Monday, October 20, 2014

Quilt Show

I was lucky to see a post on Facebook that reminded me I could spend this past Saturday admiring quilts by the Needle Chasers of Chevy Chase. It was in the armory-town hall in Kensington, Maryland. About a ten mile drive which took only 45 minutes due to road work and lots of traffic out along the way. The weather was beautiful like we expect in the fall.

When I arrived I found a  DC Modern Quilt Guild friend, Linda who blogs at
I FinallyHaveTime waiting to show me around the big hall with lots of very colorful quilts. I went through twice the second time stopping to snap photos of the ones that I liked the best. The raffle quilt you see in this first photo was up front and a very handsome extra colorful.

ORANGE! I felt right at home. These are two by quilter Fran Card I liked. "Condos for Elderly Angels" and "High Desert Fall" were two that featured lots of orange.

She also quilted this interesting circle quilt called "Black Hole"that has a surround of black on black log cabins. You have to look closely the contrasting value is almost non existent. The detail shot shows it a little better with some help from photo shop.  

This next quilt was a kit Margaret Ann Sparks bought in 1959 called "Rose of Sharon" which she write was too complicated then so she shelved it and got it back out in 2012 keeping track of her time she completed it this year. 263 hours applique and 406 hand quilting the finish! How she kept track of those times I would love to know. 
Wool is the latest new thing we have been seeing in quilting with embroidery holding appliqued bits on top. This next quilt is a mix of wool and cotton and was made to decorate a Downtown apartment. Westend Greens by Kim Kelly shows lots of creativity. 
I loved the bold color and skilled applique of this quilt called "Jacobean Garden" by Barbara Marom-Pollack, It's kind of Elizabethan to me but I have always loved these exotic flowers in prints and this appliqued version is sort of a magical modern version. 

Next is a small photograph picture based quilt  by Donna Radner called "North Woods" the scene reminds me of hikes I have taken on the edge of the Potomac River up near Great Falls. It was about 20x30 inches and the black is the drape it's hanging on not a lopsided frame.
Two quilts made from "scraps" in blues and whites appealed to me but I doubt I have the patience to make one like these for myself. 
the first is a detail of a bed sized quilt Marty Fry calls "Churchville" a "lady of the Lake quilt.
also "Regency Sampler" was very sweet in blues by Marty Fry 49x49"
Modern quilt guild member Anne Brill did this quilt I liked at the guild when I saw it and was inspired. She titled it "Low Volume" a bed sized quilt that came right off her bed to hang in this show. I took a detail shot to show the simple design works so well.

Black and white blocks made with 2 inch squares  makes up the next quilt I thought was notable for the time it must have taken and the simple graphic results. Martha Lisle called it "Adams Rib" for the Hepburn and Tracy film. 

There was a little birthday quilt made by a bunch of kids in one family that had some great insects in the prints and the machine quilting. Jan Danis's grand kids I think is who did this quilt. I liked the dragonflies and the wonky diamonds. 
These two color quilts were my some of my favorites in the show of 200. They are by a Marina Baudoin who also does long arm quilting professionally. 
 Then there was this interesting batik quilt of x and crosses with an inset picture of horses.
 An orange modern quilt
 The amazing "Wedding Ring" quilt in marigolds with red and a bit of turquoise by Renuka Algama. Next to the "Zinnias" by Elizabeth B. Davison  pictured quilt was like a garden delight.

