I threw my hat in

Meaning “Throw your Hat in the Ring”

To make or take up a challenge, or demonstrate one’s willingness to join an enterprise…. (The ring in question here is a boxing ring. These, of course used to be circular spaces in a crowd of onlookers, rather than the square, roped ‘rings’ of today.  Anyone who fancied his chances in a bout would throw in his hat – rather than try shouting over the noise of the crowd.  The expression dates from at least the early 19th century.)
Like many Modern Quilt Guild members, I threw my hat in for the Jay McCarroll Habitat Challenge, and tonight is the reveal at the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild of our completed challenge quilts/pillows, etc.   The parameters our guild set were a finished quilted item with a perimeter of at least 60 linear inches and no more than 120 linear inches.  Every fabric from our fat eighth bundle had to appear somewhere on the quilt top/front.  I had six of the fabrics in the photo above to work with, the peach polka dot in the background, and the five pieces at the center of the line-up.  I was particularly inspired by the fabric with the large, dark, polka dots against the soft floral background, the second from the left in the photo.  The soft floral aspects in a few pieces of this collection contrast greatly with the dark, bold, and in-your-face colors and graphics in the other prints.  I wanted to capture the softer side of the collection.
Here is what I came up with:

It measures 24″ x 24″, I used Kona Charcoal, Navy, Teal Blue and a Burgundy solid in the pieced ring, and Kona Aqua as the main background fabric.  The back of the quilt is a pink Kona cotton, scraps I had leftover from the edges of a large quilt back.

The flowers are made from long strips of three different pieces of the Habitat fabrics, and the petals are also three-dimensional, made from the peach polka dot.

I made the pieced color strips first, and envisioned this as a long narrow table runner, with flowers splashed across if diagonally.  But then at the last minute, I cut the strips in half lengthwise, to create the square ring, and used little scraps to free-piece log cabin “flowers” for the cornerstones. 

Colors and fabrics I wouldn’t normally pick out (other than the aqua blue!), which is what truly made this a CHALLENGE.  But in the end, I really like this little quilt…. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else created!  
Are you participating in this challenge?  What did you make?

Midwest Modernistas

Last night was the fourth meeting of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild.  It was a fun get together on a rainy and dreary evening.

Members Jill Guffy & Marny Buck, of Modern Quilt Relish, presented the program.  They were invited earlier this year to judge the Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Challenge: No Prints Allowed! for the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild.  They reviewed thirteen entries submitted for judging, and based on the elements of design, critiqued each quilt, giving every quilter very positive feedback on their entry.

Having been on “the other side of the judging fence” they have an interesting perspective on analyzing, critiquing and judging modern quilts.  We discussed each of the 13 entries, the final selection, and how they came to their final decision.  Thanks, ladies–it was very enlightening!  Here are a few posts from the Ann Arbor Guild, here, here and here.

Following the program, we did our potholder swap.  This is the potholder I made for the swap, inspired by a Hungry Caterpillar fabric scrap, I added scraps of food fabrics in a log cabin style….

and bound it in some leftover bias binding from some other project I can’t even remember any longer (this is why I keep all my leftover binding pieces!), btw, do you love that tea towel from Target with the produce names on it?:

and the back is a scrap of apple fabric…

This is the potholder I received (made by the very talented Jill!):

Made with Denyse Schmidt (and is that heather Ross?!?) fabrics…it’s just my style and I love it, Jill!

There were 10 potholders entered, each one quite unique.  Here’s a look at all 10, individual pics of all on our flickr page:

Next Meeting will be September 15, 6:30 p.m., and we will be revealing our Habitat Challenge Quilts!  I should probably start mine one of these days…

Modern Quilters, Unite!

Last week was the third meeting of the DSMMQG, and as the reluctant-yet-willing-to-give-it-try leader of the group, I issued them a challenge this month.

The challenge was to create (or at least wear) a handmade nametag to the meeting.  There would be two door prizes, donated by your truly, but in order to qualify for a doorpize, you had to be wearing a nametag.  Almost everyone complied… some (including myself) wore handmade nametags that someone had made for them as part of a past retreat, etc.  But, I had told the group that was allowed, if they didn’t have time to make a new nametag. 

I wish I had gotten pics of every single tag, I only snapped five at the very end of the evening:

Expectant Mom, Crystal, very cleverly included her little one as part of her “Little Folks” nametag.

Veronica (the same Veronica that created my Eleanor–up there in my blog header!) does some greatsmall scale work, and her hand embroidered nametag with appliqued hexies is a prime example!

Penny’s batik, fussy-cut, raw-edge applique creation is full of modern movement!

Eva Marie utilized the machine embroidery function of her machine to create her tag–I love the birdie’s on the wrought-iron fence!

And Linda, got fussy with tiny paper-piecing… she blogged her nametag here.

