QuiltCon is so many things: a quilt show, a conference with great speakers and classes, shopping–complete with short demonstrations going on, a chance to meet Famous Quilters, a chance to hang out with friends and people you don’t see much, and most of all, it’s quilts. Lots and lots of quilts. And fabric–did I mention that, too?
I arrived with Leisa Wednesday night in time for the beginning of the conference on Thursday, February 22, 2018. I stayed until Sunday afternoon, about 10 minutes before they rolled up the rug and kicked us all out. It was inspiring, exhausting, stimulating and I had a great time.
Three of my local quilt buddies came with me: Simone, Lisa and Leisa, and we met so many others at different lunches and dinners:
from l: Leisa, me, Mary, Joan (end of table), Cindy, Jenn and Heidi
I was able to see my quilt hanging up Paintbrush Studios’ booth. In the circles above (click to enlarge) it’s evident the booth was busy (center circle), and Deena, Amy Barickman and her mother were so kind and helpful.
I had TOO many classes, and generally I learned something new from almost all of them:
(Click on any circle to enlarge.)
I love the pencil case of my seat-mate in my Boho Embroidery Class. I wonder what Angela would say about that sign (!), and you see the beginning of my printing. Thank you to my daughter for the Amazon Gift Card which became a great squeegee. My umbrella is crying–we need rain!
Famous Quilter had a Craftsy film crew wherever she went and even in our class. I thought the operator of the Steady Cam deserved a photo.
I had was asked by the kind people of Paintbrush Studios to do a demo using their Painter’s Palette Solid fabrics, and since I love those solids, I knew it would be easy to talk about them…
…until I saw that the cozy 20-seat demo space had been replaced by a large screen and 80 chairs. My husband talked me down off the ledge, and Leisa cracked jokes to make me laugh and forget I was terrified.
The first demo was difficult for a variety of reasons, but at the second demo on Sunday morning, I had a great time. Thanks to everyone who came and I hope you were all early enough to get a kit.
Instructions can be found here and here (where you can also right-click to download the instruction card) in case you want the info.
I also have a few samples from QuiltCon that I’m happy to share. Leave a comment below if you’d like to try Painter’s Palette Solids. I’ll pick one winner from the comments. If you are a follower, leave me a second comment stating that, and you’ll have twice as many chances!
This is the story of my Improv Appliqué Demo, coming up at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena. In the last post, you saw me making a whole gang of these little bits squares, some with slightly wobbly shapes. And lo and behold, one day they all turned into this:
Cinque Terra Tiles, Quilt # 193
Yep. I arranged those little bits and bigger bits until they coalesced into this quilt, which I love.
At the request of Paintbrush Studios, I’ll be doing two demos of this Improv Appliqué technique during QuiltCon 2018:
• Friday, February 23 from 2:45 to 3:15 p.m.,
• Sunday, February 25, from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m.
If you come, you’ll get a little kit to get you started, complete with needle and thread, and a mini-charm pack of fabulous Painter’s Palette Solids. I’ll have a set of printed directions for your improv appliqué, plus tips on folding techniques as well as basic hand-appliqué directions.
UPDATE: Here are the directions I passed out at QuiltCon (right click on each to download):
I loved working with this fabric, as it has a nice tight weave, but not so tight that it won’t ease and fold into shape. The colors are saturated and rich and play well against each other. I’m totally sold on this fabric, especially after working with it in such close circumstances: handwork reveals everything, I think.
I’m deluging you with photos, because if you want to make one, all of a sudden you’ll say, I need a new shape! a new color combo! Feel free to steal one of mine.
I did cut out the back of the larger appliqué shapes, but you can see where I appliquéd smaller on larger. You can also see that I did NOT press seams open, but instead, to one side. I grouped them together, sewing four smalls, then seaming that onto one larger, and so on (sew on?)
Sometimes it’s fun to see the undersides of our quilts, right?
I chose a fun Kaffe Fassett circles pattern to back it with. I decided not to gild the lilly, that is, to excessively quilt the little bits: I just stitched in the ditch. But on the borders, I picked up the circles theme again, and did arcs in varying sizes with black thread. It’s nearly invisible on the front, but you can see it very well on the back.
Hope to see you in Pasadena–come and learn how to do some Improv Appliqué!
