, using rainbow colours - all the rainbow colours + navy + pink - with a low volume background.  I had no real plan in mind for Jodi's blocks when I started, but I did have Rachel and her baby Eleni on my mind, and ended up with wonky, scrappy, rainbow kisses/x's.

When I shared the blocks on instagram, a couple of lovely people asked me if there was a pattern for the kisses/x's - so I thought I'd have a go at my first-ever tutorial for the blog - or as my husband has been calling it - a "blogtorial"!  I figured the block needed a name that was a little more catchy than rainbow-scrappy-kiss/x, so after a little pondering and a glass of wine, came up with 'Bust-a-Kiss' - as these x (or 'kiss') blocks are perfect for scrap-busting - are you with me?  I'm hoping you've now also got Young MC's 'Bust-A-Move' in your head, ready to sing out loud while busting through your scraps.

So - this blogtorial is to make one 12.5 inch block.  I 'sew big and trim down', so there's plenty of wriggle-room for fabric-placement - this may not be your way of sewing - see how you go - your blocks could end up a little bigger, which is a nice bonus!

1. Start with a 12.5 " square of low volume fabric - you can create a piece of fabric by sewing together some low volume scraps, or just use a single piece of fabric. I've sewn four blocks - three with scrappy low volume backgrounds, and one single-fabric background.

2.  Piece together two bust-a-scrap strips measuring 2.5 " x 18.5 " - this length gives you plenty of fabric to work with so you can trim down later, remembering my whole 'sew big, trim down' philosophy of sewing (which others may call 'don't bother measuring too carefully' or 'she wastes fabric' ... but I figure this is a great scap-busting project, so you'll be sewing from your scraps anyway).

3. Slice your low volume background square in half on the diagonal - either diagonal is fine.

4. Pin and sew a bust-a-scrap strip to one of your low volume background triangles.

5. Iron your seam towards the bust-a-scrap strip.

6. With right-sides together, lay your remaining low-volume background triangle on top of your sewn-piece, roughly making sure that the corners line up - I would never normally actually check that the corners are exactly in line, I would just eye-ball it, but for the sake of the blogtorial, I wanted to be sure you knew what I meant (the numbers on the ruler in the pic don't mean anything, the ruler is just to show you the corners are in line!).

7. Sew together, and iron your seam towards the bust-a-scrap strip.  I should mention at this point too, that I rarely sew with solids - and take a look at that awesome green! - a solid!

8. At this point, you can trim up your square a little if you like - down to 12.5 " if you like - but you don't have to.  I have trimmed my square to 12.5" for this step, just so you know - and just a little tip for you when you are trimming, make sure the corners of your 12.5 " square ruler (or whichever ruler you are using) are centred in the middle of your bust-a-scrap strip, so your kiss-corners are even-ish.  Slice your square in half on the diagonal, as shown in the pic below, cutting straight through your bust-a-scrap strip.

9. Pin your second bust-a-scrap strip in place and sew, again ironing the seam towards the strip.  If you had trimmed your square to 12.5", the strip will overlap the ends of your low-volume background triangle.  If you had not trimmed down, the strip will not quite reach the ends of your low-volume background triangle - so just centre it as best you can.

10. OK last step - lay your remaining background piece right-sides-together on top of the piece you have just sewn, taking care that the bust-a-scrap strips line up, as shown in this pic - see how I've folded-back the top-piece, so you can see that the strips are lining up?

11. And oh look! - you've made a Bust-A-Kiss block!  - trim it back to 12.5 " square (see the little trimming-tip in step 8 above).  Here are the four finished blocks I made to share with you.  The blocks are the perfect size for a pot-holder - or they'll make a very gorgeous quilt if you keep on going - see how the joins in the kisses all meet up? - cute!

