Today’s Road Trip: The Quilt Show

2015-06-20 Quilt Show entranceToday I went to the 1st Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival ( about walked myself to death (next time I am buying a week-end pass and doing the expo in stages). I love quilts and have a great appreciation for the work that goes into these works of art.

I have made a quilt or two in my younger life but none as 2015-06-20 Quilt one block alovely as the ones I say today. I made each of my sons a simple nine patch. The material for these patches were old shirt samples my mother had saved from her days working in a retail men’s store; each sample was about 4inches by 5 inches so I just used them as 2015-06-20 Quilt one block bthey were to make the blocks. I used a flat twin sheet to join them together into a quilt top and then I backed with another twin sheet. I hand quilted one and after infecting a finger had the other two machine quilted.  Later I tried my hand at a quilt as you go log cabin pattern using the denim from my sons’ jeans. This was a better effort even if it took me forever to complete them; and not to mention that each quilt weighed a 2015-06-20 Quilt hankiehefty amount. I had a console sewing machine at the time and would have one of the boys sit under my machine and hold the table part up so the machine would not tip over while I was sewing the strips together. I think parts of these six quilts live still today…the shirt quilts surprise me but the jeans quilts were like iron.

2015-06-20 Quilt hankie blockBut the quilts I saw today were magnificent, works of art. You really wanted to have an artist statement with all of them. You know each of those quilts has a story to tell. All the quilts in the expo were either entered in the judging or were quilt guild displaying their members work. Then on the first floor of the 2015-06-20 Quilt hand quiltedexpo were the challenge pieces, the theme was the Beatles. These were small wall hanging quilts. And then the Texas quilters sent some of their quilts for a special exhibit…the face was really an eye catcher.

I wanted to see Janet Stones new alphabet quilts, both won a first prize ribbons. I wrote about Janet a few 2015-06-20 Quilt A Little Bit of Baltimoreyears ago when I went to another quilt show ( Her first quilt A Letter Bit of Baaltimore, yes with two “a”s… a tribute to her love of sheep. I had no trouble finding the first sheep but the second one took me a minute. Truthfully I was not looking for the obvious and first checked the letters S and  B (also took a picture of the D, well sd are my initials) thinking she hid the sheep here. I was so convinced Janet had hidden the second sheep I didn’t even think to look for the obvious…but obvious he was. This quilt also won a NQA Award of Merit ribbon ( I think it is the same as an ANG Judge’s Choice ribbon)

2015-06-20 Quilt No LHer second quilt is No L and this one I got right away. I liked the traditional blocks combined with the modern border…Janet’s quilts are stunning and all have the alphabet.

It is very tempting to get caught up in the moment and think about taking on a new endeavor…especially when you hear one lady telling another “Oh, I just decided to try something new last year…I made this quilt in a couple weeks.”  But I restrained myself, I remembered my crochet fiasco from a few posts back ( So no I did not succumb to the temptation to buy patterns, books and other quilting supplies…. I did take the two needlepoint pieces I am stitching to see if I could find material or embellishments I might want to use, but did by the time I got to the shopping part of the expo I was 2015-06-20 needlesgetting tired and so not a lot appealed to me. BUT, not to leave empty handed, I did find these needles from Japen. They are called Hiroshima needles and are made in Hiroshima Japan by Tulip. More about these later after I have time to read about them and try them out.

Here are more quilts…I took over 100 pictures but these are some of my favorites.

2015-06-20 Quilt God Calls Us to Peace 2015-06-20 Quilt hand quilted2015-06-20 quilt texas2015-06-20 quilt Beatles 2 2015-06-20 quilt Beatles







I am so tired I am going to my stitching nest and I hope that I get some stitching accomplished but if not the nap I take will be well deserved.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today!


January Wrap up

Hopefully this month is about over and the rest of the year will be smoother.

