Blog Archives

Finished – Too Precious to Cut (But We Will) Challenge

I have finished my Too Precious to Cut (But We Will) Challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild of NWA. This was a challenge put out by Paula Mariedaughter, one of our members. I was in a panic last week thinking that it was due for our September meeting (next week), but it’s actually not due till October. Ah well, it’s finished. Go here to see what else this creative quilter is up to.  She’s always putting a new spin on quilt design and makes the best labels.

http://paulamariedaughter.com/

Me n the Moon with Lilies - Finished

Me n the Moon with Lilies – Finished

I faced this quilt using Susan Brubaker Knapp’s tutorial. Check it out along with her other free tutorials.

http://www.bluemoonriver.com/assets/nonmitredfacing.pdf

The only thing I do differently is Step 4. I don’t like to pivot at corners, so I sew to the end, and then cross the seam at the corner. I also use these little clips instead of heavy pinning–you don’t want the facing to show on the front and this helps.

Facing Me n the Moon with Lilies

Facing Me n the Moon with Lilies

Me n the Moon with Lilies - Finished

Me n the Moon with Lilies – Reverse

I had a little trouble with the quilting. After doing all the straight-line quilting in the center, I went to free-motion quilt the lily fabric and ripped out this lily twice. Then I quilted this spot with regular stitching, which required a lot of pivoting, cleaned and oiled the machine AGAIN, changed the needle AGAIN, and free-motioned the remainder with no problem. Gremlins, I’m tellin’ ya.

Troublesome Lily

Troublesome Lily

I also finished my placemats. See my previous post for the Round Placemat Tutorial. And why does spell check always want “placemat” to be two words? Not doin’ it.

http://wp.me/p5pibn-12i

Lily placemat, Lori Kennedy Flower Power quilting

Lily placemat, Lori Kennedy Flower Power quilting

Lily Placemat, Leah Day Layered Flower, circle quilting

Lily Placemat, Leah Day Layered Flower, circle quilting

Lily Placemat, line quilting

Lily Placemat, line quilting

Lily Placemat, front, contour quilting

Lily Placemat, front, contour quilting

Lily placemat, front, contour quilting

Lily placemat, reverse, contour quilting

Well, it’s back to my studio. I am putting everything away so I can get back to finishing up the rest of my Christmas UFOs. And here is one of my favorite Paula Mariedaughter quilts from a local Q.U.I.L.T. Guild of NWA show in 2013–those wonky flowers and the colors just make me happy. Till next time, do what makes you happy for at least part of the day!

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

Flower Power, Paula Mariedaughter

 

Symphony of Colors Exhibit

Symphony of Colors was a special exhibit during Quilt Week at Paducah this year. The quilts are original designs by Japanese quilt makers, often pieced and quilted by hand. Sizes are rounded off as these quilts were measured to the 7/8-inch (perhaps because of a conversion from the metric). Part of the official description: “Quilts came to Japan at the end of 1970, as a new hobby from America. Japanese women received it as an American culture and started making them. They studied about quilts in books and some advanced people started a school to teach quiltmaking. After ten years, Japanese quilters found their own way to make and build up the new category of Japanese Quilts, instead of copying American quilts… In this exhibit, some of the quilts feature a strong expression of the Japanese style, while others express it more quietly.” p.136, Quilt Week, Paducah Show Book.

Notice the subtle change in applique shapes from fish to trees to birds to triangles.

White Woods, Symphony of Colors Exhibit, 73x89

White Woods, Symphony of Colors Exhibit, 73×89, Keiko Yoshida

White Wisteria, Symphony of Colors

White Wisteria, Symphony of Colors, 68×83, Keiko Yoshida

World As If Floating, Symphony of Colors

World As If Floating, Symphony of Colors, 69×69, Pachiko Yoshida

Autumn Breeze, Symphony of Colors

Autumn Breeze, Symphony of Colors, 78×79, Akiko Kawata

Rose Garden, Symphony of Colors

Rose Garden, Symphony of Colors, 81×81, Akiko Kawata

Honoka, Symphony of Colors

Honoka, Symphony of Colors, 57×53, Yoshiko Katagiri

All of these circles have finished edges and are appliqued by hand!

