Monthly Archives: June 2010

Vermont Quilt Festival: Gerald Roy

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One of the evening lectures at the Vermont Quilt Festivals was by Gerald Roy.  He has been a quilt collector for 40 years, in addition to other pursuits as an artist, collector, quilt scholar, and professional quilt appraiser. He is also the Owner and Curator of the Pilgrim/Roy Antique Quilt Collection.

Okay … enough of his qualifications. Mr. Roy was a very entertaining speaker with a clear knowledge of art and love of quilts. He began his lecture talking about color, and the importance of using ALL of the colors on the color wheel. Since many people shy away from yellow and orange, he decided to show us many quilt tops from the 19th century that incorporated these colors. Here are some of them. Note how contemporary these colors are — amazing given that many of these quilts are well over 100 years old.

I apologize for the quality of these photos. I was sitting far away, and my little camera didn’t do a fabulous job of focusing. Still … you get the idea.

Vermont Quilt Festival

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Registration

I just returned from the Vermont Quilt Festival, held at the Champlain Valley Expo Center in Essex Junction, Vermont from June 23-27, 2010. Classes and housing were at St. Michael’s College about three miles away.

Alliot Student Center

This building was where we registered, the home of a couple of classrooms and — most important — the cafeteria. Three meals a day cost $20 and they were excellent. Since I was traveling by myself (and knew nobody), I loved the fact that I could pop myself down beside another person who was eating alone and meet a new friend.

Alumni Dorm

The College was built in 1904 and I’m sure the dorms are 100 years old. This dorm had no air conditioning and no elevators. I was on the third floor, facing west. The large windows you see had very small openings — and it was hot. When I arrived on Wednesday, the sun had been beating into my west- facing window all day and the room was like an oven — pretty much uninhabitable. Fortunately, the other days were cooler and overcast. Otherwise, my room was comfortable, and fortunately we were warned to bring fans.

The Quilt Festival was wonderful on all counts. Classes were held from 8:30 to 3:30 each day, and my three classes were great. I also went to two evening programs and the opening Champagne and Chocolate party. More about my experiences in future blogs!

Checking in: good and bad

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It’s been more than a week since my last post … horrendous for me, as I’m committed to daily posting. Here’s what’s been happening:

GOOD THINGS

1. My friend Vicki sent me two beautiful pieces of fabric from Hawaii. I will post pictures as soon as I can. They were a lovely surprise and I know you’ll enjoy seeing them.

2. I spent a long weekend visiting five fabric shops in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey. Reviews will follow shortly. Bought some lovely fabric for future quilts. My son attended AnimeNext in Somerset, NJ and had a fabulous time.

3. Getting ready for my trip to the Vermont Quilt Show. I leave on Wednesday morning.

4. Got the top of my pansy quilt pieced together and it looks lovely.

NOT-SO-GOOD

1. I have now had my bronchial/sinus infection for more than a month. Still not better after one course of steroids and two courses of antibiotics. I am tired and don’t have a lot of energy. I’m going back to the doctor today.

2. I’m in a lot of pain for the tendonitis in my right foot, and now my left foot is bothering now me (sympathy pain?)

3. My kids are STILL not finished school. Once their work is done, I have a lot of marking and summarizing to do for my son.

So that’s the deal. I’ll likely be AWOL for another week or so, while I’m at the Vermont Quilt Festival (can’t wait). By then, I sincerely hope that the asthma problems are finally resolved and I am feeling much better.

Goofing up Piecing

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This is the correct block placement

I am terrible at puzzles, and that is one of the most challenge parts of piecing for me. So here is the correct placement of the blocks.

Incorrect block placement

Can you tell the difference from the above?

Seriously … I couldn’t. I’ll give you a hint. The green center should form a diagonal line throughout the entire block.  I won’t say how many of these I had to rip out.

Live and learn.

Pansy Quilt, Completed Blocks

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Block #1

This is block#1, with the purple center and green stars.

It didn’t go together quite as well as I hoped. Unfortunately my 4-patches were a little on the small side. Darn! I’d been so careful, I couldn’t believe it. Apparently I wasn’t careful enough.

It helps to have an experienced instructor. Instead of ripping them all out, she suggested just centering the 4-patch between the two seams of the matching block, and then stretching it as much as I could. It worked. Thankfully I wasn’t off that much.

Block #2

Clearly the second block, with the green center and purple stars. Also note the difference in the 4-patches.

The major disappointment of the class was that my kids were locked out of the house, so I ended up spending 1/3 of the class driving home to let them in. Instead of sewing the ten blocks I’d hoped to … I got two sewn.

My homework is to finish the entire top of the quilt in the next couple of weeks. I look forward to both the sewing, and to completing the quilt top.

Elm Creek Quilts (New Year’s Quilt)

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I still don’t have anything quilty of my own to report … another doctor’s appointment for asthma and a physical therapy appointment today. The worst right now is my coughing. I’m trying very hard to take it easy and keep my foot up. That’s the theory, anyway. I’ve spent most of the last couple of days driving my kids to activities.

