Quilt Photography

I hope your holidays were the best they could be. My husband and I haven't yet celebrated Christmas with our daughters and their spouses. We are waiting for the Seattle couple to come in early January. Today, after his cousin and his wife left (they had a funeral to attend in town), I told him we had to open the presents we got for each other. (We knew what they were.) I wanted to open my photography stand!

After reading the blog post of OPQuilt.com HERE, I knew I had to get this as my Christmas present. I must thank Elizabeth for all the legwork to find a great stand for photographing quilts! I don't really have a place or a set-up to get a good straight-on photo of my quilts. I am super excited to start using this. 

I set this up very easily today. It is light-weight and easy to carry in its case which holds all the pieces in their place. 

I did purchase 6 more clips, so I have 8 (for those large bed quilt photos that have always been so hard to get). 

The rods are aluminum, so my idea of using my small magnetic level didn't work out; but I decided to put it in the case anyway.

I found some references to taking good quilt photographs that I will read in the next few days. One thing I have heard for a few years is that taking photos straight-on is the best way to show our quilts, especially for competition photos. 
From Angela Huffman via APQS: HERE and Simple Simon and Co. HERE.

Have a great start to your New Year sewing!


Craftsy Patterns: Will They Be There For You?

Have you purchased patterns from Craftsy? Or maybe you got free patterns through Craftsy from a blog hop, email sign up, or other such manner. 

Well the other day was a shock for some Craftsy designers. I have received emails, from designers I follow, that Craftsy is changing the structure of the shops before the end of 2018. Craftsy sent emails to the designers telling them if they were some of the fortunate ones who will keep their Craftsy shops, or if their shop would be discontinued. Those who will keep their Craftsy shops will have limits on the number of patterns they can list. 

One Craftsy designer, who I have obtained patterns from, sent an email to those of us who have her Craftsy patterns telling us to download all our patterns and save them on our computers. The reason for this cautionary download is that no one really knows what is going to happen. Craftsy says customers with a Craftsy account and a Pattern Library will still have access to patterns in their libraries; but will that include patterns from designers who will no longer be able to have a Craftsy shop? One concern from designers who no longer have shops, is that updates to their patterns cannot be uploaded. And customers will not have access to those updates.

There is an article from Craft Industry Alliance HERE, and presently open to the public to read.

I have yet to see an email to the Craftsy customers, telling us of what is happening. That means some of us will be surprised if we can't find our favorite designers' Crafty shops the next time we look. As a precaution, I connected my external hard drive to my laptop and am downloading my Pattern Library, one pattern at a time (since there is not an easier way). While I have downloaded most of my patterns, I am not sure which ones since I have them in different folders.  I created a folder called Craftsy Patterns just for this. I have over 500 patterns in my Library. It will take some time, but I don't want to lose anything I have. 

We can only wait and see what happens from all of this. It sounds like the designers are scrambling to find another method of pattern sales and distribution within a short period of time. 


Quilting and Sewing Update

Quilting and sewing has been hit and miss for me. We are getting ready to remodel our master bathroom. This includes taking everything out of the bathroom and the closets that run between the bedroom and the bathroom. One closet area will become the new, larger sink and a larger linen closet. The small shower will be enlarged into the other closet. The plumbing will be moved.

To make up the lost space of one closet, I ordered an armoire online. It had to be assembled and since my husband was busy, I assembled it. I called him only to rotate and raise it so I could add screws on the back of the shelves. It was so large, I had to assemble it in the living room!

Here it is completed. I wanted a wooden piece that came close to matching the color of our oak dresser.

Consignment Shop Items

In between all the "hard work" I was able to sew five Pillow Book Totes for the consigment shop, The Yellow Window. I think these would make wonderful Christmas presents for youngsters. 

And Christmas treats are always a good choice, so I made some embroidered candy cane reindeer and Christmas tree pencil toppers.

Christmas Items

Daughter #2 said she didn't have a Christmas tree skirt for their tree. I sent her a photo of some fabrics I had in my stash. Texting between us, she chose 2 fabrics for a reversible tree skirt. All of them have some metallic paint in the prints. I found 1/3 yard of gold metallic fabric that would work for the binding (which I cut on the bias and sewed many pieces together!). 

It was dark in the house and I don't have a Christmas tree this year, so I took the photos outside around the deck umbrella pole.

