19 November 2010

Starting to look a lot like Xmas...

At the retreat, I found some time to work on some hand and machine stitched felted wool projects. Top left is a felted wool needle case; below is a retractable tape measure cover; and to the right is my take on the mistletoe project in the recent Quilting Arts Gifts mag.

17 November 2010

Retreat 10 quilt top

I finished my Australianized "African Fire Flower" quilt top at the retreat last weekend. Now must decide on the quilting--probably a wavy pattern echoed over the land and something airier over the sky. Haven't actually measured it but it is about 5 feet (and a bit) by 7 feet-ish.
I also made some small wool projects at the retreat but haven't photographed them yet.

11 November 2010


Tomorrow I have a 1hr and 46 min drive to the quilt retreat. For the show-n-tell, I'm bringing Laddie's Garden, Kieran's blue & white quilt and the finished project from last year. It was a big year of big quilts. Looking forward to lots of sewing, no cooking and just looking after myself (if you are a mom and have a dog, you know that's a bit rare). The boys will be fine and Subway will get a little extra business.

03 November 2010

Fall leaves

Using a technique adapted from the most recent Quilting Arts Gifts article (they made mistletoe with 2 fused cotton fabrics), I fused a batik to a wool blend felt. The "patterns" were collected off the ground while walking the dog in our neighborhood. Mostly maple and oak, but also one I'm not familiar with.
I use a low contrast pastel crayon to mark the leaf edge on the batik.
Then stitched with variegated thread.
The trick is not to cut it out until afterward, using smallish sharp scissors.

15 October 2010

Cutting Up

In preparation for the Smith & Owen Quilt Retreat next month (my second), I've been doing a lot of cutting (well, some shopping was actually involved prior to the cutting) in order to make the pattern provided as part of the retreat. The pattern is African Fire Flower (see) but I'm going to Australianize it.

I get to make use of some Australian fabrics given to me just before coming to Michigan by my Australian quilting buddies in the NSW Guild as well as some aboriginal fabrics I got at Smith & Owen. And anything sky blue, gum green or ochre or iron-oxide red that I could find in the stash. I've got quite a stack of 3x9" pieces now.

By the by, Jill Ker Conway (who wrote The Road to Coorain) spoke on campus last month. Helped me get into the spirit of the project.

This year my big "lesson learned from last year" is to bring a decent sewing chair with me. All the ladies who were veterans of the retreat knew to do that.

16 September 2010

Krakatoa in situ

"Krakatoa" is now, I just learned, rather prominently displayed in the Women's Center at GVSU as part of their annual art show. I was near the center yesterday for an event and see that it is clearly visible from outside their glass-walled office. There's something weird and thrilling about seeing one's work displayed somewhere other than one's house.

"Krakatoa" is a storm-at-sea pictorial quilt made up of 800 pieces.

Can't seem to find the picture I have of it.

12 August 2010

This purse is a somewhat ironic wink at the impending soccer mom season. Probably better than having my leather bag out in the elements--and if it gets cold, I guess I could shove my hands in--it is quilted after all...
The projects one gets up to when cleaning the studio.

03 August 2010

Major studio improvements

Recently I have been losing myself in some of those magazines about other people's studios. I'm in no danger of adding onto the house or laying down new flooring, but I have just purchased a small bookcase to better house my magazines and a large commercial grade shelving unit (60" wide, 77" tall, 24 inch wide shelves) to hold my stash. I was really tired of getting under tables to haul out fabric bins and taking far too long to sort out left-overs after projects were done.

The magaine bookcase is assembled and populated, and Costco says my commercial grade shelves are in transit.

Something about all this possessed me to even put a quilt top in the frame.

26 July 2010


How long have I been promising a photo of the blue & white quilt? It's so huge it will take 2 shots! This one is off to a professional quilter today because I just can't imagine handling one this size myself. In fact, it's larger than my arms could reach on the biggest bulletin board I could find, so the "southern end" with the penguins is out of shot. This was a drafting and math extravaganza. It'll be great to see it on my son's bed in a couple months.

01 July 2010

Made a purse, too

Recently I also made this quilted purse. The fabric is the "In The Begining" panel from the Folklorica line. The pattern name is not with me as I write, but some will recognize it by the distinctive use of curtain grommets (which, by the way, are not hard to put in).

28 June 2010

Laddie's Garden

Nothing like some time at home to get the hand quilting done. This one is 50" square. Inspired by a class in 2008 by Gwen Marston. All the flowers are my own design from hand-cut paper templates. Needle-turn applique and hand quilted.

It's called Laddie's Garden as a nod to our dog who saw me through the process.

04 May 2010

Hand work and surgery

I'm going to have surgery on Monday and get a kick out of the reaction of quilters who seem to have no concern whatsoever about the stitches going into me but are very concerned lest I have not enough to do during my recovery. "I hope you have enough hand projects!" they say.

Well, I do. I have a quilt half hand quilted and a Hawaiian applique project underway.

These days the medical establishment sends you to surgery class. You get to ask questions such as "how long until I can drive?" Of course, what you really want to ask is how long until I can use the sewing machine. I guess the line is less in terms of when you get off the heavy pain pills and more about when you feel less fatigued.