Thursday, May 5, 2016

Last Light project and Paducah Quilt Show I

Last Light
 Last week I was able to travel to Kentucky to see the big quilt show and sign books at the National Quilt Museum. It was the first time hubby didn't come along so I had time to poke around looking at quilts and being 'wowed' by all the beauty and variety of techniques. I met some of my cyber quilty friends for the first time and basically had a blast. I have photographs, lots of them and I'll be posting them here and there for the next few blogs.

In the meantime, I'm teaching my strip applique class a lot over the next 2 years and thought I'd made another project. 

I love a blank slate! This technique is found in my book and I'm going to post some of my in-progress photos to help all you visual learners.

First - my blank slate.

Pellon EK 130 Easy Knit White and assorted fabrics
 I wanted to make a dramatic sunset so I pulled out fabrics I thought I'd use. The Pellon has a rough side and that goes up. The rough side has a heat activated fusible glue. (Do NOT buy the kind of fusible interfacing with little white dots of and no.)

I use an old messed up card table under my foundation because it can withstand a little heat and it provides a firm surface. 
Building the landscape in strips 
 At this point I'm just laying out strips to see how all the colors flow together. They do. I messy cut along the top of the last black batik strip and used a glue stick to glue it over a yellow strip. By the way, I really prefer to use batiks as much as possible for this technique because their edges don't get as thready as regular cotton prints.

As I finished my design I carefully measure from the bottom of the foundation to the top of each strip and make sure the left, right and middle are the same. This keeps rows relatively straight and keeps your landscape from tilting.

Strips arranged
At this point I fuse everything down using steam. Then it is time to stitch.
Use a zig zag stitch and stitch down the raw edges using monofilament thread.
 When you arrange and layer your strips you lay the top strip slightly over the top of the one underneath. This way, you only have one raw edge per strip. 
Cutting off the loose threads
 Once the zig zag is done, it is time to cut off the loose threads. The zig zag keeps the remaining edge nice and clean.

Now the fun part - adding the pine trees and arranging the whole thing.
First Arrangement... with moon 
 Not bad? Well... my moon is definately glow in the dark white. That has to change. 
No moon at all?
 Or perhaps I shouldn't have a moon? The other problem I see is that my middle trees are all lined up from tallest to shortest. No, that won't work, lol. 
Better arrangement of trees
 And this is better. I don't know about adding the moon though.  This time I got out some blue watercolor paint and just painted my moon a bit bluer. It fits in the landscape better now doesn't it?
Finished design with moon
 Soooo, I need advice. To keep the moon or not to keep the moon, that is the question. If you have an opinion, feel free to comment. Otherwise I'll do what I always so; ask hubby.
(I love my hubby, he has such a good eye for stuff like this.)

In the meantime - the quilt show!! You will love some of these quilts; they are amazing!!! I'll start off with some landscapes and flowers and then add a few traditional quilts that won ribbons and some that didn't but that I really liked.

Autumn Night Fantasy by Makiko Aoki
 Isn't this just gorgeous! I love love love it.

Poinsetta by Laura Ruiz
 Her poinsettas are more orange than ours are I guess, but aren't they pretty? And I like her background quilting a lot. 

Aspens High by Nancy Baldwin Woods
 Nancy was inspired by the landscape near Durango, Colorado. (Where coincidentally I'll be teaching in October.)

Iris Fantasy by Kathleen Wright
 Irises are one of my favorite flowers, these were so pretty! I took a closeup photo for you to enjoy.
Detail, Iris Fantasy by Kathleen Wright

Yellow Sky by Shirley Gisi.
 WOW WOW WOW!! This is such a cool quilt!  Shirley was inspired by the shapes and colors of the desert Southwest. What a great abstract landscape this is! 

Sunkissed by Theresa Olson
 Summer is coming and with it our monarch butterflies. There is a lot to like about her quilt; her colors, her background quilting, the cool way she made the middle of the flower just to name a few.

