Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hello baby, soon...

This past week I sewed a baby quilt for my niece and her husband's little baby girl, whose birth is due in October. I think every baby should have a traditional baby quilt.

The fabrics came from my stash.  I love it when unrelated fabrics come together so happily.

My mother, who died this past winter, would have ooh-ed and ah-ed over this quilt.  (Maybe she spoke to me.)  It was comforting to make.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Clyde ' s quilt

Clyde as a newborn

Clyde at about one month

My friend Grace has her first grandchild, Clyde. I made him this baby quilt.

Baby Clyde is now 6 months old, smiling, laughing and very sociable.

Clyde at 6 months

Grandma Grace adores him.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dakota County Star Quilters' show, continued

Here are some more photos, starting with my patient husband.

Enjoy the inspiration! I would like to join these quilters but the drive to the guild meetings is a little long. I keep up with them through four friends who are members.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dakota County Star Quilters Show

One of my favorite annual quilt shows is at the Dakota County Museum in S. St. Paul, put on by Dakota County Star Quilters. Here are some of my favorites:

A simple quilt with eye-catching colors that make me think of summer:

Detail of a fun modern quilt:

The black is a beautiful tone. The photo doesn't do it justice.

The soft toned fabric and the embellished tree are lovely on the quilt below. (Note the predominently green floor which shows up in many of the photos. It is a map of Dakota County.)

One of my husband's favorites, hand-pieced and hand-quilted. It is behind glass:

This pretty quilted picture of the Golden Gate Bridge makes me think of my daughter and her husband, who live in the Bay area. Look at the dense, traditional patterns of the machine quilting:

This amazing piece of art is by my friend Carol Egan from Giraffe Dreams:

Very contemporary interpretation of Amish quilting:

I love the wavy quilting:

This beautiful needle-turned appliqu├ęd quilt in batiks was my husband's favorite quilt. I couldn't stand back far enough to get the whole quilt in the picture but three of the borders are visible. Imagine the time that went into this:

A huge quilt that is a study in gray:

The quilt below was also huge and used just three batik fabrics, rose, mossy green and taupe, and the piecing is very intricate:

Below, my favorite rendition of the mystery quilt - love the color palette. Look at the red half-square triangles, how the corners on the long side of each triangle were intentionally blunted, an interesting design twist. The fabric used in the border, pinwheels and center medallion is fun and makes the quilt very lively:

The colors are rich and the square grid design is very architectural in this striking large quilt. It was hung in a spot with very poor lighting:

And there are more, which I'll add in the next post.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Controlled scrappiness

I was on a four day quilt retreat last weekend in Wisconsin with these wonderful friends...

...and 42 other women from the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters and the Twin Cities Modern Quilt Guild. Thanks to friend Carol E. (on the right, from Giraffe Dreams quilt blog) for the photo.

I worked on this quilt.

Since I used scraps to make identical blocks, I call it "controlled scrappiness." I have loved working on this quilt, and hand-stitching the binding is peaceful and therapeutic.

Here is the back. I love the Dr. Seuss Lorax fabric!

The quilt measures 53" x 59" and since taking these photos I have added some big stitching with perle cotton.

And for something fun, here is the blackboard at the Happy Gnome restaurant on Selby Avenue in St. Paul. I have developed a palate for a good craft beer, although I don't always finish it. My husband backs me up there.

Love the gnomes - so Scandinavian.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Milkweed cycle

 "Milkweed Cycle" in progress -
Here are the nine pieces of "Milkweed Cycle" assembled in a circle on the pink design board.  Nine women each made one section. It's fun to see the nine pieces come together as a whole. The only guidelines we all followed were to use the same size template and to put something representing the sun at the center tip.

And here it is, finished. We donated it to a local non-profit called Save Our Monarchs:

It's so true that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Milkweed and caterpillar

"Cycles" quilt challenge: Milkweed...
(Tap on the photo if it's out of focus!)

The Minnesota Contemporary Quilters' current challenge is to create a wallhanging no larger than 36" x 36." The theme is "Cycles." I'm in a small quilting group of nine women and we decided to make a group piece based on the cycle of the milkweed plant.

We divided a large paper circle into nine equal pie-shaped pieces, each of us taking a pie-piece to use as a template for representing one stage of the milkweed cycle. I depicted the milkweed plant with mature leaves. Willy-nilly, I added a caterpillar, which led each of the other women to incorporate into her stage of the milkweed cycle the appropriate stage of the monarch butterfly's life cycle.

The milkweed plant is absolutely necessary to the life cycle of a monarch butterfly; there is no other plant that monarchs use. We all know that monarch numbers are decreasing rapidly and dramatically due to loss of habitat  and the use of chemical sprays along their migratory path. Milkweed plants are native to Minnesota prairies - we have some milkweed in the prairie my husband planted in our front yard.

Happy spring in a couple days. It is snowing here at the moment.