QuiltCon 2015

QuiltCon 2015

I’m back! What a two weeks. I went from Austin to Naples to Orlando and then back to Chicago. I’m sorry things have been so quiet here on the blog for the last couple of weeks. I started my time away at QuiltCon and I thought it’d be fun to share some pictures and thoughts! (If you aren’t tired of reading them on everyone else’s blogs.)

QuiltCon 2015

Let’s be honest, it was no hardship to trade subzero temperatures for 60’s and blue skies. This was my second time visiting Austin and it is just a fun town – very easy to get around for a convention. I think I mentioned in my pre-QuiltCon post that I was only there for half the convention due to a family wedding…but I do feel like I squeezed a lot in during that time.

QuiltCon 2015

First things first, once again QuiltCon was super well done. I know absolutely nothing about planning a convention, but I am so impressed with how everything played out. I checked in on Thursday morning. There was a CRAZY and I mean CRAZY long line, but once the kiosks opened it moved really quickly and I was up in my first class of the day with plenty of time to spare.

My first (and only) class was embroidery with Alison Glass. Alison set up this giant frame and showed us embroidery stitches super sized so everyone could see. SO SMART!

QuiltCon 2015

Then we all got to work on our projects while we chatted. It was sort of like sewing social time and I loved every minute of it. Very relaxing.

QuiltCon 2015

I spent some time in lectures, and the rest of the time on the floor. I really focused my attention on the quilts. And there were so many awesome quilts to see. It was pretty overwhelming (in the best way possible).

QuiltCon 2015: Best in Show: i Quilt by Kathy York
Best in Show: i Quilt by Kathy York

Most of the quilts I saw did not use a standard grid layout. I think if your goal is to have a quilt in this show next year, that should be a strong hint as to what you might want to consider submitting.

QuiltCon 2015: Deconstructed Lonestar by Amy Struckmeyer
Deconstructed Lonestar by Amy Struckmeyer

I noticed a ton of matchstick quilting. Another hint, hint I think.

QuiltCon 2015: The Rabbit Hole by Nydia Kennley
The Rabbit Hole by Nydia Kennley

I’m a huge fan of Nydia Kennley’s quilts. Above you’ll see her with her award winning improvisational quilt, The Rabbit Hole. I watched this one come together on Instagram – you must follow her if you have an Instagram account! The quilting alone. Wow. It’s matchstick quilting, a mix of different colored thread, with some hand quilted straight lines mixed in as well.

QuiltCon 2015: Tessellation 3 by Nydia Kennley
Tessellation 3 by Nydia Kennley

Lots of solids (yay!). That’s probably a surprise to no one. :)

QuiltCon 2015: Emergent by Kari Vojtechovsky
Emergent by Kari Vojtechovsky

QuiltCon 2015: Fresh Pack by Dorie Schwarz
Fresh Pack by Dorie Schwarz

A fun moment for me was to turn down this aisle and see quilts by my coauthors Katie, Lee and me, all related to Vintage Quilt Revival : two quilts from the book itself and one quilt that was a spin off from one of the patterns.

QuiltCon 2015: Modern Traditionalism
Far Left: Spiced Chai by Katie Clark Blakesley
Third Quilt from Left: Freeflow by Lee Heinrich
Fourth Quilt from Left: Star Bright by Faith Jones

A personal all time favorite of mine, Improv Double Wedding Ring by Natalie Sabik, was on display. What a treat to see this one in person.

QuiltCon 2015: Improv Double Wedding Ring by Natalie Sabik
Improv Double Wedding Ring by Natalie Sabik

Overall, I loved the show – it was inspiring, informative, and well run. There was even a QuiltCon app with schedule information, a floor layout map, directory, etc. The only one thing I would change for next time…I’d love to see some row numbers hanging from the ceiling. Because let’s be honest. I can’t read a map to save my life. And most booths didn’t display their booth number anywhere, so I never knew where I was or how to get to my goal. I also am pretty sure I missed half the quilts because I spent a lot of time lost. :)

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters

After Austin I flew to Florida for a few days. Part of this time was spent relaxing poolside with my one and only purchase from QuiltCon – The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood. This book is beautiful. Just trust me and go buy it. I’m sure I’ll be doing a more in depth review of it soon on the blog.

QuiltCon will now be an annual show. 2016 will be held in Pasadena, California and 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. Maybe we can beg our way into a future year in the middle of the country? Although who am I kidding? No one wants to visit Chicago in February! :)

Hanna Hearts

Hanna Hearts Quilt

I thought I’d share just a few photos of my Hanna Hearts quilt progress while I am away at QuiltCon. It’s so cute! My 8 year old assures me.

