Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Kaffe Kite Block Table Runner

Hi all -

In this post, I thought I'd share the Kaffe Kite Table Runner that I made. Here is the table runner before quilting:

You can get the pattern here, if interested. I don't think that's where I got the pattern, but that's the only place I can find it now. I pieced this last summer before going to the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival, but didn't get it quilted until this fall.

I felt like this table runner needed some more color in the solid areas, so I decided to add some big stitch hand quilting. I came up with a design that I liked in the stars, so I started there.

Here is a close-up of one of the finished designs:

When I had the hand stitching done in the stars, I took a picture of the table runner on my iPad, pulled it into a drawing app and started playing with quilting ideas. Here are the designs that I decided to go with:

The drawn quilting lines are far from perfect, but they gave me a good idea of what I might like.

I was worried about the machine quilting in the middle because I could tell that the top fabric was shifting a bit while I was doing the hand quilting. I was going to have to try to work that excess fabric in as I did the machine quilting. Do you see the tuck at the left side of the center circle?

And you can see some excess fabric around the edges of the back-and-forth quilting:

But to me, that's not something that bothers me enough to take it out, especially for a table runner that will have bowls of food sitting on it.

For the outside areas, I decided to do the dense machine quilting before adding the hand stitching to see if the fabric would lay better. I marked the hand stitching lines with water-soluable pen, then quilted it as if the hand stitching was already there.

When the machine quilting was finished, I added the hand stitching.

That worked a lot better for me!

Here I have the hand stitching in the center area completed:

When I finished the hand stitching, I just added a double-fold binding, as usual.

And here are close-up pictures of the different sections so you can see them better:

Even with the problems in the center, I really love how this turned it! It'll be a Christmas present for my sister, Linda, this year.

And for a little Christmas cheer, here is a picture of Lance at our company Christmas party today:

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and, if I don't get anything else done before then, a spectacular New Year!!


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Knitting

Hi all -

It's hard to believe it's almost Christmas again! The time between Houston and Christmas is always busy for me because I try to make most/all of my gifts. I do start a while before Houston, which is always at the beginning of November, but the push is always really on once I get home! In this post, I'm going to share the knitting that I did for Christmas.

A lot of my projects are designed by my favorite knitting designer, Laura Nelkin. She designs a lot of modern stuff that I think will appeal to my nieces. I'm too old to know what's in these days, so it's nice to have a designer who seems to know the trends! Her stuff also uses a lot of interesting techniques and usually also includes optional beads, so the knitting itself remains interesting. She has a subscription program where she sends out a new little project every month. Her kit includes the pattern, yarn, beads and a little knitting gift, like needle holders or fancy stitch markers. I love this program, but got a little bit behind because I felt a little intimidated as a new knitter, but I dug in and started catching up and I'm really enjoying making these projects and learning new things. That's why most of these projects are from Laura's patterns.

My first project was the Snazzy Scarflette by Laura Nelkin:

This scarflette pattern uses slipped stitches to do all of the colorwork so there's no carrying of the yarn behind the work, which is pretty cool. It also has a cute row of beads along the edges.

This scarflette is a present for my niece, Kelsey.

My next project is a cowl from the Jammie pattern by Laura Nelkin.

This cowl has a cute cabled edge and a little beaded wrap where the ends of the cowl are joined. This will be a gift for my sister, Sue, for Christmas.

Next were the Athwart Mitts also by Laura Nelkin.

These were interesting to knit because the rows go from the top of the mitt to the bottom of the mitt with the shaping done by short rows. This was my first time knitting short rows and it was really fun. This pattern doesn't include any beads, but it does have a cute lace panel running down the back of the hand.

These are going to my niece, Terra.

My nephew is really difficult to shop for. Even though he's young (late 20's), he's always been really responsible with money so can afford to buy the few things that he wants himself. He's also very picky about things, so I never know what he'll like. This year I decided to knit him a scarf, using the Speed Bumps pattern by Steepndeep Designs.

I figure it's fairly plain, so shouldn't be objectionable, but still has some style to it. And the yarn is nice and soft, so it should be comfortable. Hopefully, the length is appropriate since I'm never sure how long a men's scarf should be. This is for my nephew, Trevor.

