Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Peachy Keen

Peachy Keen is the working name for my latest quilt top finish and is my entry for this year's Pantone Challenge using the color Peach Fuzz. (You can read more about the challenge on Sara's blog.) I will be entering just the quilt top - love that this is an option.

I'm busy basting the quilt now and looking forward to getting the quilting underway.  Fabrics used are Painter's Palette color Verbena (aka Peach Fuzz) along with black and a color called Bittersweet which is a red-orange. I plan on using Aurifil 2277 Light Red Orange and 2220 Light Salmon.

The quilt is 48" x 60". I debated with a few friends whether to make the quilt square or rectangular and (clearly!) went with the rectangle. My plan is to quilt with my walking foot and then come back and add some FMQ. 

This is my second year joining the challenge. Last year's entry was my quilt top Echo.

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

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Eclipse April 8, 2024

Did you see the Eclipse earlier this week? This photo was taken with my iphone in Auto mode. I did capture Venus sitting below the sun on the right. Jupiter was also visible but not in the photo.

After seeing totality in 2017, I knew then that I wanted to see this one in 2024. If you've never been fortunate to experience totality all I can tell you is there are no words to describe how incredible and magical it is. When there was just a sliver of the sun showing seconds before totality, I started to cry. It was such an amazing thing to be able to witness. I kept my eyes on the sky the entire time, not wanting to miss a moment.

We debated flying to Texas or driving to Ohio to have a get into the band of totality. My husband has a doctorate in Atmospheric Science so he was in charge of narrowing down our options. We eventually decided to head towards Ohio or Indiana while keeping New York state as an option. We drove 500 miles from our home in near Raleigh to Dayton Ohio, staying overnight in Charleston WV because that was a good launching point as we made our final destination decision Monday morning.

The day was lovely and the sky was filled with these wispy high level cirrus clouds. 

There were two locations in Dayton that we considered for watching the eclipse. The first was an air force base that was having a big eclipse event with lots of activities and the other was an event at Wright State University. We  checked out the campus first around 10:30. It was too early for any activities to have started so we drove the 4 miles to the air force base. There were already lots of cars and as soon as we pulled in, we decided to leave. The parking lot was gigantic and as cars were streaming in, all we could think of was how big the traffic jam would be afterwards. So we immediately exited and went back to the university. 

Campus was a perfect choice. There were telescopes, a radio station DJ (they played "It was the end of the world as you know it" as totality happened), and a dance party. Video from Wright State University gives you a glance at all the students out and in attendance having fun including the dance party. 

There were also comfy chairs that we could move into the shade for awhile and then into the sun for optimum viewing. If you look carefully, you'll see I'm covered in crescents!

Here is a better view!

My youngest was not with us but captured this cool photo using a colander!

The moon started its journey in front of the sun at 1:53, with totality starting at 3:11 and lasting lasting 2 minutes and 43 seconds. We were in the car and on the road quickly and managed to get home before midnight. We got extremely lucky and hit no traffic whatsoever. As we drove, we thought about those cars still in the parking lot at the Air Force base and happy we chose the university. It is fun to share the event with lots of young people.

Such an amazing day!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Peach Fuzz

I had so much fun joining the Pantone Challenge last year (I entered my quilt top Echo), that I decided to play along this year. You can read more about the challenge on Sara's blog.

The pantone color of the year is Peach Fuzz. For my quilt, I choose Painter's Palette color Verbena and then paired it with black and a color called Bittersweet. 

My blocks will finish at 6" x 6".  Due to a miss-cut of the verbena fabric, I am ONE block short of the layout I wanted.

ONE block more of fabric would take the layout from 48" x 54" to 54" x 54".      .

Fortunately, the Pantone Challenge has a quilt top category so I can just enter the quilt top while I look for an opportunity to tuck an order for Verbena in with other fabric. The other option is to 'make' fabric and piece the block a bit differently. I may give that a try to see what it looks like.

By chance, do any of you have any of this color you no longer want?

This has been a really fun quilt to make and I can't wait to share more! Submission deadline is April 29!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Elliott the Elephant

I've got three large quilt tops underway and enjoyed putting those aside to create this elephant mini quilt. It was gifted to my youngest who has a love for elephants.

The pattern came from Tartankiwi. I've made several of Juliette's patterns before and she has quite the wonderful collection of animals.

I (somewhat crudely) mounted the mini quilt on wrapped canvas so it could be propped up on a bookcase. 

Now back to the bigger quilts!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, March 25, 2024

Cozy QAL - The Basting & the Marking

After considering different options, I decided to stencil words of affirmation onto my Cozy quilt from the  Cozy QAL from Alison Glass. My affirmation words are beautiful, intelligent, creative, confident, inspirational and courageous. There is room for a few more words but I was so excited to get started on the stitching that I decided to mark the rest later.

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 without washing up the true color of the jersey knit.)

