Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fresh Fabrics For Spring

After a post-Puyallup Expo lull, new fabrics are arriving nearly daily!

Who's hungry for sushi? This fresh combo would make fun kitchen accessories like the French Flea Market Apron (which includes a kid size as well as an adult one), accents on towels, or maybe even some fun Pea Pod or other zip bags.

Maker Maker's graphically simple cats and dogs, and a collection of nubby linens from Lecien have a quiet, minimalist color palette perfect for totes and table runners.

Another lovely neutral collection is Destination Paris from Windham Fabrics. Are you dreaming of a European vacation yet?

Check out this purple and orange and blue from Robert Kaufman, Anthology, M&S (Australian), and P&B -- who knew they'd all look so rich and delicious together? Well, we kind of did.

We've refreshed our beachy blues and corals.

We've got a super cute collection of juvenile fabrics from Makower UK, mixed with some of our favorite basics, ready to be made into baby quilts and more!

And, Carrie Bloomston's Dreamer collection is finally here. We're making kits for our Hip To Dream and Lucy's Garden sample quilts, as well as having yardage for you to choose your own adventure!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Westside Modern Quilt Club March 2017

 We had a fun night in March, starting with some very silly texting for seniors jokes from Geri. 

Catching up on news, the Clark County Quilt Show is this weekend! Go check it out at the fairgrounds in Ridgefield, WA April 6—8.

The Mid-Valley Quilt Guild is having their annual show April 20—22 at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall, OR.

Don't forget about our Aboriginality Challenge: bring in your quilt, garment, bag, etc, 40" wide or less, by April 15th. We'll display the works until June 15th. We'll have a viewer's choice winner too!

We're also thinking about our Transitions challenge for the Northwest Quilting Expo in September. Check previous blog posts for details, but basically, your modern quilt (any size) inspired by a family heirloom or otherwise inspirational older quilt is due by August 15th. We'll have our usual potluck and unveiling at Millennium Park. We'll pair the quilts with a poster of their inspiration. More details to come on the poster, but be thinking about having a photo that you can print out at COSTCO.

Lilly is coordinating an exhibit of our Tribal Winds challenge quilts at the Lake Oswego Library to celebrate their remodel. If you participated in tribal Winds and have not yet gotten your email info to Lilly, please call us at the shop to get connected.

For our main presentation, our own Kristin La Flamme led us through four steps to critiquing our quilts from an art point of view. Getting beyond "like" or "don't like" when we are analyzing our use of colors, scale, composition, or perhaps even intent, can help us grow as artists and makers. We learned to first Describe, then Analyze, then Interpret, and finally (if desired) Judge. Then we broke into four groups and practiced our investigative skills with a variety of Kristin's quilts. Moving around and discussing in small groups was a great change of pace.

Show and Tell was short but sweet, and our favorite part of the evening as always.

Cathy brought her flannel pinwheels which she had originally made as a class sample, and now it will be raffled at her church to support their Mission program.

Lorie and Lilly participated in our Quilt Till You Wilt pizza party. They used the "2 For One Best Friends" pattern which cleverly lets you cut once to make two quilts. These will be donated to the NW CARES program.

Mardi shared her Farmer's Wife quilt. The blocks all have meaning to her and many reflect specific likes such as fishing. Check out our Facebook page for another photo of this beauty!

Robin's Quilt As You Go "Family Album" is so fun and unique.

Theresa brought her pretty — and seasonally appropriate, "Road to Ireland." 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Westside Modern Quilt Club January 2017

Happy New Year! After too many snow days in December and early January, we enjoyed seeing so many smiling faces at our January meeting.

To start the new year off on a convivial note, Geri had everyone wear name tags and then she called on each person to introduce themselves and tell us a bit about their quilting story.

Geri brought us up to speed on our "Transitions" challenge to be exhibited at the Northwest Quilt Expo in the fall. The challenge is to take a traditional quilt or block that means something to you and create a modern interpretation of it. We want to have a poster sized image of your inspiration to hang next to your finished piece, so keep that in mind as you take photos or collect inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, our fabulous volunteers have organized a field trip to The Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook:
Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Time: 1:00 pm (in Tillamook)
Place: 2105 Wilson River Loop Road
Tillamook, Oregon 97141

Admission Fee: $4.00 (payable at door) 
We still have a few spots left in a carpooling van (fee is $15 which covers fuel and admission). Please call to see if there is room (503-635-1353). Those going in van will meet at The Pine Needle at 9:30 am - van leaves at 10:00 am!

