Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Looking Back...A New Carpenter Star from a Vintage Quilt

The Island Batik Ambassador Challenge (Island Batik provided the fabrics) was to "be inspired by a quilt, design or block from the past when designing and/or creating a new piece."

What to do?  What to do?   I so love vintage quilts and there are so many ways to make them new.  I have been wanting to try Beth Helfler’s accordion triangle technique, so when I saw the Mennonite Broken Star I couldn’t resist and thought a new technique would make this so much fun.
Menononite Broken Star c. 1890 Mrs. Myers
I have lots of books on historical quilts.  This picture came from Vintage Quilts:  Collecting, Dating, Preserving....  by Gerald E. Roy, Sharon Newman and Bobbie Aug.  I had the privilege of taking a class with Sharon Newman many years ago, and this brought back fond memories.  As the book says:  Seven of these quilts are thought to exist, one made for each of the maker's seven children, three are known to exist and are in private collection..."(page 71).
The block is also known by a few other names:  Broken Star, Carpenter Star, Carpenter Wheel and Swoon.  Swoon is a favorite among many quilters - I did a quilt in French fabrics a few years ago using Swoon.  I do have a love affair with stars of many varieties.  This one keeps reappearing in new ways.
I began by selecting fabrics.  Part of the challenge is being sure to have enough fabrics to finish a project - always interesting - and it always is fun.  I had just enough of this grouping:  Small Pointed Floral in turquoise and Bubbles in Salmon would be pieced with a lovely neutral called Rice.

So what is this technique.  Well, it is genius!  Beth Helfter of Eva Paige Quilt Designs calls it Accordion Sewn HST™(Half Square Triangle).  She has videos on YouTube that show you the technique and a book coming out on it very soon.  You sew half square triangles into what Beth calls and accordion.  It is much more fun than the ordinary half square approach.  
I followed her pattern,  but true to form, made mine a bit differently. The inner star was easy, following her pattern.  The outside star was a little more difficult - because of my changes not hers - but I persisted.  Also, I did not have enough fabric to do a third ring of star points or a third border. I simply needed the right count of each pair of fabrics to get it done.  
Here is a group of squares sewn together.  

The picture on the left is getting ready to sew the front and back piece together.  After this you trim, press and sew the HSTs together.  Beth recommends the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer and Clearly Perfect Angles to make your work easier (affiliate links).  I didn't use these tools, but I have them now and will review in another blog entry.
The top was completed on my guild's retreat weekend.  Here is is hanging above the quilters - among the group of finished tops.  Quilting wasn't in the cards for the weekend.

My next great dilemma was how to quilt the Carpenter Star.  I decided to use Westalee rulers again on my Bernina 440 and I am very happy with the results!  I decided to stay with a more traditional quilting, that is, not as dense as modern quilting to reflect the traditional nature of the block. 

Our Island Batik box also included Aurifil thread and I pieced quilted this quilt with 50 wt. Aurifil 2024 white, 1148 light jade and 2350 copper.  I love the color combination and the finished quilt.

I loved the challenge of the making something old in a new way and this new technique takes half square triangles to a new height!  I highly recommend checking out Beth's technique, you won't be disappointed.

And, this finishes my first project for the second quarter FinishAlong; you can see my goals here.

Thank you Island Batik and Aurifil for providing the great materials to work on and another interesting challenge.

Linking up:  Linky Tuesday
                     Finish It Up Friday

Monday, April 23, 2018

#365DaysOfArtPBQChallenge Week16, Exercises 106-112

106 Draw the horizon on this grey sky.
We have had an abundance of grey days!  This was one from my living room in Maine (it appears later too).  Enjoyed the minimalism of it.
107 Draw lots of mouths
108 Draw lots of eyes
Dislike these exercises.  They will never be my forte or what I am doing in my creative life.  I also will look at images the next time to help me think of different options!
109 Add the reef by drawing coral, fish and sea life
I had some fun doing this, trying to remember different kinds of sea life.  I rather like the jelly and stingray.
110 Design a pattern using the grid
I like this one a lot.  It was more fun than I have had with other similar exercise.  Maybe its getting easier?
111 Shading can add depth to your drawings
I always like these.  A good reminder of different ways - lines and dots - to do shading.
112 Draw a scene in the window, are you lookin in or out?

I was looking out and it finally is feeling like spring here!  Not so much in bloom yet, but its coming.

Have been away from this for awhile and will try to get back regularly.  My schedule was crazy - with travel for quilting and classes - all great - but I didn't do a lot extra.  I think I will do the ones I complete on some of the crazier weeks!  

Linking up with:  365DaysofArt

Up next:  Island batik challenge and progress on UFOs....

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

MQX - Machine Quilters Exposition April 13/14

Disclosure:  Some of the links, indicated by an *, are affiliate links, 
meaning I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I was so excited to get to MQX after many years of not attending any major shows. I always try to get to the local ones, and this is an hour away,  but raising a young man can take up your time.  It seems that the local ones either collided with an event or were on the heels of something else so I didn't go.  I so enjoyed this year's show.  The quilts are phenomenal.  I will show you one that I loved.
I loved the composition of this quilt and the quilting on it.  One of the hardest things in attending this show is not letting yourself get discouraged by the talent of others.  I sometimes walk away feeling so inadequate in my quilting.  I have to remind myself that this is the best of the best and my goal was to learn some things while I was there.

One thing I struggle with is  a way to remind myself of quilting designs.  I have thought of drawing them but that does not always work.  I am now thinking of a smart photo album on my computer.  I love some of the details in this pictures  and wanted to remember easy ways of filling some space - divide and conquer is a good thing to call these samples.