We had some fun Show & Tell pieces, too… Here are a few, but you can see the rest on our flickr site.

 

Next meeting of the DSMMQG is August 15, 6:30 pm.

The one that’s going to stretch your book budget

Last night was the second meeting of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild–we had a few less attendees, but the weather was awesome, so I suspect some were outside enjoying family time on a pleasant Summer evening!  We are still finding our groove… and have some ideas for pumping up the next meeting already!  The sixteen of us that came shared our favorite quilting books with the group, and let me tell you, my Amazon wishlist grew a bit last night!  WARNING:  Reading this post may do the same to you!

Tricia brought along a book about creating your perfect Quilting space, because let’s face it, which one of us doesn’t have that dream studio floating around inside our heads?  I’ve seen Tricia’s sewing space, it’s big, but it’s in an unfinished basement that serves as her boys’ playroom and her work-at-home-hubby’s office as well–dream big Tricia!  I have a copy of that one in my library, too–great resource even if you only have a small corner of a room to fix up into a proper sewing area.

Crystal and Jill M. both mentioned Malka’s book as one of their newest faves, but didn’t bring a copy to share…  I have a copy gifted to me for Christmas by my friend Toni, and I can assure you it is well worth the price!  It’s so full of fun, bright colors and fresh project ideas.

Kris shared Linda Otto Lipsett’s Remember Me, a book of quilt history talking about signature or friendship quilts, like the one Victoria is collecting blocks for.  There are no patterns, just diary entries and stories of groups of girlfriends from days gone by doing the same things we are doing today via flickr and the blogosphere…  Kris also shared that she’s enjoyed everything written by this author.

Karen is a relatively new quilter and she shared this book, The Ultimate Quilters Visual Guide, given to her by the person who first introduced her to quilting.  It’s her fave because of the personal connection, but it is also a valued go-to answer book when she comes across a term she doesn’t recognize, or a method that’s new to her.  BTW, Karen writes a fun blog, you should check it out!

Our resident linen and asian fabric devotee, Veronica, brought along FIVE faves, all by Japanese designers, and we all had fun gawking over those.  Many of the intructions are in Japanese, but the photos and illustrations are amazing, and one really doesn’t need to read the instrctions, anyway, right?!?  This one is so being added to my library next week!

A book I had not heard of before, but was shared by Maria, Stash Happy Patchwork is full of super cute small projects…yeah, I’m buying this one too!  I mean, look at that adorable cactus pincushion?!?

Penny and Lisa S. both shared Elizabeth Hartman’s book, which I’ve been told by more than one person is a great basic reference book…might have to add that one to my library as well.  (Hmmm, the book budget is going to get a workout this month.)

More than a few of us mentioned that we love the Material Obsession and Material Obsession Two books… I have MO-1 and used it to make this quilt, (which is at my quilter’s house right now).  Our Guild happens to meet at a local library and I know the library has them both in their stacks.  I’ve checked MO2 out from there before.  Both fabulous books for inspiration and unique patterns.

Until I saw this book in person last night, I thought, why would I need a book on log cabins, it’s a basic pattern and so easy to interpret yourself into a new design?  Well, let me tell you, this is a fabulous book!  Modern Log Cabin Quilting is full of unique project ideas, combinations of fabrics such as cordouroy and linen, small projects as well as full quilts–worth checking out quilters!  Penny, Jill Mc and Meghan all brought copies of this to share with the group and raved about it!

The book I shared was Applique Outside the Lines, by the Piece O’ Cake Designs ladies.  They were one of the first established pattern companies to recognize the modern quilting movement by joining in, this book is a great reference for developing modern/fresh/bold color combinations; raw edge applique; and asymmetrical organic designs that are influenced by traditional applique designs and methods.  It’s great eye candy and good information all in one…

Etta brought a block reference book (one of the biggies–as did Linda) and she also brought this book on fabric manipulation.  I have looked at this book online before from the standpoint of wanting to get better at my garment sewing, but I hadn’t looked at it from the perspective of quilting before…  Anyone with any interest in art quilts would find this book to be a great addition to your library.

One thing we all agreed on, while we may not actually read all of these books, we love to collect them and great photography (read: eye candy) is essential to draw us in and satisfy our hunger for them.  I wrote a post over two years ago, about utilizing quilting books from the library.  I still stand behind each of those books as great reference for any quilter! 

Do you have a favorite quilting book we didn’t mention at last night’s meeting?  Please comment, I’d love to hear about it!

Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild is off and running!

Last night was the inaugural meeting of the Des Moines chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild, Linda helped me organize and lead the meeting…we had about 25 gals show up, and we have at least 18 other members who could not make it.  

Some pics from our show-and-tell last night:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

More pics here.  Thanks to Eva Marie for offering to take pics with my camera…for all the ladies who came and brought their smiles and great projects and quilts to share!  Can’t wait for next month!!!