Monday, April 23, 2012

Look What Bobbi's Done

Here is a photo of the latest tile quilt by my friend and co-author, Bobbi Finley:

It's terrific!  The orange peel block is patterned in our book, Tile Quilt Revival. 

 I'm fascinated by the secondary circle patterns she created in repeating the block.

Check out Bobbi's blog, , to see what she has to say about her quilt.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another Perpetual Project

My new perpetual project combines two types of quiltmaking I'm particularly interested in: tile quilt construction and tessellated piecing.  And I'm hoping it results in a dancing, calligraphic overall look.  

The quilt top will be constructed of identical, irregular four-sided blocks in which each side is a different length.  They will tessellate, which just means that as long as all the blocks are right-side-up they will fit together to form a gapless plane.  Any four-sided shape will tessellate. 

The blocks are constructed in a hand-applique tile quilt method.  See Tile Quilt Revival: Reinventing a Forgotten Form for instructions on preparing and stitching tile blocks.  The look that results is that of fabric "tiles" surrounded by narrow channels of background fabric "grout."  See the Orange Peel block at the top of this column, the cover of Tile Quilt Revival, and the workshop block to the right for examples.

Here are a couple of photos of the few individual blocks I've stitched so far:

With these blocks my idea was to make the calligraphic "tiles" dark and the other "tiles" very close in value to the scrappy background fabrics.  

Here's a photo showing how the blocks will tessellate:

As you can see, the two blocks on the right are pin basted but not yet stitched.  There will be less background fabric between blocks when they are pieced, which will improve the flow of the darker shapes.

Should keep my hands busy at stitch group get-togethers for quite awhile.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Perpetual Projects

Being involved in a couple of small stitch groups that meet at least weekly, I like to have a long-term hand sewing project to carry around and keep me occupied.  Emphasis on long-term--a perpetual project, one that will keep me occupied for many, many, many months and during that span of time will be ready to grab as I head out the door.  So it was with some regret, but mostly with real satisfaction, that I recently completed a perpetual project.

I used a traditional applique pattern, Hickory Leaf, very slightly modified from Barbara Brackman's book, America's Printed Fabrics, 1770-1890.  Here is Barbara's version, which uses large-scale reproduction prints on neutral background: 

I love that quilt.

Here's what I did with contemporary prints:

Bad photo of a quilt that is too large to light well and too large to fit flat on my design wall...  The color shows better in these details:

It's festive.  Kris Barlow did a terrific job of machine-quilting it.  I love the way it looks on a (queen-size) bed:

Next time--a preview of the new perpetual project.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Great Shirley Greenhoe

And I do mean great.

Shirley is an extraordinary machine quilter.  On page 36 of Tile Quilt Revival there is a photo of Shirley's quilting of a tile quilt of mine that features printed hydrangeas and stitched circles.  As always, Shirley's design for the quilting brings it all together perfectly--beautifully stitched hydrangea blossoms combined with spirals upon spirals.  But that's another story.

Today's actual topic is Shirley's brilliant taking tile technique to another level!  She is using tile construction method to create a terrific border on a Tree of Life medallion quilt:
I apologize for the poor quality of the photo.  My excuse--too excited about the tile border to pay attention to camera settings....  

The graceful lines of the tile border work so beautifully with the crisp geometry of the tree leaves and the pieced inner borders.  Here are a couple of details:

I love it that Shirley used light grout (background fabric) in the border strips and dark grout for the fans/shells.  The combination makes for a nice positive/negative play.  

Shirley's quilt is obviously a work in progress, and I can hardly wait to see how it develops.  I understand there may be more tile technique in the works.
Thanks, Shirley, for sharing.  I hope you'll let all of us see the completed quilt.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dog Day

We recently celebrated the 10th birthday of our mutt, Sumo.  We've pretty much ignored the previous 9, but 10 means 70 in dog years, and this one just seemed too important to pass over.  Here's the cake (divided in two to be shared with her friend, Grace):

Name notwithstanding, Sumo is of the female persuasion--she got the name by being pushy.  Here she and Grace are waiting to be told they can taste the cake:

And here's the Sumo dog hopelessly smitten with her present, a little stuffed beaver:

 I learned from reading the dog DNA story in the current issue of National Geographic that her Andy Rooney eyebrows are called "furnishings."  Nice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quilt Talk Radio!

Happy New Year.

Bobbi Finley and I are launching 2012 as guests on Pat Sloan's radio quilting show! Pat's program is American Patchwork & Quilting Radio, which can be heard live on Mondays at 4:00 ET.  If you are unable to listen then, no problem--recordings are available later. 

Here's a link to Pat's website:

Bobbi and I will be guests on Pat's show next Monday, January 16, 2012.  It's 4:00 Eastern Time, so remember to adjust for your time zone if you plan to listen to the live broadcast.   Go to this link to listen:

We will be talking about tile quilts and our book, Tile Quilt Revival.  

When I was in 9th grade I won a pair of (cheap) shoes for being Best Dressed Girl on the local television dance show, Hi Fi Hop.  I've waited a long time for this second showbiz opportunity, and I'm excited about it.  I hope you can be in the audience.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finished Finishing

Enough of finishing.
Here's the last of the lot:
It's called Free Floating.
And here are a couple of details:

The details show a couple of my all-time favorite fabrics.  
The blue-green fingerprint with the occasional black dot is glazed, which gives it a wonderful crispness.  And it is vintage--exactly what vintage, I don't know, but it was well-aged when I got it years ago at Beverly Hills Silks & Woolens.  BHS&W was a set decorator's paradise where bark cloth and 36"-wide fabric, as well as almost anything else you fancied, could still be found on the bolt. The other fingerprint fabric is an African Dutch wax print. I like the two together--the fingerprint collection.