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Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Books

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who commented on our show. We are very happy to have everything set up. We put white fabric on some of the tables, changed one table for another set of the black boxes and re-arranged some of the pottery. Now the lights have been aimed at the work and it looks much better.
Meanwhile, I have been busy reading these three new books I got this week. Freddy and Gwen's books is as good as I expected, which is very, very good. I have been wanting the one about journal quilts for quite some time. It doesn't have instructions but lots of examples of wonderful journal quilts to inspire me to try out some new and different materials and techniques.
The third one gives very clear instructions on how to use different materials, many of which I have not tried. I'm going to be busy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hanging the Show

Here are some pictures of our show while we were hanging it. We did a bit of tweaking but it looks more or less like this. Some of the pictures are a bit blurry but you get the picture I hope.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Ruined it so...

I made another one.

Lessons learned:
1. Start with the size you want. Don't cut it bigger, thinking you'll crop it later. It was planned on an 11x14 piece and cut down to 9x12. It didn't look nearly as good without all that sky.
2. If the colors are soft, make the border soft too.
3. Don't try mitred corners with piping without some lessons.
4. Add the borders BEFORE batting and quilting. I knew that. What was I thinking?
5. Just because the book says make each sample 9x11 doesn't mean you HAVE to.
6. You can probably make a purse out of almost anything. Stay tuned for that one.

I'll get a thread that matches the green part better before quilting this one. If I do put on borders they will be a slightly darker blue. No bright red. I'll probably omit the flower pin. That only pins on at the end so I can reserve judgment on that one. I still like the layout of the flowers on the first one better but I have a limited amount of that fabric so I made do.

By the way, that is the same piece of blue fabric in the background. It is two different photos taken on different camera settings, then combined on CorelDraw. I must learn more about my camera. The one on the left is a more accurate color.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Art Quilt Workbook Lesson 2

This is the homework for Chapter 2 of the Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston.
The lesson called for the following:
1. Use of warm and cool colors
2. Controlled color palette
3. Perspective using size, overlapping, intensity and diminishing detail.
4. Border alternatives

I think I have been fairly successful except maybe for diminishing detail. I used the same line of fabric that I won from Paris Bebe Fabrics awhile ago so the colors really matched. The large pink flower in the foreground is a flower pin so that part is very three dimensional. I haven't gotten to the border yet. I just broke my last needle for the quilting machine so I'm stalled until I get back to town later today.

This piece will end up being 9x12 inches so quilting it on the big frame is a bit of overkill but I like doing freemotion on it much better than on my regular machine.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Purple and Orange

I started a new wall hanging today. I just can't seem to get away from purple lately. I started out with the flower fabric on the border. I made a fine red grid on it with set in strips. It didn't do anything for me so I made wonky blocks with it and some orange and purple. Then it needed a purple border but that was too much purple so I added rick rack. What would I do without rick rack? The red felt balls on the corners may not stay there but they do hide the wonky turns I made with the rick rack. The yellow is a maybe and another maybe would be some beads. Or things dangling from the bottom. Or something else that I haven't thought of yet.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Art Show Poster

Here is the poster I made for our upcoming art show. We hang it on Monday so there is a lot of last minute stuff going on here at the moment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home Plates

I'm calling this one Home Plates. I wanted a bit of a kitchen image but not using the word kitchen. It is quite small, only about 14 inches square.

I have started quilting this one. I found the purple earrings in a dollar store yesterday and thought they'd be perfect on the bottom with the gold beads. I also found some purple baby rick rack that works a lot better than the orange I tried out before.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And Here's the Back

The Black and White circles quilt is all finished. I was trying to think of a name and my husband said it looked like the Beatles album cover that was all black and white. We though that one was Revolver. I don't like guns so that didn't suit me. He said what about Evolver then. I loved that. The quilt evolved, the name evolved and my quilting is always evolving. What could be better?

I put little triangles on each corner so it can be hung with any of the four sides to the top. I said I thought I might put the label in the middle so there would be no hint about which was the top. My friend, Jenn, said maybe the label should be round; so it is. I wrote the information around it so there is no top or bottom to the label either. When it hangs in the show, I may go in once a week and rotate it.
Our next couple of weeks are pretty busy. On Monday, April 27, we hang our show in Morden. On May 2 there will be a one day show in Winkler. On May 8 we have our opening. Whew! I may need a holiday after all that.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What I Did Today

I finished quilting this one and added the binding. Now I just have to hand sew the binding down. You can see how the circles are a bit puffy in this photo. I hope they puff out even more after washing. I decided to keep this one totally black and white so the binding is black.

