Quilt Shows

Road to California • Part III (final)

Do I start with the stellar and then move to the sort of interesting?

Or, do I lead with the one that everyone breezed through, and finish with the exhibit where everyone lingered?

I’ll do it that way, but first — thank you for all your fun comments; I appreciate them, and am happy to know that you are enjoying seeing Road’s quilts. Another reader (thank you, Dot!) tipped me off to Accuquilt’s run-down of the show in between talking about the virtues of their product. They seemed to really like my Wealth of Days quilt (maybe because they have a die for cutting Flying Geese). My quilter, Kelley Bachi, was also complimented, which made me pleased. We’re at 4:01, in this segment. We’re at 16:04 in this segment. Blink and you’ll miss the quilt, but you’ll see others.

First, the exhibit where I rarely saw people. Sugary and saccharine-sweet, the Diana exhibit took up a large space on both sides of one of the main aisles, and like past Cherrywood Challenges, people made smallish square quilts on a theme. But unlike the last one I saw — of Bob, the painter — no one was lingering here. Here’s a sampling.

My least favorites above don’t have names associated with them. The really least favorite out of the whole exhibit? My, my, I couldn’t say as there were so many to choose from. If you see a name label above, it was one of the few lovely ones. I noticed that the jewelry was often done to excess perfection.

As a reminder: click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.

And then there was the amazing exhibit of the quilts from Linda Anderson (I apologize for the any distortion in the photos; all the quilts were perfectly flat and squared up). Every year Linda puts another masterpiece in Road to California, and I always try to find it. She has her background in painting, and uses that skill, along with raw edge appliqué and free motion quilting, to create these masterpieces.

The figure/s in each quilt draw the viewer in to find clues as to how they are thinking or feeling, or what they are doing. One year, when my grown daughter was really ill, Linda had a beautiful quilt of a mother and daughter that seemed to say to me, “It will be all right.” I mentioned that to Linda and she knew the quilt (not in this group). I was so glad that Road hung her quilts in a special exhibit.

Maria’s Tree, by Linda Anderson

And that’s a wrap for Road to California 2022!

UPDATE: Please see this post for commentary on Anderson’s quilts and correct attribution.

Mystery Quilt · Quilt Shows

Road to California 2022 • Part II

Road Two of Road to California Quilts. You may want to do this in two bites, but we still have Part III coming, focusing on some specialty exhibits (it’s shorter). Click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.

Thought I’d lead with a high-impact quilt.

I just want to know how she kept track of all the circles. Sometimes I wish they’d tell us how long a quilt took, but maybe I don’t want to know.

I liked the shape of the White Spotted Rose Anemone, by Kelly Spell. I kept wondering what the next wave of covid quilting was going to look like, and perhaps these curves against those lines might be an indication: texture?

Now I know what to do with all those labels in my notions drawer that I’ve been saving. I’m pretty sure I could get a pincushion covered…

Road to California has lights at the base of each quilt, and those lower lights really give a sculptural quality to the stitching.

I have a such admiration for all the detail in this quilt:

All those little houses everywhere, and patchwork flags! As a reminder: click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.

Click to see the teensy-weensy strips in this pineapple block. It was in an exhibit labeled Pride.

I appreciate the humor in this quilt. The exhibit was titled Conspiracy Theory Challenge, and most were clever but political (so.tired.of.that). So I focused in on this scene with cows being lifted heavenward by UFOs.

A perfect quilt for this year, but I think the message does not just stop there. That’s one of the interesting things about quilt shows. I see the expression of quilters being themselves, making their art the way they see it. We have all kinds in a show like Road (which is why it is one of my favorites). They strive to represent art, modern, traditional and I like that many quilts which I’d never see are sent to this show. I get to “meet” a lot of new quilters who have chosen the motto “Be You.”

Love the phone in the back pocket, along with scissors.

Pretty sure that fish lady is made of milagros, but not certain. This one and the one below appear to be about 17″ tall, a foot wide, but I’m guessing.

I love the little peoples everywhere.

Last of the smallish quilts. I thought her treatment of the “fringe” was lovely.

This was such an interesting quilt, made with six colors, and shades of gray, black and white.

Making a whole cloth quilt seems like such a challenge.

