Posted on Leave a comment

Update on Quilts for Harvey Victims

We have had a lot of interest from people wanting to donate quilts or help make quilts for Hurricane Harvey victims. Our classroom space is fairly small, so if you are planning to come to help at our first Quilt-in on Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 10 to 4, we would like you to call the shop and specify what time you plan to come. Please let us know if you plan to here 10-1,  1-4 or all day (10-4). You can call us at 703-759-0250.

 

stack of quilts

At the shop we will work on quilts made from five-inch squares. If you have some pre-cut squares to add to the stack you are welcome to bring them. Please bring a sewing machine and basic sewing supplies.

We also have limited amount of batting and backing for quilt tops you want to donate. Bring those as well so we can find the best color and size for your quilts.

We have been in contact with the Linus Connection in Austin, Texas about sending the quilts to them, and this is the response we received.

Thank you so much for getting in touch!

Our organization is geared specifically toward children from preemie up to age 17, but we will not turn larger quilts away when there is so much need. Our usual focus is comfort quilts in all sizes, but  due to the extraordinary circumstances, we can take anything up to about twin size.

Quilts and blankets will be distributed through the Austin Disaster Relief Network. They are sharing with both evacuees in Austin shelters as well as taking supplies to affected communities throughout the Gulf area.

We’ve distributed over 200 quilts and blankets so far and have a new pile of lovely donated quilts and blankets growing for our next delivery.

Have a great week!

Jennifer Ofenstein

The Linus Connection is a Federal 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Thanks to all of you reading this for any help or donations.

Jinny

Posted on 9 Comments

Quilts for Victims of Harvey

Last week we were all drawn together in unity as we stared in awe at the magic of the universe. The eclipse captured the heart and souls of our country.

 

Eclipse Two for Blog

Not even a week later our hearts are going out to those affected by the horrible destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. This storm will impact the lives of thousands of people in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi for months to come. It is estimated that in Texas alone, more than 100,000 homes have been flooded. Many people will have lost everything but the clothes on their backs.

We ask ourselves, “What can I do to help?” People living close to the disaster are taking clothes, food and supplies to shelters and distribution centers. Others are directly involved in the rescue operations. The vast majority of us are not able to do that. But there are other ways we can offer our support.

The immediate need is money to help in purchasing food and supplies.

There are several relief organizations recommended on CNN.

And, of course, the American Red Cross is always prepared to help in such situations.

If every one of you reading this donated at least $10, think of the impact it would make. One thousand donations would generate $10,000 in seriously needed aid.

Those of you who have been to Quilt Market or Quilt Festival are very familiar with the George Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston that is now sheltering thousands of storm victims. Many people who work for Quilts, Inc. are victims themselves.

While the urgent need right now is money, as the waters recede and people return to what is left of their homes there will be a need for so much more.  As quilters we know the warmth and comfort that comes from being wrapped in a quilt and we can all help providing that comfort to the victims of the storm.

 

stack of quilts

 

At JINNY BEYER STUDIO we want to collect as many quilts as possible to send to those in need. As we did with Katrina, we will send those quilts to the various organizations in the affected areas that will handle their distribution.

Do you have quilt blocks or tops that have been sitting around and are in need of finishing into a quilt? Maybe you already have some finished quilts that you made to donate to a worthy cause. Please bring those quilts to us and we will see that they go to a family in need.

We are currently planning two “Quilt-In” days at the shop, on September 12th and 19th from 10-4. Bring your own “Harvey Quilts” to work on, or help us make some new quilts. While supplies last, Quilters Dream Cotton has donated a large roll of batting to use in Harvey Quilts and we at the Studio have set aside some fabrics that you can use for backing. These will be distributed on “Quilt-In” days.

If you cannot come to a Quilt-In, stop by the shop at any time to drop your quilts off and please:

  • Donate a minimum of $10 to the Red Cross or other charity of your choice.
  • Bring finished quilts to us for distribution. If you know of an organization that will be distributing household goods to those in need, please send contact information to us.
  • If you are a long-arm quilter and are interested in donating your time to quilt some of the tops, please contact us.

Watch for details on our Facebook page.

I know we quilters can accomplish a lot when we work together. Thanks, in advance, for helping out.

Save

Posted on 4 Comments

Travel the World With Us!

This summer seems to have flown by and as usual I have been busy with garden, family and quilting. Sadness for all of the extended family was the passing of my sister, Linda. She had fought a long battle with cancer and finally lost. But her amazing spirit through it all was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. I feel so fortunate that I was able to fly to the west coast in June and spend a quality week with her.  I returned in July for another week for the celebration of her life.

