18 December 2008
Finally got around to photographing "Fat Tuesday" which is up on my office wall. About 4' x 6'. This quilt is in honor of the holding of Mardi Gras in the year after Katrina. I'd hoped they would. The line is a water line (hand sponged with opalescent paint) and the "beads" are fussy-cut from a fabric called Mardi Gras. It may be possible to see two masks in the quilting.
13 October 2008
Yesterday I finished quilting a baby quilt for a woman at my office expecting #2 child. I used the stitch regular on the Bernina Aurora purchased more than a year ago --for the first time. How silly was that? I freemotioned vines, leaves and flowers all over the surface exept for on the applique ladybugs and flowers. Something about the surface or the ability to release the pressure of the presserfoot a great deal--whatever it is, I can freemotion a lot easier on this machine than on my last (but I loved that Janome anyway).
I'm also making a lot of pears from a pattern I found in a magazine. I've finally tried out my paint sticks (you see the trend--more stuff than time!) on some green fabric and these will become funky pears also.
26 August 2008
11 August 2008
Unlike my friend Erica who has an impressive collection of blue fabric, the blues I have are left overs from a project that needed a lot of different shades in small amounts. I was buying blue in 20cm pieces.
White I have. I'm a white person (not cream) . So the hunt is on for a variety of that shade of blue and some inspiring block that will not be the end of me when made double-bed size. I'm leaning toward Hunter Start or Birds in the Air or a big mariner's compass and a couple borders.
05 August 2008
In fact, I've opened a couple new chapters.
First, I'm restoring a Road to California scrap quilt that I found at the local antique store for $12. I think it is from the 1920s. It isn't a masterpiece, but I like it, and would like to keep it "alive" for the foreseeable, so I'm appliqueing replica patches over the shredded patches. The original is there, underneath, but my efforts should stop the filling from coming out and prevent any ripping of the backing (so far intact).
Second, I'm making an anniversary art quilt for my husband (who doesn't read my blog). It's a sort of abstracted nod to Sydney Nolan. Silk, and poly with linen backing. It has been a chance to do some intensive quilting on the Bernina.
Pictures of these projects soon.
And a co-worker is having a baby so I'm having fun working on the baby quilt. Lots of flowers and ladybugs.
06 June 2008
02 June 2008
This one will tomorrow be presented to my co-worker Paula.
22 May 2008
This same feeling (albeit at greater intensity) occurrs during childbirth and surgery.
I suppose that most of the time I enjoy a sense that I'm at the helm of my ship. Taking a hand off the tiller and going with the current becomes necessary sometimes though. You risk loss to gain something else.
And yet, letting go for the purpose of creativity doesn't seem so risky. Sure, you could end up with a strange result that uses up some favorite fabric, but there is always another process you could subject the result to. Overlay, scorch, paint, chop, fuse, gild, or sew a bead over. I think of this as being diverged from my intended path but still on a road to somewhere.
16 May 2008
Obviously, starting and stopping take a bit of finesse. To begin, you need to cover the end and then get going on an angle as you start winding.
To start sewing, you need not wrap the whole length--even one strip will do. With a denim needle in your machine and sturdy top thread (though I have successfully used rayon embroidery thread on the top), use a zig zag or that utility zig zag that is used on elastic in lingerie. Start your coil (you begin at the center of the bottom of your bowl and work up) and make sure you push the leading edge of your rope toward your coil and catch both as you zig zag along. Needle down position will help a lot.
You'll soon find you have something that looks like a drink coaster. To get the sides of the bowl to begin to slope up form the botton, you need to hold the bottom at an angle as you sew on more rope.
Changing colors is the same as adding a new strip--just overlap a little and keep winding.
To end is tricky. Cut the clothesline a bit ahead of where you intend to finish. Cut the wrapping strip a bit beyond that and taper and tuck in the raw end so the last part of your zig zagging will catch it. I'm still working this part out.
12 May 2008
06 May 2008
27 March 2008
If you've ever tried monthly demos, you know that the idea factory can run dry of easily transportable things so I thought I'd share a list:
- Molas. I gave a background on this reverse applique style complete with a "kit": 10x10" stack of Kona solid cottons in characteristic mola colors so everyone could have a try.
- Yo-Yos. After showing a yo-yo garment in progress and talking about other uses, we all made a few. As it turned out, the whole group let me take theirs home to use in my, uh, our project!
