Comin’ Around the Bend

I had been quilting a year before I saw in person what other quilters were making. I didn’t grow up around quilters. I didn’t belong to a guild. I hadn’t had any in-person classes.

I learned the art of quilt making through watching YouTube. Relentlessly. One video led to another led to another. I’d watch them all, regardless of whether they were traditional or modern, art quilts or lap quilts, improv or well-planned. English or Spanish or Portuguese. (My Spanish is very limited and my Portuguese relies on any similarities I can find in my Spanish, but a flying goose is a flying goose, folks.)

Then I heard about QuiltCon. (cue: the song of angels)

I cobbled together some funds and got myself out to Austin, Texas. It was February 2015. I kept to myself mostly and studied the quilts in the show. I walked around as if in a dream. I attended a few lectures.

Among my transformative experiences that weekend was this:

The quilters of Gee’s Bend delivered the keynote. I had read about them and knew. I knew this was big. They sang gospel. I grew up with gospel. It felt like home to me.

L to R: Mary Ann Pettway, Lucy Witherspoon, China Pettway, Gloria Hoppins. The Quilters of Gee's Bend, QuiltCon 2015
L to R: Mary Ann Pettway, Lucy Witherspoon, China Pettway, Gloria Hoppins. The Quilters of Gee’s Bend, QuiltCon 2015

L to R: Mary Ann Pettway, Lucy Witherspoon, China Pettway, Gloria Hoppins. The Quilters of Gee's Bend, QuiltCon 2015

This is the song they sang:

I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

The flowers that you give me
I can’t see their beuty
The flowers that you give me
I can’t see their beauty
The flowers that you give me
I can’t see their beauty

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

The flowers that you give me
I can’t tell nobody
The flowers that you give me
I can’t tell nobody
The flowers that you give me
I can’t tell nobody

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone
I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone

Ohhh, give me my flower whiles I yet live

So a few days ago when I heard Mary Ann Pettway and China Pettway of the Gee’s Bend Quilting Collective were soon teaching a workshop only a few hours’ drive away from my home, I sent my registration request off in a flash.

In fewer than three weeks, I’ll get to spend a few hours with Mary Ann and China. I’ll get to learn from them. Hear their stories. Let their histories inform me. I feel remarkably blessed to have that opportunity. I hope they’ll hug me if I cry a little.

xoxo,
Tara

Freckled Turtle Party

So far, even though some things in my 2018 plan are underway, 2018 has been teaching me a lesson in slowwwing dowwwn — while adding things to my life (like this blog!). I’m definitely not 25 with the energy of three people anymore!

Because a lot of what I’ve been up to the past month has been behind the scenes or related to my “day job,” I’m super happy to be able to show you some of the things others have made with my Churned Up pattern, and to give you links to check out what else these three ladies are doing! If there’s one thing social media does right, it’s connecting quilters near and far! If you’ve been following me over on Instagram, you may have seen these.

Meet Velda of Freckled Fox Quiltery

(Formerly known as Granny Can Quilt) I enjoy her wit & sass. I feel like I’m chatting with her over our machines at a quilt retreat when I read her blog. You can also find her on Instagram as @freckledfoxquiltery. She went scrap-o-licious with these Churned Up quillows:

Scrappy Quillows by Velda at Freckled Fox Quiltery
Scrappy Churned Up Quillows by Velda at Freckled Fox Quiltery

Meet Stephanie over at Quilt ‘n Party

Stephanie made the full version of Churned Up with a lovely, soft 30s print. Check out her blog for some great mini quilt and block tutorials! You can also catch her over on Instagram as @quiltnparty. (Tip: Check out her Gypsy Wife! *swoon*)

Churned Up 30s Style by Stephanie at Quilt 'n Party
Churned Up 30s Style by Stephanie at Quilt ‘n Party

Meet Joanne (aka Turtle Quilter Jo)

The above link goes to Joanne’s Instagram page, and you can also catch her over on her Quilts by Joanne blog. Joanne is one of the angels among us. She quilts a lot for charity, and I couldn’t be happier that her groovy dark and bright Churned Up (which she made lap size!) is going to a worthy cause. Her version keeps making me want to say, “far out, man!”

