Posts Tagged ‘quilts’

Another Smaller Piece – Yes, Tim Gunn, I edited…..

So after looking at the last table runner, I decided last minute to do a small table-topper for the son of a good friend – the one who is getting the table runner. Since he is in a doctoral program in marine biology, I decided to finally use the small lighthouse batik squares I had gotten maybe 10 years ago. First thing I discovered – Keepsake Quilting, not your finest cutting…..all the “squares were different rectangular sizes, which made squaring them off a bit difficult (especially since I didn’t do that first step – only the second step). And only a few of the nine lighthouses actually were straight……

I kept wondering how I would quilt this, since the focus would be the lighthouses. I chose a border fabric that reminded me of Cape Cod cottages, so them the focal point was the lighthouse and the “sea-side-y” shingles. All I did was quilt in the ditch – anything else would have detracted from the design. Three hours later I was done – from layout to quilting to binding. Part of me was feeling guilty for the lack of fancy quilting, but hey, the piece didn’t need it, and I’m not sure the recipient would have appreciated the extra work. I like it and that’s what matters – it can go on the wall in an office or across a desk or small table. So lesson here – not everything needs to be complex to look good (and…..check the “squares” before starting)…..

For the Marine Biologist

For the Marine Biologist

 

Meditative Rippit……

Waffle3See that bottom left light blue triangle? Eight hours later, I have learned a couple of new lessons. One, there is something to be said for trying out a motif on  scrap fabric and batting. Two ripping out teeny tiny threads can actually be meditative…..

That said, those bottom triangles were going to have a different pattern along the top and bottom. I was thinking a type of lotus blossom (a variation for me on a feather) with smaller feathers inside each petal. Because at this point I wanted a little relief from all the blue. I thought it needed some more color…..I was wrong, at least with the color I chose. I should have stopped after the first petal, rather than completing the triangle…..a lot of my decisions look way better after they are finished. But I was still wrong….maybe if I had left it all in the shiny blue….but it was still wrong. So I knew I had to take it out.

Were the quilt for me, I would have just put it aside until I felt like dealing with it. But no, it’s for my yoga instructor, and I want to get it finished before we have to dismantle the studio for the move. So I started with the seam ripper….three hours Wednesday night, music in the background….the petals were easy in the Magnifico thread – just slid out. NOT SO the feathers…..teeny tiny……three hours Thursday, three hours Friday (yes, a lot of tiny stitches, many on top of each other), and today after 20 minutes I was finished, with two very sore fingers for my efforts.

The fabric looks kind of like a war zone – it’s 16 years old after all, and nothing like that left in my stash – or I could have ironed on a replacement triangle and then quilted that. But the bubble stitching will hold it together, as long as the cats done find a few loose threads of the fabric. And the whole bottom looks much much better. Now for the triangles along the top, and then into the borders……I have to remind myself to plan ahead and if I want to do something fancy, try it ahead of time……..even if rippit is fairly meditative…….

Surprisingly meditative

Surprisingly meditative

The Hum-Purr of My Machine….

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Thank you, Cindy Needham, for talking about the hum-purr your machine makes when you are in the groove! And I have been in the groove this past month – another quilt under the presser foot, this one a  16-year-old top that I am giving to my yoga instructor. I haven’t done anything with the top prior to this, because there was an area I really wanted to do feathers in, and I wasn’t willing to hand-quilt them. So now that I can do feathers in free-motion, sounds about right to finish this top…..except the area I was thinking really needed something else…..so I did a grid pattern, and I LOVE IT! It makes the traditional top look much more modern.

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Below is the quilt being basted – my safety pins have gotten quite the workout in the last few months! The quilt top originally ended with the blue wave border, but it wasn’t long enough to cover a chilly body. So I added another black and wine border – lots of ideas for quilting those – and yes, I will have feathers somewhere on this quilt!

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Before I started in on this, I continued with the BOM from our local quilt store, four months to catch up on, and I’m pleased with how they look. Based on progress I’ve made with the amount of sewing over the last couple of months, I would probably do some colors differently in the original blocks. Here’s the new ones:

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Photography really isn’t doing them justice!

