Friday, April 22, 2011

MQX East 2011, Providence, Rhode Island

I have been jotting around a lot lately and last weekend was no exception.  I was fortunate to be able to get away Thursday night and DH and I toke the 3 hr drive to Providence, Rhode Island.  It was a gorgeous day, so the drive was a pretty one.  I had signed up for a class with Cathy Higgins (hint, hint...  "What's Brewing?") on designing quilts from photos and one with Gina Perkins on creating great quilting designs.  Gina had a family emergency come up, so I was fortunate to have Karen McTavish step in and teach the class.  I have always wanted to take a class with Karen, so I wasn't too upset :-).  But more on my classes another time.  Today's post will be about the quilts.  Boy was I blessed...  the show was a gem!  I have so many pics I am not sure all will make it into the post, but here goes.

Let's start out with the quilt by a friend of mine, Teri.  Her quilt "Moon Over Manhattan" won a Teacher's Award.  This quilt was also used as cover art for a rock group out of England.

Next is a quilt of another friend of mine from Facebook, Pat Delaney.  Pat's quilt "Inspiration From Nature's Art" was quite striking.  It is always nice to see quilts made by friends hanging in shows.  I had never met Pat in person before, that is until MQX.  She and I both tried out the APQS Millennium long arm machine.  Yes, I am still dreaming :-).  But for the time being Pat does all her quilting on her domestic machine, like me.

Here is a close-up of the quilting.   Pat and I were both in the quilting lecture by Karen McTavish.  Not sure she needs it.

There were a couple of quilts by Dustin Farrell that really impressed me.  His quilts were so original and so full of detail and of course, I loved the color in "Garden Orbes".

Look at those flying geese...  they are all 3D...  yes!!

Dustin did something I have seen very few quilters do.  Once he had all his background quilting in using black thread on black fabric, yellow on yellow, blue on blue, etc..., he went in and added accent quilting using silver and gold thread.  It looked like Glide poly, but I can not be sure.

Look at the level of detail in this piece.  He has buttons and gems attached by crocheting them on with cotton thread circles.

And if you think that was good, look at this piece.  It is done almost entirely with thread.  Talk about a lot of thread!!  Take a look at "Whitetail Morning"....

Take a close look....  let me know if you can see any fabric that isn't covered in thread.  I dare you to find an area, bigger than an inch that isn't covered :-).

The level of detail is amazing.  This deer looks so peaceful, just sitting there, taking in the sights...

Even the birdies in the tree are just chilling out, enjoying the morning air.

Well that's all for now.  I have about 40 more pictures, so I will post more over the next week. 

The kids are coming home for Easter weekend and then I am off to Peru and Columbia for work on Monday, so I will have plenty of plane and hotel time to do some posting.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pelham Quilters 2011 Round Robin

I have been really bad this year.  I haven't kept you up to date on the Pelham Round Robin.  Well, we have 3 tops going around this year.  Unfortunately, I only have pics from two :-(.  But here goes.

I didn't get a picture of the center alone.  So I tried to crop it from another photo, so you can see the wonderful hand applique that started this piece.  The photo gives you a hint of what was added in round two, but think about receiving a square with this gorgeous hand applique on a square beige background.

We all had visions of a wonderful traditional quilt top springing up from the center tree.  Well, weren't we amazed when the second quilter brought the piece back in with her round added.

Stunning right?  She took the 'love birds' in the piece and created a mosaic heart boarder, circling the tree and love birds.  Talk about taking the obvious and putting your own personal spin on it.  The mosaic pieces were all randomly cut and individually placed on the background.  The fabric had fusible web on the back before it was cut into pieces.  I can't wait to see what comes in for the third and final round :-).

The second top started as a paper pieced circular star.  It's color choices were very unusual....  teal, purple, pink, off-white and BROWN.  That's right brown and not black.  She drew her colors from the batik, which had all of these as well as a bit of green and lilac.

