Chuck Nohara Blocks This Far

June16Blocks

Well, I’ve finished three of the four June blocks.

June ChuckNohara16block

(a truly hideous nighttime photo)

The last block won’t be finished until July, because I lost my mind and chose something that is insanely complicated.  My block buddies, Susan and Betty didn’t complain at all, even though when they saw it, they must have known I was nuts.  That happens sometimes.
ChuckNoharar June 2016blocks

Here’s all the blocks so far: thirty-two fun little six-inch squares.  Susan chose the heart-in-the-hand block and I love it.UmanaUppercaseQuilts

I was busy the last couple of days making these two small quilts.  They are a combination of masterful creative ideas and talents from Kevin Umaña, and Janine Vangool’s Uppercase fabrics.  I have a post planned next Tuesday showing them off.  I even have a giveaway, courtesy of Ms. Vangool.

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I’ve also been busy finished the stitching on our Oh Christmas Tree Quilt, which will post on Saturday with the first of the borders — the troublesome red-triangle border. All secrets are revealed that day (and yes, there’s a giveaway that day, too.  These are getting out of hand, I think). . .

Simone's Color Chart

Simone posted her requests for the Oh Spelling Bee and used the above chart to help us reference her colors.  It was too cool to hide, so thank you, Simone.  Some of those color names are awesome: “Papaya Whip,” and “Alice Blue,” and “Old Lace Floral White.”

June block_1

I finished my block for that bee even before June started.  This was for Kerry of PennyDog fame.  I felt so smug as I mailed it off a couple of days early.  Then a friend in the bee reminded me that I hadn’t paid attention to the colors that Kerry wanted.  Smug faded right off my face.  Time for a re-do.  Kerry asked us to do all the names of the Canadian Provinces, as she just immigrated there from England.  (I guess she made it out of Britain before Brexit!)June block_2

Here is the re-do.  She made up her own pixelated alphabet, not using the one the rest of us are (that one is on Quilt Abecedary, if you want it), but the word went together pretty quickly.  I do think this version of the word “Alberta” is easier to read than my first one, so yay.  PressWrap1

I’ve perfected my mailing to Canada: buy some Press N’ Seal, that sticky plastic wrap, and tear off a square.  Fold your stuff-to-mail (just about one block only) the shape of your envelope.PressWrap2

Fold over one side, and smooth the heck out of it.  Make it really flat.  Then smash it some more, scooting all the air bubbles out to the side.PressWrap3

Fold it again and again, smooshing after each fold.  Squish squish squish out all the air bubbles and make it as flat as possible.PressWrap4

Slide into your envelope and mail.  I can send it from the US for a little over a buck.

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I’ll be taking a class with Gwen Marston on Friday, and can’t believe it.  I tried to get into her classes at QuiltCon Pasadena, but they were all sold out even before I could get the log-in code to work. Since she’s retiring in 2017, I feel really fortunate to slide into one of her last classes, held in conjunction with the Seven Sisters Quilt Show.

I’m so excited!

Quilts from Quilt Market 2016 • part 2

The following quilts were exhibited in the center of Quilt Market this year, in a special exhibit.  They are the prize winners from Houston, and the area around them was always calm and quiet, so it was a nice place to visit.  Here are the rest of the pictures I took.

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Why Knot? is by Tanya Brown, who writes: “This quilt was inspired by watching my Cub Scout son practice knot tying, an exercise designed to torment the uninitiated.  In this piece, the metaphorical nightmare of becoming hopelessly engulfed in one’s own knots is made real.”  Follow the link on her name to read her (hilarious) description of how this piece came to light, as well as interesting reading on her process.
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Ravendale Star, by Linda Fleschner, is a quilt where she did not design the entire thing before she started but knew that she would “use the Ravendale paisley print in a Radiant Star.”  She goes on to say, “When that was finished, I designed the border feather, staying with a black and white palette–a big departure from the bright colors I normally use.”QMFleschner_RavendaleStar2 QMFleschner_RavendaleStar3

(Okay, I took this one because it bulges slightly in the middle, just like mine do.  However, mine aren’t as intricate or beautiful or amazing as hers.  This is my make-me-feel-better-about-my-creations shot.)
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Laura Fogg‘s Visions of Apple Pie.  Her artist’s notes say: “Looking up into a loaded apple tree on a hot summer day, I imagined all of the things I could make with the glorious fruit.”

