Category Archives: appliqué

Getting to the Point


I have embarked on my second new project of the year, a sampler quilt called Hazel’s Diary Quilt from the book A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s by Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts. The book is a lovely tribute to Shelly’s mother, Hazel, who received a little red diary as a Christmas gift in 1950 when she was 14. Over the next few years Hazel faithfully recorded events in her life as a teenage girl growing up in rural Missouri. Her last entry was written the night before her wedding in October 1954. The book includes excerpts from Hazel’s diary with commentary by Shelly that puts the entries into historical context.

Included in the book are directions for seven quilts, a quilted tablecloth, and an embroidered dresser scarf. I’ve chosen to make the medallion quilt you see on the cover of the book. It’s a daunting project because it involves a lot of appliqué. Since one of my goals in life is to work on my needleturn appliqué skills, this project seems made to order. Am I up for the challenge? We shall see!

While the original Hazel’s Diary Quilt was made with vintage fabrics that evoke the 1950s, I am building my quilt around a new line called “This and That” by Jill Finley of Jillily Studio. In general I’ll be following Shelly’s color scheme of primary colors on a white background with black accents.

I have now pieced and appliquéd the first block. Before I show it to you, please take a look at the entire quilt:


This is Shelly’s quilt, which I was thrilled to see in person at the spring 2017 quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky put on by the American Quilter’s Society. You can see that the quilt is made of nine blocks set on point. Each block is surrounded by a scalloped border, and the block in the middle of the quilt is part of a center medallion that includes appliquéd vines, flowers, and leaves. The quilt measures 95″ square. Not only did Shelly design and make the quilt, she also machine quilted it. I am in awe.

Block 1, Missouri Farm Life, is based on the traditional Missouri Star block and includes an appliqued wildflower in the center. Here is Shelly’s Block 1:

The star design finishes at 12″ square but the block actually finishes at 18″ square with the addition of the sashing strips and scalloped border.

When a block is set on point, especially a star block, it changes the look. I decided I wanted my block on point to look like Shelly’s original block so I rotated the design 45 degrees before I made it.

Here’s how I did that. First I drew a rough sketch of the rotated block on graph paper:

(Thank you, Billie Mahorney, for teaching me how to draft quilt blocks!) Then I created the block in EQ7, a quilt software program:

The printed design measures 6″ square — half of the actual finished size — which makes it easy to measure individual components of the block. When I realized that the proportions of the rotated star were slightly different from the original star, I drew the original block in EQ7 to make it easier to compare measurements. Here are the two versions side by side, with the original on the left and the modified version on the right:

Shifting the orientation of the block also meant it needed to be sewn differently. Seeing the two versions side by side helped me determine the best way to construct my blocks and the proper size to cut the pieces. Since the center of my modified block is slightly smaller than the original, I knew I would also need to change the dimensions of the appliquéd wildflower in the center. A little quilt math revealed that my wildflower needed to be 92% of the original size.

Here’s my Missouri Farm Girl block (without the appliqué) as constructed . . .


. . . and here it is turned on point:


Now, here it is with the appliqué:

 

Isn’t that pretty?

I must confess that tiny black star in the center has not yet been appliquéd. I need a lot more practice before I tackle something that small and intricate. I did appliqué the petals and leaves using the needleturn method. Not perfect by any means but I think my skills will improve as my quilt progresses.

That’s why I’m also going to wait to appliqué the scalloped borders on all the pieced blocks as well as Block 2, the appliquéd blossoms and leaves in the center medallion. Instead I will move on to Block 3, a charming design called Canasta based on the traditional Card Trick block.

I’m off to a good start!

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update | 3 Comments

This and That

Look what came in the mail yesterday!


Isn’t that a gorgeous array of fabric? The prints are all from Jill Finley’s new line called “This and That” for Penny Rose Fabrics, a division of Riley Blake Designs.

I’ve been keeping my eyes out for this fabric since Jill introduced it on her blog, Jillily Studio, a few weeks ago. Not finding it at a local quilt shop, I ordered directly from her website last week. I bought almost every print in the line, that’s how much I love it.

