Last week, Debbie Grifka and I drove up to Flint to see the show, "From Heart to Hand - African American quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts"
Here are a few of the details from some of the quilts in the show.
I'm often asked how I manage the seams when working with small pieces of fabric like in this quilt that is made entirely of half inch finished squares.
I've written up a tutorial showing my process. Here, I'm using larger pieces of fabric but the process is the same no matter the size of the pieces used.
First, you will start with sewn pairs of squares. These can either be cut from strip pieced sections or be made by sewing individual squares together. I typically cut squares and sew them together. I am almost always working with scraps so this makes sense to me. Press the seam allowance to one side. Since we are using only two fabrics, in this first step, press all of the seams to the darker fabric.
Next, sew these into fourpatch units. When sewing these, make sure that the seams "nest" with each other. Sew the seam with the top seam allowance pointing away from you as shown. The seam allowance on the bottom will be pointing towards you.
You will need to take out the few stitches in the seam allowance and press so that the seams all point in a clockwise configuration as shown below.
Here are nine four patches arranged as they will be sewn together to make a checkerboard pattern. As you can see, the way the seams have been pressed allow all of the next seam crossings to also nest with each other so that the seam allowances will face in opposite directions.
When sewing these fourpatches together into pairs, the seams will be oriented opposite to the way they were before. Now, the seam allowances on top will point towards you and the bottom seam allowances will point away from you.
Again, take out the few stitches in the seam allowance and press these seams in a twirl in the counterclockwise direction.
Sew two units as above and then sew them to make a larger fourpatch. Here, you can see that all of the seams will nest.
The seam just shown is going across in the middle of the photo below. The seam twirls alternate direction across the fourpatch.
You can continue making a full size quilt in this manner. Make many of the units as above and then put them together to make even larger fourpatch units. Just keep building larger fourpatch units. Eventually you might have to join smaller sections to get the desired finished block/quilt size. As long as you always start with the seams on the first pair of fabric pieces pointing in the same direction, it will all work out. The direction of the seam twirl on the block will always alternate and no matter how large your quilt, the blocks will aways go together.
Here is a finished 6 by 6 block on the .
Twirling the seams makes for a flatter finish to your quilt and will make the quilting step much easier! And look how perfectly those nested seams match up.
This is Pat Sloan's Checkerboard block design for The Splendid Sampler.
Have you heard about Casey York's new book, The Applique Book? It's a comprehensive guide on applique outlining the techniques for many different kinds of hand and machine applique. Works from 21 designers are included along with 16 quilt projects you can make.
My quilt, Astrid, is in the "reverse applique" section of the book. I love the minimal look of this quilt. The design is made from an arrangement of very simple blocks.
The background is a pretty peacock Peppered Cotton with the warp and weft different colors, one black and the other the peacock blue. You can see the effect in the different blocks here.
I like the subtle color change that happens depending on the viewing angle.
Fading Foliage is in the "turned edge" section of Casey's book. I had been wanting to make this quilt for quite some time. The key to the design is finding just the right fabric. You need a large scale two color print, the blue and black print in this quilt. The other two fabrics for the quilt should look like the two colors of the large scale print, the blue print and black solid here. With this combination parts of the applique design will "fade" into the background giving an unexpected look to the applique.
Here you can see the shape of the applique in the light blue fabric on the black background.
I made six blocks of the same design but used all six possible combinations of the three fabrics. Here, the block is made with the two color print appliqued to the black. Notice how the design fades away where the black of the print is on the edge of the applique. This was just what I was hoping for!
This block has the two fabrics reversed. Again, a subtle design in contrast to the first photo above.
My daughter-in-law fell in love with these blocks while I was making them and helped design the finished layout of the quilt.
Here's the full view.
With the fabric print playing such an important part of the design in this quilt, I really want to make it again in different fabrics. I'm on the hunt for another fabric!
If you would like to purchase a signed copy of the book, you can get one directly from Casey here.
Stash books is providing a copy of the book for me to give away here on the blog. It will be a paper copy of the book if the winner is from the US and a digital copy if the winner is international. Each of the other stops on the blog tour will have a copy of the book to give away so make sure you visit all of them and learn about each of the designers in the book. Leave a comment here by midnight March 25. I'll announce a random winner on March 26.
Mon. March 21:
Latifah Saafir | http://www.
