I have a workshop at Broadway Quilts this Saturday, March 14. There are still a few spots open, so if you live local to Sonoma, California, consider joining me. The workshop will be an opportunity for students to explore the traditional designs of Amish quilts and how to draw from their inspiration to develop quilts with a more modern aesthetic. As with most of my classes and workshops, the design wall will play a large part of the process.
We are so fortunate to have Carol Van Zandt, from ThePlaid Portico, share her beautiful photographs with See How We Sew. Last week, Carol was busy snapping photos of the quilts at Quiltcon 2015 in Austin, Texas.
As promised, Carol Van Zandt has published the second installment of her photographs from the exhibit currently at the San Jose Quilt Museum called, Amish: The Modern Muse Part II. Click on the link below to view all the wonderful quilts from this exhibit.
Actually, all the answers to last weeks riddle were winners. I was so touched by all the wonderful answers given. Unfortunately, I had to narrow it down to one lucky contributor – Christi. Read her comment and you will understand why she was chosen.
Inspiration! What a timely post to stumble upon today! Thank you! I just got back from Big Sur on Sunday and I’m already missing it so much! We go every year for my birthday (and Carmel, too). Of course, I can’t wait to get in my sewing room after feeling so inspired after spending a few days there. I just adore Nepenthe as well as the Phoenix (and so many other wonderful places in Big Sur). And because of your post, I just had to walk over at lunchtime today to the “The Cook and Her Farmer” for one of Romney’s grilled cheese sandwiches! I had the “Big Sur” and it was delicious! Can’t wait to play with some Kaffe fabrics this weekend. It’s interesting I heard Kaffe speak one time and he said Big Sur didn’t inspire him with the colors…he thought they were very monochromatic….but I think it inspires on a deep spiritual level because it’s so unharnessed and a bit wild! Your imagination is free to experiment and that to me is the essence of Big Sur. – Christi
Thank you all for your participation.I urge everyone to take a moment to go back and read all the fabulous comments from last weeks post, My Nepenthe, A Story, A Riddle and A Giveaway. They were quite inspirational! And yes, inspiration was the answer to my riddle – although, many other comments had answers just as fitting. Don’t give up – there will be lots more giveaways to come.
A while back, I kept hearing about quick and fun ways to make blocks using unusual construction techniques. I would hear about one, then someone would say, “Oh -that reminds me of another one!” That’s when I started thinking it would be fun to put them all together into one quilt – and so I did.
It is appropriately named, Shortcuts!
Shortcuts! was designed so that it could easily be made with one layer cake, along with a few extra scraps, and a background fabric. Many of the blocks have a 3-dimensional aspect to them, which adds even more fun to the quilt. I taught this last spring in a workshop and the results were wonderful! I was surprised at how quickly the blocks went together. You can see some of the work here. Most of the students used a layer cake, so each quilt had a look completely different from the next.
At the end of January, I will be teaching the class again at Broadway Quilts in Sonoma, California. I wanted to make the quilt in a completely different color palette and a more contemporary style of fabrics to take with me. I used a colorful group of Grunge Basics, a selection from a layer cake called Comma by Zen Chic and a fabulous background fabric from Jennifer Sampou’s newest line,color:Full.
Same blocks, just a few tweaks on how many of each and a totally different placement.
This time, I chose to showcase the background fabric and use it for the centers of my snowball blocks. It completely changed the overall look, don’t you think?
Most of the blocks have a 3-dimensional element tucked in.
Awesome quilting by Kerry Reed. I love the back almost as much as the front.
I am always looking for a new way to finish off the center of a Dresden. This one adds a bit of a rustic, folk art feel to the quilt. I simply stacked and fused some circles and then raveled the edges.
I love to rework a quilt in different fabrics to see how much it can vary from one quilt to the next. This quilt is so fun to make, I could just keep going and going! I am now putting the finishing touches on the pattern for this quilt. I will let you know when it is ready.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the San Jose Quilt Museum has been hosting a wonderful exhibit, Antique Amish Quilts from Ohio. Accompanying this is another exhibit, Amish – The Modern Muse, which is a selection of Amish inspired modern quilts. Modern Muse is a 2 part show, with the 2nd installation to be opening soon. If you were not able to view the 1st installation, Carol Van Zandt of The Plaid Portico has posted a wonderful photo selection of the quilts on her blog. I thought it would be nice to share them with you.
So grab a cup of tea, get comfy and enjoy these Amish inspired beauties.
Despite not having to tackle my traditional major family party on the 24th, I have a feeling that Christmas is running away from me this year. We’re already in double digits on the December calendar?!? Where did the time go between that last bite of pumpkin pie and today? [soundtrack: primal, panicked scream!] Keep it together, woman!
Okay, enough with the hysteria, here’s one of my accomplishments from this week: a completed quilt. You might recall my posts on a quilt of crosses called Purple Haze(here’s the first post). I was on the fence about the finished quilt top. The good news is that I am a fan now! That attitude switch comes courtesy of Kathy August, the long arm quilter who took my quilt from slightly odd to FAB-U-LOUS!
Kathy actually finished the quilting in October, along with my son’s birthday quilt, but I pretty much ignored the purple monster until last Thursday night when I picked up the folded quilt from the corner of the floor of my husband’s empty office-in-the-making, where it had languished for many weeks.
