Friday, April 26, 2024

Cozy QAL - The Finale!

I am just delighted with my Cozy quilt finish from Alison Glass QAL. The words of affirmation were stitched with a rainbow of pearl cotton. Revealing the color of the middle layer as I cut away the stencils was incredibly satisfying! (Lettering was done with  these 4" stencils.) The color effect came out so much better than I ever expected. (See the post about the middle layer.)

I do intend to continue to stitch and cut away more of the top layer to reveal the color underneath. I'm thinking about leaves and vines along the edge or maybe some groups of flowers. No immediate rush however.

I choose a very simple edging - cutting away the back layer so that it was even with the middle layer and then trimming the top layer leaving 1/2" to fold across the back. Pink was my favorite color when stitching so it was the only choice when it came time to stitch down the edge.

The back still needs a bit of tidying. The knots will stay visible but I need to make sure they are secure and then trim thread tails.

The top and bottom layer are a jersey knit purchased from Alison directly. The color - which is very hard to photograph - is a deep denim blue.

The QAL officially ends this month so I will submit my photo and be in position to claim my finisher pin! (Go me!) Creating this quilt was such a great experience. Alison runs a great QAL.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

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