Oct 13, 2019

piecing strips of African gold

Calling this one "African Gold." It is all pieced from very small scraps of African fabric, set against Kona black. Plus a few whole African prints from my collection.

This is an original design. It is 60 x 72 inches. Not quilted yet... Below is what I started with. These scraps actually came from my friend who made a quilt first and was going to toss all these small strips. I rescued them and sewed them together in large rectangle block shapes. At the time, I had no idea what I would make with them.

I held on to these scraps and the blocks I sewed together for more than 6 months (maybe a year???)... Then a entire pieced quilt idea came to me and I sketched it out. I ended up moving some of the blocks around ... so my quilt does not look exactly like the original sketch. Plus, I opted for a 6 x 5 block scheme, instead of 6 x 6. The blocks finish at 12 inches.

Tom the Dog waiting patiently for something interesting to happen!

Oct 10, 2019

interviewed by Abby Glassenberg!

A few weeks ago I recorded a podcast with Abby Glassenberg for her series with the Craft Industry Alliance (her podcast has just moved from the While She Naps site).

Episode #154 Craft Industry Alliance Podcast!

You can listen to it here.

I have followed Abby's blog since the early days of blogging... and I've kept up with her journey ever since. Abby is the Barbara Walters of the handmade world! She asks tough questions and she is a great interviewer!

For my interview segment, I was expecting to talk about my newest book: "Magic & Memories: 45 Years of International Quilt Festival." But Abby went back to the beginning and asked me about my career and how I got to the place where I am now. Then we talked about my first three books, and then we talked about Karey and Nancy and how these two women changed quilt history. It was so fun and such a thrill. Abby was able to take my crazy journey and weave it into a story that makes sense. I am quite giddy!

Hope you can listen in!

Oct 3, 2019

a darling dust cover for my Bernina

My studio is always a work in progress. I love keeping it clean and rearranging stuff to make it work better and look better. For years, I have wanted to make my own sewing machine dust cover for my Bernina 820. I just never got around to it.

Well, in my most recent studio redo, I used my regular dust cover from Bernina and put it over my leather sewing machine (which did not have a cover)... and while I love that machine, it is a monster and not attractive. The Bernina cover (which I always felt was too big for my 820) fit perfectly. Problem solved there.

So that left the 820 without a cover. I turned to my stash and chose this darling Kokka Japanese fabric... with big pink circles, modern black lines... and smiling pandas. All of life's essentials!

I did not use a pattern... just measured and made my own size. Inside I used Soft & Stable batting (from By Annie). This stuff is awesome and gives it a crisp shape that holds. It is lined and I used the serger on the inside seams, then put on a binding just like for a quilt.

Sep 17, 2019

modern star in black and white

Just finished this modern star quilt and I love it. The pattern is from Victoria Findlay Wolfe (vfwquilts.com). And the fabrics are the latest collection from Marcia Derse, mixed with black Kona cotton.

Sometimes you just need a new quilt for the couch. And black and white is my favorite palette. 

I have actually made this pattern twice and this one turned out just as I had hoped. The pattern takes quite a while to cut, but it sews up pretty quickly. Victoria did a great job making this quilt workable. There are 10 major sections, or blocks, and you sew the first five together, then the other five, and connect the two halves. Super easy to follow the directions.

Aug 31, 2019

slow stitching a zebra

Teresa Duryea Wong on the road side somewhere in Oregon, with a hand stitched zebra. Aug 2019.
Slow stitching is not really designed for blogs or social media. But I do love to do handwork.

This image was taken last week on our very long driving vacation from Texas to Oregon, and back. I love to take stuff with me to do in the car.

The zebra I am holding here looks a bit odd, so let me explain. I started with a photograph (by Joel Sartore, used with permission) of this zebra's backside! The image just got to me for some reason... I think its pretty cool and unusual. So I printed the image out on cotton (via Spoonflower). Then I cut out the image and basted it on to a 60-inch piece of black wool. Now I am covering the entire zebra in hand embroidery! The cotton print is just a guide. You will not see the printed fabric when I am done.

The stitches can best be described as a folk art, stab/satin stitches. Going for a funky, dimensional look. I am using all Valdani pearl cotton #8. I plan to use thicker yarn and thread on the mane and tail.

The needle is a Tulip (from Japan!) and this awesome thimble is also from Japan.

I started this project last summer on a drive to California. I do not know how long it will take me to finish... I have covered about 2/3 of the right hind side. So, clearly this will take a while. But, what's the rush?

When it is done, I will either hand quilt around the image or machine quilt it. Not sure. But I have plenty of time to think about it.

Aug 19, 2019

forget the double wedding ring, this quilt is a star with single rings

I came across a very cool pattern by Denyse Schmidt and just had to make it. I haven't made too many quilts from patterns in recent years. I did make a double wedding ring quilt a half a lifetime ago. These single rings were a lot more fun and certainly more modern!

This quilt was a gift for my daughter and her boyfriend for their new Brooklyn apartment.

These blocks are very large... over 20 inches or so. Inside each ring, I used my new circle ruler set to make concentric circles and then quilted inside the circles. As a side note, I recently purchased two books by Amanda Murphy on FMQ and quilting with rulers. Both books are excellent. Simple and short. I purchased three different sets of rulers she designed as well, and I used the circle set on this quilt. Here is a link to her blog.

My daughter's special request was for fabrics in the gray scale category... black, white and gray. I love these colors too and had tons of fabrics to make these small pieces. All the sections of the circle are cut improv style (no ruler). This pattern also has the option to purchase a set of acrylic templates to make the circles, but I did not purchase those. I just used the paper pattern.

I made this quilt in queen size. Because it was for a bed, I used Warm & Plush batting. And it was a great decision. This style of batting is thicker than my regular fave, Warm & Natural, so it gave it more loft and a lovely drape for a bed. I plan to use Warm & Plush again soon!

And here is a picture of the boyfriend checking out the new quilt!  And just for fun, here's a photo of my Double Wedding Ring from long ago. Hand quilted! Still love these colors! Photo is a little dark... the inside is pure white, with black and white rings. Quilted in black thread.

Aug 16, 2019

it all started with a jelly roll

Quilting without a plan suits me just fine. My latest quilt all started with a jelly roll.

Recently, I went to hear a lecture about the history of feed sacks by Linzee Kull McCray. Linzee actually happens to be a friend of mine, a fellow quilt author! I really enjoyed hearing her talk and learned a few new things about those old cotton sacks.

At her lecture, I could not resist buying a jelly roll of her newest fabric designs - Red Rover - manufactured by Moda. Linzee's designs are inspired by her love of old cotton feed sacks.

So I took out the strips and started cutting and sewing. I had one idea, then swerved to a completely different one. I ended up with sixteen, 14 inch blocks, with wonky improv style piecing. I added sashing and border in matching solids. 

I love how the unplanned pieced created all these little tucks of fabric here and there inside the blocks. 

Finished size is 76 x 76 inches.

Here is the cover of Linzee's book. The original print run for this book has sold out!!! But hold on, there is a reprint coming and it will be available again this fall. You don't want to miss this book. It is a visual feast and has a lot of good information.

I will be quilting this top very soon! Then its going to a new home... giving it away to a dear friend.