Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

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!

February 25, 2013   51 Comments

This Way, That Way

This Way That Way Front

I finished my Glimma quilt just a couple of hours ago and I am pretty proud of myself for braving the frigid cold outside to get pictures! It helped that my car has heated seats. And I think it’s actually 20 degrees which feels like a heatwave after the sub-zeros from the last two days!

I’ve decided to call this quilt “This Way, That Way”. I love the effect of the flying geese going in all the different directions.

This Way That Way Detail

As I mentioned here and here, Windham Fabrics sent me a little pack of charms from Lotta Jansdotter’s upcoming line Glimma, due out in April. I decided to mix it with two shades of Essex Linen – yarn dyed in black and flax. Paper piecing the flying geese made working with the linen quite easy. When it came to removing the paper and sewing everything together however, I really relied on starch. It stiffened up the fabric enough to make it easy to work with, not stretching all over the place.

This Way That Way Quilting

I quilted this with diagonal lines, randomly spaced. They are each between 1/4″ and 1/2″ apart. I bound it with the Yarn Dyed Black Essex Linen. The back is a Moda Crossweave in a coral color (not sure the exact name). It measures 30″ x 40″.

This Way That Way Back

Have I mentioned that I’m actually going to get to meet Lotta at QuiltCon? I signed up for her Textile Printing class and I can’t wait! Is anyone else taking it? And speaking of QuiltCon, I am honored to have two quilts selected to be displayed, my Off Centered Improv and my Belle Wave quilts. I’ll be spending the next week getting them ready, sewing hanging sleeves, labels, and packing them up to ship. Fun, fun!

January 23, 2013   44 Comments

Timber & Leaf for the House

Timber & Leaf String Pillow

New pillows for the couch have been on my to-do list since the beginning of Winter. I love my Autumn pillows, but I was ready to put them away until next year. When I saw Sarah Watt‘s Timber & Leaf collection for Blend Fabrics, I knew the natural designs and soft colors were perfect for my house. I mixed in Free Spirit Designer Solids in Pearl and Dogwood.

Timber & Leaf by Sarah Watts

These two are my favorites!

Timber & Leaf by Sarah Watts

I was inspired by Amy’s Indie Vibrations quilt. I really liked how her string blocks were paper pieced so they would line up, but still be different widths of fabric strips. I made two paper piecing templates, each are 6-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ unfinished. I used 3 of each template to form the 18″ square pillow.

Timber & Leaf String Pillow

You can buy the pattern for Amy’s Indie Vibrations quilt in her pattern shop.

Timber & Leaf by Sarah Watts

I quilted the pillow with straight lines, about 1/2″ apart. The back is a simple envelope enclosure.

Timber & Leaf String Pillow

You can find Timber & Leaf at Moona Fabrics. Now to make another one for the other side of the couch!

January 16, 2013   31 Comments

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.

December 11, 2012   26 Comments