I loved the eyes, so I made that the big image in this gallery of Road quilts. The full quilt is on the lower left. I never saw the back of the piece; wish I had!

Not square! (big smile)

Colors!! No, they don’t have chains to keep the quilts from running away. Something about protecting the quilts and fire-marshall-said-so business.

Simple shapes, bold colors, value contrast, great design = smashing quilt.

This quilt, made and quilted by Zena Thorpe, is titled Connectivity. I kept zeroing in to see the quilting, as well as the appliqué. She doesn’t say how she did it, but it looks handsewn. Beautiful work.

We’re almost done!

I also wish they’d put the size of quilts on the title card. I’m guessing this is about 24″ tall. Gorgeous work by both artists.

I’ve been focusing on gardens lately [with the Mystery Quilt of Heart’s Garden I’m hosting (free! on this website!]) so I really loved all the details of Hanne Lohde’s quilt in memory of her summer home in Denmark.

And the final quilt in this post is from Janet Stone–who else to lead us out? By the way, it was also a big prize winner at Houston 2021, and their photo is quite a bit better than mine.

And that’s a wrap for this segment. Next post I’ll have the Cherrywood Diana Quilts, a few pieces of clothing, and quilts from artist Linda Anderson.

Thanks for all your comments last go-round. I tripped on my stairs and slugged the wall accidentally, so haven’t had use of my right hand for a few days, but I didn’t want you to think I hadn’t enjoyed your comments. The hand is getting better. I said to my husband, I may be older, but now it is obvious to me that all the guys in the movies are pulling their punches and not making contact. Now that we never leave our homes, does this mean we’ll have higher incidents of injuries in the home? Hope not. We don’t need to add one more thing to our list of Bad Stuff for the Covid Years.

And speaking of that, I also find it interesting that I didn’t see any visual representations of covid. Not one. I’ve always enjoyed Becky Goldsmith’s covid quilt (above), made right at the beginning of our pandemic, and since we are just past the 2nd anniversary of the first diagnosed case of covid, I thought we’d see more. I once drew up a sketch, but decided I didn’t want to spend my time making it. If I do anything, I’ll do hers (it’s a free download on her website; link above).

I’ve had several hundred downloads of the free mystery quilt-a-long of Heart’s Garden, so those of you who are making that, good luck with your EPP sewing. Our hashtag Instagram online is:

Yes, with the heart. I’m finalizing Part II of the mystery, which will drop in February.

Happy Quilting!

Quilt Shows

Road to California 2022 • Part I

I Hear America Singing, Quilt #252

My friend Laurel and I headed up to Road to California 2022 Tuesday afternoon, one hour earlier than the “VIP” admissions. We know this show often has slow check-ins and we wanted to get our badges and show bag and figure out where our class was tomorrow. We had time to sit and reflect before it opened on how our own numbers of local quilters has shrunk, through moves or losing interest. One year we gathered almost 20 people for a dinner at a local restaurant; now it was down to just us two, eating our brought-from-home sandwiches, waiting for the abbreviated quilt show to open.

Wealth of Days, Quilt #247

Road to California is a well-established quilt show, running for more than two decades. I have had mostly perfect attendance, ever since moving to Southern California — except for last year, when it was cancelled. Laurel called this year “a year to take a breath” and get your bearings again. When they opened up, we hightailed it to the quilt show area so I could see my quilts. They were still setting up, so the overhead lights were on, a departure from 2020 when I was last here. Everything was so well lighted; we loved it.

Picties and Verities, Quilt #243
I snuck my mask off for this one.

We explored the quilts (more at the bottom of this post), shopped the vendors and headed home to get some sleep before our class the next day.

We live about 35 minutes from the show, so I picked up Laurel and off we went. Our class was being taught in a different hotel, so we loaded the wagon, went in and found our places. I had said to Laurel that I was very “covid-nervous” and might have to leave if people weren’t wearing their masks, or taking precautions. We are still under mask mandates here in California, but I got a seat near the door and we left the doors open for ventilation, and class started.

The class was Posh Penelope, taught by Helen and Jenny from Sew Kind of Wonderful — really lovely teachers. At the beginning of class they passed out little goodie kits for us–so welcome! I’d precut and prepped so after the demos, I started right in.

