Monday, September 23, 2013

Workin' it!

In my last post, I discussed that dirty little word (acronym, really) on my guild blog: UFOs. I have happily been working on them and have a finish this week!

Waaaaay back in May of 2012, I went on a quilting retreat with Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts and Sunday Morning Quilts fame. I met some of the loveliest ladies there!

Retreat group

After a wonderful long weekend filled with fun, fabric, food, and lots of laughter, we all scurried back to our homes. Unfortunately, it was not a happy return for all.

Mom

This wonderful lady, Monica, lost her sister to illness. I quickly contacted all the troops and asked if they could make one or two blocks for a comfort quilt to send to Monica. They were all game and sent them in short order.

Unfortunately, I then lost all the signature blocks they sent for me to incorporate into the final piece. When I was able to get to that last bit, I asked them to resend. Some did quickly, some required prodding, but it added a lot more time (which was all my fault).

Now, I hear that dear, sweet Monica is having back trouble, may need more surgery, and is in quite a bit of pain. This quilt will come at a very opportune moment, I think.

Monica's Comfort Quilt front complete

I placed the final hand stitches yesterday afternoon and drafted my daughter and her boyfriend to hold it in the sunlight. It was so bright that the picture is a bit washed out, but I like it.

Sending all my love and the thoughts of everyone who attended the Bethel Mother's Day Quilting Retreat to Monica!

Monica's Comfort Quilt back complete

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2013 Minnesota State Fair

Well, the dust has settled, the exhibits have been returned to the exhibitors, and we've all (hopefully) recovered from the delicious fair food.

This year's visit was tough for me. It was HORRIBLY hot. I don't deal with heat or humidity well, in fact, it makes me feel ill. We hardly saw anything at all, but I did swing into the Creative Activities building to have a look at all the lovely quilts.

The first one I found from our guild was a creation by Gina. Edit: I have learned this quilt was actually made by Jody. I'm so sorry for the mix-up! She received a well-deserved Fifth Place ribbon!

Gina Mitteco's award winning entry
Also on prominent display was this quilt by Kristin. It is nothing short of spectacular. Her original design is constructed using fabric she dyed herself. I hope she has a pattern for it, soon, because I'm absolutely in love with it.

Kristin Lawson's "Pineapple"

I saw several other quilts from guild members, but didn't take pictures, because I had seen pictures taken by others, but now I wish I had. I would love to show you all the creativity of our guild members. They are fabulous!

Here are a few modern-bent quilts I enjoyed:

Mosaic of modern-bent quilts

And here are a few more traditional ones that were lovely:

Traditional mosaic

Of course, I entered a couple of quilts of my own. I had a dickens of a time finding the smaller of the two! It was set waaaaay in the back, just beside the door to leave the exhibit hall, with wedding outfits for the flower girl and a pillow for the ring bearer. At first, I thought the placement with the outfits, pillow, and Hebrew needlepoint (and Barbies?!) odd, but then I realized they must have seen the name of the piece I quilted into it. "Flower Grrl" was meant to be a little more punk rock than that, but at least they found a home for a very modern quilt with a lot of grey in the exhibit hall.

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Which brings me to my second entry: Mondrian Dream. I offered a custom quilt to the highest bidder in a silent auction two-and-a-half years ago to benefit a choir in which I sang. Sarah, a dear lady who has been most supportive of my avocation, was the lucky winner. She came to my house to discuss what design she would like and we settled on one inspired by the work of Piet Mondrian.

And there it sat. And sat. And sat. For nearly a year, I didn't make headway on it, at all. You would not believe how intimidating it is to even attempt to imitate his work. One would think it is easy, being black, white, and primary colors all in straight lines. I was afraid of not doing his iconic work any justice, whatsoever. Finally, I kicked myself in the rear and checked out a reference book on Mondrian. I studied that for months before putting pencil to graph paper.

Once I had a design, it was constructed in very short order. I had originally planned to do a small piece, but since Sarah had been waiting so long and so patiently, I made it into a large full/small queen quilt top.

It languished, again, as I tried to come up with a quilting design. Six months later, I knew what I would do, but I also knew it would take me a long time. I sent a note to Sarah so she would know I was doing something very special with it, as though I were keeping the quilt myself, and that it would take a lot more time. Bless her, she didn't even bat an eyelash.

Mondrian Dream took me a year to quilt, working off and on, but it was worth every single minute.

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It won third place in the large machine pieced, machine quilted lot at the Great Minnesota Get Together and also judge's choice for best quilt, modern style.

We finished the night at the second annual Internet Cat Video Festival, where both Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub appeared.

ICVF

I hope you were able to make it out to the fairgrounds, wherever you live!

ICVF at sunset