Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quilting in 2012

I've run the gamut of quilting in the last 60 years. English paper piecing, strip piecing on templates cut out of The Tuscaloosa News, making templates out of cardboard, hand piecing feathered stars, allowing a rotary cutter into my toolkit, creating quilts in the style of Judy Martin, Alex Anderson, Judy Niemeyer, Jacqueline de Jonge, Ricky Timms, Philippa Naylor, and so on and so on.


So what's up for 2012?


First, quilt the five tops I made this year. Finish, finish, finish.


Then, explore new fabrics, more duponi silk.


Then, more bed quilts, fewer sandwiches that don't fit anywhere in my house or any one else's. How many wall hangings and table runners can one use!


And then, if I'm not quilted out (and what quilter ever gets "quilted out"?), I'm going to encourage quilters to return to quilts that feel good to the touch and make them feel good when they're snoozing under them. My chorus will be keep your quilts away from those manic compulsive longarm quilters who add so many stitches that you can't see the fabric you fell in love with and lovingly guided into a beautiful top. Or, perhaps I'll find a longarm quilter who understands the words less dense, perhaps become one myself.


My New Year's wish for all my fellow quilters is that you'll find the joy of hand quilting a sandwich with wool batting (quilts like butter), take pleasure in your uneven stitches through the four-layer intersections, and wake up from a nap every Sunday afternoon under your snuggly palette of beautiful fabrics.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Solids Party

I'm half through quilting the building block castle crib quilt so I decided to do one more project in solids. They'll both wait to be finished until January since we're leaving to "do the Danube" Saturday morning. But I'll have something solid to come back to, and something a bit warmer than what we'll be experiencing for the next two weeks.

And here are the colors yet to be added.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Celebrate Solids

Sometimes I forget how nice solids are since I get so caught up in pattern fabric. If you're in the Atlanta area, watch for upcoming classes at Kiwiquilts focusing on solids. However, when I shoot the backing, you'll see I did fall off the wagon and add a print, oh well, nobody's perfect. I'll post that pix soon.





And as always, I could not accomplish anything without my able assistant Lily, who keeps quilts in progress from flying off the table.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Love Letters Block #7

Back to work on Love Letters and two new projects (also a bit more modern using all solids, which I've never done before). I'm liking the quilt without the sashing that's included in the pattern. What do you think?


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Something a Bit More Contemporary

Moving into a more contemporary color scheme today. Let's see how folks at the craft fair take to greys/greens next year. I love Dresden Plates but not so much in quilts because of the extra weight so I thought I'd go for home decor with some.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dancing with the Stars-Done and Shipped to New Home

Whew, made it under the deadline (which I had set for 12-6). Shipped today to new home in Peoria, Illinois.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dancing with the Stars

I'm posting this just to put it in writing that I'm one and a half blocks away from finishing hand quilting Dancing with the Stars quilt (see pictures in previous post). I plan to start the borders by Sunday, then binding, then whooohoooo, fini. I'll post pix when done.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Paper Piecing Patterns Available

I've thoroughly tested my paper piecing patterns now for the Love Letters blocks. If you're interested in getting a set, email me at johnniemckenzie@att.net. I'll contact you with details on payment and delivery. If you're in the Atlanta area, you can get the patterns at Kiwiquilts in Powder Springs.

Block 6 is below.


Work In Progress -- Sneak Peak at Another Pattern
Two different looks/fabric styles.





Thursday, November 10, 2011

And Another One Joins the Party

I've made five of the six blocks and am really enjoying this fabric! I got the corners on the last one and #5 on the board a few minutes ago.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another Love Letters Block on the Board

I'm beginning to like the Paisley background more and more.


And I added one more block this afternoon...very little gray except in the corner block, which I'll add before end of day.


More BOMs...more of Etchings fabric

I purchased more of the Etchings line than the BOM lists and love the paisley print. And of course, I'm not following the prescribed color placements. I'm auditioning the paisley as a background. Once I get the corners on, I'll know if it works. Right now, it's too little contrast with the red print for my taste. We'll see later this afternoon. Believe me, paper piecing is the way to go on this quilt! Block #2, the one being auditioned, went together in under 20 minutes. Anyone interested in foundation patterns, let me know.


In answer to Crazylegs' question about design wall. The one in the picture is white flannel (cheap). I have one by Fons and Porter that has a grid on the back that I take to the quilt shops where I teach. It has grommets and works great with those Comnmand strip thingies.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Paper Piecing: faster, easier, better

I can't remember the last time I pieced a block the traditional way. Cutting little pieces of fabric just isn't for me. So, I turned the local BOM quilt into paper piecing blocks and zoom, zoom, zoom, I'm on my way.

