November 2012

2013 Hoffman Challenge










The 2013 Hoffman Challenge fabric has been chosen. It is K7126 136G “Peacock Gold.” The floral design is a little old-fashioned but I love the colors. Teal, green and gold are a great combo.

I had the pleasure of seeing this year’s Challenge winners at the IQF. The entries included quilts, clothing, accessories and dolls. The total of all four sides of the quilt entries cannot exceed 160 inches, so they are on the small side. I am sure the amount of exhibit space needed to house the winners forces some limits on size.  The challenge is also sponsored by Sulky thread. The prizes involve cash…. and a lot of thread.

I am tempted to enter. I just need a few more hours in my day. So, if you love quilting contests, you have until July 19, 2013 to get your entry ready. Click on over to for more info.

Until next time,



Playing Catch-up!



Our son Ben’s wedding is now a warm memory. I have taken down the Thanksgiving decorations and put them away.  I was finally able to take the time to catch up on some sewing. I feel like I haven’t been in my sewing room for a month!

The first project was finishing Blocks 3 and 4 in the EQ Block-Base Sew-Along. This is Block 3, which is #2448 in the Block Base software.


I may have gone a little overboard on this one. I will wait to see how it plays with the other blocks and decide whether or not to do it over. I actually like the colors in this block, but the variety of patterns may be too much.
This is block #4, which is 2049 in the Block Base software:
I made this block a lot calmer, with lots of white space, to compensate for the craziness of block #3. This is the first four blocks as a group:
The next project was to finish my block for Rachel in the Around the World Quilt Bee II. Rachel asked for a geometric block using “berry” colors. Her starter block used lavender, dark pink and some orange, so I put orange in mine, too, for a little interest. This block is called “Braided Bounds.”
I took the photo at night in low light, and the flash distorted the colors, unfortunately. This is better in person. It was a little tricky sewing the pinwheel units to the center square, but I enjoyed making this block.
So, it is back to the machine to get started on Block #5 for the Block Base Sew-Along, which was posted Monday. I am hoping to get ahead of the game this week.
Be sure to come back and see some more photos of quilts from Festival in Houston.
Until next time,

IQF Houston – #3

Our son was married on Saturday so there has been a lot of excitement around our house for the last couple of weeks. Now that they have flown away on their honeymoon and things have calmed down, I can get back to sharing my photos from the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

This quilt is “Sunflower” by Bella Kaplan of Israel. It won the Open European Quilt Championship trophy for Design. Bella notes that she lives in the upper Galilee area and in the summer the fields near her home are filled with brightly colored sunflowers, which was the inspiration for this quilt.

 This quilt is called “Aura” and was made by Annette Valtl of Remscheid, Germany. It won the OEQC trophy of the use of color. The “petal” areas are quilted with flower shapes.


This lovely quilt is called “Sun Glow,” and was made by Barbara Riedemann of Krefeld, Germany. It won Third Prize in the OEQC for long-arm quilting.


This is a close-up shot of the a quilt called “Miss Bucket” made by Ria Varkevisser of Hilversum, The Netherlands. It won third place for a novice quilt in the OEQC. The maker says she used an “artichoke” technique for placing the flower petals. I know these as “prairie points.” I noticed prairie points were used in many of the quilts so this technique must be making come back. This quilt was heavily thread-painted and was embellished with lots of beads.


This is “Double Feathered Star” by Gabrielle Paquin of Orleans, France. She used reproductions of antique cotton plaid fabrics. The use of plaids in a feathered star block is unexpected. The irregular borders (using prairie points) is also very unusual.

This quilt is called “The Berne House Quilt.”  It is huge! There are 156 blocks in the quilt, each depicting a place in Berne, Switzerland. It was made by several quilters and was made for a quilt show hosted in Berne. One of the blocks depicts the clock tower in the city square.

The detail in each block was just amazing.

This quilt is called “Feeding Time,” and was made by Joyce O’Connell of Courtice, Ontario, Canada. She was inspired by the movie, “March of the Penguins,” and wanted to make a quilt celebrating the Emperor Penguin. There is a lot of thread play in this quilt and it provides texture and contrast.

I have many more quilts to share with you, so come back to visit soon!

Until next time,


IQF Houston – #2



I always enjoy learning what inspires a quilter to make a particular quilt. The majority of the entry cards for the quilts accepted to the International Quilt Festival show in Houston state the quilter’s inspiration.

This is “Blue Work,” made by L. Klara Geleneserne of Budapest, Hungary. She was inspired by American Red Work designs and made this quilt in blue and white to give it Hungarian relevance. The design of the blocks themselves are based on the lino and woodcut art of Karoly Kos and Gusztav Cseh. The Hungarian portion of the show, “Hungarian Blue-Dyed Quilts” consisted of 15 gorgeous quilts, the majority of which could not be photographed.

This quilt, called “Temptation of Stripes,” by Keiko Ohno of Chiba, Japan used a large, solid grey/brown sheet of felt which had (perfect) circles cut out of it. The felt sheet was then placed over the top of strip-pieced blocks which peek through the circles. An interesting and original technique.