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Anniversary Roses, by Susan Gorder.  She writes: “The appliqué rose blocks and borders were my take-along project on many trips over several years.  Once the top was finished, it took me another six months to hand quilt.  Instead of traditional grid quilting behind the appliqué, I decided to quilt feathers and to repeat elements of the border design around the center blocks.”QMHayward_WhiteHoles

White Holes by Peter Hayward.  His notes state that “I wanted to take the basic concept behind op art quilts to a new level by adding color gradation and concentric lines as a way of enhancing the 3-D effect.”QMIke_magicalZone1

Magical Zone, by Keiko Ike.  She writes: “I wanted to create a mysterious quilt with design and color.  I perfectly pieced the extremely sharp points in the Mariner’s Compass, which is normally difficult to finish flat.”QMIke_magicalZone2 QMIke_magicalZone3 QMKotani_CoastalTown1

A Coastal Town is made by Nobuko Kotani and quilted by “14 friends from Kanagawa.”QMKotani_CoastalTown2

She writes: “This started from a fabric I found while I was on a trip.  The pattern on it was interesting, so Katy designed a town with many unique houses along a coast.”QMKotani_CoastalTown3 QMKotani_CoastalTown4 QMKotani_CoastalTown5

Can you tell I loved all the details?QMMarquez_Dance1

Dance, by Marisa Marquez (of Madrid, Spain): “Every little girl’s dream is to become a dancer–elegant and graceful.  As we grow up, we continue dreaming.”QMMarquez_Dance2 QMMulheren_AudreyII

Audrey II Plus 3, by Marianne Mulheron.  Her notes say that “In response to a Spring Into It quilt challenge, I used real springs to attach three dimensional baby plants to their carnivorous mother, Audrey II, from the movie Little Shop of Horrors.”QMNozawa1_mysteriousletter

Mysterious Letter, by Noriko Nozawa.  Her notes say: “The Kana letter, which is a Japanese inherent letter, is the main theme of this work.  Although I used the Japanese traditional letter, I added a sense of fun by changing the color, placing the letter randomly, and repeating it.”QMNozawa2_mysteriousletter

I love all the different textures in her quilt.QMPerejda_ArroyoGrandeAlbum1

Arroyo Grande Album is by Andrea Perejda.  She writes: “Folk-art appliqué has been an interest of mine for many years.  I started with Threadbear’s pattern for their Civil War Bride quilt top.  I altered it considerably, adding personally meaningful motifs and appliqué sashings.”QMPerejda_ArroyoGrandeAlbum2 QMWasilowski1_birdonbranch

Laura Wasilowski‘s Bird on a Branch #6.  “This quilt,” she writes, “depicts a view of my front garden.”QMWasilowski2_birdonbranch QMWeichselbaum_Exuberance

Exuberance, by Enid Gjelten Weichselbaum, was “[i]spired by the layering of colors created in watercolor paintings.”  She “used layers of bright organzas to ‘grow’ a joyful bouquet of flowers and a transparent vase.QMWeichselbaum_Exuberance2

That’s it for my quilt show today.

Shine Circle quilted

I’ve been working on my own quilts, finally tackling the hard job of quilting through two layers of batting (some make this look easy, but really, they are lying. . . unless they are on a big machine).

OCT Working on borders

I’m also working out the thorny problem of those pesky border instructions for our Oh Christmas Tree border post, which is coming up quickly.  Don’t worry.  I’m on it.

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It’s all coming July 2nd–just in time to stay home that weekend and sew!  We’re almost finished with that quilt. Just keep on  quilting; we want to see YOUR quilts next year in Houston, and then Quilt Market!

A Look at the Quilts at Quilt Market 2016

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First, I need to report on the giveaway held in the last post–all your comments were terrific! and seemed to be a healthy range from “just the kids” to “adults have a great time, too.”  I really liked the ones that said to include them both–so now you know.