Half way mark hit! Twenty-one blocks done and 21 more to go on this super fast project.



Then, there's my other project, hand quilting Dancing with the Stars so I can ship it off to our friends the first week of December. I've completed 15 blocks (half the blocks). Then there's the border. But I'm sure with such a capable assistant (Lily), I'll make it with no problems.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Around the Quilt Blog World

After a bit of an absence due to pressing deadlines, I thought I'd tackle blogging again. Even though I didn't take the time to post pictures or share ideas, I did keep up with my favorite bloggers.

Here's one I found today who's doing an interesting series on color, from nature to cloth. (http://crookedseams.blogspot.com/).

I often struggle with who owns the quilt, the quilter or the long arm quilter. Here's an example of what I feel is a happy joint ownership, a very traditional quilt quilted in a way that enhances, not dominates, the lovely pattern and fabric. (http://quiltsonbastings.blogspot.com/2011/10/hexagon-stars-quilt.html).

What is your idea of long-arm dominance over a quilt top? How do you find the balance of density and design over fabric and block structure?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Free Pattern Link List - A Ton of Free Patterns

It'll take you a month to explore this but good for inspiration while you're avoiding the heat that's sweeping across us in the Southeast this year.

http://thegoldenthimble.com/favoritelinksmain.html

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Flock of Geese

Take a look at what wonderful designs the students in my Feather Goose class have come up with...one red and white, one many, many colors of batiks, and one blues, greys, reds, and black batiks.

Annie's reds, blues, greys, and black background.



Wanda's many reds and white background.

Linda's all the colors in the rainbow batiks with many lights as background.

Watch for my next posting. Each of these fine quilters will display their finished tops at Kiwiquilts in Powder Springs when they're done. And there's more progress than you see in these pictures. A number of them have made all of some components already.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Feathered Goose #2

One was just not enough. I'm making another one along with my students in a class at Kiwiquilts. The third session is this coming Saturday. I can't wait to see how they are progressing, one is multi-colored batik with a cream background, one is a multi colored batik with a black background, and one is reds and white. Wow, what a show they'll make.

 I haven't posted anything for a long while since I my camera broke. I got a new camera today so here is my progress on Goose #2.


I fussy-cut a border print to make the center star. I tried to use more of the border print in the corner stars and border but abandoned the strategy since it really didn't show up in the stars and make the border look too striped.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Goose Is Done

This was one of the most fun quilts I've made. For those of you in the Atlanta, Georgia area, call Kiwiquilts at 770-243-3749 to sign up for a fun Feathered Goose class.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Goose Parts Are Done - Pictures Coming Soon

I finished all the pieces about an hour ago and it's on my design wall. As soon as I can get the clutter moved, I'll post pictures.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ah...the Goose Must Wait

Life pokes its ugly head into our quilting plans way too often sometimes. I'm back at work for a few weeks so progress will be slow on the Feathered Goose. But I will find time to finish a project my free motion quilting (FMQ, yes even quilting has its acronyms) class began yesterday to brag on the great progress they made.

For a quick look at some FMQ, check out Patsy Thompson's blog for some enhanced free motion feathers.

http://www.patsythompsondesigns.com/blog/index.php/archives/2418

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Feathers - Two Rows to Go

I managed to complete a full row this week so there're only two rows to go and I'm done with the star components for those rows. I hung a flannel design cloth and that helps make decisions on the placement of components and move the color sploshes around. I'm not expert and getting the components on the cloth straight yet, however, so you'll see it tends to go down hill on the right side.



Here's a look at my organization. I pull the swatches for the outer curves from this pile.

I cut 2" and 3" strips and organized them in color ways from my Jinny Beyer fabric stash and keep them separated so it's easy to do the border and center geese components.


I've made a number of Judy Niemeyer patterns before but this one has been the easiest. All the patterns I've made are so precisely drawn and go together so beautifully. I've also used her border components on other quilts. The math is easy to re-design and make them work with just about any size quilt.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ready for France 2011

Finding this fabric added to my excitement about going back to France this year. I'm not sure you can see it clearly but it's a stylized map of Paris. I decided we could use some mug rugs since we'll be on a cabin cruiser going down the canals of the Rhone and won't have normal space.


Mug rugs and coasters, for wine of course! In the colors of the French flag.


And then there's my class sample I need to finish asap so I can get back to the Feathered Goose. I'm determined to master silk so I'm using silk in the window centers and petals. Then I'll tackle an entire piece using silk.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Joy of Teaching

I had the pleasure of sharing some of my experience with six wonderful quilters yesterday at Kiwiquilts in Powder Springs. We explored the many ways to create and present a Cathedral Window block. I encourage each of you quilters to be a teacher. Share your knowledge and tips with everyone. Here's a sample of the windows.