My third Junior Billie Bag of the year is in progress. I’m teaching a class at the Pine Needle next month and need to have the individual components of this quilter’s tote on hand to show my students how the bag is constructed.
Here is the first component, one of the front/back panels:
This JBB is a birthday present for one of the friends in my small quilt group known as the Quisters (a mashup of Quilt Sisters). She knows I’m making her a quilter’s tote and she doesn’t read my blog so I think I’m safe in posting progress pictures.
You can guess what her favorite color is. I don’t have a huge stash of purple fabrics but I do have an ample array. These are the ones pulled for consideration:
My friend’s Junior Billie Bag will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 pockets so an abundance of fabric choices is a good thing. One thing I knew right away: that striped fabric, cut on the bias, would be perfect for the binding.
Guess what happened right after I took that photo. Coco jumped up on the ironing board to see what I was up to. It seems she approves of my selection:
Isn’t that a lovely sight? You’re looking at a detail of the beautiful custom quilting by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day.com. The quilt is Mini Mod Tiles, made using Sew Kind of Wonderful‘s free pattern and the smaller of the two Quick Curve Rulers.
The mini quilt measured 36″ square when I handed it over to Karlee. After quilting it measures 34½” square. Here’s a look at the entire quilt:
I don’t like my quilts too densely quilted. This is exactly the look I was going for. I especially like the contrast between the quilted grid in the background and the curves in the aqua and yellow floral print.
Here’s a look at the back:
Regular readers know that I almost always make pieced backs on my quilts using multiple fabrics. This quilt was so small that I opted to use one solid piece — a bright yellow with white dots. I love the wholecloth quilt effect.
Did you happen to notice the color of the carpet in the last two photos? It’s the same carpet. The photos were taken seconds apart from the same angle. I’m at a loss to describe the difference in color. Could the colors in the quilt cause the light to be reflected so differently?
Just back from the longarm quilter: this baby quilt using Karin Hellaby’s method of making pineapple blocks:
Longarmer Sherry Wadley and I decided a fluffy cloud motif would be the perfect match for the focus fabric, a delightful print featuring parasol-toting birdies. Here’s a better look at the quilting and one of those fussycut birdies in the sashing strips:
For the back I used leftover strips of fabric sewn together randomly, with angled seams for added interest:
After trimming the quilt measures 45½” square.
The next big decision: what color to use for the binding. I’m leaning toward a medium blue, the same color as the birdies, but I’m open to suggestions.
Here’s my second Big Block Star, made using Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s pattern of the same name and her large diamond ruler:
Don’t you love that bold beautiful print? It’s from the “Black, White & Currant 5″ line by Color Principle for Henry Glass Fabrics. I bought a few pieces from the line a couple of years ago. I find it hard to resist Jacobean floral prints and I rarely see them printed on a true red background.
I don’t have enough of the Jacobean print to make three more Big Block Stars — each star finishes at 41″ square — but I do have enough to play around with 4-Patch Wonder blocks (my name for faux-kaleidoscope blocks made from four identical patches). Here’s a test block that measures 8” square:
Do I have a plan for this quilt? Not yet. I could keep it simple, surrounding my Big Block Star with one wide border, perhaps using 4-Patch Wonder blocks as cornerstones, or I could surround the entire Big Block Star with faux-kaleido blocks. No need to decide now. I’ll sleep on it.
And what of Big Block Star, Take One? After not looking at it for a few days, I have come to really like it. Comments from readers who saw my blog post about it or saw it on my Instagram have given me a fresh perspective.
Perhaps you think I meant to say “hit or miss.” Oh no. My latest foray in quiltmaking was both a hit and a miss.
Ever since buying Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Large Diamond acrylic ruler and Big Block Star pattern a few months ago, I’ve been wanting to try them out.
I had the perfect fabric in mind: a Kaffe Fassett print featuring lily pads and lotus blossoms:
I love the kaleidoscopic effect created by using fabric repeats. Part of the fun of making kaleido blocks is that you don’t know what the design will look like until the block is fully assembled.
Victoria’s Big Block Star pattern is composed of four star blocks and finishes at 82″ square. I decided to make one star block finishing at 41″ square. From eight repeats of fabric I carefully cut out the diamonds that form the star and sewed the first two together with the center triangle:
Uh-oh. Do you see what I see? I don’t see lily pads and lotus blossoms. I see an animal face with two big . . . sad . . . bloodshot eyes.
I told myself it was just an illusion. I told myself it would look totally different with two more blocks added.
Well, here they are:
Now I see two faces . . . and now they look like owls. Very sad owls.
What to do??
I already had the remaining pieces cut out so I decided to finish the block, hoping that the completed big star would look fine:
Now if I try really hard, I can see that the lily pads form a circle inside the star and there’s even a pleasing starburst shape in the very center of the block. But I can’t escape the feeling that four very sad owls are looking back at me.
Am I in despair? Curiously, no. I consider this experience both a hit and a miss. The design and ruler are definitely on the “hit” side. The block went together quickly because the pieces are all large, and I actually enjoyed sewing all of those Y seams.
