“Foxgloves and Hollyhocks” by Holly Turnbull

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“Foxgloves and Hollyhocks” by Holly Turnbull

Holly Turnbull’s “Foxgloves and Hollyhocks” is another one of my favorite quilts from the AQS Syracuse Qult Show in Syracuse, NY  last month. The whole scene looked so inviting.
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I could just imagine the view from the round turret at the top of the quaint little house pictured above.IMG_3887

I wish my garden flourished as well as the window boxes and flowers seen here.IMG_3889

These pictures definitely do not do the quilt justice. Obviously, the overall design is beautiful, but the actual quilting was done really well, too. I wish the stiches showed up better in the photos. I will work on getting better pictures at the next show.
IMG_3885I also like the meandering sort of wave that the edge of the quilt has. It gives it such a dreamy, ethereal feel.

The first thing that I thought of when I saw this quilt was the 3-D chalkware plaques that my mom had when I was a kid. We used to have two of them but I only found this one in the basement.

Legends 3 D Chalkware

Legends 3 D Chalkware

I thought these were the coolest things when I was a kid. I remember I wanted to live in that cute little house with the thatched roof by the water. I think the 3-D effect was part of the draw for me. All the other pictures in the house were flat. This one, you could run your fingers over. I would imagine sitting on the dock with my feet in the water, feeding the ducks.

It’s made by Legends in England sometime in the early to mid 1970’s. My mom can’t remember where she got them.  I’d love to know if any of my readers had one of these. Let me know in the comments if you have any fond memories of your chalkware, especially if you had one of these cute cottage scenes. Let me know if you remember where you got it as well.

Things that make me smile:

  • Finding this chalkware in the basement and remembering my daydreaming days of childhood when life seemed so simple.
  • Dancing, shuffleboard, food, and drinks with Jim at Hot Mamma’s Canteen.
  • Getting extra wide backing material at Pine Grove Quilt Shop at 25% off. I think the sale runs through the end of the month for those of you who want to trek on out to Kenmore, NY.

Thanks for checking out my blog! Feel free to leave a comment. Until next time…

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

 

 

AQS Syracuse 2015 Favorites: Counting Fish by Yiting Lin

“Counting Fish” by Yiting Lin

My mom and I went to the AQS Quilt show in Syracuse at the end of last month. There were many gorgeous quilts. Yiting Lin’s “Counting Fish” was one of my favorites.  For those of you familiar with the Storm at Sea quilt pattern, you may recognize it in this wall hanging.

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I love the way the quilter just changed the colors of certain pieces to add fish. And shaping the whole piece like a fish bowl is the perfect finish!

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There are tons of embellishments in this quilt.  All sorts of shapes and sizes and textures of embellishments are used to create the idea of bubbles. Some “bubbles” are escaping the fishes mouths and some just float and swirl about.

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Did you see who was “Counting Fish” by peeking into the bowl, from the bottom right? I don’t think I saw the cat the first time I looked at this quilt in the show. I remember wondering what the 2 green squares were supposed to be. Sometimes these things are easier seen when looking in through the camera lens.

 

Things that make me smile:

  • A quilt show vacation with mom, especially when we see fellow guild members!
  • Fresh picked tomatoes.
  • Roller skating. Yes, I said “skating” not “blading”. I still have my roller skates from the 1980’s and I’m not afraid to use them. I went roller blading once about 10 years ago. It was not a good experience. I will try it again, but not until I get some knee pads and elbow pads. Besides, it feels good to say I could still wear something I wore in high school.

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

Stitches in Time 2014 – Museum Quilt Guild Show

The Museum Quilt Guild hosted their biennial quilt show, Stitches in Time last month. It was a fantastic show with a wide variety of techniques and styles.

“Using My Stash” by Jean Butzer Best of Show

I wish I had a better picture of Jean Butzer’s “Using My Stash” which won best of show.

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Her piecing is perfect! She used about 385 fabrics from her stash without needing to by more! Sometimes our non-quilting friends don’t understand the concept of the “stash”. Jean has given a beautiful example of why we don’t get rid of our leftovers.

Our guild has so many great quilters! They vary in style from traditional to modern. Choosing quilts to vote for for the Viewer’s Choice Award was very difficult because it’s like comparing apples and oranges. How can you compare perfect piecing, awesome applique, and amazing art quilts? Nancy Bush’s “Grandma’s Flower Garden” is one of the ones that caught my eye.

"Grandma's Flower Garden" by Nancy Bush

“Grandma’s Flower Garden” by Nancy Bush

Nancy’s quilt was done in wool and won the award for Large Quilt Mixed Technique. In addition to the beautiful applique done in wool, Nancy did a great job of putting prairie points as a border.