Joanne's "far out" Churned Up, Lap Size
Joanne’s “far out” Churned Up, Lap Size

A huge THANK YOU to each of these women for volunteering to make the pattern and write up such lovely reviews. I’m thrilled and humbled that they each enjoyed it so much and made these beautiful things that will go out and live in the world. That’s a new experience for me, and I like it! A lot!

xoxo,
~~Tara

The Epic Fabric Trip

For two Christmases now, I’ve asked for fabric money to spend at Thread Bear Fabrics at their end-of-year sale. Between my gift money and the great sale prices, I come home with more than I typically would find reasonable.

Hence, this!

Oh. Heavenly Fabric. Several of these are for projects in the 2018 lineup. I feel justified. Perfectly justified, right?

Eight yards of each of these happened (and if Anna ever re-releases the teal, I’m getting the whole bolt and eating ramen for six months):

Anna Maria Horner, Social Climber, Floral Retrospective
Social Climber by Anna Maria Horner in Ice and Perfume

And five yards of each of these. DE-LISH. Hello, Backings! 

The pink: Hot Couturier by Robert Kaufman. The blue: Brooklyn Heights by Kitty Yoshida for Benartex

I found more of that 30s Playtime black squares print! (Actually, my partner in crime, Jennifer, found it. And we both bought some.)

30's Playtime, Chloe's Closet, Moda
30s Playtime by Chloe’s Closet for Moda

I have some sneak peeks at current projects coming soon (lots and LOTS of half square triangles!)… And in other news, I’m jumping in on the 2018 New Quilt  Bloggers Blog Hop. Registration opens February 1, and I’m excited to exercise my New Blogger Muscles for it! Big thanks to the hosts: Jennifer of Dizzy Quilter, Beth of Cooking Up Quilts, Tish of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Sandra of MMM! Quilts.

There’s still time to sign up for the Kaffe Fassett Mystery quilt! Registration is open through January 15th. I hope you’ll join me!

Here’s a shot my aforementioned partner in crime, Jennifer. She also tests for me and is my best sewing buddy. Everyone, say Hi to Jennifer!

Quilt Your Hearts Out,
~~ Tara
P.S. I’ve decided to call these Friday fabric posts FABric Friday instead of Full Fabric Friday. A bit more to the point, don’t you think?

Kaffe 2018 Mystery Quilt

Happy New Year, Quiltabulous Friends!

It’s almost time for the Kaffe Fassett Mystery Quilt! Kaffe Fassett is the king of color. I had the pleasure of attending one of his lectures on color a couple of years back and I have several of his books. His prints are SO full of color and deliciousness that I am at times intimidated by them. ALL THE COLOR! ALL THE PATTERN! I’m hoping this mystery quilt experience gets me past all of that. I’m hoping that it teaches me more about color and how better to use it with passion and zeal. I am putting on my student hat for this one!

Want to join me? My friends at Thread Bear Fabrics are hosting it, and you can register with them through January 15th. The mystery kicks off in March.

These links are not affiliate links. I do not get paid anything for sending you Thread Bear. I just really like these folks, and I know they are good people to work with.

There is a Dark colorway option and a Light colorway option.

These are the fabrics in the dark colorway:

These are the fabrics in the light colorway:

Some deets from Janet and Randy at Thread Bear Fabrics:

This is a 10 month program that starts in March 2018 and ends in December 2018.

The final quilt size will be 82-1/2″ x 82-1/2″ and you choose a “light” or “dark” color option. There is a total of 12 yards for all 10 months/quilt.

Backing is not included. 2-5/8th yards of 108″ fabric is needed for the quilt back.

Cost of the program is $18.95 per month (plus shipping $7.00 for U.S. destinations).

There is a $4.99 registration fee to sign up for the program.

The first month you will receive block instructions on a 5×7 color card and fabrics in a clamshell packaging that is just the right size to store your project in as you receive your new fabric each month. And as a thank you for playing in the Mystery Quilt program, you will receive a freebie – a 10 piece Mystery Kaffe Fat Quarter.

Each following month you will receive the 5×7 color instruction card and the fabrics required to complete the block. Then in December, you will receive the fabric needed to complete the Mystery Quilt, plus binding and a 5×7 color card with final instructions for completing that month as well as putting together the entire quilt and solving the Mystery!

Every Mystery Quilt monthly puzzle adventure package includes a fun “ask” for the chance to win goodies from FreeSpirit!

Here’s me and Janet of Thread Bear in front of some of the Kaffe she and Randy carry in their shop:

With Janet at Thread Bear Fabrics
Me and Janet at Thread Bear Fabrics

xoxo,
~~ Tara