QuiltCon 2018 is in My Record Books

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Oh my! How does one recap an event like QuiltCon? I am overwhelmingly inspired, happy to have made new friends, and not sure where to start next! I was ready and raring to go! 20180223_104404(1)1205218422.jpg

I attended with my friend and “sew mate” – Jude, @judemadeit – a trip we had been planning for a long time. 20180221_1751321780165437.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were in the first 1000 to register, so our first prize was this bag of swag…20180221_204611~21221350114..jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we walked in the first day, we were shocked to see our Charity Quilt hanging proudly, first one in line!

Mountains of Hope is destined to live in a home built by Habitat for Humanity. Our group, an independent members group we dubbed the SewIMQs, felt that a quilt needs a home and selected Habitat for that reason. The other members were Jude, @judemadeit; Lorrie, @langdon813; and Adrean, @quiltfabulous…you can find them on InstaGram with the handles shown. It was such a pleasure to work with these gals that we didn’t even know before deciding to seek members for our little clan, and to create a work of art. Thanks to each of you for your part!

 

We got a glimpse of many quilting “sewlebrities” over the course of the event (we were there for every day!). Our first was Yvonne, aka Quilting Jetgirl

20180222_1046291141563702.jpgShe was running from place to place, as she is an avid supporter of MQG and a willing volunteer, but she had a great smile when we begged her to stop for a quick snap!

 

 

 

Being newbies to the whole event, we decided not plan taking any classes this time (and found we would have loved it), but did sign up for some lectures. Quilt as Desired was the first one with the knowledgeable Jacquie Gerhing. The subtitle of her lecture was “how in the world do I know what I desire?” This is a very good topic for me, as I seem to want it all…or at least to try it all! Her book with a long subtitle, but lovingly known as Walk, gives great information on the quilting process with your walking foot. Her lecture was very fun and informative and she is a hoot! Oh, she is also a Kansas City girl, like me, so even better!

 

Another good lecture was given by Latifah Saafir, titled How to Design a Quilt in 5 Easy Steps. Who doesn’t want to learn those steps? Another presenter with a congenial, jovial spirit, Latifah had some terrific points. I won’t post the pictures of her slides here…so you can go see her for yourself!

 

 The keynote speaker for this QuiltCon was Carolyn Friedlander. Young, friendly, and a creative, for sure (like everyone there), Carolyn’s topic was “You Make the Rules: How I Use Design to Guide Work and Life.” She is a tiny, little, trendy one who has had a great impact on the quilting world.

 

Carolyn’s work was displayed in one of the exhibit halls…a beautiful room for beautiful work by many quilting artists. The center of the room featured quilted upholstery work she has done…another thing on my list, but I don’t see it in the near future!

 

 

 

The MQG Mini-Quilt Swap was fun! I might blog in more detail about that specific event, but suffice it to say it did not dissapoint me! Thanks to my partner, Lauana, @mysewingspace on IG for a lovely mini. Lauana, you are doing fine at bridging that gap from traditional to modern quilting.

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The book party was a blast! Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century is a beautiful book and several of the creatives included were present to autograph their pages. I hope I got everyone who was there. The creative process is often a bit solitary and not everyone is ready to be mobbed at a signing party, but all were gracious. I got a few snaps…

 

 

 

This book will get lots of loving review and was the go-to (next to InstaGram) for relaxing moments during the show.20180222_140553_hdr2126352607.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacquie Gerhing signed her book Walk (and I snuck in the Modern Quilts book too) at a separate signing in the Lucky Spool booth.

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There was a bit of tooling around Pasadena outside the show, but not too far…we had plenty to absorb at the show!

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My travel buddy and room mate is always fun, but we did meet plenty of happy people…

 

 

 

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Annie Townsend, @oceanannie123, designed this beautiful PNW-inspired quilt for the Portland MQG Charity Quilt

I was either too awestruck, dumbfounded, tired, or something to get more pictures!

