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Friday, June 30, 2006

Here is True, one of the Boys of Noise, doing his thing at the beach in Australia. It's hard to have grandchildren on the other side of the world. Thank goodness for the internet and digital cameras.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Here is the Red Hot Mamas up on the wall. I still have a couple of things I want to do. The first red hat in the top row needs a yellow line from the crown to the hat band. The red hat in the bottom row needs something but I'm not sure what. There are two hats with no decoration on the band. Although these bands are quite fancy, I am going to look for a little feather or something for each of them.
Mainly though, I am quite satisfied with it. It needs to be blocked so it will sit flat on the wall but I am going to wait until I am sure it is finished before I do that. And of course it needs a label, always the last thing I think of doing. I keep planning to quilt it into the backing but never remember in time.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Here is the Mamas wall hanging with the binding on. I am about half way round with the hand sewing. I finally went with the flowered fabric from one of the hats. It seemed to work better than the yellow.

I was browsing around in a North Dakota tourism site the other day because we are thinking of taking a few days down there next month. We live only about 2 miles north of the USA border so it's not a big trip to go to ND. Anyway, I happened on this site about the largest quilt in North America.

Largest Historical Quilt in the World

It is a sad story really because the quilt is sitting in a van in the middle of nowhere and nobody gets to see it. The lady who made it has died and also her son who was trying to find a home for it. Unfortunately there was no picture of it. I wonder if Canada's Quilt of Belonging might be larger now. Apparently this one is in the Guinness Book of World Records. If nothing else, it's an interesting bit of trivia for quilters who find a queen size cumbersome to handle. This one weighs 800 pounds and is 11,390 square feet. Now I want to see it but how??

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Red Hot Mamas is all quilted and ready to bind. Then all I have to do is sew the decorations on the hats. I tried the yellow satin for the border but it was far too intense. I didn't want to draw that much attention to the border. Hopefully I will have time to finish it tomorrow at least to the hand sewing of the border.
My next project will be to finish the silk teapots. I am puzzling right now about how I am going to quilt them. I will use iron on interfacing on the back of the silk squares because it is very light weight silk and needs the extra support. I have no idea how to quilt it though. I hope inspiration will hit when the time comes.

Monday, June 26, 2006

We very much enjoyed the Artists' Weekend that we attended Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I was in charge of Batik and dyeing. I am no expert in the field but it turned out not to matter. I explained how to use the Procion dyes and from there they just ran with it. Several people had done some tie dyeing in the past and all of them were interested in art so they just went for it. There were some amazing results. The checkered looking piece was done on a thrift shop linen tablecloth. It was a long one so they cut it in half lengthways to make two sarongs. We supplied lots of old sheets and some unbleached muslin to work on. Unfortunatly a couple of the sheets were poly-cotton and didn't take the dye as well as the pure cotton, but people were not that concerned with results. They were much more interested in the process. Soon everyone who was camping there was delving into their backpack or suitcase looking for white colthing to dye. It was great!
On the quilting front, I got the yellow zig zag removed from the Mamas wall hanging. I was very anxious to get it out before leaving so I would not be faced with that the second I got back. It took a long time but I managed to do it without snagging the purple or red fabric so I was happy. Now I may try quilitng around it with yellow thread as Tonya suggested. I will know once the meander is done, if it needs the yelllow outline. Hopefully, I will be posting photos of it finished later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I started going around the letters with yellow zigzag so they would match the hats but now I don't like the look of it at all. It makes them look appliqued and I love that they are pieced. I am worried that if I try to undo the zig zag it will leave a lot of holes and a rough look around the letters. Also it is not a very good job of zigzag. So I am taking a bit of a break from the red hats and working on the silk teapots. I also hauled out a ufo that had to be pinned and quilted. I have it pinned now and will start quilting it soon.
The next question will be how to quilt the teapots. I have never quilted on silk before but a friend did and it's not easy. That means the design will have to be fairly simple but what?
We have a busy weekend coming up. A gathering of artists to share ideas at workshops not really run by instructors but just a fun time of collaborating. I will be working with Batik and fabric dyeing. Hopefully I can pick someone else's brain more than they pick mine. Anyway, there will not likely be another post until Monday unless I have some photos that I just have to share. We will be coming home at night so there may be some time for Blogger!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Here is a rather poor picture of my newest wall hanging. My design wall is being used for the Red Hats so I had to photograph this one on the table. The teapots are made from brocade that I bought in China a couple of years ago. They are fused onto silk that I found in a thrift shop. The silk was some kind of samples because there were many pieces in different colors and all with a large grommet in the corner. It will be a nightmare to assemble I am sure but I will use lots of spray startch and maybe some sort of sashing that is a bit more stable. It looks very exotic and elegant with that fabric. I have three more teapots to make. The Japanese Kanji in the middle says "Tea".

