Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I've been wanting to post about this finish from a few weeks back, but I cannot find a window of time with both sunshine and a quilt zombie here to assist me with pictures (ie, a headless and torsoless quilt holder-upper). This weekend, I promise.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gratuitous cuteness

My friend Lela sent me a photo of her baby enjoying his quilt.

slaying me with cheek cuteness

I love seeing my quilts in use, but that beautiful face takes the cake.

Friday, September 28, 2012

My first and last Britney quilt

And now, from the archives....

no, thanks

Last year, my next door neighbor showed me a bag of T-shirts, wondering if any of my guild friends might have interest in taking on a project. Her daughter was our first babysitter when we moved to Massachusetts 6 years ago, and is now a college junior. The shirts represented high school and college memories and were languishing in a dresser.

I should mention that these are the best neighbors we've ever had. They let our children use their backyard and house like it is theirs, invite us over for impromptu dinners, and generally keep an eye on us like we are family. So while I'd heard stories about how awful t-shirt jersey is to work with, I couldn't say no.

My only design direction was that their daughter "likes blue." (I know, right?!)

I squared and interfaced all the shirt content, and raided some unused brights from my stash and scrap bin to fill in. I honestly loved how lively it was when it was done, but it took a long time!

Some of the Ts had hilarious content and were a bit incongruous with the more philanthropic shirts, so I relegated them to the back, alongside a teal print I found at Joann's. If you look closely, you'll spy not just Britney, but also Nick Lachey and (gag) Chris Brown.

There were many snorts when this came in for show and tell at my BMQG meeting.

I used the quilt as a chance to practice my free motion, which was executed in a square stipple pattern. In the end, my neighbors loved it. There were tears, probably the best reaction I've ever had to a quilt I made!

Monday, September 24, 2012


I spent some time last weekend cutting up some shirts of my Dad's that my mom gave me.

I'm coming up on his 'yahrzheit', which is the 1-year anniversary of his death.   I've been dreading it, and the shirts have been sitting in a pile in the corner of my sewing room since last November.

My father was an electronics technician, and a solid 'flannel-and-work pants' kind of guy, as you can tell.  He was rocking this look for a solid 30 years before J. Crew picked up on it.

Last weekend, I just looked at the pile and felt like I needed to start.   Taking the cutter to the first shirt was a bit gut-wrenching, but still felt like the right thing to do.  Since I didn't have a real concept in mind, I set the goal of just cutting off odd parts, seams, and squaring things up.

It took about an hour, but I'm happy with the progress.   I have a neat stack that's easier to look at.  Psychically, the pile looks more like the beginnings of something.

The next morning, inspiration finally struck.   I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, as was my father.   He was a complete science guy, who had a deep love for physics in particular.

The Ohio Star block seems like a complete no-brainer, for a jumping off point:

via  EZPiecing

I'm kicking around ideas and have a long way to go, but feel relieved to be started.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pigs fly!

I never thought I'd be able to do it, but I did - I finally cut some of my beloved Melody Miller yardage!

The bag I made is Michelle Lizcano's Nikki tote, the pattern for which I picked up at Pink Chalk Fabrics, on Laurie's recommendation. I also deployed some never-cut Echino dots for the handles, and love how they look together. I highly recommend this pattern, it was easy and is so dramatic in person.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thank you, Linda!!

Thanks to my friend Linda and her mad Gammill skills, I just rocked through the quilting of Amrita's kaleidoscope quilt (full size) in 2 hours!! You can add a long-arm machine to my Hanukkah wish list. On to binding...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

LQF Recap

Our Lowell Quilt Festival show wrapped up over the weekend, and I still can't believe how well it went.

Leah and Jane admire Jen's amazing work

We had great turnout, the venue was spectacular and light-filled, and Alexis and Aimee orchestrated everything to a professional standard that exceeded all our expectations.  I think we blew everyone away, including ourselves!

new members?

We heard some hilarious things from the traditional quilters who dropped by as a courtesy, and walked away really impressed.

Emily and Alexis with friends and family
at the Friday night open house

I believe this turtle was Samantha's.
A big fan favorite!