I machine stitched the binding to the edges from one side, but hand stitched it to the other side so no stitches would show.


I got a small present from one of the originators of the Gridsters (an online quilting bee I belong to). It was a very fun, early Christmas present. Thank you, Elizabeth.

I am working on the blocks for the December Gridster Queen Bee. I want to finish them before the weekend. These are the colors she is using:

and includes some of Aneela Hoey's Little Apples fabric line from Moda.
I am working on some apples from The Quilter Community and the (center) leaf pattern from The Inquiring Quilter's Fall into a QAL. I will post them when I finish them. 

QuiltCon Entry Update

I also got an email telling my that my Quilt Con entry, Millie Restyled Again, for the Michael Miller 2019 Challenge did not make it into the show. The quilt is now posted on Instagram with the hashtag of #quiltconreject (with no sadness). If I hadn't entered, I would never have had a chance at being accepted. I will continue to make quilts for entry. And perhaps one day I will get a congratulations email!

Season's Greetings
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and hope you have some time to sew or quilt during a quiet moment. 


Challenge Entry Finished - Millie Restyled Again

I finished my entry for Quilt Con Michael Miller Challenge in the nick of time. I submitted my entry on November 30, the final day to enter. I didn't procrastinate; I had a hard time coming up with a design.

That is until I checked out, Ultimate Quilt Block Collection by Lynne Goldsworthy, from the local library! Lynne is a British quilter who quilts and works under the name Lily's QuiltsI paged through her book and came upon her block called "Millie Restyled." 

Right away I pictured how I could use Lynne's pattern and restyle it again for my entry. This, of course, depended on getting her permission. I emailed her on Friday night telling about the Challenge-that I wanted to use her pattern as inspiration in my modern quilt entry. She emailed permission on Monday. I am so very grateful for Lynne's permission because I am very pleased with my quilt.

I fittingly call my quilt MILLIE RESTYLED AGAIN.

"Millie Restyled" is a paper piecing pattern that I copied from the book and used as my center medallion. I chose where to place the Michael Miller Challenge fabrics. I added my own components as a wide 4 inch border incorporating peach and teal triangles moving out from the center in a slight twist for a little movement. The lighter olive green Hash Dash fabric triangles point toward the center, bringing the eye back to the medallion.

I quilted this 20" x 20" quilt on my domestic sewing machine using my own design. I buried all the threads within the two layers of batting. The background, binding, and backing are white Cotton Coture by Michael Miller.

And now, I wait.


November Quilting Summary

A blogger who I follow blogs an end-of-the-month summary which works well for her. Sometimes I don't have the time or fortitude to blog on a regular timeline and I can get lost in what I have done each month. I thought I would post (if only for my own record) the projects I have worked on this last month.

The trip to Houston--I still want to post about what I saw and who I met.

Before I left on the 9-day trip, I had to sew a few items that had deadlines.

I made the scrapy star blocks for the Gridsters' Queen Bee. They were fun and I like using my scraps. I always feel I bought the fabric and should use all of it that I can! You can find the pattern HERE.

I embroidered some Christmas items for the consignment shop.
Pencil Toppers
Candy Cane Reindeer
Dish Towels

My daughter and I made a quilt for her new nephew one weekend.

I attended a free watercolor class at the library on Saturday, November 17. A local artist, Lori McElrath Eslick, taught the class. I hadn't done any watercolor painting since high school and it was fun. We traced her illustrations and worked through techniques she explained for these two pictures.

And I finished my entry for The Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Challenge. Here's a close up.


Houston Quilt Festival

On my bucket list for many years was a trip to the
This year I fulfilled that when I went on a bus trip with 50+ other quilters.
(We spent 2 days at the show.) And I wasn't disappointed. 
They say Texas does things BIG - I had no idea how BIG "big" was! 
The George R. Brown Convention Center is the largest venue I have been in for a quilt show.
This is a photo I took from one of the round windows in the hallway above the 2nd floor, and shows only about a fourth of the vendor booths. 

I met Suzy Webster, who blogs at "Adventurous Applique and Quilting."
She is an ambassador for Island Batik fabrics and I am an alumni ambassador from a few years ago. She came to the show with her mother.
We went to see the quilts she had in the show. 
 This was digital art that her dad designed and she quilted it. 
She tells about quilting it HERE.
She has a series of whimsical houses she is working on. You can see some of them HERE. 
This is "Dotville Jr."
She made it for the quilt auction.