Stitching is very calming and meditative. I am working from the top down and right to left. I've chosen bright 8 weight pearl cotton from my stash, working down in rainbow-ish colors to match the inner layer, assembled back in February (see that post)

I am planning to stitch the first four words and then give myself the reward of cutting back the fabric to reveal the inner layer! I am on word 4!!!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Picnic Bag

Every since I was gifted this large piece of plaid canvas, I wanted to make a picnic tote. Buried deep in my closet, I had a large scrap of InsulShine from The Warm Company so I shaped it into the largest bag shape possible and then used those measurements to make the rest of the bag.

I wanted large pockets on the outside and took the time to line up the plaid. :-)

Velcro keeps the pockets closed as well as the overall bag closed. I took the bag for a test drive earlier this week with a picnic - our takeout bag of Chick-fil-a fit nicely inside.

There was no pattern at all for the bag. It finished at 12" x 16" x 5".

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

My "Use Up the Fabric" Quilts

Everything time I look around my sewing space, I see fabric I plan to use, fabric I love but have no plan for, and then all the rest of the fabric that I am confident will never make it into a quilt. 

So what to do with this perfectly good but just not likely to get used fabric? My goal is to make quilts for my guilds community giving project. We are focused on kids in the foster care system so quilts with modern design and bright colors are the best.

That pile of HST has been sitting waiting to be trimmed for some time now so I plan to tee that up for a nice sunny afternoon on the back porch. Once trimmed, it should be quick to get a top done.

For my second quilt, I decided to take advantage of the Seattle MQG's free BOM and use some coordinated large scraps to make a second quilt. 

I made some large flying geese using some colorful scraps. The background is a cream Bella solid of which I had several cuts of that hopefully add up to be enough for the quilt. I followed the instructions as written for the first 2 months of the BOM. Cutting instructions are tipped towards a beginner quilter so things are cut big and trimmed quite a bit. I'll likely modify things for future blocks since I need to conserve background fabric.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Stitching Rainbows

I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Jo Avery at QuiltCon. I love her work - so whimsical - and really enjoyed the opportunity to sit and learn about her rainbows and needle-turned applique.

I went with low volume backgrounds for my 9 rainbows and had fun mixing and matching solid scraps for the rainbows. Now the real fun has begun - adding the hand quilting! This project is about 18" square which makes it quite portable. I brought it to my last guild meeting and enjoyed stitching away!

I am undecided if I'll add additional quilting into the background - maybe just an X at the intersection of the blocks. 

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Local House #3 - The Minkos

Welcome to the MinkosA friend organized a fun QAL using the Local pattern by Carolyn Friedlander. Each month, we'll each make a house and read the back story about the owner. Several of us plan to add our own homes to the neighborhood.  

 I've printed off the pattern at 50% scale which really caused some challenges with this house. Typically, FPP patterns pieces may be spread over multiple pages so that you don't need to piece/tape many of them together. That isn't true for this pattern so it was more challenging then it should have been. And, frankly, it turned out a bit wonky but I think I'll just leave it as is!

Here is my neighborhood so far - the Carlos, the Cahills and their new neighbors, the Minkos!

My blocks are~ 8" x 10".

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, March 8, 2024

QuiltCon 2024 Recap Part 4: The Best Bits

The QuiltCon experience is so amazing that it is impossible (for me anyway) to capture it all in one blog post. This is my 4th post - the others are: My QuiltsThe Quilts, and The Workshops - and I intend there to be one final post about overall reflections of the show. I truly appreciate your taking the time to read through these posts but, frankly, they are as much for me as they are to share with you!

So here we go, here are the best bits.....(in no particular order) ......


Volunteering has been one of my favorite things to do at every QuiltCon I've attended and this year was no different. Having QuiltCon essentially in my backyard - specifically 30 minutes away - meant I had the opportunity to volunteer a lot and, in doing so, spent time with the wonderful MQG staff. I worked the very first volunteer shift on Tuesday to hang quilts, registration on Wednesday, and the very last shift on Monday to mail off all the quilts.

Wednesday registration is the place to be to see people. I was able to capture shots with MQG staff members Elizabeth and Jennifer. In the 2nd row are my registration fellow volunteers - we were in charge of handing out bags. I also got a few quality minutes with Jacquie Gering, the keynote. I did my very best not to fan girl her too much. I have met her before and she has always been super supportive of volunteers. Since she was waiting for her husband, she had a few minutes to chat. (A highlight for me for sure!)

Jacquie's Keynote 

Jacquie's keynote was very inspiring. She spoke about her quilting journey, surrounded by her grandmothers and mom (all sewists) and her making a decision to quit her job to make quilts as a business. Jacquie's first career was in education, both as a teacher and as an administrator. I've been fortunate to take a class from Jacquie in the past and she is an amazing educator.

Truly inspiring was learning how she found her voice as an artist. "Voice comes from who you are, were you come from, what you believe, and what you love."  It was the best kind of keynote - inspiring and emotional with an important takeaway - "You can't copy others and be yourself. You can learn from others and be yourself."