I'll be back soon to share what I've sewn these blocks into - I haven't yet decided on a mini or potholders or whether I'll add them into my AusModBee + Sew Sisters quilt.  Happy Monday!  xoxo cat

Saturday, 14 March 2015

.: Auction + Flowers for Eleni :.

After seeing all the wonderful doGoodStitches quilts at QuiltCon, and reflecting on what a significant and far-reaching impact Rachel Hauser has had on the quilting and wider community, it was with such great sadness I read about her beautiful baby Eleni's birth complications.

Rachel and her family have hoped and planned for, and anticipated Eleni's birth with such longing and love.  And now Eleni is here, and she and they need lots of love, care, uplifting and support.

Marika has started the Auction for Eleni - which is being held 4.00 pm EST Saturday 14 March til 4.00 pm EST Sunday 15 March (US time) - which I think is around 6.00 am Sunday 15 March - 6.00 am Monday 16 March in Queensland; and our very own Jodi, from our doGoodStitches Care Circle, has started Flowers for Eleni.  Please click through to read more and if you can, to help.

These are my flowers for Eleni, and they are on their way to Jodi, to stitch into the big, beautiful quilt she is making for Eleni.  Vee and I have given two tote bags to Marika's auction.

This quilting world of ours is huge and diverse, and we are spread out across the world.  But really, at heart, it's not so big.  We are all makers, who express our love of family, friends and community by making, and by sharing what we make.  So please help Rachel, Eleni and their family if you can - keep them in your thoughts and prayers - and share their story, so that others may help too.

'til next time (and oh yes, I do still have one more QuiltCon post to share with you).  xoxo cat

Thursday, 5 March 2015

.: QuiltCon 2015 - Gee's Bend Keynote - post 5 :.

The Gee's Bend Keynote at QuiltCon was wonderful.  The quilters started their talk with a spiritual song that included the words "I don't want nobody to praise me when I'm gone; give me my flowers while I yet live" - meaning we should share and give kindnesses now, don't save those sentiments til it's too late - it was a pretty powerful message to open with.   I've heard a few different reactions to the experience of being in the room during the Keynote, but I found it uplifting, affirming, welcoming and pretty emotional.  The Gee's Bend quilters shared several spiritual songs and stories of their upbringing, and talked about their own quilting histories.

Mary Ann Pettway, Lucy Witherspoon, China Pettway, Gloria Hoppins.
Mary Ann and China did pretty much all the talking during the Keynote.
Mary Ann Pettway is the current manager of the Gee's Bend Quilters' Collective.  There does not seem to be a current website for the Collective, though they do have a Facebook page.

It was interesting to learn that there is not really any collaborative sewing or quilting at Gee's Bend anymore.  Both Mary Ann and China said they now prefer to sew by themselves, and that they like their stitches to be the same size!  But in continuing to travel, teach and share the stories of Gee's Bend, they are ensuring that this significant chapter of quilting history in America lives on.

The quilt show included an exhibition of a number of quilts from Gee's Bend.  Here are a few:
"Olympic Housetop" by Mary Ann Pettway c.2012
"Corduroy Mix #01" by Qunnie Pettway c.2008
"Square Blocks 1970s" by Rachael George-Carey

"Denim and Corduroy Blocks" by Flora Moore c. 2004

I recorded the last song that the quilters of Gee's Bend sang and wanted to share it here - their voices and songs were moving and awesome - but I've had way too much trouble uploading it to this space - I think the file is too big and I'm too blog-clue-less to know how to sort it out.  I might figure it out one day!   Only one more QuiltCon blog post to come - the people, wahoo! Enjoy your Thursday, I'm hiding in the air-con today in 36-degree Brisbane - hopefully Brisbane realises very soon that it's autumn, not mid-summer.  xoxo cat

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

.: QuiltCon 2015 - Australian quilters + group quilts - post four :.

Today it's time to celebrate Australian quilters whose quilts were shown at QuiltCon!  And after that, there are a few great doGoodStitches quilts to share. 

