Welcome to my blog. I'm glad you stopped by to see what these Musings are all about. Since they're straight off the top of my head, I haven't exactly figured it out myself! We all muddle through each day and, hopefully, we find something to rejoice in as we choose, sort, piece and quilt our beautiful stashes of fabric.
Please visit my website: http://www.judithheyward.com/ to learn more about my quilts. Or contact me at judyheyward@gmail.com if you have any questions or comments. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eating Crow

When I got to the place in the quilt that I'm working on that I was ready to add another border, I knew that I wanted it to have pieced blocks.  And I also wanted the blocks to reflect the motion that was in the central part of the quilt. So . . . I looked through my electric quilt software and came up with a block that had curved seams and sort of reflected the motion that I was after.  Well, I who thought I would have absolutely no trouble piecing curved seams, hit a wall.  I struggled and struggled with this block and finally gave up.  I just could not make the two pieces of fabric end at the same place at the end of seams.  I went back to the computer drawing board and, finally, had to accept the fact that foundation piecing was the way to go to achieve what I wanted.  Have I ever mentioned that foundation piecing is NOT
 my favorite thing?  Well, it's not.  And I needed 20 blocks!
The problem for me is that I have an issue with working backwards (and that's why I don't join my husband in his activity of rowing a shell in the lake).  The solution for me is to just use a LOT of fabric so I don't end up with blank spaces that require repair.  And you can see the result on the floor of my studio.  I'm sure I must use about twice the amount of fabric that is required.
I mentioned my aversion to one of the queens of foundation piecing, Jane Hall.  She's written the book on foundation piecing--many times over.  And she's a dear, lovely person.  Her answer to me?  "If you'd ever just take one of my classes, you'd learn to love it."  O.K., Jane, I'm ready.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Exercise and Transformation

It's been a while since I wrote anything on this blog.  Why?  Mainly because I've been busy living my life--mostly all good things but not much energy left at the end of the day to write.  It just seems that the days are getting shorter and shorter as the years advance.  Well, anyway, here I am.  And writing.
A few weeks, Gail--a member of the art group to which I happily belong--brought us a pattern to have fun with.  And this is the result.  I had fun making it, but didn't really want to finish it (i.e.--quilting, etc).  The neat thing was that each person's interpretation was different and you would hardly know that we all started from the same place.

 We took them to Show and Tell at the next Guild Meeting and, at the same time, a challenge was issued for each member to make 2 charity quilts in the coming months.  A lightbulb moment!  I cut apart my quilt top, rearranged some of the pieces, added borders and VOILA!  Two quilts.  My response to the challenge fulfilled. 

AND .  . .since I had just purchased this dream of a mid arm machine, it was a great opportunity to test drive it and learn how it works in comparison to my other machines.  I'll have to say, I really like it.  I've thought about this kind of machine for quite awhile.  In fact, I had looked at The George a good many years ago.  I tried The Tiara at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show and liked it but decided that I wanted to see if my local dealer, Asheville Cotton Company, could match the offer as I would much prefer to support someone in my own area.  Well, not only did she match it--she beat it by several hundred dollars.  And you now see the result.  A lot more practice is needed but it's a simple machine and I think we're going to be friends.

Here are the simplified directions.  Make sure when you join the 2 groups of strips that one is positioned vertically and one is horizontal.  Have fun.

Cut 2 ½” x 8 ½” pieces
Sew 4 together
Sew another 4 together
Put 1st group on top of 2nd group, rights sides together

  Sew ¼” around all sides

Cut 2 diagonal cuts.  End up with 4 pieces. Open up each piece and iron.
Arrange blocks in a way that is pleasing to you.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Charlotte Quilt Show

 It was a pretty day today, but too cold and windy for my husband to row his shell,  so we took off to see the Charlotte Quilt Show at the Metrolina Exhibit Hall--as did a LOT of other people.  It was so crowded that it was really difficult to get a good look at the quilts at times.  But I persevered!
This first quilt is by Melanie Paul and it won Best of Show. A lot of hand appliqué on this one and  very well done.
 This quilt by Tawny Morrison didn't win a ribbon but I was fascinated by the border.  Look at those  pieced half circles.  A LOT of work went into the construction--and they fit the sides perfectly.
This quilt by Anna Sitterly is a miniature and one of her first quilts ever.  I personally think that it is very difficult to work in miniature and I applaud her for taking it on.  It was well worth the effort because she won a first place.
I had seen this quilt by Susan Brubaker Knapp before--but not in person.  Beautiful stitching really brought out the details.

 And look at THIS cat by Karen Phonishell.  Didn't she do a nice job.  Obviously, the judge thought so.
 This quilt by Jeri Kellett was another first place winner.  The thing that fascinated me about this one is that she pieced the stars  into blocks and then made a bias tape from fabric and went around each star with it to add much more  interest and dimension.  Another 1st place.

 Finally, this quilt by Skye McDonald really caught the eye with her wonderful use of color.  Those blocks were more complex than I would like to try.

The variety of vendors was quite good at this show--from traditional fabrics, to batiks, to wools, to handwovens, to machines--and on and on.  My only disappointment personally--since I teach machine quilting--is that so many of the quilts were quilted by someone other than the quilt maker.  I remember reading on the description card of one of the quilts that the maker had decided to see if she could make a king-sized quilt and quilt it on her home machine.  She was very successful and I applaud her.  I  know that she derived a deep feeling of satisfaction in her accomplishment.  Some people are just afraid to try it for themselves--overwhelmed by the "bigness" of the project.  And that is one reason why I enjoy teaching so much.  Sure, have someone quilt some of your quilts for you but at least work on your skills and realize that it can be a lot of fun to do your own sometime.  Years ago, I was in Sisters, Oregon and heard a lecture by Harriet Hargrave.  She asked the question, "Are you a quilter--or are you a topper?"  I knew right then what I wanted my answer to be.