Friendship Bracelets 

A last minute decision to make friendship bracelets turned out to be such a fun thing to do. I traded a few for other bracelets or stickers plus I also just offered them to people I connected with. They were all receive so well. I had a bunch that said "QuiltCon" but others with phrases like "Quilt Worthy", "I press seams open", "I 💗 Applique", and "I play with Blocks" that were well received. 

I hope this is a "thing" next year because I hope to do it again and start making these weeks ahead of time instead of just a few days before!

Location, location, location

It was just fabulous having QuiltCon 30 minutes from my home. I got to volunteer more (!!!) and didn't have to worry about dealing with airports! 

It also meant that my family could stop by to see the show and get a bit of understanding why I am so excited and clearly obsessed with all things QuiltCon. My youngest spent the day with me on Thursday seeing all the quilts and sporting their handmade crocheted sweater. 

My husband and middle daughter were able to stop by late Sunday to see my quilts in the show  - it was so very nice to give them all a taste of the experience. (Thanks to Christa Watson for the photo.)

The conference center itself was really nice. The quilts and vendors were all on the same big floor. Classrooms were easy to find and the lecture hall wasn't too far away. There are lots of restaurants nearby plus vending inside the convention center plus food trucks!

Fingers crossed that the MQG brings QuiltCon back to Raleigh in the future.

My Guild

Given the location, it was an opportunity for all 200 some odd members of our guild - Triangle MQG - to attend the show and experience what for many of them was their first QuiltCon. We gave everyone ribbons for their show passes so they could say hello to a fellow guild member. We picked a time Sunday for a group photo. Not everyone could attend but we were happy to get as many as we did! My guild had 13 quilts in the show - see my IG post to enjoy them all!

Friend Time

Spending just a few minutes catching up with friends, even just enough time for a hug, is truly on of the best bits! Of course, not every meet-up was caught in a photo but here are just a few.
Jen @aquiltingjewel, Charles @feltlikesweets, Kitty @nightquilter, Heather @fire4hairlady, Yvonne @quiltingjetgirl, Christa @christaquilts, Elizabeth @elizabethray, and Ginny @minnowpeck .Three of these amazing friends and artists were award winners at this show. Charles' quilt Density 01 won a 3rd place ribbon, Yvonne's Cloudy Night Sky won Best Quilting and Ginny's What We Will Use as Weapons: A List of School Supplies won Best in Show

Much fun happened after hours too. I shared a house with friends Frances @offkitlerquilt, Kristin @kristin_esser and Jen @quiltinjenny for two nights. Much wine and chocolate was consumed! It was fun walking the show floor with these ladies too. Thanks to Deborah @fishmuseum for these awesome prompts which made our group photo even more fun!

One final post to come with overall reflections. In case you missed them, here are my other recap posts:

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

QuiltCon 2024 Recap Part 3: The Workshops

(This is my 3rd post about QuiltCon 2024. Read about my quilts and all the quilts in parts 1 and 2.)

Each year at QuiltCon, I schedule myself into one half-day class. For the last several years, these have been very focused on handwork.

I've been a big fan of Jo Avery and her whimsical applique. Her work is so fun and really quite different then the quilts I usually make so I was excited to take her Needle Turned Rainbows workshop. Our first job was to pair our rainbow fabric with our background fabric. My final project will be a 9 rainbow mini-quilt that I intend to big stitch quilt. Jo is a fantastic teacher and shared all kinds of tips with us. She also had one of her fabric book there to look at. Those fantasy birds are so fun!

I made a good start on 2 blocks in the class. Over the past week, more progress has been made with a goal of sewing all 9 of the bigger rainbow and then decide the color of the smaller one!

New to QuiltCon 2024 was education for guild leaders and it was very flattering to be asked to lead a session on Creating Interactive Programming. I taught with fellow Triangle MQG members Tatyana @greytat and Robin @rct_quilts. I've been on our local guilds board for 7 years so I've been involved in putting together many programs. (There were guild leader sessions on organizing a group quilting project by Sarah @bysarahruiz and Elizabeth @elizabethray.)

The three of us divided up the workshop so we each had distinct roles and we pinky sweared that we would not interrupt each other. :-)  Tatyana did the intro and closing and introduced the concept of time, treasure, talent as a way to think of what people bring as volunteers. I talked about successful programs ran by our guild and ideas on how to make meeting interactive. Robin ran the brainstorming exercise.

We taught two sessions and got really nice feedback from attendees in each one. The most fun to more was the interactive discussion when each team reviewed their program ideas and how they made them more interactive. 

The room had windows overlooking the show floor so I had fun texting friends (before the session started!) to go stand by the sign for a bird's eye view picture - see Jen @quiltinjenny, @kristin_esser, and Minki @zeriano waving. Maybe you are in this photo too!

Have a wonderful day! Patty