Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ideas From Manteca Quilt Show

Saturday March 5th, my husband and I went to the quilt show of the Manteca Quilters. It was a pleasant, small-to-medium size show, displaying 105 quilts. While admiring the creations of the guild's talented members I gathered some ideas for present and future quilts of my own.

As my past four posts will attest to, I have been working on Whirligigglesa quilt of six sided components – pinwheels and stars – and so this hexagon beauty capture my attention. The venue was compact and so I was unable to distance myself enough to get a photo of the entire quilt but this portion is enough to convey the awesomeness.

The free motion quilting on it was inspiring and I was wondering if I could in some way incorporate that in my Whirligiggles.

Since I am relatively new and inexperienced in free motion quilting, I am always on the lookout for stitching and pathway ideas. I like that this snowman was quilted in tune with his shape and that the density is just sufficient for my taste. Extremely dense quilting, although its look can be lovely – and usually is, is beyond my skill and patience level at this point. I agree with the Goldilocks approach to quilting this snowman - not too much, not too little... just right!

Moving on from FMQ to appliqué...  On my Whirligiggles quilt I am currently waffling on if I want to accent the pinwheels by covering their centers with contrasting circles or leave those precisely converging points that I am so proud of exposed? Contrasting dots in the middle do add a bit of pizazz, but do I really want to hide those centers? My piecing is good but my appliquéing needs a lot of practice.

Perhaps using yo-yos like the following photo  of the star might be a whimsical alternative hiding a lot of hand-stitching goofs? But then I would not really be getting the appliqué practice, now would I? Aah... yet to be decided. Whirligiggles must marinate a bit more on my design wall.

Keeping in mind future projects at home, I have a blue and white quilt kit pending that uses a Dresden plate technique. I was attracted to the use of two fabrics in the blades that make of the petals of the flower on this pillow. The radial alignment of the wavy purple fabric for this project was just pure genius!

This quilt was a clever idea for those jelly rolls I have. I like how the linear pattern is broken up by a few square in squares strategically placed. In retrospect I should have looked if those squares are pieced in or appliquéd on (there is that A-word again).

This cool use of ties as a hula skirt on this dress form brought a smile to my face. My husband has a lot of ties and I have a lot of buttons, but I do not have a wire scroll work dress form - though I have admired them and refrained from an impulse purchase of one. Maybe I should reconsider...? Sure looks like a fun decorator item!

I had to capture this one more final image that can only be done justice with a closeup. That square is not printed fabric. It is precisely hand embroidered. How tidy! How crisp! How admirable!

The show was an enjoyable outing and a source of inspiration. I am off to share my photos and purloined ideas with the folks at Let's Bee Social #167.

Update March 10th: I conveniently "forgot" to mention my purchases from show vendors. One of my 2017 quilting goals was "Buy tools or threads instead of fabric".  I bought a zig-zig foot for my featherweight. It should be handy. I must also admit that I did buy one piece of fabric at the show - but just one. I could not resist buying two yards of Grand Canal by Kate Spain. I love Kate Spain's designs and those colors were just too scrumptious to resist. I noticed it and passed it by once, but when we were leaving and my husband pointed it out to me and said "Isn't that striking?" I caved. Sigh.


  1. It sounds as if the show was great fun to see =) I understand you feeling inspired.

    1. My guild is putting on a show in April. As well as the quilts it was fun also to look at the decor ideas to make the show feel homey. I drew ideas and inspiration from that, too. Quilt shows are great, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. That purple flower dresden plate is definitely a stunner - I love the blue center! Very unexpected, and yet it really works! That yellow-and grey star pattern definitely inspires - I see what you mean about the FMQ. I'm not a huge fan of applique centers on things (especially when the points are as crisp & consistent as yours!) but I guess I can see it if you really want to go for a flower-y feel. On the stars I'll confess I automatically assume they are covering up a mistake when I see a yoyo like that.

    and, redwork panels! I saw someone online who used old coloring books + redwork to make a pretty cool Hello Kitty quit (red and white patchwork intertwined with Hello kitty line art), and I've downloaded stuff to do something similar with an old Rainbow Brite coloring book, but alas so far I have gotten about 1/8 of the way through shy violet, and that is it. It is a good idea, though, and I bet I could get into needlework while watching TV, if I ever watched TV any more :-P one day, I will have time again! even if it's not for a while.

    That Venice fabric is definitely eye-catching - I love the colors - but it'll be interesting to see how it blends (or doesn't) with other fabrics in a project.

    1. I think I will not go the yo-yo route on teh centers. I kind of agrre with you for the precision style of Whirligigs. For a more homespun style quilt, maybe. The Venice fabric may have been a stash lingering selection but hey, it is Kate Spain and I love her stuff. Even our master bedroom rug is Kate Spain design. I spotted that on the internet before it had even been manufactured and was pending. Soon as it was available I pounced.