Feeling Judged

This is one of those posts where I feel like I need to re-introduce myself….it has been far too long since I have posted anything.

There are several reasons for my absence including being super busy at work and preparing for my guild’s quilt show.  We are also struggling with some family health issues at the moment.  My husband has been diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma which has included two surgeries in the last two months and now we are waiting to hear results of a Lymph node test to determine if additional surgeries will be required.   News like that really manages to slow life down to a crawl!!

There have been some fun times in the past two months, including our guild quilt show.  The quality of work in our show was wonderful and it was so inspiring to spend 3 days looking at these examples of fine quilting.  I will post photos from the show in the next week….I promise!!!

I was interested in the Judge’s comments about my entries…..

I was surprised that this piece received a 2nd place ribbon in the “Wall Quilt – Applique” division…..

I am NOT known for my hand work so was excited that this was received well.  The Judge felt that the small yellow border did a good job of suggesting a light source and the shadows on the table encourage that idea.   I REALLY wish that I had done it for that reason, but sometimes serendipity knows better!!!   She did comment that the points of my petals could be more precise and I totally agree with that comment.

The other quilt that received an award was my pineapple quilt….an Honorable Mention in “Bed Quilt – Pieced”…..

She liked the color flow and the use of the yellow in the pineapple corners but felt that the yellow border was too intense.   I hadn’t really thought about it, but now that I look at the quilt further, I can see what she means!! 

For this quilt…..

….she liked the lettering, the reduced Chroma in the photo and the focal point of the quilt, but noted that the photo could have been sharper.   I agree with this assessment but had just used the photo that had been given to me.  Next time I need to play with it more and see if I can use Photoshop to sharpen it up!!

She didn’t like much about this quilt…..

….saying that the fused edges were too frayed and that it was hard to read the landscape with the similar values.   I sort of agree with the value comment but I also like that it is a nighttime scene with the light seemingly coming from the buds on the tree. 

I fully agreed with one of the comments about this quilt…..

One of her first comments was that the perspective wasn’t quite right.  I felt this as well, wishing that I had made the windmill shorter and wider.  BUT, the exciting thing for me about this quilt was that I did almost all of it freehand and without a pattern and am just happy that it didn’t turn out looking like a Picasso!!!    She also felt like the eye was drawn too much to the flowers.   I dont know if I agree with that but am actually quite happy if your eyes go there first!!

Probably my biggest disappointment were the comments on the Himalayan quilt….

….but after I thought about them more, I can actually agree. She commented that the top part of the quilt was more effective than the lower part because of the value differences in the mountains.   She liked the flags, but didn’t like the lack of value contrast between the monument and the grass, and this is what I agree with.   I remember when I placed the monument on the finished background that I was concerned about this.  However, in my rush to finish the quilt, I didn’t listen to that niggily voice telling me to FIX IT!!!

So now I am trying to decide if I want to try to fix it or leave it the way it is.   I know that I could use some paint to darken the monument but I am afraid that I will have to get it REALLY dark to have enough contrast from the grass.  So instead, I am trying to think of a way to lighten the grass….maybe sponge a creamy, yellowy brown paint over the green fabric, especially directly around the monument.   I am also sure that I want to add some shading to the “steeple” and also to the inside side of the monument.

Now I just have to work up my courage and tackle it with a sponge and some paint….maybe I will wait for a while!!!

It was interesting to hear people’s comments about the quilt at the show.  Many had no idea what it was and couldn’t figure out why there was “washing hanging on the line” or “flowers inside the brick oven”!!!

I did buy an interesting book…..

She starts with plain white fabric, adds layers of textured fabrics, paints those fabrics to create a background and then thread paints over them.  I LOVE the texture and am anxious to try this technique!!!

One of our vendors presented an interesting method of using Derwent Paint Sticks…..

He would shave the sticks into a small jar, add some Aloe vera gel….

and mix it to form a paint consistency.   He said that using the gel helped to control the bleeding of the paint that you often get when you add water to it.   Again, I am looking forward to playing with this!!!

OK….I have done my duty and caught you up for now.   Hopefully there will be more to come soon!!!

Putting it all together……


After I finished adding some threadwork to the four panels, it was time to put it all together.  My original thought was to border each panel with a brown fabric and then to add some other designs and pots, etc.   Something like this….


