Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fun at the 2015 Vermont Quilt Festival

June 26th - June 27th - although an exhausting two days,  The Vermont Quilt Festival was, as usual, a scintillating feast for the senses. Between the vendors booths filling the two expo halls, and the class at Vermont Tech's Williston location, the weekend   was fast, fun-filled and fabulous.

I think it took my feet about 4 days just to become functional once again. I stayed within my set budget for shopping, and I was able to get some nice fabric, books and a few Janome goodies. I took a class in Zentangle from Pat Ferguson and that was a really nice relaxing experience. She is a kind and patient teacher, and I would recommend the class to anyone who wants a half day relaxing time just drawing! Here is our class composite Zentangle square collection laid out together! Amazing how compatible they were!

The quilts were many and lovely over all. I want to just put a representative few here to show the gamut of styles and workmanship - all so well crafted.  Other sites have done critiques, and I have none to offer except to say how much I appreciate seeing all the quilts and all the fine craftsmanship that goes into them.

The level of fabric art shown at the festival is a wonderful inspiration for anyone, and I would urge those who do not sew or quit to go and see the quilts as an art exhibit, for that is what it is.

The first picture is the work of Joe Cunningham, a master artist in fabric who had a show at the festival this year. I have already mentioned him on another blog post! Such an inspirational Craftsy Class he has and how I did enjoy it!

Pat Ferguson, teacher of the Zentangle class had a lovely quilt in the show as well. The colors were so lovely and the back is as nice as the front!
After hers I am posting an array! There were so many that the photos I chose to take were not going to give even half a picture of the colors and sizes and types, but here I go.

My very favorite of the entire show for workmanship, and for original design - the large quilt made of thousands of small hexi patches. Winner of the Best in Show outside the USA, it is a work of art by Grit Kovacs of Germany. Up close and far away, this is amazing.  Her website tells the tale of the creation of the quilt.  I just stood there looking at the tiny pieces of this. First - it is original, and second it is all hand pieced. Usually I am not a real fan of blue quilts, but this quilt won me over on sight. The pattern is almost Moroccan. I just love it. It well deserves the Governor's Award and the Best in Show from out of the USA award, and many more awards!

Pat Pauly of New York State had a lovely quilt on display. Pink Leaf 2 Quilt with large pink-red leaf....beautiful. and original and just a feast for the eyes. Several more pictures here show even more of an array of beauty. I end with pictures of the swag of 2015, and my Quiltie-Pal and I smiling over our favorite buys, even while exhausted after two days of intense Quiltiness!

Dragons! Loved this! All those Asian fabrics I have waiting, and inspiration around every corner!

Wonky blocks quilted so well and again - I loved it!

Somehow this is very Southwestern to me! Colors are fabulous.

A threesome of quilts in three styles!

And below - landscape quilting at its best - lovely colors and shades and values.

After the Show....looking forward to next year at VQF !

Friday, June 19, 2015

Placemats Finished...

Placemats again! Yes. I got them bound, and now the only project I have going is the 15 Minutes of Play blocks. I have to decide if I want solid fabric between the scrappy blocks or not. I guess time will tell.Meanwhile, another decision. Now that I have the pattern for the bag I thought I wanted to make, I really don't want to make a bag. Here's the reason - I have a plethora of bags. All the ones I love. Vera Bradley fabric with pockets inside. I can't imagine a handier bag than my Messenger for work or the others for whenever. I don't need another bag, and the time it would take me to make one would be better spent making something I either need or could need. Here though is the fabric. It's an Amy Butler fabric called Wood Fern out of her Nigella collection. Yes, a large print. But I wonder if a loose fitting wear-around-the-house maxi dress wouldn't be a fun item out of this? THAT is one thing I need because I really don't have any such garment. I am thinking this one over. I bought this fabric at least five years ago, so it's going to be a stash-buster to use it up!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Place Mats Reversible...

This week I am trying to finish the place mats I started a few months ago. I am using bias tape and really am sorry I didn't make my own binding. They are not going to have perfect corners. Cough. I won't be putting pics of the corners here. Meanwhile though they are going to be O.K., and I want to use them in two weeks. These are the combo Birthday/Patriotic Holiday place mats. With these, I think my topical place mat making might be over! I cut these with my trusty brown paper pattern I made years back, I used fabric I bought at Joann's of course. Batting is Warm and Natural and I was able to whiz through free motioning them on my Elna 720! YEA! I used Metrosene thread bottom and top, and just the regular hopping quilting foot even though I have bought the high shank free motion quilting set.  I bought three packages of wright's quilt binding because I thought that would work and be faster than making my own, but I see now that mine would have been better fabric and less stiff. Live and Learn. It has been years since I used bias tape and then it was to edge curtain valances. Worked nicely for that. Also used the Acufeed foot for stitching on the binding - it is pretty wide, but does a good job at feeding the fabric evenly. :) Interesting point about this machine is that it has a differential feed dial like a serger, and that is meant to be used with the Acufeed feet. I have not used that feature yet, but it is pretty exciting!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sewing on Vacation...

Have been away on a visit to the Great Pacific Northwest.  While there I have been using the little Babylock Audrey again, and have made over a dozen scrappy blocks. A lot of fun...this quilt may take time! The 15 Minutes of Play isn't as easy as it sounds, but it is challenging and fun to do. It certainly is not fast. You hold your head on one side and try to visualize what you can get out of various slashes in the fabric you just put together, and then cut and put in strips and then see what else you can do. It is a good exercise for the brain. Although I have thought of sewing up a few tops, I have not done so, and intend to work on this quilt and plan a setting for the eventual blocks for it. Is RED too much as alternate blocks?  I could use a black print with a very subtle pattern, or red, or just make blocks until I have it all scrappy. there is a lot to think about! As usual I did make three pair of casual jammie pants for wear around the house for my two grands and their Mom. That was a fun sew - that Simplicity pattern is becoming second nature to me at this point. The fact that it has only the one seam in the leg is really what puts these on a fast track. I made them a bit roomy this time so that growth (which is fast at this age) can be accommodated for in these.