Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I'm been tagged by Kim Soper of Leland Studios in the Around the World Blog Hop. Kim is a busy mom of three young boys, but still manages to create beautiful quilted creations. I love this sampler she's making with her local guild.
Leland Ave Studios LIMOD Sampler
Leland Ave Studios LIMOD Sampler
She also recently tested a pattern for Bonjour Quilts. The transition in value makes Diamonds in the Deep quite striking.
Diamond in the Deep Bonjour Quilts Leland Ave Studios
Leland Ave Studios Diamonds in the Deep
I encourage you to check out Kim's always-inspirational blog, beginning with her Around the World Blog Hop post.

Now, I better move on to this blog hop business before I forget to answer the questions and decide to start my very own Diamonds in the Deep instead.

What am I working on?

In collaboration with Gail Garber, I am adapting the Tutti Frutti pattern to a modern aesthetic. 

Tutti Frutti by Gail Garber and Donna Barnitz
We are aiming for an interplay of scrappy modern prints and low volume selections. As with Gail's classic quilts, color gradations will be included.  The center section includes fabrics from Cotton + Steel, Sun Prints, Collage, and Waterfront Park.

There's a little bit of work left to do on the flying geese that will surround the center star.

These pointy spikes are a modification of the original pattern. They will be in the position the free-motion butterflies are occupying in Gail's original quilt.

If, by some miracle, my teething toddler and this project don't keep me occupied enough, I may even start quilting my brother's high school graduation quilt. I still have high aspirations of finishing before he graduates from college, witth a Master's degree. (I wish I was joking.)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think it's impossible to completely disassociate my work from others. After all, I love immersing myself in quilt shows, Pinterest, Flickr, quilting books, quilt museums, and galleries. Admiring their beauty is what inspires me. I enjoy pondering questions such as, "What is it about this piece that make me so attracted to it?", "What technique did she use to make that?", and "Could I make this into a quilt?". There's some truth to the phrase, "There's nothing new under the sun." Whether or not I am consciously aware of it, my ideas are often rooted in the work of others.

That being said, I prefer to design my own quilts rather than following a pattern because I'm aware of which construction techniques have been successful for me. My completed projects are rarely identical to the original inspiration, and my ideas evolve as I work on a quilt.

My preferences change, and my knowledge grows. I don't feel the need to limit myself to a particular niche at the moment, but rather choose to apply whichever construction method and style best suits each project.

Why do I create what I do?

  • Quilting is a way I can creatively express myself. I like to be productive and solve problems. Quilting gives me a way to apply those ambitions.

How does my creative process work?

Aside from standard processes for making a quilt, my personal process involves several D's:
  • Design-I sketch, use EQ7, or trace shapes within a photograph to create a pattern.
  • Distraction-My process is far from disrupted, since I have two little ones who have their own agendas.
  • Disaster-There are many learning experiences throughout the course of each project. The good part is that I improve each time.
  • OCD-I will make those points match, even if I wear out my seam-ripper from resewing it so many times.

I'm tagging Gail Garber. She's a nationally-recognized art quilter and teacher who has published several books, but her sew-lebrity status isn't what's remarkable about her.

She's incredibly humble and patient. Though she's busy and wildly talented, she highlights the achievements of others and takes little credit for herself. She's tirelessly mentored me, and I appreciate her selfless nature.

I'm also tagging Renee Hoffman of Quilts of a Feather. I find her very relatable, as she's wife to a mathematically inclined fellow and mother to a four year old boy and two year old daughter. Yet, she still finds time to make coordinating mother daughter outfits. That's where the relatability ends for me.

Renee is a fellow member of the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild and NMQA.

Snowflake by Renee @ Quilts of a Feather

She's a dear friend, and a talented sewer, quilter, and canner of all things fruity. I'm blown away by her talent. Her cesarian quilt is is a case in point.

Cesarean Quilt by Renee @ Quilts of a Feather
Cesarean Quilt by Renee @ Quilts of a Feather

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Oregon State Fair

My family recently made a trip to Portland, OR. Besides being a major hub of modern quilting, it's a great place for a family vacation. They have Voodoo Donuts, Powell's City of Books, the International Rose Test Garden, OMSI, and food trucks. We also made a side trip to Newport and the Oregon State Fair in Salem.