A striped fabric was my top choice for binding, although my stash was a bit thin on color/quantity candidates. I found about a half-yard of a Kaffe Fassett Westminister stripe with a sizable bias-sliced chunk removed. No way sufficient for a queen-size quilt. Ah well. I gathered the candidates and, the next day, took them to my friend Cyndy Rymer’s for an impromptu lunch with my quilt/dining group. Turns out they were in unanimous support of the stripe, which put an annoying internet fabric search for more yardage on my agenda. Until, that is, Cynderella went stash diving in her collection and found a complete set of 3-inch strips of that very fabric in her Kaffe box. (She’s got some wonders locked away in that fabric treasure trove!) Christmas lesson: Seek and ye shall find.
It’s truly amazing how well-planned and executed quilting (Kathy August’s amazing spin on my original minimal idea) plus a perfect binding candidate can win over a doubting quilt maker. I am enchanted by the result. I love it! That’s very good because I’ve got bedrooms to furnish for the return of my fellas for the holidays . . . they’ll have to flip a coin for the bed with the fancy new quilt.
See ya Friday here at SHWS . . . perhaps I’ll reach holiday zen by then, but I’m not optimistic. In the meantime, though, take a gander at my stress-relieving effort for the Christmas season–month-long Ballet Conditioning classes led by Katarina Wester, a former soloist at the Royal Opera Ballet in Stockholm, Sweden and an incomparable teacher. (Jennifer was not harmed as a result of Katarina squishing her straddle split because she weighs nothing, but J. may be very sore tomorrow!)
November 15, 2014 – March 1, 2015 Antique Ohio Amish Quilts from the Darwin D. Bearley Collection
Antique Ohio Amish Quilts from the Darwin D. Bearley Collection includes over forty bed, crib and doll quilts, illustrating the breadth of the Ohio Amish quilt making tradition between 1880 and 1940. The strong graphics and vivid color combinations of these quilts have inspired artists and quilt makers since they were first seen outside the Amish community. Each quilt in the Bearley Collection also contains a story about its maker, recipient, or the dealer/collector who found these objects, brought them out of Amish homes and into the market place. Together, these stories reveal much about the culture that made the quilts and the one that collected them.
November 15, 2014 – January 3, 2015 Amish: The Modern Muse
Come see what Amish made Modern looks like! Three Bay Area Modern Quilt Guilds–East Bay Modern, Bay Area Modern and South Bay Area Modern–present a juried exhibition of quilts made by MQG members who were inspired by Amish quilt makers.
Juror San Francisco artist Joe Cunningham has chosen almost twenty quilts that best represent a 21st century interpretation of late 19th and early 20th century Amish quilt making traditions.
The antique quilts were incredible.What a wonderful collection. If you live in Northern California, be sure to visit the museum. If not, I am excited to announce that our dear friend, and a past guest blogger, Carol Van Zandt has offered to share her photos of the exhibit with us in a later post. Thank you Carol! We look forward to it!
In the mean time, I thought I would show a few shots of the artists reception for the The Modern Muse exhibit. You will recognize a few of the artists from being past guest bloggers for See How We Sew. They are also all members of the East Bay Modern Quilters.
I guess I missed getting of photo of Carol, since she was busy photographing everyone else!
And to hold you over until Carol’s photos, I thought I would share a few close up photos of my personal favorites of the antique quilts. Aren’t they amazing?
Have a good week and be sure to visit the museum before January 3rd.
How did December sneak up on us so quickly? Seems like were were just introducing our first Quilt-Along quilt and, in the blink of an eye, we are revealing the finished product. With the help of our talented friend and long-arm quilter Cyndy Rymer we were able to complete it in time for this post. I attached the binding last night and, since we had a bit of sunshine today, I was able to take a few nice shots outdoors.
We are quite pleased with the quilt and hope you feel the same. If you have been following along and have any photos to share, we would love for you to send them our way. We always enjoy seeing your work.
Sooooo drumroll . . . here are some photos showing an overview as well as details shots featuring some of the design motifs Cyndy used throughout the quilt. I am also adding some notes that Cyndy made about her quilting design process.
Cyndy: “I have to admit it was a terrifying honor to be asked to quilt the fabulous quilt-along project that Laura, Jennifer, and Pati created. But hey, I love a good challenge. And the quilt suits my taste – very whimsical and fun. I’m still a young punk in the world of long-arm quilting, and I admit to hanging out on every pro quilter’s corner looking for tips. Last year, I bought a Nolting Pro 24 machine with an Intelliquilter computer system, which allows me to use other designer’s digitized designs as well as those of my own design. And, I have to admit, this was my first stab at designing. Let me tell you, it is NOT easy. I created the quilted designs in the large triangles, but the stitching path was not very elegant. I used the repeated circles in the quilt as the inspiration for most of the quilting, but did free-motion echo quilting in the areas around the center of the quilt. I thought about feathers for the outer border, but thought a vine with circles and leaves to be more appropriate. Hope you agree! What fun.
There you have it, a road map to a completed Blackbirds & Blossoms Oh-La-La! Quilt-Along. Click the Pattern tab for all the instructions. Next month we’ll show you the completed quilt and discuss other finishing details. Thanks to Laura for the final measurements and instructions!