Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ellen's Wyoming Valley Star Finished - and I Won A Blue Ribbon!

Woooooohooooo!  Some days when I have work up to my ears I kind of want to sing "...another one bites the dust..." when I get a major one of those jobs completed!  This is another of Ellen's gorgeous quilts.  It measures 85" x 85" and it is the pattern is called Wyoming Valley Star (but I'm not sure the pattern maker).  I absolutely love the colors she chose - everything!  I had created a few mock ups for her but she found something online she really liked and sent me that photo - it was a beautiful example of a quilt finished with Bethanne Nemesh's fill called Nemeshing.  I adored the design she sent along and we worked together to adapt it to Ellen's quilt - the result I think is totally gorgeous!

We opted to use double batting again - that has kind of been the trend lately with these very heavily fancy quilted projects I have been working on, and I think it's a very good choice!  I recently read on Facebook of a gal who complained she had completed an immense amount of quilting on a recent quilt of her own but it didn't show up in normal lighting.  Double batting!  :)  Really, it works wonders in negative space. 

I used the round end of a ditch ruler and Linda Hrcka's swag ruler to create the scallops.  I marked the borders first while on the frame, quilted, then echoed the scallops.  I love the vintage lace feel this design gives!  I chose to quilt the blocks themselves very simply.  With all that quilting in the white I just think they didn't need to compete with each other...and quilting doesn't tend to show as brilliantly in dark colors the way it does in lighter fabrics.  The best part about this design is when you flip the quilt over there is a chain affect going on!

(Someone will email me about that spot I missed up there - rest easy - I saw it in the photos and fixed it before sending the quilt home.)  Below is a photo of the unfinished quilt.  I think the quilting really added femininity to the quilt.  I had a lot of fun with this one and I think Ellen was pleased with the result!

I used Bottom Line in Cream for the quilting - this is becoming my go to thread for client quilts.  It gives great texture without building up and though it's comparable in price to my all time favorite Invisifil for fills, it's a lot less finicky or prone to breakage.  Superior reps have mentioned something in the future that is supposed to be comparable to Invisifil that isn't silk -  I really wish that would happen soon! 

In other news, Thursday was the opening reception at the quilt show!!!  Woohooo!!!  Many friends were represented with quilts, won ribbons, and guess what?  I won a blue ribbon!!!

This is my friend Joyce's quilt - she won blue in her category!  Congratulations Joyce!  I quilted this one for her last winter, it's gorgeous!  I believe it is a Kim Diehl pattern she made in civil war reproduction fabrics.  It is just absolutely gorgeous and got a lot of attention at the show and also here on my blog! my shock, aww, thrill, and ugly green quilt won a ribbon!!!  LOL!  I am OVER the moon!!!  Not just a ribbon, a blue ribbon!!!  Ribbons are not everything I know I know.  But listen, when you work REALLY REALLY hard, it feels amazing to get that tiny little bit of validation.  It felt really really good!  My home show, the one all my friends and family will go to, and my little quilt has a pretty blue ribbon by it.  By golly that is a great feeling and I'm so so thrilled and honored!

I am not ashamed I am probably going to wear it in my hair!  I did hear a bit of whispering and complaining through the crowd about the judging.  I suspect this is not uncommon and I doubt it was limited to this one show in particular.  I have been a fly on the wall to many conversations about quilt show judging.  I will say I really really respect judges in general.  It has to be an incredibly tough job.  Not only is it hard to critique work - it HAS to be hard to know that some folks will not be pleased with your decision.  I'd like to think that most folks are fair and honest - judges included.  For what it's worth this show does use NQA certified judges (where will folks get certified to judge now that NQA is gone I wonder?) and some of the quilts that have won here have gone on to win at big national shows around the country.  My personal feeling - and I have been a big time loser at a number of good shows - it's a gamble every time but SUPER fun when you win - and worse things have been said about me and my quilts than "that shouldn't have got a ribbon".  So don't let a loss stop you from entering, and don't let comments get under your skin.  I think shows are super important for the growth and support of an art form.  I would have NEVER gotten into quilting to the extent I have if not for this show in particular.  It was the first time I was exposed to the quilt world as it is today.

I also ran into Cindi whose quilt is below - she walked up to me and said "Valerie?  I read your blog!"  Well guess what, I was a little tongue tied for a minute thinking "people read my blog?"  LOL!  I was so so so excited to meet you Cindi and how funny is it that your quilt was one of my ABSOLUTE favorites at the show!!!  Apparently the judges favorite too - look at that blue ribbon!!!  Congratulations!!!  I think you need to let me shop your fabric stash as those colors are totally up my ally!

Next post I will share more photos from the quilt show.  I haven't decided if I'll take another visit up there or not - it was a little tough to get all the photos I wanted as there were just SO many folks there!  It was a big and fun event.  If you're in the NE Ohio area Lake Farm Parks Quilts 2016 is now open and totally worth a visit.