The “miss” part of the equation is related to where I placed the ruler when cutting my first diamond. Placing the ruler in a different part of the fabric repeat would have resulted in a completely different look, one I probably would have been happy with.
I’m going to try again. With a different piece of fabric. One with no lily pads.
And now . . . my final post on the quilts displayed for one day only (July 8) at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Central Oregon, starting with one of my favorites:
When I saw the next quilt from a distance, my first impression was that it was inspired by Native American or perhaps Inuit art. Imagine my surprise to learn it was based on a winter vegetable garden!
Sometimes the simplest quilt designs are the most striking. I love how the two quilts below, made primarily of blue and green batiks, make such a strong visual impact (despite the distracting effect of the sun’s rays):
Some of my friends have made quilts based on designs in Lori Holt’s delightful Farm Girl Vintage book. I know they will enjoy seeing these two versions:
Carol’s quilt was made with 1930s-era feedsacks. Check out the vintage fabric on the back of her quilt:
Fans of foundation paper piecing and the designs of Judy Niemeyer will appreciate the work that went into this beauty:
There was one quilt on display at the show that is very special to me: Lee Fowler’s Pickle Dish quilt. My photo failed to do Lee’s quilt justice, not only because the photo was taken in the harsh afternoon sun but also because I inadvertently included my thumb in the photo. This photo, taken in 2013 just after it was completed, gives you a better look at it:
The quilt was made by Lee with the help of several friends and completed two weeks before her untimely death in July 2013. You can read more about Lee and the Pickle Dish quilt here. My favorite photo of Lee’s quilt is this one, taken in a park in Sisters in 2015:
And there you have it. Over the last three posts I have shown you about 50 of the nearly 1500 quilts on display at the show. Though the percentage is small, you can see that the quilts cover a wide range of styles. That’s one of the things that makes a quilt show so enjoyable: there really is “something for everyone.”
I didn’t have a quilt in the 2017 SOQS show but I did have one on display for a few seconds one evening before the show. A few seconds? Yes! You see, during Quilter’s Affair (the week of classes and special events preceding the outdoor quilt show), quilters who’ve taken classes in previous years can show their completed work during an evening event that also features quilts made by this year’s group of teachers. Each quilt is walked across the stage so that audience members can get a good look at it.
In 2015 I took a class from Karla Alexander based on her design Rewind and made a quilt I named Where It’s @. When you see the quilt, I think you will understand the name. Since I was on stage when my quilt was shown, I didn’t get a photo. On my way out of town after a wonderful week in Sisters, I stopped at a particularly scenic spot and took this photo:
Thanks for taking a virtual stroll with me through the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. See you next year!
Here you go: more quilts from “the biggest outdoor quilt show in the world,” held in Sisters, Oregon last month. The first ones you see were displayed in the Teachers Tent and were made by quilters from near and far (i.e. local, national, international) who taught classes in Sisters the week before the show:
A few more quilts in the Teachers Tent were featured in my last post, in case you haven’t seen it yet.
The Portland Modern Quilt Guild had a special exhibit showcasing challenge quilts:
Every year quilts made by employees of the Stitchin’ Post are hung on the side wall of the quilt shop:
One of my favorites in this year’s group was this one:
Speaking of the Stitchin’ Post, Helen Robinson of Sew Kind of Wonderful was invited by the shop to demonstrate the Quick Curve Ruler and the QCR Mini on the day of the quilt show. When I heard she would be in town, I just had to meet her!
Check out the quilts behind us — they’re all Sew Kind of Wonderful designs.
My third post on the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is coming up in just a few days! Do come back for a look.
Almost 1500. Fourteen hundred and ninety-seven, to be exact. That’s how many quilts were on display Saturday, July 8, at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in the tiny town of Sisters, Oregon in Central Oregon. An all-time high. The quilts are up by 9:00 am and come down starting at 4:00 pm the same day. I did my best to see as many of those 1497 quilts as I could and to photograph the ones I found most striking.
We start with the ones featuring hand appliqué, as this was on my mind after taking an excellent class on needle-turn appliqué from Australian quilter Sarah Fielke, subject of my last post, during the week of classes known as Quilter’s Affair that precedes the quilt show.
I was in Sisters that week with my quilt group, the Quisters, and this is one of the very first quilts we saw as we headed out on Saturday morning:
There were plenty more.
The proud fellow in the the photo below is the husband of the quiltmaker, Nancy Payne-Schomaker. He was clearly delighted with the positive comments he was overhearing about his wife’s quilt, so of course I had to ask him to pose with it:
It was her first appliqué project; no wonder he is proud!
Christmas in July, anyone?
This quilt by Carolyn Friedlander was part of the QuiltCon exhibit:
Carolyn Friedlander was one of the teachers taking part in Quilter’s Affair. This quilt of hers was hanging in the Teacher’s Tent:
This is another quilt in the Teacher’s Tent featuring hand appliqué:
I took a class from Laura a couple years ago and loved her whimsical style so much I bought one of her quilts. It hangs in my sewing room.
