Saturday, September 23, 2017

'Nuf Said!

     I know this subject getting a bit old, but winning the AQS ribbon is such a weird and wonderful set of events, there are just some last thoughts and some thanks... then I am ready to get back to sewing again and I promise I'll never mention it again!
     People are asking me what it's like to win a top prize at one of the biggest quilt shows of the year, and a picture is worth a thousand words!

And here it is... my deep regret I didn't make it to the show, 
but my dear friend Gail did!

Of course, it is history now, my quilt moved up to a special award and the blue ribbon was traded for this one which arrived in the mail... I layed it out on my sewing table next to a Singer Featherweight for scale. It's pretty epic!

I also received this beautiful piece of jewelry-- it's a brand new mineral called "Fordite" and I so enjoyed reading about it. So perfect since my son owns an auto shop. Thank you so much, Siesta Silver Jewelry!

Here is my "report card"-- just take note that my "Areas to Improve" are "NONE." I gleefully shared this with my husband of 34 years and no doubt will be bringing it out during future arguments. THANK YOU, JUDGES!!

I'd also like to thank all of my customers, the entire city of Plymouth and half of Cape Cod, the Bayberry Quilters, and family members of all the above who voted for me-- I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support-- you really put it over the top. Your love is worth a hundred thousand ribbons to me.
A huge thanks to AQS for having the courage to try online voting-- I promise this award has fallen on fertile ground and I will do my best to make it count and share our wonderful art.
"A New England Album" now begins a two year round of quilt shows-- ironic for someone who really doesn't travel a lot! I hope you get a chance to see it in person-- quilting is one sport that a camera never captures well. And if you do, and the white glove lady isn't looking, you have my permission to run your hand over it... consider yourself hugged!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

AQS Fall Paducah 2017-- URGENT!


Exciting news. After three years on the quilt show circuit, this year is turning out really well. Read on... the ball just left the stadium!

"A New England Album" was submitted to the new AQS Fall Paducah Quilt Show-- I usually do one of these shows every year just to stick my toe in the water. The Embellished Wall Quilts division seemed perfect to me-- this quilt is ALL embellishment! AQS did something else different this year, too-- the show book was released early with the names of all my division competitors. Google research revealed some of the quilts and the names of my rivals-- people  whose work I have loved and admired for a long time, like Ann Horton and Karen Turnbull. I pretty much gave up right then and there!

Because of all the unwanted marketing calls, I don’t usually answer my phone anymore unless I see a local number, or contact’s name on the display…. the marketing calls are usually from random places like "Troy, Michigan"-- places you've never been, so you couldn't possibly know anyone there. On Sunday, a call came in while I was driving, so it was my husband who picked up my cell phone, read the screen, and said, "Paducah, Kentucky...."

I almost died right then and there... not from shock or surprise, but from crashing the car! 

We were almost to our destination by then, so I opted not to take the call, but to call back. Turns out that Meredith Schroeder called me, herself, and left me a message, that I had won, not honorable mention, not third, not second place BUT FIRST PLACE IN MY DIVISION!

I still have that pinch me, what just happened, there must be some kind of mistake feeling.

If you know about the new Fall Paducah show, they are now opening up the top prizes to online voting… so, since I have won first place in my division, I am now eligible for one of seven viewer’s choice awards. To vote, you don't even have to go to the show. They are going to be selected on line from the first place winners fifteen categories. 

After all the effort that went into my quilt, a little nudge more will not hurt. Telling your friends and family to vote is being encouraged by AQS, and the rock stars of quilting are already marshalling their hordes on social media. Unknown in this crowd, I've never felt that machine embroidery gets the attention it deserves... so....

I'd like to invite you to vote and I would be honored if you would consider "A New England Album" as your choice.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who came back month after month, to buy the blocks that make up A New England Album... your enthusiasm let me know I was on the right track.

Stitch what's in your heart, and you will never be disappointed.

Let's do this!


Friday, September 8, 2017

Lady of the Lake Block Tips

I have been obsessed with this block since I saw a whole quilt of it at a show, completely done in red and white solids. So when I happened upon this Fat Quarter Shop Stitch along, it just seemed like fate! The Lady of the Lake is a classic half square triangle block and Fat Quarter Shop has a free pattern and a video tutorial as well here:

We are working on our Christmas projects, and this project is a bench pillow-- although it is mostly machine embroidery, a quilt block would make it special. The fabric I chose is the brand new Berry Merry from Basic Grey-- any fabric they design has me running for the credit card. I first got to know Basic Grey for their scrapbook paper-- when the first collection came out in fabric, I had a seizure! I picked these two fabrics from the collection for the block.

You might wonder what this Christmas fabric has to do with a Lady of the Lake block, but as I sewed along, I realized there were not only deer and snowmen, but also a turtle. So there.