I can't leave well enough alone, so this one now has an extra black strip on each side, at Meggie's suggestion . I took off the tassel and added other elements from the same necklace as the gold tassel was taken from. I'm thinking that the orange rick rack is a bit too strong but I don't have enough of the brown. Maybe I'll look for some lighter colored, finer rick rack in either purple or pale yellow. I'm feeling happier about this one now. It feels more finished with the extra black border.

First quilt

Park City Girl is hosting a spring quilt show. Here is my entry.

This is the first full sized quilt I ever made. It is all batiks in rainbow colors. The black block at the center top is made of seven hearts pointing into the middle so they form a seven pointed star. It was quilted in the ditch on my domestic sewing machine in sections.

The back is also batiks. I added the borders because the blue I bought was not quite long enough. I'm not sure why I did the satin stitch around the hearts through all the layers but it does add interest to the back of the quilt.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What Now?

I started this wall hanging at the same time as the Candy one. Now I am back to trying to finish it. The gold tassel in the middle of the orange is a gold chain from an old necklace and I love how it looks. I wish I had one more burgundy tassel. I may have to break down and buy one. My problem is that I think it's too plain and needs something on each side. I tried an orange piece but don't really like how it looks. Maybe different but matching print, perhaps a larger scale? Or maybe something contrasting. Or is it enough as it is in the top photo? I'll go through the new Japanese fabric I got and see if anything suits. It will sit on the design wall while I quilt the B&W with the puffy circles. Maybe by then I'll know what I want to do with it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Awhile ago I was lamenting my lack of Japanese themed fabrics and threatening a shopping spree. Julie of Floribunda Quilts suggested that she'd like to do a swap of her Japanese fabric scraps for some of my hand dyes. It sounded like a fantastic idea to me. This is what arrived in the mail for me today! There are so many yummy fabrics here. I may not have to go shopping again for ages. (Just kidding!) I think I may have to start another circle quilt using these fabrics. I have also ordered Gwen and Freddy's new book so maybe I should wait until it arrives because I'm sure I'll be inspired to start something based on their ideas. A bit of fabric fondling time would not be a waste of time I'm sure. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wall Hangings

I have now added some hand dyed fire-like fabric to divide the slashed four patches. I also sewed rick rack onto the long vertical dividing strips. The fringe on the bottom probably won't stay there. The hanging tail on the right is also just a piece of cloth and I'm thinking it's more likely to work with blue or green there. I've started auditioning beads but they are probably going to change a lot. I'm thinking of calling it Candy is Dandy.
I kept the other hanging on the design wall and once in awhile I run across something that looks like it might work on it, for example the burgundy tassel and the fine brown rick rack. The gold piping may not be a go. It seems too bright for this more formal piece. I need to name all my pieces for our show and it's harder than I thought.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mud Anybody?

The grader got stuck at the end of our lane this afternoon and this is the mess it left. Hopefully, somebody will be back tomorrow with some gravel and maybe a different kind of road equipment.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How I Create

Between the dull weather and black and white quilts, I felt I needed a little color in my life. The best way I could think of to do that was to start a colorful wall hanging. I thought it might be interesting to document the way I work on these little pieces.
First I grabbed a pile of the brightest fabrics I have that seem to go together.

I slice a three or four inch strip off a couple of them, not worrying if it is straight or not. It is going to be trimmed anyway. Then I insert lots of little strips of solid colors that go with the print. I try to match the colors in the pattern of the print. The strips start at half an inch to one inch wide. With the very narrow ones, I use only an eighth inch seam. I trim the sides even and slap them up on the design wall.

Sorry this is a bit blurry. I took a plain orange, because there is orange in both the prints. I added some bits of other fabrics. I started with blue for the sky, leaves, bird, flowers, foliage, green for grass and brown for soil. The orange strip was about 4 inches wide. It will end up being trimmed a lot so start wider than you need.

Trim the edges.

Sorry this one ended up sideways, but you get the idea. Separate with a solid colored strip.

Somehow, they don't seem to go together. The orange looks sort of formal and really looks better with black. The other pieces are much more playful. Suddenly, I have two wall hangings started. So problem. Just find a different middle for the bright one and different edges for the orange one.