You saw this quilt in my last post but I have to show it off again. It was made by Sarah Fielke, inspired by an old quilt in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum:
This quilt was made by a woman who took a Quilter’s Affair class in 2015 from Sally Frey (I wish I had taken it, too!):
Look at this beautiful Baltimore Album-style quilt:
Guess what? It’s not hand appliquéed! I couldn’t tell it was raw edge appliqué until I got right up next to it.
There were a few other raw edge appliqué quilts at the show that caught my eye, including this one by Deborah Boschert, another teacher at Quilter’s Affair:
This quilt by featured quilter Tamra Dumolt (also a teacher at Quilter’s Affair) is from a forthcoming book:
And look how cute this wool appliqué quilt is, instantly recognizable as a Bonnie Sullivan design:
These quilts run the gamut from traditional to contemporary to modern. And there were so many more . . .
Thanks for stopping by. Please check back in a few days for another post about the quilts of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2017.
I took a needle-turn appliqué class last month from Australian quilter and designer Sarah Fielke. She was teaching at Quilter’s Affair in Sisters, Oregon. Quilter’s Affair? That’s the week of classes leading up to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, which is always held on the second Saturday in July. My quilt group, the Quisters, goes every year and we all take at least one or two classes.
Sarah created a series of contemporary quilts based on old quilts in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum, making both “a direct interpretation” and “a modern reinterpretation.” The class I took was called I’ve Got Sunshine, also the name of a quilt in her book Old Quilts New Life (CICO Books, 2015). Our class project was a block from that quilt.
We spent the day learning how to appliqué sunflowers, leaves, and hearts. Here’s my block, still under construction:
Here’s a look inside the book:
On the right you see Sarah’s quilt I’ve Got Sunshine and on the left the quilt that inspired it: Sunflowers and Hearts, made sometime between 1860 to 1880.
Sarah teaches the classic needle-turn appliqué technique in which shapes of fabric are attached to the background by hand, using a sewing needle to turn under the seam allowance. It’s a technique I have yet to master, despite having taken two other classes on it. This was by far the best of the classes I’ve taken. With the others we spent too much time getting the design ready and not enough time stitching. In Sarah’s class we had needle in hand within the first hour, and she circled the room several times to give us individual attention, gently correcting our techniques and providing tips as well as encouragement.
And I am encouraged. My plan is to spend a couple hours every week working on my practice piece. There are at least three quilts I want to make that require lots of appliqué; more on them in a future post.
Sarah had a couple of other quilts on display in the Teacher’s Tent at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Take a look at this one:
It’s an improv quilt — no templates and certainly no needle-turn appliqué. The apples and stems are cut free-form and sewn by machine on different low volume background fabrics. I was totally charmed by the fabrics Sarah chose for her apples. The only thing these fabrics have in common is that they are mostly red. They couldn’t be more different:
Getting back to needle-turn appliqué, this is Sarah’s quilt Sweet Home, inspired by a Whig Rose Quilt made in 1857-58:
It’s not the best shot as the quilt was backlit by the sun but here’s a charming detail that highlights Sarah’s hand quilting as well as her appliqué skills:
Having taken this class from Sarah two days before the quilt show, I found myself drawn to quilts featuring hand appliqué. In my next post I’ll show you several examples from the show.
The DH and I got home today from a week-long road trip that took us north into Washington State and British Columbia. Our goal was to watch a minor league baseball game every night. (Yes, I do love baseball that much.)
Mission accomplished: seven games, six stadiums, and about 1250 miles of total driving. The trip was fun and relaxing and totally enjoyable. We took our time each day, taking secondary roads when we could and really enjoying the scenery. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life and never cease to marvel at its natural beauty.
Coming home to triple-digit temperatures was not part of the plan. The temperature is expected to hit 105 degrees in Portland today and 106 degrees tomorrow. My sewing room is on the second floor of our 1913 Craftsman house. Air-conditioned? Nope. Guess I won’t be spending much time up there the next couple of days.
The night before we left on our trip I finished the baby quilt top I’ve been working on:
This is a variation of the Pineapple Plus design by Karin Hellaby. Adding white sashing strips to lessen the intensity of the stronger colors was a good call. I added an outer border of the birdie fabric (Garden Birds by Pam Kitty Morning for Lakehouse Dry Goods) and love how it turned out. The top now measures 46″ square.
The only problem is I used up almost all of that birdie fabric. On a whim I decided to check the Internet to see if it was still available. You know, just in case. Not only did I find another yard of the fabric, I discovered it also came in a green background color called “lettuce.” Well, you know how much I love green . . .
Look what was waiting for me when I got home:
Do you ever like a fabric so much you search for more more when you’ve used it up? Surely I’m not the only one.
Our road trip involved stops at quilt shops in some of the smaller cities where minor league games are played. My sweet husband even made a list of shops for me to visit. Be it known: I did not come home empty-handed.
While I wait for temperatures in Portland to drop — the forecast is for another week of temperatures in the low to mid-90s — I’m going to hunker down in the basement where it’s nice and cool. Instead of sewing I’ll continue editing the photos I took at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show last month. The plan is to have a couple of posts about that in the near future. I hope you’ll check back.