Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Des Moines Modern Quilt Bee Block 4

Three Des Moines Modern Quilt Bee Block 4 done!
  Marny is the fourth month of our Modern Quilt Bee already! I love the quilt Doris chose as the basis for her block pick. It is Cindy's Delta Breeze Quilt. Cindy has a terrific blog, Live a Colorful Life.
Full Disclosure: this is my second attempt on this post. I'm learning new apps and using my new iPad with it's keyboard for the entire post. The logistics are a little tricky and somehow, once I'd completed the draft, I lost it. Bummer. But learning and meeting the new challenges is fun...for the most part. 
So here we go again.
Cindy's tutorial for this beautiful Delta Breeze quilt can be found here.
I agree totally with Doris when she says of Cindy's quilt "I love everything about it, color, scale, design, love love love." Delta Breeze uses all 8 1/2" blocks, but the traditional Bear Paw blocks are in both 8 1/2" and 4 1/2" sizes. Cindy took a traditional block and created a very sophisticated design.
One thing I love is the surprise secondary designs that happen depending on block placement. Here your eye focuses on the Flying Geese units.
Our Bee block assignment is to make two A blocks (full 8 1/2" Bear Paws) and one B block (4 1/2" Bear Paw). I've always admired these traditional blocks and I'm very happy to make them for this fun quilt.  The color scheme Doris has chosen is neutral and low volume. She lists taupes, stone, warm gray, and charcoal with the request we steer clear of brown and tan. Doris carefully packed up little baggies of sample fabrics and I promptly lost mine between the guild meeting and my cutting table. So I played in my stash, and I'm very happy with the resulting trios. 
Visual and actual textures juxtaposed...the solid is linen
Script, texture and rectangles...
Chain link, calligraphy, and all over "bubble wrap like" texture
 Till Tuesday...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Penny's Journey

jill here...We first met Penny at a 2005 quilt camp.  It was a somewhat emotional week as we discovered Penny's story;  her son had died the year before and she had chosen quilting as her medium of expression.  One of her first quilts is the one pictured to the lower right titled Loss.
This is the card/invitation for the exhibit. The opening reception also included a beautiful piano recital by Penny's husband David Amor.

Over the past twelve years Penny has created a series of quilts and banners that reflects her feelings of loss.  Her personal story is best told by her.  If you are close to Galesburg, the exhibit will be open at The Box, 306 E Simmons St. 12-5pm thru this Friday.  It's a very moving experience.

This is the front side of suspended
Self-Portrait, Year 2: Beneath theSurface
This is the back side of the quilt.
This quilt was shown at Quiltcon in 2015.   Why Quilts Matter and While She Naps  have discussed it's impact.


The above banners were two different expressions with the same focus.  The colors, design and script were carefully chosen for the message they carry.

Jeremy's Log Cabin, started before the accident 
and completed after his death.

One of the exhibit walls that displays Loss, Shelter and Regret.

Penny's maquettes displaying her process.
Studies for Loss and Regret

Hand dyed fabrics stretched on canvas stretchers.
Penny's most recent study of Stones.

 I have a great deal of admiration for Penny and her work.  Her quilting clearly aligns with her profession as a scholar.  She takes process, education, research, trial and practice very seriously. With her emotions as her focus, her message is apparent. She is very willing to seek out opinions and feedback from many different levels: her husband, art and quilting educators, friends and group members.  You can read more about her designs on her blog.

The Quilters by Design that was formed from a couple years of quilt camp has remained a group.  Some of us who live in closer proximity meet a couple of times a year for support and critique.  Some of us make the Chicago retreat only once a year.  We all have different tastes and references but the bond is strong.  It's been amazing to view Penny's journey and share a part of it.

'Till next Tuesday....

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Competing in the 1/4" hurdles

Marny here...with the Rio Olympics going on I couldn't resist! 

This month's Des Moines Modern Quilt Bee was chosen by Amy and is based on Melissa Corry's Star Value tutorial. There are forty half square triangles and twenty four squares in each 20" finished block! Happily, Amy furnished almost all of the 3 1/2" and 3" squares.

