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Archive for July, 2012

I love SewCalGal’s July FMQ challenge and the Tiles design Angela Walters shared with us.

The Tiles motif includes one of my favorite free motion techniques, stitching straight lines with a free motion quilting foot. And even better, you get to quilt up, down, left, and right!  Because the Tile lines are not too long,  they are a great opportunity to practice straight line free motion quilting.   I can imagine many more ways to use this structured yet flexible technique, to quilt both large and small spaces.

Test free motion quilting for SewCalGal's July FMQ Challenge by Diane LoomisI quilted a small sample to test the pattern first.  The top fabric is pink Kona cotton solid, layered with cotton batting, and muslin backing. The cotton batting is different from the wool batting I usually use, and results in a lower loft / flatter look and feel to the quilting.  I used slightly contrasting thread [still #100 silk) and this combination worked nicely for the Tile practice sandwiches.

I was excited to get started on a larger quilted sample.  I changed thread colors from the lavender to dark pink, and started quilting away.  At first I used the same design in each ‘Tile’ rectangle because I wasn’t happy with the way the different motifs in each tile looked in my test sample.  After filling a few tiles with feathers, I decided to try one – or two – more different fill patterns – but I repeated the fill in more than one tile (mostly…).

July 2012 FMQ Challenge - Tile motif - machine quilted by Diane Loomis

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I finally finished binding my feather plume sample from the February FMQ Challenge tutorial by Diane Gaudynski.  (I highly recommend you read through Diane’s tutorial at least once – it is packed with excellent instruction and advice on free motion quilting.) I call the sampler ‘Rogue Feathers’ –  my friend Jenny named the little feathers at the bottom ‘rogue feathers’, surrounding the circle.  I quilted the feathers there because I couldn’t bear echo quilting any more!  I am pleased with my little silver sampler.Rogue Feathers a free motion quilted sampler on silver silk by Diane Loomis

Free motion quilting detail of Rogue Feathers by Diane LoomisOne of the reasons I love this fabric is the way it subtly changes to the shade of the silk thread used for free motion quilting.  I’m having trouble showing this in photographs,  so here’s another view that shows the color changes in a different light.

(I haven’t stopped participating in SewCalGal‘s 2012 FMQ Challenge -just running late with my posts.  Look for a new blog entry before the end of the month with my July challenge entry! In case you haven’t followed SewCalGal’s blog recently, she generously featured my quilt Five Bar Blues earlier this month in a post about the Road to California quilt show.  )

2012 is the 25th anniversary of the New England Quilt Museum and in honor of this silver anniversary the Museum has issued a ‘Silver Threads Quilt Challenge’.  The challenge is to create a quilt inspired by the word ‘silver’, and I had a project in mind using this beautiful silver fabric before I discovered the challenge.

Here is a sneak peek at the wall hanging … not surprisingly, it has feathers…

sneak peek at silver feathers on the Silver Anniversay Quilt Challenge for the NEQM by Diane Loomis

I just finished machine quilting my silver-inspired quilt, so it is ready to be blocked, bound, and finished.   The bright blue is from the water soluble blue marker that I use to mark my quilts (the blue markings are already gone since the quilt’s first immersion today in clean, cool water.)  The quilts will be on display at a special exhibit at the 2012 Lowell Quilt Festival from August 9-11.

From another perspective you can see my signature as well as my favorite circle-spirals.

silver circles on the Silver Anniversay Quilt Challenge for the NEQM by Diane Loomis

Want to see the finished quilt?  Mark your calendar to visit the Lowell Quilt Festival, Thursday August 9 – Saturday August 11.  Visit the Lowell Quilt Festival website for more information about activities, lectures, and exhibits.

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IQA notified the finalists selected for the 2012 “Quilts: A World of Beauty” judged show in Houston yesterday and Five Bar Blues is going to the Houston International Quilt Festival this year!  Although it’s always tough to pack and ship any quilt (it feels like I am giving my quilt away to the shipping company) — I’m always very excited to have the opportunity to show my quilts, especially outside of the New England area.

Square in Square I award winning miniature quilt by Diane Loomis

This is the second year the Houston Quilt Festival judged show will include one of my quilts in the exhibit.   Last year, my miniature quilt Square In Square I was a finalist in the IQA Houston show and won 3rd place in the miniature category!

Square in Square I has traveled to the 2012 spring and summer IQA venues as part of the IQA special exhibit “Quilts: A World of Beauty 2011“.  Next week is the last stop for this exhibit at the  International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, from July 27-29, 2012.  If you are going to the Long Beach show, check out this special exhibit and look for Square in Square I  (it is only 14″ square!).

More Five Bar Blues News…..
Did you see Five Bar Blues on the cover of the 2012 Paducah Show Catalog??

AQS Paducah 2012 Show Catalog with Five Bar Blues by Diane Loomis on the cover

Since the AQS Paducah show was in April, I’m afraid this news is “better late than never”…

(In my defense….) I did not know in advance that the America Quilter’s Society planned to use a photograph of Five Bar Blues on the cover of the 2012 Paducah Show Catalog,  and  didn’t find out until a few weeks after the show was over.  When a dedicated fan and friend emailed to congratulate me after she saw that Five Bar Blues was ‘all over’ the Paducah catalog…. I had no idea what she was referring to!  I finally saw a copy of the catalog and understood her excitement.

2012 American Quilters Society Paducah Show Catalog page header with Five Bar Blues by Diane Loomis

Feathered Wreath from border of Five Bar Blues award winning quilt by Diane Loomis

In addition to the cover, images of Five Bar Blues are on every page in the catalog.   Yes – the AQS icon sits nicely centered inside one of the feathered wreaths from the border of Five Bar Blues.

The 2012 AQS Paducah catalog is available for sale from AQS here and (also, of course) has photographs of all the stunning quilts entered in the 2012 AQS Paducah quilt show.  Check it out!

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