Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Cozy QAL - The Stitching & The Color Reveal

My quilt with the Cozy QAL from Alison Glass is stenciled with words of affirmation. These 4" stencils turned out to be the perfect size - rest assured, I did test things out ahead of time on scraps just to be sure. I also used a washable marker - also tested multiple times - so any errors could easily be washed away. (It is incredible hard to photograph this to capture the true color of the jersey knit.)

After taking advantage of a long car ride to see the eclipse, I quickly finished up my stitching around the stencils and began the process of cutting away the letters to reveal the color inside.

Six words done with four to go - all words of affirmation. I used different color pearl cotton for each word beginning with red at the top and ending with a deep purple.

Most of the letters are easy to cut away although the letter S is a bit finicky. Once all the words are revealed, I plan to "bind" the quilt using one of the techniques in the tutorial from Alison. There will be some negative space along the edges in spots that I may be temped to add some stencils like a flower to reveal more color but no decisions on that at this point. (Want to see the middle layer - check out this post.)

Such a fun project!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, April 15, 2024

The London Quilt Assembly

One of the projects that has kept me quite busy is a quilt to gift to my nephew and bride for their upcoming wedding. My sister suggested a palette of red, white, and blue with a theme of London. I spent countless hours trying to decide how to work with this.

My first idea was to create some London landmarks. I went as far as creating a London eye which came out cool but really was not the vibe I wanted for the quilt so I put the block aside. (It will appear again in another quilt!)

Instead I decided to play with the colors, quarter circles and orange peels. For the fabric, I chose Ruby and Bee solids that were part of the 2023 QuiltCon challenge. I still had some of fabric in my stash and then ordered more to round out the fabric required.

For the back, I found this great panel using the same colorway. My plan is to surround the panel with the blue fabric.

I hope to finish the quilt in the next week or so with plans to have it quilted by a LAQ. Wedding gifts are the only quilts that I don't quilt myself!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, April 12, 2024

QuiltCon 2024 - Final Reflections

Sir Walter getting into the quilting action

In preparing for QuiltCon this year, I looked back at my own blog posts to remind me about my experiences and thoughts. I found last year's final reflections post to be a good one - so I am wrapping up my QuiltCon reflection today. If you've not seen them already, I have 4 other posts -My QuiltsThe QuiltsThe Workshops, and The Best Bits. This will be my final post.

Location, location, location! The Raleigh Convention Center is less than a 30 minute drive from my home. When Raleigh was first announced as a location, I was pleased to avoid needing airline reservations but I worried about how much of the experience I would miss by coming home each night. Cleary I love my family but their attention span for discussion on quilts is, frankly, not very long!

Luckily for me, I found the right balance by spending 2 nights at an AirBnB with friends and coming home the other nights. The location gave me the opportunity to volunteer each day before and after the show - which I loved - and it meant my family could actually stop by to better understand what QuiltCon is all about. Every attendee I spoke with really liked the convention center and all the restaurants and food trucks nearby. And, the MQG just announced that QuiltCon is returning to Raleigh in 2026! (Phoenix is the site for 2025.)

The show - especially the vendor area -  often felt crowded, more so than any other QuiltCon I've attend. The attendance numbers support this - see Kelly's post for the specific statistics. Most of my time was spent looking at quilts so avoiding the crowds wasn't difficult. There were so many food options nearby that grabbing a bite to eat wasn't an issue. The lines every day at show opening were the real surprise. I'm used to lines for Thursday but it was crazy other days as well and registration Wednesday afternoon was crazy stuff.

Trading friendship bracelets was the most fun! I truly enjoyed sharing them with friends and with people I met on the show floor. I hope this is a 'thing' next year! I did have small buttons to swap and some business size cards but they were more awkward to hand out.

It was an absolute thrill to have my quilt Echo featured in QuiltCon magazine. The magazine sold out quickly so I was happy to purchase my copy on day 1.

If you attended QuiltCon, you likely have had a similar experience to mine - namely as you read through others peoples IG or blog posts sharing favorite quilts, you see a quilt that you have no memory every seeing before yet you are confident you saw every quilt in the show more than once! When someone actually highlights one of my quilts, I get quite excited and surprised. Here are just two of them - Cassandra's Unique Interpretations of Shape post  featured My Twist quilt!

Credit: Cassandra Beaver

And Aurifil's Thread's of Inspiration post featured my quilts Mending Fences and Echo!

Credit: Aurifil

I walked away with so much information and excitement with ideas to try all different things after seeig the show. In no particular order:
  • explore a message based quilt
  • a large sized two or three color improv quilt to be entered into Improv category (I've 3 improv quilts that have been juried into previous shows but all were in the small quilt category)
  • curves, all shapes and sizes
  • a mix of machine and hand quilting (this is one of the details I love to find on show quilts)
  • another group quilt. I enjoyed having a group quilt in the show in 2023 and always enjoy seeing a group of makers pose together in front of their joint creation

Notes to my future QuiltCon self (in no particular order) -
  • Shop the vendor floor late in the day on day 1 to avoid the crowds, the noise and still have a chance of finding things in stock; 
  • Volunteer again during registration - it is fun and exhausting all mixed together
  • Take a break for a cup of tea and a chat with a friend every day (my breaks this year were all solo)
  • Trade friendship bracelets again - hopefully they are still a thing! - and start making them well ahead of time
  • Grab more photos with friends (those are the ones I cherish, not the show quilt photos)
QuiltCon is so much more than the show itself. It is about the people - those who create the art and the story behind theirs quilts and every person you share the experience with.

Counting down the days to QuiltCon 2025 in Phoenix!

Have a wonderful day! Patty