I hadn’t heard from my daughter that morning, and I checked on her IG Story and saw this. Just when I am thinking we’re going to get out of this in good shape! In texting my other children, I found out my son and his family had it last week, another son offered up that his 16 yo daughter had it. Laurel had been tracking news of her BIL who has been in the hospital for over a week, with covid. I felt surrounded by covid, but took a deep breath and kept quilting. It’s still here, but we were at Road — and I consider that a deep breath and a leap back into life.

We took our lunches outside to this gazebo–in the old days we would have cranked away at the sewing machines inside; now we escape to the beauties of the world a little more often.

And then class was over. No, I don’t know what that fabric is I used for the blue, but I plan to make this quilt a few scrappy blocks at a time. It’s such a great pattern, and using their rulers makes it easy. We went back over to the convention center, to grab the last couple of hours of the day. It’s about half the size in terms of vendors, with no large tent this time. I thanked a lot of the vendors for coming, knowing that it’s a hard time for this sort of thing. The quilt show is also smaller, so I was happy to get my quilts in.

Here are some of the quilts we saw: so much beautiful work. Click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.

If you have $75,000, this could be yours.

That border!

I don’t have the maker info; I will get it and update this later.

This is a miniature, made out of old sari, and each of the those pieces are about an 1/8″ wide. Here’s the larger view:

I love this title…and the quilt.

I will admit to really loving this one.

I think I am through with the animal section.

Having gone to Guatemala in 2019 to see my sister Cynthia, I could relate to this one a lot, as Cynthia took us to a specialty textiles shop that had handwoven textiles, with a woman out front doing a demonstration of weaving with a hip loom.

The back of the quilt

About the colors: from standing there, I would say the color was a slightly blue/red, with red being predominant, but when I got in closer, the camera would convert it to magenta. This was a highly detailed quilt, full of wonderful appliqué.

Okay, I know you were waiting for a Janet Stone Quilt. She works with the alphabet, for those who don’t know her work, and always includes a sheep/lamb/ewe somewhere in the quilt. This has them all in abundance.

Back of the quilt. I learned about her thread color, about when she switches threads, and that I continue to stand in awe of her work.

Zina Clark: Love in the Time of Coronavirus and Murder Hornets. If you’d like to purchase it, the price is $3700.

About Going to to a Quilt Show During Covid

I’m writing this long explanation not only for the record of this time, but also because of the questions on Instagram I’ve been asked about how I felt about being there at a quilt show during a covid surge. You have to know, first, that I spent most of 2020 in my house. We timed grocery store runs to every other week and scurried home. When I got the first vaccine in January of 2021 it was like an answer to a prayer, and I received the second one on Valentine’s Day. More mostly staying at home after our “easy summer” ended, and we still watch covid numbers. So yes, you could say I’m a bit anxious about covid.

But I’d been boosted, I’d upgraded to KN94 masks (no more cute homemade cloth ones anymore) and it was time to put my toe back in the quilt world. I felt keenly like I wanted to support Road to California and those vendors and teachers who were brave enough to come here. During an Omicron surge.

I agonized, and talked to my husband (question: do you want me to sleep in the guest room? answer: no), and decided if I limited my time, going in spurts, it would be manageable. The convention center has tall ceilings, they had a mask mandate (about 99% were heeding that), and I saw the beginning of the dip in the charts. But still, here was the info from the week before in San Bernardino, where Road was being held:

Coming to Road was easier for me, because I drove. (I plan to drive next month to QuiltCon, too.) Because this was a “take a breath” time, there was less of everything: some holes in the convention center floor where a vendor had maybe pulled out, quilt exhibits that felt like they were stretching to fill the space, rather than oodles of individual quilts. But I felt okay, after an initial nervousness. I also wanted to do a trial run before heading to Phoenix and QuiltCon in February; my roommate has decided to cancel, so my husband is now going with me. I’m not upset by this; I thought it might be me canceling. It’s a tough time.

I will be going again on Saturday afternoon, to study the quilts one last time, then wait around for my quilts at the end of the show. I’ll post more photos of the show later (I still have quite few to share).

So, Happy January.
Happy Road to California time!