And I have a project in mind already:


I’ve been wanting to make the quilt on the cover ever since spotting this book in Sisters, Oregon in July of 2016. Hazel’s Diary Quilt was designed, pieced, hand appliqued, and machine quilted by Shelly Pagliai of prairiemoonquilts.com.

The book contains lovely photos of this quilt (along with several other quilts and projects designed by Shelly) but guess what? I have seen the real thing! In April of this year I was lucky enough to be in Paducah, Kentucky with my quilt group, the Quisters, attending AQS QuiltWeek, the huge quilt show and vendor mall put on by the American Quilter’s Society. I turned a corner in one of the quilt display areas and this is what I saw:

Now it’s one thing to admire pictures of a quilt in a book. It’s quite another to be up close and personal with the actual quilt. I stood as close as the ropes would allow, studying fabrics, admiring Shelly’s beautiful piecing and appliqué skills, and taking in the beautiful free motion quilting. The quilt is 95″ square so there is a lot to look at.

Jill Finley’s fabrics will be the starting point for my own version of Hazel’s Diary Quilt. I’m quite sure I have other fabrics in my stash that will play well with them. I’m going to take my time with this project, making one or two blocks a month. Every block includes some hand appliqué, giving me ample opportunity to practice and improve upon that skill.

I like the idea of starting this project at the beginning of the year and letting it take me all the way to the end. But as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself. We still have a couple weeks left of 2017, and I have a couple of projects to finish up in the time remaining.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, free motion quilting, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), update | 10 Comments

Quilts Galore — SOQS 2017, Part 1 of 3

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:

Ruffled Roses (91″ square) made and quilted by Cindy Nofziger of Albany OR

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:

5½ Years (74″ x 73″) made by Nancy Payne-Schomaker of Bend OR and quilted by Sandy Lachowski

It was her first appliqué project; no wonder he is proud!

Detail of Nancy Payne-Schomaker’s Quilt
Detail of Nancy Payne-Schomaker’s Quilt

 

Christmas in July, anyone?

Christmas Medallion (104″ x 102″) made by Kathy Chism of Bend OR and quilted by Sandy Lachowski

 

This quilt by Carolyn Friedlander was part of the QuiltCon exhibit:

Rin (59″ x 73″) made and quilted by Carolyn Friedlander of Lake Wales FL
Detail of Rin by Carolyn Friedlander

Carolyn Friedlander was one of the teachers taking part in Quilter’s Affair. This quilt of hers was hanging in the Teacher’s Tent:

Wildabon (40″ square) made and quilted by Carolyn Friedlander of Lake Wales FL

 

This is another quilt in the Teacher’s Tent featuring hand appliqué:

Tea Party Time (43″ x 48″) made and quilted by Laura Wasilowski of Elgin IL

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:

Sweet Home (94″ square) made and quilted by Sarah Fielke of Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia

 

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!):

Twistin’ Dresden Style (53″ square) made and quilted by Anne Zick of Hinsdale IL

 

Look at this beautiful Baltimore Album-style quilt:

High Desert Blooms (73″ square) made by Sharon Rosen of Redmond OR and quilted by Mardyth Peterson

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:

Green Bowl (40″ square), made and quilted by Deborah Boschert of Lewisville TX
Detail of Green Bowl by Deborah Boschert

 

This quilt by featured quilter Tamra Dumolt (also a teacher at Quilter’s Affair) is from a forthcoming book:

All in a Row Again (48″ x 60″) made by Tamra Dumolt of Bellevue WA and quilted by Karen Burns

 

And look how cute this wool appliqué quilt is, instantly recognizable as a Bonnie Sullivan design:

Tuxedo’s Tales (40″ x 51″) made by Denise Kuppinger of Joseph OR

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.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Quilter's Affair, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), Sisters OR Outdoor Quilt Show, update | 3 Comments

I’ve Got Sunshine

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:

Sarah’s Book, Dawn’s Block

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:

32 Is a Bushel (59″ x 76″) by Sarah Fielke of Chatsworth, New South Wales (2016)

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:

Sweet Home, 94″ Square, by Sarah Fielke of Chatsworth, New South Wales (2015)

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:

Detail from Sweet Home by Sarah Fielke

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.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Quilter's Affair, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), Sisters OR Outdoor Quilt Show, update | 3 Comments