19 Stars: Quilts of Indiana’s Past and Present

One of the first quilts I ever made was a king size lone star quilt.  In hindsight, starting my quilting journey with a king size was probably not the best idea, and my quilting aesthetic has changed significantly since the.  However; this is still one of my favorite quilts.  So when I was asked to visit the Indiana State Museum’s exhibit “19 Stars: Quilts of Indiana’s Past and Present” I was very excited.

Star combo only

19 Stars logo

The exhibit is in celebration of Indiana’s bicentenial and features a mixed collection of 38 historic and contemporary examples of star-themed quilts.  Indiana was the 19th state to join the Union and there are 19 stars on the Indiana State flag.  The quilts are from the museum’s collection as well as loans from some of Indiana’s best quilt artists. The majority of contemporary quilts were created specifically for the exhibit, which fills two galleries on Level 3 of the museum.

71.968.063.0520(front)

After walking through both galleries, I was surprised to find I was more drawn to the “traditional” quilts.  Overall they seemed more “modern” to me.  I especially loved this tied quilt, and the way a couple of the quilts had embroidered labels on the fronts, as opposed to the backs.  I will be sure to try and add these touches to a few of my quilts in the future.  All of the quilts were beautiful, and I would highly recommend that everyone check it out.

Bohemian Fireworks copy

The Indiana State Museum is located at 650 W. Washington Street in Indianapolis. Exhibition gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The first Tuesday of each month (Community Tuesdays) admission is half price. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call the museum at 317.232.1637.  For ticket information, please visit indianamuseum.org.

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I have one more entry for this years Bloggers Quilt Festival.  This quilt I am entering into the large quilts category.  I posted about this quilt a couple of times last year (here, and here) if you are interested in the process of how this quilt was made.  It was quite a labor of love.  It is finally done, and I have to say I am so Happy with the result.  I finished it by quilting a heart in the area of our home town, Muskegon, MI, (by hand) then echoed the heart out across the state.  The quilting in the areas of the lakes is simple wavey horizontal lines.  I suppose now I need to make a map quilt of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as an homage to my alma mater Michigan Technological University (Go Huskies!).  Now, no matter where we roam, we will have a little piece of home to take with us and keep us warm.

Home_is_f

Home_is_s

quilting photo

Quilt Stats

Title: Home is…

Size: approximately 76″ X 80″

Fabric: Seven Wonders by Parson Gray (David Butler) for Westminster

Machine Pieced and Quilted

 

Sewing Circle Tote

As some of you may not realize sewing is a very social activity.  Quilters and Seamstresses alike love getting together on a regular basis to eat, drink, and most importantly to sew.  So it should come as no surprise that we love to make tote bags to carry around all of our sewing supplies to various retreats, classes and meetings.  Lately, I have noticed a ton of great bags popping up on blogs and Instagram, and even in my own sewing circle, so I just had to jump on the bandwagon.

I wanted something big enough to carry a cutting mat, rulers, and an iron but with pocket for my smaller items like scissors and pin cushions.  Being a quilter I decided on Elizabeth Hartman’s Sewing Circle Tote.  She is in the process of redesigning her patterns but they will be available as a pdf download soon.  Her pattern is great for quilters because she gives a straight forward list of block sizes that can all be cut with a rotary cutter (i.e. no pattern pieces).  It’s also nice and big with LOTS of pockets.  Three interior zipper pockets (with great instructions for installing them), and five interior pouch pockets.   She also includes instructions for these great quilt as you go pocket panels for the exterior.  I decided to use some of my favorite Heather Ross and Echino scraps for these.

pocket 5 pocket 4 pocket 2 pocket 1

The construction is a bit difficult, with several layers of interfacing and its bulky three-dimensional structure (quilters are used to working on flat surfaces).  But with a little time and patience, it is easy to see it through.  I did make a couple of minor modifications, because that’s what I do.  I found this great cotton webbing at my local quilt shop, Crimson Tate, and paired it with brown peppered cotton for the exterior and and orange Sun Print by Alison Glass for the interior.  And FYI, if you haven’t seen the peppered cottons, they are AMAZING.  Super soft and lovely shot colors.  These are going to be my go to solids from now on I think.

photo 1

The webbing is a little wider than the 1” webbing that the pattern calls for, but it saved me having to make fabric covered straps, winning.  And I decided against the short set of straps.  I am tall enough that I can hold the long set of straps in one hand at my side and the bag is still off the floor, so I didn’t feel that the second set of straps was necessary.  I also think they would just get in my way when putting things in and out of the bag, which would basically just make me bonkers.  (And we all know I am bonkers enough on my own).

