Saturday, March 27, 2010

English Garden Sampler - February Complete

I finished up all the white work that I was supposed to get done in February. If this keeps up, I might actually get to work on March's stitching in March. 8)

I'm afraid you have to enlarge these pictures to make the icky geometric waves go away.
I enjoy white work, the rope was especially fun to do. I memorized the repeat after a few repetitions, and it went really fast. Loading the needle with three different colors of floss, two of which were almost identical, was the hard part. lol
Eventually this part will have pearl beads that should really set it off well. Now I get to work on the second peacock. Stitching a picture is totally different from this geometric design; I'm looking forward to the change.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quilt Show Booty and my OPAM Prize

Here is my haul from 2 days at the Dallas Quilt Celebration. I think I ended up being somewhere on the far side of "restrained", but not over the line into "hog wild". My best find was the cheetah Minkee. I had been looking everywhere for it to back my green & purple pansy quilt. To the right are several lengths of US military fabrics, Army, Air Force and Marines, (enormously popular at the USO.) I bought three fabric panels: Larry voted for robot and space boy, and I loved Mama Bear. 8) Larry found the quilt block coasters, and thought they would be perfect for the monthly bees. (He's such a good husband.) I needed more quilty stationery (I was running low - honest.) I got the Machine Quilting lessons to try to move past my endless stippling, and I bought the bolt end of the robin's egg blue velvet Minkee for cheap. That just leaves the pink fabric roll; it got a lot less expensive on Sunday, so I snapped it up for some future french braid extra girly quilt. (Take that space boy!) And on Wednesday, the OPAM prize for February arrived all the way from Australia!
Look what I got! Some beautiful pink fabric, lovely sticky notes and a handy highlighter with a sweet little card. This was the first time I won the OPAM draw and it was very exciting. Thanks so much, Kris.
This cold, wet spring appears to have made our ornamental Bradford Pear very happy. It has never flowered this much and for such a long time. Usually the flowers follow the leaves, which is non-optimal for beauty, but not this time. The petals have even hung on through some intense wind and rain. It was so small when we bought the house - not anymore!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March Completion - One More "First Steps" Done

Here is yet another "First Steps" all done in time for my March completion. This makes 5 down, 1 to go. Yippee!!! Plus, I'm all done with the pink fake Minkee.
Since all of my completions lately have looked so much alike, here is a picture that is definitive PROOF that I did complete all THREE of the last set of "First Steps". (Instead of, say, flipping one around and calling it an all new quilt. lol)
Ah yes, this is very satisfying, because I remember all too well that they used to look like this:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dallas Quilt Show Slideshows - LOTS of Quilts!

Bull Winkle by Jean Brower of Allen, Texas, Third Place Open Division "Pictorial" category. My husband and I both loved this amazing moose; the detail was incredible.

Celestial Showers by Mildred Sorrells of Macomb, Illinois, winner of both the Judge's Choice (Jane Hall) Award and an Honorable Mention in the Master Division "Large Pieced" category. Awesome quilting!
Chairy Tree by Tonya Littmann of Denton, Texas. This didn't win any prizes, but it was so clever it always had a crowd around it giggling. 8)Clam Session by Karen K. Stone of Beaumont, Texas, First Place in the Master Division "Art Quilt" category. I'm not sure if this was the same quilt that won in Houston last fall or not. It was certainly very similar.

Dallas Wind Rose Quilter's Guild of Dallas, Keepers Quilt Collection, chaired by Ruth C. Cottrell. I wonder how many women worked on this quilt? There was certainly plenty to go around. If anyone knows more about it, please let me know.

Dear Harriet, I Am Trying by Kathy Kelley of Waco, Texas. An ode to Harriet Hargrove. I think Harriet would be VERY please by this attempt!

Emiline by Pat Kuhns of Lincoln, Nebraska, Second Place Open Division "Miniature Quilts" category. This tiny little jewel just captivated me; and it was so perfect, it could have been done by Sally Collins. 8)

Endless Stars by Pat McCarroll of Plano, Texas. This quilt reminded me of my efforts last year on Starry Night. So many stars!

Grandma Larson's Flower Garden by Joyce Larson of Burkburnett, Texas, Winner of an Honorable Mention in the Open Division "Quilts made by Seniors" category. The machine quilting on this quilt was done by Richard Larson, whose name I saw as quilter on a number of the quilts in the show. His quilting is superb and this quilt was simply wonderful, so delicate!

Happiness is a Primitive Garden by Timi Ann Welch of Allen, Texas, Third Place Open Division "Group Quilts" category. This was a fun quilt! I really enjoyed seeing it and I bet it was fun to work on too. 8)

Historical Buildings of Denton County by Barbara McCraw of Denton, Texas, First Place Open Division "Group Quilts" category. This quilt was a clever idea that was wonderfully well executed.

