Monday, January 23, 2017

Pineapple Progress: Blocks 29 and 30 of 36 (or of 42)

Happy Monday, everyone!  So, the good news is that I've finished two more 17 3/4" blocks for my California King Pineapple Log Cabin quilt.  Ta da: 

Block 29

Block 30
According to my original plan of 36 blocks in a 6x6 layout, that would mean I'm almost finished making blocks for this quilt.  However, I checked my math, remeasured my bed, thought about shrinkage from quilting and washing, and I'm concerned that 106" wide is cutting it too close.  I don't want to have gone through so much time and effort and end up with a quilt that isn't wide enough to completely cover my mattress on both sides of the bed! 

I know I could add borders, but I think that would detract from the bold graphic impact I'm going for.  So I'm probably going to do a 6x7 layout requiring 42 blocks.  That means I have 12 more to make instead of 6 more.  I don't think I printed that many foundation patterns, so I'll have to take one of them back to the copy shop.

Hey, can you keep a secret?  I'm headed to an APQS dealer this morning to check out their long arm machines.  I'm still in the research phase, comparing models and manufacturers.  I've already looked at the Bernina Q24 and the Innovas, and I'm planning to investigate Handiquilter and Gammill before making a final decision as well.  Stay tuned...  I would love to be able to long arm quilt my monster pineapple quilt myself!  If any of you readers have experience with longarm machines and have any advice for choosing one, please feel free to share in the comments on this post. 

APQS Millenium Longarm Quilting Machine
Meanwhile, I have work to do for a new design client's project and music to learn for VOX chorus, which will limit the amount of time I spend in my sewing studio over the next few weeks.  But there are a couple of special babies who will be making their appearances in February and March, so I may need to set my pineapple blocks aside and "whip up" a couple of "quick" baby quilts.  Hahahahaha...  As if I was even CAPABLE of whipping up a quick ANYTHING!  :-)  A longarm machine would really help me get more UFOs across the finish line, don't you think?

Have a great day.  I'm linking up with:

·       Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
·       Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
·       Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
·       Moving it Forward at Em’s Scrap Bag:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

On the Loss of Sue Garman, Master Quilter

We've lost so many celebrities over the past year: David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Carrie Fisher AND her mother, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Wilder, George Michael, Natalie Cole, Zsa Zsa Gabor, John Glenn...  But although their faces were familiar from television, movies and magazines, I didn't know any of those people personally, none of them had touched my life, and I was never going meet any of them even if they all lived to be 969 years old like Methuselah.

Sue Garman with her quilt "Twirly Balls and Pinwheels" in 2015
But this Sunday, master quilt artist, pattern designer, and teacher Sue Garman lost her battle with lung cancer.  You know how we quilters all seem to have "bucket lists" of quilts we'd like to make someday?  I've got a list like that of quilters I'd like to take a class from someday, and Sue Garman was on my list.  I've never met Sue, but I've admired her work for years.  She created some of the most exquisite applique quilts I've ever seen.  My favorites are her traditionally-inspired red and green applique quilts like the one below, which has a very unique scalloped outer border that gives the quilt a fresh, contemporary appeal:

"Bed of Roses" by Sue Garman
The workmanship is impeccable:

"Bed of Roses" Detail
In addition to her skillful applique and eye for design, Sue was an accomplished longarm quilter.  I love the way her heirloom machine quilting in traditional motifs complements the very traditional applique in this next quilt:

"Simply Baltimore" by Sue Garman
I think it's so cool the way that Sue pursued excellence in traditional hand stitched, needle turn applique, but that she also embraced the available technology of a long arm quilting machine and invested the time and energy to develop those "modern" quilting skills as well.  If she had been a "traditional purist," insisting on hand quilting all of her quilts, she would never have completed so many breathtaking, award-winning quilts, or had enough time to write and publish her patterns, or to teach and inspire so many other quilters.

And speaking of those labor-intensive hand applique skills, how much do you love THIS magnum opus?!

"Friends of Baltimore" by Sue Garman
The hours that went into hand stitching every tiny piece of that quilt are staggering to contemplate. 

You can see these quilts and MANY others in the Finished Quilts gallery on Sue's web site here.  Most of the quilts I've featured in this post are available in Sue's online pattern shop here, and her daughters have indicated that these patterns will continue to be available for sale for the foreseeable future.  My deepest condolences and prayers go out to Sue's surviving family.
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