DSCN0674I love the green and orange one!

Up after this quilt is a lap quilt for my great-niece who turns 13 in August, and I would like to have it done for when we see them in May. I’ve made the commitment that all 8 of my great-nieces and great-nephews will get a lap quilt from me when they turn 13. This means lap quilts for the next 11 years…….

Out of Asia – Next Challenge from Art Quilts Around the World

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I belong to the online group Art Quilts Around the World, and we have just posted our last challenge, Out of Asia. My piece came out really well, and we pick it up from the framer tomorrow. It just had to be stretched and matted, and if it comes out like we think, it will be spectacular. Here’s the story behind “Ode to Hokusai: DragonFlight.”

This was an interesting challenge. I knew the fabric I wanted to use almost immediately the topic was announced. This was a piece of cotton lame’ that we marbled about 10 years ago. It read Asian to me as soon as I rinsed it out, and it went into the “save” pile for some time in the future for when I could figure out what to do with it. I have done a couple of pieces of cotton lame’, one  of which is on the website – green cotton lame’ called Rainforest. I wanted to do more, because of the properties of lame’, but is seems in the last ten years that formulas have changed, and there seem to be a lot more additives to the fabric. My last attempt at lame’ didn’t work well at all……

So this is the piece that sat on the design wall for six weeks.

 I knew I couldn’t cut it, even though it is slightly smaller on one side and larger on the other from our group sizes. I just couldn’t cut it………so I figured I would just quilt the lines to accent the wave, reminiscent of “The Great Wave” by Hokusai – one of those pieces of artwork I easily recognize every time I see it. It’s almost like I planned that wave, when the whole piece really was an experimentation with a different comb (literally, a small hair comb for teasing the hair).

So I started on the center section, figuring I wold just accent the lines of that wave. Normally I would have pulled out black silk thread, since I really just wanted texture, but the dark green (Silk Kimono by Superior) kept calling my name. It is so subtle, but what it did was soften the black in the design – which I liked. Who knew? And with the light on it – it’s perfect.

I loved it when it was done – so much of a great wave, you could almost match it up with the master! So I kept looking at it and pondering where I would go from there……how much more would get quilted?

Serendipity struck, in the form of hubby the other marbling artist…who took one look and said, “I thought you were doing a wave? This is an amazing dragon. ” From then on the dragon was the overall image I saw every time I looked at the piece, so I just had to listen and figure out the next steps.

There is some very light blue within the colors, so I chose a blue silk Kimono thread to accent the blue, sort of like glistening dragon wings (too much Anne McCaffrey and Pern….). Then I wanted to do more quilting in the background to accent the idea of flight, so I went with a pale orange silk Kimono, just for wind and/or wave ripples. I ripped out a few lines because it just seemed like too much. Finally I just said “done,” because it seemed to have everything it needed. It is at Michaels right now getting stretched on foam core and a 2-inch black mat, as it said “I want to be framed.”

Above all, I listen…..

You can see other fabulous pieces here.

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Road 2 California – Part 2 – QUILTS!

While I love the shopping opportunities at a large quilt show, I am there for the art. I was certainly not disappointed at road 2 California. Oh my goodness (and I said that a lot…), the quitls were wonderful. So much so I went back to walk through everything three times. So I have a LOT of pictures. We’ll start slowly.

Sherry Reynolds created “America, Let It Shine,” and what a beauty it is. From her statement: Tribute to America and its foundations and values, with the hope that they will guide us to a brighter future. 5121 Swarovski crystals represent the words of the Constitution, Star Spangled Banner, Pledge of Allegiance, and age of America. The 13 colonies are represented by using 13 points on outer blue rays and red triangles. The 50 states are represented with the ring of 50 stars. Designed on graph paper, free motion quilted on a Bernina 1001.

Sherry was there Saturday with her original graph paper, and I loved her comment. “No one told me you couldn’t do all this quilting on a big quilt ona  domestic machine.” Gives us all hope!

(It’s really hard getting a good picture with a crowd around…).  And here’s the back….also pretty amazing.

Sherry won one of the major awards – just don’t remember which one…..