I went for another check-up on my eye and after a lengthy check-up was pronounced “Okay for another year, unless something unforeseen happens.” I had a strange thing happen last week; felt like my left eye re-set in the socket…is the best way to describe it. I think I was more aware of it because of recent eye concerns. Anyway yesterday the sight in my left eye had gone from 20/35 to 20/20 and after a lengthy (only 1 ½ hours this trip) was pronounced ready to go. Only thing doctor could tell me was the vitreous (clear gel-like fluid that fills the eye) had detached from the back wall of the eye and there was no damage. Also thought what I felt was maybe the detachment although she could neither prove nor disprove this theory and had neer had anyone else tell her of that sensation.  Glad this is behind me and my biggest problem was I couldn’t see and had a head ache most of the day and evening. Sigh!

Since thing seem to happen in threes…two other of my friends have had more serious health problems than I; Kidney stones and a broken femur (and no she didn’t slip on the ice…we’ve had no ice yet this year) and I wish them both speed recoveries. Hopefully this I all the bad news for a while and by spring we are all able to get out and play again.

Celtic Knot magnet

BUT there is good news this month too. I taught the last part of my couching class Monday and several people are coming right along with it. Virginia, one of our oldest members stitched this magnet for me, it is the center design. Love it. I have three or four very small pieces Virginia has stitched and given to me over the years, I treasure each one. One of my favorites is this Ann Speiss Mills Angel she stitched. It was to be a ribbon center for ANG National

ASMills Angel

convention but I don’t remember which category, but there was something wrong with this one and so she stitched a second and was going to throw this one away.  I cabbaged on to it, finished is on a large button form and it hangs in my angel room (aka: dining room) most of the time. Virginia is one of those exceptional stitchers…she has tried most every technique (some she likes better than others), she stitches on 40 count silk gauze like it were Congress cloth and stitches well into the night. I consider her an honored woman among stitchers…she has forgot more than some of us will ever learn. She knows the basics of stitching and executes them very well, but she can break the rules too. Than you Virginia you are a treasure.

And last night, even though I could not see well and had a head ache, my friend Patty B drove me to the EGA meeting…and I am so glad we went!  Remember me telling you about this fabulous quilter, Janet Stone… ( Last night at the local EGA meeting Janet was the program and she showed all 10 of her beautiful quilts. Her first quilt she stitched individual blocks and the joined them together by hand. The second quilt was inspired by the first…she decided to make a quilt with a block for each letter of the alphabet…and oh yes, then she machine quilted (free hand all the names of these quilts in the border. Each quilt had a story and a reason to make whether it was figuring out a new technique, using a new and different thread, or using embellishments she found and wanted to incorporate into a design.   She gets these ideas draws them out, makes her own patterns and just puts them together; she made it sound so simple. She has added touches to a quilt to make it large enough to enter in a category; removed borders from a quilt two and three times to get it just right, but her favorite thing is the embellishments she adds to her quilts. Each of these quilts had similarities but are also so very unique in their design. Her sense of color and design is incredible, her embellishments are part of the design and not just added do dads, and her quilting is so unique and yet precise. Janet talked about each of her quilts and you could hear the love of the art she creates in her voice. She was delightful and so unassuming about her talent. What a treat! She can create about two quilts a year…and wants to write a book someday about her 26 quilts (her goal)…where do I sign up?

Oh yes and this is my tempory desk set up while we are remolding a space for our computers to have a new home. My family thinks I have become too engrossed in my tablet, but I have found Netflicks and the PBS programs I can now watch hours of PBS and stitch too…oh life is good.

Hope everyone had a more eventful and productive month than I and am looking forward to February!     Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

The Art of Machine-quilted Quilts

Now, I must confess, I was a purist! I have always thought machine quilting was the easy way out and if you truly wanted to be a quilter, every stitch needed to be hand applied. Not anymore! Machine quilting is an art to its self! Last Saturday I went to the IMQA quilt show and expo (  ); there was not a quilt in this show that I would not gladly have called my own. I took lots of pictures, but I’m sorry that I did not take the time to note the names of the quilts of because I don’t feel I can share them without the quilter’s permission unless I find references online.

