Vintage Quilt Revival

I’ve been waiting to write this post for what feels like a very long time. In fact, it has almost been 15 months since Katie emailed Lee and I and asked the big question – would we be interested in writing a book together? Fast forward to today and the projects are finished, the patterns are written, the photos are taken….and we are very, very excited to finally “spill the beans”.

Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks is a book full of projects focused on my favorite little corner of the quilting world, Modern Traditionalism. We aren’t allowed to share too much just yet. But see those Sampler blocks on the cover? Each one of those has it’s own project that uses the traditional blocks in an exciting, updated, beautiful, unexpected way. I wish I could say more. And show more pictures. Such torture! Let’s just say I am extremely proud of every project in this book.

Katie, Lee and I have known each other for about three years now and I could probably gush for pages and pages about how lucky I am to have them as friends and co-authors. We are very excited to share more with you over the next several months as we get closer to the release date at the end of the year.

QuiltCon 2013

This past weekend was QuiltCon, a first-of-it’s-kind, Modern Quilting show put on by The Modern Quilt Guild in Austin, Texas. It was so.much.fun. I sit down and think about all the work and planning that went into creating a show like this from scratch. Organizing vendors, sponsors, quilts, teachers, speakers, registration, ticket sales, parties, set up, break down. Just imagining the logistics makes my head spin! The organizers did such a professional job – I just want to start off with a little shout out to them and offer them a huge THANK YOU for giving us all a wonderful weekend.

I left from Chicago on Thursday morning. This was my third time in Texas but my first time in Austin. I was really appreciating the 60 and 70 degree temperatures! It’s amazing how quickly you can adapt back to warm weather in the middle of winter.

I feel very fortunate to have friends in the modern quilting community that I’ve met in person, from my last two years attending The Sewing Summit. This was like a huge reunion for many of us, including my roommates Lee and Katie who I adore. And even better, I was able to meet a lot of “online” friends that I have been in bees and swaps with and many, many readers of my space here!

After arriving Thursday afternoon, I spent some time over at the show checking out all the quilts. I’m not sure I can adequately express how exciting it is to be at a show where all the quilts represent a style that speaks to me. I took a LOT of pictures.

I know I’m going to leave names out, but I’m going to do my best – please forgive me! I’m hoping there will be a listing of all the quilts and the artists on a site soon and I will update if so. (There is a winner list here.) There were quilts by Lee Heinrich, Katie Blakesley, Krista Fleckenstein, Kati Spencer, Rossie, Carolyn Friedlander, Elizabeth Hartman, Thomas Knauer, Shea Henderson, Jacquie Gering, Katie Pedersen, Katie Scairrino, Monica Solario-Snow, Victoria Findlay Wolfe (Best in Show!), Angela Walters, Catherine Redford, Rachel Hauser, Angela Pingel, Liz Harvatine, Cinzia Allocca, Brigitte Heitland, Alison, Jodi, Karen Anderson Abraham, Elizabeth Dackson and little ol’ me.

The QuiltCon Challenge Quilt, made by several members of Modern Quilt Guilds across the country.

There was also a huge display of quilts by Denyse Schmidt.

Friday I was lucky enough to take the class Composing a Quilt by Anna Maria Horner. Just hearing her speak about her techniques and inspiration was a dream come true for me. She was funny, sweet, inspiring…everything that she appears to be on her blog. It was really a huge honor to be in her class.

Friday night was the Baby Lock 80’s Party. Pretty sure these pictures say it all.

Saturday I took two classes. Free Motion Quilting on a Long Arm Machine with Angela Walters, and Textile Printing with Lotta Jansdotter. Angela was wonderful – great sense of humor and she just has a way of explaining her techniques that makes them seem possible for even us newbies. It was fun to try the machines…um, I was definitely a first timer!

Lotta was also very sweet and a great teacher. I loved hearing about her background, how she got started printing in a little storage unit. Definitely proof that talent and hard work can make you a success. I also got to sit with my former online friends, now real life friends, Violet and Krista in that class, which was the icing on the cake for me.

I didn’t do a ton of shopping, but I did pick up some Liberty of London quilting cottons, a couple patterns from Anna Maria Horner’s class (one is the Art Student Tote that I suddenly MUST make after seeing Holly’s), and Liberty Love, Alexia Abegg’s new book. I’ll be doing a whole separate post on that one, it is so awesome.

Saturday night after dinner, Kim, Lee and I went exploring and stumbled on a facial hair party/competition and the infamous 6th Street which I can only compare to the atmosphere of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I’m going to let Kim share about what occurred THAT evening!

