Monday, October 16, 2017

Sujata Shah - Paper Beads Workshop

Sujata Shah, aka The Root Connection was in the PNW this past weekend and I had a blast creating with a fantastic group of quilters.  The workshop was advertised as Rail Fence, from the cover of Sujata's book, Cultural Fusion.

 I was excited to meet Sujata, see her quilts, and hear her quilting experiences.  I was also excited that this project needed LOTS of fabric and I had a bin of blacks and whites that have been begging to get cut up and put into a quilt top.  I'm a pre-prepper so I had all my 16 sets cut, pressed, and ready to go......
.....and then Quiltmania put out Simply Moderne with Sujata's Paper Beads on the cover.  Class got switched up and everyone was moving down a different track.  Here are some of the fabulous creations that came from this weekend in Mt.Vernon, WA

Creativity starts here.
Beads are on the wall and backgrounds are being auditioned.
Some choices have been made and we were grateful for having a quilt shop next door.  Bolts were brought over, many rejected, but as quilters, everyone  persevered and found just the right background.
*all photos can be enlarged by clicking*
K decided she couldn't decide so she pieced the backgrounds and it is fabulous.
Here K has added in her vertical strips, which have also been pieced.
Close up of fabrics. 
Mary, (one of 3 in the class) was on task and had lots of beads together and was using a fabulous neutral woven background.
No sashing yet, but auditioning some border strips.  This pink was fantastic.

Cherrywood always looks like suede to me.  Mary adding in some piecing in her piecing, and is going to use a brown grunge for backgrounds. 
J is using an orange grunge for her beads. Grunge and grunge dot were popular options for this project. The fabrics in the beads were amazing.  Every bit of design wall had my head spinning, picking out and pointing at so many GOOD fabrics. We really are blessed to have such an abundance of product to work with.
S got into the October mood and was using Hallow'een fabrics.  Her background was perfect for her beads, BUT............once you start cutting up the backgrounds, the prints can be a bit muddled and mixed up and detract from the string beads.  A few ideas got tossed around at that end of the room, and pretty soon several makers were going to raw edge applique their beads onto the backgrounds.


A dotty grey was chosen here.

C couldn't decide between the brown or the red dot so she chose to use both.  She was also part of the applique discussion and after getting her beads sewn, she added a little square as a connector.  Then her featherweight got to work and she raw edge appliqued her beads onto the grunge dots.  There were pins and glue and extra hands used in getting this under the needle, but WOW!
Auditioning  top and bottom sashings.....
close up of fabrics used.
Something to crow about!  I'd say, C had her top finished, except for borders. 

Me, well, I was invested into the original Rail Fence project and I decided to stick to that plan. After making a test block a few months ago, I was sold on rectangle blocks and I loved the block layout.  After getting each block on the wall, this was my final design, and I couldn't be happier with this. I got all the blocks pieced and designed into my finished vision.  There *might* be a sliver of lime added in while putting the blocks together.  In the process of doing all this piecing, I did manage to produce 5 -6 black and white beads by using left over strips as leaders/enders.


I have just come out of a few intensive string pieces, and didn't want to get into another one just yet.
It was definitely a weekend of intensive piecing; machines were humming, bobbins were emptied and rewound, minds were spinning with ideas and the sharing of fabric and friendship was the best part of the weekend.  Life is GOOD!


Friday, August 25, 2017

Stars of the Bed Turning

Here is my last post from the PNW Quilt and Fiber Museum.  Stars from the bed turning last weekend.  Although this isn't technically a star, it has a similar feel to a feathered star so I put it in this post.  It was a fabulous 2 color quilt and the maker did a very good job.

She hand quilted spider web designs in to the center cream diamonds.

This one was spectacular, both in it's color and design.  I love the shots of pink mixed into the poison green that was used.  Crossed flying geese inside a feathered star.

I didn't make a note of how many pieces were in each block, but they did make mention of it.  I just know it's lots.  This quilt maker was confident of her skills to tackle not just one block, but nine of these blocks.

This next piece was very different.  The quilter was showcasing the center fabric and it seems that it would have almost covered the top of the mattress and the lone stars would have been around the three edges.  No border on the top of this quilt.

Again, I did not note any details of the size, but I did notice that the maker used some of the center fabric in a few of the lone star blocks.

A closer look at the center piece and you can see the quilting pattern of diamonds.  I thought this one was pretty special.
How about a dose of Vitamin C, this bright and vibrant flower/sunburst was appliqued and embroidered.  The stitching was quite thick and detailed.

Don't forget to eat your pea's........pea pods and vines were embroidered all around each of the flowers.  I believe this was a coverlet with no batting or quilting.


Last up was this colorful hexagon piece.  The maker created the diamond shapes, and then set them into tumbling blocks.  She appliqued it onto this wonderful orange solid.  Sorry, I didn't snap any full pictures of this one.
But I did get the back.  All that hand quilting gave the back such amazing texture.  I just wanted to run my hand over it and feel all the goodness, but of course I didn't.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the permanent collection from the PNW Quilt and Fiber Museum.  As many of you know, it is our museums that are maintaining, preserving, and showing these fabulous textile treasures from the past, along with exceptional pieces from makers of today.  Without our support, they struggle financially, and if we want to continue to have these amazing facilities be the keepers of past/present textiles we, as quilters need to financially support them.  It's not enough to visit once in awhile, and pay the entrance fee. 

