Saturday, September 15, 2012

Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild

    I've been considering checking out the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild for some time and finally decided to take the plunge. I was a bit skeptical because I wasn't sure that I needed another group to belong to.
    Now I'm enchanted! The program was great, the people were friendly, the snacks delish, the quilts incredible and I'm going to join at the next meeting.
    The program featured Jenny Doan from the Missouri Star Quilting Company. Missouri Star specializes in precuts (charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes, etc.) and they have great video tutorials with tips for using these precuts in new and unusual ways. One of my favorites is the Summer in the Park that Jenny is talking about in this pic. Check out the video tutorial for making this quilt.
    A whole new world has opened up. Check out Missouri Star Quilting Company and the KC Modern Quilt Guild!
Always Curious,

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kansas Quilt Blocks

So, I'm curious about quilt blocks that have Kansas in the name. I know it's a bit premature because I shouldn't start any new quilts for a while, but I really want to make a quilt with traditional Kansas blocks.
A quick search (thank you Google!) yielded the following blocks:
  • Rocky Road to Kansas
  • Kansas Star
  • Kansas Dugout
  • Kansas Troubles
  • Kansas Dust Storm
  • Kansas Fortune
  • Kansas Twister 
  • Kansas Sunflower
Faith in Chicago posted a great tutorial on making the Rocky Road block above on her site Fresh Lemons.
Sooooo, I think I now have 2 new quilts in the design incubator! It's the fun part!
Does anyone know of any other Kansas-named blocks?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Frustrated - Marking Quilts

I am almost done with my Holly Wreath lap quilt. I just need to quilt the outer border. I have done free motions quilting the the rest of the quilt and am fairly happy with the results given that its my first one - I do need practice.  But in trying to quilt the outer border I have run into trouble - marking so that I can see and follow the marks.
    I have 5 different marking pens or pencils and none of them are working. I can't see the lines very well on dark green and red/gold striped fabric. 
    A quick check on-line for advice about marking quilts yielded some explanations for my frustration - I should have marked the quilt top totally before I started quilting it and  starched the fabric. Some people have had success with different marking methods. The one that looks best to me almost seems to be the most involved - copy your quilting design on paper, stitch on the paper thereby perforating it, use pounce chalk to mark the quilt top and then quilt it. I may try this next time as I have no pounce materials at the moment.
Does anyone have any advice?
Curious about marking,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Where Does Your Inspiration Come From?

    I am continually amazed by the widespread variety of people, places and things that inspire quilters to create beautiful quilts. Patterns, shop models, a beautiful piece of fabric, nature, experiences, travels, and special people are just a few of the inspirations for quilters. The quick availability of cameras make capturing the inspiration so easy.

    My inspiration mostly comes from patterns or models I have seen. Sometimes I see a fabric that I know someone would love - like this latest quilt I did for my daughter who loves chocolate. The pattern is simple - it's the fabrics that spoke to me.

My friend Bobbie embroidered the chocolate motifs in the cream blocks.
    A totally new (new to me) inspiration came my way the other day. My hubby and I were watching a TV show on Netflix - Damages - a gritty series about a morally challenged lawyer played by Glenn Close. The opening shots are shades of gray-green scenes of New York City. There is one shot in particular that I love. So I paused the show and took a pic with my phone of that scene. I think it would make a dynamite quilt. I'm not sure how I'll do it yet or how I'll get the fabrics - I may have to dye them myself!
Check back to see how I am tackling this design challenge!
Always curious!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ruth Powers - Fantastic Quilter / Artist in a Terrific Studio Space

    In preparation for the KVQG January program, Jerrye and I made a trip south of Topeka near Burlingame to visit the quilting studio of Ruth Powers, one of our guild members.

    My first thought was WOW . . . as well as my second thought and my third thought. Wow, Wow, Wow! Ruth is what I call an art quilter - pardon me Ruth if I have too narrowly or incorrectly characterized your work. Ruth pieces quilts that look so realistic that they could be photos - but they are better than photos with her subtle use of pattern and color in the fabrics she chooses. This quilt (above) is on her website - isn't it fantastic? She also creates and sells her patterns - check it out here. Ruth teaches classes at Stitching Traditions in Topeka - I'm definitely going to sign up. 

  Ruth's studio is both calm and vibrant. She uses antique pieces to store patterns, books, thread and other necessities in. The antiques give the room a wonderful softness.
     I love how she uses colorful threads in a typesetters tray as wall art. Right outside the window are bird feeders and while we were there an oriel treated us to a show.
    What a treat! Thanks so much Ruth. I can't wait to take one of your classes.
Always your curious quilter,