Free Quilt Pattern · Heart's Garden · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt-A-Long

Heart’s Garden Sew-A-Long

I received a stack of fat eighths as a gift from my friend Sherri last fall, from her new line of Sincerely Yours, and the question of what to do with this yummy range of fabrics has been percolating in my head ever since.

A Sew-A-Long? A Mystery? A Freebie Pattern? How about all three? So yes, this is a sew-a-long, mystery, free pattern that should run for several months. I thought it was only four, but then I had another idea, so I had to add an extra month. I will put the patterns up on my pattern site, one month at a time. The usual caveats apply: Don’t print them off for your mother or eighteen of your closest friends; instead send them to my pattern shop to download their own.

The first downloadable (free) pattern is found here.

Follow the directions and print off four pages of Page 4, then cut them apart on the lines. Prep them for English Paper Piecing {see this post (which uses thread basting) or this post (which uses glue basting) for some tips}, then start stitching them back together in the units.

I’ve placed small colorful dots to help guide you in getting the pieces sewn. Follow the guidelines on the pattern.

I like to sew it in two sections, as it is easier to hold it. I also like to take stitches across the seam points on the outside curved edge, for stability. For example, I join one G1 to the F point, then add the G2, taking an extra stitch at that outer point. It will make more sense as you sew it.

Once I’ve gotten this far, I sew those last two seams.

I always love the look of these from the back. One trick I use for the inner circle is that I don’t glue down the inner curve, instead leaving it flat. This helps when you go to stitch on the center circle.

I write about how I do the center circle in this post, and I will again express my undying love for Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles: both sizes. Sometimes I put the circle on first, then appliqué it the background. Other times I appliqué it to the background square, then sew on the center circle.

For this round, do the center circle first.

Then cut a large square the size mentioned in the pattern. I always iron creases: fold in half, iron; fold in half the other way; iron. You’ll have a giant cross so you get your circle centered. Pin it evenly around the circle while on a flat surface. Then start to sew it down.

I give you the tips in this post.

Yes, I’ve been doing the EPP-circle-bit a while now, and there are lots of tips and tricks under the tab SHINE: The Circle Quilt (found above). And yes, I’ve probably made millions of mistakes, but after sewing over three dozen EPP circles, I’m getting the hang of it.

Here it is, sewn to the background. Don’t trim this yet. If you are curious, your circle will probably measure about 12 1/4″ in diameter, largely due to the thickness of all those fabrics spreading it apart. We will deal with any variations in the next post, coming mid-month February.

I use several methods of construction: piecing, appliqué, English Paper Piecing for starters. While the theme is Heart’s Garden, there aren’t a billion hearts on this quilt, so you could make it in other palettes or groupings of fabric or from scraps. I started with one fat-eighth stack of Sincerely Yours, from Sherri and Chelsi, then purchased four one-yard lengths of the lights (always good for the stash, if I don’t use them all). I also bought two half-yards of the strongest colors; perhaps that is overkill, but I didn’t want to let this line get away from me. I am happy to have this great inspiration, so thank you Sherri and Chelsi!

So head over now to my pattern shop on PayHip, and download your free mystery pattern. At the end of this series, I will combine all the sections into one pattern, and will list it for sale in the same place. Feel free to stash the pattern until you see the end, or to just pick up a little piecing here and there as we go.

Happy Heart’s-Garden-ing!

Gridsters

The History of Bees

Well, my bees, at least. I recently stepped down from leadership of the Gridsters Bee, but Melanie and Patti (listed alpha order) are the new leaders, and they let me tag along and help out so I won’t go through withdrawal. So as I was organizing, shifting, cleaning out my Google Drive, the list ended up like this:

I’ve participated in fifteen quilt bee groups in the last ten years, often simultaneously. My life has been richer for this and I’ve met so many wonderful quilters. (I’ve met a few cranky women, too.) I met one whose house burned down during the bee and we all donated money to help replace her stash. I’ve met someone who did professional roller skating. I’ve met women like me and not like me. I’ve met quite a few people in Australia, in Canada, and all over the United States. Many others are on Instagram — I love the connections we’ve made and the friendships that continue.

