Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pictures - Better Late than Never

This may be a review of a few of the 2014 AQS Des Moines Show winners' photos for some of you but for the rest of you, enjoy!

Best of Show
"Isabelle" made by Kathi Carter

Best Hand Workmanship & Viewers' Choice
"Heralds of Spring" made by Joann Webb

Best Modern Quilt
"Diamond Dust" made by Doris Brunnette and Trina Kirkvold

Best Wall Quilt
"Zen Garden" made by Margaret Solomon Gunn

Best Bed Quilt
"Tulip Serenade" made by Barbara Clem

Best Wall Quilt - Home Machine Quilted
"No L" made by Janet Stone

Bed Quilts - Machine Quilted, 1st Place
"Dresden's Dilemma" made by Deborah Poole and Sharon Del Pino

Wall Quilts - Home Machine Quilted, 3rd. Place
"Adagio" made by Dianne S. Hire and Pat LaPierre

Wall Quilts - Modern, 3rd. Place
"Fire and Ice" made by Kimberly Einmo and Judi Madsen

Wall Quilts - Modern, 2nd. Place
"Honey, What Color?" made by Jeri Fickes

Wall Quilts - Hand Quilted, 2nd Place
"Landscape" by Susan E. Ziel

"Vintage Moments" pieced by Jan Zimmerman, machine quilted by Jan Hutchison, two very talented quilters in my quilt guild, which also hung in the show!

"Afternoon Delight" made by Judy R. Williams and Michele Pettorini
I really liked this quilt! It was red and it had lots of pieces.

"Shimmering Stars" by Kristin Vierra
 Unfortunately, this photo doesn't do the quilt justice. It was hanging next to my quilt and I admired the use of crystals on it. 

Another unreal experience - being interviewed by Bonnie Browning of AQS. Here I'm getting my microphone pinned on. I was worried I'd have a silly grin on my face or babble away but I'm happy to say it turned out better than I thought it would!

Its been about two months since I've been able to work on one of my own quilting projects but I may actually get to today. You have no idea how happy that makes me!

Until next time, Mayleen

Monday, October 6, 2014

September 30

Have you ever had a day that you're never going to forget? 
September 30th was that kind of day for me!

  Our third grandchild, Ethan, was born premature on September 30th but will soon be released from the hospital! We're looking forward to getting to know him better.

That evening was also my first board meeting as President of the Prairie Quilt Guild. I survived.

During the meeting, I received a phone call letting me know my quilt, "The Cotheals at Home" (Phebe) won 2nd place in the Bed Quilt - Machine Quilted category at the AQS Des Moines show!  Here I am standing next to it at the show just this past weekend.

My "Selvage Star of Bethlehem" quilt didn't win a ribbon but there may be some fun news about it in the future!

I'll share some of the other winners from the show in my next blog post.

Until next time, Mayleen

Monday, September 22, 2014

In Pieces

Life certainly can change quickly, can't it? Just when I thought my life was getting a little predictable and boring, wham! To try to catch up, here are a few pictures and short explanations. Believe me, the story behind the story is too long.

First of all, Mustard and Ketchup -
I think this is the last image you saw of it. Since then, I decided to take the borders off because the pieced diamonds were too wide by about 3/8 of an inch. I could have lived with it but the mistake would have just become worse with every subsequent border. 

So, off they came and I experimented with sewing the seams in a tiny amount.

Here's one of the borders I thought I'd fixed. Not sure how I could have made such a big blunder! Its way too short and if you look carefully, you'll notice that I've scorched the fabric. I was so disgusted with myself because it meant looking for new border fabric to match the red in the star.

Border on the left - too bright red
Border on the top - too dark red and I don't like the bright yellow flowers.
Border fabric on the right - maybe it will work. I haven't had time to try piecing it yet.

Would the maker of the original quilt struggled with this? Probably not. She would have just used what she had but not me. 

About this time, I was reminded that way back in early summer I signed up for an online nine patch swap Barb is hosting.  With only 6 weeks to go, I hadn't even begun stitching the 100 3-inch nine patches yet! So glad I was able to put them in the mail to her last week.  

However, my ultimate craziness happened when in a moment of weakness I agreed to be president of our quilt guild, Prairie Quilt Guild for the next fiscal year. Since then I've been immersed in details, meeting board members, appointing committee chairs and realizing how little I know! Traditionally the president makes name tags for her board and committee chairs and the picture is a sneak peek at all 40 of them.

OH yes, other big news. Two of my quilts were juried into the AQS Des Moines show coming up October 1-4!

"The Cotheals at Home" (Phebe) and the "Selvage Star of Bethlehem" will be there and so will I! Looking forward to it very much.

One last thing. Our son and his family are staying with us during his job search. Tell me this, where does a two year old get all his energy and can I get some!?!

Until next time, Mayleen

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mustard & Ketchup Border 1

Finally, the first border of Mustard and Ketchup, maybe. As soon as I was done pressing the back side, I flipped it over and realized I'd sewn the last border on upside down. Since the small pattern red fabric is directional, its noticeable. I'm trying to decide if I can live with it or not. I think there are a lot of things I'm going to have to learn to live with in this quilt!

I didn't start quilting until 2000 because I felt I couldn't be an accurate enough piecer. A good example are the above borders. Yes, I measure, measure and measure again before I stitch and trim. I've considered becoming an improvisational quilter but I can't be inaccurate enough! 

I was able to decrease the amount of border length discrepancy but there will still be issues when I add the next border. Looks like this will be another opportunity for a quilt judge to say, "Long lines must be straight." I'm assuming short lines should be straight too, lol.

Are you wondering which quilt I'm trying to reproduce?

