Run by Yvonne. An intuitive introvert who is passionate about hometown and online quilting community, I believe that quilts can cover the world with care and love. I use my blogging platform to cultivate a community with which I share my passion for quilt making and quilt pattern design.
This is a quick post today reflecting on something I shared via Instagram earlier this week. Amy from Amy’s Creative Side is hosting a month long photo challenge on Instagram called #IGQuiltFest to bring the quilting community together there. A prompt for earlier this week was “Best Tip Ever” and I shared this graphic:
A wise man once told my husband, “Don’t let your highs be too high and your lows be too low.” The gentleman is a blue collar machinist and had mastered a zen of living and working in today’s high paced society that we talk about almost daily since he shared this wisdom.
I like to think of this in terms of creating. There are going to be natural bursts of creativity and creation followed by lulls and periods of rest and recovery. Don’t let social media fool you: this happens with everyone. I just spent over a month working on only one project. It’s ok. We all need to recharge and take care of our full selves. Let’s honor the full process and in so doing, the tension and fear of the cresting wave won’t pull us under.
I’ll repeat: I’ve been on a bit of a slow making, low ebb part of the normal cycle myself, and it is OK. While making a quilt a week (or more) is exciting, it can also be exhausting.
How do you create self-care as part of your routine above and beyond creating and quilting? Are there things that help you feel relaxed and at peace with the natural ebb and flow of life?
When my friend Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs told me that she was working on a book proposal with Paige from Quilted Blooms, I started looking forward to this blog post. Today it is my extreme pleasure, honor, and privilege to tell you about Modern Plus Sign Quilts, the book written by Cheryl Brickey and Paige Alexander as part of the Modern Plus Sign Book Blog Hop!
There are 16 quilt designs in the book, and on each day of the blog hop (full schedule at the end of the post), 2 quilt designs are shared from the book and bloggers (like me!) will be sharing our versions of the featured designs. Along with the designs, the book has historical information and includes more in depth discussion of techniques (like traditional piecing, applique, and foundation paper piecing), making this book contain something for a quilter at any experience level. Also, for each day of the hop, Cheryl and Paige are hosting giveaways on their blogs, so be sure to visit them to learn more!
Kona Cotton in Sky, Lake, Astral, and Ocean
When I had the opportunity to select which design I wanted to make as part of the blog hop, my husband and I decided that the quilt I made would be one of several I plan to make this year for us to keep as bed quilts. Bed quilt in this sense means that I am making it for a 48-inch wide bed we are putting in our custom expedition vehicle, so we settled on a goal of finished quilt top sizes of 68-inches wide by 88-inches long. Pulling from the blue tile we purchased to use as an accent inside the vehicle, we selected Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Sky, Lake, Astral, and Ocean (above).
Kaleidoscope Plus – photo credit of C&T Publications
One look through the quilts in the book and my heart was set on making Kaleidoscope Plus. The pattern calls for 5 fabrics, and I only had 4 to work with, so the first thing I did was spend time evaluating how I wanted to place the colors.
I instantly knew that I was going to make the Dark to Light colorway option, and thankfully my husband agreed (or knew) without me doing more than asking him which of the two he preferred.
Be still my heart! The quilt looks even better on our real bed in our bedroom than I had hoped!
To achieve the crisp precision of the points in the Kaleidoscope Plus quilt pattern, the majority of the quilt top is paper pieced. I was able to get all of the paper piecing completed before I left for QuiltCon, although the quilt top was not finished when I left (which was a soft goal or milestone I had hoped to meet).
Matching Aurifil Thread Order
My husband and I sleep under quilts that I have pieced, but I have not quilted any of the bed quilts we own. So another huge aspect of this project for me was to quilt as much love and care into it as I could possibly muster. With that in mind, I bought a LOT of 50wt Aurifil thread to match the selected Kona Cotton colors to be sure that I was not going to run out in the middle! I purchased 3 large spools of 50wt 2740 (Dark Cobalt) to match Kona Ocean, 2 large spools of 50wt 2725 (Light Wedgewood) to match Kona Astral, 1 large spool of 50wt 2710 (Light Robins Egg) to match Kona Lake, and 1 large pool of 50wt 2612 (Arctic Sky) to match Kona Sky.
My husband was a huge part of this process. I digitally doodled out many options for different quilting motifs and areas, and we discussed what we liked and did not like. Ultimately, he selected or suggested the motifs that I quilted in each area of the quilt after we auditioned lots of possibilities.
