Episode 188: The Anyhoo Episode

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Big news! The Birds in the Air Book Tour kicks off in Atlanta at the 2016 Stars N Stitches Quilt Show sponsored by the Chattahoochee Evening Stars Quilt Guild. The big day is Saturday, September 24, 2016, and I’ll be doing a reading, book signing, and trunk show. If you’re in the area, come see me!

VFW Star Quilt–Done!

finished vfw2

Another view:

finished vfw1

Close-up of the quilting:



And now for something different, the beginning of a first draft of a modern Birds in the Air quilt:



Here are two of the cribbed crib quilt blocks. I made these blocks (the beginning of a crib quilt) …


After seeing this quilt, which turns out to be a Denise Schmydt quilt! Who knew?



Other stuff …

Check out Vicky’s blog on she (mostly) keeps her quilts to herself:


Jaye’s post on donation quilts–choosing the pattern

Donation Quilt Pattern Selection


Interesting post on the colors we choose for our projects: https://melintheattic.com/2016/04/07/on-color-and-trends/

See you next time!

20 Replies to “Episode 188: The Anyhoo Episode”

  1. SORRY that block ( diagonal strings) has been around FOREVER …. there probably examples of this type of quilt in just about every museum that has quilts displays in the country. I know here in MI it was a popular utility quilt pattern. I have a stack of those blocks ( making them since 2006) put aside to make one of these quilts … SOMEDAY.
    I have been seeing many of the local quilt shows fading away as the members grow older. The one I use to display in stopped several years ago…. our guild no longer has a quilt show… our members are too old (>65 years) to organize the event or even just hang the quilts…. too many of us have health issues.
    THE hard binding method was the first and only method I learned to join my binding…. and I still mess it up. FONS and PORTER have a tool that helps …. but I never learned how to use it. …. SOMEDAY I HOPE TO MASTER BINDINGS. I guess I have to have more practice at doing it. I have been sewing a large number of my binding by machine…. I only do the hand sewing one on heirloom quilts.
    KING TUT is 40 weight thread. LEAH DAY likes ISACORE thread ; it is a polyester.
    BOTTOM LINE is a good thread for bobbins.

    BACK to comment when I finish listening to the podcast.

  2. Thanks for your kinds words and for the link to my blog. I have to say that I love the look of pieced backs, rarely when I long arm one it have a bit of wave or give to it making it a challenge but not often. In response to your question about the long arm, yes, my mother bought one and had a big studio. We lived 3 blocks apart for over 20 years and started quilting for other people. She retired from her day job, had two home and moved to the other house where the family lives-3 hours from me. The other house had no room for a long arm, so it came to live at my house. I do all of her quilting now and it has been a nice arrangement. It was a therapeutic purchase for me during my recovery from having thyroid cancer and it was a pre-retirement purchase for her. thanks again!!!

  3. Had to pause the podcast mid-listen to tell you about my new favorite thread for free-motion quilting, a poly called Glide. I’ve used it on a couple of quilts and its like the magic wand of quilting. I use it for top and bobbin as it’s near impossible for me to get the tension right if I mix thread types. I do find that washing the quilt takes care of some of the problem of top thread showing through on the back when your tension isn’t perfect. Okay, back to listening!

  4. YOUR MAIN QUESTION …. how to credit a block / pattern

    I do not put names of quilt patterns or blocks on my labels … that is for personal information … giftee, occasion, date, location etc
    I rarely buy patterns …. but I do buy books …. I usually remember the block name, book or magazine I get my inspiration from and will verbally credit the pattern maker. I usually figure out how a block is drafted in EQ7 and I use that program to design a block then assemble it. I use BLOCK BASE software a lot as I like making those blocks as they are royalty free.

    Most of the quilts I make are done because of fabric I get inspired by. If I make a quilt from a pattern I have usually changed the size or method of assembly. The Swoon Quilt I made I redesigned the blocks using half sq triangles instead of flying geese those blocks came out smaller. I also made a quilt using yardage cutting the block 12 inches …. the pattern had called for 10 inch pre-cut (layer cakes.) I wanted larger blocks so I just redrafted the blocks so they came out 16 inches instead of original 9 inch blocks.

    I have learned over time…. I can not follow someone else’s instructions so I have to figure it out for myself so I rarely buy patterns.

    So my answer if you follow someone else’s pattern and you know who give verbal tribute if you can remember who and what pattern if someone asks. If your blocks are old traditional royalty free …. then do not worry too much about it.