The kind folk at Paintbrush Studios asked me (some time ago) to give a demo at QuiltCon 2018. I set to wondering what I could teach in a short amount of time (20-30 minutes) that would be interesting. Shortly after they asked me, I visited Cinque Terra, Italy, and stood on a plaza in Riomaggiore, overlooking the sea (above).
We walked down the steps, and underneath the plaza was a passageway, the walls decorated with these tiles in all sizes. It was on the way to Via dell’amore (the Walk of Love).
When I returned home and started looking at my photos, I thought about all those mini charm packs we pick up everywhere, and how they could become something along the lines of this impromptu artwork in Riomaggiore.
So I got out my mini-charm pack from Paintbrush Studio Solids and started pairing up the colors, trying to make the duo sing together–have a little friction together–trying to get pairs that would play against each other.
I found a worksheet online that had a whole bunch of oddball shapes, and I began trying some.
I sent away for more mini-charm packs. Once I got started, I kept wanting to make more.
I carried around a little baggie of paired squares, and did them while watching TV, getting my hair colored and while in Urgent Care one bad flu season.
I loved watching my collection grow. I would do one shape for a while, then another. I used up bits and pieces of squares. I even tried some paper-piece-wrapped hexagons; I ended up not liking them so much because the charm of these squares was in their wobbliness, their wonkiness.
And then one day, I put them up on the wall with other, larger, squares–just like the Walk of Love passageway in Italy. And wouldn’t you know it–it was really looking fun.
I wasn’t finished, but what I hoped would happen, did. I took this photo and put it up on Instagram, using the SnapSeed app to expand the edges and add the text.
Next post: the finish and the details about my demos at QuiltCon.
This popped up in my email one morning, and it about wraps it all up, as far as I’m concerned. No, I never met Claudia, but I did meet a few other fine quilters, including some from different countries than California. (That was a joke, people.)
Since it’s been over a month since QuiltCon, I thought I should get around to writing about my impressions. The show was held in Pasadena, California and the Registration Desk, Vendor Mall, part of the quilt show, and lecture room were in one building.
Across the courtyard was a large older room with high clerestory windows (building behind these banners) where the rest of the quilts were, and to the other side of that, was the building where the classes were held. While pretty close together, I did miss Austin’s intimacy, but the great part about being here was that the weather was unseasonably warm which made everyone except those Californians happy (we want rain).
Silliest moment for me:
Hollering Polo! to Eileen’s (@luckycharm93635) Marco! as we bumbled out of the restaurant after topping off our 50/50 burgers with a bacon-brownie. And yes, we did the Marco! Polo! thing all conference long, whenever we’d see each other.
Moment when I realized that none of us quilters ever charge enough for our quilts:
When, during our From Maker to Making a Living class, I glimpsed the majesty of Jacqueline Sava’s spreadsheets and listened to her funny and wonderful stories about making a living. She’s the SOAK lady, and to support her, I went down to the selling floor and bought a bottle of Flatter, in the Fig flavor. So so yummy-smelling and it works, too. A whiff of it and it brings back that class and the belief that I, too, can be as successful as she is. Kidding.
Moment when I realized that I’ve missed mucking around in paint all my whole life:
In Lizzy House’s block printing class. Even though I was beyond tired (and I’m pretty sure she was too), we had a great class of doodling, carving, printing, sharing. This was my last class of QuiltCon, and after this, I met up with Lisa and Simone and we drove the 90 minutes home. We’d stayed for two days and two nights, beginning with an early morning (up at 4:30 a.m.) on Thursday, and ending Saturday night.
Moment when I realized that my QuiltCon experience had shifted from taking classes, to hobnobbing with the Women of QuiltCon:
This is the only photo I have of me ( at the end of the table, nearly on Lorena’s lap) and Lisa (third down on the right, with glasses and blonde hair) and Simone (second down on the right, with brown hair). The rest of the time we passed like ships in the night, or sat next to each at lectures. I met several quilters I’d only followed on blogs or on IG, and deepened friendships with many of these fine women.