This weekend Miss P and I went through her dresser to switch out the winter and spring clothes. She tried everything on and we bagged up the items that were too small to wear anymore.
She was pleased that she can still fit into this dress I made her back in August of 2012! That was second grade, folks! Look at what a little peanut she was then. The dress is much shorter on her now but it still fits in the chest and shoulder area.
Her cousin recently sent her a box of handmedowns that included a couple of pair of leggings that she has been wearing with her skirts and dresses. We decided to try converting the tights to leggings.
It was easy as pie. I cut the foot part off and hemmed up the lower edge using a multi-step zigzag stitch on the sewing machine. I used the foot portion to test out which stitch worked best.
Depression - finsished size 16'' x 16''
The injuries from emotional/verbal abuse are invisible to the eye; they do not show up as bruises or broken bones.
The victims of abuse often develop depression. Bruce Linton, a family therapist, quoted in this article, speculates that we are inclined to underestimate the damage that verbal assaults -- harsh words, or even words spoken in a harsh manner -- can inflict. Over time, the unremitting assault on individuals' autonomy and sense of identity can erode their confidence and self-esteem.
In her book Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out: On Relationship and Recovery, Patricia Evans defines 15 types of verbal abuse:
Children who have been abused have a higher risk of developing depression in later life. "The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that among adults ages 18 and older, approximately 15 million have major depression and 3 million have chronic mild depression. The onset for depression for most people begins after age 30, and it affects a higher percentage of women than men. People with a history of emotional and physical abuse have an earlier age at onset of depression and a longer duration of illness, according to a study published in the "Journal of Psychiatric Research" in 2010."
If you have a friend or family member who is experiencing abuse here are some things you can do to help. The most important thing to remember is that the choice to leave or not is theirs. You can't make them leave a bad situation but you can be supportive and helpful in their choice. They will need someone they can count on when/if they do decide to end or leave the abusive relationship.
Coal Seam was started in a class with Luke Hanes last year during QuiltCon 2015 and was included in Gwen Marton's book, Free Range Triangle Quilts. When I shipped it to the publisher for photography I had only quilted the black lines.
As the QuiltCon 2016 submission deadline came up, I pulled this out to enter in the show but after looking at it again, thought it needed a bit more quilting in the background. So, I started adding some seed stitch quilting to the white.
When I started the stitching, I didn't carefully calculate how long the stitching would actually take.
Six weeks of steady stitching later, I finished the quilting on New Year's eve. Needless to say, it wasn't finished in time for QuiltCon submission. There's always next year, right?
I used Glide thread and am thrilled with the way the stitches shine, an effect that is very difficult to capture with the camera.
I enjoyed the process immensely and plan to add more hand stitching to future projects.
I am honored and excited that two of my quilts will be hanging in a gallery show later this month. This will be the first time any of my quilts have been shown in a gallery setting.
Hosted by Gallery EOSS at Watermark Gallery in East Providence, Rhode Island, this exhibit will showcase the work of ten artists. Featured artists will be: Melissa Averinos of West Barnstable, Massachusetts; Teresa Coates of Portland, Oregon; Lynn Harris of Chelsea, Michigan; Mandy Leins of Saratoga Springs, New York; Tricia Royal of Chicago; Denyse Schmidt of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Maria Shell of Anchorage, Alaska; Gail Weiss of Portland, Oregon; Victoria Findlay Wolfe of New York City; and Sherri Lynn Wood of Oakland, California. The exhibit will be on display from March 18th to April 10th, 2016.
The show was curated by Bill Volckening.
Please go see the show if you are in the area.
Here are the two quilts of mine that will be in the show:
Ten million Americans experience domestic abuse every year. Ten million. Someone I love and care about is a victim of abuse and has been for nearly twenty years. Odds are you or someone you know is a victim as well. I have learned a lot about domestic abuse over the last two decades and the number one fact I have learned is that most incidents are never reported. Ten million people every year and that number doesn't reflect the full scope of abuse in the US, as many people aren't able to safely share and report their stories. I am a doer. I like to make and fix things. Sadly, I cannot fix things for the person in my life who is being abused. But, I can speak up. And I can sew. And hopefully I can make a difference. (Statistics from the CDC)
I am currently working on a series of quilts dealing with Domestic Abuse.
Finished quilt 16" x 16".