Mammy Quilt by Marlene Dreyer of Frisco, Texas. This was a sweet quilt that, I think, is a sensitive portrayal of a much loved figure.

Marching With Shermon by Pat Poulter of Allen, Texas, Third Place in the Artisan Division "Two-Person Large Quilts" category. The quilting on this rather austere quilt was meticulous. I thought the name of the quilt was an interesting choice for a show here in the land of cotton. ;)

Mission: Impossible 2 by Kumiko Frydl of Houston, Texas, Winner of the Pride of Dallas Award and First Place Open Division "Miniature Quilts" category. This should have been called "Oops, I did it again" because I remember a very similar quilt winning the same prize last year. How about something a little different next year? Even just another color would be nice. Big kudos on the level of perfection achieved again; it's definitely become the gold standard.

Montana Lone Star by Vicki Conley of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, Second Place in the Artisan Division "Large Pieced" category. This was my husbands favorite quilt (which is why the slideshow is so long - lol) I liked it, especially the bambi kaleidescopes, but not as much as he did!

Mostly Morris by Joyce Saia of Beaumont, Texas, winner of an Honorable Mention in the Master Division "Applique" category. This is a beautiful quilt, which spent most of the show surrounded by admirers. Everyone liked the gold braid accents; I thought it was all terrific.

My Traveling Winter Wonderland by Linda Neal of McKinney, Texas, Second Place Open Division "Other Techniques" category. This could be my favorite quilt in the show. I thought it was darling! The little snowman vignettes are just captivating and it is soooo pretty!

Peace Rocks by Rosemary Raley, Winner of an Honorable Mention in the Artisan Division "Two-Person Small Quilts" category. This quilt rocks! What a terrific tribute to her Aunt; she must be so thrilled!

Roseville by Ingrid Fullard of Georgetown, Texas, Third Place in the Artisan Division "Two-Person Small Quilts" category. This is the quilt I WISH I had more pictures of! It's so beautiful and I only got ONE detail photo. Dang! By the way, this is really big for a "small" quilt!

Sandhills Stars by Sandi McMillan of Albion, Nebraska, First Place Master Division "Large Pieced" category. This quilt shows how very ordinary fabrics can be combined in ways to make a stunning statement. Very nicely done!

Just Sing... Sing a Song by Tom Russell of Katy, Texas, winner of the Corinne Manley Award. The detail on this quilt was amazing. I'm glad I got lots of photos. I think it's a really special little quilt!

Stitch Sampler by Vicki Conley of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, winner of an Honorable Mention in the Artisan Division "Wall Quilt" category. I WISH I could machine quilt like this. Such artistry! I wish I had taken more detail shots, but it was surrounded by an admiring hoard and I was in the way.

Sun Burst by Wendy Chizuko Simard of Colleyville, Texas, Third Place Open Division "Miniature Quilts" category. This was a spectacular little quilt. I loved the originality of it's asymetric design and wonderful use of contrasting colors.

The Bold and the Beautiful by Dana Jo Johnson, Winner of an Honorable Mention in the Artisan Division "Two-Person Small Quilts" category. This was another simply amazing quilt that had a nearly constant crowd of people around it disbelieving that it hadn't won a higher prize. Congratulations, Ms. Johnson, your quilt was a really big hit. 8)

The Day it Snowed Tortillas by Juanita "Lou" Lovelady-Sikes of Portales, New Mexico, Winner of an Honorable Mention in the Open Division "Pictorial" category. This was a clever little quilt, and so well executed. I'm not sure what it all meant, but I sure enjoyed it!

Van Gogh Sunflowers by Debra Dall'asen of Plano, Texas, Second Place in the Artisan Division "First Quilt" category. This is a fabulous quilt. My camera gave me lots of trouble with the blue background and I was never able to replicate the lovely soft shade of blue, but you get the general idea.