Of course, I checked out the quilts. There was a nice assortment of modern, traditional, and art. As for modern, I recognized this Mod Pop.

This version of the owl pattern from Boo Davis' book features girly cuteness, scallop feathers, and detailed quilting.

The pattern can be found in Dare to Be Square Quilting.

For all you selvage savers, here's a thought.

As for art quilts, my favorite was this autumn feline with a snarky look.

There were some fine examples of traditional quilting too. While peering at this crazy quilt, one of the guild ladies volunteering in the exhibit asked, "Are you going to go home and make that one?" Sorry, but hand embroidery and velvet aren't my cup of tea, I'm afraid.

I enjoyed the dense machine quilting and bright batiks on this one.

There's no denying the precision and fine handwork on this feathered star.

The quilts weren't the only artistically inspiring items at the fair. Permit me to show you are few other  categories. While there may have been some ribboned beauties in the produce section, this was my favorite vegetable on display.

A new-to-me category featured at the Oregon fair was table settings. I thought these were fun, especially given the current popularity of party-planning blogs.

Then there's cake decorating. You may think I've misplaced my picture here, but it is actually composed of frosting!

This wee mouse house had an incredible amount of detail.

Wouldn't this be cute for a baby shower?

Avengers, anyone?

Fandom in Stitches followers, this is one I know you'll appreciate.

Where do I begin? Wow!

How could the state fair officials give anything less than a blue ribbon for this?

The cuteness doesn't stop at tiny balloons. How about some garden creatures?

Isn't this just a feast for the eyes? I  can't decide what I love most--the realistic shells, the mosaic, or the fondant waves.

My son has developed an obsession for those boards with holes for your head, so my husband and daughter joined him in a celebration of dairy products.

We staved off our hunger with friend balls of mashed potatoes, roasted corn, and a colossal brownie before listening to the Charlie Daniels' Band play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia".

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quilters Newsletter Celebrate 45 Years of Quilting Challenge

Quilters Newsletter issued a quilt challenge entitled Celebrate 45 Years of Quilting to readers in the February/March 2014 issue. Participants were instructed to create a 45" x 45" quilt that celebrates 45 years of quilting.

XLV was my entry. It celebrates Quilters Newsletter’s forty-fifth anniversary using the traditional numeric system of timepieces, Roman numerals. The Plus X blocks contain the first digit, L’s can be found in the middle border, and the outer chevron border contains the V’s. The center square is representative of a gemstone, a classic anniversary gift. Traditional and modern aesthetics were combined to commemorate Quilters Newsletter’s rich history and exciting future. Monochromatic tones hint at a bygone era, while bold hues exude current color trends. Solid fabrics and a medallion style were chosen due to their timeless nature. Vintage blocks such as the Four Patch, Half Square Triangles, and Flying Geese evoke tradition, while playing alongside Plus X and Chevron blocks. Dense machine quilting portrays a similar paradox; traditional cross-hatching and cathedral window patterns join geometric shapes and matchstick quilting. Quilters Newsletter, congratulations on XLV wonderful years. Here’s to your past, present, and future!

The center medallion is paper-pieced. The half square triangles were created by placing squares 1" larger than the finished size right-sides-together and stitching 1/4" on either side of a line drawn diagonally from corner to corner of the wrong side of the lighter fabric. After pressing, a cut was made on the drawn line. The resulting half square triangles were squared to the correct unfinished size. Flying geese were created using the No Waste Method. The Cross X blocks combined strip piecing and stitch and flip techniques. The L blocks and four patches were were strip pieced, while  the chevron blocks used stitch and flip triangles.

I used an assortment of free-motion quilting designs and stitched in the ditch for stability.

The backing is this colorful Dr. Seuss print.

I am the very fortunate winner of the grand prize, which included a Bernina 750 and this fantastic prize package.

Ann Silva's Sewing Center presented me with the Bernina 750 during their Open House. It was a joyous event for me!

I am very grateful to the generous sponsors.

The other entries show an incredible wealth of talent and creativity. You can see the top five entries on the Quilters Newsletter website. All sixteen finalist quilts will be featured in the December/January 2015 issue of Quilters Newsletter.

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