Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012 Blog Hop Party: A reflection on giving

The spirit of giving is alive and well. 
Thank you all for how you care for others at Christmas and all throughout the year.

The winner of my drawing was Sherry from the blog "Adventures in Life". Check out her blog here! I hope the fun Christmas package will make it in time for her to put that ornament on her tree!

Best wishes, Blogging Friends.
See you in 2013!

As we prepare to receive more than two children can absorb or should be given (the nature of grandparents, aunts, and very generous family and friends), I am trying to help my children process how we give. 

Above is a photo of my daughter's
"Giving Tree." The ornaments are hand drawn with pictures of the following ways in which our family has given this past year: 

  • A gift box- for all those birthdays we've celebrated
  •  A cross- for our giving at church
  • A "No Cancer" sign- for our donations to organizations
  • A clock- for our gift of time to others
  • A hug- for the most generous thing my children give
  • Tuna Fish- for our donations to Concern for the Hungry and the church food pantry
  • Clothing, hats and mittens- for the Hurricane victims and others
  • Quilts- for my giving (NOTE: See the November 29th blog piece about "The Mitten" and our preschool teachers.)
  • Finally, a blank ornament for the new ways in which we will give in the future.

As for you, my quilting and internet family, I am offering the following as part the Quilting Gallery's  2012 Blog Hop Party Give-Away:

The prize is six fat quarters of Christmas fabric to help replenish your stash and a Woven Snowflake Ornament from Penny Marble Quilt Design.
To enter the drawing please leave me a comment below about your favorite type of giving this holiday season and WHY it is your favorite.
The winner will be announced on Monday, December 17th, 2012 and yes, I will ship internationally.
Special thanks to Michele Foster for the idea, her awesome blog, and the encouragement to continue both our blogging and our giving. 

Merry Christmas
 a very Happy New Year! 

This Quilting Mama
 P.S. My pastor passed this link on to me for those of us who want to give more. It is amazing the power of a sewing machine and all that it can provide. Check it out:
Give the gift of sewing 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"The Mitten"

My cousin Cindy works in a preschool and gave my children this beautiful book. She described how much fun her students have acting out the story. "The Mitten" by Jan Brett is a stunningly beautiful story about sharing in a "making room for all" way.

Each year I make "mittens" for our preschool.

After a long December of studying all types of holiday traditions, reading books like "The Mitten" and making every type of holiday craft imaginable, the preschool's  holiday party day arrives. Each student gets one of these large mittens to personalize by decorating. Then they each one-by-one give their peers a present (pencils, mini-playdough, stickers, etc.) to be places within their "mitten." It is really a beautiful time of sharing and caring by little four and five year olds.

This, however, is what I am left with after cutting out the mittens.

Well, I can't just throw out that huge amount of fabric! So, as per Joan Ford's instructions in "Cut the Scraps," I cut the remainder into piles of 2, 3 1/2 and 5 inch squares and............

 Cut the Scraps.

..................I made a little gift for each teacher.

Here is a detailed photo of each quilt.

So, what do you think of these scrappy table runners?

I hope Miss Chris and Miss Laura will enjoy them as much as we have this wonderful Christmas tradition of giving and sharing.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Braid in a Day" by Eleanor Burns

What can you get from one Jelly Roll of beautiful fabrics and a pattern by Eleanor Burns?

THE ANSWER: Endless options for beautiful braids and even more beautiful quilts!

This is my "Window on a Marmalade Sky" made from Eleanor Burn's "Quilt in a Day" pattern.
It was made as a sample for The Joyful Quilter in Glenville, New York.
It was my first attempt at quilting in the modern quilt style and 
I am very happy with how it turned out.

From Moda's line called "Double Chocolat" comes this little donation for The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.

The braid below became a table runner also from the "Double Chocolat" line of fabrics. (In real life it is rectangular and not wonky as per this photo :-))

Here are my Christmas scrappy placemats and the mini-braid which will become a donation to AAQI.

Finally, after a four hour class today my seven students each completed a braid. Everyone seemed to have a good time and check out these amazing results.

Paula came prepared to make the table runner above. Can't wait to see the placemats to go with it.
Rosemary used the bright and sunny fabrics below for a beautiful braid.

 Maureen's batiks are just stunning. I helped her pick the framing and border fabrics and I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

 This is Pat's "Fellowship" by Moda on the left and Deb K's "Double Chocolat" on the right.
Below are Pat and Debbie M's "Fellowship" braids side by side. Amazing!
Below are Maureen's batiks, Sandy's "Fellowship" sampler, Debbie M's "Fellowship" braid and Deb  K's "Double Chocolat" all in a row!  What a great day and a fun class.  
Thank you, Ladies.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Q.U.I.L.T.S. & The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Once upon a time, my guild said, "Oh Lynn, our AAQI Quilt Registration Goddess, will you please create a booth for our quilt show all about the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative and our relationship with it?"
"Sure," I replied and then had no idea how to proceed.

Inspiration finally came within months of the show. (It's amazing how a real deadline will inspire action!)  I wanted a display which would function as not only beautiful but also informational even if I was not standing right by it. So off to the internet I went. 

My first stop was Ami Simms. As founder and curator of AAQI, I thought she might have a banner or something to offer. She said that she did not, but I was welcome to the official AAQI logo as long as I blogged about the results. Thank you, Ami.

The next step was a HUGE risk. I found All State Banners, did my own clicking for sizing, used the AAQI logo for design and instantly had a beautiful vinyl banner which will be used, hopefully, for many years to come.