Wistful Willows by Linda Roy of Knoxville, Tennessee, winner of the Viewer's Choice Award, the Betty J. Carpenter Memorial Award for Overall Handwork AND First Place in the Master Division "Applique" category. This was a very popular quilt. Her "willow" technique reminded me a bit of chenille; it was certainly a lovely tribute to her kitty!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dallas Quilt Celebration Slideshows

Here are some of my favorite quilts from the Dallas Quilt Celebration with links to the slideshow of the quilt on the name of the quilt:

"Beneath the Deep Blue Sea" is in the "Quilters Guild of Dallas, Keepers Quilt Collection, chaired by Consetta Boscardin" (BTW If anyone knows exactly what that means, please let me know.)
"Facade" by Melissa Sobotka of Richardson, Texas took first prize in the "Open Division - Pictoral". Ms Sobotka wrote, "A crumbling facade in Montecatini Terme, Tuscany, worn by time, and masked by failed restoration, possessed great beauty and character - making me wonder what was behind those doors."
"Peacock Squawk" by Kathy Kelly of Waco took 3rd Place in the "Master Division - Art Quilt" category. Ms Kelly wrote, "These 8" square blocks were the prototype for a class project studying the color wheel. Then they unexpectedly took off on a wild bird". There I am, taking a load off, enjoying the back of this quilt, which is completely reversible.
"How My Garden Grows" by Shelly Sutton of Cedar Park, Texas was a terrific colorful quilt that sadly didn't win anything except high praise by everyone who saw it. Ms. Sutton wrote, "I wanted to make a Dresden Plate quilt and this is what happened". Wow.
More to come...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Best in Show and the One that beat Dear Jane

A very deep purple take on the "Little Brown Bird" quilt called "Brown Bird's Lullaby" by Sally Magee of Heath, TX most deservedly won Best in Show at the Dallas Quilt Celebration this past weekend. I got to meet Ms. Magee, who told me that this breath-taking quilt took her a total of 4000 hours to complete; 3000 to do all the applique and 1000 to quilt. She was the first of her friends who are all making this quilt to complete it. (When I told her I had the book she encouraged me to make one of my own.) Here is Ms. Magee beside her masterpiece. I also made a slideshow of many details of this quilt.

"Poinsettias in the Snow" made by Janice Bentley of Dallas and quilted by Richard Larsen, beat out Dear Jane for winner of the "Open Division - Senior" group. Here is a slideshow of the lovely Poinsettias quilt.

"Poinsettias in the Snow" is a beautiful example of an overall applique design with a subtle Christmas theme. The workmanship of the applique and the machine quilting are exquisite, and, as far as I know, it is an original design. (If I'm wrong about that someone please let me know!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear Jane at Dallas Quilt Celebration Takes Second Prize

A Dear Jane quilt by Mary Lou Strohm of Quinlan, TX took second prize in the "Open Division - Senior" at the Dallas Quilt Celebration this weekend. The quilt entitled "Mixed Techniques" used 169 different red fabrics and took Ms. Strohm 7 years to complete.

This magnificent quilt, which appears to accurately reproduce the complete, original Dear Jane in lovely shades of red, clearly deserves high praise to the maker. Congratulations Ms. Strohm on your wonderful achievement! Here is a Slideshow of just this Dear Jane, showing much of its fabulous detail and lovely hand-quilting.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

International Siggy Swap - Helen McNaught

I got this lovely siggy yesterday from Helen McNaught of Queensland, Australia. Helen has a lovely blog of her own called Aunt Henny's. Helen lives in Bardon, near Brisbane, right by the Bardon Scenic Reserve. Helen said she lives in beautiful bushland and gets lots of interesting "visitors" like Kookaburras, Possums, lizards and many varieties of birds. I went to my LQS on Friday to buy some of my favorite Presencia thread. I took two swatches of Minkee fabric with me to match with. [Remember I'm making all my quilts this year starting with the back side. 8) ] The thread doesn't come in that many colors, but look at this, they both match perfectly. How about that!I'm making good progress and am almost half done with the white work section of the English Garden sampler. I also got the last of the pink-backed First Steps quilts quilted and trimmed. It just needs to be bound now (my least favorite bit.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

English Garden Sampler - January Complete

I know, I know, it's MARCH already. In my own defense I had decided to complete everything down to the bottom of the topiaries for January, which turned out to be a HUGE chunk of stitching. Here is where I started. February's section is smaller; just a 2-3" whitework border below the alphabet. That's all there is to do, so I really hope to be done with it before the end of March. 8) If you enlarge this image the hateful geometric pattern goes away.
I thought you might like to see the floss monster I'm using to complete this sampler. Before I started working on this project, years ago, I spent two nights organizing all the floss on 7 LoRan Mastercards. I drew each symbol next to a hole and threaded the floss(es) required to make that stitch through the hole. I also punched a smaller hole on the opposite side for partially used floss. I've been collecting floss for awhile now as you can see. I'm definitely SABLE on floss. 8) I have nearly all the numbers of DMC. I'm really fond of these LoRan organizers, which of course they don't make like this anymore. (And I really could use another one. One of these is so stuffed it pulled the velcro off the plastic and won't shut anymore.) At least they're still making the Mastercards. I love them!