- Ruching. People seem to get a kick out of ruched flowers on Baltimore album quilts and wonder how they are made. I cut bias strips in a small buttercup-and-white lightweight gingham. The little squares made it easy to sew the sawtooth pattern without marking.
- To create a nice handout, I searched the internet for free download sites for graph paper of all kinds and provided URLs and images so everyone could see the range available out there (even honeycomb ones which could come in handy for planning grandmother's flower garden quilts or whatnot).
- I let everyone have a look at my samples from a wonderful course on bindings I took a couple years ago from Narelle Grieve. The samples we came out with are great reminders. Our group used them for inspiration and discussion (because I don't believe in wholesale using the courses of others without permission!). By the way, you have permission to use any ideas in this post.
- I showed a quilt that makes use of the fantasy fabric I learned to make from Chrissy Sheed. I also showed a piece of fantasy fabric at a much earlier stage of preparation and we had a good talk about all the things one might use in quilts. It made a good jumping off point. We did a lot of "I saw a quilt once that had..."
- I have a faux chenille vest made from a commercial pattern which I broght in for everyone to see. I also brought in a stack of charm squares with the chenille in various stages --partially stitched, some channels still closed and a couple already clipped. This made it very easy to explain the process.
- We've talked about fusing and stablizing a fair bit so one day I hope to bring in samples of several types and weights so people can feel them. I'd like to make a big labeled sample cloth with several different fusing agents on it and run it through the wash as a test.
11 March 2008
This is a shot of the center of a 50 x 70cm challenge quilt that has made it home from a couple years of wandering in Australia. The Fantasy Fabric in the colorful parts are thanks to a class I took from the wonderful Chrissy Sheed and I learned the elongated Mariner's Compass drafting methods from Stephanie Knudsen. Steph doesn't have a blog yet, but will be absolutely dangerous once she does.
07 March 2008
Okay. If I've got it right, I need to tell you this (thanks for the cut and paste, Erica):
These are the rules...1. When tagged, place the name of the person and URL on your blog. [check!]2. Post the rules on your blog. [check!] 3. Write 7 things about yourself. [see below]4. Name 7 of your favorite bloggers. [hard to do because I read about 3 religiously]5. Send e-mail letting those bloggers know they have been tagged [I suspect my bloggers have already been tagged--is it okay to tag a Facebooker in a pinch?].
My seven things:
1. I've been to ten countries (I don't count a couple which were airports or passing through on a train only)--used to be 12 but China, Macau and Hong Kong all count as one these days. The others are in rough order: USA, Mexico, Australia, England, France, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Belgium and New Zealand. I've also been to Detroit which is pretty close to Canada and to a stone's throw from the Cambodian border as well as rather near Burma and Laos.
2. I'm a dual US/Australian citizen as is my son (who'll be ten on Monday). Husband also has two passports (Aussie/Irish).
3. I have a B.A., MA. and PhD from Berkeley in Rhetoric.
4. The two strangest things that have been on my resume are costuming a drag show (two actually) and an article in the magazine Inside Karate.
5. I've had dinner with a Nobel laureate and a guy who was Cosmo's bachelor of the year once.
6. I voted for Hillary and sent her $50. I'm so in her demographic! Like many of my buddies, it's been a case of "I want to see a woman president in my lifetime". I even had a dream that Bill Clinton got into our family car to talk to us about the campaign.
7. I'm struggling a bit with the age thing this year (I'm 48-1/2) because I had a tooth pulled and my well controlled diabetes got a bit less well controlled and the change seems to haveme in its sights. This just has to be a design flaw. I mean, who would plan this?
Okay, there you are. Now I have to figure out somebody to tag. I'll think on it. And in the mean time, shouldn't Erica add me to her list of Blogs She Reads if she tagged me? Seems like natural justice...
05 February 2008
02 January 2008
Despite all that time off, all the quilting I have to show for it is buying and pre-washing some fabric and making about 6 "berries" ahead of time before a class to be held on January 22. The class is to be taught by Gwen Marston on Classic 4-Block Applique. I read her book on that subject. Very unlike the remnant bin diver that I usually am, I bought glorious Hoffman jacquard fabric for this project in colors that will actually look nice in my living room. If the berries are an indication, I think it will applique well despite the slight texture it has.