Linda's insanely beautiful quilting was a personal favorite.
I have plans to steal many of these ideas!

Speaking of epic quilting, look at this!
One of the young male residents told me
Jen's quilt was his very favorite quilt in the show.

One lady seemed aghast that some of us had washed our quilts (mine included!  I love the texture - who knew it would be a "show issue"?)   Others were so adorable, literally snooping behind the racks just to see what the reverse looked like.

creeping around the back

Another "quilt veteran" was so astonished by what she saw, that she pulled Alexis and me aside and exclaimed to us that our show was "fucking amazing".   Definitely my favorite feedback of the show.

Alice in chains.  Get it?
Laurie's spectacular Dresden,
made with fabrics she brought back from Uganda
Alexis's elegant mini

Speaking of minis, I felt that category really demonstrated the wide range of aesthetics of our members.   Some of my other favorites:

The patrons liked that we didn't use draping on our displays- one lady told me it "contributed to the graphic quality" of the experience.

Amy's New York Beauty.   

One very friendly Australian quilter, a fan of Amy's blog, waylaid her vacation to come to our show.  She was thrilled to see Amy's work in person, and also loved Lia's beautiful take on a Sarah Fielke favorite, below.   She said (shhhh) she preferred Lia's to Sarah's!

Lia's eagles

The work, needless to say, speaks for itself.    These women inspire me with their insane, boundless talent.  I am so proud to be part of this guild!

I have many, many more photos and will post more later this week.  Congratulations, ladies of the BMQG!   Please see our blog, Facebook page, and Flickr pool for additional links and photos.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lowell Quilt Festival, Day 1!

Yesterday we spent about a half-day hanging quilts for our Boston Modern Quilt Guild gallery,  a satellite location of the Lowell Quilt Festival.

My kaleidoscope and  Alice's Chain Reaction.
They look so lovely here together!

Our BMQG gallery showcases more than 50 spectacular member quilts, in the light-filled large atrium at Appleton Mills, an amazing textile-mill-turned-apartment complex in Lowell, Massachusetts.   (219 Jackson Street, Lowell, MA)

Our show is open to the public.  Hours are:  10 am - 6 pm Thursday 8/9,  10 am - 8 pm Friday 8/10, and 10 am - 4 pm Saturday 8/11.

Linda hangs a beauty.

Please also consider joining us for the Opening Reception, which is from 5-8 pm on Friday, 8/10.   Many guild members will be there to discuss their work, and there will be food and drink on hand.

From the "Bee" section  of the gallery.
Both of these quilts were BMQG collaborations.

We can't wait!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WIP: Amrita's quilt

In between hectic preparation for the Lowell Quilt Festival, Amrita's quilt is moving from sketch to reality.

Monday, July 30, 2012

BMQG rocks the Lowell Quilt Festival

The following is happening, and it is awesome.   I'm submitting 4 quilts, including a challenge mini based on the QuiltCon colors, and the dresden I just finished for my friends Emily and Bill.

We are psyched!   Be there or be square.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Converging corners

So, this one was finished a while ago, but I'd failed to post details.

Obviously, I got the idea for this from the Film in the Fridge Converging Corners quilt.  I just loved everything about that quilt, and thought it would be a great way to use scraps to make a vibrant baby quilt for a woman I work with. 

The baby's gender was unknown so I did my best to remain true to the primary colors used in the inspiration.     This was a bit of a stretch from me, as I hardly ever use red.  I love how the red perks up this quilt - I think I may be sprinkling more of this around, going forward.    It's a real personal growth moment for me!  ;)

There's a lot of Denyse Schmidt fabric in here, including on the binding.  I also used a lot of my repro scraps, many of which are very geometric (ie, less flower power) when you look closely.

This came together very quickly.  I backed it with strip of patchworked leftovers from the front, run alongside an awesome yellow-on-green dot I got at Marden's for $3/yard.   This dot was I previously used to back Lela's baby quilt.  In hindsight, I should have gotten more of this yardage.

Things have been crazy here, preparing for our Boston Modern Quilt Guild exhibit at the Lowell Quilt Festival in mid-August.    Lots of sleeves are being sewn, more to come on this soon...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What I do on conference calls

Binding helps me focus and listen.

