This Year’s HQH Fanfare Show

I’m a member of the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville, a large guild of talented quilters from multiple styles and genres. We have very traditional quilters, art quilters, a few modern quilters, and everything in between. Because of the demographic of our city, there are a lot of engineers, which makes what we do… meticulous. Our biannual quilt show is always a treat, because our guild has so much breadth of talent that there are always a lot of fantastic quilts to admire.

This year, our show was during my Fall Break. Because of circumstances outside of my control I was unable to commit to volunteering until the last minute, but I pushed all summer to have quilts to submit. We are encouraged to enter 4 quilts, with a “fifth quilt” as an optional entry should there be space.
I entered five, and Fibonacci Squared was my “fifth quilt.”

Escapade was my most recent finish.
Big Bang was my first pattern and I wanted it to have some exposure.
A Semma Tree and Natalia are (in my opinion) the biggest skill-stretches and the best pieces I’ve ever made.
And Fibonacci Squared? It makes me happy. And it’s another of my patterns, so I chose that over other possibilities because marketing = good, right?
I was very very excited to see them hang amongst other quilts and be viewed by other people who love quilts. What could be better for an attention whore of the quilter variety?
Since I entered my first quilt in 2007, I’ve been blessed to get a nod (i.e. a ribbon at some level) from every judge that we have had. Honorable mentions, third, second, first in category, and even a Best in Show (!) and Viewer’s Choice the same year— but not for the same piece. When I saw my competition in each of those cases, I’ve always been amazed and humbled to do as well as I have.
The comments that I have gotten on my quilts have always been constructive, and have never told me something that I didn’t already know about my work… My tension needed work, my quilt would have been better had the borders been mitered instead of straight cuts, etc. I don’t get my feelings hurt by the judges’ comments because it’s just one person’s opinion on one day, and we all have varying tastes in quilts.
Mostly, I just like seeing all the quilts hanging up. And since these are five of my best-ever quilts, I was especially excited.
The morning the show opened, Jerry and I were getting ready and I turned off my phone and my iPad so that I wouldn’t get advance notice on how any of my pieces had done. When I won Best of Show, a well-intentioned friend “spoiled” it for me by sending a congratulations text (not really– how could you spoil a Best of Show win?!)… And I wanted to be able to discover myself how each of my pieces had done.

I did tell Jerry that while I don’t do this for the ribbons, I would be hurt if I didn’t get at least one. And I really hoped that if there was only one, that it was on Natalia.
When we got there, I paid for my ticket and bought the program, and immediately put the program in my bag. I knew that an insert that was inside the program listed all of the winners. I didn’t want to see anything before I saw all of the quilts hanging up.
The first one I saw was Escapade.

It was in the “Large Pieced, One Maker” category, which is always a big category with steep competition. Escapade hung facing the first place winner and next to the second place winner. I was thrilled to have gotten a ribbon, especially since it wasn’t my original design.
From there we turned to the “Extra Large Pieced, One Maker” category, and I found Big Bang. SO EXCITED.

And then “Medium Pieced, One Maker,” had Fibonacci Squared. Things just kept getting better!

Down the next row to the Art Quilts category and I found A Semma Tree.

Judge’s Choice! At this point I was feeling like I was living in an alternate universe because WOW. Never in a million years would I have anticipated this much approval from a judge. My quilts aren’t similar (aside from bright colors), so I never expect someone to love all of the things I make.

And finally, in the very back corner of the “Other” category, I found Natalia, wearing the ribbon I am most proud of, of all of the ribbons I have ever won.

Best Machine Quilting on a Stationary Machine, y’all.
Over the moon. Incredible weekend that was, and amazing affirmation. I’m not foolish enough to think I’ll ever get to experience something like that again.

Do I look excited to you?! BECAUSE I WAS SO EXCITED, INTERNET.

Pepper Cory was our judge. Her comments, like others I’ve gotten before, were constructive and informative and helpful. And I’m still over the moon, 8 weeks later.

More things happened that weekend, but I’ll share those for another post. Just reliving the Cinderella feels, I am…



Twentieth Finish for 2014… FibFrac1!

I finished Fibonacci Fractal #1 on December 31, at Jerry’s insistence.



The weather has been too wet and nasty to get pictures of it on the fence, but I’m pleased with it — mostly because it’s done!


FibFrac2 is not yet layered but it will be as soon as I release some safety pins by quilting other projects… The second one is much more successful as an example of the mathematics involved, but this one turned out to be cuter than I thought it would. With this design, scrappy isn’t as effective.


Finished size 55″ square.

Big Bang is FINISHED!

I’m still working on the final version of the pattern, but I’m happy to report that it has survived two rounds of testing and people have been very supportive of my very first pattern. I’m so excited! I hope to have it ready very soon in PDF and printed forms.

I designed this quilt during Lent of last year, during my “no new projects or fabrics” discipline. I have found that I do some of my best design work during that period of time. The first year was really hard, but last year I actually enjoyed it. This year I’m even looking forward to it, which is bizarre. But I can’t wait to see what I come up with this time!

In any case, here’s “Big Bang,” which was unnamed at the beginning of October when I posted about it in my Finish Along goals for the 4th quarter of 2014. Every title I came up with was too obvious until I realized that “Big Bang” was perfect — it’s the first in what I predict to be quite a few patterns authored by me, and the title gives a nod to the nerdy side without being too obviously geeky or too cliche. I didn’t want my title to tether people to making their quilt with a dark background or the same fabrics I chose, because it’s interesting on other backgrounds and in other colors as well.

Big Bang Finished!


I quilted it very heavily to obscure the seam lines, and I chose contrasting threads for the outer borders to continue that illusion. It took a long time and lots of patience to quilt all of it this densely, but the effect was exactly what I hoped for. I could not be happier with the way it turned out.

Big Bang Border Quilting



Big Bang Quilting Closeup

For the back, I pieced together the remaining chunks of fabrics from the front (Anna Maria Horner True Colors and Dowry, as well as Moda Grunge in “Picnic” from the PB&J line). The binding is Moda Grunge in “Plum,” which seemed to set off the quilt perfectly without dominating the edge of it.

Big Bang with a peek of the back Back of Big Bang


This quilt and the process of writing the pattern was a huge growth experience for me. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and relearned Photoshop to write the pattern. I’ve always said that I wanted to write my own patterns, but it was the insistence of some friends when they saw the quilt top in September that pushed out of the nest and forced me to try to fly. I will be forever indebted. They also became the first testers for the pattern, which was a huge gift of time and energy from them.

I will post details on where/when to find the pattern when it is finally complete. That should hopefully be very soon!

Holiday Placemats: Finished! (and a bonus!)

As mentioned in my Finish Along 2014 Post from October, I had quite a few things on my list of unfinished projects. Here’s one that I’m really glad to have completed!

I finished the Holiday Placemats! There are a set of 8, which can be broken into two sets of four. I especially love the candy cane binding that they each have.

Holiday Placemats, finished!

I also had a bolt of inspiration one afternoon and designed this 25-sided polygon. I’ve also designed an extension for it so that if the center is left out it can be made into a 44″-in-diameter Christmas tree skirt. An acquaintance is pattern-testing that for me and I will have the pattern ready to go hopefully by the end of January.

25-sided polygon (icosakaipentagon!) Holiday Table Topper Holiday Icosakaipentagonal Table Topper Holiday Icosakaipentagonal Table Topper, back