Avenue of the Giants by the incomparable Pat Durbin
 Her landscapes and redwood trees are the best. There is so much texture and she must have the largest collection of green foliage and bark prints in the the world. 

 Garden of the Orange Fairies by Linda Fleschner
 Once again, I love her colors and her exquisite quilting. 

Kaleidoscope Galaxy by Karon Huggler
 I think this is just fabulous, I love all her swirls of movement and her kaleidoscopes are just great. Here is a closeup for you. 
Detail, Kaleidoscope Galaxy by Karon Huggler

Quahadi by Marla Yeager
 I've become rather partial to New York Beauty quilt blocks! 

Karen Eckmeier's Sunshine and Shade Garden

Ben's Midnight Garden by Barbara Korengold

Blowin' in the Wind of May by Toyoko Nakajima

Kalocsa by Chieko Shiraishi

My Brunette Whig by Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchison

My Sweet House with Kirara by Ayako Kawakami

Why Not? by Angela Petrocelli

This was the talk of the show if you ask me. It is Angela's first quilt and it took her 3 years. She won the Viewer's Choice ribbon, too! Her mom stood by her side and they were the nicest people. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Well, that is it for me this week. I hope you all have a good week ahead and please let me know about my moon, lol.  Next week I'm off to Nebraska to teach. In the meantime Happy Quilting Adventures!


  1. Hi Cathy, I usually just quietly admire your work, but now I decided to say a word on the moon issue)) I think it's too cartoonish for this quilt, and it also grabs too much attention (if I close my eyes and then open them, the first thing i notice is the moon, not all the subtle color changes of the sunset).

    Personally, I would try to make it smaller, slimmer and bluer (can you say that? more blue, maybe?) and maybe move it a bit higher up in the sky, to the periphery of vision, so it only gets noticed after people admire the sky, and then "look, there's also a moon there!". And if that doesn't work, remove it altogether. That's my view.

    And thanks for sharing all the beautiful show quilts. I just long to visit a show like that!

    1. Hi and thanks. So you think the moon is too much - you may be right. I'll give it a try - darkening it more and maybe moving it. Thanks for the compliments and encouragement. I've been quilting for nearly 3 decades and it is only in the last 5 or so years that I can travel to see great quilt shows like this. I'm glad you enjoyed the 'online' version of the show and I'll be posting more quilts as I get time. Thanks again for your opinion!

  2. I would bin the moon.....yup..... definitely bin the moon. Great without it.

    1. Bin the moon, lol. You mean trash it. I think it is gone, solid gone!

    2. I have a picture of Angela's quilt too. I am so glad that I got a chance to meet her and talk about her quilt. Hope you enjoyed yourself while in Paducah.

  3. Thanks for the quilt showing. Just got your book Lovely Landscape Quilts and am waiting for the first one to come also. I am at an age where I need to get my large stash way down. Saw one of your quilts on Facebook so ordered your books. For 9 years I taught Art Quilts to gals in my quilt guild. When my son became too ill I had to give it up. He passed from cancer this January so I am now wanting to get back to playing with landscapes and art quilts. My youngest brother lives in Metropolis, IL, across from Paducah. We used to go visit each year when the show came. I have not been for 6 years since my son was diagnosed.

    1. Hi Maureen, You have picked a good way to use up stash fabrics! At times I'll use just one strip of a piece of fabric and others I'll use up a bunch. If you have an art quilting background, you'll do great and I'd love to see what you come up with.

      I can't imagine losing a child. How absolutely horrible. Just horrible. I'm so sorry for your loss. This isn't the place for personal questions and comments but I hope you are doing ok and recovering, though I suppose it will take a long time and there will be 2 steps forward and 1 backward... I'm so sorry.

      I hope you can get to the Paducah shows - they have 2 there now. This year I'll be teaching in Minnesota during the Spring one, but maybe in the fall I can get there? Anyway, if you need any help or have any questions, just email me! Thanks for writing - I'm at