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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lightning Strikes

I am trying to make a stormy sky with lightning. The one on the left is commercial sky fabric. The one on the right is a hand dyed fabric. I tried to get a bit more motion in the one to the right. I prefer the angle of the last bit on the left one. I am pretty well out of both background fabrics, although I could dye more of the one on the right or try to get a more storm cloud look by fabric painting. Which one do you prefer or should I try again?
I am thinking of hand sewing angled lines to represent rain slicing down. I also thought of transparent teardrop beads along the bottom. Of course, among my thousands of beads I doubt if there are many transparent teardrops.
This is only one section of my latest wall hanging. I'll show more of it tomorrow.
The scrappy log cabins are resting in a drawer until the next time I feel frustrated.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ahhh! That Feels Better.

I bought a lino-cutter on our trip and I thought I'd try it out on some dollar store erasers. On the top two I just followed the lines already on the erasers. On the pink and green one I drew a leaf and cut around it. I stamped with acrylic. I bought some fabric paint but these are only tests on a scrap. I'll save the fabric paint for a real project. I did the big eraser with a mat knife. Not easy or fun. I trimmed it smoother with the lino-cutter.

Here are some wonky half log cabins a la Freddy and Gwen. I need to get back into the swing of things before starting another wall hanging.

Defeat Admitted

When I took a second look at this block I realized that I had sewn it together wrong. Most of those seams are bias so it seemed wise to put the whole thing in a bag, stick the bag into the book and put them both on the shelf for an indeterminate length of time. When enough time has passed, I'll toss it into the garbage. I will keep the book as eye candy though. If a design gives you a headache and you are not eager to go to your studio, it's time to call it quits and start something you actually like doing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Paula VS Me...I Lose!

Here is Paula's masterpiece with a detailed pattern. Seems simple enough. It's not.

How on earth did I end up with the dreaded Y seam??

I have two sections sewn together. Of course, they are lumpy and bumpy and nothing fits as it should. I'm going back to where I can just lop a bit off if it's too long or add a chunk if it's too short. I'm not made for such precision. Mine looks like a simple star which I could do without all the headaches involved in making this one. Maybe I need a class. Or maybe I'll just go back to what I really enjoy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thrifting and a New Block

This block is made using Paula Nadelstern's method. I bought her first book a few years ago and decided I should start with that one since it is much simpler. This one uses only 4 triangles to make a block. The second book uses as many as 12. I can already see that this is not my kind of quilting. It's very precise and you end up with Swiss cheese fabric all full of holes which seems wasteful to me, although when I saw Paula's quilts they seemed worth it.
I'm not very satisfied with this one. I should have started with fabric with a different background color because I don't have a large stash of fabrics that include that color. I doesn't seem to have the movement I was trying for. I'll probably try another one using different colors.
I did learn some things though. You can cut two pieces exactly the same if you use a transparent template and draw the design you are cutting on it with marker. Then you can place it on a matching place easily. Silver gel pens are perfect for marking. They show up on most colors of fabric. Sharp scissors are good. I'm more of a Freddy and Gwen type of quilter.

I couldn't resist this needlework book published in the 70s even though I don't enjoy needlework all that much. Maybe it will end up in some avid needleworker's hands. It has everything from basic mending to bobbin lace and tatting.
Here are a couple of sample pages.

This huge rolling pin is destined for the pottery studio. It's made in France and I can't imagine what it was originally intended for. It is apparently perfect for rolling out clay with a nice pattern on it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whew! It's Done!

Here is the bag closed with the zipper showing. Below is a not very good picture of the inside with the change purse and credit card holder sewn in. This may be the most complex thing I have ever sewn. Will I make another one? Maybe, but not today and not for sale. This one took me 4 days rather than the usual 4 hours.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trifecta Bag Again

The basic bag is almost done except for some hand sewing on the lining. There is still the optional insert for cards and change to do. It will be quite easy though I think, at least compared to the rest of the bag. This one has been quite a challenge but lots of fun. Lucky for me that I've sewn a lot of clothing. That really helped.

Here's the inside with the right zipper. I couldn't find one at the fabric store. They had never even heard of that type of zipper. All the zippers with two pulls are open when the pulls meet at the center. I went thrifting and found a bag with the perfect zipper for $1.00. I bought it and took the zipper out. I also got another magnetic snap and a couple of handles.

Trifecta Bag

I have started making this bag. It has 8 pages of instructions! I have got as far as installing the zipper. It calls for a purse zipper that has two pulls and is closed at both ends. The closest I could find was an opening one so I'll close it with fabric at both ends.

This is how it looks from the outside so far.

And here are the two pieces that will zip together. Then there is a round bottom that attaches somehow and an insert for change and credit cards. I think it will be very nice when it is finished.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Birthday BBQ

Today I went to a Birthday BBQ for Sky and Free, my grandsons who turned 17 this week. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor party. Happy Birthday boys!

Here is Sky cutting the cake that their sister, Summer made for them. She's the one standing at the back. She's a great cook. The cake was delicious.

We all had a wonderful time but maybe Simba was happiest because he got a half hour massage from Matt.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fabric Time

I decided to spend the money I made from sales at our show on fabric and sewing goodies, even though I won't actually receive the money until the show is over on June 1. Here are the fabrics I bought. This first group is from Rae-Bon in Fargo and Faye's Henhouse in Mayville, both within three hours of here.

I bought these delicious Laurel Burch fat quarters in Pennsylvania. I have always admired her designs and it seemed like a good time to get some. I'm not sure what I'll do with them. They are too nice to cut up into small pieces, so maybe bags.

