Monday, August 25, 2014

The Modern Wall Quilts at the AQS Grand Rapids Quilt Show

Snowfall - by me (Leanne Chahley)

I was delighted to be able to attend the American Quilter's Society show in Grand Rapids this week. In this post I am going to share the quilts that were in the Modern Wall Quilt Category, starting with the winners.

So the Honourable Mention in the Modern Wall Quilt Category went to my quilt, Snowfall - yes, I get to show off my own quilt first. I was thrilled that this quilt was accepted into this show. Given that there is considerable snowfall in Michigan, I felt comfortable that the viewers would appreciate the image perhaps more than if it was hanging in a warmer place. I was even more thrilled to be able to see one of my quilts with a ribbon!

Unravelling #2 - by Judy Mercer Tescher

Unravelling #2 by Judy Mercer Tescher received the third place ribbon in the Modern Wall Quilt Category. This quilt placed third in this category at the AQS show in Phoenix in 2014.

Variegated - by Paige Alexander

Second place in the Modern Wall Quilt Category went to Variegated by Paige Alexander. This quilt received the Honourable Mention in this category at the Charlotte AQS show.

The Long Winter - by Catherine Redford

First place in the Modern Wall Quilt Category went to The Long Winter by Catherine Redford.

Keep it Simple - by Jodi Robinson

The best overall Modern Quilt award went to Keep it Simple by Jodi Robinson. This quilt won this same prize at the earlier AQS 2014 shows in Phoenix and Charlotte.

The following quilts were the other lovely entries in the Modern Wall Quilt Category at the AQS 2014 show in Grand Rapids.

Color of Winter by Mary Ann Van Soest

Color of Winter by Mary Ann Van Soest.

Floating on a Lazy River by Candace West

Floating on a Lazy River by Candace West.

Silk Construction by Carole Sorrell

Silk Construction by Carole Sorrell. This quilt won the third place ribbon in the Modern Wall Quilt Category at the AQS Show in Lancaster in 2014.

Binary Baby Quilt by Janice Smith

Binary Baby Quilt by Janice Smith.

PayDay Candy Bar Challenge by Sandra Panagos and Angela Huffman

PayDay Candy Bar Challenge by Sandra Panagos and Angela Huffman.

Mouse Trap II by Jenny Lynn

Mouse Trap II by Jenny Lynn.

Off Center by Charlotte Noll

Off Center by Charlotte Noll.

Connected Blocks by Jan Lewis

Connected Blocks by Jan Lewis.

Mid-Century Musing by Zinia Lewis

Mid-Century Musing by Zinia Lewis.

Point Me in the Right Direction by Diane Hiemel

Point Me in the Right Direction by Diane Hiemel.

Red Zinger with a Twist by Donna Karolus

Red Zinger with a Twist by Donna Karolus.

Rural Ragtime by Jennifer Emry

Rural Ragtime by Jennifer Emry. This quilt won the first prize ribbon in the Modern Wall Quilts category at the AQS show in Charlotte in 2014.

146 by Gayle Gruss

146 by Gayle Gruss.

This, That, and the Other by Miriam C. Coffey

This, That, and the Other by Miriam C. Coffey.

  Barion Cut Saphires by Linda Barrett

Barion Cut Saphires by Linda Barrett.

Those were all the quilts in the Modern Wall Quilt category at this show. These quilts were all different sizes and you can get an idea of the scale by looking at the name papers as they were all exactly the same size. I will show you some more quilts from other categories in my next post that I, personally, would also classify as modern.

Most of the quilts in the other categories of this show were, in my personal view, either traditional or art quilts. Many of them were fantastic and I loved seeing them all but clearly there is a big difference to me between the quilts I prefer and traditional or art quilts.

I learned a lot by attending this show and have lots more to share, but today I just wanted to give you a chance to see the wonderful quilts entered in the Modern Wall Quilt category. If you missed it, you might want to read my earlier post about entering quilt shows, although I love all the quilts entered, I think that there is room for more modern quilts in these shows and more different quilts - as you can see some of these lovely quilts have won more than one prize.

If I photographed your quilt and you would prefer that I not share my photo here, or if I have your details wrong, please email me and I will remove your photo (shecanquilt {at} gmail {dot} com).



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sew Canadian - more on my sewing space

Today, my friends at Mad About Patchwork are featuring me as part of their Sew Canadian summer feature, so click here to go and read their post, and then come back for a few more details. A bunch of fantastic Canadian bloggers have been sharing the details of their sewing space and the answers to a bunch of questions all summer and you can check them out here. You can join in by posting pictures of your sewing space in the Mad About Patchwork Sew Canadian Flickr group here and that enters you into a sweet giveaway too.

