Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Internat'l Quilt Festival--Long Beach

I can't believe it! My quilt actually made it into IQF Long Beach! Even after I was notified that it was accepted, it still was hard to believe until I actually saw it there hanging with all the other quilts in the special exhibit, West Coast Wonders.

I have to give credit where credit is due. I made this quilt in a class I took from Judith Baker-Montano, who is a fantastic crazy quilter. She is such a good teacher, a fun person, and so inspiring.

See, there it is (in photo at right), my little quilt among some of the others in the exhibit. BTW, you may notice how small mine is, compared to the others. Well, I had to add 5" of borders on all four sides to get my quilt up to the minimum size accepted!

And here is the neat little ribbon that I got to wear around the quilt show, saying "See My Work."

A big quilt show like this is just fantastic, seeing all the amazing quilts--so much inspiration! To say nothing of the vendors! Lots of people selling lots of things that are absolutely necessary to quilting! Including shoes and lint removers!

I went to the quilt show with one of my quilting buddies, Carol, who also had a quilt in the show. It's this one at the left, depicting bare trees in a forest fire. (It looks brighter and more orange in real life.) Carol's quilt was in an exhibit called Journal Quilt Project II: Elements--Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New "Blog Friend"

I just added another blog to the list of those I follow (on the right-hand sidebar). It is RedPepperQuilts, written by a quilter/blogger from Australia. We happened to find out that we both love sewing half-square triangles! I guess we quilters bond over some strange things, sometimes. Ms. RedPepper makes some really cute quilts--go ahead and check out her blog.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baby Quilt (Part III of III) (Finally)

For as long as it has taken me to finish this baby quilt tutorial, you might think it took me forever to make the quilt. But I say "Nay!" It actually went together quite fast; it has just taken me forever to post about all of it. (Granted, my blog posting skills are still evolving--please be patient with me!)

In the previous part (Part II) I left us with diagonal strips of half-square triangles, en pointe (i.e., looking like diamonds) that I had sewn together. In the photo on the right you see that I am now sewing the diagonal strips one to each other.

The next photo shows the diagonal strips all joined together. Now look, though, I have a sort of jagged edge on both sides, don't I!

So I trimmed off the two vertical sides with my trusty rotary cutter.

I didn't add a border, but put on a simple binding. I'm happy that I made the corners diagonal, instead of square, to follow the diagonal lines of the quilt.

Here is the backing fabric that I used, suitable for this little boy, I thought. As I had some diamonds (half-square triangles) left over, I used the feature on my wonderful Bernina machine that has an alphabet font (3 different ones, actually), to write the baby's name in one diamond, and my usual name, date, address on another one.

I'm sorry that I don't have a close-up of the quilting to show. First I did some diagonal quilting to stabilize. Then I went around the insides of some of the diamonds (would that be called in-lining instead of outlining?). I placed my two "label diamonds" on the back so that when I quilted the front, those labels would be appropriately placed.

Product Placement

I recently mentioned to several friends that I was having trouble pulling my needle through my latest hand quilting project. Kinda felt like when your hands get a little dirty, or a little sweaty and it makes the needle "stick" a little. I got some helpful comments to my query, and I think the problem may be that this batting might be all cotton, which is harder to hand quilt than a bat with some polyester in it. I bought it off a bolt in a shop, so I don't have a label to tell me what the content is. My dear SisterStitches very kindly brought me a new kind of needle to try last week when she came to visit. It is the needle pictured at the left, called Black Gold Needles by Clover. You can tell in the photo that the needle really is black. It. Was. Amazing. These new needles are like a hot knife through butter. Such a pleasure to use. Thank you so much, SisterStitches! To be an honest product tester though, I do need to tell you that I broke one of the needles while I was sewing, something I don't think I've ever done before with a hand needle. Maybe it was the pressure I was putting on the needle, possibly bending it a little, and you can be sure these needles are very skinny. But I still love the needles and will happily use them and recommend them to others.

While SisterStitches was here, and I was doing my hand quilting, she commented on my thimble and asked where I got it. I LOVE this thimble. It is made out of a hard, but flexible, rubber and is very comfortable. I bought it at a Quilt Show booth a few years ago, and this is the card that came with it. If you can't read it very well, the company is Peters Quilting Fixtures and their website is At $25.00, it is not a cheap thimble, but most quilters are happy to pay for something they really like! (BTW, if you are reading this and live near me, I'd be glad to let you try my thimble.) An interesting feature of this company/thimble is that they guarantee the fit for as long as you own the thimble. If you gain/lose weight, develop arthritis, or in any way change your finger size, you can return it for a new size. I quilt with the end of my finger, not the side, but the thimble has good ridges on the side, so I think it would probably work well that way, too.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crazy Quilted Tote Bag

This is a crazy-quilted tote bag that I made for my dear, soon-to-be Daughter-In-LawStitches. Her wonderful friend gave a bridal shower for her last weekend, and I was working frantically to get this bag done in time! I was planning to do more embellishment, add some beads, etc, but I ran into time, so it is what it is.

This is the front (I guess) of the bag.

This is a close-up of part of this side of the bag.

And here is the other side of the bag.

....and a close-up of that side of the bag.