However, I was looking all over the show and late in the game finally met up with (and looked like an idiot, no doubt) with the wonderful Chawne Kimbre, aka @cauchycomplete on IG, whose work I admire. She is so sweet and soft-spoken and I would love to spend some time with her one day!

 

 

 

As an attendee, we were asked to vote for the People’s Choice award. This is really an impossible task. It would even be difficult if you could pick one from each category! I voted for the quilt below, ‘But, I Tried To Remember’ by Heidi Parkes. It has a beautiful story and many layers process. Not the typical quilt, but very appealing. Look her up and read about it here.

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The People’s Choice award went to Liz Harvatine, @ladyharvatine. It actually is impressive work, but you probably can’t read the description card.

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So, my friends, I will post a few images of quilts, but I tell you, there is no real way to say how inspiring the work is from design to technique to finishes.

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I know I should post the names of each quilter… I took pictures of each sign, but they are too small to read in some cases.

Top photo includes Emily Lang, @mommysnaptime; Sandra Kaye, @sandieloves2quilt; Steph Skardal, @stephskardal; Charity Quilt, San Antonio MQG; Carolyn Friedlander, @carolynfriedlander;Tara Faughnan, @tarafaughnan; Chawne Kimber, @cauchycomplete; Sarah Lauzon, @cera.bee; Diana Vandeyar, @dianavandeyar

Second photo includes Cassandra Beaver, @cassandra.beaver; Sydney Beauty (youth category, 18 years old); Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, @wholecirclestudio; Jacquie Gehring, @jacquietps; Pam, @px4color; ____; @jessicawohlstudio; AnnMarie Cowley, @runandsew; ____

If you get a chance to go, you will not be disappointed in QuiltCon…maybe I will see you in Nashville next time!

 

Basic Blocks Often Mess With My Mind!

Ok! I am just going to admit it! Some of the most basic things about quilting really mess with my mind!

This image might just give you an idea why…

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This was an attempt at an improv log cabin square…and I call it a fail! My strips are not in order for that log look and more! To me, it looks more like a messed up courthouse steps block.

So, today I am moved to work with that old, familiar, very basic log cabin square. I am doing it for the sake of:

1) practice in improv (Can I really just grab a strip and sew it in place without thinking about it?) and

2) understanding this basic square so I can learn to make it modern.

I am using the pattern from Suzy Quilts. I am using solids to keep it even more simple…I think. This pattern creates nice even strip sizes, but something bugs me about the center.

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I think I don’t like the two same-size squares next to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I found another tutorial from Marzi on her blog, Made by Marzipan. I like that this one has a different way to add the second piece in the center, but I can’t figure out the math to do it with 2.5″ strips, which I have a lot of! However, this block has a look that is not as uniform. Maybe that is why I like it? Off I went to cut some 3.5″ strips from scraps! Drat…I have cut the 3.5″ strips and guess what? They really turn out to be 2″ strips for most of the pattern! This is where that old addage, “measure twice, cut once,” comes into play only a bit different, “read twice, cut once.” Or better yet…”read and think about what you are doing!” I hate to rush and making mistakes is a sign of just that! Oh well, more for the scrap bins! Here is the block I made…

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I am wondering if the log cabin block is just not for me! However, I do like the bright colors in the first set of blocks. And (for the most part) I did grab and go! I also figured out that the 2″ strip width in the directions from Marzi should work with any width. I’ll have to give that a try. And maybe I will try the wonky look…that for another blog!

What do you think of the log cabin block pattern? Do you have a favorite way to produce this block? Do you have tips and tricks you can share?

This is part of my commitment to the process pledge! It IS all a process…good, bad, or ugly!

Happy Quilting!

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Calling Cross-Stitchers!

Hello friends out there in the blogosphere! Looking for some help.

My mom was an avid needleworker! We have the cross-stitched pieces pictured below…

Christmas Cross-Stitch by mom
Christmas Cross-Stitch by mom

…aren’t they adorable? Well, here is the problem. This is it…the poem is imcomplete.