As usual in the summertime we start gearing up full tilt for the Shop Hop in November. This is our annual “Quilter’s Quest” which takes place for 10 days in November from the 9th to the 18th.

Each year we plan a color scheme and each shop selects a group of fabrics that fall within the range of those colors. As participants go to each shop they can purchase the swatches for $4.00 or if they spend $30 they can get them for free! This is our 2017 color palette.

 

Quest 2017 Colors
This year the “Quest Cuts” are eight six inch squares. We all get together and trade our sets with each other so every shop ends up with a complete set of 80 swatches. Then comes the fun part. Each shop designs a quilt based on the Quest Cuts. As you go to the shops you will receive a free pattern for that shop’s quilt.  Many of the shops offer “finishing kits” so that you can make a quilt from the pattern you like the best!

We have decided to have a “movie” theme this year and each shop has selected a movie and will enhance their shop according to the movie they select. We chose the movie Around the World in 80 Days.

It is a great event and all 10 shops have put together a fun video that tells you all about it.

In the past I have shared with you the progress of the quilt as I work on it over the summer. I wanted the design of our quilt to reflect on the movie theme. The 1956 film is about a Victorian Englishman who bets he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. Here is a little sneak peak of the progress.

 

Sorting the Fabrics

 

You all know how much I love shading fabrics together, so that was my first task. I needed four groups with 12 values of colors in each one, going from light to dark.

 

Sorting the Pieces

 

While the pattern for the quilt will be foundation piecing, I worked with templates, because I needed to move pieces around as I created the design. The hardest part was drafting the pattern, from there the rest was easy. Here is just a small portion of some of the pieces arranged on a design wall. It took me more than a week to get the pieces the way I wanted them and then only about a week to hand piece.

The quilt is now in my quilting frame and I work on it as I watch the Washington Nationals’ baseball games. Here is a small portion of the quilting in progress. I will share the complete design when the quilt is finished.

 

Quest 2017 Quilting on Quilt

 

Posted on 2 Comments

Visiting Sacred Threads – A Unique and Inspirational Quilt Exhibit

Neon Image One
With my friend Carole Nicholas holding “Neon” by Laurie Cessay

 

This morning I was given the wonderful opportunity to visit the Sacred Threads exhibit as finishing touches were added. If you are not familiar with Sacred Threads, I would guess that you’ve probably never seen anything quite like it.

 

“Pyrite Ammonites” by K. Lacy
“Pyrite Ammonites” by Kimberly Lacy

 

 

Pyrite Image Three

Back in 1999, fellow quilter, Vikki Pignatelli, gathered a small group of women to discuss their idea to present quilts with topics that you wouldn’t ordinarily see at quilt shows, giving quilters a venue to freely express themselves.  Their idea was to create “a dignified exhibit of artwork that would touch all those who viewed it on both spiritual and personal levels.”

 

Sandy Goldman and I discuss “Winter Solstice” by Seminar staffer Ricki Selva featuring many of my fabrics.
Sandy Goldman and I discuss “Winter Solstice” by Seminar staffer Ricki Selva featuring many of my fabrics.

Since 2011, we have been fortunate enough to have this exhibit here in Northern Virginia.  Four former members of the Studio and Seminar staffs are on the committee and they invited me to take a sneak peek.

 

Members of the committee fine-tuning the exhibit.
Members of the committee fine-tuning the exhibit.

 

 

Waiting for the final drapes and labels.
Waiting for the final drapes and labels.

This biennial exhibit is divided into the themes of Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing and Peace/Brotherhood and does not focus on any particular religion or faith.

As I first stepped in, my eye was caught by a quilt so obviously filled with joy.

 

Happy Image Seven
You can certainly feel the joy in “Bali Boys” by Linda Anderson.

Throughout the exhibit, the quilts told the stories and experiences of life but it was also fascinating, as a quilter, to see how these artists expressed themselves whether their work leaned towards the traditional or abstract.  The workmanship of so many of these pieces amazed and impressed me.

 

“Florida: Black Skimmer” by M. Wolfe
“Florida: Black Skimmer” by Martha Wolfe

 

 

Honor Image Nine
“In Honor of My Father” by Joan Bratton

There was even a special exhibit in honor of Yvonne Porcella who passed away last year.  I was able to look through these quilts before they were hung and they certainly brought a smile to my face as they reminded me so of Yvonne.