However … I did listen to another of the Elm Creek Quilt series in the car. I completed “The New Year’s Quilt” last night, which is #11.  First the good things — I really enjoy Jennifer Chiaverini’s style. She makes quilting so accessible, relevant and interesting. I also like how gentle her stories are. I’m not a fan of romance or mysteries, and her stories are neither … I guess they are traditional “chick lit” and I like that. She develops her relationships well and the quilts always end up being a metaphor for the plot. I thought she did a great job of tying it all together with the New Year’s quilt in this novel.

I wasn’t as fond of the flashbacks that she used in this book, although the story was decent. For me, the flashing back and forward got a little confusing. That may have been partly because I was listening to the book on CD. I found the “Aloha Quilt” much more engaging because it was all set in the present. Also, I found the history in the “Aloha Quilt” much more engaging as well, although I certainly learned some interesting bits and pieces about quilting from this book.

I love the sense of community that the author creates. It makes me wish I had a group of quilters like this around me.  I think that is one of the appeals about hand quilting … I can remember my mother getting together with her friends (she still does) to hand quilt once she had a quilt in the frames. Even the ability to hand sew pieces would be very nice to do with a group of friends, as they do n the book. Quilting has become a much more solitary pursuit now that we have sewing machines (that weigh a ton) and all of the stuff that goes with it, which we certainly don’t want to lug around any more than we have to. In the “Sylvia  days” described in the book, she had a simple sewing basket that was very portable and quilting was a much more social activity.

Anyway, I’ve got the entire Elm Creek Quilts series on order from the library. I can’t wait to listen to them all.

Life, Injuries and Not Quilting

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I have my Quilting 102 class tomorrow, so I know I’ll be able to report some progress. Thankfully.

Yesterday I started physical therapy on my foot. The diagnosis is peroneal tendonitis and achilles tedonitis. The good news is that I went for therapy early. The bad news, of course, is that tendons take a long time to heal. It was depressing. On top of everything else, the physical therapist burned my foot with the laser while they were treating me.

I also went to the dentist. Four cavities! This is likely the result of drinking lots of Ensure due to a pancreas problem, which is now resolved. But all the sugar in my mouth damaged my teeth, and I wasn’t exactly running upstairs and brushing every time I drank a meal. Sigh.

My teenagers are very busy finishing up school. The goal is to get their math lessons done today. We offered a financial incentive (yes, a bribe), so they’ve been working extremely hard. They still have math tests to finish next week, but the math lessons will be done. My son also has history and English to finish. My daughter has a friend staying over for the next few days and then is going camping for the first time in her lfie.

And I’m still struggling with a cough from my cold/asthma episode a few weeks ago. I’ll try to get to see the doctor today.

So that’s it. Pesky health problems. Busy kids. Commitments. It’s tough writing a blog about quilting when I’ve spent the last couple of days NOT quilting.

Injuries

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Today I am not a happy quilter. My right foot has been bothering me for a few days, so I went to the podiatrist yesterday. I have a long history of foot problems, injuries, and a surgery … so I wanted to have it checked out before it was anything serious. Yeah, right.

So it turns out I have peroneal tendonitis. It’s a tendon in the back, outside of your foot. Tendons are notoriously slow to heal. Treatment is anti-inflammatory drugs such as advil (which I am allergic to) … so the next option is prednisone. However I’m on a high-dose prednisone inhaler for my asthma, so that turned out to be out of the question as well. I start physical therapy today. If that doesn’t work, the next step is cortisone injections and a cast. Oh good!

Let’s just say I’m pretty motivated to rest and ice my foot. Yes, this will affect my quilting. Not to mention the rest of my life!

Injuries suck.

Color Wheel, Part 2

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My color wheel is sewn together. It looks pretty good. It’s definitely not representative of a real color wheel, but has been a fun project. I’m looking forward to adding it to fabric (I think I’ll fuse it on, as suggested in the direction), and then do some fun embellishing and quilting with threads.

I need to add a central circle and also do some evening on the outside. It went together very nicely. Lays flat and the seams are very even. I made sure of this by pinning wherever the colors met and easing the rest of the seams.

Color Wheel

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June 20, 2010 (Issue 197) of British Patchwork & Quilting

I was flipping through this issue and found a great project on Page 32 — a colour wheel (note the British spelling!). It was something I’d been wanting to try for a while.

Finished Project. Nice, eh?

The first step is to paw through your stash and find 4 colors, dark through light, of each of the twelve sections in the color wheel. This was actually fairly hard. You’ll need a 2.5 x 6″ piece of each color.

This took me a long time.  I had a lot of some colors (blues, greens and reds) and very few of other colors (purples and yellows). When I finished, for some unknown reason, I only had 11 of my 12 wedges for my color wheel. I have to go back later today and figure this out.

Directions -- sew into 4 color strips and trim into 30 degree wedges. (Don't forget to add seam allowance.) If you buy the magazine, they provide a template.

The next step is to arrange the strips and sew them into strips. Press.

This is as far as I’ve gotten. I realized that I have to put this project aside and work on my block of the month … I have a bunch of commitments coming up and need to get the BOTM completed today.

My color wheel ... missing one color!

So here are my strips, arranged in a circle. Looks nice, doesn’t it. Once I figure out what strip I’m missing, I’ll add the 12th strip and then use the template to cut these out.

I’m also excited about all the leftover pieces. They should be very cool for a fun project.