Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Quilt Show Surprise!!!

The Durham Orange Quilters' Guild recently presented:

Quilting:  Stories in Stitches

The quilt show was held August 22 - 24, 2014 at the Durham Convention Center.  This was a new venue for the show and a different time of year than we normally hold our shows.  The change was two-fold.  Our previous venue was unavailable for rental and the new venue was unavailable at our "usual" time of year.

All in all, I believe the show was a success.  We seemed to fit the space well and (considering that it was August) the show was fairly well attended.  The show also included vendors, our boutique, a silent auction for charity, and a great number of demonstrations held throughout the weekend.

Thank you to our Quilt Show Vendors:

Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal

Cotton Fields Quilt Shop

Dragonfly Quilt Shop

Empty Pockets Alpaca Farm

French Connections

Lynne's Outlet

Quilter's Gallery

Thimble Pleasures

The highlight of the show, of course, was all of the beautiful quilts!  So many beautiful quilts, in fact, that I had a hard time choosing my favorite for my vote for the Viewer's Choice award.

Another highlight of the show was the number of winners from the Nimble Thimbles (my quilting bee.)  Congrats! to each of you.

And... (drum roll please)

The fate of my quilt entry:

Wall: Miniature
2nd Place - "Inspired by... " The Series

My WINNING entry!!!
This little quilt (series) has been in the works for quite some time.  The challenge was issued in December 2010.  The completed quilt tops sat on my sewing table for a month before being quilted.  The unbound quilts sat on my table for more than 3 YEARS waiting to be finished.

The quilt show was coming and this was the closest to completion.  One of the little quilts had already been bound!  The medium and small one remained.  I had 2 months before the show.  I could SO do this!!!  Although, it wasn't quite as straightforward as I had first believed.  The smallest of the series REFUSED to be bound!  So... you may notice that I opted to serge the tiny quilt.  And then came the challenge of how to hang the tiny trio in a quilt show! Thankfully, my inner artist decided to come out to play a few evenings before quilt turn-in day.

I am happy to report that this project is DONE!!! (As evidenced by the above photo.)

Inspired by... The Series can now be removed from my UFO List.  It may be my only finish for the Summer 2014 session of the UFO Club!  That's OK... it's still something to celebrate.


Surely, one of the paragraphs above explain my position on the matter.

Here's the Back Story:

My Circle Challenge for the Art Bee was due in February of 2011, but I didn't even start it until 2 weeks AFTER the deadline!!!  I hate to recall the truth, but I had known about it since December 2010!

Why did wait? Well, I wasn’t feeling inspired. :o(

Based on a piece of art by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes, I drew up my design, but I didn’t do anything with it…until the Saturday that my friends went off to The MidAtlantic Quilt Festival and I decided to stay home to spend time in my studio!  The challenge deadline had come and gone.  My mind was clear enough to begin what ended up as a series of quilts:

Even though I tell the story a little differently (memory being what it is...older and more forgetful ever day), I actually began by making one the size of my drawing (done on a napkin!) and stepped it up a little bigger (and then a little bigger than that.)  My pieces measure 2" x 3", 3.5" x 5.5", and 8.5” x 11".  Basically, that's a business card, an index card, and a piece of notebook/computer paper!

To see the inspiration piece, look for:

Beatriz Milhazes
Popeye, 2008
Acrylic on canvas
78 3/8” x 54 3/4”

Who knew that a 3 month challenge would turn into a 3 year adventure???

Until next time...
Happy Quilting!!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The SSB Reveal

Happy Labor Day!  It's a holiday in the United States and I am enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation.  Including some time in my studio with NeedleB this weekend!  These things work together to make The Joyful Quilter truly joyful.

It's been a few days  since my last post (which was MONTHS overdue!) and I thought I'd do a bit more catching up on the blog.

I hope you've been doing well.  We had another life-threatening medical emergency in our house since I've been away.  Not to worry!  Although, this did include a late-night trip to the emergency room and a complete diet overhaul for my DH who is not a heavy man (by ANY stretch of the imagination!), but who had a great love for unhealthy snack foods which brought his blood glucose to dangerously high levels.  Two weeks and two different meds later, things are under control once again.  Hooray! for modern medicine.

I'm writing to share my SSB project with you.  Those initials stand for The Secret Sue Bag.  It was a custom bag for a good friend who (jokingly - since I charge a fair chunk of change for my bags) commented that she would love to have one of my custom bags.  (Special thanks to NeedleB for sharing her bag-making technique!  I've tweaked it to make it my own, but I'll always refer to it as YOUR bag.)

Little did she know that I was planning to make one for her birthday last month.  Of course, she figured it out once I asked her to choose fabrics!  :P

The bag itself was still a surprise, since I didn't reveal any of the details of the bag until it arrived in Knittingsuek's mail box (well in advance of her birthday.)  The note on the package instructed her NOT to open before her special day.  Her own DH took my note literally and hid the package!  I wrote right back telling her to let him know that she could open it if she really wanted to, but she decided to wait.  Whew!  Crisis averted.

The back of the bag with a view of the side pockets and strap detailing.

A free-form "S" applique adorns the front pocket of the bag.
This shot shows a glimpse of the interior pocket and the sewn-in label.
I had a lot of fun deciding on the details for this special bag.  I was rewarded with a huge "OMG! OMG! OMG!  I LOVE IT!!!"  That's pretty much the best response that a quilter can hope for in this day and time.  :o)

I have to tell you that I also created a challenge for myself when making the handle for the bag.  I'm still not quite sure what I was thinking when I cut the strips for the handle!  They weren't the proper width to form a tube (without the handle being uncomfortably narrow.)  My solution???  I turned the edges and added a piece of grosgrain ribbon to finish it off.  Brilliant!!!

Knittingsuek loves Sock Monkeys.  Adding a Beanie Baby Sock Monkey to show off the fun print on the interior pocket was a last minute decision.  The bag was such a hit that the poor little Sock Monkey hasn't been mentioned... for all I know someone took him out of the package before it was delivered!  :o(

Well, I'm off to take my college boy back "dorm".  He was home for the holiday weekend and needs to be back for tomorrow's classes.

Until next time...

Happy Quilting!