Holy Family Chapel Quilt

Martha’s Quilters is a group at St. Martha’s church in Kingwood which has a mission of providing prayer quilts to parishioners who are ill. We were recently requested to make a quilt for the new chapel. It would be a special quilt in memory of one of the long time members of our group, Pat Reid, who donated the funds to build the new chapel.

We began by choosing a stained glass image of the holy family that we found on Pinterest. It was transferred to paper as a simple line drawing.

Original line drawing for quilt

Next, we auditioned many different fabrics for the various areas of the design.

We chose mostly jewel tones and batiks. They looked great against the black bias strips representing the leading for the “stained glass”. The faces and halos were painted using acrylics and fabric paint on white fabric.

After cutting and fusing the sections down, the black bias was carefully hand appliquéd in place. The family was then cut away from the base fabric and fused onto a new background of textured beige. The quilt looked good at this point, but needed something more.

Our friend Pat had been an avid gardener and a member of the Kingwood Garden Club for many years. To honor this interest of hers, it was decided to add a border of flowers and include many purple ones, because purple was Pat’s favorite color.

Adding the floral border

The floral border greatly enhanced the quilt by reflecting the colors in the family and introducing small details that could be found by close inspection. Birds, frogs, butterflies and angels can all be found within the floral border, as well as Pat’s own name (which had been on her well-used walker bag).

Addition of “Pat” surrounded by her favorite color : purple

Here is the inscription on the label:


Label inscription

And here is the image of the finished quilt:

Finished quilt

This project was truly a group effort of all of the members of Martha’s Quilters who spent long hours cutting, fusing, stitching, quilting, embroidering and binding the quilt. It reflects Pat’s love of gardens and flowers, her great faith and her love of all things purple. May she rest in peace.

Summer in Houston, TX

Summer is my least favorite time in Houston. August especially can be brutally hot for weeks with temps high in the 90s and often surpassing 100 degrees. So when my local chapter of the Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) decided to issue a call for entries for quilts that represented “Life in Bayou City”, it was a no brainer that I would make a quilt that was a commentary on Houston summer weather. It would have to include symbols of the extreme heat, and also the flooding that Houston experienced 2 years ago in the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Harvey was a disaster of unbelievable proportions- $125 billion dollars in damage. The storm lasted from August 17 to September 2, 2017.

I started by constructing a temperature graph, using colors that went from yellow to red suggesting rising temperatures.

Constructing the temperature graph

Next, I searched for fabrics to represent the floodwater. I needed to piece several different blue fabrics together trying to get the right variety of light and dark fabrics for flowing water.

Stitched blue fabrics together to represent floods

I then used my printer to try different fonts and sizes to come up with the template for the title lettering.

Paper template for cutting out the lettering

Lastly, it was all pieced together with more lettering added to separate the different sections of the quilt. I had to include those dreaded words” A tropical storm is developing in the Gulf of Mexico” and “Heat advisory in effect for the next 10 days”.

The finished quilt:

Houston Weather

So, here it is the 2nd anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. I hope my friends here in Houston are prepared and ready for the hurricane season that is ramping up, and I hope Mother Nature is kind to us this year.

Pysanky- Completed!

The last time I posted about this quilt I had finished piecing 25 egg blocks and was trying to decide how to set them and finish the quilt. I stitched the eggs on point and placed them next to each other to see how that looked.

Preliminary Layout

This was okay, but it didn’t have any definition of blocks, it needed some separation with a sashing to set the blocks off. So, I started looking at sashing designs and came up with this:

Blue and white sashing strips

Yes! The blue and white sashing tied in well with the blue and white eggs.

The next issue to decide was how to quilt it. I went with heavy stippling around the eggs to make them pop. The eggs themselves were quilted along their design lines. Around the triangle border I quilted large feathers and in the navy blue border quilted an on point checkerboard.

Close up of quilting
Marking the border for quilting

Here is the finished quilt. I was thrilled to have it accepted in the International Quilt Festival’s Sapphire Quilts Special Exhibit. It will be traveling to other shows across the country for the next two years.

Finished quilt

Cana Jars

On a trip to Israel in October of 2017 with my church group, we visited the little town of Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding feast. A church has been constructed at this site and inside the church, on either side of the altar stood 3 stone jars of the type and form that were used during Jesus’ time. Here is a photo of what they looked like:

Church at Cana, Israel with 6 water/wine jars on the altar.

The jars really caught my attention and I knew that they would make a great subject for a quilt.

I began by making paper shapes of the stone jars and arranging them on my design wall. I imagined the jars to be painted different colors and started building them one by one using fabrics in a collage method.

Building the first jar

First two jars with paper outlines of placement of 3 others.

Next post will show the remaining jars and the finished quilt.

Moncarapacho Update

Here’s some photos of the growth of the Moncarapacho quilt that I’ve been hand piecing.  First, a photo of what I last posted:

Second round is complete

Here’s what it looks like after adding two more rounds:

Four rounds complete!

It’s  a slow process, but I really enjoy hand stitching and choosing the colors to use for each star.  It currently measures 40″ diameter.  How large will it be?  I don’t know, yet, we’ll see after the next round!