Finally, I made my first pair of full mittens. I've made several pairs of fingerless mitts, but this is my first attempt at closing up the thumb and top of the fingers. It's from the Nugget Mitts pattern by Laura Nelkin.

These have a pretty beaded cuff, but the rest of the mitten is pretty plain. The tops of my thumbs came out a little pointy, but I'm still pretty proud of how these turned out. This was a really fine yarn so there was a lot of knitting involved. I made these mittens individually, but there's a magic loop technique that would allow me to make both mittens at the same time to make it easier to make them the same length. I might make another pair of these to try that technique. This pair is going to my niece, Kelsey, for Christmas.

I hope you enjoy seeing some of my knitted projects!


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Houston 2017 -- Contest Quilts Part 3

Hi all -

Yes, we've finally made it to the final Houston 2017 post. Glad you came along! In this post, I'll be sharing the 8 big winners of the show.

The Superior Threads Master Award for Thread Artistry was won by Philippa Naylor for her miniature quilt Wearable Art.

The Koala Studios Master Award for Innovative Artistry was won by Olga Gonzales-Angulo for her quilt Captivated by Nature.

The Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry was won by Donna James for her quilt Copper Reflections. I wish I could have gotten pictures that show the beautiful copper color of this quilt!

The Gammill Master Award for Contemporary Artistry was won by Peggy Brown for her quilt Alike But Not the Same III.

The Robert S. Cohan Master Award for Traditional Artistry was won by Keiko Morihiro for her quilt For the Wedding of My Beloved Daughter.

The World of Beauty Award was won by Ayako Kawakami for her quilt Kirara's Garden Party.

The Founders Award was won by Junko Fujiwara for her quilt Fantastic.

And last, but certainly not least, the Handi Quilter Best of Show Award went to Janet Stone for her quilt Garden Variety Sampler. This quilt just blew me away!!

I hope you all enjoyed this tour of the show. It's such an incredible experience every year!!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Houston 2017 -- Contest Quilts Part 2

Hi all -

Here are contest quilts from the rest of the categories from Houston this year. So many wonderful quilts!!


Come Into Bloom by Eun-suk Lee
Basket of Flowers by Rhonda Dort
The End of the Drought by Jan Reed
Lucifer by Cathy Wiggins
Starburst by Susan Stewart (3rd place)
Therapy by Betty Pillsbury
Hope Rising by Eileen Daniels
Really "Wild" Flowers! Third Season by Sharon Schlotzhauer (2nd place)
The Bleaching by Linda Steele
Love by the Moon, Live by the Sun by Jackie Hillman
3547 Redfox Circle...Life by Sandra Branjord (honorable mention)
Field Sketch -- Cornflower by Noriko Nozawa (1st place)


Service for 12 by Tracy Back and the Rambling River Art Quilters
The English Garden by Tomoko Takeuchi and 8 Friends
Anne's Favorite Cherry Tree Road in Avonlea by Mutsuko Shindo and 9 Friends
Enchantment by Julie Brandon, Kathi D. Everett & Valerie J. Schultz (honorable mention)
Shadow Dancing by Tomoko Tsunoda and 10 Friends
Direction Optional by Stephanie Ruyle, L Chahley, K Foster, H Goodwin, M Debetaz, MR Charbonneau, F Ronaghan, D Jeske, A Sullivan & K Vojtechovsky, quilted by C Perrigo
Infinitely Poppy Field by Yoko Sakaguchi and 10 Friends (3rd place)
Four Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Page Johnson, Mary Reinhardt, Dee Legvold & Nathan Carter (1st place)
The Bonds by Takashi Kusaka and 7 Friends

From Olive Country by Naoko Sasaki
Present from Mother by Yoko Ogihata
Promenade of Dahlia by Naomi Ootomo
Memory in Blue by Yasuko Sugaya (3rd place)
The Spirit of Flowers by Mayumi Mutou
Time Traveler From Byzantine by Masako Kumagawa
A Time of the Madder Red by Toyoko Nakajima (2nd place)
Innovative Applique

Receiving Grace by Elizabeth McDowell Heagy (honorable mention)
Diaspora: Journey to Sanctuary by Mary Kay Fosnacht
Judgement of Osiris by Georgia Spalding Pierce
The Iron Throne by Candace West (honorable mention)
Hothouse Hybrids by Liz Jones (3rd place)
Turkish Treasures by Pat Holly (1st place)
Whimsical Bicycle by Sally Manke
I Love Mucha by Mariko Miwa
Night Hawk by Claudia Clark Myers & Marilyn Badger
Raven by Claudia Barner