On our way to see her quilts, Suzy stopped to talk to Karlee Porter, who was standing by her beautiful, award winning quilt shown below called,
This is a wholecloth quilt made using a custom-printed quilt top that Karlee designed. 
My photos didn't catch the true beauty of this quilt. Karlee had another fabric print of this design as it looked before she quilted it. It is the quilting, the threads and beads, and Karlee's talent that make this an award winning quilt.

I studied graphics and printing as an undergraduate in college. 
I am amazed as to the means and methods of printing and graphics some 40 years later. If only I had more time in a day! 

The bus trip included other stops along the route from Michigan to Texas and back. 
I will post more about those events in the days to come. 

Thank you for visiting my blog.


The Endeavourers Challenge Reveal

Happy November 1!
The Endeavourers Challenge projects for this quarter 
are being revealed today.
You can see and read about each member's post HERE

Our theme for this quarter was IMPROV.
I usually work with some type of structured pattern 
that I have designed when making my art quilts. 
"Improv" to me means a free experience, no rules, no boundaries. So in executing this quilt I did come up with a means of direction (because I am left-brained in that respect). 
I wrote the names of five of my favorite quilt blocks on small pieces of paper. I looked at my 10 scraps drawers which are arranged by color. I wrote names of the 6 that were stuffed with the most fabric. I drew one block name and 2 color papers. This would give me some boundaries (sorry, Improv!). 
I would not use any rulers to cut pieces. I would allow myself to trim with scissors or a rotary cutter (eyeballing it). I'd use the 2 colors to make the log cabin blocks. I started with wonky, white 4-sided shapes for the centers. I probably should have sewn whatever color I picked out of my color bags to the next side of the block - for a truly improv piece, but "lefty" was a bit controlling. 
I put a border of orange pieces, which I think now should have been a mixture of both colors. BUT! I did do some improv quilting of the layers. 
I used my free motion foot, starting in the middle. I began with straight lines like triangles that began to wobble and finally I just wiggled around as I moved toward the outer edges. 
My wallhanging (or table topper) measures 18.5" x 17.5". That's somewhat wonky. 
I found a batik for the bakcing. I haven't used in 10 years and it worked well to hide the orange-ish stitches from the thread. 
I made an improv label by writing on the backing.

Visit the other Endeavourers' blogs to view their Improv pieces. 

Nancy (me)


My Peek A Whoo Blog Post Projects

I really like participating in the yearly Halloween blog hop that Marian of Seams To Be Sew hosts.
She arranges giveaways, too (see the Rafflecopter entries below). 
We bloggers are free to post about anything we have made for the Halloween season. 

I used fabric scraps again this year to make a wall hanging and decorate a pumpkin. 
I had so many orange Halloween fabric scraps 
that I thought a wall hanging using strips would be a nice decoration.
I sewed the strips to illustrate Halloween Town on 
October 31 with trick-or-treaters having fun 
going house to house for candy. 
I liked the witch flying high in the sky over the town. 
I added tabs for hanging. 
 The idea for the patchwork pumpkin came from the tutorial on Alisa Burke's blog HERE.
I had a carvable pumpkin that I bought from a craft store last year.
I gathered the supplies
Modge Podge
a brush
parchment paper to protect my mat
a fine tip paint marker for drawing the stitching threads on the patchwork.
and some leaves to add around the stem

This was fun to make.

Visit the other bloggers who are participating.
And, Marian has a free block each day of the blog hop!
The giveaway entries are found below the list of participants. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018
Patchwork Breeze (you are here)

Friday, October 26, 2018

One of the giveaways is a 50% off coupon
I own 3 of these mats and they are the best!
(I am not an affiliate.)
First of all, my fabric cuts like it is butter when I use the Calibre mats. 
The mat arrives (it is only shipped in the U.S.A.) packaged well. 
It does not have that "skunky" smell like some of the other cutting mats have. 
If the mat has a bit of a bend or bow in it (one of mine got one), you just lay it flat on the floor or a table in the sun and in a few minutes it flattens out. 
I have a 14" x 14" rotating mat and it turns so smoothly (comparing it to my "other" rotating mat from a big box store). 
So, if you are in the U.S.A., you should enter the Rafflecopter for the Calibre mat. 

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