Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Latest finish ...

Quilted while I was in England for the past two-and-a-half months, I'm calling this one "England Swings (Like a Pendulum Do)."  It had its start several months ago when, with no specific goal in mind, I started piecing the differently-sized blocks I called "u-turns."  I sorta got obsessed with them, and after making many of the things, I couldn't figure out what to do with them.  I finally settled on this arrangement.  The turquoise was an attempt to perk it up a little bit, but I'm not convinced that it worked.

The quilting design is one I snagged off an antique quilt somebody posted online. I love it and plan to make a plastic template and use it again -- and maybe again and again ...

This is the back of the quilt.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Welcome, Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Here is my entry in Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2014, hand-quilted division:

It is hand-quilted using DMC Perle Cotton #5 and Fons and Porter utility quilting needles, my favorites for what we're now calliing "Big Stitch Quilting."

I lined this quilt in a terra-cotta-colored flannel sheet.  Batting is Hobbs 80/20, which I love for hand quilting.

My quilt was inspired by this Gee's Bend quilt, owned by my daughter and her husband:

Let me show you mine again, this time turned the other way --

I had tons of fun making this quilt.  I used scissors and not a rotary cutter; I flew by the seat of my pants and everything turned out great.  What a freeing experience.  I'm fixin' to turn around and make another one, in different colors.

Thanks for looking, and Happy Bloggers' Quilt Festival!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Welcome, Bloggers' Quilt Festival!

Here's my entry in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, Large Quilt Category:

I call him "Big Purple Wonky," 'cause he's king-sized.

Now -- Take a peep inside my front door and I'll tell you more about this project --

For weeks, in my mind's eye,  I'd been seeing those colors -- purple, gray, bright white.  I'd seen them in real life, too -- behind news anchors on tv stations, on roadside signs, on the graffiti-decorated trains that pass my house every day ... They kept appearing to me.  And more often than not I was seeing them in some form of concentric square arrangement -- like the old television test patterns from back in the 50s. At some point I realized that I needed to make a quilt in these colors, using a modified log cabin approach.  For inspiration I turned to quilter extraordinaire Jacquie Gering's blog, Tallgrass Prairie Studio, and found her Not-Lost-in-the-Woods.

But I wanted a bigger quilt with bigger blocks -- So I went at it --

On the design wall ...

I pieced and placed and pieced and placed and pieced and placed until I had the top exactly as I wanted it, and then I started to think about quilting.  A veteran hand-quilter, I wanted to depart this time and try my hand at machine quilting.  I'd practiced on a couple of sets of placemats, so I thought (NAIVELY) that I was ready to go.  I quickly learned that wrangling a king-sized quilt on a little-bitty domestic machine -- a Singer Esteem II, to be exact -- was a challenge of the first order!  Pictorial proof here:

Wranglin' that thang!

But I did it, and I'm right proud of my work.  Thank y'all for following along.  From Columbus, Georgia, USA, Happy quilting!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

Yes, it's been three months since I've posted, but that's only because I've been so busy quilting. My artist husband and I have been collaborating on a big quilt project which we'll reveal later this year.  In the meantime, here's a tiny little hint:

Let's just say I've been gettin' my freemotion on.  More about this quilt later.

Oh, I guess my biggest news of late is that my quilt "Let the Pieces Speak for Themselves," aka "Desert Sunrise," was selected for inclusion in the American Quilter's Society Quilt Week at Lancaster, Pennsylvania!  Yes!  And Fred and I traveled all the way up there to see it hanging in there amongst all those other incredible quilts.  Here's a quick re-look at "Desert Sunrise" --

Being a part of the American Quilter's Society exhibit was truly thrilling, especially so since this was the first contest I'd ever entered -- and my work was selected!  Once I arrived at the exhibit, though, I was truly humbled by others' work, and I took away a ton of inspiration.

On breaks from traveling and the collaboration-with-Fred-quilt-project, I completed this scrappy quilt, which I'll likely give to one of the grandkids.  Talk about fun!  I named it Scrappy Go Lucky.

I machine-quilted each block separately and then sewed the blocks together.  Here's the back:

Wish I hadn't lined those three blues up in a row, but oh well!

Oh! I almost forgot -- I also  completed this quilt since the first of the year:

It's an interesting top I bought off Ebay and then big-stitch quilted, using a mock-ticking flannel sheet for the backing.  I call it "Split Personality." If you look at this quilt long enough, you'll see why I named it Split Personality.

Thanks to Fred for finally riggin' me up a decent place to hang quilts for photographing. Look for better photos from here on out.  And speaking of photographs --

I've just set up a FLICKR account that features photos of my quilts. If you'd like to see it, go here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

And for the 12th and final quilt project COMPLETED this year ...

Inspired in part by the bricks on the streets in the Historic District where I live, this project gave me lots of practice in free-motion quilting. I like the way the sort of sloppy free-motion replicates the mortar between the bricks, and I plan to do more with that method in a later project or two.

The quilt back.

The quilt was also inspired by a photograph taken by a friend of ours, Chris Sullivan.  Here's the photograph, taken in New Orleans: 

I never set out to complete 12 projects in 2013, but I worked steadily and did it.  I made significant handquilting progress on two other big projects, too.  I guess that one of my goals for 2014 should be to finish those -- but I'm also inspired to start several brand new projects.

See y'all in 2014, needle in hand!

Monday, December 9, 2013


Inspired by a Gee's Bend that my daughter and her husband own, and by the tree-covered hills of North Alabama that we drive through on our trips to Mississippi.

Hand-quilted, using #5 perle cotton DMC

The back is a snuggly terra-cotta flannel. I love backing quilts in flannel.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Challenge Quilt

This is my first-ever entry in a quilt challenge, finished just a few days ago:

40" x 46", hand-quilted.  I did not start out to produce an exercise in stripes, but that's what I wound up doing.

 Sponsored by Modern Quilt Guild and Riley-Blake Fabrics, the challenge gave each entrant the same six fat quarters to do with as she or he pleased:

So I threw out three and worked with the remaining three.

Here's a close-up:

And the back:

In retrospect I see that this quilt, which I completed for a Modern Quilt Guild challenge, isn't very modern at all -- with its all-blocked-up self!  I decided to name it Jailhouse Block, as the bars became a sort of metaphor for my entrapment inside tradition.