Finally, I encouraged the guild to keep quilting for AAQI, made a few signs to explain what folks were seeing in this booth and this is what it looked like:

There were 25 quilts in the display from 12 women. Below are the first 15 which have been registered on the AAQI site and are awaiting assignment for sale or auction. All profits go directly to Alzheimer's research projects. The AAQI has raised more than $773,000 since January 2006.

12,286 - My Coneflower

Currently, AAQI has a booth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. Over 2,100 quilts are there for sale. Here is the link for a slideshow of all the quilts for sale in Texas:
The AAQI November 2012 Celebrity Auction has also begun and features quilts by the following Superstars of the quilting world:
 Alex Anderson, Hollis Chatelain, Caryl Bryer Fallert, John Flynn.
  Diane Gaudynski, Becky Goldsmith, Pat Holly, Libby Lehman.
  Marsha McCloskey, Sue Nickels, Mary Sorensen, and Ricky Tims.

This is an online auction. Everyone is invited to bid. Check out the quilts here: Celebrity Auction.

Thank you for your interest in our charitable quilting, and also, thank you to the ladies of Q.U.I.L.T.S. (Schenectady) for all your beautiful work and your giving spirits!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Two Color Quilts

In preparing for my 40th Birthday Party Quilt Show Extravaganza, I was searching for two-color quilts, specifically blue and white. Check out what I found on the blog titled "The Mathematical Tourist." (Link below the photo)

Ivars Peterson is the blogger and WOW! 
This is a wonderful collection of eye-candy for the quilter.
The whole blog is full of cool things I would call art.

Enjoy this little side trip into the fun intersection of quilting and mathematics!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Best of Q.U.I.L.T.S. Autumn Inspirations 2012

Every other year my guild in Schenectady, New York has a quilt show. We assume the space of Proctor's GE Theatre and put up the most amazing and colorful show around. Yes, I am partial to our work. With 130+ guild members all showing their best quilting it's a wonderful display of talent, time, effort, technique and skill in one place for one very special weekend.

Here are the top few ribbon earning quilts in the judged portion of the show. The rest are, well, either my quilts or the work of my friends. Enjoy!!!

Susan Mezera's "A Tall Walk in New York" earned not only Best of Show, but a First Place Ribbon (for earning between 92-98 points on general appearance, design, workmanship and judge's recognition), Best Piecing and the Crickett Sweet Best Use of Color prize. Check out all those little points! WOW! Paper pieced by the maker and long-arm machine quilted by Eileen McCabe.

 "Hawaiian Dawn" by Laurie Collins earned a Vendor's Choice award as well as a First Place Ribbon and the new Best Overall Work (for design, piecing and quilting by one person).

 "Need'l Therapy (Sister's Quilt #4)" by Carol DiNuzzo earned a First Place Blue Ribbon, Vendor's Choice and Best Hand Quilting prize this year.

 "Under the Southern Stars" earned Pat Cunningham, maker, a Blue Ribbon and Quilter Joanne Hendrick the prize for Best Machine Quilting on a long-arm sewing machine. This lovely quilt was also the Viewer's Choice winner.

"Birds 'n Urns" (seen below) was also pieced by Pat Cunningham and earned the "Best Applique" prize. It was quilted by Laurie Collins.

"Best Quilting on a Traditional Machine" goes to this lovely, "By the Sea" by Carol DiNuzzo.

 We do not have a category for "Best Wholecloth" quilt, but we should. Check out these two.
The above is Laurie Collins' work "Feather and Swirl Wholecloth" which earned a Second Place Ribbon (earning between 85- 91 points) and a Judge's Choice award.

Below is Eileen McCabe's "Happy" which also earned a Second Place Red Ribbon. I think these are just stunning!

Now the gallery of my work and my friends.

"Poppy" was finished enough to show. She needs more quilting especially in the background, but here she is. Thank you, Mary, at Dying to Sew for the Vendor's Ribbon and prize. I really appreciate it.

"A Winter Evening Star" earned me a Third Place Prize ( for 80-84 points). I'm very happy as I know how stiff the competition for excellence was in this show. Thank you, Leslie Armando, for the beautiful long-arm machine quilting.

 Linda Cary's "Clematis" is going to be a donation for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative someday. YEAH!

Peggy Schou's "There's a Bear on my Quilt" (seen below) was a strip challenge for our friendship group, The Square Ones. I made the second row from the top with the little white blocks making a path through the woods. What a fun Adirondack quilt!

 "Orion, the Star Hunter" is Kathie Lutz's original design and gift to her niece, an avid horse woman. It utilizes photo transfer, paper-piecing and star-themed quilting to tie this gift together. It was quilted on a traditional sewing machine.

 Cara Molyneaux's "Jelly Roll Spring" makes me happy!

 Lee Poremba's "God's Mountain Creatures" was an original design for a friend who hunts, traps and fishes. The quilting (done by long-arm professional) even has animals within. I love the matching pillow.

 Kathryn Greenwold's art also makes me happy. Above is "Everything is a Blur," a digital photo printed on silk and then embellished creation. Below is "Peacock," an amazing example of machine quilting on a scrappy sampler.

Here are side by side examples of the same design. Above is my "Little Hospitality" (reduced to 14 1/2 inches square) and below Barbara Sacawa's "Pineapple Square" (about 20 inches square). We both used the same pattern by MH Designs. Amazing results!

Finally, "October Song" by Kathleen Morris is a stunningly beautiful quilt and a tribute to her favorite time of year. I can't wait to make one just like it!