Friday, January 8, 2010

Homage to Kim Diehl -- HQNA Winterfest

Just under 3 weeks until the HQNA Winterfest quilting retreat. The featured teacher is Kim Diehl and I've signed up for 3 of her classes, plus one other class. It will be a busy three days of sewing. But I'm eager to learn her technique for machine applique.  So, not only will I have 3 Kim Diehl projects to finish following the retreat, I already have one that is complete except for the appliqued borders.

Sorry, I didn't bother pressing the quilt top before taking the photo above. The design is from Kim Diehl's book Simple Blessings, and the quilt is titled Lazy Day Pleasures. It will measure just over 60 inches square when completed. Each block uses the same background and a unique scrap from my scrap bin. Since the blocks finish 4-1/2 inches square, I didn't need scraps that were very big. Even though it is very scrappy, using the same background throughout makes the quilt very cohesive. The borders are  a simple appliqued vine with little branches, and leaves and a few "berries". You can see that I've started attaching the "branches",  made from bias tubes.

At the Winterfest, I'll be taking the following classes by Kim:

Bittersweet Briar:


Front Porch Posies:


Old  Fashioned Hospitality:


I've pulled all my fabrics for the quilts -- almost entirely from stash. I did have to buy a few greens in order to have large enough pieces to create the bias strips for all of the vines on the three quilts.  I've already made the center and border blocks for Old Fashioned Hospitality using the Minick and Simpson fabric line for Moda called Vintage Reserve. I had purchased a pre-cut jelly roll plus some fat quarters and yardage.  The fabrics are gorgeous -- and IMHO Laurie Simpson and Polly Minick are two of the most talented fabric designers out there!

I will be mixing other fabrics into this quilt -- not exclusively using Vintage Reserve.  I once took a class on scrap quilts from Roberta Horton.  I had brought lots of fabrics to the class, but had a bunch from the same fabric line. She proceeded to use me as the example of what NOT to do -- that being to not ever make a quilt exclusively from one fabric line. The fabrics are too matchy and all toned the same -- and the result is that the quilt lacks excitement and punches of color that make it interesting.

I have found that her advice is generally true. Just look at many of the quilts that the fabric makers feature when a new line of fabric comes out. They are often too focused on featuring the fabric and not on making a beautiful quilt. I recently made the mistake of making a quilt all from one coordinated fabric line. It was from a Whimsicals line called Lone Star Farm.  I had over-purchased a boatload of the fabric and definitely had to make something out of it -- which I did about a month ago. But, unfortunately the resulting quilt is VERY drab.

I made the same quilt pattern several years earlier -- also using a Whimsical's fabric line. However, the difference was that I picked several reds and neutrals from my stash for the corners of each of the blocks. With that simple substitution the quilt is much more exciting and pleasing to the eye!

This quilt was finished for my nephew Eric and his bride when they got married in 2006.

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