THE QUILT SHOW and the quilt show

It's spring, which means it is quilt show season here in the Northeast. After being cooped up all winter, quilters are ready to see quilts and to hang out with like-minded fabric enthusiasts.

My guild, Hands Across the Valley Quilters Guild (HAVQG), is having their biennial show April 6 & 7 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus Center. There will be close to 300 quilts on display including a special exhibit of antique quilts on loan from Hancock Shaker Village. All of the other goodies that one likes to see at shows will be there too: vendors, raffle baskets, demonstrations, and excellent food.

In our house, we've been referring to the HAVQG show as "the quilt show". This is the first time since at 2001 that I won't be there working the show. Instead, I will be in Denver filming an episode of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. This is the show that we are giving capital letters to in our house - THE QUILT SHOW! Keep your fingers crossed for me that I can speak in complete and proper sentences while filming. Based on the conversations I've had with the producers I know it's going to be a fun time.

The weekend after "the quilt show" and THE QUILT SHOW is MQX, the Machine Quilters Expo, in Manchester, NH. If you want to see the best of the very best of machine quilting that is definitely the place to be. I am always in awe when I walk the show floor. 

The Barnyard continues to grow. I recently finished a llama and a duck. On my design wall now is a goat. If you need to find me this week, I'll be in the middle of all of my orange fabrics as I work on his background.


Modern Art Quilts by Sue Bleiweiss

Modern Art Quilts is a new book by Sue Bleiweiss. When Sue, a fellow Massachusetts-ian, asked me to participate in her blog tour I said yes right away. Sue’s techniques are so different from the way I work, I knew I would learn from her - and it would push me to try something different.

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I use fusible products sporadically. Sue on the other hand is the master at fusing quilts. The only stitching on her quilts is done in the quilting process. She also exclusively uses Mistyfuse as her “glue”. Having never used Mistyfuse this gave me a good excuse to give it a try.


I dove right in to the section “Creating Fabric Letters”. As some of you may know, I have a mantra every year that I reproduce and hang in my studio. This year’s mantra is “Breathe” but I decided I should have the sub-mantra of “Make”. I drew out the letters I needed (good thing I spent my middle school years practicing bubble letters), then followed Sue’s excellent instructions to translate my words into fabric. The key ingredient to making it all happen was of all things - parchment paper. Now I can add that to my arsenal of favorite kitchen quilting products.

Sue’s work is distinctive with it’s whimsical black outlines. I, of course, had to make my project with lots of pattern.

This project was super easy and fast. Now I have plans to make mini-mantra quilt for my friends using this process. I finished off my “Make” (7”x12”) with a stiff Pellon interfacing and a blanket stitch to anchor the letters.

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There are many tips and tricks in the book covering design principles, how to fuse a binding on, and Sue explains why she uses wool felt rather than a traditional batting. (National Nonwovens produces the wool felt in Easthampton, MA. Don’t tell them I cut through their parking lot after I drop my kid off at circus class twice a week).

C&T Publishing is giving away an e-copy of the book to one of my readers. To be eligible, leave a comment on what word or phrase you use for a mantra by Tuesday, March 5 at 8pm EST. I will randomly choose a winner.

Blog Hop:

February 25 - Deirdre Quirk

February 27 - Teri Lucas

February 28 - Kelly Nagel

March 1 - Timna Tarr

March 4 - Susan Arnold

March 5 - Sue Bleiweiss

Crib Notes for a Crib Quilt

During a snow day a few weeks ago my thirteen-year-old daughter and I made a very special baby quilt for a very special someone. Since my daughter is not excited about sewing, I came up with an easy pattern that is quite forgiving of wobbly seams and cockeyed triangles. If you need a quick little quilt, dig into your scrap bin and start cutting squares. You can find the basic pattern here.

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