Monday, April 24, 2017

Rocking the Riley Blake Rockstar Fabric Challenge

"Rock or Bust"
Each year, Riley Blake fabrics sponsors a fabric challenge for Modern Quilt Guild members.  This year I was able to sign up to receive a free fabric challenge bundle featuring six prints from the Creative Rockstar collection.  Participants are able to supplement with additional prints from the collection as well as include any Riley Blake solids.  I had some difficulty locating coordinating solids from my local quilt shops and so I played it safe by purchasing some neutrals from an online shop:  black, grey and white.  Back in March, I visited a fairly new quilt shop, Quilters Hollow in Stockton, CA and added a coordinating red and light teal solid to my challenge stash.

I drew inspiration from the challenge collection's name:  Creative Rockstar focusing more on the Rockstar.  In my brainstorming/research, I kept seeing images of stars and lightening bolts--iconic images associated to some of the classic rock bands:  Metallica, Kiss, Slayer, Aerosmith, Foo Fighters and AC/DC.  I drew a lightening bolt block in Electric Quilt 7 and experimented with different sizes, layouts and colorways.
"For Those About to Rock":  Rock Star Challenge Fabrics and EQ7 Design
In order to achieve crisp lightening bolt points, I opted to foundation piece my blocks which went together super fast.  In fact, once I narrowed down my layout/colorway, I managed to cut out my fabric swatches, foundation piece all 12 blocks and complete my quilt top in just one day!
"Back in Black"

The next day I got to work on the quilting.  I started by stitching in the ditch along the columns using Aurifil 50-weight black (#2692) and then used a matching Aurifil red-orange (#2245) and light teal (#1148) to stitch my favorite zig zag meander into the black background areas.  I was initially stumped on how I wanted to quilt the white and grey background areas, until I came across a motif posted on Christina Cameli's A Few Scraps blog featuring a row of stars that are super fun and easy to stitch using Aurifil light/medium grey (#2605) and white (#2024).  I intentionally left the lightening bolts unquilted so they would pop.  I used the light teal solid for my quilt back, which really highlighted the quilting on the reverse.
"Let There Be Rock"
For one last pop of color, I used the red solid with a small "schnibble" of the large red on white triangle prints for the binding.  I am still in awe that I finished this challenge one full week before the deadline!!  I chose AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" for my quilt title...and now the song's opening/chorus is totally stuck in my head!!
"Thunderstuck" finishes 24" x 24"

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Walking Foot WOW! with Silicon Valley Modern Quilt Guild

Today I had the pleasure of teaching Walking Foot WOW! for the Silicon Valley Modern Quilt Guild.
Say "WOW!!!
I was in awe at seeing so many gorgeous textures stitched in just one day!  Yes, these women are to be commended on both the quantity and creativity of their quilted designs!  And I just loved everyone's sense of adventure and willingness to experiment with the walking foot designs!  They took the basic designs and added their own creative touches to really elevate the designs!  I had so much fun checking in on everyone's progress and celebrating their innovative designs!!  There were so many oohs and ahhs when we did show and tell at the end of class and they each shared their favorite designs!!
Glorious Quilted Textures by SVMQG Members
What an amazing and talented group of quilters.  I cannot wait to see how they transform their quilt tops with all these wonderful quilted textures!!  Many thanks to the SVMQG for a fun-filled day of Walking Foot WOW!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mother/Daughter Fun: Fabric Dyeing

My mother and I squeezed in some pre-Easter dyeing fun.  In lieu of eggs, we added bright colors to clothing and fabrics.  She brought a few white cotton items with her and picked up a few more during our shopping excursions.
Mom's Dyed Treasures
Of course I couldn't just watch her have all the fun and I too joined in on the fabric dyeing fun.
"Patience is the art of hoping."  -Luc de Clapiers (French writer)
I always say that waiting for the fabrics to batch is the hardest part of the fabric dyeing process!!  Fortunately for won't have to wait 24 hours to see the finished they are!
New Tank Top for Me, Hankerchiefs for Gifts and New Boxer Briefs for Doug
We also dyed some half yard cuts of pimatex cotton.  Some of these pieces have already gone off to good homes with fellow quilters.  I am hoarding a few of the other cuts to be used in a future quilting project (or two!!)
Hand Dyed Half Yards
 Stay tuned for more Mother/Daughter Fun and Adventures!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter!

Spring is in the air and I've been discovering so many beautiful blooms during my morning walks!!  In lieu of hunting for Easter eggs, I've been on the search for purple flowers throughout the neighborhood.  Here is my Easter gift for you...
Have a happy Easter for peeps sake!
"Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life."--Janine di Giovanni (American Journalist)
Some bunny loves you!  Happy Easter!!    <3  Panda & Susie Q

Thursday, April 13, 2017

New Intriguing Interleaves Inductees: Country Crossroads Quilters

This past Tuesday, I had the pleasure of teaching "Intriguing Interleaves" for the Country Crossroads Quilters in Modesto, CA.  What a fun, enthusiastic and productive group of quilters!  Look at a sample of their progress from our one day workshop.
Intriguing Interleaves
There were so many fun and exciting fabric combinations at play...including my personal favorite:  ombres!!
Yummy Variegated Ombres!!

I was especially intrigued by three quilters who forged their own paths...I just loved their willingness to experiment and play!!

One member pulled out this fun black Shoal fabric fabric designed by Brandon Mably of the Kaffe collective, intending to use it as her quilt back.  I asked her if she was willing to try something different and use it in lieu of one of her strip sets.  She was game and I just love the end result!!  It looks like the fish are swimming behind a wavy set of blinds or coral!  So much fun!!

