Monday, September 26, 2016

The Genesis of a Quilt

I am often asked two questions. One is if I sleep? The answer is "not much". The other questions is how does my brain work when it comes to my quilts. Honestly I don't even know myself. Sometimes when I have an idea, everything flows smoothly from inception to completion. That's a beautiful thing. It makes my heart sing. But sometimes it does not go so smoothly. That is the story with this quilt aka large tablerunner. It measures 25" x 54".

My goal was to use my stack of shot cottons that I purchased a few years ago. They are kind of like my iridescent silk dupioni, but not really. The warp and the weft are 2 different colors. They do have a handwoven look.

I had a bunch of fat quarters, so this size limited what I could create. I started with a tablerunner.

I used a Curvalicious based design. The colors made me think of Fall and also Craftsman colors, except for that bright yellow and maybe that pink. This just didn't do anything for me. So I took it apart and sewed it together in a different configuration.

I love the way the Curvalicious strips change color as they flow into one another. Now how to take advantage of that. And with the additions of circles, I wasn't happy.

At this point I printed a photo of the quilt without the circles. It would be easier to cut this and move sections, as opposed to ripping and stitching the actual quilt. It made me think about changing the orientation.

I liked it, but I thought another section was needed for balance. I had to scrounge for fabric, and I had just enough.

It became the first project that I quilted with my longarm. The variegated thread gave a nice look. I learned a lot about my new machine. I'm glad this entire thing was an experiment.

I added a bunch of folded triangles at each of the ends. I developed this technique for my book

Sew Embellished. They are very easy to add after the quilting is done.

And they add a nice finish. Maybe it needs a few beads for embellishment!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hello Long Island!

I grew up on Long Island and had a very nice upbringing. This is a current photo of my house that I snagged from Zillow. It has certainly been updated.

North Woodmere is located on the south shore, pretty close to NYC. Many people took the LIRR ( Long Island Railroad) to work in the city. My friends and I often took it to hang out there. Very rarely did I head to the eastern end of Long Island. The properties were either potato farms or summer communities. I left for college when I was 16, and during that time my parents sold the house and moved to a retirement community in NJ!

I was looking forward to head back to LI to visit the Eastern Long Island Quilters Guild (ELIQG) and check out the East End, as they call it. Wow! It was so bucolic. I stayed with a friend of mine, who was also in charge of programs.

The first night I arrived, we went into this sweet little town of Port Jefferson, right on th LI Sound. You can catch a ferry boat to a couple of different places in CT.

I just loved this tugboat.

Roberta's husband is quite knowledgable about boats, so we had a nice tour of the harbor.

My friend, Roberta, has started a business as a vendor at quilt shows. She has set up one of her bedrooms as a shop. It was located right across from the room I was staying in.

Can you see the drool dripping down my chin? She had just received fabric from the latest Tula Pink collection. I had to buy some plus a bit more.

I'm glad I don't sleepwalk. She also sells on line at She carries lots of Kaffe fabrics, as well as Glorious Hexagons paper piecing packages.

As we drove to the workshop on Wednesday morning, heading east, there were many vineyards and farmstands. It was too early in the morning to stop, but I couldn't resist this photo op.


They chose the silk Curvalicious workshop. I love this workshop because the ladies get pretty far into the project, learn lots about working with silk and Curvalicious. It is a very ironing intensive workshop and Oops! We blew the circuit. Those little irons pull a lot of current. This led to very creative ironing stations, wherever we could find outlets not on the same circuit.



At the end of the day, here's our group! Nice job.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Cuba? Can't Wait!

Tomorrow I am heading out to Long Island, NY, place of my birth. Well, not exactly where I am going. I will be able to wave to my town as I drive almost all of the way to the end of the island, Rocky Point. I'm visiting the Eastern Long Island Quilt Guild for a Curvalicious workshop and then to share my silk quilts in the evening.

I'll be gone three days and then I'll have a one day turn around to cuddle with my puppy before we head to Cuba. I am so excited about this trip. I can't wait to see the architecture, the old cars and of course the cement tiles. You know how I lived turning the Mexican tiles into quilts from my book !Quilt Fiesta!

I'm not sure I'll be able to post any photos while I'm gone because I'm not sure there will be internet.

When I return home, I will be working on my second newsletter and will share some photos from Cuba. Also, I will include a video for the construction of my folding fiber book from Holland. It was a bike and barge trip in the land of windmills and tulips.

Lots of people have asked me how I construct these books. I videoed a 6 part class where I share how I create each page and then how I put them all together. Plus, there will be another recipe from Don's Kitchen and more quilty goodness. If you need to sign up for my newsletter, click HERE. I'd love to have you join me on my journey.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Secret Swap

I have had so much fun participating in a swap on Instagram. Here's my quilt that I'm sending to my secret swapmate. I can't tell you her name or where she's from,because it's a surprise.

The swap was announced on Instagram and the basis was paper pieced patterns designed by #quietplay. Paper piecing has had a resurgence. It's a technique where fabric is stitched into a paper foundation. About 8-10 years ago, it was brought to popularity by Carol Doak and was used to get perfect points when piecing such motifs as stars. It has also been used to achieve very intricate pieced patterns. Lately, it has become the rage with some young ,odeon quilters. The detail is amazing and there are lots of pieces. You can see #quietplay's patterns at She says that her most popular pattern is the Geometric Sewing Machine. Isn't it cool?

There were 305 people that signed up for the swap. We each filled out a questionnaire with some choices for a pattern, our favorite colors and fabric choice and if there was anything we really didn't like. The swap organizer then assigned us a swapmate, and we were split into manageable size groups. My group was #qpteamamerica4 (Quiet Play Team America 4). The person I was making a mini quilt for, was not who was making a quilt for me. From the options my swapmate gave me, I chose to make the Geometric Elephant.

It was a downloadable PDF pattern. What's cool about this, is that you print it yourself anywhere in the world. There's no shipping charge and if you want it immediately at midnight, you can have it. Now that's immediate gratification.

My swapmate also gave some fabric choices. I chose pink.

As the making of the swap progressed, I posted photos to our IG group and said "Swapmate, what do you think?" Of course my swapmate didn't know it was for her, so I would receive lots of comments from the group as to whether they liked it or not. I looked for my swapmate's answer to guide me through my choices, because I want her to love her quilt.

There were a lot of sections and some of them had tiny pieces.

I couldn't wait until the elephant came together.

This was the point where I became uncertain as to the taste of my swapmate. Would she like the quilt simple as above or with a pieced border?

I loved the triangle border, but the quilt wasn't for me. I posted both the simple quilt and the tricked out quilt on IG and kept my fingers crossed that she would reply.

There were lots of comments. Some liked the plain and some liked the triangle border. I waited and kept my fingers crossed that my swapmate would leave a comment. These borders made a big difference. Finally, she commented and I was so happy that she liked the pieced border. Yay!

I used a paper foundation that I designed to piece the border and I loved using the wonder clips to hold it in place while stitching instead of pins.

The swap deadline isn't for a few weeks, so I'll have to wait to ship it out, and I can't wait to receive my quilt. I'll share it when it arrives, but honestly, I have had so much fun making the Pink Elephant.

If you want to follow me on IG, I'm @oyveyquilts. Maybe we'll end up being in a swap together one day.