There were a group of “slice” quilts, where a picture is cut into so many pieces, and a different person quilts each piece, and then the whole is recreated. These were the Klamath Basin Vistas. I really enjoyed taking a look at all the exquisite details.

Another favorite (more winners later…) is this one from Diane Steffen called “Rare Catch.” I love the piecing in each of the lobsters, as well as the pieced boards, and the addition of a net.

Lisa Sipes won for her “BeDazzleder!” I loved the vibrant colors, and the trapunto and quilting was exquisite.

“Ring Toss for Spring” by Heidi Lund – vibrant blues.

Betty Busby gave us “Welcome to the Jungle.” There is so much hidden detail in here – couldn’t get the whole lizard in at the bottom…..

Amazing bromeliads by Barbara Beatty: “Ethereum Botanica: Bromeliads.” (Way more amazing in person than this pic….)

From Suzanne Marshall comes “Deruta,” which is a town in Italy known for its hand-painted ceramics.

From Bonnie Keller comes “Creme de la Creme,” an amazing whole cloth based on the work of William Morris. She used trapunto, embroidery, beading, and inks. The detail was amazing, and I’ve just included a detail shot.

And from Molly Hamilton-McNally and Cindy Seitz-Krug comes Best of Show: “Everlasting Bouquet.” The colors are spectacular.

More to come as I get them sized, labeled, and get to a few other things on my massive list…….

Road 2 California – Part 1 – VENDORS!!!!!

Wow. Wow. Aisle upon aisle of vendors. Talk about hyperventilating……..so many things, so little time……so we make a plan. One row at a time, make a note of booths to come back to, after the rush of “I want” passes, and I still really do want that gadget. I like to collect cards of interesting things, so here are some goodies.

Little Windows – photo jewelry form resin. I like this better than what I saw at the gem show a year ago, with kind of yucky backings. These are much classier, and – for me – a good way to showcase some marbled fabric snippits.

Honey Run Quilters – not a lot really to the website, but they had some absolutely gorgeous cotton-silk colored fabrics that we were itching to marble. We’ll go back and visit them.

Kai Scissors – Jim was able to give me an exact recommendation for the scissors I needed – very small pointy ones for close clipping of threads – plus a very cool suggestion of using different fingers to get even closer to the fabric.

Stitch in Time – Thai textiles. Talk about drool – this stuff was amazing!!! And the trims……

Kasuri Dyeworks – oh my goodness, I could have fondled the silks there for hours. Each more gorgeous than the one I just looked at. They are working on getting a new website up and running, which will be wonderful. This was such beauty.

Dutch Quilter – Lennie Honcoop was working on a quilt as we stopped. She works with “hot ribbon.”  “Hot Ribbon Art is an iron-on, no sew, 1/8″ wide ribbon that can be used to finish the raw edges of appliqué. Imported from Japan, Hot Ribbon is gaining in popularity with quilters who like to finish off their projects quickly and have a dramatic look. Each package of Hot Ribbon contains 2 yards (four 18 inch strands).” (from the website). Plus, she uses  Copic markers to do shading on both the b=fabric and the ribbon. It was fascinating to watch this piece come together.

Superior Threads – by far my choice for thread – they really are “no ka oi.” (Hawaiian for “the best”) Got to talk to Mother Superior, Dr. Bob, Cindy Needham, Annie – all the people who have really changed how I quilt. I picked up their thread color cards, since I want to get more King Tut, and I really need to see the thread itself beyond a catalog picture. You can get these at their cost.

More next time!! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter – see the button on the right – and enter to win free marbled fabric!!

Monday Marketing

 

 Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness…..and I could go on! What an amazing four days of art we just had….and we did quite a bit of marketing along the way. We just returend from Road 2 California – my first large quilt show since Market in 2003, and hubby’s first large quilt show. Two days of amazing quilts (photos to follow this week, after I get myself reoriented to basic life here….), plus a day at the Getty Museum – and coping with I-405….interesting experience there……

One of the best things I did in preparation for the show was bring three really great fat quarters with me, just in case someone was “interested” in seeing marbled fabric. One fat quarter went to the “quilt royalty” that was at the show, and one went to Susan Else, the guest artist – she will definitely have something different to use in her sculptures.