BUT….when I put the borders around the first two panels, I realized that it would look better if I kept it simple and leave off all of the other stuff…..


I kept on adding strips until the piece was basically square…..


After deciding on a dark border, I felt that it needed something else, so ended up adding a sliver of Turquoise around the edge…..


Here is the final top…..DSC09089

I got the quilting started before my meeting last week but ended up taking it in for the challenge in an unfinished state.    Hopefully I can get it finished up before the new year!!

By the way, the challenge was to make a quilt depicting a Nation, including an Indian Nation.    Here are a few of the other entrants…..

Nupur made a “stamp” from her native India……


Mary’s quilt was Polynesian in nature…..DSC09102

Nancy used “Olive” trees to depict Italy……


Madeline remembered her trip to France with her daughter……


Pat chose France as her country.  She had two wonderful quilts,  but I wasn’t able to get a good photo of her first one.  Here is the second…..


Mary Ellen had two entries.  The first was from Africa…..


Her second one was from Australia……


And finally, our Challenge chairman, Barbara, chose to depict our neighbor to the North…..


It was a fun reveal to the challenge and a great Christmas party!!!

Quilt Show Magic

Last week my guild held its biennial show “A Journey in Quilts – 2013”.  It was a bittersweet time for me since I missed most of the show because of my impromptu trip to Texas, but I was excited to learn that I had won THREE blue ribbons……

“Flower Pot, Flower Pot…..SO Many Flower Pots”…..


“Lines Should Be Straight”……



and “Complements Under the Canopy”…….


The show was beautifully laid out and hung and it was such fun to spend two hours enjoying the wonderful quilts.

This one was made by my friend Deb and was part of the “Two Block” challenge…..


…..I love the neutral colors!!!

This one by Sylvia is called “The Ooze Primordial”….such great colors….


Sylvia is a Marine Biologist and many of her quilts express her love of all things scientific!!

Terri stole the show, winning numerous ribbons for her wonderful scrappy quilts.  This is one of my favorites…..


A group of women, calling themselves “Artful Hands” put together this fun piece….


But the show stopper was a quilt made by Cleo….hand appliqued, hand quilted and beaded….


Look at the detailed quilting  (remember that it is done by hand)…..


All in all, it was a fantastic show and I cant wait for 2015 to enjoy the next one…..guess I should get started on my entries!!!

A fun gift…..


Our guild President gave small gifts to each of her chairmen…..

DSC02903This little case is about 2 inches square and contains a small box designed to hold…… 


….pain killers. 

This little case sure beats the zip-lock bag of Ibuprofen that currently resides in the bottom of my purse!!!!


Her comment was that she was giving us an Aspirin box because she had been such a “pain” during the year.   On the contrary, she was a gracious and effective President…..thank you Ruhanna!!!!

Teddy Pruett – part 2

A few more of the older quilts that Teddy showed……


She showed how she had taken this quilt top……DSC02566

and cut out the best of the blocks to use in this wonderful quilt……DSC02567


This quilt was a little hard to photograph but it is a lovely mixture of white, off-white and cream fabrics, trims,  crochet and whatever she could find…..

DSC02593 ….and she gave it the perfect name…..”White Trash”!!!!

This next design we know as the Apple Core or Hatchet…


…..but Teddy calls it the “Panty Crotch” quilt.

One of her friends made this miniature version that she calls the “Barbie Panty” quilt…..


She used all of her orphan blocks to make this…..


She showed this UGLY shirt…..


….that she used to make this…..DSC02575

She recycled old Crewel Embroidery art into this wonderful quilt…..DSC02602 (I think that I once made the small chair on the bottom left)….


This was her ode to housework……DSC02610

This is her quilt about cooking…….


…..complete with the cooking diva with stove-top knob eyes…..DSC02634

There were lots of others, but I will leave you with one more…..

This is “Church Ladies” that celebrates good old-fashioned gospel music……

DSC02619 The really fun part of this is that the choir robes are made from Crown Royal bags….


If you cant tell, it was a fun evening with MUCH laughter.  AND, I have never heard our guild give a longer ovation at the end.

Thank you Teddy for coming our way!!!!