In the background surrounding the pieced design, I quilted a Digital Circuit Board motif, and we are enchanted by the texture and the way it looks from different angles and views.
In celebration of how *AMAZING* we are as women, I am asking for YOUR HELP in creating a quilt that acknowledges and honors ourselves and the equality we deserve. I’m calling it the In Our Own Words Quilt.
I am looking to collect blocks from as many women as possible with a hand-stitched word of empowerment that describes YOU as a woman. My word is RESILIENT. What will yours be?
Details: blocks should be 3.5” x 6.5” with a word stitched in black on a white fabric background.
I thought about this for a long time. Sticking point number one: the word Kim selected, RESILIENT, was hand stitched and I was a bit daunted (I was kind of sure I could do it but then again, what it if looked like crud?). Sticking point number two: a word of empowerment that describes ME as a woman (emphasis mine to show my hangups).
But I sat with it, and on Friday night after several long days of standing at my longarm and quilting, I looked up hand embroidery stitching. As soon as I looked it over, not only did I know that I could do it, but I knew what my word would be. My husband happened to walk up as I was reading the definition for the word I selected, and he said, “that sounds like my wife,” which sealed the deal.
1. governed by conscience; controlled by or done according to one’s inner sense of what is right; principled:
She’s a conscientious judge, who does not let personal prejudices influence her decisions.
2. careful and painstaking; particular; meticulous; scrupulous:
conscientious application to the work at hand.
In Our Own Words Quilt Block
The lettering is my standard “Vonnie Font #1” (as my husband calls it) block print, and I hand stitched the letters using Aurifil 12wt black thread. I started with an oversized piece of white background fabric, and I had practiced how large I wanted the lettering to be on paper prior to lightly writing in pencil on the fabric to use as the line to follow with the thread. As you can see above, the block was a bit rumpled looking after I was done, but a quick press with a warm iron smoothed everything out. And for total honesty: I used a lint roller for several passes on both the front and back of the block, too.
In Our Own Words Quilt Block
The block fits perfectly inside a sandwich sized ziploc bag, and it will be in the mail to Kim today. You have plenty of time to consider and add your own block to Kim’s project. You can find more details on how to contribute from Kim:
I have some Carolyn Friedlander fat quarters that I have drafted a quilt pattern to use. I was pondering what I would use for the quilt backing when the BackSide Fabrics newsletter arrived last week showcasing the Widescreen by Carolyn Friedlander in Grey on sale. What a happy coincidence! I now have what I need for the project when the time comes.
Aurifil Forty3- White (2024), Dove (2600), Light Wedgewood (2725), and Dark Navy (2784)
I am really excited to get to text out the new Aurifil thread Forty3. I have a wholecloth quilt in mind that will be for my husband and I to keep, and I plan to share all the details on progress on that quilt when I have a chance to get started.
Kona Cotton – Cerise, Candy Pink, Pink, and Snow
Last but certainly not least is this lovely grouping of Kona Cotton for another upcoming new design. I am surprising myself by continuing to enjoy working with pink more and more!
Just popping in with another quick administrative kind of announcement: Valley Modern Quilt Guild is hosting me for a workshop in June, and registration is open! I’ll be teaching my project based Triangle Transparency class, and for information about how to sign up (if you are local or willing to travel to attend) can be found on the Valley Modern Quilt Guild website.
My goal for the workshop will be to share fabric selection tips for monochromatic and transparency quilt designs including how to use your mobile devices when you are out and about shopping. I also really like to encourage people to bring a selection of one color from their stash to foster discussion. I’m really looking forward to teaching on June 30th!
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Brittney from TheQuiltMate. TheQuiltMate is an ironing pad and she shared some of its best features with me:
– TheQuiltMate ironing pad was made to be easy-to-use and portable. It folds for easy storage, but then quickly lays flat for a smooth & firm ironing surface.
– Its backing is 100% silicone which protects surfaces from heat and moisture and also keeps the pad from slipping.
– After quilting classes, you can flip the pad over, place your cooling unplugged iron on it and then wrap up your iron and place it safely in your bag.
Well, I knew that the perfect place to put TheQuiltMate to the test would be QuiltCon, so I took one with me to try out.
TheQuiltMate Product Review: The Setup
As you can see by the fold lines on TheQuiltMate, it folded easily into my luggage that I took with me to Pasadena. The apron that I used daily at QuiltCon saw a lot of hard use, so I used the iron in my hotel room and TheQuiltMate several times to give it a press and help refresh it during the show!
