Friday, June 16, 2017

Minnesota Quilters' Annual Show

I had missed out on going to the MN Quilters' show for several years, but last Thursday I had a perfect chance to go with some friends to Duluth for the day.  
The quilts I am showing have a very distinct theme--scraps!
They also are quilts that are one-of-a-kind, in most cases.  
Maybe they will inspire me, or you, or anyone watching, to dig into those scraps or bits and pieces of fabric that just really need a home in a quilt.

This is a small section of a quilt with an overall neutral tone effect.
Mostly beige/tan/gray with random slivers of colors.
Then all heavily hand quilted!  It was striking!

Here are some blocks that we use in many quilts,
so there's nothing technically difficult about this one.
But the overall combination really creates a textured look.

This is a pattern I have seen before but I can't find the name.
I know it is by Brigitte Heitland, designer of Zen Chic fabrics and patterns for Moda.
She designs some great "modern" or contemporary quilts.

I loved this version of a different layout for scrappiness.

This pattern is apparently well-loved, because I saw it more than once in the show.  The quilting is shown in better detail below, and was done by Karen McTavish.  She had the honor of being "MN Quilter of the Year", and had a great exhibit of her work.  She is a very talented and innovative machine quilter, who teaches worldwide and has published several books.  She is from Duluth, and has a studio/store there for classes and use of her longarm machines.
Karen's name has been given to a specific quilting style, McTavishing.  It's the echoed circles and swirls shown in one section above, and makes for a great background texture.  I've taken a class from her and applied the technique to some of my own quilting, although not in the teeny tiny scale shown here!

Here's a design I've seen many times in quilts,
but this just popped out at me as something I would like to make.

Again, back to the scraps!  I've included this quilt especially to show
the straight-line quilting that doesn't have to always be straight to look great!
Random sizes of strips sewn into groups, then chopped up in sections combine
to make a design-it-yourself quilt!
Notice that seams don't need to be aligned and sections are different sizes.
So much freedom!

Improvisational triangles trimmed to make squares of one size give this quilt a
much more organized look, but still allowing for lots of
freedom in fabric choices and piecing angles.
The quilt info said that many of the fabrics came from mens' shirts.

 And lastly, below, a luminescent quilt that seemed to glow!
I had to get up close because I thought it was all painted, 
but, in fact, it's all fabric pieces appliqued onto the black background.  
It had an eye-catching result.
A work of art!

There are also a lot of shopping opportunities at a show like this.  I guess having worked quite a few years in a quilt shop makes me a poor consumer when I go to the vendors' booths, because if I see something I like I can make a note and then order it for Bear Patch.  I ended up buying only 1 pattern, but I had my hands on a couple of different quilt kits that were tempting.  I reached into my fortitude and resisted!  Maybe I'm actually understanding that I have more than enough fabric and patterns to last my lifetime already!  But I do appreciate all the hard work that goes into setting up and running a booth at a show.  I've done that a couple times for the store, and it is no picnic!

I hope you've enjoyed the quilts, and I wish I could provide more information on designers, patterns, maker, etc., for them.  It was a fun field trip, and I thank Jean and Mary for doing the driving for our group!  It was a pleasure to ride with you!

Monday, June 12, 2017

the kids are here!

It's that glorious time of year when the days are extra long and the world is a riot of growing things.  It's hard to imagine that life could get much better than that, but it did!  The kids are here!
Brita, Ben and the 3 little boys flew from Charlotte, NC, for a nice long stay.
They said it was the best flight they have ever made with kids, so that's a great way to start the vacation!  If you have ever traveled much with little people, you know that it takes a whole different kind of wrangling to get to your destination!

It's been about 2 months since we saw baby Leo, and what a change!  He is almost identical to his 2 older brothers at the same age.  There is so much more of him to love and snuggle!
He interacts now, has developed a little smiley face, holds his own head up, likes to be upright so he can learn how it feels to support his weight on his feet, and can be happy spending some moments on his playmat alone.  He's just amazing!  I imagine he's thinking "oh boy, my grandpa and grandma are back, I remember their arms and scent from my days as a baby!"

 Ian and Jack are growing into such wonderful little boys, and they LOVE Superheroes!
They have these great little shirts with capes on the back, so they totally have awesome super powers!
We have a deep window well that often is home to some frogs, 
and they were looking to see if any needed to be rescued.  

Yesterday our pastor performed a baptism service for Leo, so that makes 3 for 3 that he has baptized!
The big brothers and 2 of their best Minnesota friends had ringside seats, and they even poured the water into the basin!  It was fun for them to help and they stood so nice and still during the important bits! 

We arrived at church just as a severe thunderstorm hit, so actually we were all baptized by the heavens above on our dash into the church!

We love having the Burkes visit, and I'm sure we will have many memorable moments while they are here.  Sometimes we get photos, but just as often they are images that pop up in our conversation weeks or months later that are vivid reminders of our family life together.  We are so blessed!