 

Tribute to Yvonne Porcella by Susanne Miller Jones
Barb Hollinger & Jinny with a tribute to Yvonne Porcella by Susanne Miller Jones

 

 

Tribute to Yvonne Porcella by Lisa Ellis
Tribute to Yvonne Porcella by Lisa Ellis

The exhibit runs July 7th through July 23rd at the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia. Visit their website, www.sacredthreadsquilts.com, for hours and directions.  You’ll also find information about “Meet the Artist Weekend” including dinners and more, plus location and dates for the traveling Sacred Threads exhibit. I encourage all who live in the area or who will be visiting during the time of the show to see the spectacular, inspirational exhibit.

 

“A New Dawn” by R. Schwartz
“A New Dawn” by Roxanne Schwartz

 

 

“Fall Was Her Favorite Time of Year” by H. Wilmarth
“After the Rain” by Rosanne Flack Williamson

 

Posted on 3 Comments

Half Square Triangles

The half square triangle is certainly one of the most used shapes in patchwork. Have you ever thought about how many different arrangements you can make by simply putting a light half square triangle next to a dark one and then arranging them in as many ways as possible?

 

half square triangle illustration (1)

 

Here are just a few examples that are in my book, The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns.

 

Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns

 

Blocks from QA

With my interest in all things patchwork, imagine my delight when during my recent visit to the International Patchwork Festival in Sitges, Spain, I encountered 55 benches with decorative patchwork tile designs, all made with half square triangle tiles.

 

Promenade

 

promenade 2

I was walking with my son, Sean, along the promenade that runs along the beach when I saw the first bench. I remarked on how neat that was. Then sixty steps later there was another one and another after sixty more steps.  Before long I realized that each bench was different, with a different design.

We walked for about a mile and a half and altogether I counted 55 benches, all made with half square tiles. Each dark triangle was paired with a light one to create a square and then those squares were arranged in a variety of ways—48  squares (96 half square triangles) along the back of each of the benches.

Some of the benches appeared to be newer than others. Each bench had decorative tiles on the sides that corresponded to the designs on the backs of the benches. The older benches had spaces for 10 squares (20 triangles) and the newer ones had spaces for 6 squares (12 triangles).

So far I have not been able to find any two benches exactly the same. Some had duplicate designs on the back of the bench, but maybe the colors were reversed or the design was upside down on one of them. Also I found benches with the same design on the back, but one was an older style with places for 10 squares on sides of the bench and the other was the newer style with a spot for only 6 squares. A few were the same design but with different colored tiles.

 

bench images 1

 

bench images 2

I only made the discovery of these benches on our last day in Sitges. I wish I had had time to study them more carefully. I photographed most all of them and show 30 of them here.

I would like to know the history about these benches, who came up with the idea, how old they are, etc. If anyone knows, please let me know.

Meanwhile, how many other arrangements can you come up with using the same configuration of 10 square tiles across and three down?

Posted on 2 Comments

Sitges International Patchwork Festival

What a wonderful week I had. I just returned from the Sitges International Patchwork Festival put on by the Association Espana de Patchwork.

 

Outside the exhibit hall
Outside the exhibit hall

Sitches itself is a gem of a city about 20 kilometers south of Barcelona, on the Mediterranean, with narrow cobblestone streets, beautiful old architecture, seaside cafes, wide promenades along the water and extremely friendly people. The weather was perfect every day with highs in the 60’s and lows in the 50’s.

 

1. narrow streets
Narrow streets!
Beautiful buildings
Beautiful buildings
Seaside cafe
Seaside cafe

 

I was invited to be one of the guest artists and to have an exhibition of my quilts at the show.

 

5. outside exhibition hall

 

Preparing for the exhibit
Preparing for the exhibit

Since I did not want to ship the quilts or check them, my son, Sean, accompanied me and we packed all 12 quilts in carry-ons.  It was quite a feat getting them all in the small-enough bags that we would be allowed to take on the plane.

The hall that held my exhibit was in an old building right on the water. Large windows looked out onto the sea so the lighting was excellent. Once the show opened, I was amazed at the crowds of people. The organizers expected more than 10,000 people to attend.

 

Looking out from the hall
Looking out from the hall

 

 

8. inside hall

 

Other artists with exhibits included Anna Dolanyi, Katie Pasquini, Danny Amazonas, Maoli Lozaano and Willyne Hammerstein. Unfortunately, because of the classes I was teaching and the time spent in my exhibit greeting people, there was not time to visit all of the exhibits which were scattered around the old part of the city.