Quite a few of the Australian contingent attended the Awards Ceremony, hosted by Jacquie Gering and held on the first morning of QuiltCon.  There were significant video/computer problems, and so none of the winning quilts were able to be shown on screen during the ceremony - but that didn't quieten down our excitement when "Rainbow Magic" by Mollie McMahon was announced as the winner of the Youth category AND winner of Carolyn Friedlander's Judge's Choice ribbon!  Mollie is a member of Canberra MQG, along with her Mum Jules, who helped with quilting the quilt.   

In Mollie's words “[t]his is the first ever quilt I made when I was 7.  Mumma let me choose fabrics from her boxes and use her sewing machine and I got this made.  It’s called “Rainbow Magic” as I love all the colours in it and it makes me feel happy and magical because I made it”.  Very awesome indeed. 

Another Australian prize-winner - in fact TWO prizes! - was Katherine Jones of the Tasmanian MQG.  Katherine's "CPU" quilts was awarded first place in the Bias Tape Challenge.  (I couldn't find a blog or instagam link for Katherine, so have linked to the Tasmanian MQG!).  This quilt was inspired by the sponsor of the challenge - Panasonic - and the quilt is Katherine’s interpretation of a circuit board.  Katherine machine-appliqued bias-binding strips in conjunction with quilting, and hand-appliqued the squares and circles, which were then "trapuntoed and then machine-quilted around the edge to add dimension".   This quilt is only small, but it's incredibly effective and a really clever design. 

Katherine also took out the second prize ribbon in the Bias Tape Quilting Challenge! - this is "Stock on Hand".  Katherine said this quilt was inspired by working at a plumbing firm.  The owner - for whom this quilt was made, and in their chosen colour palette - hoards pipes of various diameters, lengths and composition.  The quilt was constructed by making rings of bias binding, “‘sculpting’ them with a hot steam iron into circles, attaching with glue to a length of background fabric, and sewing them on with FMQ”.  

I totally missed seeing Jules McMahon's quilt in the show, but I really wanted to include it here as part of the Australian quilt-contingent.  This is "Faraway Fields" and it was shown in the Improvisation category.  I've taken a photo from Jules' blog post - where you can read her own lovely words about the quilt.  The quilt blocks were made from scraps provided by Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit (at QuiltCon 2013!), with some extra blocks contributed by Cheryl Arkison.  The background is Essex Linen, and the quilting was by Jeannette Bruce.  Please click through and read about Jules' gorgeous quilt, as it's a really lovely story.

Sarah Fielke made this beautiful quilt, "The Definition of Stitch", which was quilted by Kim Bradley.  It's one of the very few quilts where I forgot to also take a pic of the information card next to it! - so please just marvel in its gorgeousness without any further info - and keep your eye on Sarah's blog, as she may post about it.  I am guessing it was shown in the Use of Negative Space category, but I'm not sure, I'd love to know!  I really love this quilt - sorry the photo is vaguely blurry - Sarah's words are fabulous, and her low volume background is gorgeous.  And I love the idea of the quilt - defining the word "stitch".

Clearly, there was a reason why I was too distracted to take a pic of Sarah's information card (say hi to Danielle and Rachel while you are marvelling at Sarah's quilt!).

Crystal McGann's amazing "Iceberg" quilt was shown in the Piecing category, and was made for the 2014 Sewvivor Quilters' Edition.  It's a really clever idea, showing the iceberg continuing beneath the surface of the water, and I just love the little newspaper boat - in Crystal's words, "[y]ou cannot cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore".  The quilt is a combination of paper-piecing, machine piecing, machine quilting and hand-applique.   

Catherine Mosley, an individual MQG member from NSW made a beautiful quilt from Jen Kingwell's "Gypsy Wife" pattern, which was shown in the Modern Traditionalism category.   Catherine made the quilt from solids, and pieced the black and white stripes for the background.  It's a gorgeous, happy quilt and it was a real treat to see it in person.  Lovely Jen Kingwell was at QuiltCon, in the Moda booth, and she posed with Catherine and the quilt - click here to see the pic from Catherine's instagram.

