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

Friday, March 1, 2024

QuiltCon 2024 Recap Part 2: The Quilts

Capturing memories from QuiltCon is as much for me as it is for anyone who enjoys reading about them. Earlier this week I shared Part 1: My Quilts and today I will be sharing some favorites from the show.

Given that QuiltCon was held 30 minutes from my home, I was able to volunteer during show set-up and worked with others (in teams of 3) to hang the show. This was tremendous fun and I'd highly recommend it as a volunteer gig.

There were several quilts in the show with important messages about our society. This includes the Best in Show quilt made by my friend Ginny Robinson @minnowpeck

This was a very emotional quilt for Ginny, a teacher and a parent, to work on and I hope that by winning best in show it will get important visibility. What Will Use As a Weapon: A List of School Supplies includes applique images of items teachers told Ginny they want - or have - in their classroom as a point of defense. The dimensions of the quilt map to the dimensions of a doorway.

Shining light on gun violence were these three quilts - Uvalde, TX by Alexis Pappas, The Number of Holes by Lorraine Woodruff-Long @quiltinginthefog, and bang you're dead by Jacquie Gering @jacquietps. Uvalde, TX won 1st place in the Negative Space category.

Shifting now to quilts that made me happy and inspired

Odd Man Out by Andrew Love @andrewlove1109, FISH by Marianne Knops @Quilt_aan_Zee, and It's A Trap by Melissa de Leon Mason @quiltallthethings... taken without a flash on left and with a flash on right.

Ralph by Vera Root @veraroot, Laneways by Tara Glastonbury @stitchandyarn, Composition 2 by Laurie Paquin @paquin222, and Candy Pop by Kelly Spell @kellyspell. Candy Pop won the award for Best Original Modern Design.

Fruit Salad by Jo Avery @joaverystitch, U-Turn by Debbie Shives, Dare Mighty Things by Teresa Coates @TeresaCoates, and Into The Wind by Michelle Bartholomew @michellebartholomew

I love both the composition and the thought provoking messages in these quilts. GTFO! by Janeille Vogler @jvmakesIt's Not Pie by Barb Vedder @FunwithBarbEnough #3 by Elizabeth Ray @elizabethray, and you don't belong here by Jacquie Gering @jacquietps.

Finally, last, and certainly not least, quilts that belong to some wonderful friends and I am so very excited for each of them! Their quilts are amazing.

Congratulations to Sara Young @spanishquilter for her quilt Catalano and to Tatyana Kelly @greytat for Raspberry Sherbet - for their very first QuiltCon accepts! 

Congratulations to Charles Cameron @feltlikesweets for Local Density 01 Yvonne Fuchs @quiltingjetgirl for her quilt Cloudy Night Sky . 

Density 01 has incredible tiny pieces and it was one of the quilts I had the privilege of hanging - it is heavy from all those seams! Local Density 01 won 3rd place in the Fabric Challenge category. 

Cloudy Night Sky which won Best Machine Quilting, one of the top QuiltCon awards. Yvonne shares much of her process on her blog and IG and it was amazing to watch her execute her quilting plan and then see the final product IRL and receive recognition for quilting which enhanced/embraced the overall design of the quilt. (Read more about Yvonne's perspective on her IG post.)

The amount of talent on display at the show was just amazing. I came home inspired from every quilt that I saw. I wish I had taken photos of all of them to share but this post has already taken a lot of time to put together!

Have a wonderful day! Patty