Saturday, May 30, 2015

One Done!

One more student quilt from the Voila class! Lisa completed her quilt with binding to match the brown and green polka-dot flower centers and first time free-motion quilting throughout the green background. Although she nearly changed her mind on the orange petals, they make a bright, sunny quilt. Way to go! She sent along this photo with her comment, which says it all--"love it, love it, love it!!!" 

Lisa's finished quilt

Thursday, May 21, 2015


I am teaching a two-day class at Sew Portland (part 2 is this Saturday.) We are working on raw-edge fusible applique. I designed an easy baby size quilt to learn on.

Last Saturday we spent time choosing fabrics--each student had her own unique vision. Fabric shopping is so much fun! We could have spent the whole day playing with fabrics but eventually we got to work cutting and stitching the backgrounds and learning to use fusible web. The product we used in class is Steam-a-Seam II Lite. My personal favorite is an oldie but goodie, Wonder Under. I love that stuff. But Steam-a-Seam has the advantage of acting like a Post-It note until you are ready to hit it with the iron, so the applique pieces go on the design wall, get moved around until you love it, then set with the iron, no pinning involved! A huge advantage in a classroom situation or for working on the large-sized petals in this pattern.

With tops done, students headed home to spray-baste the quilts in preparation for this week's completion session. If all goes according to plan, they will secure the fused applique with a variety of stitches, add some quilting in the background (free motion here we come!) and finally, apply the binding entirely by machine.

I couldn't resist showing off Victoria's completed top--she chose prints for her flower petals and added a border to make the quilt a little bigger. Flower Power!
Victoria's top

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First Friday!

Linda Morrisette "Mermaid"  Diane Brause "Lighthouse" Rana O'Connor "Dream"
On my list for the last few years has been to participate as an artist in First Friday Art Walk in Portland, and this past Friday, I had the pleasure of exhibiting (along with many other quilters and fabric artists) at St Luke's Cathedral on State Street. What a venue!

The organizers, Pat and John Fowler, did an amazing job. Pat must have called every quilter she knew in Maine. I had about 30 pieces from quilters and fabric artists with Art Quilts Maine and Calico Quilters in Yarmouth. As we were setting up, the doors kept opening and in would come another woman or two with suitcases and boxes filled with quilts.

I thought the juxtaposition of traditional quilts and fabric art would be inspiring, and it was beyond expectations. Traditional quilts were draped over every pew, filling half of the church with color. Art quilts were hung from easels all around. A wonderful pianist provided live music, a table held wine and cheese, and around 5:30, people started coming in. The turnout was great.

People walked in, took a minute to absorb the riot of color, then took time to talk to quilters who showed off their handiwork, describing the impetus for a certain quilt, unfolding another to reveal details. Said Pat, "I think this was the best showing of any art that we have had in the cathedral in the 3 years that we have been participating in the Art Walk." The photos tell the story. We'll be back next year!

Mary Hodgkin "Wavy Logs in Batik"