    BTW did you ever make that quilt with the melons? I sent you a eq mock up … could you ever get it loaded?
    I do not like pieced backs I buy 108 backing fabric it lays nicely and it is thinner so it needles nicely. THE size of the backing is based on the size of the quilt plus over hang. I refuse to use tons of fabric for the backing unless I want the quilt to be reversible. I will not spend a lot of money for backing. FRANKLY when I am done with the top I am bored with it and am ready to start a new one so one piece backing is okay with me.

    Got to find out what GdS is up to he just gave me a hug for no reason… so he must be up to something.

    I like your MODERN BIRD quilt top … looking forward to you finishing it.


  5. I haven’t listened yet, but thank you for the eye candy. The VFW quilt is looking good, and I like your modern Birds in the Air, which (no offense) kind of looks like Geese in the Air. The baby quilt is looking promising too.

  6. Wow, so much to comment on. The VFW Star Quilt, fabulous!!! I love, the one sided piano key border, stunning. The Birds In the Air, also wonderful. I think it’s terrific. In regards to the white batting pulling through the navy fabric, I’ve also had that problem. I made two navy quilts last Christmas for my two nephews and I invested in black batting. I was much happier with the results. In those same quilts, while quilting with a gray thread on the gray parts, I sometimes ran over into the navy a bit. Navy blue Sharpie to the rescue. I totally went back and colored over the gray thread and it worked great. Lastly, you talked about your use of the word anywho a lot, just lately, I find myself using the word problematic, like everyday. Weird how something come up and just stick with you. It can be problematic.

  7. Started listening earlier today, but when I found out Prince had passed away, I had to switch to listening to all of his purple majesty. Glad you got the “hard binding” figured out. I remember the first time I learned how to do it. I was at dinner with friends and one was demonstrating it with our napkins! I had several that have been twisted and it took a while before I didn’t need to pull out my notes, but it’s second nature to me now. Quilt on!

  8. I’m so excited that the cat is out of the bag about your visit to Atlanta, but you did give me a teeny tiny heart attack when you almost forgot. As you started your sign off I was asking out loud, “Are you sure that’s all, Frances?” LOL! Once again, you make me look a little crazy to the people in the cars next to me. 🙂

    I love love love the VFW Star Quilt and think it is very modern looking. You should really consider submitting it to QuiltCon so we can go visit it next year!

    With all due respect to Denise Schmydt, that is not her pattern either. I doubt anyone could ever truly trace back the origins of a certain pattern that has been used for so long.

    It’s nice of you to say, “This quilt by Denise Schmydt inspired me to think about piecing in this way…” or something, but no more necessary to give her design credit than if you had been looking at a funky tiled floor or leaves on a tree.

  9. I know that fabric costs $12 or so dollars a yard, but it is important to make designs over and over until one is satisfied, because of growth as a quiltmaker. Even if I am not satisfied with my first iteration, it is generally not an ugly quilt and someone likes it, including me. In terms of being an artist (in the loosest sense), however, I need to make the same design again in order to satisfy the design desire I have in my heart. Take a look at the iterations of various designs on my Series page: http://www.artquiltmaker.com/blog/quilts-2/series-quilts/ Also, my fabric of the year series is really and truly a lot of attempts at blending commercial fabrics that haven’t quite worked out. I like all the quilts, but only one gets close to my ideal. I keep trying.

    I see that the block/quilt is a Denyse Schmidt pattern, but I think if you wander around the Internet you will see that the technique you used has been around for awhile. I might put “similar to a technique used by Denyse Schmidt in her XYZ pattern” or ” inspired by Denyse Schmidt’s XYZ pattern”. If DS says she made up the technique, it isn’t true. She can say it, but it isn’t true. I made a quilt or some blocks like that back in the dark ages and I am sure I have seen vintage string blocks made using newspaper as a base. If you credit DS in any way, I would find someone else to credit as well since you didn’t use her pattern and the technique is old.

    I love the name of Uncle Eli’s Quilting Party. I keep thinking about ways to incorporate the word party into community quiltmaking. Modern Quilt Party as the name of a guild?

    I am so glad you are back in the quiltmaking mode. It is so great to hear about your projects. You know you can bring unfinished or close-to-finished pieces to the guild meetings, right? It really is ok.

    Re: ‘hard’ binding. I have never heard that before. I know what you mean and I didn’t do that kind of binding finish for a long time. I didn’t even know about it, actually. I was never taught or I never asked. Finally I saw someone do it and thought it looked so nice that I had to do it. I got the Fons & Porter binding tool and use that to finish the end. I screw it up almost every time. I have figured out a way to pin so I can test to see if I have it right and that works best, because I don’t sew, then have to unsew. I do have to turn off my book or podcast, read through the directions, do one step at a time and test after each step. Really, I feel like a kindergartener when I do this part of the process. It is totally worth it, though, because it makes such a nice finish.

    It is really, really important to use the same weight thread when you are quilting. At least for me. I haven’t been able to adjust my tension enough to accommodate different weight threads. I often use different colors of thread, but when I do that they are always the same weight and usually the same brand. I have used Bottomline, the bobbin thread designed by Libby Lehman, which I think is what you meant, but I have still had tension problems without a similar weight in the top. It could be my machine, of course. YMMV.

    I think it is great that you researched other interviews with Marie. It is so nice to read interviews that are different from every other interview done with that author. Marie Bostwick is a super nice person and I am pleased to have met her.

    Thank you for the shoutout! I really appreciate your kind words about my blog. I do work hard at it and love when others come around and check out what I have done.

    I make pieced backs, because I have the fabric already and I might as well use it. It can be a big pain, especially when I just want to be done with the darned quilt. Still, I always like backs that are pieced and I can’t imagine going out and buying special fabric for the back. Perhaps I should think about that and try it.
    Have a great day!

  10. Nonnie already said what I was going to say about the quilt you’re making and what fealty you owe to the person’s who quilt you made: it’s an extremely common block. I have it in at least 3 books I’ve owned and have made versions of the quilt myself several years ago. There’s an old block named Roman Stripes that’s the basic idea–lots of variants on it out there. Now I’ll finish listening to the rest of the episode. (Getting caught up!)

    1. For some reason Nonnie’s reply was the only one that showed up when I left mine but now I see lots of other have also pointed out the same thing. Didn’t mean to diss everyone else–sorry!

  11. Frances – Heeeeyyyyyy!!! I love your VFW quilt, this episode and how your Birds in the Air blocks are turn out. I’m excited about what the Twilters are doing for you awesome endeavor! Congratulations on your book and I look forward to meeting at QuiltCon with the rest of the Twilters.

  12. I’m finally catching up on podcasts while I quilt 🙂 For thread tips – I find that I have best results when I use the same thread in top and bobbin. My personal thread of choice for both piecing and quilting is Aurifil 50 weight cotton. Great job on that VFQ quilt!!

  13. i had to stop in the middle of your podcast so you may have found this by the end of talking! Bonnie Hunter has a great website full of free patterns and tips & techniques. this link is a cheatsheet of dimensions for a square in a square block: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2014/02/square-in-square-cutting-chart.html

    though i have also done the cut out paper and measure technique. i really like your modern birds in the air block! i didn’t quite get it from your verbal description (it’s me, not you) but the picture is wonderful–can i steal it from you sometime? (i.e. if i can figure it out from looking at the block, then it’s not copyright-able 🙂

    oh, and re: thread, i bet you’re right that it’s the heavier weight on the bobbin that’s causing the breakage. i have a spool of heavy variegated thread (it’s on the heavy side of 40) that i was able to quilt with on my old (now broken 🙁 bernina, but i can’t use it on my brother because it breaks all the time.

    oh, and one last thing 🙂 re: the binding–i remember you talked about the “hard” way of binding a few podcasts back and i was inspired to try and make up a tutorial for you –but never got around to it 🙂 but it sounds like you’ve got it now–the key is to leave lots of room for yourself–the books say to start 10″ from the beginning of your binding–but i find even 15-20″ is good–gives you more room to futz around. anyhoo –thanks as always for your podcast!

    1. i’m not really replying to myself–but found more to “chat” with you about.

      pieced backs: i’m actually making a whole new top for the backs of some quilts now. either i have too much fabric (that’s for sure) or i want to try a pattern that’s relatively easy and isn’t “worthwhile” to make (there’s a lot to unpack with that word). otherwise i just piece not quite yardage–but large (bigger than a FQ) pieces of fabric to make a back. it takes longer but uses up more fabric (which means i can buy more)

  14. Re: Hard binding. Had to stop as I was listening to empathize. I too have had a hard time with it. My solution was the great and wonderful Jenny Doan. check out her “Ultimate quilt binding tutorial”. It really helped me. The first few times were the toughest but it has gotten easier and I now only turn on the video for confirmation. Now… Back to the rest of the episode.

  15. I love the look of string quilts, and it’s great mindless sewing! You don’t have to match anything, just sew, press. The look of the modern birds in the ait block is a nice twist on the traditional look, I like it!

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