Alys Gagnon, a Melbourne MQG member, made "Gradient", which was shown in the Improvisation category.   "Gradient" started life as a single block, created for a guild block challenge at Alys’ very first MQG meeting. In Alys' words, “[t]he expansive negative space and the analogous colour scheme are a playful response to the theme of “Emerald”, the 2013 Pantone colour of the year”.  There was a fabulous moment at the MQG Leadership Drinks during QuiltCon, where Alys was able to chat a little bit about her quilt with Jacquie Gering - click here to see Lorena's gorgeous photo that captured a bit of the magic.

And that's all for Australian quilts in the juried show! - but I can't move on from awesome Australians without mentioning Dan and Andi from You Patch.  They travelled from Melbourne to have a "You Patch" booth in the Vendor Hall at QuiltCon.  They held three information sessions each day, and seemed to be surrounded by interested quilters each time I walked past - I wish I had stopped to take a pic or two.   Thanks to Dan and Andi's clever-ness, "You Patch" turns photos into pixellated quilt patterns, which include yardage requirements, cutting instructions and Kona colour recommendations.  "Little Brother" by Stacey Murton was made from a "You Patch" pattern, and was shown in the Piecing category - click here to see it in our post from yesterday.  And click through to read more about "You Patch" - and see more fabulous quilts - at Andi's blog

So now we move on to group quilts - well - just one Group Quilt, and then a few doGoodStitches quilts.  "Playing With Little Bits" won first prize in the Group Quilts category.  It was submitted by Rose Daley of Baltimore MQG, and pieced by Anna Levengood, Jill Stafford, Jessica Skultety, Jessica Levitt, Robin Tillsworth, Rachel Singh and Elizabeth Timmons.  The quilt was created at Mid-Atlantic MOD 2014 - each person had created a section before the weekend, starting with low volume fabrics and then adding pops of colour.  During the retreat, they sewed their sections and other elements together to create the finished quilt top.  The quilting was inspired by Jacquie Gering’s ‘Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot’.

There was a special exhibition at the show, to celebrate charitable quilts made by various doGoodStitches circles around the world (though all the quilts I saw were made by circles in the US!).  I loved that the MQG coordinated this exhibition - you can read the little info card about the quilts below - and click through to read founder Rachel Hauser's blog post about the exhibition.  I'm in the Care Circle, which is made up of girls from Australia and New Zealand.  One of my highlights from QuiltCon was meeting Rachel from our Care Circle - that's Rachel on the right up there with me and Danielle, in front of Sarah's quilt - she lives in New Zealand, and we've chatted on email, instagram and Flickr, but it was just awesome to meet in person!

"Watercolour" appears on the left below and was created by the Love Circle - Ara Jane Olufson, Jacey Gray, Rachel Hauser, Daisy Aschehoug, Jenelle Clark, Cat Downs, Deb Aspuria, Amanda Hohnstreiter, Jessica Rider and Natalie Sabik.  It was quilted by Natalie Sabik.  The quilt is an original design, with the scrappy blocks emphasising the transition from darker to light value fabrics, creating the illusion of watercolours blending together.  

On the right is "Trellis Crossroad", pieced by members of the Humility Circle - Jessica Kerkhoff, Carla Fawcett, Elizabeth Adle, Claudia Pate and Mary Gibbons, and quilted by Sandra Smith, Vickey Hughes, Brittney Selby, Jaime Penrod and Tiffany Searle.  The quilt pattern is from "Modern Bee".  The blue portion represents the teamwork required to make the quilt. 