It was really helpful as we were looking at some of the cool tools to pull out the actual fabric and ask questions very specific to its use. This was particularly true at the Pellon booth, as we were talking we began to realize that if we are to take our fiber work to the next level, we need to seriously consider what is used in between the layers. We looked at embroidery machines, as I really would like to include some machine embroidery in the new pieces, and we had a fascinating discussion with the Brother people that could potentially lead to some licensing opportunities.

I collected a lot of business cards, as there was either a really interesting tool or embellishment I want to share. Hardly any book dealers, which is why I may need to consider Market this year or next. Speaking of books….I got home to about 300 emails, one of which was a request for photos to be in a book. That’s definitely a follow-through for this week. Renewed my Quilt Show membership so I can keep up with what’s happening in the field.

Interesting marketing observations. One company with really interesting hand-painted fabric doesn’t have a website. They only sell at shows. They don’t want to photograph fabric so people can see exactly what they are going to buy. I understand that; that’s precisely why there are some online venues that won’t take us, because they feel the need to photograph every piece of fabric. That’s why we sell on eBay and Etsy – what you see is what you get. We have a note on our ordering page on our website about why there aren’t pictures. We don’t get many orders off the website, but that’s okay, because we have other venues. No hand-marbled fabrics at the show, but there was a booth with commercial marbled fabric; nice line of fabric, much more subtle than what has been released by major companies in the last few years. Lots of quilts made up – using a stained glass approach – using the marbled fabric. Interesting to see.

Some booths had absolutely no information, beyond a business card with only an email. I tried making notes, but I figured there’s no way I’d be sharing that information. No web presence, and no pictures allowed to let people know what was available. Hopefully they make enough doing shows to make it worth their while. We couldn’t do that; the press of making fabric for our Seattle trip is enough.

It’s probably the most fun to put names and faces to cyber contacts and to ooh and aah at the gorgeous artwork. We went through the quilts twice, making sure we didn’t miss anything, and trying to find time to just enjoy the quality workmanship. I wouldnt have been able to take this amount of time had I not been retired…..

And after all that, as I was perusing and cleaning out emails, I stumbled across this older email that I hadn’t read, from resident web guru Suzan. I know there are more applications to marketing than meets the eye, but since we artists rely on our hands to make our art, this seems interesting food for thought. A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design.

Stay tuned – lots of pictures in the works!!!

Work in Progress – Continued….

Yesterday I started the “winter” quilt for the group of Seasons, and I made quite a bit of progress. It was an interesting day, as design decisions kept sneaking around as I was working. Now, a while ago I realized I had some “branch” left over from some silk flowers that I thought I could use on this piece. I got a bunch of pieces cut, and then I  realized that about 3 years ago I bought some snowflake glitter for just such a reason as this. And what follows is proof you need to be a little crazy to attempt mixed media….

After spreading some of the glitter on the quilt top itself, I liked it…and realized I had to do some massive clean-up of my “trial and error.” Then I wondered if I could coat the small branches with the snow glitter. Once I was able to finally get the glue bottle open, the fun began. I put part of the branch in the glue bottle, tried to shake off excess (not successful), and then dunk the branch in the bottle of glitter. Messy, and lots of snowflake glitter that would shed constantly.

Time for a new plan…dip the top part of the branch in the glue, and then using fingers, distribute the glue down the rest of the branch, and then roll the branch on the pile of glitter on the paper. Shake well and let dry. Clean off very sticky fingers, covered with glitter, and repeat….

I did about nine branches and worried about them drying and sticking to the mat board. I did about 8 small branches, and I love the effect….but I still have to figure out how to attach them. this is certainly a first for me. I’m not one to mix these different media together, and I can see why people get hooked on mixed media collage. In the meantime my idea to add a small piece of blue fabric before the binding changed – I ended up wrapping it to be the binding itself – a lot more subdued that way. I also did some stippling in the gray area – it gave it more texture and lightened the gray slightly.