 

With Katie
With Katie Pasquini

 

 

With Danny
With Danny Amazonas

 

 

Danny's horse art quilt
Danny’s horse art quilt

 

 

The eye of the horse - spectacular!
The eye of the horse – spectacular!

 

In the room next to my exhibit was an exhibit of work by children and I was so pleased to see the effort the patchwork association was making to encourage quiltmaking by children.

 

13. children with quilts

 

When we arrived at our seaside hotel we were a little sorry to see giant tents being put up along the promenade opposite our hotel.  We thought what a shame it would spoil our view, but then we saw a large “Bernina” sign being put up and realized that this series of tents was the vendors area! The tents were full with people the entire time.

 

15. inside tent
Inside the tent

 

We had a fabulous time and I’m so grateful that we had the opportunity to take part in it.

Posted on 2 Comments

Lights, Camera, Action!

Many of you are familiar with our annual shop hop we call Quilters’ Quest. What you may not know is that we start the planning for it as soon as the previous year’s Quest ends, meeting at least once a month throughout the year. We are always looking for new ideas and ways to make it even more fun for you.

 

Group in Gazebo

Last week our meeting took place here at the Studio. Besides normal business, we decided to put together a little video for you about us and the Quest. More on that after I tell you a bit about the Quest itself.

Every November our ten shops, located in Maryland and Northern Virginia, join together and open our doors for ten days of fun, fabric and friendship. This year’s theme is “Lights, Camera, Action.”  We have each selected a movie and will transform our shops so you can experience the magic of Hollywood!

 

Quest Colors 2017

 

From November 9th through the 18th, 2017, you will be able to participate in this FREE event that sends you on an adventure to explore each of our shops. You also have the opportunity to win fabulous prizes.  If driving from shop to shop seems a bit daunting, you can leave the driving to us and take one of the buses leaving from various shops.

 

Tote Bag One
Every finisher gets a cool mesh bag and more!

Tote Bag Two

Hosting the shop owners at the Studio and preparing for the video involved meeting with the videographer, set design (aka, rearranging the classroom) and preparing lunch where I proceeded to nearly cut off my finger. (Don’t worry—it was only a pinkie finger and not needed for sewing.) Thankfully, I did not bleed on lunch.

 

Jackie from Patches Quilting and Sewing
Jackie from Patches Quilting and Sewing

 

Rhonda from Crazy Cousin
Rhonda from Crazy Cousin

Filming began inside with a script written by Amy from Material Girls and Kelly Ann from Kelly Ann’s Quilting. It can be intimidating sitting under the lights with cameras on you, text to read aloud with others watching but soon silliness erupted from our many flubs and miscues.

 

Quilt Group One

 

Quilt Group Two

 

Quilt Group Three

After lunch, we moved outside for more filming.  I don’t know if it was the fresh air and bracing wind or that we had full tummies but everyone relaxed and the silliness increased.

 

Silly Two

 

Silly One

 

Silly Three

 

Silly Four

Our color Palette is fresh and new and each of our shops has put together a unique set of eight 6” squares in the Quest colors. Collect them all and all 10 of our FREE quilt patterns. I think it is safe to brag a little and say that our shops design beautiful quilts each reflecting its own style.

 

Here are the Colors of the 2017 Quest. Each shop will choose their own fabrics.
Here are the Colors of the 2017 Quest. Each shop will choose their own fabrics.

Sign up for the Quilters’ Quest newsletter! In addition to staying up to date on our breaking Quilters’ Quest news (such as the premier of our video), bus schedules and sign ups and fun previews, you will also gain access to the monthly Quest Block of the Month quilt pattern. Stay tuned, the results of our fun day will be ready soon and we will share the video with you!

Sign up now at http://www.quiltersquest.org/

We are looking forward to seeing all of you soon!

Final Pic

Posted on 14 Comments

Busy, Busy Week!

What an incredibly busy week I have had! We launched our new Block of the Month for 2017. We have been overwhelmed by the response and the excitement this has generated.

 

Graphic for Blog

 

When planning for our Block of the Month we always think ahead as to how many kits we may sell. We make sure to have available fabric for that amount of kits. Because of the smaller size and the “mystery” aspect, we thought we might sell twice as many kits as last year and ordered accordingly.  Well in just one week we have sold all the kits that we thought we would sell in an entire year!