Life, Symphony of Colors

Life, Symphony of Colors, 79×79, Yoshiko Katagiri

Wild Flowers, Symphony of Colors

Wild Flowers, Symphony of Colors, 78×76, Yoshiko Sakurai

Rose Garden, Symphony of Colors

Rose Garden, Symphony of Colors, 91×78, Junko Yazawa

Flowering, Symphony of Colors

Flowering, Symphony of Colors, 78×78, Sachiko Yoshida

Dianthus, In Memory of My Mother, Symphony of Colors

Dianthus, In Memory of My Mother, Symphony of Colors, 77×77, Sachiko Yoshida

 

Pompom Mum, Symphony of Colors

Pompom Mum, Symphony of Colors, 67×74, Reiko Naganuma

This was my favorite, Autumn Sky.

Autumn Sky, Symphony of Colors

Autumn Sky, Symphony of Colors, 68×90, Reiko Naganuma

Peony, Symphony of Colors

Peony, Symphony of Colors, 74×75, Kuniko Saka

Poet Byakuren, Symphony of Colors

Poet Byakuren, Symphony of Colors, 67×78, Kuniko Saka

Poet Byakuren, detail

Poet Byakuren, detail

Waves and Weeping Cherry, Symphony of Colors

Waves and Weeping Cherry, Symphony of Colors, 43×55, Kathy Nakajima

Waves and Weeping Cherry Tree, Symphony of Colors

Waves and Weeping Cherry Tree, detail, Kathy Nakajima

Spring Ocean, Symphony of Colors

Spring Ocean, Symphony of Colors, 55×39, Kathy Nakajima

Usuzumi Sakura, Symphony of Colors

Usuzumi Sakura, Symphony of Colors, Eiko Okana

Usuzumi Sakura, detail

Usuzumi Sakura, detail, Eiko Okana

Next time I’ll wrap up Paducah with some of my favorite quilts, no particular category. Quilt shows can be overwhelming and make you doubt your abilities and work. They can also be very inspiring and encourage you to try new techniques. My only disappointment was that I was looking for Japanese taupe fabrics to make some quilted household items. I think I will try to dye some fabrics myself as I only found a couple batiks at Hancock’s of Paducah (not to be confused with Hancock’s chain store) and some hand-dyeds at a little shop downtown. I was also looking for a small red and green stripe for the binding of my Christmas quilt–nary a one in this huge warehouse of fabrics. I can get back to quilting this now that I have more 75/11 needles, which is what I’m using with the mono-poly clear thread. I have quilted the center blocks and now can do the outside blocks. If I were really brave, I would free-motion the straight lines but instead, I do a lot of pivoting.

Fabric purchases

Fabric purchases

Straight line stitching

Straight line stitching

The other project which is taking a lot of my time is rebranding myself. I want to change my blog/website name but I’m having some domain issues. We’ll see how it goes after holidays are over. Till next time, be sure to keep an eye on your local weather and stay safe. Poor Texas is floating away again.

 

 

 

 

 

The Black Widow Spider Quilt Project

I finished the Black Widow Spider Quilt (She’s Come Undone) the end of April, but didn’t post about it.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve come undone, but it’s just that I’m working on rebranding myself and my blog and it’s not only time consuming, but frustrating. Back in April I decided to quilt a spider web on this project and used paper to get started. This paper is used for this purpose and for paper-piecing projects.  It’s very lightweight and tears away easily so I thought I’d try it. First I drew some spokes and extended the lines using a water-soluble marker.

Quilting paper

Quilting paper

http://www.goldenthreads.com/

Check out the paper at the above link. I found my at a quilt show so try your local quilt shop or Amazon.

