Sunday, October 30, 2011

MQG Market Meet-up

All I can say is, "WOW!"

What a crowd! What a lot of famous faces! What a lot of prizes! What a lot of FUN!

I am ashamed to say that even though I had my camera, I did not get even one photo of the event -- I guess I was just kind of over-whelmed and star-struck. The sponsors of the event provided SO MANY prizes that nearly everyone won something! I won a charm pack of Lizzy House's new line Outfoxed by Andover Fabrics. (Now I want *acres* of those three color-ways of the pearl bracelets -- so pretty!)

andover outfoxed

I try to limit my use of the word "awesome" but in this case no other word adequately describes the evening: AWESOME!

And we have another meet-up yet to come:
Saturday, 5 November
The Hyatt Lobby Bar
8:00 pm

These are our lovely sponsors:

Travel & Retail Therapy

I am a week home from my last trip to MoKan. That 14 hour drive home is tough and it takes me a while to get back into my usual routine.

on the road again

On this drive though, I still had the warm glow from a trip to Lawrence, Kansas and to Sarah's Fabrics. My Mother-in-law learned I hadn't been to Lawrence, much less Sarah's in years, so she thought a short car trip was in order.
Shug wasn't born in Lawrence but he grew up there and got his bachelor's degree at the University of Kansas -- that's were we met! My Mother-in-law probably lived there nearly 30 years and it still feels like home to her. But the point of the trip, besides a little tripping down memory lane, was to go Sarah's. Sarah's was there when I was in school back in the early 1980s. I was already dabbling at quilting & sewing and Sarah's was a favorite place to go. I am pretty sure that I got my Folkwear prairie dress pattern there along with the calico I used to make it. It was always a fun store, though a bit outside my college girl budget.

Now it is twice the size. They have not only quilting cottons, but linens, woolens, rayons -- LOTS and LOTS of fabric! I was a bit over-whelmed.

kaffe & company

kumiko sudo



Let's all say "polka dots" the way Homer Simpson says "dough nuts".
polka dots....drool drool drool

yummy dots

All I managed to focus on was a big bunch of fat quarters -- I think a spider web string quilt may be in order -- and half yards of a couple of Echino prints -- a bag maybe?

 fat quarter purchase

echino purchase

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011


In the past, my least favorite part of the quilt-making process was the cutting. I don't mind it so much anymore, but am still in the habit of cutting way more than I need and getting more than one quilt from one cutting session.
Recently the secondary quilt was finished long before the primary quilt was. The primary quilt was SNAFU, as some of you know, the reason it took so long was that I hand-quilted it. It was made of a jelly roll and khaki-colored Kona and, of course, I saved all the left-over bits. Sometimes when I am spinning my wheels, not knowing what to work on, I will get out my box of cut pieces -- lots of triangles and squares and rectangles of various sizes and just start laying out and stitching. I arranged the 2.5 inch squares together with no particular end in mind. Then I learned that one of Shug's colleagues was expecting his first grandchild, so I added a border, machine quilted it and gave it to the expecting grandparents.


left-overs quilt

For one of my next projects, I am giving myself a challenge.
I want to see if I can make something modern from this definitely not-modern stack of fabrics. It will probably be a donation quilt (or maybe a grandbaby quilt). I want to see if I can come up with something edgy with calicos and plaids!

personal challenge

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Humility Block

If you have read much about antique and vintage quilts, you have probably come across reference to the "humility block". According to the story, quilters would include in their quilt an intentional mistake -- because "only God is perfect".  I, like probably you, always thought this was a bit arrogant -- I am quite able to make mistakes without making them on purpose, thank you very much.

After completing my Sunday School Stars polyester double knit top, I did an internet search of the "humility block". I found this good article and learned that there is really no such thing. Quilt historians have found the myth to be a mid-20th century invention, perhaps by quilt dealers making the mistake in the quilt into a charming quirk. The humility block was often attributed to the Amish, who, when asked about it, thought the same as I did: it isn't humble to think that the only way you will make a mistake is to do so intentionally. Well, in a waaaay, mine is a humility block. I saw the mistake in time to fix it, I just chose not to. I had already done some ripping & resewing on this goofy quilt top and it wasn't easy picking stitches out of the double knit -- so I left it!


And in our meteorological news: IT RAINED!!!! It rained quite a bit today; so far we've had 3.5 inches (about 9 cm) and it is still RAINING!!!!! There is still way to go to make up our nearly 20 inch (51 cm) deficit, but this really helps.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

You're Invited

Oh my gosh! The Quilt Festival is less than one month away!

This year, after trying for the last three years, I finally got into Hollis Chatelain's class, "Quilt Line as a Third Design Aspect". I am very excited, and perhaps a bit apprehensive, about it. (I had a dream/nightmare that I was very late and didn't have any of the right materials for the class.)

I can't believe that this will be my 20th Festival! In 1991, I flew down to Houston for the very first time. This was when I bought my Bernina; I guess she has an anniversary too! While in town, I called up an old friend from college who I knew had recently moved here for a job. Fourteen months later, Shug and I got married and I became a permanent Houstonian! It is not quite as special going to the Festival as a "townie" -- no plane trip, just a drive into town; no hotels or restaurants, dinner and chores await when I get home -- but it is a lot cheaper. My discretionary spending can all be on fabric, books and bright shiny things!

In case you don't know, there will be a couple of meet-ups of all the branches of the Modern Quilt Guild and the Houston Modern Quilt Guild is hosting them. One is during Market and one is during Festival. (Check the link for locations and times.) I'm looking forward to putting faces to the funny blog and flickr names that I know so well and for internet friends to become IRL friends!

And to my blog friends who are not in the Modern Quilt Guild and are planning to go to the Festival, please let me know! I would dearly love to make plans to meet you and put a face to the kind comments I receive on my blog.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Pressing Matters

A good many years ago, I made a square-in-a-square quilt top; it was pretty ordinary -- calicoes and plaids in browns and blues. But there was something about the top that I really liked and for a while I couldn't put my finger on what it was. Because of all the seams that would be coming together at the middle of the blocks, I decided to press the seams open.

My first sewing was clothing and with clothing, one always presses the seams open. My foray into quilt-making was pretty much self-taught and my very first project was finishing up a stack of hand-stitched, 4-patch blocks that my Mom had made with her Grandmother back when she was quite young (my Mom, not my Great Grandma). The seams in those 4-patches were finger-pressed to one side. So, everafter, I  always pressed my patchwork seams to one side.

But when I really stopped to think about it, if I was machine-piecing, not hand-piecing my blocks there didn't seem like there was any real reason to press the seams to the side -- just like in clothing construction. The first time I had done this was with that square-in-a-square quilt top. And that was what I liked so much about that top -- how flat it was. I loved the look of the newly created piece of whole cloth -- cloth made up of smaller pieces of cloth. So now I don't press my patchwork, I iron it -- I really IRON it.

But ironing isn't working with these doubleknit stars. With one of these blocks, I spent quite some time trying to get the seams to lie flat, but, well, can you tell which one it is? I can't.

 lumpy stars
So I'm just going with cardboard-like nature of this fabric. This little quilt is kind of a nostalgic, whimsical oddity anyway. I doubt it will make it among the Fresh, Modern Quilts on flickr, it just is what it is. And I am rather enjoying the journey I am taking with it.