We have reordered fabric from RJR but there was not enough border print so they are reprinting it. From the time we order it until we receive it is about three and a half months. So, our new border shipment will not arrive until the end of April.

As of this blog, we are out of border print for the Peacock version and will run out of some of the others very soon. Not to worry. If you like one of the colorways that is currently waiting for the border print, we are offering two choices – save on shipping by placing a backorder for the Complete Kit for end of April delivery, or begin working on the quilt now by ordering the kit in two parts: “Kit Without Border Print” to be sent now and a backorder for the 3 yards of border print to be sent end of April or early May.  The border print is not used until August, so you could keep up with the clues starting in February.

 

Tired Kitmakers
Tired Kitmakers

 

Mind you, we are a very small business with all part time employees and limited space. This week we have turned into a kit making mini-factory. I have been at the shop helping out in every spare moment.

 

Video Image for Blog

 

If you want to know more about the Moroccan Mystery quilt, here is a short video that gives more information.

Posted on 190 Comments

New Block of the Month for 2017

Graphic for Blog

 

For the last several years I have been offering a free block of the month quilt pattern to subscribers to our monthly newsletter.

A few months ago, we sent out a survey asking what type and style of project you would like to see for next year’s Block of the Month and we have taken your suggestions to heart. The most popular design ideas were:

  • Wall hanging
  • Medallion style
  • Piecing and appliqué
  • Mystery quilt

For 2017, we have listened and took your suggestions. Instead of a full size quilt, the project is smaller, only 47” x 47”. It is medallion style and it is a mystery quilt with both appliqué and piecing. Instead of a block each month there will be portions of the design to put together.

I have designed the quilt to be a learning experience and it incorporates various piecing techniques so that by the time you finish you will be able to tackle any patchwork project.

Many of you know that I sew all my quilts by hand. One of the reasons is that handwork is portable and you can take it anywhere you go. I have seen a real resurgence of interest in hand piecing the last couple of years and this quilt is a great project to do by hand even if you have never tried hand piecing before. Each clue is a learning step to the next one and, if you choose to sew by hand, by the end of the year you will be an expert. If you prefer sewing by machine, the pattern is written for both hand and machine sewers.

 

Taping Take Two
Our classroom was transformed into a film studio to produce the videos for the new BOM mystery quilt. We were lucky to find a videographer right in our neighborhood, Adam Vogtman.

 

We will begin with simply sewing a straight line, then joining four points, curves, eight points, setting in seams, appliqué and so on. There will be video clips to go along with the clues with links to these in each newsletter. The quilt is not a huge project and you should easily be able to complete each clue during the month.

I have designed this quilt in the four colorways shown above. You can pre-order your kit and it will be shipped starting January 20th, so by the time the first clue comes out in February you will be ready to start!

In order to receive all the clues for the BOM, you must be a subscriber to our free monthly newsletters. The links to all patterns and videos will only be in our newsletter. If you have not yet signed up you can do so here.

Watch for more information on this program in Saturday’s newsletter. I hope you are as excited about this as we are.

Posted on 4 Comments

Optical Illusions

One of our most popular quilt kits is the Optical Illusions design by Erin Underwood. This quilt is created by sewing strips of colors and background together and then cutting them out with a wedge ruler. The leftovers from one set of wedges creates the second alternating wedges. So, it is super simple to sew.

When you step back from the quilt design, you not only see the checkerboard, but also swirling petals. The effect is achieved with only six colored fabrics.

 

Original Colorway

 

I decided to do a new colorway of this quilt in the ever-popular teals, purples and blues. When I finished, I wondered what had gone wrong. I had my six colors. They shaded nicely together, but I was not getting the “petal effect.”

 

Teal Quilt One
First attempt

 

I studied the two designs and realized that the brightest and lightest colors needed to be at the center of the strips. I had done that with the original quilt but not with the new one. So, I went back to the drawing board and re-shaded the fabrics and created a second version of the design. This time I could see the petals.

 

Teal Quilt Two
The final peacock version with a dark background.

 

You can see here the two sets of wedges. In each set the fabrics are arranged exactly the same. The second wedge in the set is simply turned upside down. It is amazing how different the quilt can look by just changing the order of the fabrics.

 

 

Wedge Sets

Look how different the design looks with a light background instead of a dark. Are the petals more visible on the light background or the dark? Some eyes see it one way and some the other. This is where the “optical” effect plays tricks.

 

Optical Illusions Peacock