“Toward the Sea: Ready, Set, Go!”, made by Hiromi Tanaka of Osaka, Japan was inspired by sea turtles and their newly hatched babies, struggling to get into the sea on Yakushima Island. This quilt won a design prize in the International Quilt Week show in Yokohama, Japan.

This very unusual quilt, “Hommage a Monet,” was made by Hilde van Schaardenburg of Hilversum, The Netherlands. It is, of course, a tribute to artist Claude Monet, as the name suggests. This quilt won the Judges’ Choice Award in the Open European Quilt Championship. The quilting, which provides the muted background colors and shapes, was stunning.

There were so many colorful quilts hanging around this one, I almost walked by it without stopping, but I am glad I did. This quilt hung in the Festival Gallery of Art which had the theme “Childhood Memories.” This quilt was made by Sue Galleon of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Sue was the youngest of nine children, raised during the Depression on a dairy and wheat farm. The photos are transfers from her family photographs and the fabrics used are from her childhood dresses, made by her mother from grain and flour sacks. Her older sisters curled her hair to make her look like Shirley Temple, and I have to say there is an uncanny likeness in the photos. While this quilt is not a technical knockout like so many of the others, it had a very sweet story.

This sweet quilt also hung in the “Childhood Memories” gallery. It is called “Mommy and Me,” and was made by Pauline Barrett of Killeen, Texas. It was inspired by memories of gardening with her mother.


I love this quilt. The colors are fabulous. This is “Blue Lagoon” by Marianne Williamson of Miami, Florida.

This quilt is inspired by a ride in a glass-bottomed boat in the ocean. When you step back from it you can see the fish, coral, rocks, water and sunlight. The quilting was mostly circular shapes, which helped give the quilt depth and emphasized the underwater shapes.

The last quilt for today was made by Claudia Scheja of Werne, Germany. It is called “Kleine Stadtim Munsterland,” and was inspired by the house quilts made by Bernadette Maye. This quilt won second place in the Open European Quilt Championships. I love the playfulness of the houses against the strong traditional nine patch blocks.

The quilts in today’s post are subtle in color and design, with the exception of “Blue Lagoon.” My next posts will be moving on to the more modern and colorful galleries.

Until next time,




IQF – Houston #1



I am home from the International Quilt Festival in Houston and recovering from an overwhelming/exhilarating trip. If you have never had the pleasure of attending this annual event, put it on your bucket list!


First, the overwhelming part: the venue.


Everything is big in Texas and this is not an exception. The George R. Brown Convention Center is four blocks long, two blocks wide and three stories high. The building is divided into three areas for the show: the quilt show, the vendor booths and the food court. The food court was serviced by food truck companies serving a wide variety of food, including some wonderful cupcakes.  This is a photo of one-third of the vendor area. I couldn’t get the entire floor from the little window on the second floor. I took the photo through a Plexiglas bubble window so it is a little distorted. This was before the show opened, so there is a conspicuous lack of people.



Once the doors opened, it didn’t take long for the aisles to fill up. This was early on preview night, so there is actually room to walk. It was quite another situation during Thursday and Friday.


I will write more about the vendor area later this week. Now let’s turn to the main event: the quilts! Unfortunately, photography of the special international exhibits and some of the U.S. entries was prohibited. Photos of those entries will be appearing in magazines and marketing materials, so those images are copyrighted. The good news is there were lots of quilts that I could photograph and share with you.

These were the three top prize-winning quilts of the juried show:

This is “America, Let it Shine” by Sherry Reynolds of Laramie, Wyoming. It won Best of Show and a $10,000 prize. This quilt is perfectly pieced. The quilting was tiny and precise. It is also embellished with hundreds of red and blue Swarovski crystals which makes the quilt shimmer. I noticed that many of this year’s quilts had crystal embellishments and, personally, I don’t think they added much to many of the quilts but this was the exception. They enhanced this quilt instead of detracting from it.

This is “ElaTED” by Ted Storm of S-Gravenzande, The Netherlands. It won The Founder’s Award and a $7,500 prize. This quilt is hand appliqued and hand quilted and is absolutely stunning. Many of the flowers are made with a trapunto technique and are detailed with hand-embroidery.

It would have been hard to be a judge in this show because each of these quilts was just as exquisite as the next.


This quilt is called “Hot Africa” and was made by Janneke De Vries-Bodzinga of Kollumerzwaag, Friesland, The Netherlands, who is standing next to the quilt. This quilt won The World of Beauty Award and a $7,500 cash prize. It was inspired by a trip to Kenya. It is made with hand-dyed fabrics and silks.



The beautiful use of silk in the sun makes this quilt glow, and the quilted sun’s rays add to the illusion.

I am still learning how to resize photos and import them into this blog, which is quite different from Blogger, so I am stopping here for today. I hope you will come back and enjoy more photos of remarkable quilts.

Until next time,