MQX 2012 – Education and Inspiration

MQX is a relatively small show compared to PIQF and it is devoted entirely to machine quilting — longarm, midarm, shortarm, standup, sit down, free motion, computerized.  And what quilting!  Here are 3 closeups of Marilyn Badger’s incredible quilt that won Best of Show:

A mini-show within MQX featured several bargello quilts that gave me some ideas about how to quilt these interesting quilts. The two photos on the left below are of a couple of inspirations from the show and the photo on the right is of a bargello that I quilted for one of my customers after I got back.

While at MQX, I attended classes – 2 and a half days worth of new techniques to try.  One technique that I am excited about, was taught by Page Johnson.  She calls it a Page Turner.  A point to point triangle is used all over a quilt in a way that makes it look like  custom quilting.  I’ve used it a couple of times and will post a photo soon.  It’s way cool!

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PIQF 2012 – amazing quilts and lots to buy.

Highlights of my purchases (as usual, I spent too much money):

3 Sweet Treats from the Pincushion Boutique – I wish I had taken photos before I used them but I’ll photograph the quilts that I’ve made from them.  Yes, they are already in quilts!  I’ll post photos after they’re quilted.

4 rulers and a pattern by Deb Tucker.  I bought the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star, the Tucker Trimmer III, the V-Block and the Square2.  I’ve already used all four and am very pleased with the results.  I’m not the best piecer (too much in a hurry) and I seem to always distort my blocks when ironing.  These rulers make my work look great!  Here are a couple of photos of blocks in the unquilted tops.

The top one is a pattern called Links by Deb Tucker.  It’s in the Sep/Oct 2012 issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine.  I used the Lemoyne Star and the Square2 rulers.  The bottom one is also a Deb Tucker pattern called Galaxy.  I used the V-block ruler and the Tucker Trimmer.  I’m a happy quilter!

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PIQF 2012

The Pacific International Quilt Show will be at the Santa Clara Convention Center next week.  And I have a quilt in the show!  It’s another Storm at Sea and will be in the traditional category at the show.  Hope you stop and see ‘The Comet’s Gift’.

Then, from October 16th to the 20th of October, I will be in Portland, Oregon at MQX West.  I have three days of classes planned–all geared toward adding the latest and greatest techniques to my longarm quilting.  I’m looking forward to classes with several different teachers including, Page Johnson, Karen McTavish and Georgia Stull.

This is an exciting October!

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San Mateo County Fair, June 2012

Encouraged by my quilting friend Deborah, I entered two quilts in the San Mateo County Fair this year.  As I usually shun competitions of any kind, this was my first experience with having my quilts judged in a show.  I was nervous but also looking forward to getting feedback about my work.  To my surprise, I won a Special Award for Best Computerized Machine Quilting!  Wow!

The quilt, titled “Summer Sweet Summer”, is a log cabin arranged in rows and furrows.  To the left is  an image of the planned quilting design.

In addition to the pleasing comments from the judge, I also got valuable feedback that will help with quilts that I make in the future.  For one thing, I think this judge likes pieced backs.  On this quilt, my backing (a solid small print) got an “acceptable” rating.

On my other entry, “My Secret Garden”, the backing included fabric left over from the front.  It got a “very good” rating on the backing.

I love Stack-n-Whack designs and came up with a unique way to set these hexagonal blocks.  I wanted the quilt to look like a lattice wood fence so I quilted the woven ribbons with a woodgrain pattern,  and the inner diamonds with a filigree using black thread.  The outer border quilting of Acanthus is almost invisible because of the busy gold on black fabric–thus the secret.

I got some very nice feedback on this design. Some of the comments were “Stunning Fabrics!” and “Wonderfully Quilted”. Apparently it was also considered for Most Creative.

So the experience of having my quilts judged was a positive one.  I know what I need to work on to improve some things and I think I’m on the right track in other areas.

Now getting ready for the next show–PIQF in October!

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Storm at Sea Wall Hanging

Here it is — all quilted and everything — my first Storm at Sea quilt.  OK it’s a wall hanging, about 28″ by 28″.  Not bad for using 3 fat eights from the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild Echo Challenge and fabrics from my stash.  I bought a quarter yard for the brown inner border and a yard of the mint print for the outer border, backing and binding.  After using the scraps in the back, I have about a fat eighth of the mint left.  I’m happy.

I experimented with the longarm quilting patterns.   My next project will be a bigger Storm at Sea and I want the quilting to support the piecing design.  This was a great help for finding out what works and what I want to do differently next time.

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Storm at Sea – 1 block finished!

One block down, 3 to go.  I hope.  I know I have enough fabric for 3 blocks and am trying to stretch it to make 4.  With 4 blocks, I think the Storm at Sea effect will be more apparent.  I’m sticking to my fabric diet (another 2012 resolution) very well so far and will make do with whatever I have in my stash.

Using Wendy Mathson’s Trimplates has really been helpful for accurate piecing.  The next test will be when I sew the next block to this one.  I’m looking foward to doing that when I sew with a quilting friend on Friday!

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2012 Challenge to Self – Storm at Sea Quilts

This year, I want to challenge my piecing skills with the ‘storm at sea’ block patterns. I’m off to a good start using fabric from my stash for the diamond and the little square in square units.

For the big square in square, I’m using challenge fabrics from the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild January meeting. They are from the Premier Collection by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.



To help me with the pattern, I’m using a book and tools by Wendy Mathson: A New Light on Storm at Sea Quilts: One Block-An Ocean of Design Possibilities and fast2cut Quilters’ TRIMplates

So far so good!

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Science Camp Quilt

Just finished a challenging and fun project–a quilt made by 5th graders and parents at the Washington Open Elementary School in Santa Clara, CA. Each student embroidered and embellished a block for this quilt in gorgeous colors of nature. They all did a fantastic job. Every block is beautiful, unique and interesting and I enjoyed quilting every one.


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9 Patch Halloween Block Challenge

For next month’s meeting of the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild, we are making 9 patch blocks in Halloween fabrics. After scanning my fabrics into EQ7, I was playing around with some of the blocks in the EQ7 block library. I think my block was originally one of the eccentric star patterns. After coloring it with my fabrics, I ended up with this one that I’m calling ‘Bats Dancing’. If you recognize it as something else. Please let me know.

What would this block look like in a quilt? Here are a couple of possibilities: Bat Waltz and Bat Disco.

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Precision Piecing with Sally Collins

Last week, I had the opportunity to improve my piecing skills in a class with Sally Collins. O my gosh, I learned so much! Sally produces amazing work and is a generous and helpful teacher.  She makes unbelievably gorgeous quilts and her small scale quilts defy imagination!

This 3 inch sawtooth star is the result of 3 hours of work in class. I sewed and unsewed (removed stitches in) a few seams–some several times–to achieve it and the effort was worth it. I’m very proud of this little project and am using the small-scale skills that I learned in my large scale quilts.

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