Sunday I wandered down to the South Congress area before heading to the airport. Lots of cool shops and great food. The weather was in the 70’s and sunny. My feet hurt by the end but it was a perfect afternoon.

Some final thoughts…

Exciting Moment – Finding out people from Martha Stewart Living were there taking pictures. I hope there is a magazine feature in the future!

Biggest Regret – I didn’t get to take one of Penny’s paper piecing classes. Really kicking myself after seeing the adorable projects coming out of them. Plus Penny is the sweetest person you will meet.

Thoughts on Austin – Fun city, great weather in the winter, lots of facial hair, lots of food trucks, somehow convinces everyone to get a tattoo? (not me!)

The next QuiltCon will be in two years. I’m not sure what city, but I hope to be part of it again in 2015. xox to everyone I met!

Year in Review – 2012!

Happy New Year everyone! At the end of every year I like to reflect on what I accomplished during the last 12 months, and think about what I want to do over the next. I had a very busy 2012. And this isn’t even all of it. I seemed to enjoy making pillows and bags this year too.

I will be honest, as the year comes to a close, I am really, really exhausted. Last year I wrote out some goals for 2012 and looking at them, I think I had a lot more energy then!. I thought it’d be fun to see how I did.

Goals from Last Year
· Spend an entire month only using solid fabrics – Well, no I didn’t consciously do this, but I did make several solid quilts, some you’ve seen and some you haven’t seen yet! Here’s a couple of my favorites.

· Spend an entire month focused only on improvisational quilting – No, but I did do a bit of improv sewing

· Read at least one classic novel a month – No…wow, I’m on a roll. LOL I did read a lot of fluff and trash though, that counts, right?

· Finally make that zigzag quilt – No zigzag!

· Develop at least 3 new quilt patterns – Yes! I spent a lot of time creating new patterns and tutorials for my blog, my shop, the Art Gallery Fat Quarter Gang and various publications. I am really proud of all of these.

· Host another quilt along – Yes! This year I hosted the Solstice Stars Series and made this beautiful quilt.

· Keep up better with my Google Reader – No, major fail here.

· Participate in at least one handmade swap – Yes! I participated in the For the Love of Solids swap.

· Attend the Sewing Summit again – Yes! And I even got to teach. And it was amazing. Recap here.

· Check out the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild – No, but I have been attending the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild since it started up this year, and have met some great people including Svetlana!

Looking ahead to 2013, I think the one goal that really comes to mind is to try to take on less. I have a hard time saying no to people and opportunities (and I’m so grateful for all of them!), but I will be honest when I say I’m a bit burnt out. I would really like to take the first 6 months of 2013 and just be creative, do some selfish sewing and just relax – and of course blog about those things. What do you think? I hope that doesn’t sound boring, I promise I have some pretty exciting stuff coming up for this year as well and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Here’s to a great new {relaxing} year!

Quilt Camp

Whew! I’m back from a busy weekend away at Quilt Camp! I actually got back Sunday evening, but I still feel like I’m recovering from all the late nights and fun. We had such a good time. Thursday afternoon, Jeni drove to my house from Wisconsin so we could car pool to Michigan together. It was really nice to have someone to chat with during the drive and it seemed to go by rather quickly, rather than the 3+ hours. We stayed at the Hankerd Inn in Pleasant Lake, Michigan. It was so cute! Lots of old barns and cottages set up specifically for quilting/sewing retreats. The owner was just the sweetest and took such good care of us while we were there.

There was lots of open sewing time and also four classes. I taught my Poinsettia Mini Quilt Pattern.

There were quite a few people paper piecing for the first time – and we had a lot of success! These are only a few of the finishes.

Since I’ve already made one mini quilt from the pattern layout, I’m thinking of an alternative design with my blocks.

Heather taught Improv and everyone made really great blocks.

Jeni taught her famous drawstring bags and Brenda taught English Paper Piecing. There were bags and hexies popping up all over the place!

So much holiday sewing was accomplished – this is only part of the projects everyone finished.

These were my table mates for the weekend – my great friend Kara (we met just after college in 2000), Cristin, Angela, and Amanda.

And my fellow “camp counselors” – Heather, Brenda and Jeni.

I’m so grateful for everyone that came to hang out and sew. This was the first time for Brenda’s Quilt Camp and I know she plans many more! Hopefully many of you will get a chance to attend one of the future camp weekends.