I went to this show with a purpose; I wanted to Janet Stone’s quilts. My friend Vicki had talked about these quilts and I knew I had seen another one once before (it was featured in a quilting magazine.) Vicki is Janet’s friend and has first hand knowledge about these quilts and so I was fun to have her tell me what she knew about them. The other people around us were happy to have Vicki there too; she was a one man insight into her friend’s quilts.

I probably would not have seen the alphabet in two of Janet’s quilts without Vicki. I would have seen the blocks in Red Letter Daze first probably missed the alphabet. This quilt was inspired by a cross stitch sampler which I thought was very interesting. See we can be inspiration to each other, no matter what our choice of media.

And “Nouveau Quattro Alfabetico” I might have recognized by the name but the first thing I saw were the design elements made by the letters before I saw the alphabet.

“Mutton But Letters” was just too cute for words. I could have stood and looked at this quilt forever and found something new every time.


You can read about Red Letter Daze and Janet here too:

I think I remember reading somewhere about quilts that a young girl was suppose to make 12 quilts (maybe it was just the tops)  and then when she got engaged the women of the community got together and helped her make a 13th wedding quilt. Well Janet has loftier ideals; she wants to complete 26 alphabet quilts. I think she should name one for each letter of the alphabet and produce a book…“A-Z of Quilts.”  I’ve seen 4 of the 8 she has completed and can hardly wait to see the rest.

Vicki and I walked every isle of the quilts displayed and they were all beautiful. I saw quilts that were traditional to modern, plain to embellished; everyone was lovely in its own right. I was amazed at the hand stitching used as embellishment on many of these quilts as well as the use of beads and other embellishments.

The special display of six hand painted pieces that were quilted to celebrate the 30th year anniversary of Domestic Abuse Intervention Program inDuluthMinnesota. These quilt piece were painted by Lee Zimmerman and quilted by Karen McTavish ( You really felt the impact of these pieces as you looked at them.   

Another display that I thought was interesting and I am mulling over in my mind how to adapt to needlework were the sunflowers. The Fabric Chicks fromDuluth,Minnesotadid a sunflower project that was “to think outside the box.” A group of four teamed up to make a quilt block of an appliquéd sunflower. The block was stitched, quilted and embellished but no binding. Then the block was cut into fourths and each member of the team stitched her four different blocks together and finished the piece into a wall hanging. There were three completed sets of four the four sunflowers, each different yet the common factors were the same. It reminded my of a friendship sampler…quilt style.

Visiting the quilt show was learning experience; I always thought machine quilting was done using one of those free arm or long-arm big quilting machines and to find out that some quilters use regular sewing machines (Janet included) about blew me away. I also thought machine quilting was pretty plain too, but were my eyes opened Saturday.  I remember a docent at the SpencerGalleryof Art at KU ( ) telling a tour one time that you should always look to the back of a quilt to see how well it is quilted. If from the back you can tell what the front subject looks like the quilter has done a good job. I found this true of many of these machine quilts. And the quilt that won best of show you could not only tell what the subject of the quilt was from the back but you could also tell the colors used on the front too. The back of the quilt was a study of color using thread and stitches. I found this reference online: The quilt that won Best of show: The magical Mermaid’s Castle ( ); Claudia Pfeil;KrefeldGermany. This quilt was an eye stopper! I could still be still standing there finding new things to look at.

I went to this quilt show to see Janet’s quilts but I came away with much more. It was truly a learning experience for me.  I no longer have pre-conceived ideas about machine quilting; it is truly an art form to itself. I walked up and down every isle of this show & expo and was completely blown away. Thank you Janet, Vicki and all the people at the IMQA quilt show and expo for teaching me a new appreciation of another form of needleart.

I hope everyone has time to stitch today no matter what media you choose! ttfn…sue