After a lot of pondering, I took some of my beading processes to attach the branches to the top and bottom of the quilt. The reveal will be next Wednesday.

This last is the truer picture of colors – very icy, which is my complete intent.

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

I wasn’t sure I would have some stuff for today, as I’m not planning on showing much else of the two major pieces I’m working on, beyond talking about the process. I did have some moments of panic yesterday, as I finally gave in to taking the sewing machine to Cathey’s Sew and Vac here in Tucson – just couldn’t figure out what was going on with the tension. And I was thinking – two weeks without the machine…..

Turns out it was bobbin tension – they very nicely  did “triage” and Mary Sara showed me exactly what was wrong and helped me fix the bobbin case. I am definitely planning some private lessons with her after the first of the year. I brought my machine home 30 minutes later, good as new, with specific instructions to OIL MY MACHINE. Will do.

Then it was back to work on the “winter” piece, as I wanted to take a break from the major sewing. I wasn’t sure the marbled FQ and the gray I bought would work, but they do. The only thing I would do differently, should I make another one, is to get a much lighter gray. Once the log cabin blocks were done, we made the mistake of trying to choose border fabrics in a yellowed light at night. We literally went through every blue in the stash; the blue organza seemed like neon when up against the piece – even though the shade was exactly what we needed. We settled on a piece of black we’ve been saving – won’t need much to finish borders and binding.

In the light of day, everything seemed to work pretty well together. Here’s a peek. It definitely looks icy. And I was pleased with what I was able to do with directionality.

Now, here comes the weird part…..I have been saving the “vine” from the strong of autumn leaves we bought, thinking I could maybe use it. I read the blogs of a lot of mixed media collage artists, and I am amazed at what they put in their work. My friend Anne was delighted to get left-over slide casings – just because she thought of something she could maybe do with them….so I’m guessing this habit is catching….

I thought about trying for a wintery twig effect. It looks like I will have to take the wire off from around the pieces and then carefully attach them where I want them…..should be interesting to see what happens.

Hopefully it will be done for a “reveal” next Wednesday….yup….too much HGTV…..

Top Ten Tuesday

 

Under the category of food art comes these really interesting images, found on the Cool Hunting site. Caren Alpert goes through a lot of prep to get these amazing photos. The one below is a pineapple leaf……

From Cool Hunting is a look at an eclectic furniture collection form a hotel in San Francisco. Some pretty cool stuff – but I’m not sure I’d sit in it!

Under the category of “Remember When” comes some “pre-internet” reminders……(are we really that old?)……..from The Best article Every Day. (This is in honor of Sheldon of BBT)…..


A very cool tutorial on making initials….color, glitter, easy instructions. From Lisa Engelbrecht.

If you are not a Twilight fan (don’t even get me started on lack of correct punctuation….) you will appreciate the poster from Mad Magazine…Breaking Wind, Fart 1. I don’t want to spoil it by putting it here……

From The Best Article Every Day comes a little bonus piece at the end….

I can’t find really good attribution, (I think chromestory.com), but I SO LOVE Explorer – kind of sums up what I, as a MAC person, think of IE.

And from The Best Article Every Day comes the “origin” of Angry Birds…..since I got hooked earlier this fall, I found this really funny….it’s the bonus piece at the end of protecting your Facebook account (which is also interesting….).

A new site discovered from Kathy NidaThat is Priceless. Art – with captions….how did I miss this all this time?

Admiring Herman Cain's "Thanks for not coming forward" Bouquet

And thanks to Kathy, again, for The Bitchy Stitcher. I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. sarcasm. I am fairly fluent in the language, and I am always practicing in order to hone my skills. I practice often with my sarcasm twin Michelle.

And…another wonderful new blog, courtesy of Kathy – great rant on IQF!

Great week behind me, another great one to come! Life is AWESOME!


 

Something I’ve Never Done Before……

Okay, so on Wednesday I cleaned the studio in preparation for new work, got rid of lots of lint and threads….nice and clean. I cross off thee of the eight table runners and looked at my list of projects. Well, says I, why don’t I finish one UFO before starting on these two new ones? I figure, let’s go with the deer quilt, which has been hanging around unfinished for about 13 years. How bad could it be?