The winner was Number 7HalloweenGiveawayJune2106. . . and it was Leslie, so I’ll get those shipped out to her right away so she can keep going on her Halloween quilt.  She wrote: Leslie comment HalloweenI do miss the homemade donuts that our neighbor used to make and for which we, as children, would double back around for.  Now it’s only wrapped candies, and we Moms all sort even those for scary things, but I do like Leslie’s perspective.  Okay, here we go with the quilts.

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Tutti-Frutti Alleyway, by Susan Bleiweiss.  She writes: “This quilt is part of my ongoing series of art quilts which celebrate the use of vibrant color and whimsical imagery.”QMBleiweiss_TuttiFruittiAlleyway2 QMBranjord_BlueprintLife15347 Redfox Circle. . . Blueprint of a Life, by Sandra Branford.  Her artist’s statement: “Using my collage skills, I created a fantasy story board of my imaginative home.  Through my original designs, I define myself and take the viewers on a journey through my mind. . . some wit, a few brains, and loads of imagination.”

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And as an English teacher, I smiled when I saw the misspelling in this text.  (You’ll have to find it yourself, and no, it’s not “hors d’oeuvres.”) Whenever I find typos and misspellings in things I write, I die a little of embarrassment, so I understand how things can get overlooked.QMBrown_Triology

Trilogy, by Peggy Brown.  “My goal,” she writes, “was to start with a painted free-flowing design, add collage and overlays of more paint, and compose a well-designed and unique painting on fabric — an art quilt.”QMCoatesPerez_PinkBird1

Pink Bird, by Judy Coates Perez  (Check out the quilting in the following photos!)  She write that she likes “painting images inspired by nature, using photos of real birds as reference for a pose, then altering them graphically; simplifying details, creating new patterns, and choosing different colors to create unique stylized birds and plants.”QMCoatesPerez_PinkBird2 QMCoatesPerez_PinkBird3 QMCoatesPerez_PinkBird4 QMDaniels_LongWinter1

Long Winter Flower Basket Sampler, by Eileen Daniels.  During a “long, cold winter in Wisconsin” she “became addicted to embroidery.”  She writes that she “spent hours listening to podcasts by Jonathan Welton and to my husband reading books aloud as I designed and embroidered this quilt.”QMDaniels_LongWinter2

I noticed more embroidery in this show than I’ve seen before–a welcome addition!QMDaniels_LongWinter3 QMDay_CubanBallerina1

Cuban Ballerina, by Jennifer Day.  She writes: “This quilt is based on a photograph that I took of a ballerina with the National Cuban Ballet in Havana.  She is dancing in a wonderful old building built in the early 1900s that has fallen into ruin since 1959.  This quilt is a testament to the young ballerina who is gracing the building with her beauty in dance.”QMDay_CubanBallerina2

More threadwork, but this time by machine.  It was stunning.QMRehak_TeaforTwo1

Nancy Rehak‘s Tea for Two.  “Inspired by Cindy Needham,” she writes, “I took an old tablecloth of my mom’s and created a quilt.  It was a challenge for me to design my quilting to highlight the tablecloth.  I named it Tea for Two because my dad used to sing that song to us when we were little.”QMRehak_TeaforTwo2 QMRidgway_TreeTokyo

A Tree Grows in Tokyo, by Helen Ridgeway and her friends: Anita Crane, Mary Ann Hildebrand, Linda Humphrey, Marilyn Lampman, Holly Nelson, Bonnie Sprado and Barbara Woodman.  The artists’ statement reads: “This was a collaboration by the eight members of the Sew Be It Bee.  We each hand appliquéd a block from Kumiko Sudo’s book.  One of our members, Mary Ann Hildebrand, designed and made the tree, using a scrunching technique, and made the cherry blossoms out of Yo-yos from a synthetic fabric.”

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Gillian Shearer’s Eager to Learn – Afghanistan.  “In 2011, in Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan, Ellend Jaskol recorded this image of two girls eager to learn at a new school in Sust,” she writes.  “They were studying in a temporary tent until the school was completed.  The power of educating girls is slowly breaking through.  ‘When you educate a girl, you educate a nation.’ ”
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Journey, by Grace Sim.  She writes that “This quilt allowed me to try techniques I have wanted to try for a long time — fabric manipulation, liberated blocks, crazy quilting, modern quilting, Broderie Perse, and the use of buttons and crystals.  I used them to form my favorite Italian landscape.”QMSim_Journey2 QMSim_Journey3 QMSim_Journey4

More quilts are coming.

