Karen writes about life as a Quiltmaker in Austin, Texas; surviving in an empty nest, marriage, cooking, gardening and (did I say?) Quilting...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Quilt Festival...2010

Well, I haven't anything to say for myself as a blogger. While I've been busy with many projects (including "quilty" ones), I've definitely NOT been keeping up with my blog - so here goes...

A Baby Quilt EVERY Month...

I continue to work on charity baby quilts for the guild... my ever-favorite pattern for these quilts is still the "Super Sized Nine Patch" pattern by Anita Grossman Soloman... nothing is simpler! Two cuts (and trim) on three yards of fabric results in three lovely 42" baby quilts. Of late, I've taken to putting them together "pillowcase" style - top and backing placed right sides together with the Warm and Natural Batting on the bottom. I trim and sew almost all around the edge, leaving about 6-8 inches open and turn it inside out. The opening is sewn closed with machine stitching. The result is a neat edge that needs no binding! I use my sewing machine's (Husqvarna Viking Topaz 30) decorative stitches to sew a "faux" decorative "binding" around the edge, and quickly quilt with an  all over pattern. These little quilts can be put together in just a couple of hours, and are WONDERFUL PRACTICE for your free motion quilting!
Here's a link to download this little pattern... it deserves to be in every quiltmaker's  quick quilt projects "bag of tricks"!


Another QUILT FESTIVAL - Houston 2010
Yes, another fall means it's time to soak up the biggest quilt show in the world - or at least in the US... The International Quilt Festival occurs at the end of each October - this week for the first time AFTER Halloween, so no quilters were dressed in Halloween finery - which, in past years adds to the creative interest. As always, there is so very much creative energy, so much to look at, so many colors, one almost get's "overdosed" with it all. With over a thousand quilts to see... it results in a rewarding but tiring day. This year I was accompanied by my good friend Writer Russ Barnes, who is exploring Quilting from his perspective as an active board member of the American Creativity Association. Look for more info with links to his work on this subject in the future.

This time, just a day trip, so my pictures of the event were limited, but, I was lucky enough to see Sharon Schamber standing in front of her unprecedented THIRD "Best in Show" winning quilt. Titled "Mystique"... the stunning work, while quilted on a long arm machine, exhibited a stunning amount of hand work, with tiny bias cording tubes arranged lace like to hold the sectioned, medallioned quilt together. The applique work was soooo fine! visit the http://www.quilts.com/ web site to see the professional pictures.

Here's my favorite of Sharon turning the quilt back forward for us to take a peek - of course the back was almost as exciting as the front!

Here's Russ in front of what was a pieced and appliqued work.

And my personal favorite, a work of whimsy (and PERFECT appliqued circles) by Becky Goldsmith. It won a Judges Choice award!

Again - visit the Quilts Inc website: http://www.quilts.com/ for really great pictres of the winners!

- Until next time  - Karen Alexander, Austin, Tx

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