Moment when I realized that quilting connections could be made from other subjects:
One of the highlights for me at QuiltCon this year were the lectures, and Bill Kerr’s lecture in particular. I filled pages of notes of him talking about the branching connections we make from the choices that come into our creative lives, and he used Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes around Chicago as an example. Victoria’s lecture was also good, as were Luke Haynes (I wish I could have gone out to see his exhibit of fifty log cabin quilts) and others. Usually I hit the vending floor’s mix of lectures, but hardly made it to any this year, and the ones I did, I thought sounded like commercials.
And in other ways (witness my badge collection):
Some QuiltCon eye candy is this tote bag and the signature quilt (hanging below).
Moment when I learned I should have left class at noon, like my buddy Martie did:
This was in our third conference/discussion of the day in a class where I found I was more interested in learning about how to make a panorama photo on my iPhone, than in listening to the adroit conference/discussion by our very well-learned teacher. When you know you are just done with a technique, it should be okay to go. The teacher was fabulous. I wasn’t, obviously. If I’d left, maybe I would have seen more of the quilts.
Moment when I realized that creativity was all around me, and I was slightly besotted by it all:
(That’s besotted using the archaic definition) Glimpsing the fabulous booth from our Los Angeles shop, Sew Modern. That camper!
Moment when I found my personal Best of Show quilt, and wanted to grow up and be Yvonne Fuch (@quiltingjetgirl):
Lots and lots of them, but especially when I turned the corner and saw my quilt Focus in Paintbrush Studio’s booth. Thank you Paintbrush! It’s made from Paintbrush Studio’s line of solids, Painter’s Palette Solids, and I used the leftovers from making them a quilt for their booth at market, which will remain under wraps until then. (Well, okay. Maybe just one sneak peek…)
Another set of happy moments was finding quilts in the show from people I knew, and also when Cindy Wiens showed me the quilt she’d made for Lucien fabrics, using another design of mine, Semaphore:
Yes, I couldn’t find the photo I’d snapped one late night in her room, so I borrowed this one from her website. And here’s another of hers, hanging in the show:
Moment when I realized that I should skip going to Savannah-QuiltCon-East2017 and just stay home and sew:
When breezing through my Instagram feed, where I’d posted most of the quilts, and realized if I was ever to get a quilt in this show, I’d better stay home and get busy. So next year, I’ll be at QuiltNon, home and grateful for the chance I had to go this year, and looking forward to QuiltConWest in 2018!
Most of the quilts I found fascinating are on my Instagram feed, to the right. Scroll back through the feed to see them, or follow me on Instagram (@occasionalpiecequilt) and see them that way. Take screen shots of the ones you love, compile your own QuiltCon collection and use them to inspire you further!
I didn’t have a lanyard last year at QuiltCon, and my pins slipped and slid everywhere, beside the fact that I jingle-jangled as I walked. I wanted one of those spiffy ones, where I could pin on my pins.
I patchworked up a strip 3 3/4″ wide and 37″ long, took it to my ironing board and pressed it in half, lengthwise.
Open it up, and to one side of the center fold, lay down a 1″ wide by length-of-lanyard strip of fusible interfacing; iron that into place.
Fold both raw edges in, almost to the center, but not quite. The side with the interfacing should be folded over that interfacing, and the side without interfacing should match when all folded up. With the interfacing UP (not to the feed dogs), stitch first along one long side about 1/4″ away from the fold, then the other. Make sure you’ve caught all the folded edges when you stitch it down. Then stitch down the center.
Arrange the strips so that it will hang around your neck (see top photo), then mis-align the lower raw edges, setting the top one 1/4″ beyond the bottom strip. Slip on the lanyard clasp.
Zigzag the extended top strip over the bottom strip, to hold it in place.
(View from the underside)
Again, for ease in wearing, slightly splay the two strips apart, then stitch along the finished ends (refer to photos).
(View from the top side)
Yes, I’m headed to QuiltCon West 2016 this week (held in Pasadena, California), along with some friends from the Good Heart Quilters, the small monthly sewing group I belong to here (which is why there is heart fabric on our lanyards).
That Friday night class is taught by Jacqueline Sava. I hope to meet a lot of my online friends, trying to make “real” the digital friendships I’ve enjoyed. There should be more than a few a whole mess of photos on my Instagram feed (button is to the right). If you are going, find me and swap me a button!