Well…………….bad. Nothing seemed straight, I still had a lot of free motion to do, and the quilt was fighting me. I got one side row of free motion done, but I wasn’t happy. We decided to measure the bedroom space to make sure the quilt would fit…and it would, but barely. I noticed as we held it up that it was so wavy…..much like a beginner’s quilt, which this kind of was……So I figured I would try a basting stitch to see if I could bring some kind of straightness to that one side.

Nope. Nada. Nothing. No way.

Now, hubby has always loved this quilt. Me, not so much anymore, especially since my skills have improved dramatically.

What to do?

I grabbed the scissors.

Now, I’ve read about people cutting up quilts, and every time I read that, I would be horrified. What would cause someone, after all that time, to cut up a quilt?

Now I understand…..something had to give if I was going to finish this, and it had to be the tree borders. So I cut them off.

Amazing. The quilt is now pretty straight, and I sewed on the binding.

Now, keep in mind that given the large table runners I just finished, that’s over 16 yards of binding I’ve sewn this week (and no, I didn’t hand stitch the back down….I didn’t want another 3 years to go by before I delivered them….). And…it’s a good thing I cut off the borders, because I just had enough binding – which I put together some 13 years ago…………

I also sewed this down front and back. And it’s done, ready to be hung on the wall, and I don’t need a third hangar….

I am reminded of Ami Simms’s Ugly Quilt Contest, where the winner had a brown paper bag over her head…….This is from the time period where I was doing lots of rotary cutting and piecing – this is probably from Pam Bono’s Rotary Cut Quilts book.

Hubby’s happy, I keep thinking “what was I doing?” at various stages, like choosing the mountain fabrics…….

Now, there is a good point to all this – I am giving away the tree borders. I know a lot of quilters recycle pieces from quilts. I just don’t think I’ll do that. Here’s a snippet:

There are four rows, and the blue fabric varies from side to side and top to bottom. Some have no quilting, some quilting only in the “ground” areas. Leave me a comment, tell me what you’d do with them, and I’ll draw a winner on Monday, November 21. Each row has a marbled fabric tree, if that is any appeal……

Have fun!

Work in Progress Wednesday

Well, lots of loose ends going round in my head. There are a lot of WIPs, from marketing to fiber projects. First up is my attempt to make some progress with Fine Art America. It occurred to me that rather than wait to get collections completed, I should start putting up a print at a time. Good thought. Turns out the program is not as intuitive as I figured it would be, based on all the great comments. One conclusion I have come to is that it looks like so many of my pieces that I thought were ready to go probably need to be redone, and I’m not sure I remember how I got to each and every layer.

I need to resize a lot of images, and I need to save them at a higher resolution. I am having trouble, for some reason, getting my sizing right for the program. This one to the left, for example, has been resized to an eight by eight, at 250 dpi, and it still doesn’t seem to want to show correctly on line. I also need to look at what I want for costs. The site isn’t completely clear about setting mark-ups.

There are also plug-ins to have your prints and a shopping cart on your Facebook page, as well as your website, which I would definitely like to do, but I think I need to wait until I can figure out how to get work consistently up on the site. After nearly two hours today and about the same amount of time yesterday, I put out a request for assistance on Twitter and Facebook. The site is classy, the work looks good, lots of people have given good feedback about the site, but I can’t seem to get a handle on it. This from the person who has pretty much taught herself everything she can do on the computer. So, yes, I’m frustrated……

I am nearly done zentangling my fake, flammable, plastic pumpkin from China. It looks spectacular. One more section of the pumpkin and then I will spray a fixative and enjoy.

I’m working on the fish quilt, as I want to have it done by the end of the weekend. And we are getting materials ready for the guild presentation next week. Earlier today we created an order form, made a list of everything we will be taking, did the handout for members of the guild, and sketched out what a class would cost, as it looks like we might be moving in that direction again. I also packed up the quilts we will be taking – mostly traditional patterns using marbled fabric, since this is a fairly new and traditional group of quilters. I want to show them my progression with using marbled fabric – from only putting it with blacks to mixing lots of colors. Makes me realize I need a picture of my purple quilt, which is quite colorful, with lots of marbled blocks.