Otherwise, bring a friend and meet us in Tillamook for this special tour! Leave early and grab lunch at Tillamook Cheese Factory! PLEASE RSVP by phone (503-635-1353) so that we can let Latimer know how many people to expect!

At the meeting, Geri also announced another challenge, Aboriginality! Our Pine Needle customers have been buying lots of the aboriginal design fabrics, and we want to see what you are making with it! Bring in your creations (anything made with 70% or more of the aboriginal fabrics, and up to 42" wide) by April 14th and we'll display them from April 15th until June 15th. We'll have prizes based on viewer's choice so bring in friends and family to vote on their favorite pieces.

After filling us in on the challenges, we were treated to round robin style demonstrations of several clever log cabin and curved rulers, plus some fun coloring products.

Of course, no Westside meeting would be complete without Show and Tell.

Linda R started us off with one of her quilts made using the curved ruler she demonstrated. Check out that pop of green too -- it's pretty close to Pantone's color of the year, Greenery, which Geri introduced us to earlier in the meeting.

Marlene brought the gorgeous quilt she made at last summer's retreat. 

Alicia shared her cheery black and pink creation.

Deslie designed this lap quilt herself which shows off the rich fall colors in her inspiration fabric. As always, she's incorporated her leftovers into a handsome tote bag!

Michelle found these low volume squares at a great price so she sewed them together into this sweet little quilt and excellent showcase for her machine quilting.

Marilyn showed off her Robert Burns inspired appliqué and embroidered Thistle quilt which she also designed herself. 

Susan B wowed us with this baby quilt she made for her niece. She liked it so much, she decided not to give it away (don't worry, she made another quilt for her niece).

Susan B also made this ebullient hexie medallion.

Sisters Carol and Barbara brought a family heirloom made by their great grandmother. This lovingly preserved crazy quilt has been in their family for generations.

Linda D brought a fun baby quilt too. Her's highlights colorful elephant artwork by her cousin.

More green and black and white! Linda D designed this bold quilt, and...

this one is the same design, just made up in completely different fabrics. It's amazing how much fabric choices change the look of a quilt and make each one unique to it's maker.

Kathy W shared her happy quilt, made using our Illumination pattern, which she'll donate to CARES. She pieced the backing using a formula she found in Bernina's downloadable newsletter, Through the Needle.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the meeting. We look forward to seeing you all on February 22nd, the last wednesday of the month, if we don't see you on the 11th for the Latimer field trip.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Westside Modern Quilt Club November 2016

We had a fascinating presentation at November's meeting. First though, our usual business. Our first "sew-in" for charity was extremely productive. a half dozen ladies met in the lounge for several hours before the meeting and sewed up nearly 20 market bags which we will fill with socks, underwear, and toiletries and donate to the homeless teens of Outside In. At our next sew in (in January) we'll make rucksacks for the same purpose.

Pinecone Kristin told us a little about what she saw at the Houston Quilt Festival (big winners here). The Special exhibits were particularly interesting, including La Passacaglia quilts like the one in progress our own Virginia shared a few months ago, amazing collage quilts by Susan Carlson, and a wonderful range from traditional to artistic. Trends were harder to spot. Nothing really stood out that we haven't already embraced at The Pine Needle. Intense color, soft color, Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest quilt, the Quick Curve ruler, we're doing a pretty good job of staying on top of what's popular.

Geri gave us some inspiration for our then and now challenge, entitled "Transitions." Looking for the emotional element in our work, one idea is for participants to create a modern quilt inspired by a family heirloom. Of course, not everyone has a vintage quilt at hand, so we encourage people to consider alternatives such as inspiration from a book, or by using vintage blocks themselves. Geri shared a book Kristin brought from the Houston special exhibit "Twisted" in which quilter Mary Kerr incorporated vintage blocks into modern settings and had them quilted by some of today's most accomplished long arm quilters. It was fascinating inspiration. We are also planning a "field trip" to the Latimer Quilt and Textile center in Tillamook, OR. Please call the shop if you'd like to sign up to receive more info. We'll have more info at our January meeting as well.

Our main presentation was a fascinating slide show by Nancy Betts of her and her husband's 2011 and 2014 trips to Mongolia. The first trip combined teaching quilting techniques to local women with adventuresome tourism. The second trip was similar, plus added putting on an international quilt show in the main city of Ulaanbaatar. They shared stories of sleeping in tents and gers (yurts), eating unusual foods, traveling many, many miles on unimproved roads in an old Russian van. We marveled at the stark scenery, great open spaces, and conditions completely different than most of us are used to. Thank you to Nancy and her husband for sharing their adventure with us.