Finally I caught Linda walking across the room and surprised her with my flash. Thanks for making me feel right at home with all the other quilters Linda! Great to have a catalog of the titles descriptions to bring home and allow me to give you some details about who did which quilt and what they call them.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pink Improvisation with spirals, a new quilt

It began with a few pieces of pink and gray fabric from my last project. I intended to make a more improvised patchwork that stepped away from this year's obsession "the log cabin" block. Improvisational piecing these larger square and rectangle pieces together and using a pale palette was a pleasing variation on the bold colors and repetitious piecing I have been doing with log cabins. Modern quilters call this a "low volume" quilt. I would say it is a low value palette. It is when the colors are of such a pale value that they almost blend together to appear as one. This ends up giving a very pleasing restful appearance in the finished quilt. It's not quite a whole cloth quilt but the use of close values makes the quilting stitches important like they are in a whole cloth quilt. 
I began free hand marking and quilting the spirals on Labor Day. 
The spirals are a departure from my usual straight line rows of quilting.  I like the look of the rings as they go round and round almost like the rings on a still pond when you throw in a hand full of pebbles in, making ripples. 
This quilt has a continuous bias tape made of a bright coral color printed fabric. I found two new prints at Finch Sewing Studio in Leesburg, Va. during a DC Modern Quilt Guild sewing day. The binding and the backing are made out of a fabric line called Winged which recalls butterfly wings in the patterns. I chose a bold color binding to draw out the softer pinks in the low value top. 
working on the last step a coral print bias binding

Throw quilt spread out on the bed showing the hand quilted spirals 

completed hanging on the design wall 

new oval label adds the last detail
It measures about 41" x 66" before washing and drying and is made with a organic cotton and bamboo batting that was light and drapes very nicely. The backing clung to this batting like no other I have used it was clinging just by static attraction.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Walk at Fort Totten

Sunday morning early we got up and drank our coffee and donned our warm clothes to go for a nature walk in local National Park Fort Totten a Washington DC, Civil War era ring dirt fortress that is now mostly forest. We had planned to meet a tour that a local geologist and botanist were leading but I got the meeting place wrong in my head somehow thinking we were suppose to meet at the Metro station... We never did find them but we couldn't help enjoying the woods on our own while looking around on trails we hadn't explored hoping to run into them. We both took our cameras and just hiked the length of the park and down over the hill towards the rail road tracks. Exploring and enjoying the trees and sunshine.

 When we walked up the hill from the metro station to the edge of Ft. Totten road and the beginning of the long strip of woods that makes up the park we found a first trail into the woods edged with white flowers I believe are snake root. They are showy and are available in nursery for home gardens. The wind was blowing the around so this close up shot is blurry because they were waving in the breeze as my camera shutter snapped.
Once we got into the woods we saw these tall single stalked goldenrods blooming in the dry sandy soil along the edges of the trail. It was mostly distributed near where the forest edge opened to the fields of the park grounds. 

One of them had a big bumble bee sitting on having a nectar meal and maybe collecting some of that nice yellow pollen. Also in these trail pictures notice those stones that cover the way. They are gray and white river stones deposited eons ago on top of this high hill in NE Washington DC. 

High overhead we heard and saw the red napped woodpecker calling and drilling for food in the dead tree branches. I used the zoom to capture a record of our sighting at the fort park. A matching woodpecker was on the tree next to my window at home one morning recently and here is a closer look. Same bird right?

 We made our way to a new area we hadn't explored down the hill as it turns out not the best area to walk since we are allergic to the native poison ivy and we saw a lot of it mixed in the edges of the trail plants with invasive English ivy. The trees in the park are huge and very tall so much that it hurt my neck to look up at them hunting for leaves to identify them. There were areas where the forest floor was covered with little seedlings of oak seedlings.

This shot is looking back up the hill we descended on our walk from the top to the bottom across behind the transfer station.

This is the large leaf magnolia we later learned is an American tree that has moved north in recent years finding homes in new forests delivered by bird carrying seeds to the new warmer climate here. 

At the bottom of the hill were a lot of toppled trees long gone towards bare wood and ready for decaying to take them back to the earth. A squirrel was scampering over them as we walked by and posed for a portrait briefly. 

Finally on top of the hill again we notice this interesting lichen growing on the leaf littered floor it was a brightly colored series of browns and yellow gold surrounded by new growth that looks like Japanese "invasive" honey suckle vine and blue and huckle berry.