Would any one of you crafters out there just happen to have cross-stitch patterns like these? They are at least 20 years old and I can’t find anything like them.

We would like to make something in mom’s honor. Perhaps a quilt for the upcoming children (no time soon!) who will be her great-great-grandchildren! Of course, that would be only one quilt and it would have to be passed around. Still thinking on that idea and have some other possibilities.

At any rate, I know this is a long shot, but worth asking, as this community is so caring and helpful. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have on a project to incorporate these items too!

Thank you SEW much!

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One of many questions…

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I doubt that any of you have ever had this issue, but for a long time, I have been amazed with the speed at which people complete their “quilts.” I’ve always thought of a quilt as a project that was bed-sized…even if for a baby bed. Yes, I have enjoyed participating in swaps, but actually never thought of those finished pieces as quilts. I have called them “minis”… and not the same, in my opinion.

Keeping track of our finishes is one thing, but finished quilts, another. Well, guess what? I think I will be having a lot more finished QUILTS in 2018 because, since paying more attention, I see that they can be any size!!!! I plan to adopt that thinking.

So, how do you feel about this subject? What do you call a “quilt”?

Here’s to finishing…I’d better run away and work on one! Planning to work on my Caribean Courthouse Steps next…one of my 1Q 2018 FAL items…

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Caribean Courthouse Steps flimsy

 

BTW, what size to you think this one is??? A picture can be very deceiving as to the size of these beauties!

Happy Quilting…and finishing!

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Process Pledge – not my idea, but a great idea!

The Process Pledge came to my attention today via Debbie’s blog, A Quilter’s Table. It really spoke to me because this blog is about my quilting journey, so what could be better than to promise to post about the process?…just what I imagined! As far as I can tell, the idea is from Rossie, at Rossie Crafts. It goes back to 2010 and comments are closed on that post, but I hope it is okay to keep it going here! (I asked her and she said YES!)

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Here’s the process pledge. Take it, shake it, make it yours.

I, Valorie – @facetfully, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear.   I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.
The pledge, above, is copied from Rossie’s blog post, so, if you use it, please give her credit!!!!

It is important to keep it real. We all have days when we feel uninspired, when our plans don’t come together like we imagined, and when we just want to throw something in the trash. Maybe our points don’t match, our seam ripper is getting too much use, or our fabric bleeds…who knows what it might be. Hopefully, these days are greatly outnumbered by happily creative days when we want to post about successes, finishes, and all the good stuff too!

As I recently posted, the quilting community, via blogs, Instagram, and more, keep me exceedingly charged up to do and learn more. Let’s keep sharing…all the bits of the process!

Happy Quilting!

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Remembering with Gratitude

The first REAL quilt I ever made was for my daughter. I am reposting this today, as a reminder of how important I think quilts are, how they connect us, and how much they mean…to the quilter and, hopefully, to the receiver. They just might become heirlooms! I won’t go into all the details of that quilt, but you can read about “Starry Nights” here.

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First REAL quilt I ever made

I do want to talk about the growth process that is part of becoming/being a quilter. This first quilt was a big undertaking for me! I was thrilled to make it and I do love it. That could be because I love the one who requested it so much and becuase I love blue. Oh, and then there is the completion of a challenge!

I recall working on it dilligently and all the inspiration from my “sewmate”, @judemadeit. She was a much more advanced quilter than I. I wondered if I would ever get this done and, indeed, it took much longer than I expected. I have seen it on my daughter’s bed by now, and it is very special to me!

All that said, I have come a long way in my quilting journey. Don’t misunderstand, I have a long way to go! Creativity can be a friend or foe. There are UFOs, WIPs, failures, and happy results. I have developed into more of a modern quilter than “Starry Nights” depicts, I have challenged myself with FALs, QALs, swaps, classes, FMQ, home machine quilting, and more. My quilting style is evolving.