TheQuiltMate Product Review: Let’s Iron!
The ties of the apron were especially wrinkled in the areas they were knotted and tied all day. Also, the fold lines in the mat all but disappear at the first touch of the iron, so if you have the mat out and about to use all day, it will look crisp and inviting after being unfolded.
TheQuiltMate Product Review: Quick Press!
With a quick press of the hotel iron, …
TheQuiltMate Product Review: All Done!
…my apron looked refreshed and ready for another day of use. I really liked the portability of the mat, and the table top surface under the pad did not warm to the touch under my use.
The silicone backing of TheQuiltMate kept it nicely adhered to the table surface and it did not slide around, which was a huge plus in my book. I will definitely be using it for all my traveling needs.
Over the next week, be sure to use the code JET20 when you order from TheQuiltMate to receive 20% off of your order!
I had the pleasure of taking a 3 hour screen printing class from Karen Lewis on Saturday night (6-9pm) at QuiltCon this year. I signed up to take the class with my friend Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs, and thankfully she over-prepared her materials for the class. I purchased materials from Karen but then spaced entirely on everything else I needed for the class. Whoopsi! Thanks, Cheryl!!
I was lucky to sit between Cheryl and Merel, who happened to catch me acting a bit late night goofy. I mean, those scissors would make very fashionable glasses, wouldn’t they?
First Test Print
I wasn’t sure if my brain was going to allow me to function at a level to do much in the class, but after doodling and toying around with different ideas, I finally went for a linear star design for my first attempt.
I decided to go for a white on white (well, Kona Snow) print as I felt it would be much more likely that I would use the fabric after the fact. I really love how it turned out!
Second Test Print
Speaking of love, I decided to try my hand at some hearts for my second print.
And I tried my best to do an ombré fade from white to black and back out again. It got a bit messy, but boy was it a lot of fun!
And speaking of a lot of fun, I received this awesome hexagon template from the MQG for my perfect QuiltCon attendance for the first 5 years that it has been held.
Which brings me to the super fun part of this post: I have 4 different giveaway bundles available! Note that due to shipping costs, I am limiting these giveaways to US addresses only.
I have 2 QuiltCon Goodie bags and 2 sets of Better Homes and Gardens quilting magazines to give away. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win. By entering, you acknowledge that you are 18 years of age or older and that you have a US shipping address. The giveaway is open through Monday, March 5th at 11:59 PM Eastern, and winners will be selected randomly and emailed within 24 hours. Winners will have 48 hours to reply to the email to claim their giveaway or a new winner will be randomly selected. Good luck!
QuiltCon is a rush, and it is an absolute pleasure to get to work behind the scenes on the crew to help create the best quilt show and convention possible. This year I had the pleasure of working closely with Lindsey in workshops, and after another week to forget the hard work, I’m sure I’ll be more than ready to go for next year in Nashville. I’m getting over the post-exhaustion crud (a bit of a cold that came on the moment I got home), and I am excited to have a few photos of quilts to share from the show this year. To be perfectly honest, I am exhausted.
Cheryl with Pop Rocks
I just happened to catch Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs when she was near her quilt, Pop Rocks, which hung in the Michael Miller challenge. Lucky timing! Cheryl and her Modern Plus Sign Quilts book co-author, Paige from Quilted Blooms, were kind enough to visit with me several evenings late at night.
Speaking of Paige, her Michael Miller challenge quilt, Casting Shadows, won second place in its category!
I nabbed unsuspecting bystanders to photograph me next to my quilts in the show, and it was great to see the charity quilt I collaborated on with the Blue Moon Quilters (Renee from Quilts of a Feather, Afton from Quilting Mod, and Sarah from Blue Quail Studio), which hung right by registration.
I will say that the quilts that spoke to me this year are not easy quilts. They are quilts that demand some time and thought. What follows are the quilts that literally stopped me in my tracks in the time I had to view the show.
The United Stated incarcerates 3.5 times the number of people than European countries. African-American and Hispanics have much higher imprisonment rates than whites in the U.S. Regardless of color or economic background, many prisoners are forgotten by society and spend countless hours alone in their cells with nothing to do. How would you spend your years in prison in orange garb?
Now more than ever, our words matter. Words are used to hurt and attack, accuse and belittle. Destructive words can be delivered from the anonymity of social media completely avoiding accountability. Our silence matters. The words we don’t say are as much of a statement as the words we do say. Words can also build, support, uplift and create. Our words matter. Let’s choose the world we want to live in.
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