On the left below is "Rainbow Triangles", created by the Nurture Circle -  Kat Drinkwater, Jennifer Ferriss-Salter, Mai Flourry, Briawna Hugh, Lisa McGriff, Dhia Peach, Gabrielle Robles, Kari Stewart, Carla Voorhees, Louise Wackerman and quilted by Carla Voorhees.  The triangle log-cabin blocks are from Modern Bias, and the tutorial for the 60-degree improv piecing is from Magnolia Bay Quilts

"Eclipse" was pieced by members of the Hope Circle - Afton Warrick, Cath Hall, Christie Kline, Ellen McKee, Heather Flegel, Kim Soper, Kimberly Swink, Melanie Hughes and Suzy Lampman, and quilted by Ellen McKee.  The blocks were originally to represent balls, with a layout making them appear to bounce across the quilt - but once the blocks were received “they looked more like the Sun and Moon, so the layout changed to reflect their cycle of rising and setting".  The use of curved blocks was inspired by “Log Cabin Beads” by Kathy Hamada, seen on All People Quilt.

"Gradient Patchwork" was pieced by the Grace Circle - Robin Correa, Melissa Devenney, Donna Swain, Jana Dee, Irelle Beatie, Elizabeth Jones, Kristen Russell, Laurel Krynock, Laura Collins and quilted by Laura Collins.    Each circle member sewed single-colour patchwork blocks using 2.5 inch scraps, sorted by value and moving from dark to light across a diagonal.  The group was inspired by “the trending popularity of gradients in knitting and the scrappy patchwork of Alex of Teaginny Designs”.

And last quilt for today - "Birds on a Line", created by the Dream Circle - Jeannette Day, Lindsey Rhoads, Leah Newman. Alison Robinson, Alex Duenkel, Tamara Hampton, Diane Stanley, Christine Horlbeck and Alexis Day, and quilted by Jeannette Day.  Circle members created birds in different sizes, based on a pattern on the McCalls website.

I know you may be suffering from QuiltCon overload by now, but that's ok - I'm on a roll - click away if you need to.  Tomorrow get ready for a little Gee's Bend, and then my last post will be the people of QuiltCon, because really, despite all these posts showing off a lot of quilt-gorgeousness  -the people were the best part of QuiltCon!  xoxo cat

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

.: QuiltCon 2015 - (but wait, there's more) quilts - post three :.

OK everyone we are on to post number three in sharing some of the amazing quilts of QuiltCon 2015.    I'm still only scratching the surface - I wish I could have taken pics of ALL the quilts!  Click through if you would like to see posts one and two - and google 'QuiltCon 2015' to keep finding other blog posts sharing more pics of more quilts.  The MQG blog has heaps of pics and stories.  Tomorrow (or *the next day*) we will be moving on to gorgeous quilts by Australian quilters and group quilts. 

First up today is "Facets" by Liz Harvatine of Los Angeles MQG (who I met at the MQG Leaders' drinks on the Friday night of QuiltCon - she was very lovely and I was very happy to meet her).  In Liz’s words, she “wanted to design a quilt around a simple, line-drawn diamond.  This quilt is NOT paper pieced.  The neutral background pieces were cut using templates and the coloured lines are fabric strips sewn in-between”.  Liz “loves the crisp look of pressing seams open and the process of traditional piecing”.  "Facets" was in the Piecing category of the show.  I stopped and looked at this quilt several times, as I was really drawn to the design and colours. 

This next quilt was shown in the Minimalist Design category.  “Diamonds” is by Shannon Page of Dallas MQG (Shannon is also the Region 2 representative on the MQG Board).  “This was made to compete in the Michael Miller Pinwheels Challenge.  The diamonds are my own design and the background was made to reflect facets of gemstones”.   The quilt is a mix of machine and paper-piecing.