Show and Tell was was short but sweet.

Virginia shared her "Admit One" quilt which recently won a prize at the Machine Quilting Unlimited show for Coleen's fantastic quilting. These two ladies make a great creative pair!

Marlene shared two vintage quilts she hopes to use as inspiration for our challenge. This well loved Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilt belonged to her husband when he was a baby.

Deslie shared  her reimagining of a pattern she found in a book. The original was much larger than she wanted, so Deslie adapted the pattern for a lap size.

Remember Susan B's Tribal Winds quilt with the silhouetted chief wrapped in a blanket? Check out what she made with her leftover blanket strips. We love the graphic punch of this!

Susan D shared a gorgeous purple quilt she recently finished.

Last but not least, Mardi shared a fantastic "fidget quilt" she made for a friend with dementia. She came up with all the fun, interactive blocks herself.

We won't be having a December meeting, so we wish everyone a happy, healthy, remainder of the holiday season and transition into the new year. We look forward to seeing everyone again in January.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 Quilt Festival Houston

Last week our Pinecone Kristin went to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX. This annual show is the largest quilt show in the world and a pilgrimage for many a quilt maker and enthusiast. Here's a few things that caught Kristin's eye:

The venue: the George R Brown Convention Center. With it's exhibits, vendors, dining area, classrooms and lecture halls, IQF actually fills this entire, enormous, building.

Looking down onto the vendor side of the floor. This is maybe a quarter of the booths!

A typical vendor booth. This one is Modern Quilter.

And here's the Sew Kind of Wonderful/Quick Curve Ruler booth. 

The vendor booths are a great place to find inspiration, and to shop hundreds of different quilt shops in the same place.

In addition to the vendors, a huge part of the festival is the World of Beauty judged show and about a dozen additional special exhibits. Here, a visitor takes a closer look at the Millefiori Quilt special exhibit.

The Millefiori exhibit was built around this quilt, La Passacaglia, by Tula Pink, which inspired a renewed interest in English Paper Piecing and the original book by Willyene Hammerstein.

Another special exhibit was the collage quilts by Susan Carlson. Above is a detail of Dixie Dingo Dreaming, one of Kristin's favorites because of the Australian fabric used in it.

Susan's life sized alligator, Stevie, is impressive on so many levels. Note the people for scale.

Kristin's flag quilt, 'Murica was part of the Quilt National 15 special exhibit.

Another friend of The Pine Needle, Coleen Barnhardt's Color Me Quilted, was accepted into the World of Beauty Show.

Speaking of the World of Beauty show, that's the main draw of the show. It's the largest, most varied exhibit and is where the big prize winners are.

Kristin's favorite winner was this silk stunner, October Sky, by Bethanne Nemesh. You can see all the winning quilts here on IQA's website.

In the Traditional Pieced category, this grouping was dynamic and fresh. From left to right, Flight Path by Mary Menzer, Amsterdam View by Carolina Asmussen, and Wall of Sound by Maria Shell (also below).

The quilt show is a great place to look for trends, patterns, and inspiration.
How about super skinny lines:

Fire in the Stone by Kimberly Lacy.

Summer Solstice by Leah Gravells.

String Theory by Heather Pregger.

Kristin's friend Deborah, suspects that custom digitized embroidery will be the next big thing. We'll be seeing more and more of it incorporated into quilts in sophisticated ways.

This prize winner, Old Denim Square by Noriko Nozawa, cleverly pairs piecing, custom embroidery, and unconventional materials.

Old Denim Square, detail.

It was unclear if the quilting on this "whole cloth quilt" was digitized or not, but regardless, it's a beautiful modernization of a classic idea.

Detail of You've Got To Start Somewhere by Karl Burkett.

Our Westside Modern Quilt Club's challenge theme is Then and Now, and the above quilt is an interesting take. There was also a special exhibit titled "Twisted," which was also inspirational in it's use of vintage blocks in modern settings.

Stirring the Coffee from the Twisted exhibit.

Homespun from the Twisted exhibit.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe is a master of removing sections of traditional blocks (by making the same as adjacent blocks or background) and thus transforming the look. Can you find the basic block in this quilt? It's a variation on Arabic Lattice.

More inspiration found in the exhibit of quilts by Laverne Matthews. The Lincoln Quilt uses postage stamp blocks in an effective way.

Other inspirations seen:
How about the colors in Autumn Wedding by Rita Schormann.

Bargello made easy with ombre fabrics, as seen in the Joy's Quilts booth.

Subtle but beautiful use of shirt and suit style prints in Winter Garden by Jennifer Emry.