Our internet connection is via satelite dish on top of the house (one of the many joys of country life) and lately the trees have been interfering with the signal. Now we are waiting for a taller mast for the dish. It will be about two weeks. Meanwhile we are on sometimes and off a lot of the time. I didn't realise how much I want to read my blogs until I couldn't all day yesterday. Anyway, if I seem to be lax with blogging, it is probably that I am unable to get online and feeling very frustrated.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Burgundy quilt is finally done and on the bed. Not sure what I will do with it. It is the first large one that I've made that wasn't destined for someone before I even started it. It is a lot larger than I had anticipated but that's good because our spare bed is a queen size.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I thought I had purple thread to do the rest of the quilting but turns out I don't. Now I will have to wait until we go to town, probably Tuesday. Meanwhile I planned out the decorations on the hats. I think I will take Tonya's advice though and not sew them on until the quilting is done. I still have some tiny brown pompoms that I found in a trift shop but I'm not sure if they will go with any of the hats. The white thing on the third hat in the top row will probably be replaced with something gold or flowery. For the binding I am thinking of yellow or more red. I have more bright yellow satin like the band on the lower right hat. The color is great but it might be a nightmare to work with on the binding.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I bit the bullet and undid the binding on the burgundy quilt. After all, it only took about an hour and now I am nearly half way around with the hand sewing on the back. It looks better to me, although probably any non-quilter wouldn't notice the difference.
I also outlined the hats on my wall hanging with yellow thread. I think I will do the rest of the quilting in purple though. My free motion isn't good enough that I want to highlight it. I'm not sure if I will echo the shapes of the hats or meander in the spaces. I am re-thinking the idea of writing names in the spaces, although it might work in the empty spaces beside the stars. Maybe a quote or something. In one of the bottom ones I could put my name etc. I'll have to think about it for a bit I guess.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I have put a red border around the quilt and tried mitred corners this time. They turned out better than I expected. Now I have to decide on the quilting. I am thinking of using a bright yellow or gold to punch it up a bit. It's a bit bland looking right now in spite of the bright purple and red. The only thing is with the gold I will have to be careful of my quilting because it will really show up. Then on to decorating the hats which should be a lot of fun.
My burgundy quilt is still waiting while I waffle around deciding whether to undo or not. It is not for one of the kids or grandkids so I will have to be looking at it all the time. In the end I will probably re-do it but it takes me a long time to get at undoing anything. So there it sits, staring at me. That quilt top went together so perfectly, no hassles at all. Everything just fit. But as soon as I started on the quilting part, it has been nothing but trouble. Ah well, that's all part of the fun, I guess.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I would like to blame my lack of posting the last few days on Blogger but alas it is my own fault. I have been finishing up the quilting and working on the binding of the burgundy quilt and that is pretty boring to look at.
I had my binding nearly all sewn on by machine when I realized that I was sewing it on the back not the front as it should be. I made the snap decision to finish it and fold it to the front and just be extra careful with my stitching when I hand sewed it down. Now I am having second thoughts. I was worried that ripping off the binding would stretch the edges and the binding (oh well, I admit it, I was feeling lazy) but now I'm not sure. Maybe I'm not as maverick as I thought. To rip or not to rip, that is the question. Has anyone else done this and if so, what did you do?
Yesterday evening we took my Dad for a little drive and came across this pasture with buffalo. Several people in this area raise them for meat. It tastes a lot like beef but with a finer texture. These ones were by the fence and so huge that we were intimidated to go closer to get a better picture. The biggest one had a massive head and basically no neck at all. I'm sure they could walk right through the fence if they wanted to.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I am almost finished quilting the burgundy and pink quilt. This time it has gone very well with no tucks or pleats so far. I have only the cable on the border left to sew. I started it but when I got to the corner I had either forgotten to mark part of the end or it is too faint to see. It was time to stop before I ended up with more ripping out.