“Profits & Losses” by Gina Pina of Austin MQG was shown in the Piecing category.  Gina wanted this quilt to “look like a P&L graph showing a business cost vs expenses. Running a small business myself I know all too well it takes money to make money.  I wanted to show all the paperwork and used some fussy cut Yoshiko Jinzenji pieces to show unplanned life expenses, business purchases and bills and different shades of green shot cotton to show money flow.  I used wool batting, gold thread and a subtle change in quilting density”. 

This next quilt is really lovely and gentle. It was shown in the Improvisation category.  "Fade to Black" is by Sarah Lowry of Triangle MQG (which is in North Carolina ... not to be confused with Triad MQG which is also in North Carolina - it seems there are quite a few towns located in a triangular-shape from each other in North Carolina, who knew!?). 

Sarah's quilt started with a charm pack of Carolyn Friedlander's Botanic's line.  Sarah sorted the fabrics by colour intensity.  “As soon as I did that, this quilt design came to me.  I wanted to create movement for the eye to follow across the quilt and dimension through simple fabric arrangement.  The unexpected quiet space in the middle of the quilt before the colour changes to gray reminds me of the soft colours of the evening when the day fades to night or the colours of the day all fade to black".

"Knit Snippet" by Lotje Meijknecht, an individual MQG member from The Netherlands, was shown in the Piecing category.   Lotje's inspiration came from a a torn knitting pattern snippet.  “It is intended to give you the look and feel of craftsmanship, handiwork and creative inventions based on available materials and circumstances.  No one block is the same in the end, yet the result is complete and balanced”.

Now for a couple of very awesome pixelated quilts!  "Holy Sh*t Sherlock" is by Kristy Daum of St Louis MQG and was shown in the Piecing category.  In Kristy's words, “[t]he ridiculousness of building a cultural icon in tiny bits of fabric intrigued me.  A fun-loving admiration for BBC’s Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch, I practiced a hybrid-pixel method of construction, using squares and rectangles, resulting in 2,389 separate pieces.  What I love about pixelating is you can only see the image far away; the closer you get, the more unrecognisable the image becomes”. 

Also in the Piecing category was "Little Brother" by Stacey Murton of Vancouver MQG (who is really nice + fun, we met when we 'crashed' the Canada MQG meet-up on the Wednesday night before QuiltCon started!).  Stacey was “inspired to make this pixel quilt by the other pixel quilts [she] had seen, including the Ron Swanson and Sherlock quilts".  Stacey's quilt depicts Austin-native actor Jared Padalecki from the TV show "Supernatural" (though I remember him from "Gilmore Girls"!).  Stacey "had researched techniques on how to make a pixel quilt but didn't really get movitated until I discorered You Patch software.  The quilt is made with 2,941 individual pieces.  The quilting is a flame pattern which allows different thread colours to intersect”.  Stacey's quilt is amazing in person - the first time I walked past it, I honestly didn't recognise what it was, I thought it was an abstract quilt.  If you look at it through a camera lens, Jared's face is immediately clear.  Each time I saw it later during the show, the image was very clear, and I couldn't believe I'd missed seeing it in the first place!

Stacey's quilt was created from a pattern, which in turn was created from a photograph using You Patch software.  Andi and Dan from You Patch had a booth at the show, and were part of the Australian contingent to QuiltCon.  Their booth was consistently busy.  Their product is excellent, and they are very clever, great people.  I need to decide on a photo to turn into a quilt!

Now for an amazing graphic quilt, which was shown in the Use of Negative Space category.  This is "Building Bridges" by the wonderful Jacquie Gering of Kansas City MQG (and chair of the MQG board).  Quilted by Sheryl Schleicher, "Building Bridges" is a “graphic representation of a move from one city to another and from one life to another”.

“Steal this Quilt” by Chawne Kimber, an individual MQG member from Pennsylvania, was hung in the Minimalist category of the show.  The minimalist design of this quilt “captures the puckish mood of the midcentury US counterculture movement.  A direct reference to Abbie Hoffman’s ‘Steal This Book’, the text can be seen as instructional.  There are many connotations of the word, including one that is often whispered in polite conversation.  The Helvetica Neue text was produced using a traditional Italian trapunto (stuffed work) technique with modern organic linear quilting fills.  Overall, pink pinstripes and strategic shrinkage of the natural muslin give the feel of aged woven French linen”.  