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The award was well deserved. Each Sunbonnet Sue was different. I confess that I’ve never been one to seek out Sunbonnet Sue quilts but I couldn’t seem to get enough of this one. I just kept going back to it and seeing a different fabric or trim each time. It was so mesmerizing that you will definitely see my attempt at something inspired by it in the 2016 show.

You can be sure that I will pay more attention to how I take photos at future quilt shows. The borders on both Jean’s and Nancy’s quilts complemented the quilts beautifully.

Things that make me smile:

  • Seeing a variety of styles and techniques at a quilt show
  • Time spent with fellow quilters

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today!

Today has been a wonderful day spent with quilters and their quilts!  It started with our regular monthly quilt guild meeting in Batavia for the Museum Quilt Guild.  The program was about the art of getting unstuck.  We were asked to bring in projects that we were stuck on and see what suggestions other members had to get us unstuck.  My mom and I each brought in a UFO. (In quilting lingo that’s an Un-Finished Object.  I’ve often been asked by non-quilters why we would start another project before finishing one we’ve started.  Quilting is kind of like a buffet.  Everything looks sooooo good, you just want to try it all.  So you take a little bit of everything and put it on your plate, but you run out of time before you get to finish it.  The good news is that tomorrow you get the plate back and can work on it some more, but there’s always another buffet with more tempting treats!)  I’ll post some photos of our projects in the future, as we work on them.

After the meeting, I went to the Lake to Lake guild’s quilt show in Phelps, NY with my mom and our friend Kathi.  It was a small show but there were many awesome quilts!  Here are a just few of my favorites.

My Favorite Door by Sally Acomb

My Favorite Door
by Sally Acomb

 

Sally Acomb’s “My Favorite Door” was my favorite Art Quilt entry.  The label said it was made up of parts of the 23 houses she lived in. I love the way she used specific fabric in the trim.

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Door Detail

My Favorite Door Detail

 

 

 

 

The pebbling quilting in the walkway, the individual leaves on the tall tree, the plants around the entry…  I don’t know what part I like best.  It might just be the lace curtains in the windows!

 

 

 

We were happy to see Florine Meredith and several of her quilts.  Florine used to belong to the Museum Quilt Guild with us before she moved.  Of her several quilts in the show, this quilt stood out for me because it uses all sorts of the decorative stitches that our machines can do.  We get so used to using a straight stitch that about the only time we think to use anything is is when we use the blanket stitch for applique.

My Learning Quilt by Florine Meredith

My Learning Quilt
by Florine Meredith

Florine said this was a block of the month class at Quilter’s Corner in Ithaca, NY.  She started it in 2009 and finished it in 2013 – I doubt the class took that long – It’s not uncommon for the detailed quilts to take years to finish.  When you put so much work into each block, you just don’t want to rush the process of putting them together.

The Learning Quilt detail

The Learning Quilt detail

 

 

The photo really doesn’t do the detail justice.

 

 

The Learning Quilt Detail

The Learning Quilt Detail

 

 

 

The pattern is Stitcher’s Garden by Lynda Howell.  Florine said it is such a popular class that it is still being taught at Quilter’s Corner in Ithaca.  I wish I lived closer because I would love to take it!

 

 

 

You may remember that in January the Quilter’s Consortium of New York State had a challenge called Stitching New York.  I entered a photo quilt of the Chimney Bluffs on Lake Ontario.  All the quilts were judged and are available for show at member guild quilt shows.  Here are a couple that were on display this weekend.

The Fruit of New York State by Pamela M. Pandolfi

The Fruit of New York State
by Pamela M. Pandolfi

 

Best Interpretation of Theme was well deserved by Pamela M. Pandolfi’s “The Fruit of New York State”.

 

 

 

 

Explore New York by Linda Bushart

Explore New York
by Linda Bushart

 

First Place Traditional went to Linda Bushart.  I really liked this one as well.

 

 

 

 

I encourage you to go to as many quilt shows as possible!  Photos are nice, but nothing compares to seeing the stitching, textures, and colors in person.

As we were leaving the show, I noticed the painted windows on the school.  I have loved quotes since I was a teenager and this one really struck a chord with me.

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How cool would it be if everyone in the world made it their goal to make at least one person smile every day?

Things that make me smile:

  • Finding good home cooking spots (I recommend the Blue Bonnet Smokehouse and Bakery if you’re in Phelps, NY – the smoked baby back ribs and fresh baked rhubarb pie are excellent!)

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie