Union Jack quilt block #1

Union Jack quilt block

It measures 18″ x 10″. I downloaded a flag and enlarged it in Photoshop and made my own paper piecing pattern for the 4 striped units. I’d forgotten how much I despise paper piecing so I am going to try to do the next one with templates. I’ll let you know how that goes :-)

I plan on three across and five down so I have 14 more to make.  All with red, white and blues – but all of the prints are different. I will use a white background print as sashing.

There are some Union Jack patterns online – but the design of the flag is usually not accurate. It is such an iconic image – it reads “Union Jack” with just some thick and thin Xs – any color and any shape.  My husband is English and it HAD to be accurate.

POTC quilted

 

Long overdue. Sorry for the lousy pictures. My ancient but still beloved Mac is on it’s last legs and – among other things – it is refusing to open pictures from my camera without crashing. These are from my iPad and just cropped in Photoshop.

Margaret Gunn did the quilting and I think she did a spectacular job. I asked for whimsical – unexpected, not traditional quilting. Lucy Boston’s pattern is usually made in traditional fabrics and since I am calling it “Thoroughly Modern Lucy” I wanted modern quilting.

 

full quilt

photo 1

photo 3

photo 2

I’m a published quilter!!

Check out my quilter Margaret’s blog post:

http://quiltsoflove.blogspot.com/2013/10/crazy-is-as-crazy-does.html

I don’t have my physical paper magazine yet so I downloaded the digital version as soon as it was published. I don’t think it is legal to include a photo of the entire page so I will just let you read about it on Margaret’s blog.

It’s the November/December issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited if you’d like to look for it on the news stands. It’s a really nice magazine if you do your own quilting – whether longarm or domestic machine.

Update on Alabama Beauty progress

pointy bits unit done

I am working on the second (and last) set of 18 blocks – the first set is finished and sewn together. See it here.

I like sewing the same pieces together on all the blocks – it seems to go faster – I get into a rhythm when I do the same thing over and over.

I have finished step one – joining the 72 purple pointy bits to the 144 trumpet shapes on all of the 18 remaining blocks.

pointy bit unit + orange peel

The next step is to join the orange 72 orange peel shapes to the 72 purple pointy bit units. I’ll be back for another progress report when this step is completed.

Between Sunrise and Sunset

winner

This is not a very good picture – in spite of trying to correct it in Photoshop  - but it shows the blue ribbons and that’s all that matters. I bought a new camera a few days before I left and didn’t really practice very much – other than to figure out how to turn it on and off, zoom and scroll through the pictures. I must have done something terribly wrong because a brand new 14 megapixel camera cannot possibly take pictures that are unacceptable unless they have been Photoshopped!

Many people at the show asked about the two ribbons – the category was Large Pieced Duet which means that one person pieced the top and another person quilted it. My amazing quilter Margaret Solomon Gunn  brought this top to life with her stunning quilting – it was a team effort!

Entering my quilts in the Jax show gives me a deadline to work towards – a goal and a sense of purpose. I look forward to the once a year trip – being in the same room with lots of pretty quilts and mobs of other quilters is thrilling. I work in isolation here in Panama. We have no large active quilt guilds (just our little group of 3 or 4 people), no quilt shops, no quilt shows or quilt classes.

I spent a lot of time hanging around near my quilts – because I love talking to other quilters and it is just easier and more natural to strike up a conversation in front of my quilt instead of going up to somebody and saying please talk to me about quilts and quilting :-) I talk so much I am hoarse by the end of the day!

I have friends and family in Jax so it is always a fun-filled mini family reunion when relatives from other states fly down to join us. Looking forward to next year when I will be entering 4 quilts – all quilted by Margaret.

Margaret’s recent blog post titled Jax Quiltfest & other quilt show musings is very interesting – I will let you read it for yourself.

If you’d like to see the winners in all the categories the 2013 Show Winners Gallery is at SmugMug

I also entered my Besos Y Abrazos in the Intermediate Duet category – the Japanese x &+ done in 386 different Kaffe & Co. fabrics. It didn’t win anything. Which was surprising - because the show attendees LOVED it!

Besos Y Abrazos

It looks a bit tired and floppy – it’s been to Germany and back – to the quilt show that never was. God only knows what happened to it while it was there for several months! I made it for an Homage to Kaffe Challenge in Merzig Germany in the Spring – months passed and the show that was supposed to be judged by Kaffe himself never happened. I was lucky to get it back in time for the Jax show.

I am glad to have both well-travelled quilts safely back home. Speaking of well-travelled –  I must share the saga of the Between Sunrise And Sunset quilt with you. This quilt has quite a back story.

Some background:

I send all of my quilts to the US for quilting, then the quilter sends them back to Panama and I block and bind them and return them to Jacksonville to my friend Carol to wait for Quiltfest.

This quilt had a special detour to Massachusetts where it was  professionally photographed by Jeffrey Lomicka for an article Margaret has written in the November/December 2013 issue of the Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine.

After blocking and binding I sent it via DHL to Jeffrey for the photo shoot – then he was going to mail it to Carol in Jacksonville.

But… when Jeffrey was setting up the photo shoot he noticed a slit/rip/hole on the back of the quilt and he emailed me to ask  “if this was a known issue.”

No – it definitely was NOT!

This is from a letter I sent Jeffrey and Margaret:

This is what I know for sure:

Preparing the quilt for shipment I cleaned every single thread and piece of fluff off both sides with the tape lint roller. While doing that I was able to inspect every square inch of the quilt – front and back. There was no hole in the quilt. I would have noticed.

I folded it in half with the backing side out. Then I folded it in half again and in half  once more. Then I folded that in thirds to make a nice compact bundle. I placed it in the bag I had made especially for it and I fastened the top with a piece of white elastic. Then I placed it in a clear plastic garbage bag in case it got wet en route.

My husband David took the package to the DHL office. He did not just drop it off, fill out the forms, pay and leave – he wanted to see how they were going to prepare it for shipment. When he saw that they were wrapping yellow tape around the package and were preparing to stuff it into an envelope he said STOP –  that was unacceptable – he even told them that my wife will kill me if this doesn’t arrive safely. So he left – taking the quilt with him –  went to our warehouse and got a sturdy box. Came back to DHL with the quilt in the box which he taped closed himself. Only then did he leave.

This is what I think happened:

Look at the tracking info below. On July 11 at 2:25 am it was processed for clearance at Cincinnati, Ohio – then there is a clearance delay of almost two hours. Clearance is customs. I know only too well that anything or anybody coming from Panama is always given extra special attention from US customs. Panama is a well-known route for drugs from Colombia (our neighbor) to the US.

So…. I imagine the conversation among the US customs officers in Cincinnati went something like this:

“Here’s a box from Panama – what’s in it?  A bedspread. Hey – look at this Joe – somebody paid $235 to ship a stupid bedspread to Chelmsford MA! Don’t they sell bedspreads in MA? This is weird – something’s up here – let’s have a look. Yeah it’s a bedspread alright but what’s inside? Let’s take a look.”

Either they made that hole on purpose or they damaged it accidentally as they were inspecting it. I can just imagine it being handled, poked, prodded, sniffed by people with dirty hands. Draped on a dirty table in a warehouse – maybe even dragged on the floor.

Have you seen the reality TV show “To Catch a Smuggler” on the National Geographic channel. It is about customs at JFK.  Believe me they don’t treat your stuff that they suspect may be hiding drugs with respect. A well know way for small time smugglers is to soak clothes in liquid cocaine. Just google soaking clothes in cocaine.

That is the only scenario that makes any sense. It was never opened until it went through customs in Ohio.

If that is indeed what happened at least I am thankful that they went through the backing and not a more visible spot on the front. And that they didn’t cut through any quilting stitches.

I am eagerly awaiting your opinions on what to do about the hole.”

After the photo shoot Jeffery sent it to Margaret in Maine and she got a piece of the backing fabric from Jackie Kunkel at Canton Village Quiltworks - thanks again Jackie.  Margaret patched the hole and sent it on to Carol in Jacksonville. The next time I saw it was at the show sporting it’s two blue ribbons. I wasn’t able to see the patch until I got the quilt back to the hotel room on the last day of the show. Margaret did a great job – you wouldn’t be able to see it unless you knew where to look.

Just wanted to let you know my blogging will be slowing down as I try to finish the Alabama Beauty to get it to Margaret ASAP. I must have it back in time for Quiltfest 2014!

Please stay tuned…

Another quilt quilted

My Pie and Tarts which I am calling “Summer Days.”Again I have to leave you with just a link to Margaret’s website since I don’t have the quilt yet. She takes great pictures so you can see all of the detail.

 

As always I am thrilled with the result.  I had planned on making it much bigger but I grew tired of it and stopped at this small size. Now that it’s quilted I think it’s adorable – I love it!

See the pictures here:

 

http://quiltsoflove.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-second-case-of-busy-colorful.html

Scalloped frame – done

It’s a bit wonky – partly because it is wonky and partly because of the camera. But never mind – I will straighten it out before I add the purple border.

I will be appliqueing the flowers inside the medallion soon – then I must put it away and concentrate on finishing my Alabama Beauty. I would like to get it to my quilter by the end of the year. I only have 18 blocks to finish – but I have planned a complicated border with a lot of piecing and appliqué and that will take time.

heart and scallops