A fun evening with Teddy Pruett

Last week our guild hosted Teddy Pruett from Lake City, Florida.  You can check out her blog here…..


By profession, she is a quilt appraiser, but she is also an excellent speaker and story teller and her quilts are magnificent stories in themselves.

She spent much of the evening talking about recycling old fabrics, many from unusable, un-quilted tops that she purchases as she finds them. 

As an example, she purchased several rows of blocks that had too much bias in them to ever use in a quilt …..DSC02570

She took those half-square triangles and cut them down to make this piece….


Another great example was her use of a curtain similar to this one….

DSC02597 that was used as a starting point for this quilt…..DSC02598

She also showed some interesting antique quilts that she had picked up along the way.

This one used corset fabric to piece the designs….


And this traditional quilt.  the blue leaves are actually green fabrics that had faded to blue over the years……DSC02555

This one was amazing…..


She noted that as an appraiser, she sees many, many quilts using the same traditional designs.  Since this can be a bit boring, she loves to find traditional patterns that aren’t quite so traditional……


Like this amazing use of stripes…..DSC02553 

or these VERY interesting circles….DSC02564 

with one orphan block in the setting……DSC02565 This double wedding ring sort of disappears and then reappears depending on where you look on the quilt and how long you stare at it…..


She has named this quilt “Grandmother’s Soccer Balls”  because obviously the creator got tired of making flowers and allowed them to morph…..


And we all howled at this  version of the Sunbonnet Sue…..DSC02588

….to be continued…….

Good tips from Pat Speth

Pat Speth was the speaker at our guild meeting last week and we spent about an hour enthralled with the 30+ quilts that she showed and the tips that she gave.


Her newest book is about making pieced borders and she had a wonderful demonstration where she showed over 30 different border ideas for one quilt.  Here are a few of my favorites….



DSC02385  DSC02393  DSC02396 DSC02399

The absolute best tip that she gave was to not worry if the inner borders were different sizes.  She suggested that it was more important to make the border pieces easy to work with…..no 7/8ths of an inch measurements!!!

I had always stayed away from different sized borders because I was afraid that it would make the quilt look weird. 


But, does THIS quilt really look strange??  I found that I never noticed the quilts where the borders were different sizes until Pat pointed them out to us!!!

Here are a few other quilts that are made with 5 inch units….

DSC02329 DSC02403  DSC02410 DSC02419 DSC02335

I left the meeting quietly planning borders in my head!!!!

The calm after the storm

Last night was the final event related to the Quilt Show……our guild meeting and wrap up party.

Deb and I had a wonderful team of women serving on our Core Committee and then heading up each of the other committees!!!!   We wanted to do something to honor them and debated long and hard about what to do.

Then, one of us mentioned making 3-dimensional flowers and the ideas started flowing.  We decided to give each chairman a flower, just like an actor receives after a wonderful performance!!!

I have already shown the process that we used to dye the background fabrics…check it out here, AND, I have shown some of the beaded flowers here.

We both had ideas that we wanted to incorporate…..I was enjoying playing with beads so wanting something “blingy”,  and Deb really enjoys using words on her quilts, so we decided to do both.

The words were printed on “Extravorganza” fabric.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get all of the quilts together to take a  photo but here are my portion of the completed projects…..


In the next few days, I will post pictures of the individual flowers and tell a bit about how they were made.

NOW, as for this morning……I slept wonderfully last night, with no “disaster” dreams haunting me, I woke up relaxed and refreshed, my Husband and I skipped the gym and I had biscuits and eggs for breakfast!!!!  Needless to say, I am in relaxation mode……at least until 10:00am…..then I have to get back to doing tax returns, but it is SO nice to know that I can sit at my desk all day and work, AND to know that the guild has pulled off another successful show!!!

Hot Threads, Cool Quilts Challenge results

On Tuesday night our quilt guild presented the results of the Hot Threads, Cool Quilts challenge.  We were so excited to have 19 entries in this contest and we could tell that the challenged piqued the interest and imagination of many of our members.

Here are a two photos that show most of the quilts.   There were a few that came in later and didn’t make it into this photo journal….

_C151095 _C151093

What a fun group of quilts……cant wait for the show!!!!!