I’ve received some beautiful blocks, some blocks I had to reconstruct and some blocks I couldn’t do anything with at all, but were so interesting, I saved them. Sometimes people put my blocks in their quilts and sometimes they didn’t. I’ve made several Ayumi envelopes, multiple versions of Dresden blocks, and bazillions of HSTs.

Here are some of the logos of some of those bees.

Occasionally I see new bees forming online and I want to say — yes! jump in! make for each other! You’ll learn what blocks you want to make yourself, and you’ll learn which blocks you never want to make again.

At the end of my five years with The Gridster Bee, I put together a slide show of quilts from many of our members, and it was one of the final events of my 2021. I loved that even in spite of the pandiddle (stole that one from Carol — a beemate), at least a dozen of us were cutting and sewing and quilting. Add that to the letters you’ve written telling me about your projects, your intentions for making and I’d say we all made it through the last couple of years in reasonable shape. If you want to see a great array of quilts and blocks, click on our home on Instagram, and enjoy the eye candy.

And here is the launching of Gridster Bee 2022, with a lot of very talented women.

The first blocks were for Patti, who chose Ayumi’s Envelope Blocks (and here, too), but with a twist. We added larger borders on the sides, and chose fabrics that denote romance or love. I had fun choosing.

I’ve drafted up a lot of the Sew-A-Long quilt, and am now making the sample out of Sherri and Chelsi’s fabric, Sincerely Yours. Coming soon. The post-Christmas blahs grabbed me for a while, and of course, we had to eat up the chocolates people brought us. Then there was the going through the ornaments, followed by lifting the holiday boxes up into the garage rafters. Mopping the kitchen floor and cleaning the bathrooms await.

It’s nice to take the advice from my friend Allison who made this for me, since I was leader of Gridsters for a few years. It’s a treasure, with great advice.

Happy Quilting! Take it one stitch at a time.

Happy Old Year Ending (Wrap-up)

Happy Old Year Ending 2021

All the smartie pants people who Know Stuff say we’ll be shuffling through covid for quite some time, and that we just need to practice keeping going. So my usual at this time of year is a round-up of quilts, a way to say, well I wasn’t quite a total slouch in 2021. Evidence follows.

I made nineteen quilts:

Here’s the listing in my Quilt Index–300 Quilts. I thought the photo above of me at our Guild Meeting, wearing a mask and holding the 19th finish (A Tiny Spritz of Elements) was appropriate. We’re back to virtual meetings for the next three months with the Omicron Covid-19 outbreak.

I spent a lot of the time at the computer, writing up eleven new patterns. Sometimes I’d write a Pattern Lite pattern, then keep adding things until it became a full pattern. That happened with Flowering Snowball growing up into Blossom. Others were old patterns, previously released, that needed extensive revision and clarification.

I took only TWO loads to the thrift store, and then they wouldn’t accept a couple of pieces of small furniture. I cooked so much the first year of the pandemic, that I was more hit-and-miss this year, but still averaging 3-4 home-cooked meals a week. We are partial to Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and whatever can be found in the open-this-bag-and-cook-it aisle of the grocery store.

If I take into account all the “ifs” (Covid-19 rates, masking, health, how the world is turning), I’ll be at Road to take a class and see my quilts in January. Ditto for February’s QuiltCon in Phoenix. Beyond that, you’ll find me in my sewing room, stitching away, writing some more patterns, keeping a difficult balance.

If you are new to this blog, you can find out more about me by reading another Happy Old Year Ending post.

Happy 2022. Happy Quilting!

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

BY RICHARD WILBUR

A favorite poem from grad school, it is thumbtacked over my washer. My wash doesn’t hang out on the lines between buildings, nor does it ever look like angels, but I think we all are trying to keep a difficult balance.

The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul   
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple   
As false dawn.
                     Outside the open window   
The morning air is all awash with angels.

    Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,   
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.   
Now they are rising together in calm swells   
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear   
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;

    Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving   
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden   
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
                                             The soul shrinks

    From all that it is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessèd day,
And cries,
               “Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,   
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.”

    Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world’s hunks and colors,   
The soul descends once more in bitter love   
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,   
    “Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;   
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,   
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating   
Of dark habits,
                      keeping their difficult balance.”