The Fat Quarter Shop recommended Triangles on a Roll, and I'm a fan, but here's one size I don't have. I only need to make one block, so instead I tried the "Magic 8" method. I cut a big 9" square from each fabric to make 8 half square triangles at once. Draw an X on one fabric, with 1/4" seam allowances on each side. Then layer the two fabrics right sides together and sew on each side of the line. Cut. This part goes amazingly fast.

If you were a mathematician, I'm sure you could figure out exactly what size big square to cut to get 3-1/2" squares, but I was an art major and prefer to trim them for more precise results. Plus, we only need seven half square triangles so if I get a deer with it's head cut off, I can toss it.

Now trim them to 3-1/2"-- use the 45 degree line on your ruler to make sure those seams are right in the corners. If they aren't now, don't expect them to be later!

The big square in the middle is 9-1/2 x 9-1/2. I fussy cut it for the deer and made it quite a bit larger to again trim precisely.

When sewing this block, definitely lay it out first! It gets really confusing to have all the dark triangles pointing the same way. 

It might seem easy to sew the smaller squares into rows, because it looks like there's no points to match- but if you don't have 1/4" from the point to the raw edges now, things are going to go badly later.

You'll sew a row of three squares and one of four squares.... when you stitch them to the big block, you'll see exactly where to sew for perfect points!

The trickiest part is on the last seam-- just pin at the intersection of the rows so that seams align. 

If you followed the pressing directions, the pieces will nest- and you'll have six points that match perfectly!

Yay! My Lady of the Lake block went "swimmingly!"

Ta-da! The deer and Christmas turtle are prancing under the starry winter sky, waiting for a glimpse of Santa, who brings the gift of peace to all of the woodland creatures!


And what message do the creatures have for Santa?-- here comes the embroidery part!

Working on the Santas Helper Christmas Club is coming along happy to say, this is project number 8! Our club will start in early October, and we release a new Christmas project each week. They are for machine embroidery, but if you are a quilter, you'll be too busy finishing up your summerhouse quilt anyway!!

We'll be showing more Christmas sneak peeks over the month of September, so be sure to bookmark this page and enjoy a feast for the eyes!

XOX Carol

Monday, September 4, 2017

World Quilt Show Part 2

     More eye candy from Mancuso! In additional to the main, juried show, there were a bunch of challenges and special exhibits... one just seem to run on from the next, so I wasn't always sure what I was looking at. This series seemed to be a tribute to the flora and fauna of National Parks-- each and every one of them was spectacular! 
"Locoweed" Carol C. Eberhardt

"Purple Marshlocks" Paula Golden

"Freshwater Mussels" Laura Robertson

"Mountain Goat" Angela Laperie Miller

"Ladybugs" Karin Tauber
"Humpback Whale" Ricki Selva
"Nine Banded Armadillo" Maggie Ward

"Fireweed" Ann Douglas

"Snowy Owl" Sarah Ann Smith
"Boreal Owl" Juday Gula
 And some last random favorites...
"Gotham Transit Authority" Catherine Jarrett

"City Beyond the Trees" Benita Goodheart

"Circle Of Friends" Ruth Westra

"Jeans Plus Jeans" Bernadette Mayr

"Asilomar Memories" Phyllis Binkley

"Yard Birds" Allyson Allen

 So that was my first Mancuso show... no, I did not miss displays of perfect ruler work one bit-- I left totally inspired, ready to go home and start creating.  Highly recommend the show, and I will definitely be back!


Friday, September 1, 2017

Mancuso World Quilt New England

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the World Quilt Show in New England-- I had never been to one of these Mancuso shows before, and was I ever glad I went! Not only did they have quilts from the world over, but it just seemed like it was more artistic in nature and less about craft. I'm sure some would argue with me, but I left feeling totally inspired by people doing their thing instead of totally intimidated by displays of amazing ruler work. So without further comment, feast your eyes! I took hundreds of pictures and I will try to post more over the weekend.  XOX

"Fernando" Sandy Pistono, U.S.

"Flow" Susan Wessels, South Africa

"That Blooming Mosaic" Village Quilters Guild, South Africa

"Gear Wheel 2 Blue" Barbara Lange

"Red Fizz" Barbara Lange
"Gear Wheel 4 May Beetle" Barbara Lange

"Effervescent" Stacey Day, Canada

"Royal Doulton or Wedgewood" Marline Turner, South Africa 
"Florentine Fantasy" Jeanette Orr, U.K.

"Van Gogh's Garden" Ron A. Hodge, U.S.

In the Garden of Nuts Tamar Rimon Hemeli, Israel

"A Year In My Life," Shannon Shirley, U.S.
"Open Ways" Maria Reuter, Germany

"Pickled Butterflies" Martha Siegel Monk

"Carnival" Lee Sproul, U.S.

"Rose Parade" Linda Theilfoldt

"Wabi Sabi Modern" Anna Hegert, Canada