Meanwhile I have made another hat and a couple more starbursts. Now I have to decide on the arrangement, fuse them on and then the fun part. Decorating them! I think I will decorate them and then add the batting and quilt. I thought of decorating the hats before fusing them on but the fusing side wont slide through the machine. It's too sticky so it's fusing first. It's probably better that way because I can do something with the edges. THen I have to decide what words I want to quilt into the spaces. Also I am thinking it might be better with some sort of border. Maybe red or gold. I didn't like the gold fringe because it reminded me of a banner for some exclusive men's club. Although I suppose the red hats are an exclusive women's club. I still might use it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I made several more hats today and a couple of starbursts. The one on the left is made with ribbon that is red with gold edging on each side. I really like the look of that one and I will probably make a couple more, or as many as I have ribbon. I have some silver ribbon and was trying that when I ran out of bobbin thread. I took that as a signal that it is time for a break.
My question is, should I leave in the flowery hats or would it look better if they were all red?
Here is a quote that someone sent me yesterday. I think it kind of suits this quilt.

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!"

I also started quilting the newly pinned burgundy quilt and it is going much better. I have about half the vertical lines sewn. That leaves the other half of the vertical, all the horizontal, the angles and the borders. Whew! There's a lot to do yet.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Here is the beginnings of the wall hanging I mentioned yesterday. They are pinned up on the design wall while I think about arrangements etc. I have several decisions to make. Should I include the flowered hat and perhaps make a couple more? Should it be a bit narrower? How many hat should I make?
The second photo has a few of the possible decorations that I will add to the hats. I might also do some shadows on the hats with free motion sewing, which will be a first for me. So far I've only done stippling and letters. I also thought I might sew in names of famous older women for the quilting or possible quotes of some sort. I have other possible trimmings too.
The hats will be fused on. The fusing is already on the back and they just need to be ironed on when the placement is decided. Then I will decorate them with edgings, buttons, feathers, beads or whatever strikes my fancy. I have a collection of that kind of stuff from thrift stores. At last a use for all that "junk". It probably needs a few of Tonya's starbursts too. I have been finding out that the sky's the limit when it comes to older women!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Firally I undid all the quilting from yesterday and pulled the whole thing apart. I now have it re-assembled and pinned. The spray glue was still abit tacky so I hope that will help hold it in place. I haven't started quilting again yet but hopefully tomorrow. So far the spray glue has doubled the work instead of halfing it. I still have lots left so I may use it up on wall hangings. I don't think I will use it on a full sized quilt again any time soon, though.
Speaking of wall hangings, I have started a new one. Maybe I'll be ready to post a picture tomorrow.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Longing for a longarm! This quilt does match my machine though.

I tried the spray glue for basting this morning and am not totally satisfied. There seem to be a lot of wrinkles on the back after quilting a few strips. I think I am going to have to put in a few pins at least. The problem seems to occur in spots where I sew part of the row, skip a bit and then start sewing again. Maybe I should have left it sit for a day before starting to quilt to let it stick more. It didn't say that on the can. It did say that it works best on cotton batting which I am not using. It is certainly a lot faster and easier than pinning but if it ends up with all sorts of tucks and wrinkles, the saved time is used up in undoing and redoing.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Yay! The borders are all on and I had a piece of pink about 2x6 left over. I had to do some pretty fancy piecing to get enough for all four sides. Now I am going to town to try to get something for the backing. I don't think I have enough fabric left to do a pieced backing as I had planned. The piano keys took up quite a lot of fabric.
The quilt ends up being 80 x 104 which is a double size I think. Larger than I had planned but I like it. Now the quilting is the big challeng left!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I have mentioned several times that everyone in my family is an artist. Here we have proof that even the youngest one has talent. After watching his Mum paint last night, Reve decided to have a go at it this morning while she wasn't watching. Don't you think the bright green goes well on that white wall?

Tody I made the border and have it up on the design wall. At this point I had to stop and do some cleaning because now I have to move it to the floor. I can't really reach the top without a chair so it works better on the floor. I got started cleaning and ended up spending most of the afternoon and all of my energy but now the studio is really clean and I can find things again.
I like the looks of the piano keys. There is still the possibility of a pink border on the very outside but I don't want it to get too big. I'll see how it looks when these borders are on. I may be really tired of it by then and just want to get it finished. If you haven't guessed already, I like fast projects.