Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another quilt from Chicago

I was so pleased that we could take photos of many (but alas not all) of the quilts on display at the Chicago Quilt Show. This one is Reach to the Stars by Jane Robertson; it was the BSR winner (Bernina Stitch Regulator). I love the spontaneous, fun look it has -- and black, white, and red make a dynamite color combination! Quilt shows are so inspiring. I have heard people say they come back depressed because they know they will never make a winning quilt, but I guess I am not interested in competitive quilting. There were some fabulous quilts at the show and I got so many ideas (and lots of pleasure!) from looking at them. (Remember, clicking on the photo will enlarge it so you can see more detail.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Our guild has a block of the month project (more on that soon) and I've been making the blocks each time. They are all star blocks, and the stars use the "quick corners" method, which involves stitching small squares over larger ones and cutting off the excess fabric. That leaves you with lots of triangle pairs. I threw them away (regretfully) after the first block because I didn't know what else to do with them. With the second block I chain pieced the triangle pairs together and set them aside. I finished the third block yesterday and decided to open and trim the pairs for both blocks. Then I tried seeing what I could do with them. I did the pinwheels and square-in-a-square blocks, and then decided to just play. Here's what happened first:

I loved the long lines that were forming, and thought how cool it would be if I had more blocks and mixed the colors up! But I kept playing, and what fun. Here's the next thing that I rather liked:

As I do more blocks and get more triangles, the designs should get really interesting! Now I'm as excited about my throw-away blocks as I am about the real things!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Kathi's retirement quilt

My sister Kathi's husband is about to retire from the military, and Kathi has worked hard with Family Readiness for many years. As a parting gift, the 351st Civil Affairs Command in Mountain View gave her a beautiful quilt.

Here is the explanation she was given with the quilt: This quilt is given to you because of the friendship we all feel for you. The fabrics in the quilt are representative of the countries in the Pacific theater. The color purple represents Civil Affairs. The stars on the quilt represent your husband’s rank, and the diamonds in between the stars symbolize your worth as a friend. The dragons on the back of the quilt represent your leadership of the 351st Family Readiness Group that you organized 10 years ago, which was a wonderful vehicle for supporting the troops deployed to Bosnia and their families. The white Kutani Crane is a symbol of longevity and good fortune, which is what we wish for you. With friendship and best wishes, The 351st Family Readiness Group.

A lovely tribute, isn't it?

Here is the back of the quilt:

Fortunately, the back is every bit as beautiful as the front! Kathi has it on her bed with the back side on top. When she gets some purple pillows to coordinate with the front, she'll be able to reverse it and use whichever side strikes her fancy. Here's the quilt on the bed:

Friday, May 26, 2006

Chicago Quilt Show 2006

This amazing quilt was one of my favorites at the Chicago Quilt Show in April. It's called Introspectively Hexagonal and was hand pieced and hand quilted (how long would that have taken?) by Pamela A. Danesi. She says that this piece is a meditation on hexagons, and it is. It's amazingly intricate and completely beautiful. I would never have thought a quilt so monochromatic would be so powerful! It's hard to see it in the photo, but it's a huge quilt. Below is a detail; click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see it better.

Puppy Dog Quilt

Isn't this the cutest puppy dog? It's from another Linus quilt. My sole contribution to this quilt was handstitching the binding, but I took a photo anyway because it shows what a little creativity can do for a quilt. Here's the whole quilt:

This is a quilt made by volunteers with fabric donated for Project Linus. As you can see, the fabric is not very childlike. While I don't think everything needs to be novelty prints, it's nice to give a child a blanket that appeals to children on some level. Here someone stitched up a very traditional pattern, and then appliqued a puppy on it -- what a difference!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Raggedy Quilt

Last fall Debbi, the chair of our Project Linus committee, was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the wonderful way that guilds work, everyone immediately contributed flannel squares to make her a quilt and Marilyn N. designed the quilt. Several of us got together and stitched it up in just a few hours. This photo shows the back of the quilt. The other side looks exactly the same, but has raw flannel edges sticking up around each square. We fringed all those edges and washed the quilt, making the edges soft and raggedy. If you've never seen a rag quilt, here's a website that has photos of several: click here I'm very pleased to report that Debbi has finished her treatments and is doing well!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Jocelyn's poster

You're right -- this is not a quilt! Jocelyn presented her honors thesis in a poster at an undergraduate research conference last week. I understand from the psychology professor in the family that she did a great job!

Barbie Quilt

I may not be a big fan of Barbie dolls, but there is some mighty cute Barbie fabric out there! This is another Linus quilt. Jocelyn & Valerie pulled all these fabrics from our boxes and boxes of donated fabric over winter break, and we designed the layout. I finally got around to stitching it together and then sent the top off to another volunteer to be quilted and bound.

Beautiful job of longarm quilting

Here are two closeups of the quilting. What a spectacular job! Connie Lightle of Tolono, Illinois, did the quilting through her longarm business, "Maggie and Me." She does a fabulous job -- she even won an award at the big quilt show in Houston!

Val with her quilt

Here's Val with her quilt! She picked it up when she came home for spring break. Finished at last!

Baseball Linus quilt

We work with donated fabrics for Linus. Someone donated some St. Louis Cardinals fabric, so I made it up in a simple pattern. Hopefully some young Cardinals fan (there are plenty in this part of the world) will get this. If you double click on the photo, it will enlarge and you might be able to see the fabric design a little better.

Linus quilt

Here's a closeup of the quilt I made. It was really cute and I hated to part with it, but it was for a good cause. I had trouble quilting, even though I just did stitch in the ditch. I think I won't start with a long, lengthwise seam again! Another woman quilted hers in the ditch, too, but in small boxes. I'll do that next time.