I realized in doing this post that if a person desires to become a quilt artist, it’s pretty important that they create a place in space to reside: whether it be a blog page, or a gallery of images, or just a single place where people like me can go and search in order to read more about them. There are many platforms that can be used: Instagram, Pinterest, blogging, Tumblr, etc.

I was unsuccessful in a finding a couple of the above artists.  In this day and age of >instant< and >quick< and rushrushrush there is a tendency to overlook the long form of blogs.  But they become important when looking at the bigger picture, or, your journey as a quilter. So if you are just starting, you might consider building your own little place where people can find you.  While there may not be much more than four walls and a piece of carpet (where others might have several fully-furnished rooms), it will be your space.

Hallowe’en 1904 QAL–Step Five • Giveaway

Step 5 halloweenQAL

ATTENTION!!  THE LAST TWELVE REMAINING PATTERNS OF HALLOWE’EN-1904 IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT PRIMITIVE GATHERINGS ONLINE.  

ONCE THEY ARE GONE. . . THEY ARE GONE!!!

Okay, see the rest of the post for the backstory.

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When I was at Quilt Market, I stopped to see Alma Allen of Blackbird designs in her booth in the Moda section and asked her if she had any remaining Hallowe’en-1904 patterns.  Because I’m running this QAL, I get a lot of questions like, “Where can I get the pattern?” for as you know, they’ve been rather elusive.  Downright scarce, actually.QMarket_ModaDesigner4

 (Alma is shown above with her newest quilt, The Raven.)

“Well, actually,” she said (and I paraphrase), “I was going through the warehouse and found the last box of those–didn’t know I had them.  There’s twelve.  Would you like them?”  Gulp, golly. . . YES! for I knew that a lot of people had been looking for them.  I walked over to Lisa Bongean’s Primitive Gatherings Booth across the way (Lisa is the nicest person ever), and since it was the last day of Quilt Market stammered out my request asked her if she would buy them and get them for us?  Yes, she said.  And she has.

So here’s a link to the LAST REMAINING 12 PATTERNS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH that you can buy.  Get over there right now and get them.  Alma does not intend to make this available as a PDF file after these are sold, so if you want one, you know what to do.  Well. . . actually there’s only 11 now.  (I just bought one.)

 

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And yes, I do have a giveaway today, but it’s not the pattern (go and get one, NOW, before they sell out).  Read through to the end to find out what our giveaway is for today. Now, on to the business of our Quilt-A-Long.

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If you remember, I left you with the instructions to get your wonky/appliqued stars done and get them assembled into a block, and add those corner triangles.  This month, you are going to make half-square triangles (HSTs) until your rotary cutter falls apart.  I’ve updated the previous post about making wonky stars, as I refined the method as I went.

After making all these wonky stars, I just have to say it’s probably about similar the work in terms of appliqué vs. wonky.  You’ll be sick of either method by the time you are done, but you’ll also be an expert in that method, too.  (Making gives, and making takes.)

Halloween4_2 laid out

I laid all the blocks on my kitchen floor to motivate me to get going again.  Notice that three of the “starry” blocks have orange stars, one has black stars and one is a mix.  The big triangle borders are varied; I used deep green triangles on that one in the second row to the far right, but it’s so dark, it reads as blackish.
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Now it’s time to make half-square triangles until your hand falls off. . .or your rotary blade needs changing.  I use Bloc-Loc rulers to make my life easier in trimming, as it has a groove in the underside that nestles onto that fold of your seam, keeping it from moving around while you trim.  I can do a whole bunch at one sitting and I think they are more accurate.Halloween4_5

Now commandeer the guest bedroom, and lay out your star blocks.  Lay out your HSTs around the edges.  Because we use the 8-at-a-time method (talked about in an earlier post) I have multiple sets of 8 identical HSTs.  I used three sets per block, swapping out a few here and there to keep the eye moving around my quilt.Halloween4_4

Sew them on, as discussed in Step Three (that earlier post I keep referring to).  Halloween4_6

Because I had four appliquéd blocks, it was a no-brainer to put them in the position above for the initial run-through of placement.  One by one, I put up the star blocks, auditioning them.  Of course, I could have planned out where the dark triangles were and the HST color placement, but I didn’t.Halloween4_ninesquares

This is how I ended up, complete with a whoops: Halloween4_7ooops

I’ll fix that today.  But now I’m caught up with our QAL, and getting ready for the last step (yes!!) in our quilt making: the borders.