The above pictures were to remind me of things that I admire but will probably never do.  I love the detail, but I doubt I am ever doing to do any of these techniques.  The picture on the right was the back of a quilt.  The thread colors make it a whole cloth quilt - I love that!  Maybe a smaller, less complicated version is in the works for me, but I would definitely have to remember to use a white backing, something I rarely do.
I took a workshop with Candace West, Digital Design Wall in EQ8*.  It was a terrific class and gave me the confidence to do more of what I need in the design package.  I love software programs that work, and this one does.  It is fairly complicated, but also easy.  The instructor was calm and efficient in a class with more students than she expected and some students had an older version of EQ - a little tricky.  I knew a fair amount but learned quite a bit and I also have some videos/files from the class (the handout on a flash drive) that will allow me to review and learn more!
I didn't buy a longarm or midarm (what I really want) but I did get a few things.  [*indicates affiliate link - for those who want to share in the fun and/or help support my blog] I chose Aurifil black for my giveaway since I have a huge cone of Aurifil white.  I purchased a thread card as it is really helpful to have one when you want to know what it available.  The "8 packs" of fabric are fat eighths for a QAL with Sandra at mmm!quilts, beginning April 28.

 Before machine quilting became hugely popular and accepted, many of my quilting projects used template stencils.  These stencils are used with the Pounce *, and recently I was thinking of a few ideas and loved these for some projects I am working on.  The pink/purple containers are a fine mist spray bottle*.  Mine don't work very well and the one for my starch drives me nuts.  I'll let you know what I think.  I also bought an Ultimate Chalk Pencil* and Sharpener,  I love marking tools.
This ruler is for trimming the half square triangle,  the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer*.  A Carpenter Star project I did recently would have been much faster with both of these tools.  I like ruler as you trim before pressing and the side slots allow you to trim the nasty dog ears off.  The other is the Clearly Perfect Angles*.  I had a tool like this before, but this one can be repositioned and is slightly tacky - I look forward to reporting more on these.  
And last, but not least for purchases are these 3 items.  The fabric is for a pattern I have, which calls for a cheater stripe and I hope this will work.  The pattern didn't make the trip so I don't if its right.  However, his is my favorite color combination right now, so what could be wrong if it doesn't?  The last is a ruler for my Westalee set, that now adds a Rope Border to my repetoire.  

The other great thing about shows is meeting old and new friends.  The above quilt is one of the Island Batik Ambassadors, Suzy Webster, for the Dot Challenge.  It was fun to see it and even more fun was meeting another ambassador, Jennifer Strausser.  So much fun to meet her and talk about our experiences. We first became acquainted in the 2017 NewQuiltBlogger group and now are ambassadors together.  I look forward to meeting more of my ambassador or quilt blogger friends at other shows in the future.

Well, now to use some of these tools!

Linking up with:  Wednesday Wait Loss (gain this week - ha ha!)
                              Main Crush Monday
                             Lets bee social
Disclosure:  Some of the links, indicated by an *, are affiliate links, 
meaning I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Quarterly Goals - 2018 FAL Q2

Goal #1: Island Batik Vintage Made New
Top is done, needs to be sandwiched, quilted, bound
(Fabric was given to me by Island Batik)

Goal#2:  IAQ/Island Batik 2 for one project
I can't say much more but it will need to be sandwiched and quilted.
(Fabric was given to me by Island Batik)

 Goal #3:  Grandmother's Flower Garden
It is an antique I rescued and the quilting is done.  It just needs binding but the 
edges need to be trimmed too.

 Goal #4:  Applique Rose of Sharon
Finish applique, sandwich, quilt, bind

Goal#5 Typewriter Quilt
 Quilt, make binding, label

I think these will keep me out of trouble!

Linking up:
She Can Quilt:  FAL Q2 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018

Where in the world have I been????

I have had a busy few weeks.  I am still having a busy week but wanted to catch you up on a few quilting things that I have been doing.
 First, I took a class from Paula Nadelstern, quilter, author and fabric designer.  Her quilts are an exquisite series of kaleidoscopes and are drop dead gorgeous.  The above is a sample of a piece of one of her quilts.  There is a knockout one coming - it is in Paducah now - but we were privileged to get a glimpse of it.  The picture above is a tiny piece of another one of her quilts.
Here is my star - quite a fun class classed Sun Star.  Paula is an excellent teacher and she really knows how to pace the class, keep it interesting, and make hard tasks seem easy easy.  I am anxious to make another to compliment it this block.  My friend used the same fabric as I did  and they are totally different! 
I auditioned some of my Island Batiks so that I could work on April's challenge while away on Spring Fling, our annual quilt guild getaway.  These fabrics are given to me by Island Batik to use in quilt challenges throughout the year.  For the retreat, we go to a lovely spot on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire,  a little over 2 hours north of Boston.  We sew and eat and laugh and have a great time for 4 days and 3 nights.  The endless winter meant there was lots of ice still on the lake and snow that fell Friday!  
The above quilts went to new homes.
I have been playing with a few designs - some easier than others!  
I worked on a new technique for my April Challenge.
I worked on a pattern for our  QAL!  Details will be realeased on May 1st so keep an eye out.   It is designed by a group that met nearly a year ago in the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers and are now known as Partners in Design.  You can find us here.
I signed up to host a few things in May...more on that later.
Unfortunately, I fell behind in my #365daysofArt but I will be back! One can only do so much.
So, you can see there are a lot of things in the works.
Linking up to:
Janda Bend - Pieceful Sunday
Powered by Quilting - Friday Foto Fun
Inquiring Quilter - Wednesday Wait Loss