And yes, my desk really does look like that. Just keeping it real, people.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Accidental finish

So at 10:30 last night, I was zooming along, stippling between the already quilted Dresden plates on Emily and Bill's quilt.   I cut a thread and went to start a new section, and realized there weren't any left!

I had finished without realizing it.  How's that for spacial awareness?

Now, 5,800 threads to bury, and I'm on to binding....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Actually, not a WIP at all.  It's done and has been for 2 weeks, but unfortunately work ("real" work, at my job) has been so bad I've not had time to post.   So here's a teaser for some work I did a few weeks ago, for a gal at (you guessed it) work, who's about to deliver a baby.

I promise to do a real post on this one sometime soon, once work slows down.   Or I go bananas in a meeting and quit.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I want to go to there.

via the long thread
I have a lot of favorite fabric designers, but if you put a gun to my head, my #1 is Melody Miller.

Melody, via Generation Q Magazine

In fact, my most embarrassing "celebrity" encounter at last Quilt Market was with Melody.  Unbeknownst to me, she was sitting 2 seats away from me in a very packed presentation room.  I was totally oblivious, but my friend Alice spotted her, and loudly introduced me as her biggest fan.  Seats were shuffled and pictures were taken.
Me (losing my shit) with Melody,
via alidiza

It was awesome, but at the time I was so flustered I thought I was going to die.  I can't even remember what I said, but I know there was a lot of sweaty redness and stammering.   Melody couldn't have been nicer.  I think she felt bad for me, because she dived into her purse and thrust a couple of not-yet-released fat quarters into our hands.

It occurs to me that I love her fabric so much that while I own quite a bit, you would never know this from my finished work.  I've hardly cut into any of it!   It just feels like sacrilege.

there has never been a better fabric than this.
If my house ever burns down,  my 2 hoarded yards
are my first grab after immediate family members

This is a long way of saying that when the pictures of her booth popped up from this QM, I plotzed.

via the long thread

In a perfect world, this room would exist in my basement, connected to my sewing room.  I would have sew-ins with my guild friends here.  We would sit on that kick-ass couch, blab about blogs, and watch Ricky Timms videos while snarfing oatmeal cookies and pinot.

Melody would totally be invited.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sparkle mailed

My long nightmare concluded late last month, when finally I finished this monster:

Sparkle punch quilt (Oh Fransson quiltalong)
April 2012
I love the way it turned out, but I won't lie - it was painful.  It took a lot longer than I expected, and I had to take a few breaks from it.

I used the instructions from the Oh Fransson quilt-along to piece the top.

My main stumbling block was the block count.   Specifically, there are 480 individual 3.5" blocks in the final quilt.   Which required cutting ~400 white squares, plus ~400 colored squares for the stars.

maybe 25% of the white squares

The 400 star-point blocks had to be pieced, pressed, and trimmed to square.  Which took for-FREAKING-ever and was (let's not sugar-coat) complete drudgery.

Luckily, I have HBO in the basement.  At times, I even had company.

sadly, he's too young to iron for me.
he is getting great at the foot pedal.

Another annoyance was that once this was arranged on my design wall, I really couldn't move any part of it, for fear of messing up the layout.   This made working on other projects harder, which didn't help my flagging morale.

chunks coming together

But it's done, so I won't dwell.  (too late!)

actual sunshine, people

Elizabeth Hartman suggested a spiky stipple for the quilting.   I'm new to free motion and am trying to get comfortable with traditional stippling, so I went with an overall traditional curvy stipple instead.

did a few fussy star centers, like this pretty cameo

For the back, I found a really pretty grey print from Tanya Whelan's Dolce line.   I love using large-scale prints like this as backings - would've been a shame to hack this up.   

 I bound the quilt in Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley Wallflower print (piney woods colorway).

 I was so relieved to be done, I threw the quilt right into my yard.   Just kidding.

This one's on my way to my friend Arielle in Kansas City.  She is the only person I know who could be trusted with a couch-sized white quilt!   (certainly not safe in my house.....)