Innovative Pieced

Unfurling by Frieda Anderson (1st place)
Uptown Rail Fence by Maria Shell (3rd place)
Sunset in Maui by Rebecca Belsaas & Rebecca Smith
Summer Memory by Yoshiyuki Ishizaki (honorable mention)
Floor -- Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes by Pat Connally (2nd place)
Merit Quilting, Hand

Longing for Persia by Ishihara Kiyoko
Cauterskill Rising by Janet Atkins
Santa Maria del Fiore by Mieko Sasano (honorable mention)
Elegance by Elsie Campbell (2nd place)
Happy Quilt by Chizuko Ito (3rd place)
Flower News by Sachiko Chiba (1st place)
Merit Quilting, Machine-Frame

First Frost by Jan Hutchison (2nd place)
Star of India by Kristin Vierra (1st place)
Black Pearl by Natasha de Souza Bugarin & Aline Bugarin (honorable mention)
Wickedly Green by Deborah Poole (3rd place)
The Navigator's Star by Aline Stefane de Souza Bugarin & Natasha Bugarin

Merit Quilting, Machine-Stationary

Hwasung Fortress by Mikyung Jang
Annabelle's Wedding Feast by Kathleen Rountree
Adventures in Wonderland by Fabia Diniz Mendonca (1st place)
Sapphires on Snow by Norma Ippolito
Atrapasuenos by Isabel Munoz Bueno
Zen by Yuko Murakami (3rd place)
The Recipe of Happiness by Anna Orduna Pons (2nd place)
Chemical Attraction by Swan Sheridan

Whirlygig by Linda Crouch (1st place)
Modern Love by Megan Farkas
Share and Share Alike by Betsy Vinegrad
Little George by Debby Eades
Mini V by Grace Sim (honorable mention)
Copper Pennies by Amy Pabst (2nd place)
Rose Mandala by Kumiko Frydl (3rd place)

Mixed Technique

Finding One's Path by Michal Peter-Anderson
Paradise in Bloom by Mary Ann Schuckel & Cathy Hughes
Advance to Tomorrow by Miyoko Watanabe
Kaleidoscope Ammonite by Kimberly Lacy
Drama Queen by Claudia Clark Myers & Marilyn Badger
Scent of Flowers by Tomoko Arai
Oh, Dear! by Christine Yi (1st place)
The Twisted Sister by Margaret Solomon Gunn (2nd place)
Baskets and Blooms by Rita Warnock (3rd place)

Surface Design

Disparity by Karlee Porter (1st place)
Treasure by Betty Hahn
Blossoming by Diane Rusin Doran (2nd place)
Stand Up by Becky Grover
Old Timer by Suzan Engler (honorable mention)
Woven Journey by Claudia Pfeil (3rd place)
Mudra by Melissa Sobotka

Traditional Applique

The Four Queens by Victoria Rondeau
Flower Vine by Susan Byrne
For Such a Time as This by Kathy K. Wylie (1st place)
Rejoice by Molly Hamilton-McNally (3rd place)
Art of the Ancient World by Robin Gausebeck
Wonderland by Renae Haddadin & Karen Kay Buckley
Wind of June by Ritsuko Uchida
Wrapped Up in Fragrance of Rose by Mizue Matsuda (Founders honorable mention)
My Town and Country by Shirley Guier (judge's choice - Stevii Graves)
Family Reunion by Barbara McCraw
Girona Flower Time by Manoli Lozano-Lozano
Thanks Friends by Eriko Kubo (2nd place)

Traditional Pieced

Hullabaloo by Valli Schiller
Jewels by Amy Pabst (2nd place)
Near and Far by Wilma Moss & Floyd Moss
Magnetic Attraction by Gail Stepanek & Jan Hutchison (3rd place)
Another Day at the Office by Pauline Salzman
Diamond Effervescence by Beth Nufer & Clem Buzick (1st place)
That does it for the contest quilt categories. I'll finish my Houston blog posts next time with the big winners. Love to leave the best for last!!