(And totally unrelated to this quilt…if you’d like to see real time updates from QuiltCon today and tomorrow, be sure to follow me on Instagram!)

Hanna Hearts Quilt

I am planning on adding some white sashing between everything. Probably either 1-1/2″ or 2″ wide. I mentioned in my last post that I used Allison of Cluck, Cluck, Sew’s Simple Heart Tutorial. These are the 4″ hearts. I just love them!

Hanna Hearts Quilt

I’m going to back this one with minky so it’s nice and soft for the recipient!

A New Beginning ~ Splendor Quilt

Splendor Quilt Fabric : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Well, I’ve taken a bit of time off to focus on things away from the sewing machine. Basking in the joy of finishing the Poinsettia Quilt I suppose. I spent the last week thinking about what I wanted to work on next. The big winner is another new quilt/pattern called the Splendor Quilt. This one is an adaptation of the Radiant Splendor block tutorial that I posted last March.

Splendor Quilt Beginnings : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I designed this quilt over the summer and made 2 blocks. Then it sat while other projects jumped in front of it. Now it’s on the design wall, looking a bit lonely at the moment.

Splendor Quilt Beginnings : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Not for long though. I have the pattern written and am testing along the way. This is going to be a large Queen Sized quilt. I’m already throwing around the idea of having it long armed. It would be my first time sending a quilt out!

I hope you enjoy watching the process of this quilt coming together over the next several weeks.

Poinsettia ~ A Finished Quilt and Pattern

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s finished! After a few days of quilting, yesterday I stitched on the last bit of binding. I’m so very happy with how it turned out. Hopefully you all are as excited as I am – if for any reason, because you don’t have to hear about this one anymore. Ha!

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I know I’ve said so much about this quilt already, but I’ll touch on the main details again because I always have questions in the comments. I started this quilt over 2 years ago at a retreat put on by Pink Castle Fabrics (formerly known as Quilt Camp, now known as Camp Stitchalot). I was teaching a session on paper piecing and we were making the larger Poinsettia Star components as part of a small mini quilt pattern. I had already made the mini quilt, so I decided to play around with a new layout for all of my sample blocks.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m sure a lot of you know how it goes – life gets busy and your UFO pile grows and grows. The original quilt section was put aside while I waited for the right time to pick it up again. That time proved to be last November.

A little more than 2 months later, the finished quilt measures 62″ x 75″. There are 99 quilt blocks…2,610 tiny pieces of fabric. But who’s counting. 😉 Despite those seemingly overwhelming numbers, if you followed along on the progress you saw how this quilt was pretty achievable to assemble when broken down into steps.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Almost every piece of bright fabric in this quilt is from my stash of fabrics by Anna Maria Horner. (I can only think of 1 piece, from the original section 2 years ago, that isn’t hers.) I could gush all day about Anna Maria’s talent. Her collections just sing together. The colors, the designs…they are perfect for patchwork. The black/cream fabric is also from my stash. Half yards I’ve collected here and there. I used a lot up for this quilt, but I certainly don’t regret it. Much is from various Moda designers. A lot from Sweetwater, Lu Summers, Zen Chic. If I see it, I buy it, because Moda does not reprint fabric once it’s gone. Some are text, some are shapes and lines. Together, it just works.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For the backing, I used a print from Anna Maria Horner’s Hand Drawn Garden collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics called Sketchbook in ivory. The binding is a scrappy mix of black prints I used within the quilt. I think it provides a nice finishing frame. By some truly accidental piece of luck, when I cut the this large piece of fabric in half to sew together for the backing…the design matched up perfectly. You can’t really even tell where the seam is (it’s in the middle of the above photo, down the middle of the black hand drawn birds.)

I quilted using straight lines, just organically measuring – not marking. They are about 1/4 to 1/2 apart.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And…for the moment many of you have been waiting for…a quilt pattern! This pattern is now available in my shop as a PDF instant download. I have a few new PDF patterns that I haven’t announced formally, so be sure to check them out. There’s the Poinsettia Quilt, Big Top Quilt and Holland Mills Quilt. I plan on sending all 3 to the printer this week for hard copy pattern booklets (if you prefer that to an instant download PDF file). Those should be available in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Now it’s time for me to go cuddle under that quilt. This one is for keeps.