Once again, the group expected the piece to come back with more paper piecing or as a circle.  But notice the change, not only in shape, but also in color focus.  In the above photo, the purple and teal come forward as dominant colors.  Not anymore....  The piece has morphed quite a bit and the brown and pink have replaced the purple as one of the dominate colors.  Funny what one picks out of another's piece as the focal point to draw inspiration from.  The second round has carried forward points as a design element, but those points are now pointing inward, vs out and they don't mirror the circular shape of the first round.

These are going to part of our best round robin yet.  Can't wait to see what comes in for the third top.

WooHoo Ladies!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Country Quilter Spring 2011 Getaway...What a great time!

So last week was a whirlwind!!  I was in Mexico City, Mexico for work Monday through Thursday.  Then Friday afternoon, after only about 15 hours home, I picked up my friend Lorraine and headed north to Interlaken Inn in Lakeville, Ct for our bi-annual Country Quilter quilting retreat.  Along with 55 other quilters we had a wonderful 3 days of eating, laughing and quilting, thanks to the ladies of the former Country Quilter in Somers, NY.  Even though the shop is closed, Claire Oehler, Nancy Mirman and Noreen Lipolis (CNN to their friends) have kept the retreat going.  Claire was the owner of the Country Quilter for over 20 years, so she knows what it takes to make quilters feel at home.

As is the norm, I thought I would share some pics of the weekend.  For the life of me, I can't remember the names of all the ladies, but as you can see, we are a big group :-).

So if you are reading this post and I don't identify you, please know that it is merely a senior moment.  You know one of those times when the world goes blank and all the thread seems to just jumble up and clog the gray matter we call our brain.

At least these ladies by Donna Chambers have hats on to keep their brains together.  Donna is always doing something different to keep us on our toes.

Now completely different, Donna is working on a collage piece in prep for a class she is thinking about offering.  Just wait until you see the work she did on our Pelham Quilters Round Robin...  a collage heart that will blow your mind...  unless you pull your hat over your eyes :-).

And here's Ashley working on the back to her green and white quilt.  She was intense, determined to finish a bed quilt she'd started at the last retreat.

Eileen is just starting a new piece, squaring up her center for each square.

Maria is at the other end of her project.  All sandwiched up, by Sunday, Maria is beginning to machine quilt her weekends project.

Ever have a hard time deciding on baorders?  Pat is getting help from her fellow quilters (senior moment here... sorry).

This is a piece that I worked on this weekend, translating a picture of a parrot I took at Jungle Island in Miami into a quilt.  Still need to fix the beak and add more leaves....  but I love all the thread art used to create the parrot.  I will probably also add more definition to show his ruffled feathers.  I might even have to define his perch a little more, it seems to be blending into the background...  oh well, that is why photographing your work, can really help you to see what a piece needs.  Love having a digital camera :-).

Yes, we have hand quilters in the group as well.  Doesn't she look so relaxed...  hmmm maybe I need to take a page from her book.

Funny thing, while Mom sits peacefully with her hand quilting, daughter is busy at her machine creating a new quilt.  Will she machine or hand quilt it?  Guess we will have to wait until October to find out.

Smiles all around with this cheery yellow quilt.  With kaleidoscope blocks on her design wall behind her, she holds up her latest completed block.   Oh yes....  triple senior moment with the last three photos :-).

Claire is busy using the left over fabrics from two other quilts to make a third blue and white quilt.  The colors must agree with her...  she is all smiles for the camera.

Oh yes, here is our fearless leader.  As you can see by Sunday night many retreaters have packed up their machines and are relaxing with hand work.  Claire Oehler, the mastermind behind our wonderful weekend.... WOOHOO!..... is chilling doing some hand work on one of her quilts.

Nancy, one of the N's in CNN, is 'chilaxing' as well....  yes, I picked up some slang from my great nephew.... I think she is working on a binding, winding down a quilt, as we all wind down for the weekend!

Now it is count down until Oct 14th, when we all head back up to Interlaken Inn, for another wonderful weekend with good friends, lots of food and laughter and all the quilting you can imagine.  Interested in joining us?  Just email the ladies at  I think I heard there are only 17 spots left!

Hope to see you there!