So, once I got over the hesitation of sharing my space - because I would have to find some time to clean it up some - I thought I would share some more photos and details here for you. And no, seriously, there is no way I would share the "before" photos, and since I did not take any, I can't anyway. The after photos are still pretty messy. Oh, and I took pictures on different days and in between I hung up a bunch of my mini quilts, many are by fantastic quilters received in swaps and some are by me. I just used map pin tacks, which are short and strong pins with a plastic ball on the end (and I know that repainting will therefore involve a lot of polyfilla (spackle) but who cares.)

I sew in a, for now, vacant bedroom - if you are my guest, you either get one of my kid's room or I put you up in a nice hotel down the road. My APQS Millennium long arm machine was new this year in February. It has a 10 foot table, which is the shortest table available as any longer and it would not fit in the room. The long arm does have 6 feet of space on the back between it and the wall and if I am quilting I roll my sewing chair out of the way to give enough room in front.

A bonus I had not realized would be available when squishing the long arm into the room was that I can store things under the machine. I need to find some kind of nice looking cupboard so that it keeps the dust away from the boxes and bags (which are usually overflowing) now stuffed under it.

The arrival of the long arm changed the space all around. So now my Janome Horizon is right up against my old design wall, as are the shelves of fabric. I thought this would be a bad idea but it is so nice to lay out your block or quilt right in front of you and then just be able to take it down to piece it.

However this design wall is not big enough to lay out a whole quilt so I am thinking I will tack up another piece of batting on the empty space you see in the picture above the one above. My version of making a design wall is quite economical, thumb tacks and batting, right on the wall.

Here is the view from behind the long arm. And photos you see on my blog of quilts on the design wall are taken from here and cropped. You can see my "show off" corner too and yet another cupboard of fabric. I have been keeping my featherweight out too, so that I will remember to use it too.

So here is one of those "confession photos". This room has a nice closet but it is still full of other crafting and sewing supplies that I need to go through and reorganize so that I could use that closet efficiently. And I do have a chair stuffed in the small amount of space there, so that I can relax and think when I am sewing or for when someone wants to keep me company for a while.

The astute quilters will have realized that important things were not present in that room - no place to cut or iron. I have stuffed that into the adjacent room which was supposed to serve as the home office but never really has. It is more of the knitting, storage, messy stuff left on the floor room. Moving my cutting and ironing stations there has actually forced me to tidy it up some (but not enough yet). I cut fabric on a counter size table from IKEA. When I forget to put the fabric away, it piles up on the corner until it covers all but a tiny bit of the cutting mat which finally drives me to tidy it up again.

You may also have noticed the construction site next door through the window. We used to live next to a lovely little forest. Now we get to observe the house building process, probably for the next few years as they are building 8 houses there. When the work is not shaking my house to bits, it is pretty interesting, although not nearly as peaceful as the birds and urban wildlife were.

These shelves arrived in this room in June as my son jettisoned them from his. It was prefect as it seems that my fabric supply was growing faster than I was using it up - a mystery of the universe how that could happen I think, right? But they mean that my ironing board is pushed further into the room. I'm not showing you the other side of that room as it is full of shelves, and messes.

So there you have it, the space where I hang out when I sew. I really do try to not tidy it much, as that takes up limited sewing time. But there will need to be some major changes in late October as I ordered this fantastic fancy table from Martelli at the AQS show I have been at in Grand Rapids (the show price was fantastic and they were very generous to me in regard to the high cost of shipping to Canada too). I have much more to share with you about the show this coming week too.

Today, I am plan to do very little and enjoy relaxing during a nice hot spell in Michigan.



Friday, August 22, 2014

if you were shopping... #3

Welcome to if you're shopping.... On Fridays I will share with you the news from my sponsors, in case you want to do a little shopping, or even window shopping, this weekend.

Green Fairy Quiltsis celebrating their 6th Anniversary with huge discounts on their clearance page. Also, if you use the discount code 6YEARS you will receive additional discounts on everything in the shop - remember they have all those Aurifil collections, for example.

Oakshott Fabrics have put together a number of beautiful new bundles in partnership with some very talented bloggers - that one above is called Freesia. Have a look at the bundles here, and you can see them used in fantastic new projects with free patterns here, on the Shotthrough blog.

At Sew me a Song, Becca has these Dress Ups by Suzuko Koseki in three colours. Every day new and interesting fabric seems to arrive at Becca's shop, and I am having the hardest time resisting it. 

Mad about Patchwork  has a new Monday Mosaic bundle, Flight of the Bumblebee at 20% off until Sunday August 24 at midnight. Mad about Patchwork features a different curated sale bundle each week. Pam also some great new fabrics, including Far Far Away, Hadley and Pretty Potent flannels, in stock.