Here are the two so far. The strips on the middle of the left one are just pinned on. The right one will need some embellishment to tie the edges to the middle.
Now you can see why this is so much fun to do!


The Kaleidoscope is finally all finished, with the binding sewn down. This morning I washed and dried it. I put it on our queen sized bed to see what kind of fit it would be. It's a bit small but would be fine for a topper. If you click to enlarge you can see that I quilted the label right into the design. I also see a thread that I have to sew in. Too bad I didn't spot it before I took the picture. The picture is not very clear but it's so overcast and rainy today that the light isn't co-operating.

Here is the first circle quilt, with the larger circles that don't have any batting under them. I quilted it with loops and stars. I put a big star in the middle of each circle. On this one I sewed the circles on with invisible thread. I feel that it looks much better with the hand sewn circles, although It would be interesting to try to couch them down with some sort of whispy yarn. I took this one outside and pinned it to the clothes line but it started raining as soon as I got the camera out so I didn't dare take the Kaleidoscope out to photograph it.

This is a close up of a couple of the stars in circles.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


The circles are all stitched on and the border is attached. Now for some decisions.
Does it need any color?
Would beads look good on it? If so, color or black and white or crystal? In a pattern or scattered randomly?
Does it need another border?
What kind of quilting should it have?
Should I quilt it in black or white or color?
How will I back it? Should I envelope it or bind it?
Which way should it hang? It is square so it can go any way.
I'm sure more questions will arise as I work on it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Back to Black

I got the binding sewn on the kaleidoscope quilt and now it just needs to be hand sewn on the back. That done, I got back to tha black and white quilt. I used the arrangement I started with, which almost everyone, myself included, liked best. For this one I am stitching the circles on by hand. I am not a big fan of hand sewing but I wanted to put a little batting behind the circles to puff them out a bit and I didn't think I could sew them on properly with the machine. I have three sewn down but my eyes are falling out of my head! The wild patterns on some of the fabric make the head spin. I'll have to do a few and then take a break with something else if I don't want to go blind or crazy or both!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Just the Binding to Do

This morning I quilted the kaleidoscope. I have been waiting until I found/made a back that I liked.

Here is the back. It is a strip of the original Japanese fabric and two strips of hand dyed fabric. I have been practising on fat quarters until I found a color that is close to one of the pinks in the original fabric. I think I got fairly close.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Another Possibility

First arrangement.

Here is the latest arrangement of the black and white circles. I tried several different border possibilities as well. I might still add another black border or leave the colored borders off altogether. So far everybody seems to like the first arrangement the best, myself included.

Monday, April 06, 2009


I tried some stamping using gold fabric paint. The first one is a stamp I made from a large eraser. I need a better tool than the mat knife (box cutter) that I used. Maybe some sort of wood working tool?

This is from a thrift store stamp that was in a bag with some paints.

Right now I am trying different arrangements for the second circle quilt. This is the first one.

Here is the second one. I tried to make this one a bit more orderly going from darker in the middle to lighter at the edges. I may possibly need one more row on the right side. I like the red/orange small border. I had thought of using the large checks from my parts drawer but I felt that they were too overpowering. Now I wonder if I need a touch of the orange somewhere in the body of the quilt. I don't have much of it left but I would have enough to make at least one circle or part of one.

The Last Snow Dyes???

I hope these are the last, but we still have snow so who knows! These are the ones that granddaughter, Micha did while visiting here. I particularly like the one on the top right. The watery looking design is perfect but how will I ever be able to cut into it???

Friday, April 03, 2009

Granddaughters Visit

Three of my granddaughters have come to stay for a couple of days during their spring break. We started out with sewing and this afternoon moved on to cooking. The good thing is that now they are old enough to cook on their own while I relax with a book and then enjoy the fruits of their labors when they are done. Here they are putting the finishing touches on some pretzels . Below are the biscotti they made earlier.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


If this is spring you'd hate to see winter wouldn't you. The main difference is that it's not very cold, just below freezing. Well that's not cold compared to what we had in the real winter.

I took one piece of my snow dyed fabric and made this little bag from it. It's quite different on each side. I'll probably change the handle. I like the look of it but it's not going to be strong enough. I may look for some heavier beading wire that would be stronger but still flexible. I got to use my piping foot again. I love that gadget!