13 December 2011

Snowman Thread Painting

This Snowman is a thread painting based on a piece of clip art. I worked on this at the recent quilt retreat and now he's on my office door. I like the marled effect on his scarf that came from using white thread in the bobbin and red on top. This technique is intended to be worked in a hoop with just dissolving stablizer, but I like to add in a used dryer sheet for a tiny bit of extra stability.

15 November 2011

I want to take you to Rome

A couple years ago, my son said I want to take you to Rome. We did indeed go last summer and I was busy taking pictures of floors in places like Pompeii which inspired this quilt. Not yet done--a couple rows will be added when I get more of the dark batik fabric. I had fun using the green fabric as both a dark and a light in different blocks.

This top was completed at a recent retreat. It's for my mother-in-law's twin bed.

01 September 2011

Tendonitis Woes

I'm in self-imposed non-sewing mode due to some, well, "quilting and keyboarding elbow". Certainly tennis had nothing to do with it.

I'm in the middle of a cool project and the studio is in pretty good shape so ...if wishes were stitches I'd be getting a lot done!

22 August 2011

Thread Painting Experiment

Thanks to an article in the online Quilting Arts magazine (Vol 4 I think), I had fun experimenting with thread painting on hooped dissolvable stabelizer. I didn't have the thicker type so I doubled some medium thickness that I had on hand. Next time I might throw a layer of bridal illusion in between the layers.

The only part that didn't work out is that with so many thread spools lying around, I knocked some on the floor and the depicted dog chewed one up. Life masticating art!

29 July 2011

Studio makeover step 2

Stage one of 'making the studio better' involved shelving. Things have improved, but some of the storage in my ironing area was still cheap and nasty, and I thought the use of space was far from optimal. Stage one also involved the decision to try to buy storage boxes and accessories in either black or white (or both) to give the room some sort of coordination and not compete with the fabric.

So as an early anniversary/birthday present, we purchased a couple of the 36 inch tall Closet Aid sort of cubical storage units and a 24" by 48" pine table top that will be covered to use as a big ironing surace with the storage units as its legs. I'm tall so the 38" height will be fine. I believe I'll have better access to my design wall, too.

I suspect that the storage units moving out of the room will be easy to redeploy in the basement. Win win.

21 July 2011

Quilt made a visit

Our next door neighbor popped by yesterday with her 2 year old daughter in the stroller. It seems that Sadie, now quite a talker, is quite partial to the quilt she had with her. "See, it has my name," she reported, flipping it to the heart-shaped label on the back.

"I know," was my reply, "I put it there when you were born."

12 July 2011

Flag in sunshine and shaddow

Talk about cutting it close. I finished this one, after having it in the frame for most of the year, on the morning of July 4. This one is a stretch for me. I don't own many of these countrified, "browned", homespun sorts of fabrics, and I'd never pushed the limits f what would read as a light before. Just goes to show that maroon on cream is "white" if you try hard enough.

The design comes from a very old book of patriotic quilts that I bought used.

About 3.5' x 4.5'

06 July 2011

Learned something today

Reversable binding--see: www.thequiltshow.com/os/blog.php/blog_id/3901

I don't tend to make reversable quilts, but she also shows a way of using your binding as your label which is worth tucking away in the back of your mind too. Thanks, Sharon Pederson!

05 May 2011

great rolled edge on serger

I'm making a dress for an upcoming formal dinner. The fabric is a very slinky, stretchy synthetic knit so one has to think long and hard about how to finish the sleeves and hem. I decided to use a serged, rolled hem using wooly nylon on my overlocker.

In the construction of the dress I used quite a bit of clear swimsuit elastic in the serged seams (worked great!). No gaps in the cross-over neckline, no stretched shoulder seams etc. The instructions didn't call for it but it might have been hopeless without it.

So now it is time to roll the hems. On a practice piece I found everything was working correctly except that I was getting a slightly wavy result (not what I wanted). So I tried a test using a thin strip of water soluble stablizer beneath the fabric. Fantastic result. Fed really well and the rolled hem is flat.

By the by, I had thought I'd do some of the construction on my sewing machine. I put in a fine ball point needle and couldn't get it to cooperate. It stiched perfectly on a woven cotton sample piece but was skipping stitches like mad when I tried the jersey. I gave up and constructed the dress entirely on the overlocker. Anyone with an explanation is encouraged to speak up.

30 March 2011

Queensland Dreaming in Tasmania

My former work colleague Cath recently had twins. She lives in Tasmania these days and was able to take a snapshot of the quilt I sent to her which is now in situ in the babies' room.

This rather wild outing is called Queensland Dreaming.

21 March 2011

Lone Star in progress

I'm taking a class at Smith & Owen on Lone Star quilts. I've picked up a few great techniques (particularly a way of doing Y seams that is much better than most I've seen) and had fun working with batiks.
I bought the book on little Lone Stars , too.

04 March 2011

Tulips and Lemons

Another Piece of Cake design turned up in a magazine while all the applique supplies are still out in the studio, so I used some fabrics that went into a recent quilt (that one I designed a few years back but they are similar in some respects). Might turn into a table topper.

Now I'm preping for another class (on a Lone Star), and I've decided to use batiks, so "now for something completely different!"

11 February 2011

Applique Month

The applique class at Smith & Owen is 2/3 over and I've had a month of making "whimsical" garden blocks (Piece O' Cake design). I think that for quilters "whimsical" is a code word for nothing having to match. I'm imagining that having these blocks will one day save my bacon when I need a baby quilt to come together fast.

The method we are using can be traced to Pearl Pereira. It involves freezer paper, starch, stilletos, etc. Must say that it does produce sharply pointed leaves that I have a hard time with by other means. Good tips include using thread a bit darker and duller than the applique, using a starch alternative rather than flacky real starch, and using a travel size iron that gets good and hot.

On another note, I recently bought some Spot fabric. Not fabric with dots, but rather fabric printed with the character from children's books by Eric Hill. My son is almost 13, but when he was very little, Spot was very important. So I thought I better get some of this fabric now, lest I repent at leisure some day.

05 January 2011

Projects completing

"Anne's Garden" made it safely to Sydney and now resides on my sister-in-law's bed. "Sunburnt Country" (the retreat quilt top depicted 2 posts ago) is now quilted (on my home machine) and proudly owned by my husband.

A friend in Tasmania (she & hubby own Foxhunters Return--a B&B and now bookstore too) is having twins so I finished a long-in-progress baby quilt (called "Queensland Dreaming") and a more recent project making felt baby booties.

I also had the opportunity to teach a very capable professor friend to hem pants. Funny how the little skills can drop by the wayside while acquiring the big ones.

So now nothing is under deadline and I can decide what I'd like to do next. Saturday I'm off to yet another needle-turn class (I'd like to be really good at it one day!).