Wednesday, August 27, 2014

sewing along

Last weekend I went to the AQS show in Grand Rapids.  I had high hopes I'd come home with lots of inspiration and even a new project.


While I can appreciate the talent and time involved in the "quilt it to death" method of quilting, I was disappointed at how many quilts hanging there had been quilted to death.  I mean 1/16th of an inch between lines of quilting quilting to death.

But I guess if you're making a quilt to WIN and not to keep someone warm and wrap them in love, go ahead and quilt it to death.  I'm just hoping the cycle will come back around and quilts that aren't stiffened by the amount of thread put into them will be in fashion again someday.

Until then, I guess I'm just going to be old fashioned.

There was, however, an amazing display of about 24 quilts made by a lady from Michigan.  Almost all hand-pieced, all hand-quilted.  And every single one was amazing.  She won a lot of awards for them in the 80's and I can see exactly why.  Sadly, she's no longer living, otherwise I would have liked to meet her.  

And then there were the vendors.  It seems there were far fewer there this year and a lot of them were selling things that were not quilt-related.  And the quilty vendors that were there were disappointing, too.  Some were good, but I found absolutely nothing I couldn't live without.  Except some longarm thread.  When the price drops if you buy 3 or more spools and you don't have to pay shipping, that's a good deal!  So I bought army green, grey and orange, all with projects in mind to use them to finish.

Maybe I just had too high of expectations this year.  Or maybe I just wasn't in the right mood.  But I heard others making similar comments about the vendors.  The quilts were beautiful, but nothing that truly inspired me to go home and make something either.

But...I have managed to keep going quilting at home.  A little at a time, but quilting.

Sunday I quilted a baby quilt for charity.  (Trying to clear off that rack of quilts...)  Once I get the binding finished, I'll share that.

And I turned this stack:

into this:

You can kind of see the blocks, but here's a (little blurry) photo of the top of that stack for a better idea:

(funny how the colors are so different depending on the angle of the camera!)

There are 8 greys and 8 purples, 12 blocks for each color.
192 blocks.  Simple blocks.  But done.

Next I will have to find a chunk of time to lay them all out and figure out what looks good where and then sew them together.  I have learned from my Christmas Pickle mistake and will not begin this task at 3pm or later!

Now that these are at this stage, I will continue cutting pieces for my science geek quilt.  That will be another that once all the pieces are cut will take a chunk of time to lay out and then sew together before being picked up again.  Why do I do this to myself?

Tomorrow at my guild we have a trunk show from a member who was voted Quilter of the Year at another guild she belongs to.  As part of this award, she'll have a booth at that guild's show this fall to display her work.  The trunk show is a preview of that and I'm very excited to see what she has to share.  She does a lot of modern work, but I'm curious to see what her earlier quilts are like since I think she's been quilting longer than the modern movement has been going on.

Happy quilting,


Ruth said...

I like the looks of the "professional dense quilting" but it just isn't practical for a person that is making quilts for family and to give away. Some of the quilts that win best of show are so over the top and quilters who want to win awards have to go even further over the top to beat that. It's not what I'm interested in. Can you imagine putting thousands of crystals on a quilt? That's what won best of show in Dallas last March. Who has time for that? I don't usually buy much at quilt shows any more because I have so much stuff at home already and I'll be lucky if I get it used up before I kick the bucket!

canuckquilter said...

I'll be old-fashioned right along with you. Like you I can appreciate the work and talent but the heavy quilting doesn't suit me. I thought I was alone in that! It's too bad the show was a disappointment to you, but it does make me feel less ambivalent about skipping the Des Moines show in October. The friend I go with isn't able to go this year and I don't particularly want to browse the show alone. Part of the fun of it was to spend the day with her anyway. I'll look forward to seeing that purple quilt come together.

Beth said...

While I appreciate the beauty of many 'award winning' quilts, I do not care for the quilted to death quilts either. I like most of my quilts to be snuggly.
Sorry the show was a disappointment, this year. At least you saved a bit on some thread.
I like the colors you have stacked up there for a new quilt. Looking forward to seeing the top.

---"Love" said...

You've really been busy, and looks like you will be for a while! (Me too!) ---"Love"

Granny Anne said...

I too love cuddly quilts as do everyone that I make them for. One question though, I noticed that you mentioned long arm quilting thread. I am looking into getting a machine and have just started looking into them. What machine do you use? Do you like it?

Anonymous said...

I'm with you all the way concerning too much quilting. Although vintage and antique quilts are often densely quilted by hand , b/c there is only one thread making these designs instead of 2, softness is not an issue. Lets bring back more hand quilting! Janet

Marsha B said...

I prefer snuggly quilts, too. The heavily quilted ones look pretty, but I can't imagine they are nice to cuddle up in. You have been so busy, can't wait to see what is in store in your next post!