It all started out well enough. 
I stitched up all the slightly oversized half square triangles as directed.
They are trimmed to 3" square.
Then I stitched the units into rows. Here you see two rows sewn to one another. 
Luckily I took the time to check dimensions.
This block will be sewn side by side with those of fellow Bee members.
This means it is extra important to try to make the block the correct size.
Mine is more than 3/8" too large. I use a very scant 1/4" seam, and apparently it is too scant when seven seams are taken into account.
I am also still adjusting to a new sewing machine and trying out suggested settings, etc.

So I moved my needle one tiny position to make the seam allowance larger. You can see two seam lines stitched here. Since I pressed the seams to the side (and not open as I usually do) there was no need to remove the original stitching.

Bingo! 20 1/2" 
Comparing the top half to the bottom half of this photo shows 
just how much unpieced blocks "shrink" when stitched together.
In this case 3 1/2" are lost since there are 7 seams across
every row and column.
It will be fun to see the blocks side by side at Thursday's 

Des Moines Modern Quilt Group's meeting. 
Facebook link
Website link
What will our next Bee block be??
Till Tuesday... 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Paint Chip Challenge

jill here.....As a new member of the Ames Quilt Guild, I decided to partake in the paint chip challenge.  I drew three colors (without looking) from a paper bag.  Actually I like all the colors so I was excited to create.  My inspiration is the artist Annie Albers.  Although most of her works were woven, I love her graphic, simplistic approach.

Aqua Mist, Nice Berry and Green Tea Leaves.

These are my fabric choices with tints added.
The "Green Tea Leaves" lacks impact and
acts more like a neutral, which is fine.

Following the rules, white can be added.
The navy is my one optional color.
The size of the quilt cannot exceed 24" in any direction; this constraint is very attractive as it's very achievable.  I decided on 16" x 24" (I like this proportion) so the "blocks will finish 4"... easy math
(4 x 6 for a total of 24)! The 1" finished strips seem appropriate for the finished size.

I prepared  1 1/2" strips (2 fabrics, 4 strips) sewn into twelve sets, 22" wide.
I always like odd numbers but sewing the sets
 with four strips allows for more flexibility in the design process.
Some strips have more contrast, some are closer in value.
I'll use more aqua. The berry color is bold so a little less might do the trick.  The dull green will provide a nice contrast, the white will brighten and the navy will add the depth.

Colors sewn together....
This challenge was so much fun.  It has to be completed (quilted and bound) by the September meeting.  I'll keep you posted!  'Till next ...Tuesday

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Picnic, Beth's Sampler of Our Six Modern Blocks

Marny here...we received an image from Beth K of her stunning version of our sampler quilt. Our book, Picnic, details a progression through six modern blocks that make up the sampler quilt. There are 13 additional projects.  Fun approach to design lessons throughout.  Scroll down in the Pattern Shop to see photos of the front and back cover.

This is what Beth had to say in her first email. "I love your quilt designs" and they have "helped me venture into modern quilts.  Here is my version of you Picnic quilt. I loved your colors so I chose similar ones." Yipee, it gives us cause to celebrate!!
Beth's Picnic quilt. Wow!
Her blocks are wonderful, she mastered all the techniques,
and take a look at her quilting! We requested April keep our Picnic's quilting simple so that the blocks would dominate. Beth had no such constraints placed on her.

She "was trying to make the most of one of Pam Clarke's last classes
to teach before she retired on how to quilt modern quilts".
I'd say Beth totally nailed the class she took at the
Home Machine Quilting Show in Salt Lake City in May.

Enjoy examining how she approached the quilt over all and block by block.
Dip Bowls block

Season to Taste block
Tailgate block
Chips and Salsa (and a great example of transparency!!!!)
Deli Tray block
Condiments block
Take a good look at all the quilting techniques and patterns! Again Wow Beth! 

Thank you for letting us share!
Till Tuesday...happy August!