Dawn at Collector With a Needle has written about the Denver Art Museum's exhibit,, of more than twenty quilts. If you follow Dawn's link, she's included several pictures of the Competition Quilt which is the inspiration for my Mustard & Ketchup quilt. The maker of the quilt is unknown but after making it through only the first border, I have a deep respect for her and what she was able to accomplish without modern quilting tools!

Until next time, Mayleen

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mustard and Ketchup

I didn't accomplish as much as I'd hoped for this past week. Would you believe that one border took me one whole day?!? Without a pattern there was a lot of trial and error, mostly error for a little while!

Originally, I wanted to paper foundation piece the border and cornerstone because I thought it would be more accurate. I soon gave up on piecing the diamonds that way, very fiddly.

Here's that first border which I strip pieced. I was so happy that I'd finished it and it looked fairly good until I measured it. It's 3/16 of an inch too long. I don't want to make it over so I'm going to try stitching a slightly deeper seam between the diamonds. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try to block it smaller.

I cut out the rest of the pieces for the three other borders from the red Jinny Beyer fabric. This is all of it that I have left but guess what, I still need it to make the star cornerstones.

How tiny are those pieces? Keep reading and please forgive my sadly lacking camera skills.

I'm pretty sure I need a new cutting mat. Because I don't have much of that red fabric, the star legs are going whatever way I could get fabric to fit.

That's how tiny those star cornerstones are - 2 inches, OK, due to my piecing approximately 2 inches square. I have never made a star that tiny and am glad I'll only be making a total of four.

Here it is, so far - the star medallion which I won't trim until I have all the diamond borders and star cornerstones ready to stitch to it. The fabric on the left is being auditioned for the next few borders.

Every time I look at my quilt colors, I think of mustard and ketchup. Come to think of it, a hot dog (I like them burnt) with mustard, ketchup and relish sounds pretty good right now!

Until next time, Mayleen

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Are you crazy? I'd never go on that ride!

In case you haven't heard, Kansas City's Schlitterbahn has a new water ride. Go here to experience it. I can't imagine what circumstances would get me to go on that ride.

However, my new quilting project could be described as verruckt (crazy).

This quilt doesn't look too difficult so far, right? The medallion measures 11 inches square and has numerous pieced borders which surround it. Lots of piecing coming. As far as I know, there isn't a pattern. Its just me, working from a photo of a late 1890's quilt, guessing on proportions and measurements. Fortunately, my husband can help me with the math involved.

I'm planning to use the red fabric on the left in the first border. I have only part of a fat quarter of it in my stash. Its at least two years old so may not be available anymore but does anyone know where I can buy more of it? Its Jinny Beyer Miniature Medleys line.

I'm also continuing to make double wedding ring blocks from made fabric using fabric scraps. I took some time out to sort through my scraps and threw the too small to realistically use scraps out. Then I gathered other scraps together to donate and now I'm finally back to making blocks again. 

My design wall looks like two quilters with completely different likes are using it - a modern, bright project and a reproduction project. That's me, I like both - old and new - but have trouble with anything in between!

Until next time, Mayleen

Friday, July 11, 2014

This, That and the Other Thing

Victoria Findlay-Wolfe was the speaker at our latest guild meeting and I took her 15 Minutes of Play workshop the following day. When I went to the workshop, I had no specific project in mind, just wanted to use up my scraps. I wouldn't have guessed I'd be starting a Double Wedding Ring! I'm just glad I didn't tell Victoria that there was no way I was making a Sunbonnet Sue quilt or that's probably what I would have come home with.

Looks like another long term project to me but this time I am definitely only making a wall hanging size. Somebody please remind me of that when I get carried away making blocks!!! I'm looking forward to embroidering and big stitch quilting this quilt. Definitely more modern so I've got to finish this one before fall when my Quilter's Color Disorder kicks in, ha. 

By the way, I didn't even make a dent in my scrap collection. How small of a fabric scrap do you save or do you save them? I know someone who has no stash, she throws away or donates all fabric left after her quilting project is finished. I save any piece of fabric that's one inch or larger and I now have too much.

Other people have pictures of me in my selvage skirt so I might as well post one too. Here I am in all my fluffiness between quilt guild meetings. I included the fabric that was with the selvage so that the skirt would have more body. It has a yoke, 8 gores and an invisible zipper. I made it to wear to my selvage projects demo at our guild's quilt show and at some point, I'll take it apart and remake it into a quilt. This was my secret project mentioned a few posts back. 

Remember my gadget disappointment? This Big Look Sewing Platform was the big seller at one of the vendors at our recent quilt guild's quilt show. After two days of trying to make it fit my sewing desk, I found a way to make it work but I'm not so sure I want it to work. Because of past experiences, I usually ignore gadgets but this one sounded like it would be very helpful to me.

Here's the Big Look Sewing Platform set up with my sewing machine on top of my sewing desk. 

Here it is with my sewing machine lowered to sit flush with the top of the sewing desk which is how I prefer to sew. It required a little moving around to make it fit. My machine doesn't have needle up or down so I need to reach around the upright bar to manually lower and raise the needle. Its awkward and if I bump it, the magnifying glass jiggles. Minor but annoying and causing a little eye strain for me, kind of like getting used to new eyeglasses.

It does help with seeing lines better, threading the needle and I can see it being very helpful if I were to work on a miniature. I'm going to continue trying to sew with it for a few days but I'm seriously considering selling it. I paid the equivalent of 8 yards of fabric for it and I don't know that it will be that useful to me. If you're local and would like to buy it, contact me. My e-mail address is in the "About Me" section to the right.

Until next time, Mayleen