Monday, June 22, 2015

Betsy's T-Shirt Quilt


I went to Austin to get this photo - here's Betsy's quilt of her favorite high school / college t-shirts.

It's made in the same way I made Kate's quilt, adding pieced strips around the t-shirts so they would all fit together. Sometimes I added a strip of solid fabric too.


I ended all the madness with a solid stop border and then added the larger border. Lori Kukuk did the quilting on this one too - an allover pattern that is perfect for the use this lap quilt will get.


A lot of their t-shirts had little designs on the back and sleeves - I liked fitting them into the entire quilt design.

I took the leftover t-shirt pieces and stitched them inside a pillow case and took them to our local humane society. They use those for pet beds. That felt like a good use for those scraps! Here's the back - I embroidered our names and the year on the sunflower block.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What a Show!

Kudos to everyone who came together to create the first Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival. I was there yesterday and it was a resounding success! The exhibits were great, the vendors were awesome, guild participation was exciting in the hallway of amazing opportunity quilts. There were lectures, classes, celebrities ... and crowds! I arrived early Friday to witness long lines of folks waiting to get in, full parking lots!

There are so many inspiring quilts to see - I love this one by Emily Coffey in the Best of Quilt Con exhibit. The juried quilts are truly wonderful, as are the guild entries.

So go! It runs today and tomorrow and there is something for everyone. And remember, you can always go home with a photo of yourself as Sunbonnet Sue - just stop by the Kaw Valley booth right outside the exhibit hall entry. Who could resist that?

Thanks to Nancy Wakefield (right) - the show was her idea!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Farewell, Linda Brannock


A sewing idol of mine has passed away. Word arrived that Linda Brannock died on May 20. She was 76.

Linda was part of the talented team that produced so many wonderful Red Wagon books back in the 1980s. I collected them all and dreamed of making fanciful designs like theirs.

I jumped at the chance to work with her several years ago when she agreed to publish her final book with the Kansas City Star. "Miss Jump's Farewell" was the result. It was such an exciting project for me as I got to visit Linda in her home and studio in Independence, Missouri and also be involved in a photo shoot there. And I got to know kind, fun Linda as we worked together on her book.

She leaves behind a devoted husband Robert. They had a dog Sugar that they both adored - I hope she survives to keep Bob company.

Here is Linda's own story about her work:

“This all started when I wanted a quilt. In 1974, there were not many for sale and not any that I could afford. So I knew I would have to make one. Finally, I found a class and began this great journey.
“I started teaching in 1980, to a group of friends in my basement. After practicing on friends, I taught at eight different places and traveled 200 miles a week.
“I created patterns for local businesses: Quilt Country, then Evening Star Farm, Red Wagon and now for Quilter’s Station. I have loved the last 27 years – many joys and stresses. I've enjoyed traveling, teaching, attending quilt markets all over the U.S., and designing fabric for Moda.
“I started my own pattern business, the Star Quilt Company, in 1993 and loved it for 10 years.
“What am I going to do now? PLAY…”
I admired the small quilt above - it was in LInda's studio - and she gave it to me. The square measure about 1 1/2" - the total quilt is 13" x 14". It's tied in the middle of each square with embroidery floss. The back is shown below ...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

$3 Fabric Bag Sale

Woe is me. I have PLENTY of fabric but still cannot resist the temptation of acquiring more, especially when I can get a bag full for $3.

All of us who love thrift shops have our favorites. One of mine is a little Catholic charity shop in Nebraska City. We were driving near there yesterday and made a stop. In the shop window was a sign "Clothing Bag for $3."

Oh dear. My resolve went right out the window and I headed for the clothing racks. At that point, it becomes pure fabric shopping for me. I look for cottons on the men's, women's and children's racks.

The sales staff encourages stuffing the bag as full as possible (mine is a bit over-full). My count reveals I have 11 new fabrics to play with. Several are men's XL shirts, which we all know yield considerable fabric. There are also 2 items I might wear a while first.

Better commence with the cutting and sewing ...



Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sue Obsession Continues

2015 Opportunity Quilt and its talented creators
First and foremost, be sure to attend the upcoming Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival, coming up June 19-21 at the Overland Park Convention Center. It truly promises to be exciting - with exhibits, workshops, lecturers. Read all about it here.

Local guilds will be present to show their work and also to promote guild membership. Our Kaw Valley Quilters Guild will be there and they are letting our sewing group run the booth. Well, what were they thinking when they allowed THAT! We'll display our amazing 2015 Opportunity Quilt. Hmmm, now how to sell tickets? How to stand out among a bevy of amazing opportunity quilts?


Sue to the rescue! Our longstanding obsession with Sunbonnet Sue continues. We created this Sue photo booth - when you purchase an opportunity quilt ticket, you get to snap a photo of yourself as you-know-who - a lasting memento of this first ever regional quilt festival that you will always treasure!

The quilt historian also wrote about this today - check there for more information. She also cleverly showed how celebrities you might recognize would look here - you'll look great too!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Kate's T-shirt Quilt


I made t-shirt quilts for both my girls recently. Here is Kate with hers. Over the years, I saved their sports t-shirts, along with a few others. I let both girls pick the t-shirts they wanted on their quilts.

I trimmed t-shirts they chose close to the logos and backed them with knit interfacing. I'd been preparing to make these quilts by stitching together scraps and trimming them into strips. Having that done ahead of time helped these quilts go together quickly.


Both quilts are large lap size, ready for a quick nap. I had visions of continuing the scrappy strips in the border but decided:
a. that might be too much and
b. I was ready to be finished with these!


Here's the back ... leftover yardage pieced together with a sunflower in the middle. I stitched our names and the year on with embroidery thread. Lori Kukuk did the allover quilting. Hopefully I'll get a photo of Betsy's quilt soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mom's Hearts



My mom made some heart blocks. Mom has moved to assisted living and when I cleaned out her sewing room, I found them. I thought they weren't my style so I put them in our guild fabric exchange.


My friend came to the rescue: Barbara rescued them. Georgann decided they would make a nice little quilt and Roseann insisted on adding just the right sashing, even cornerstones! Georgann quilted it and made a label too so we won't forget the significance of this little quilt.


Today I will take this little quilt to Mom and hang it in her room. I think she'll remember the blocks. She has dementia now, but we get little gifts of her remembering things from time to time. At Easter dinner, she looked me in the eye and said, "It will be all right."

And look at her here, greeting granddaughter Kate at her recent wedding.


Now that is a gift! As are friends who help create a memory like this.