Another member brought this fabulous organic striped batik fabric that ranged from lime green, green and teal.  We discussed the possibility of cutting out individual color sections that would be then pieced for one of her strata sets.  But why cut it up only to piece it back together?  So instead, she cut one of her tops from the fabric and alternated it with a black, white and cool blue strata set.  Some of her fellow members joked that she was cheating...but I quickly came to her defense in that she was being most resourceful and making that fabulous batik work for her!!  And the results speak for themselves!! 
One member did her research and had a game plan in mind before arriving to class.  In fact, she came to class having already pieced her two quilt tops featuring a large center triangle!  I was immediately excited and was sure to capture a before and after photograph.  Once her quilt top was pieced and assembled, she used her walking foot to quilt echoed lines that really emphasized the newly emerged tirangles and diamonds!   WOW is all I can say!!
Trying Out Triangles for a Truly Exciting Design!
There were quite a few members who completed their tops, with several who then went on to finish their Interleave quilts with binding or a faced edge.  

Later that evening, most of them brought their in-progress or finished quilt tops to the meeting for show and tell!

Welcome new Interleave Inductees and many thanks to the Country Crossroads Quilters for a truly lovely day of teaching and lecturing!  
Welcome New Interleave Inductees!!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SCVQA Quilt Show Review Part 2: Quilting 101 Finishes

Another big highlight from this year's Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association's "The Heart and Art of Quilts" was seeing all 18 of the fabulous quilts/projects that were started and/or inspired by my Quilting 101 Demonstrations:  Intriguing Interleaves and Slice of Improv.  Quite a few of the quilts had been previously shown during our meeting show and tells and/or featured on my blog.  However, there were several finishes which were a total surprise to me!!  

The Quilting 101 Display was conveniently positioned very close to my own booth, so close I could see it all throughout the weekend!  Charlotte, LaNelle and Ileane did a fantastic job of curating and laying out an amazing display of smaller projects that were started in Quilting 101 Demo Days.   
Intriguing Interleaves Made by (Clockwise starting in Top Left):  Sharon F,
Donna C, Sandie E, Josephine M, Bobi L., Sharon T, and Barbara B

Slice of Improv Projects (Top Left, Clockwise) by Jane R, Barbara B and Donna C.
More Slice of Improv Finishes

Several members submitted larger wall hangings and crib sized quilts using the Slice and Insert technique including (left to right above):
  • Orange Slices of Improv by Roberta P
  • Improv Meets Tradition by Carolyn K
  • Chop Stix by Ann Frischmuth
  • Space Jungle by Elaine M
  • Friendship Strips by Martha H

Larger Quilt Finishes
And then there were a few larger quilts sprinkled throughout the show including:
  • Irene Bunner's Sun to Fire Improv
  • L Wilkinson's Circles of Color
  • Sandie E's Ad Lib Bubbles
As I walked around the show floor and visited with each of these finished quilts, I was just so incredibly proud to play a small role in the creation of each of these fun and fabulous finishes!!  Many thanks to all who entered their quilts and gave permission for me to include on my blog. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

SCVQA Quilt Show Review Part 1: Featured Artist

Last weekend, I had the honor of being one of the Featured Artists for the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association's "The Heart and Art of Quilts" quilt show.  

Keeping with the show's theme, I chose to share my love of quilt challenges by displaying many of my quilt entries.  Most of the quilts on display were made in response to quilt challenges conducted at the local, national and international level.  Several of these quilts had been juried into a travelling exhibits whereas others have only been viewed online.  I greatly enjoyed sharing each quilt's story and inspiration with attendees, and watching how the quilts drew attendees in closer to check out the stories and quilted details. 
My Love of Quilt Challenges on Display
I was very much in my element hosting "Open Studio" where I demonstrated free-motion quilting and  "Crayon Etched Inspired" quilting throughout the weekend.  I was in awe at how this format really engaged quilters and non-quilters of all ages and facilitated some wonderful conversations!!  I would simply switch back and forth between techniques.   As I stitched out some of my favorite modern motifs, I would explain my pathway as well as answer questions about my machine, set up/settings, thread preferences, lighting, gloves, process and tools.  My Crayon-Etched Inspired quilting seemed to really intrigue several would bring their friends back over and ask me to etch out a new section to unveil a new pop of color--and I was more than happy to comply as it took me lots of will-power not to cut them all out at home prior to the show!!!  These interactions truly made the day fly by quickly!!  
My Love of Texture and Color At Play
On Day 2, I was proud to have my mother in attendance.  She made the trek out from Florida the day before and got to see me at work.  While she does not claim to be a quilter, she showed me how to operate our old Kenmore sewing machine and got me started on my very first quilt.    
Love of Family on the 2nd Day
My sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who played a role in the weekend's fun and success, including:
  • Roberta and the entire Quilt Show Committee for not only selecting me to be a Featured Artist, but for all their time, planning and preparations to put on a fabulous quilt show!
  • Sue Bianchi for being an absolutely fabulous co-Featured Artist!
  • Doug for being my roadie during set up and take down!
  • Gayle, Carol & Renee for all their assistance in setting up my display area.
  • My fellow quilters and friends for stopping by to visit and support me throughout the weekend!
  • My mother for getting me started on this wonderful journey and all her encouragement/support!
Be sure to visit later this week for Part 2 featuring Quilts that were inspired by my Quilting 101 Demonstrations!!