Monday, September 30, 2013

Riding the Quilt Show Roller Coaster

It's been over a week and I am still heaving a relaxing sigh, all the hectic preparations getting eight quilts to completion and ready for competition are over now until the next show my mom and I decide to enter.  We have been told we make a great team and I truly believe that.  Moms design, color, balance, piecing skills and my quilting seem to go hand in hand and I'm always so pleased with what we create together.   One thing that I have to tell myself is that what we do and love is an art.  With any art form, there will be those that have their opinion on what is good art or just so so art.  Each stitch we put into our art pieces is like a brush stroke on canvas.  We can try to get each brush stroke technically perfect just to please the judge.   In the end, isn't it what we think of our work what matters the most?  Entering into quilt shows is a little new for both me and Mom.  I believe that entering makes us try to become more technically perfect.  I know I learn something each time I enter, but again, I go back to whether or not that work of art has made me and my mom happy.  Everything we entered has made us happy, ribbons or no ribbons.

The roller coaster ride began when we decided we were going to enter quilts.  Mom and I came up with the ones we wanted to get finished for the show.  Unfortunately, I'm always too busy quilting on my client quilts that I don't have a lot of time to finish up Mom's tops unless we are entering them into a show.  So, the countdown started in early summer.  Each time I finished a quilt it was like swooshing down a roller coaster hill.  We both worked furiously to finish each step.  It got a little stressful, then when one was finished, we would sigh in relief.  Then the next hill would arrive and we were working furiously again.  We had planned on entering 7 of Mom's quilts and 3 of my own.

When the day came, work was only accomplished on 6 of Mom's and 2 of mine.  Here are some pictures of what was entered.

 This one was entered into Pieced Large.  Mom worked so very hard on these stars.  They are not paper pieced and meticulously sewn together perfectly.  This pattern is from Winnie Flemming's Split Lone Star class.  What a great quilt and I was so happy with how the quilting turned out.  I just want to say I see a ton of quilts and Mom's piecing abilities astound me.  She is my hero! 

 Mom left the center of this quilt open for me to play with.  Oh how fun it was to get this center quilting down.  I was very happy with the result and would like to brag that I feel as if this is my best quilting to date. 

 I recreated the fractured star block in the center with teal thread.  I adore how it turned out.

 The arches seem to give some flow to the quilt. 

 I wanted to emphasize the block itself by shadowing around it.  Also, I didn't to create a ton of bulk in the center of the stars so I started my stitching a quarter of an inch in, following the diamond shape of each star point.  The loops soften all the hard points.

 I liked the idea of have a pattern flow across borders so I came up with this cute little diamond with the feathers in it.  Kind of a positive - negative effect. 

 Here is the back.  I only used three thread colors and changing the bobbin thread to match the top thread made for a beautiful whole cloth look on the back. 

 I would like to enter this one in a Machine Quilting Show (or MQX) somewhere.  I will see about getting that done since I am very proud mine and my mom's work on it.

Charley's Birds
This quilt is a tribute to the art work of Charley Harper.  Mom loves his artwork and created this piece inspired by his art.  The detail is amazing.

Mom created the tree and placed the birds where she saw were they needed balance.  She is so good at this.

The next was so much fun.  I just zipped around with my quilting machine

The worm cracks me up.

Every bird and leave were raw edge cut and placed onto the quilt.  I had the daunting task of going around each piece of fabric used in all the birds and tree leaves to sew them down.  So, this was quilted and sewn down at the same time.  Lots of thread changes.

I really enjoyed quilting the owl.  He looks very wise.
I was at a stressful point when I noticed that all of the sunflower seeds were needing to be attached to the quilt.  I ended up putting bird tracks on them all which is how Charley Harper's art piece has in it.  Thank goodness I didn't need to sew around each and every little seed in this quilt.  There were so many of them.  Mom loves detail.
I was able to do a little thread painting on the back of this lovely bird.  It was a lot of fun.  I know that means a lot of thread build up....but hey, this is an art quilt.
Mom's favorites, the hummingbird.
I quilted in a barn in the background.  A little crocked but I thought it was cute.
Creepy spider.

This quilt was made from a challenge that my Mom, me and my Aunt Lynn all made with each other.  We all got a fat quarter bundle from Sample Spree at the Houston Quilt Market a few years ago and we were to create a quilt out of the bundle.  Mom is the only one who has finished hers and wow did she ever.  She only had a few small scraps left of the entire bundle.  Way to go Mom.  I guess that means she won the challenge. 
Something a little different to do with stars. 
Doesn't this block look like a flower?
I had a great time coming up with different background fills.  I wanted them all to be geometric in nature.  This one is my favorite with the diamonds.  But the little blue bird made me sad.  He looked so very lonely.
I tried to keep the same feather concept through out the pieced blocks.  I enjoyed doing them.
Another favorite.  Lots of marking and starts and stops on this background but it was well worth it.
Bird Houses in the background. 
I love how the pieced border turned out.  Drawing the quilting design into the inside of the quilt is something I love to do.  It worked so well here.

So up and down, we rode the emotional roller coaster.  It was a fun, fun ride.  Next time, I'll be riding with my hands up in the air.


  1. Wow, Kim you and Mom do make a great team, it is so great to see your quilting in more detail. Congrats on all you do!

  2. Thank you for including the photo of the back of the star quilt. It is just as wonderful as the front!

  3. A bit late in commenting but only found your site today. I am in total awe of your quilting ability. Your Mom's piecing is wonderful but your quilting is absolutely stunning. I do hope that you won some ribbons with your quilts because if you didn't, there is absolutely no justice.