Once I got my bag all put together and was ready to finish the top edge I felt like it was a little too floppy.  All the pictures I saw online looked so structured and crisp, so I cut two pieces of peltex interfacing and slid them into the sides of my bag to add a little more structure before I finished the top edge.

photo 5

photo 4

All in all I am super happy with my new Sewing Circle Tote, and I can’t wait untill my next sewing get-together to show it off.  Who am I kidding, this will probably be my new all-purpose travel bag as well.  (Dreaming of QuiltCon 2015).

Late night sewing can lead to…

big accomplishments!  This past weekend a couple of late night sewing sessions got my feather quilt top finished.

top

You may remember me mentioning this project a few weeks back over here.  I am really happy with how this quilt top came together, despite how much work it turned out to be with all those odd angled pieces.  Now I need to start practicing my free motion quilted feathers!

top detail 2

Once I had this bad boy crossed off my list I decided to do a little improve sewing.  Last month, at the Indy Modern Quilt Guild meeting, we had a scrap swap.  Most people just brought bags (and even one big box) full of all shapes and sizes of scraps.  Everyone dug through and took what they wanted. The left overs were taken to a local art center.  Amy, of 13 Spools, brought neatly color coordinated bags of her scraps.  I quickly snatched up a couple of Zip-lock bags of double gauze triangles (that I am saving for a project to come), and a bag of her warm colors (bright pinks, reds, and oranges with a bit of black and white).  I decided to make wonky log cabin blocks using just the scraps in that bag.  There seemed to be just enough to make a baby quilt or wall hanging.  It would be a quick and fun project.

blocks

Aren’t they lovely!  They feel like fall to me.  Well, these four blocks quickly ballooned out of control.  I added a few of my own scraps, and now have enough blocks that I may make a throw sized quilt similar to Ashley’s Waterfall quilt.  More things added to the “to be quilted pile”.

IMQG Round Robin

The term “Round Robin” dates from the 17th century French “ruban rond” (round ribbon).  This described the practice of signatories to petitions against authority (usually Government officials petitioning the Crown) appending their names on a document in a non-hierarchial circle or ribbon pattern (disguising the order which they have signed) so that none may be identified as a ringleader.

Back in January I proposed to the Indy Modern Quilt Guild that we should do a round robin.  My motivation for this was 1) seeing all of the beautiful medallion quilts that have been popping up on line, and 2) seeing all of the beautiful work the members of the guild bring to monthly meetings for show and tell.  There were 10 people who decided to participate including myself.  Our rules guidelines were simple.  Make a block or row to pass to another quilter.  Subsequent quilters would add boarders or rows to your project and each month, and at our meeting we would exchange.  Some quilters supplied fabrics they wanted used, some did not.  Some quilters gave guidelines (use only black, white and red) some did not.  And all of the quilters had the choice to see the progress each month or to wait till the end to see the finish product.

For my project I made a simple applique block for the center.  I sent my block along with all of the solids from my stash.  I had not used only solids in a quilt to date, but I see lots of modern quilters doing just that on-line.  I also sent my project along with a journal, and asked that each contributor add to the journal an explanation of their thoughts/feelings about the project, or just a simple signature so i could remember who had worked on my quilt.  And I decided to wait to get the final quilt top back to see it.  The suspense was almost unbearable.

I was hoping we would be able to pass out projects along each month for the entire year, but due to lots of scheduling conflicts we decided to end this month.  So here it is, my IMQG 2013 round robin.

photo

Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL?!  I could not be happier with this result.  I love the asymmetry, and colors, and the quality of craftsmanship.  Thank you modern quilters.  You continue to blow me away with your talent.  I was also very touched by the kind and inspiring things that were added to my journal.  I am sure I will cherish this quilt for years to come.  I think I may try to con some more of my quilting friends to add onto it some more.