A sincere thanks goes out today to all the friends I have made on this journey! Thanks for the blind support through this blog, through Instagram, through your blogs, through your generosity in swapping and teaching. This is, without a doubt, a wonderful community to be even a small part of! I look forward to continued growth AND to meeting some of you in the soon to be, QuiltCon2018 in Pasadena!

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Happy Quilting!

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1Q 2018 Finish-A-Long

Alright already! No one has truly challenged me to this, but I FEEL challenged to post and work on my 1Q Finish-A-Long list. Thanks to many of my IG quilty friends and bloggers I follow who inspire me!

So, here goes! 1Q 2018 FAL goals:

1. I have a flimsy made up of courthouse steps blocks in pretty blues, greens, and aquas. I am calling it “Caribbean Courthouse Steps” for now… original, I know!

Caribbean Courthouse Steps

2. Improv triangles…these were a test, but “waste not, want not”. Plus, I like them. I just need to make more and decide what they might become!

1Q 2018 Finish-A-Long

3. Ditto the improve triangles for the selvedge blocks…I love making them and they could end up being so many things!

Selvedges
Selvedges

That is it…keeping it a little short, just to see if I can actually get to this much! Of course, there will be the regular bees, swaps, etc., in addition! AND I am going to my first QuiltCon in February!!!!

Happy quilting!

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Wonky Stars Swap

I feel pretty good about the accomplishments of this first week of 2018!

I joined the #wonkystars2018 swap for January and have made 21 wonky star blocks. I forced myself to stop so that I could get them sent out and move on to my next project. I love making them though! I posted about this already, so I won’t go into more here than to reinforce that I love those stars and can’t wait to see what I get from my swap mates! Here is my finished design wall with the 21 stars shining:

wonky stars shining

Today is Sunday, so technically a new week, but whatever week it is, I also finished my #stashbeehive5 January block today. It is for Cathleen, @kitchkouture. Her inspiration for the block is inspiring! Here is my block…

Stash Bee Hive 5 January

It will be fun to see what she ends up using for a background on this project! In case you are not familiar, and are interested, each participant is Queen Bee for a month and plans, designs, requests, and posts a block every month. My first time in this bee.

Have a good week everyone and Happy Quilting!

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Reposting about our Charity Quilt

Thanks to Jude, my sew mate and friend, for posting this to her blog about our group, SewIMQs, and our charity quilt for QuiltCon West 2018! It is a pleasure and honor to be working with these gals in our tiny group! Thanks, Laurie, @langdon 13; Adrean, @quiltfabulous; and Jude, @judemadeit! The link to Jude’s post is below the picture. Check it out for more pictures and details!

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via MQG Charity Quilt

First Week of the Year

is January and we all start out with great intentions! The gyms are overloaded, the resolutions are recorded, the plans are in place…and who will follow through? I am not big on resolutions, but I do hope to keep up this blog about my quilting journey, so let’s get to that!

Jan goals

I am setting off to make wonky stars for my first bee in 2018, “Wonky Stars 2018”, coordinated by Rachel Lancer, @bylancer.  This is my first “bee” and I am excited because you end up with several blocks and therefore, a good start to a project, rather than just one block.

On my priority list for January (seems like a good idea to plan a month at a time…so maybe I won’t feel like I failed!):

  1. Organize – my room, my thoughts, my plans…CHECK! That is until I started the next project!!!
  2. Wonky Stars – I am doing improv stars, though I have patterns from @JeliQuilts and @sewhookedjen. There are others out there and I appreciate the willingness of people who create and share their efforts. I am using the improv technique, as I got into that last year with Debbie, @aquilterstable, and love it!

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    start to the wonky stars
  3. 2018 Stash Bee – This is another bee I have joined. This one is coordinated by Diana, @reddeliciouslife. I am in Hive 5 and Cathleen, @kitchkouture, is the hive mama. I will not be Queen Bee until August, but there is a block to make each month. Fun!
  4. MQG Swap – This happens at QuiltCon West in February, so more to come on that, but I must get to work on this.

SEW everyone…I am off to a good start and hope that you are too! Until next time…

Happy Quilting!

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