May 26, 2016

Happy Memorial Day

An extra special note of gratitude to all those who serve in our country’s armed forces and to all those who have served. We will think of you and honor your service on this Memorial Day, May 30, 2016.

The Quilts of Valor program continues to grow across the country, including at my local quilt shop, Christie’s Quilting Boutique in Norwalk, Connecticut. Here's a nice article from a local newspaper on Christie Ruiz's wonderful community of quilters and creators making a difference, through their dedicated volunteer work for QOV. Shine on, Christie and QOV Connecticut!
In Des Moines, Iowa, don’t miss the America Quilts Expo May 26 through May 28 in support of the Quilts of Valor Foundation.
Speaking of valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor web site offers many stirring accounts of the valor of American servicemen and women.

I also recommend Story Corps’s Military Voices Initiative. The MVI enables veterans, service members, and military families to share their stories, so that we can honor their voices, amplify their experiences, and let them know that we are listening. 

At the Library of Congress, the American Folklife Center’s The Veterans History Project “collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.”
I enjoyed watching a recent NBC News interview with Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw on being awarded France’s Legion of Honor distinction for their decades-long work in broadening public awareness of and appreciation for the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers and their families in World War II.
Brokaw, French official, Hanks, French official, and Gordon Mueller at LOH Ceremony
Photo courtesy the WWII Museum 
(BTW: I didn’t know that the film “Saving Private Ryan” is today required viewing for French infantry training, did you?)

Finally, I want to share with you a photo of my grandmother, Gigi, and my grandfather, Dr. Clarence “Jack” D’Alton, just a few days before Jack was sent off to the front. He arrived in Normandy France the day after the D-Day invasion.
In addition to being a World War II veteran and a respected physician, Jack was an avid gardener. Thanks to my mom, also an avid gardener, I have some cuttings of flowering plants that Jack grew and even that his mother grew (a night blooming cereus). I dedicate these photos of some flowers now blooming in our yard to his and my grandmother’s (Gigi's) memory on this Memorial Day Weekend.
Have a beautiful, long and relaxing weekend!


May 23, 2016

Creator Spotlight: Patricia Steadman

One of my favorite things about designing quilt fabrics for Moda Fabrics is seeing what you all create with the collections. I was so impressed when I saw this "Flower Pots" quilt by Patricia Steadman in photos from this year's American Quilt Society (AQS) show in Paducah. I'm grateful to Patricia for sharing with us her beautiful creation and her recipe for making it. Enjoy! Kate

Creator Spotlight: Patricia Steadman

Hi, my name is Patricia Steadman. Kate Spain invited me to come onto The Drawing Board to share with you how I made my Flower Pots Quilt. My quilt was selected for display in the 2015 Chattanooga AQS show and in the 2016 Paducah AQS show.First, a little about me: I’m a Georgia girl, a wife, mother, and grandmother to six wonderful grandchildren. I began making quilts in 2010, taking classes from local quilt shops. I belong to the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild, Quilter’s Etc Quilt Guild and several other quilting groups. Now about my quilt:I started the quilt while taking a class in 2013 and finished it in 2015. I chose bright colors for my quilt using Cuzco and Honey Honey by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics and other fabric lines as well. I purchased the pattern Flower Pots by Kim McLean. I made changes to my border adding vines and flowers instead of the circles. Once I completed the stitching, it was custom quilted by Sherry Meyer.
The method I chose to use was freezer paper and needle turned appliqué. Two sheets of freezer paper were used to make my patterns. The patterns were traced on the dull side of one sheet of freezer paper and ironed. The second (blank) sheet of paper should also be ironed. Place the sheet with the pattern on it on top of the blank piece, with the dull sides of both pieces up. Finally, iron the two sheets together. To avoid messing up your iron, all ironing should be done on the dull side. By using two sheets the patterns are more durable enabling me to use them multiple times. All ironing should be done before the patterns are cut out.
Now the fun begins! Choosing fabrics and preparing your appliqué pieces for each of the blocks. Iron your pattern with the shiny side down to the right side of the fabric and rough cut around it. Leave about 1/4” allowance to turn under. After cutting, remove your pattern. Then place it with the shiny side up on the wrong side of appliqué piece you just cut out. 
Next iron the edges of the appliqué over the pattern piece. As I ironed the edges, I would make clips at the curves for smoother turning. After ironing, remove the freezer paper. I then used Roxanne’s Glue-Baste-It on the edges to hold them down. Use the glue sparingly.
For Stems: Cut bias strips, cut generous 1/2” wide strips. Use a Clover bias maker and starch to prepare the stems. Cut each background to the unfinished size. Fold in half, each direction and press. This helps with your placement of the appliqué pieces. Using the pattern as a guide for placement, I pinned the stems and appliqué pieces to my background. By pinning the pieces I could make adjustments to their placement if necessary. Once I was satisfied with the placement, I glued the pieces down using small dots of glue.
You are now ready to start stitching, taking tiny stitches by hand. I like to use short size 12 needles. Mine were Sharps by John James. I chose four different colors of YLI Silk thread to stitch all of my appliqué for this quilt. I could stitch whenever I had time. I would even take it with me to doctor appointments or anywhere I might be waiting. 

6 yards of Background fabric
Various prints of fabric for appliqués
Various green prints for leaves and stems
3/4 yard green tone on tone for bias stems
2 1/2 inch squares (I used jelly rolls)
6 yards of Backing fabric
1 yard of Binding fabric

Freezer paper
Roxanne Glue-Baste-It
YLI silk thread 
 1/4” Clover bias maker Hand appliqué needles (Sharps size 12)
Appliqué pins (optional)
Small sharp scissors
Paper scissors

I hope you have enjoyed me sharing the steps I used to make this quilt. Have fun making your next quilt with needle turned appliqué.
Patricia Steadman