Sunday, April 10, 2016


It is the Sunday morning following the close of MQX, and I am one tired puppy!  I drove to NH on Wed, taught 3 classes, saw the show, drove home Friday, and turned around yesterday and did it all over again with my daughter.  I need this next week to recuperate before Paducah!

The show and all of it's many sides far surpassed my expectations, once again.  This will always be considered my home show, and I will love it for that reason alone, but it has so many fantastic things...Where to start?!?!...

I did 3 classes - all 4-hr hand's on.  I got the absolute best room of Handi-Quilter machines.  I know we are not supposed to share any favoritism, but seriously, I LOVE my HQ, and having each student on their own machine, with the ability to advance their project at their own rate is priceless.  I had my projects all printed at Spoonflower. They were printed in colors, and had quilting lines marked so that I did not have to do this myself!  Students loved these projects, and raved about them.  Good choice Me!  This is my Templates...Ruler the Roost will be offered in TWO sections at MQX Midwest in October -- it is that popular.  It is also at Quilt Odyseey for the 22 lucky ones who have already signed up (all sold out!).  I may need to simplify that class's project though because they double up on the longarms.
 Here's the back of the project for my Beautiful Backgrounds - Grid Based fills, also being taught in 2 sections at MQX Midwest.  It was a good class too.  This was the first time I taught this, and will do a little "tweaking" before the next one.  That is to be expected.
 Grids...the frontside.  Love this sampler!
The Dense & Dainty class did as many freehanded fillers as could be quilted in 4 hours.  The intent is small, so the sample is not huge.
 Each machine has a laminated sheet of a dozen designs (there are about 100+ different designs in the room) and students get to rotate these sheets around.  They are there to create ideas, and I go around the room assisting on how to stitch ones they ask about.  There is just no way I can give a lecture of instructions for all of them, and this lets them pick and choose.  Some are quite intuitive, while others need a little explaining of what to quilt first.  I found these "cheat sheets" to be very useful, and students were able to photograph them if they chose.
Some quilted designs everywhere, while others stayed between the lines :)  
I designed this fabric and had it printed at Spoonflower to compliment the sample I made for the class, shown below.  The sample is actually Shot Cottons, but I loved the arabesque shape, and hoped others would find the variation from a plain black fabric interesting too.  I think I might change it up to be a deeper gray, as it shows the thread a little better.
 and a closeup...

On to the show!...My daughter Sophie, who is 9 had a quilt here too.  Her category had 8 kids in it. This was her first completely free-handed from the front-side quilt.  Last yrs was free-handed but it was largely done using channel locks.  I really didn't know how she'd do among the other kid competitors.  Much to her joy and my surprise, she took the first place prize!!  To her, the best part was getting another sign like this one for her room, but the win did come with either a sewing machine or $100 (she took the moolah!).  She's already on her way to spending it on more fabric for her next project.
I'll show you my quilts and then the other quilts in the wholecloth category. 

This is "Illuminations", my quilt that came from the Playing in the Swamp broken lonestar.  As I mentioned last time, it was mostly pieced 4 years ago, and left to die in a box.  Fortunately it only went into hibernation.  I still don't feel the total love for it that I do for some of my silk quilts, but I am glad it is done.  The fact that I never completely loved it is probably why I was so completely shocked when it won 1st place.  I could have entered this in Solo or Large Wall category.  Solo had at least 3-4 very good quilts, while Lg wall had about 35 quilts in the category!...take your pick - be with the big name quilters or be with twice as many quilts??! As it happened I was in the large category, and it still fared well.  In fact, this quilt earned as many points for the machine quilting as my next one did (and it won an additional award for the quilting!).  
It was hanging in a nicely lit spot with both great overhead light and a skylight.  The quilting on the dark blue fabric showed well.  Though this quilt is largely about the colorburst and placement of color, I also need the quilting to be there because I enter in machine quilting shows.  
 Here is the center...

This is my Ode to Spring, which I have showed a few photos of previously.  I have always believed that this would do well, despite the few bloopers I know that it has.  It's start this year at R2CA and MAQF left me wondering, but this show gave me some confidence.  I trust the NQA certified judges that MQX hires.  I know that they weigh all aspects of the quilt (overall appearance, complexity, and technical components) appropriately when a winner is chosen.  I was most pleased to get the 1st place, and seriously delighted to get the Best Machine Quilting.  This is the 3rd year in a row to win that award.
 Here are a few photos I took...It was so much fun getting to talk to the many quilters there about the designs I chose, and the funky edging I did, and other aspects of the quilt.
 the center...just a touch of metallic. I don't love the stuff enough to use more!
 Filled Ginko clamshells are always a favorite.  And that herringbone too, but maybe not so much a favorite of the students in my grids class!! It is challenging to stitch.
 just a tiny spider web.  It is about spring, after all.  Heaven forbid, no spiders though!
The raying matchstick herringbone filler looked great too.  I love how the many fills take on a different appearance with the slightly different thread colors used.  This is just one of the great features of silk, and how the light plays off of the silk fabric.  Hopefully you can see how I have gotten hooked on silk fabric!