Kim Soper, an individual MQG member from New York State, won first prize in the Modern Traditionalism category for "Long Island Modern Sampler".  In Kim's words, the quilt "feels like a quilted love-note to the online quilting community.  I get so much  inspiration from these bloggers, it was fun to see many of their tutorials come together in this sampler.  The entire quilt is pieced using Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics mixed with Kona solids.  Quilted using simple 1/2 inch lines”.  Kim credited her design sources for the quilt:
- Flock of HST's by 13 Spools
- Figgy Pudding by Moda Bake Shop
- Rainbow Starflower by Ellison Lane
- Bowtie by Canoe Ridge Creations
- Double Z & Cross Roads by Swim Bike Quilt
- Wonky Star by The Silly BooDilly
- Arrow by Grace and Favour
- Sliced Scrappy & Radiant Ring by Don't Call M

Also in the Modern Traditionalism category was "Ducks in a Row" by Rebecca Bryan of Houston MQG and quilted by Angela Walters.  Rebecca was first inspired to make this quilt as she was “eating barbecue at one of [her] favourite restaurants in Houston, Texas.  One of the western themed textile pieces caught [her] eye and [she] thought it would make a fabulous quilt.  The quilt is made using pieces cut from templates”.  We ate plenty of Texas BBQ in Austin - mainly at Iron Works and Cedar Door - and I love that Rebecca gained her inspiration from something as simple, enjoyable and everyday as eating barbecue!  Next time I'm drinking a margarita and thinking of Austin, I'll be looking around for quilt-inspiration. 

In the Spring Cotton Couture Fabric Challenge category was "Lucky Day" by Cynthia Frenette, of Fraser Valley MQG in Canada.  This quilt was improv-pieced and inspired by candy coloured rainbows, happy rain and candy.  

The colour saturation in this next quilt is just beautiful.  "Tessellation 3" is by Nydia Kehnle, an individual MQG member from New York State, and quilted by Karlee Porter.  Nydia had no colour plan or picked palette when she began this quilt, but focussed on each individual triangle when she sewed, “varying the pieces by value or relating colours.  Sorting them into colour groups allowed the colours to develop the movement of shapes.  Karlee Porter’s signature style of ‘graffiti quilting’ adds a distinctive, fluid layer of texture”.  The published 'Tessellation' pattern is by Nydia and Alison Glass, though the layout and colour choices for this quilt have been made by Nydia.  The quilt was made from a combination of machine and paper-piecing.  

And now for a few quilts shown as part of the Applique section of the show.  First up, is "Rocket 88" by Latifah Saafir of Los Angeles MQG and quilted by Lisa Alexakis.  I so wish I'd met Latifah - I saw her a few times, and Lorena met her in her first Carolyn Friedlander class!  Latifah designed this quilt to "highlight the large bold prints in Jennifer Sampou’s colour:FULL fabric line".  In Latifah's words, bias tape appliqué “makes this easy and quick while still maintaining a bold statement”.  This quilt is seriously eye-catching and gorgeous in person, I kept noticing it each time I walked through the quilt show. 

"Bowls and Balls #2" is by Rachel Kerley of Portland MQG.  Rachel has free-pieced curves for the bowls, and hand-appliqued the balls.  She is “endlessly inspired by the bubble shape and love[s] to see it play and interact with line”.

"The Dishes Can Wait" is also by Rachel Kerley, and was awarded second prize in the Applique category in the show.  It was inspired by mid-century textiles and is the first "in what has become a series of free turned applique quilts.  Looking for inspiration around me and to communicate my modern world, I was inspired by the dishes I let stack up on a counter while my hubs was travelling.  The background is an interpretation of the side of the neighbour’s house after the rain".  Most of the shapes have been machine appliquéd.  The soap bubble ‘balls’ are hand appliquéd. 