Here’s our schedule:

Step 1 (Preparation): February 13, 2016–buy all the fabrics and find the pattern.  Mine was purchased from Common Threads in Waxahachie, TX (www.commonthreadsquilting.com).  The quilt measures 90 by 90, which is too large for me, so I’m only doing nine blocks.  Each block is 20″ square, and with the outer borders, that should come to roughly  65″ square.  I may change my mind, but this looks good from here.

Step 2: March 13, 2016–Cut out the quilt: the tan backgrounds of the squares, the border triangles, the smaller half-square triangles, strips for the wonky stars, but save the piano key border for later.

Step 3: April 13, 2016–Assemble four blocks and add large appliques; use Thelma’s method (of Cupcakes and Daisies) for adding the curlicue stem. Make and add half-square triangeles (HSTs) around these blocks, using the 8-at-a-time method of HSTs.

Step 4: May 13,  2016–Cut and make the wonky star blocks from templates and strips.  I’m doing five blocks, so will need to make twenty wonky stars and true them up.  Add on the large outside triangles.

Step 5: June 13, 2016–Assemble the rest of the star blocks, by adding their HST borders. In the pattern, they are mixed up and varied, but also harmonized (some have a mix of orange and black, some have just black, some have just orange.)  Make your own rules and go with it.

Step 6: July 13,  2016–Arrange the blocks on your design wall and stitch together.  Cut the pieces for your borders.  Make the four corner pinwheels.  Sew borders together and attach them to the quilt.

Yes, I combined the last two months, so we’ll be done early–so you can get it quilted!

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Steam-A-Seam 2 giveaway

When I was at Market, I talked the people at the Steam-A-Seam booth (The Warm Company, who also make Warm and Natural Quilt Batting) telling them how much I liked their fusible product for the quilt I’ve been making (I used it on all the appliqué parts). I also used it on my Christmas Tree Skirt and really am a fan. Next thing I know she’s handed me some packages for a giveaway, so here I am, giving it away.  There are two packages of Steam-A-Seam 2 sheets (5 sheets, 9 x 12 inches in size) and two packages of Lite Steam A Seam 2 (8 sheets of 9 x 12 inches).  The Lite Steam A Seam 2 has upper and lower case letters printed on the the release sheet, so when you fuse them down, then cut them out, they’ll be going the correct direction.  They also include one blank sheet for your design. Very cool product.

To win all FOUR packages (share with a friend), please leave a comment telling me if you think Halloween should be a kids’ holiday (candy, traditional costumes and pumpkin carving) or an adult holiday (more sophisticated, more zombies, blood and gore, fewer pumpkins).  I’ll pick a winner and announce it on the next post. UPDATE: Giveaway now closed.

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Patriotic Home Sweet Home

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Had a little fun yesterday, prepping up for the class I’m teaching this morning.  Patriotic Home Sweet Home_2

I decided I needed a mini patriotic Home Sweet Home mini quilt to show for a class sample.Patriotic Home Sweet Home_front

Finished it last night.  It has to wait its turn to be quilted, as I’m already working on a bigger quilt right now.  Pattern is up on Craftsy and it will finish at about 18″ square.  Choosing all those fabrics was waaaay harder than I thought, so if you make this, take your time.  The square house in the lower right has fabric from my first pieced quilt, decades and decades and millennia ago.

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I unpinned Shine: The Circle Quilt, sandwiched in another layer of (wool) batting, and re-pinned it this morning, and I’m now starting to quilt it, digging into my Summer 2016 Goals.

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Just a wee post today, as I’m having fun teaching!