I admit it–I was in two fabric stores today: Michael Levine’s in Los Angeles (where they had 10% off all quilt fabric) and Sew Modern (always a treat to visit). I went to Los Angeles as part of my week-long This-Will-Matter-Spring-Break experience, which also means I’m trying to avoid cleaning out the garage, or other household chores, but I did love Lily van der Stoker’s take on housework, seen at the Hammer Museum at UCLA: I’d gone to see Charles Gaines’ work, as he’s all about the grid, but the pieces I really wanted to see were in an area of the gallery that was roped off because of maintenance (which made me a bit crazy). Above is a schematic of fallen leaves off a tree (you can see the branches in the background), but it’s something you just have to see–I can’t explain it. And then I topped that all off with four hours of LA traffic (Motto: You Aren’t in a Hurry, Are You?) and a fun night at my local quilt guild. And all around was pattern. The stack of fabrics I bought were prints. The art I saw in the gallery was based on the grid and time and three-dimensions and it was all this idea of marks on paper, on photographs. . . no blank space unless it was part of the idea of his work. But the filled–in little squares defined those blank spaces. Now look at this. This is predominantly what I saw at Quiltcon: solids. Yes, chopped up, sliced, diced and pickled, but all solids (kidding about the pickled part). Over and over. And straight lines. Over and over. Don’t get me wrong–I really enjoyed the show, only tiring of the square-in-a-square or rectangle-in-a-rectangle when I saw it too often (time to move on now, peoples). Where were the prints? There’s been a healthy discussion going on on Instagram (just click on the button on the right to be taken to my feed, where you’ll also find the names of the makers of the following quilts) about what happened to the prints? I was a total fan-girl for Alison Glass and her prints. And here is Heather Ross, she of print fabrics fame, agreeing to a selfie with me (yes, I’m a fangirl there, too). But I did find some prints, and I thought I’d show you them. Notice also how many straight lines there are. Yes, there seems to be a bias against curved seams, with a few notable exceptions (Leanne Chahley’s fine work comes to mind), but here’s a few quilts that had print fabrics: This was a small quilt–maybe 24″? Lee Heinrich also does excellent work with prints, making them modern by her treatment of them through repetition and color-shifting. When there were prints, they were more like this one, where the print “read” as a solid, disappearing. Caught in the QuiltCon wild: a quilt with prints AND curves. And another, with detail shown below. The prints aren’t try to disappear, they are there in all their patterned glory. Here’s another great use of prints, by the talented duo of Lora Douglas (piecing) and my friend Linda Hungerford (quilting). Again, click on Instagram and scroll through the photos, then click to see the captions, where I identify all these quilts and their makers (offending several in my family with my quilt-heavy feed–cue eyeroll). Final print-prominent quilt of QuiltCon for this grouping. Like I said, the majority of quilts were solids, pieced and quilted in straight lines. Glorious, but there is obviously a bias. Now take a look at what WE, the QuiltCon attendees were wearing: A mix of solids and prints. Charlie Harper on a backpack. Her scarf? Print. His body? Print. I wish I’d had the guts to ask Storybook Lass for a photo showing the front of this dress. And here was a quilt by Windham Fabrics, a manufacturer: And the lovely young woman who sat manning the Sit and Sew Booth, with a lot of fun PRINT fabrics (her creation after sitting there for four days). Malka Dubrawsky, who has wonderful bold prints (yes, I was shameless in asking for selfless), as well as Vanessa Christensen (below) of V and Co. with lots of fabulous prints in her line of fabrics (although she is showing a solids quilt example for our class). In talking with the saleslady at Sew Modern today, she saw some of the same thing (as she cut my yardage of. . . what else. . . prints), but here’s hoping that the Modern Quilt movement will start to branch out as the skill level grows of these quilters, finding ways to incorporate print into their modern version. Next show is in a year, in Pasadena. Stay tuned. I was totally impressed with all the things you readers have been doing, from cleaning out cupboards, to fixing computers to making blankets and quilts. Since today is March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, I chose the 17th commenter for one prize, then did a double-algorhymic interpolation to pick the second winner. Just kidding, I picked the first person who wrote, because Vanessa Christensen was the giving away tons of cool stuff in her class, but I was number 1 and NEVER got picked. Ever. So I thought that our Number One should win something. Congratulations–I’ll send you an email to get your mailing addresses.