"Hometown Quilt" by Gina Pina of Austin MQG is a striking, gorgeous wall of colour - also shown in the Applique category (Gina also made the wonderful "Profits & Losses" quilt above).   Gina asked every visitor to her quilt studio during the 2014 East Austin Studio Tour, to write the name of the town where they were born onto a fabric scrap.  Gina quilted all the strips down onto an extra wide whole cloth using her long arm machine, to create a modern signature quilt.

Alison Chambers of San Antonio MQG created "The Conan Quilt".  She enlarged the Conan O'Brien logo and overlaid it with a grid so she could create Conan's patchwork orange hair.  After sewing the patchwork, Alison cut out the outline of the hair and appliquéd it to the face and background.  The back of the quilt includes the words ‘Team Coco’ (which hopefully means something to fans of Conan O'Brien!).  Alison hopes to visit California to give the quilt to Conan in person! 

"Anniversary Quilt" by Katrina Hertzer of Calgary MQG, won first prize in the Applique category of the show (I can't find a blog or instagram link for Katrina).  Katrina's inspiration was Massimo Vignelli, the designer of the Stendig Calendar, who passed away recently.  “In celebration of his life’s work and my love of typography, I made this quilt as a way to celebrate my wedding anniversary.  I appliquéd the letters and numbers in Black Kona Cotton.  I added various snippets of my favourite fabrics  to the face to make it playful.  I used a 12 weight thread to quilt the loops".

In the Piecing category was Shannon Page’s huge "Feathers" (well, each feather is huge, rather than the actual quilt being huge!) - made for the Riley Blake Basics Fabric Challenge (in which it came second).  Shannon “enlarged and manipulated a paper pieced block to achieve the desired scale”.  She added a solid for every challenge fabric to create a cohesive palette.  The original feather block is here and it was also published in 'Fresh Quilts' magazine. 

It was an absolute treat to see "Catenary" by Carolyn Friedlander in person.  Carolyn is an individual MQG member from Florida.  "Catenary" “refers to a natural arch that’s created by a cord hanging from two points”, such as the shape of the Gateway Arch in St Louis.   Carolyn liked the "simple elegance" of the design and was "interested in working with this shape and this group of fabrics because of how they work together.  The fabric is angular, masculine, and raw, whereas the arch is a graphic curve with some softness.  Together, I find the balance to be well suited”.   The quilt is machine pieced and quilted, and hand-appliqued. 

It's just so beautiful.  The hand-applique is perfection.

Finally for today, the quilt that won Viewers' Choice at the show and which was in the Use of Negative Space category - "Quilt for Our Bed" by Laura Hartrich of Chicago MQG and quilted by Nikki Maroon.  The back of the quilt is gorgeous too - a lovely white-gloved volunteer showed it to me - I wish I'd taken a photo.  If you click on Laura's name above though, you will go right to her blog post where she writes about the quilt and shares lots of progress photos.  Laura was inspired by Jen Carlton Bailly’s “phenomenal ‘SHTP Squared’ quilt, which used a quarter circle in a way that almost looked like letters.  With that inspiration I made letters from quarter circles, squares and triangles.  The words, my husband and I say to each other every night, I figure, if I stay up too late sewing, the quilt can say it for me”. 

And we are done for today.  Are you quilted-out yet?  Maybe I'll take a break for a day while I gather pics and words for my next post about Australian quilters and group quilts at QuiltCon - and after that, there is still Gee's Bend to share AND all the lovely people I met and and didn't meet, plus classes and lectures.   There is still so much awesome for you to see.  Enjoy your Monday - it's too hot and humid here in Brisbane - I'm wishing I was back in the cool, sunny days of Austin!   xoxo cat

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