These are from City Quilter in NYC. I was very jealous when I heard that Paula Nadelstern will be teaching a class there this summer. I'd love to take one of her classes.

The fashions seem to have gone back to the sixties. The problem is that if I wear those styles, people will think I just never got beyond the sixties. Lol. Maybe that's not a bad thing. I still have a couple of outfits from back then but there is no way I'd ever get into them now!

Friday, May 22, 2009

More of our Trip

This is one corner of a store in Intercourse PA that sells lots and lots of quilts. There were several racks like the one on the right side that held dozens of quilts each. The prices were surprisingly low considering the quality. Most were under $1000 and many were hand quilted. As you can imagine, I spent quite a lot of time there. There was another room selling fabric and a quilt museum upstairs. I could have spent the better part of a week there.

This was in the quilt museum upstairs.

This one is very traditional.

I loved this strippy one.

Whew!! What a Trip!

We arrived home from our trip to NYC last night. I was a lot of fun! Our first big stop on the way there was at the Field Museum in Chicago. We were lucky enough to hit a free day. That is a wonderful museum. (I can't seem to make this thing stop underlining). We spent several hours there before continuing on our way.

This was taken in Hershey, PA where they make Hershey chocolate bars. The street names are all chocolate and we loved the street lights that look like candy kisses. From there we went to Intercourse PA which is in the middle of Amish country. They have a wonderful quilt museum there. The one pictured below is absolutely flat, believe it or not.

This one really struck me for it's bright colors and exquisite workmanship.

Of course, I bought some fabric there which I'll show later. We stayed there over night and the next day stopped in Lancaster for another quilt museum, this time traditional Amish quilts. I'll show more pictures later when I get them organized a bit better.
After Lancaster we went on to just outside NYC where we stayed the night so we could arrive early and hopefully, not have as much traffic.
I'll post about the rest of the trip later. Right now I have a huge mound of laundry waiting and some new fabric to photograph and fondle.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Our art show opening was a resounding success. We had a good crowd and I, much to my amazement, sold four pieces! I was happy just to see them all hanging in one place. The picture above is when we were making our introductory speeches. It's a bit blurry because I forgot to turn the flash on and there wasn't much light in there.

We were so pleased that all of our grandchildren who live near us attended. Not all teenagers would take time from their busy social whirl to go to an art opening! Here is Grandpa entertaining them with some kind of story.

It must have been a funny one! The hanging behind them with the circles was one of the ones that sold.

Here's a picture of some of the crowd.

We are off to New York City tomorrow. I guess my shopping spree will be a little more fun after last night! Garment district, here I come! I will be taking along my laptop but posting might be a bit scarce for the next week or so.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Bloggers Meet

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get a visit from Darcie from North Dakota. I kept forgetting my camera in the car but she took some very nice pictures which you can see on her blog at Quilting by Darcie.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Black Bag

I really liked the shape and size of the brown bag but I wanted a zipper so today I started a black one. I also put an outside pocket on it that you can see in the picture below.

I am struggling with the lining. It is too big, probably because the bag is quilted and the lining is not. I may have to redo it slightly smaller or take bigger seams on it. The strap and hardware are from a thrift shop bag. I think I'll have to shorten the strap but it has a really nice matching rivet on it and I don't think I can re-use it. It won't look as nice sewn but it is completely doubled right now and it's still a bit long. I added a zipper, not the easiest thing I've ever done but it turned out pretty good. Now I will hand sew the lining in if I can ever get it to fit properly.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Brown Bag

This weekend I went to the Barnswallows quilt show in Morden, three times to be exact, and I didn't take one picture. I kept forgetting my camera in the car. The best part was that Darcie from Quilting by Darcie drove more than three hours to visit us and to see the quilt show. We also took in the art show in Winkler and our pot and quilt show in Morden. Again, not one picture. Darcie took some though, so there may be some to look at later.

Today I quilted the second roses wall hanging. I like the way the flowers and leaves turned out. I'm not quite so happy with the sky. I'll probably do an envelope rather than backing and binding. I will audition a couple of fabrics as binding, though, just in case that looks better. I do like the open, airy feeling it has with no binding.

I bought a bag pattern on the weekend and it seemed like a bit more fun to make it than to finish up any of my UFOs. It is not the easiest bag I've ever made but I like the way it turned out. I put on one shoulder strap rather than the two handles shown in the pattern. It has a magnetic snap to keep it closed. I keep thinking of embellishments I could put on it but I guess it will stay as it is for the time being. I could see a big brown flower on it...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Next Lesson

This lesson was on how to take a photo and break it down into parts so you can fuse it with fabric. The pear is the pattern that was in the book. It's not as easy as I thought it would be. Trying to get the pieces right side up was quite a challenge. Not to mention getting the right fabric colors. The one in the book was done in greens but I thought I'd try it in yellows.

For my original one I chose a photo I took of a lily I was given at Easter. I have just started on this one. I'll do some shading with either paintsticks or pencils. I'll do a couple of practise ones on the photocopy before I start on the real one. The stamens will be made much finer with either hand embroidery or couching if I can find the right color of yarn or string. I'll use some kind of bead at the end of each stamen but not the ones I have in the picture. I want the leaves to fade into the background so I'll just quilt them in. If I can get the shading right it should show the curl of the leaves. I'll probably try to enhance that effect with the quilting.
This one will be a real learning experience. I have never tried re-creating a photo this way and the shading on fabric will be something new too.