There were 6 whole cloth quilts in this category.  I'm going to show snippets of all because there is nothing like a whole cloth to show off the quilting!  This next one was quilted on a domestic machine (yes it is large!).  It won the 3rd in the category and best machine with a sit-down style machine.   It came from Australia, which may explain the wrinkling.  Some of the quilts needed a day or two to hang out the creases.  Even my silk quilt looked much better by day 2.

Rachelle Dennenny's A Touch of Blue has trapunto, with a subtle amount of blue stitching.

 This is Juanita's Pearl by Sue Hawkes.  It is also a very large quilt - bed sized.  It won the 2nd.  Incidentally, this was a 2014 NQA Masterpiece Quilt, as decided by 5 very good judges!  It is rather daunting when you know you have a Masterpiece quilt in your category...sort of diminishes your confidence!  I feel pretty great now though.
This quilt is also trapuntoed...must have been done at least twice because there is pink and green for the roses.  Someday I will get brave enough to try trapunto (one and only time I did try, I clipped part of my top!).
 Here is the center - very pretty and elegant.
 This is Wickedly Green by Deborah Poole.  At about 4' square, it is a managable size!  The color is  more indicative of the 2nd photo too.  It's a satin or silk, so the lighting plays with the true color.
I watched her make this via facebook posts, so I was extremely surprised for it not to ribbon.  She's very meticulous in her grid quilting and all designs are exceptionally well stitched.  I might have placed the ribbons differently if I were a judge ;-)
 Another non-ribbon winner is Imperial Majesty by Donna James.  Smaller yet, this is dupioni silk.  It too refuses to be photographed with true color (room lighting is low).  It is more of a deep blue.   Not sure why it appears almost purple at times.  It received some coloring afterwards to fix a dye mishap where there was bleeding during blocking, so the motifs look different in color than the background.
 Here is a closeup.
 and another...

 The last wholecloth is by Gina Boone.  One of Gina's other quilts received my Teacher's ribbon.  This quilt has some pretty features.
She's learned this beaded piping.  That has to be tough to make the beads take the sharper points of a scalloped binding though, but it is a great finish.
I will leave you with a snippet of the center of the Best of Show by Molly McNally Hamilton.  This quilt is large, and I'm not sure I have one of the entire quilt.  It is so much me in the color and design. I just love her orange flowers and apple green (border).  The quilt is truly lovely.


Shasta Matova said...

Congratulations to both you and your daughter. Thanks for showing all these great quilts.

Annie said...

Congrats to you and your daughter for the wins.Your work is outstanding, I so enjoyed all the photos.
Your daughter will be following in your footsteps and be a fabulous machine quilter one day too.

Leeanne said...

Stunning works! I would love to be part of your classes one day, but New Zealand is a long way away! Your daughter could well be on her way to right on your heels :-)

Ginette said...

Congratulations on your wins! Your quilts were absolutely stunning! Congratulations to your daughter as well! It was my first time attending the show and I had so much fun. I was so inspired by the quilts and the teachers, it was amazing! I have only been longarm quilting for 2 years and this was the boost I needed to try new things and step out of my box. I will definitely be going back next year!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the wonderful class and your excellent articles in MQU magazine. I was the student that asked about getting some of your Spoonflower fabric. I did a search and came up with no information. If you decide this is appropriate you can email me at
Judy Welch

Marlene said...

Congratulations to both you and your daughter. Your quilting is amazing. Stunning work on all the wholecloths and thank you for sharing them. Your classes look great but like Leanne New Zealand is a along way away-maybe one day!

sdrussell said...

Love the quilts and congratulations to your daughter. I would just love it if you could put your classes in book form for those of us that can't attend your classes. For some of us travel is just not an option and standing for long periods is not good either. I have drooled over your quilts for a long time and would love to have a private lesson, via a book and/or DVD from you.

Unknown said...

Love your quilts! Not surprised you get so many awards, they are lovely! Are you ever on the West Coast? Do you post a travel schedule for your classes? I would love to sign up for one. Thx Susan.

San Francisco Stitch Co. said...

Congratulation on both MQX quilts this year-- I have a thing for dragonflies, so both of your quilts were my favorites!

Unknown said...

Nice post...I look forward to reading more, and getting a more active part in the talks here, whilst picking up some knowledge as well..

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Rebecca Grace said...

Congratulations on your well-deserved ribbons! Having your class samples printed up by Spoonflower is simply a stroke of genius. I would love, LOVE to be able to take a class with you someday. I'm actually in the process of researching longarm quilting machines from the various manufacturers. I don't know why, but for some reason I thought you quilted on a Gammill? Can you please tell me which Handiquilter machine you have and why you love it so much? These machines are so expensive; I want to get as much information as possible before I take the plunge. Thank you!