Sew Sisters has just received Indelible by Katarina Roccella. They have also just received Just My Type and London Calling They also have some great prints in their clearance section.

I went browsing around the Fat Quarter Shop - it is always hard to pick what to feature from this huge shop which has so many new things every week. Today I am in love with those sewing machines, and they are part of a lovely new line called Sewing Studio by Cynthia Frenette.

Massdrop has this Tutto bag up for 4 more days. This sewing machine travel bag comes in a bunch of sizes and fun colours (you get to pick both) so you can wheel your sewing machine onto the subway or into your car and off to sewing day with your friends or guild or to retreat. It is designed to safely move your sewing machine, folds up when not in use, and can even be a suitcase when you are forced to travel without your beloved sewing machine.

Enjoy your weekend. I am hoping to enjoy some sewing time as I need to do a big bee block catchup, as well as some time at the beach.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hair Bows - a tutorial

Hair Bow - Tutorial

It seems that big, cheerful bows are stylish additions to one's hair these days and I said, oh I can make one of those. Now I will show you how, they take about 10 minutes to make.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Cut two pieces of fabric to the size you want your bow plus .5". A bow that finishes about 5.5" by 4.5" before it is scrunched up seems a nice size for teenagers. If you have a smaller person, experiment until you get a size you like.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Lay the fabrics right sides together.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Sew around the outside with a 1/4" seam. Leave an opening (see the top of the photo) for turning. Clip the corners.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Turn the piece right side out through the opening and use a pointy thing (I used a knitting needle) to carefully push out the corners neatly. Press and be sure that your opening seams are lined up to be pressed neatly inward. If you want you can stitch that opening closed now with a few hand stitches, but I don't bother - its a hair bow, it won't be washed so that seam will just stay neat I expect.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Accordion fold the bow. The goal is to have the outside edges folding toward the back at the top and the bottom. The width of the bow will determine how many folds you can make, I try to get them about 1/4" deep and to get four folds on a bow this size.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

As you get the folds sorted, scrunch it in.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

As you scrunch it in tight, even out the folds on the front and take a look at the bow to get it the way you like it.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Clip it with your hair clip, bobby pin, paper clip or straight pin, or hand it to someone to hold onto (maybe someone waiting for the bow for her hair). At this point, you can, and I have on some bows, stitch through the folds by hand a couple of times to secure them into this shape. I am not sure it is necessary on a single bow. For double bows (see below) I stitch each separate bow through the folds a couple of times to keep them neat and tightly folded.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Cut two pieces for the tie in the centre. For my size bow, cut 3" x 1.5" pieces. Again, this piece can be sized for any size bow, it just takes a little experimenting to get a size you like.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Put the two pieces right size together, sew around the outside edge and leave an opening for turning. Clip the corners. Don't look at the size in that photo, my first piece was too long. But then I just sewed another seam inside to get it right.

Of course, a more organized person would cut and sew this piece along with the bow part, but I never think to do that.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Turn and press. Again, if you want, stitch the turning hole closed. I don't bother.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Get the bow and remove the clip. Warp the little piece around the folds of the bow until it is tight and positioned how you like. I like the edge to be at the back, but it does not have to be.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Stitch this centre tie closed. I do not stitch it to the bow so that you can rotate it if you misplace it and so that you can easily slip you hair clip through it. If you are a hot glue person, you can glue this closed instead. If you are gluing, feel free to add a drop of glue between each fold too.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Slide your chosen hair clip through the centre tie and you are done.

Hair Bow - Tutorial

Here are two kinds of hair clips. the larger ones are just big clips. The smaller ones are all the same, I just gave you different angles. You want the centre bow to go through that clip that has the curve. That clip can come out (see the bottom one in the photo) if you forget to put the clip on before you sew the centre tie shut. These were bought at the dollar store, I am sure you can also find them online if you cannot source them locally.

You can also use a bobby pin or other barrette, anything that can slip through the centre tie and stay in the hair will work. If you want your bow attached to an elastic for a ponytail, just slip the elastic in place before you stitch the centre tie shut.

Hair Bows

You can make these bows in all kinds of sizes.


And you can double them up. for this one I made two bows, and I did stitch the bow parts through the folds - just run the needle carefully from one side to the other through all the folds at the centre point and back three or four times and knot it off. Then put them side by side and attach the centre tie. Next, I want to make some with double bows stacked one on top of the other.

This style of bow can also be attached to clothing, a bag, shoes, or whatever you like. If one was very organized, one could attach them to presents too, and then it would be like an extra little gift after the present is opened.

Have fun making some bows and let me know if you have any questions.