It is so ironic that 10 years ago we used to do a lot of presentations but never looked at “selling” during them. Left a lot of money on the table, as one marketer said. This time we are going with lots of fat quarters and an order form. Maximizing our potential, I think it’s called….

Alum fabric tomorrow, marble on Friday, see what we still might need for gift baskets, and schedule marbling for next week if needed.

Wrote my abundance check today after the new moon. Being positive and thinking about lots of good things developing has really been awesome. The Laws of Abundance and Attraction really work!

Work in Progress Wednesday

Busy week in the studio! I’ve been slowly adding little goodies to the wall, as I want to feel like this is a real working studio every time I walk in to it. This wall is some samples, my color wheel, and some of the fabric cubbies. This is of the poster for the Tikkun Olam show, and other goodies, like the holiday gift list….

Some of the certificates and exhibits we’ve attended. I really enjoy looking at all of them. In the past we usually just tuck things away and never have a chance to revisit them often enough. That is definitely changing.

New shelf hubby put up to keep all the notions from getting in the way and having to be moved each time we marble – or I lay out a quilt to sandwich. Don’t know why we didn’t think of that sooner….

The three large table runners in progress. There is a HUGE amount of work in finishing these up. First, I have 17 Hawaiian motifs, all of which have had satin stitch done around them. The black and white is the predominant color, with just hints of color in the satin stitching. I am now in the process of echo-quilting each motif around the outside, like is traditional in Hawaiian quilting. This is a lot of start, stop, raise the presser foot, lift and turn, and repeat. I’m having to take a lot of breaks because it’s rough on the shoulders.

Each of the joining pieces has free motion quilting, black on black. I’m trying out some new motifs on each of those two-inch strips.

Now about a year ago I asked for suggestions for changing the quilting on a “fish quilt” I had done MANY years ago. I took all the quilting out, and there it sat, along with other “needing to be finished” projects. Well, I’m at a point where I need a serious break from the table runners, plus I want to have a couple of “basic” quilts ready for the guild presentation the beginning of November. It seems that all this time I have been percolating possible quilting ideas.

The thing about this quilt that is so great is the marbled fabric that makes up each of the “fish.” This is a case of when the fabric came out of the tray, it said “fish” to me. I always knew I would like something that accented the fish. I started with the borders of fish, and I ended up using one of the decorative stitches on my workhorse Bernina. Then I used another decorative stitch for the first of the waves, and I added some “bubbles” in free motion to the center block.

Then it was change the foot, change the thread, and start in on the fish.

It’s perfect. It is exactly as I wanted and what I had envisioned before I even knew I could do it.

Oh yeah,that’s what I’m talkin’ about! And my quilting stitch is getting MUCH better!

Work in Progress Wednesday

It has been a productive week, and I have two new projects on the agenda, but first – my finished quilt from last week. This is waaayyyy better! It was originally done many moons ago as  a marbled BOM, and I wanted the quilt, which I have always liked, to reflect the new skills I have. It’s from a block pattern from Judy Martin’s Around the Block.

I’m calling it Monet’s Marbles, based on the mottled green fabric, which I bought years ago because it reminded me of Monet. I didn’t quilt anything in the stars, because I wanted them to stand out from the rest of the quilt. Here’s a close-up:

This is one of the blocks from Judy Martin – the quilt has four and uses two different marbled fabrics.

The next project is to finish up some small wall hangings for my second mom. She spent one winter in Vermont cutting out Hawaiian designs for a potential quilt – they never made it into a quilt, and I am  trying to put them into something that Momcat can use. There is one major problem….these amazing blocks are all cut out of a heavy white polyester fabric…that ravels…………so I am using a lot of satin stitch, which also adds a slight bit of color to the blocks.

We decided on a black background to emphasize these wonderful patterns. I am hoping for one of the small wall hangings to be done for next Wednesday….we shall see…..

Many of these are original designs , and they are certainly a challenge in corners, heavy polyester, and satin stitch….but they will be gorgeous!

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