Off the Bookshelf: Puzzle Quilts by Paula Nadelstern

Puzzle Quilts

Puzzle Quilts,
by Paula Nadelstern

Actually, this book hasn’t even been on the bookshelf yet, since I just got it! I finished devouring it yesterday while I waited for my daughter at her flute lesson. I love it! It’s just so yummy that devouring is the perfect word!

This new book by Paula Nadelstern is the first new quilt book I’ve purchased in a long while, and I’m happy to report that it was a completely satisfying purchase. I have her other two books, Kaleidoscopes & Quilts and Snowflakes & Quilts, and to be honest, while the books are stunning visually, and her methods and techniques are interesting and produce exciting quilts, I’m just not sure I’d ever really make a quilt like that. I’ve looked at those two books a lot, but I’ve never been inspired enough to go there (yet).

Puzzle Quilts, however, may just be a different story altogether. I know I read the other two books (I mean really read them, not just perused them), and they just didn’t strike the same chord of inspiration, the “I want to make something with this method NOW” burn. Continue reading Off the Bookshelf: Puzzle Quilts by Paula Nadelstern


A new quilt!!

Aspens on my Mind

And it’s even mostly finished! This is the new project that I started so that I would have a quilt to use for the Swarovski crystals demo at the guild in March, and I do love the way it turned out. I think if I had to do it again, I would use a different batting, probably a very low loft cotton or something like that. I used a chunk of polyester that I had around, and it’s kinda over-puffy, which I usually like, but for an artsy quilt like this it’s not quite right. I think I discovered this once before, maybe, but as I usually don’t do these types of quilts, it didn’t stick in my head. Live and learn, again. That’s what I love about quilting: there’s always more to learn, and sometimes you even get more than one opportunity to learn something!!

My mom liked it so much, she said “Oooooo – I LOVE that one!” and “As a matter of fact, it would be perfect on a wall in the new house…” Since I had thought that I would eventually ask if my Mom and Dad liked it enough to have it, I took the “hitting you over the head with a brickbat” hint (as she put it!) and told her it was hers!

It really needed to be their quilt anyway, since it made me think of the aspen trees in Pine Valley, Utah, where my parents and I used to camp and hike when I was a kid. I do have some fond memories of those camping trips when I was little, even though camping wasn’t (and isn’t) my thing, and I’m positive that I was a complete pain about it all back then (and oh, am I getting paid back in spades by my own daughter now!).

I could hear the breeze in the aspen trees in my head when I looked at this piece, so I quilted tree trunks in the left border area, waving lines in the middle for wind, and aspen leaves in the right border. I will add a few Swarovski crystals to it before it becomes part of Mom and Dad’s collection. I named the quilt Aspens on my Mind. See bigger pics in the Gallery and let me know what you think!

We interrupt this UFO for a new project!

I spent part of the morning yesterday trying to figure out what to do with the sashing on the UFO Dresden Plate quilt, with no success. I finally started thinking about other projects that I need to do shortly here, and reluctantly put the big quilt aside for a bit. This is why UFO’s are what they are, obviously. I don’t think the UFO will be finished in time for its 11th birthday. 😦 No guilt, though, that’s just the way it goes.

Convergence Quilts

Convergence Quilts,
by Ricky Tims

I needed to pitch something together (or decide to finish some other UFO) for a demo that I’m supposed to give at the Black Forest Quilt Guild meeting in February. I’m supposed to show everyone how to embellish with the Swarovski crystals, but at the moment I don’t have anything around that needs crystalizing! I spent some time thinking and digging through other projects in progress, and didn’t really see any that I thought needed crystals in the end (or that I could finish quickly enough to matter), so I grabbed Convergence Quilts by Ricky Tims, and decided to see how quick and easy that process is. I’ve had the book for at least a year, and haven’t gotten around to doing anything with it. Continue reading We interrupt this UFO for a new project!

Eye on the Machine: A UFO Birthday Party

This is the view from my sewing chair today (or it will be as soon as I can get my computer work done!):

Dresden Plate Drama

I’ve decided to try to just keep quilting on this quilt until it’s finally done, and maybe have it done in time for it’s 11th birthday, sometime in January! Yes, it’s a UFO that really is THAT old. I started this quilt in January, 1996, which I think (hope??) makes it the oldest UFO in my collection. It’s a queen size quilt from a pattern in McCalls Quilting magazine called Dresden Plate Drama and it is quite dramatic! I used my favorite fabric ever, a wonderful holiday print with roses in burgundies and pinks, green leaves, tiny purple-ish pine cones and metallic gold highlights. I bought a whopping 18 yards of that print, and used 13 yards for this quilt! I also bought 5 yards of the same print on a black background which is stunning as well.

So, why has this quilt been a UFO for so long? Well, it was a labor of love from the start, because every petal on each Dresden Plate had to be cut by hand with the same motif as all the rest of the petals for that plate to get the kaleidoscopic effect. Think Stack’n’Whack the old-fashioned way. Then of course, the Plates had to be hand appliquéd to the background. Even after I got the whole thing put together some years ago (not sure how many, but most likely pre-millennium) I thought I would hand quilt it, since it is such a fabulous quilt, and I really thought hand quilting was the only way to do it justice. I think I got one block quilted, and then it languished in my studio for another few years because hand quilting isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do.

At some point in the last couple of years, I decided that my machine quilting skills were certainly good enough to quilt this quilt the way it should be quilted, so I ripped out the little bit of hand quilting, and started to machine quilt. Other quilts got in the way of course, so it’s still here. I’ve no idea what I’ll do with it when I get it done, but I really need to get it done! And when it gets done, I’ll need to break out the champagne, and firmly restrain myself from putting crystals on it (though it would be pretty cool)!

A day of quilting for a change!

I found this Blogthing that looked like fun, so I took the little quiz, and here’s how it came out:

You Belong in Winter

Quiet, calm, and totally at peace…
You’re happy to be at home, wrapped in a blanket, completely snowed in
Whether you’re lighting a fire or having a snowball fight, you always feel best in the winter.

Those of you who know me are probably snickering right now, since it’s soooo true (except the part about snowball fights!). I’m such an indoor girl, and I can’t wait for it to start being winter-ish! I love sweaters, fires, snow (if it’s outside and I’m in!) and winter cooking, if I really must cook at all! And quilts are a cozy warm thing too, so it all fits together nicely.

I’m having a quilt day today: I put more crystals on the Grasping Reality quilt, choose fabrics for my next project and worked on the design a bit (more on that later!). Coincidentially, the fabrics I’m planning to use do look slightly winter-ish, except for a splash of purple I threw in with the dark to light grey-blues. I’ll be spending the evening on some math, working out fabric requirements for this new quilt. It’s been a while since I spent a whole day just doing quilting things, and it’s been really nice! What did you do this fine autumn weekend?

More on the Grasping Reality: Fifteen quilt

Grasping Reality: Fifteen

I’ve added a bit more about the Grasping Reality: Fifteen quilt to the Gallery. Detail shots are coming, as soon as I get a chance to do some website programming on my own site! Read about the design of the quilt, where it originated, and see the original artwork that inspired it. See if you can guess where the quilt is destined to go! Enjoy!