For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, please consider becoming an Sustainable Member of our local museum.  When I consider how much I spent on fabric throughout the year, sending $10 a month is less than a yard of fabric.  I have no affiliation with this museum, but I do love the history of quilts and quilting and without our support, these "keeper of the quilts" will cease to exist.

Keep stitching,
Sharon

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Appliques from the Bed Turning


Here are the appliqued pieces I enjoyed on Sunday at the PNW Quilt and Textile Museum in LaConner, WA
Up first is a wool piece that has some kind of funky yarn flowers. It was noted that the flowers were made by wrapping over a tin template and then stitched down onto wool patchwork. (I think)
The values of the patchwork would make this striking if it had been hanging on a wall.

It has been tied with a yarn.  I have never seen a piece like this one.

Here we go. I could have rolled myself up in this piece.  If I could have taken one home, this would have been it.  What's to not love about it.  Big graphic appliques... Seriously, look at that center block.
Fabulous swags surround the center. **added**  I found a very similar quilt in the Kentucky Quilts 1700 - 1800 yesterday.  That one had a busier center, but VERY close to the same pattern and layout.




I loved this variation of a feathered wreath.  The quilter did a spiral and then a single line to fill in the open space. Double spined feather.
Such lovely quilting, the cross hatch was (i think) 1/2" grid work.


Although this is pieced in the center, the poison green swags with pink blooms just made me smile.

Look at the little 1/2 sq triangles marching across the bottom of this piece. 
This summer spread was pretty special.  No backing and no quilting, however, all the applique has been stuffed.
My pictures are dark, but this one was very vibrant.
Most applique was done using solid fabrics, but one block with strawberry motifs showed a printed red.
She was proud of her work and she signed it.  Yeah for her.

If you click on this picture, you can see a small repair patch on the bottom right.  She rounded the corners of her patch and made it as good as she could.
I especially loved the flower design in this block.

I hope you have been enjoying some of these quilts that are part of the permanent collection at our only textile museum here in the PNW.  Through October, the on going exhibit is other quilts from their permanent collection.  I only had a few minutes to take a very quick walk through, but I saw enough to know I need to go back for an afternoon.

I'll post one more segment, star quilts.  I hope the eclipse was all that you expected and that everyone stayed safe out there.

Keep stitching,
Sharon

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bed Turning - PNW Quilt Museum

This was a free weekend for me.  No guy, no day plans, nothing but sunshine and a full tank of gas.  My only commitment was Sat evening, helping at the NW WA fair in Lynden, 25 minutes away.  It was also a Sew Day for our guild on Sunday and an old fashioned Bed Turning at the PNW Quilt and Textile Musuem in La Conner, WA which is just a bit over an hour south of me.  I decided I could fit both these events into my Sunday.
Here are some of the pieced quilts that I enjoyed.  Although is was a small venue and I could get up close, my camera just didn't capture the colors very well.  Double pink with a cream solid. 
The quilting on so many of the quilts I saw today was delightful. 


I tried to get some close ups for block construction and quilt motifs.


9 in a 9 patch.  Love that bright blue background.  
 And check the corners of the sashing.  If you struggle to get your blocks to all line up, forget about it.  These fabulous quilters from days gone by just rolled with it and I truly think it adds to the charm of the whole piece. 
 Don't get me wrong, I do value pointy points, flat borders, square blocks.  But seriously.  If you are making a gift or just trying out a new block in the center, do your best work and relax about some things.  Who knows, your quilt might end up in a museum in 2186 and someone will be commenting on how creative your work was.


This medallion was a delight to see. There was an eclectic mix of fabrics in the center, and the piecer made two types of blocks for the center block corners.
One side was a log cabin styled block


and the other sides were simple patchwork with triangles.

She (he) used a fun corner block and the top was wrapped to the back instead of using binding.
This fabulous log cabin was hanging up, and the variety of fabrics was amazing.

Another hanging quilt, I just loved how vibrant the colors were in this piece.  My photo looks dull, but trust me, the poison green in this was lovely.

If memory serves me, I believe this was the back of the log cabin shown above.  I loved the greens in the center star, and the ghost block in the center top right corner.  It's patchwork, but has faded.


This two color quilt was hanging and it was spectacular. There is just something about 2 color quilts that draws me to them
If you told someone you were making a 4 patch quilt, they would not expect something like this one.

Simple in it's piecing, but the scattered gold/yellow fabrics kept your eyes moving across this top.

Simple line quilting was done in the center, but the blue borders had lovely baptist fans.
Last in the patchwork selection is a triple irish chain with several shades of yellow/gold.
This quilter varied from the expected feathered wreath and stitched orange peels into the open centers.
It was finished with a piano key pieced border on the top and the bottom.
Most of these quilts had very narrow binding that had been cut on the bias. A few were finished with a knife edge and I recall one that had the back brought to the front and stitched down for binding.

If we look back, we can see many of the influences that are in the quilts being made today.  I had the opportunity to meet with several quilters who are very well versed in antique quilts, and I'm looking forward to spending some time with them in the future.  They have so much knowledge and when I see quilts like the ones I saw today, I'm motivated to get into my sewing studio. 
Next post will be appliqued quilts from the Bed Turning.

Keep stitching!
Sharon