Marking spokes for spider web quilting

Marking spokes for spider web quilting

Spokes in silver thread

Spokes in silver thread

Tear away every other one

Tear away every other one

If you tear down a spider’s web enough times it will kind of drive the spider over the edge and its web will become erratic. I knew that if I just kept quilting instead of taking break that my quilting would become erratic and it did, which was the effect I wanted. I know, I can be perverse at times. Here is the quilting, front and back. When quilting with fine metallic or clear thread, you can sometimes end up with a mess–or if you’re not careful when winding a bobbin.

Tangled web of thread

Tangled web of thread

I used Superior Metallic Silver on top and cotton thread in the bobbin. I used up a gradated piece of gray for the back and pieced the binding, still trying to use up black and red scraps. Another project finished, except for the label. I almost have a sheet of labels to print out so it will happen before summer’s end. After your project is quilted, spray water on the blue marking lines and let dry. Sometimes you will need to do this a couple of times to get all the marks out–be sure the marks are gone before exposing the quilt to heat or the marks can become permanent.

Spider web detail

Spider web detail

Spider web quilting-reverse

Spider web quilting-reverse

Black Widow (She's Come Undone)

Black Widow (She’s Come Undone)

Real spider stories: One of my earliest memories is of finding a black widow in the backyard when we still lived in Virginia.

My daughter used to reenact Medieval battles with the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and was about to put on a helmet when she noticed a thick spider web that had formed overnight–Black widow in Arizona. And here in Arkansas, we need to watch for the brown recluse. They do not build webs but lurk in dark corners and piles of leaves. Get thee to emergency if you are ever bitten by one.

We had spiders in our basement in Minnesota and one spring I was doing deep cleaning and every night the spiders kept getting larger in my dreams. By the last night, this spider jumped up on a chair with GIANT mums and it was just as huge–I quit cleaning in the basement for awhile.

That’s enough of that–I’m getting the creepy crawlies. May all your dreams be pleasant and your spider encounters harmless. My next post I’ll finish up with Self-Portrait 1, which is not being entered in ANY contests. Sometimes things do not work out as planned and it’s back to the drawing board.

The Redwork Quilt

My progress on handwork is going rather slowly, so after the 4th of July weekend, and getting three rooms partially ready for new flooring, I put some serious time into quilting my Redwork Quilt.  I did straight-line quilting in the center redwork medallion, then some free-motion meandering flowers and leaves in the red border, and then straight-line quilting on either side of the seam lines in the pieced border (scrappy 1-1/2 inch finished squares).  See the previous post for photos.  Then I added yet more quilting to the center medallion to help it to lie flatter.  All that remained was the 4-inch black border.

There was a lot of lint from the batting on the black Kona so I used masking tape to clean it up and then pinned the edges to keep it relatively clean while quilting.  Making a tube with the masking tape was fairly ineffective.  Placing a long strip and running your hand across works much better.  A large lint roller would be even better if you have one.

Masking tape

Masking tape

Better masking tape

Better masking tape

Pinning edges

Pinning edges

border practice

border practice

After practicing the same meandering flower design, and choosing a variegated black and red thread, I started and 6-inches in, decided that the tension was not right and the design just wasn’t filling the space like I wanted.  Back to the drawing board.  I took out my Pajama Quilter Reloaded book and found a design I liked: flowers, leaves and ribbons.  I also changed to a solid red thread.  It isn’t perfect but it is finished and the binding is put on.  More handwork for my poor arthritic hands but for now, I still only machine quilt the binding on donation quilts and potholders.  Because of the overstitching in the flowers and leaves (only two of each, thank goodness), it took me 2-1/2 hours of ripping and then the afternoon to quilt all the way around.

frog stitch remains

frog stitch remains

Here is part of the border, showing flowers, leaves and ribbons.  I see the PajamaQuilter Reloaded and PajamaQuilter Rethreaded workbooks/DVDs are sold out.  You can check out Dawn Ramirez’ quilts at http://www.sewdawnfun.com/.  I like her idea of practicing on a whiteboard before stitching on a quilt sample–this is really helpful for a new or complex design and you can just totally erase what you don’t like at any time and start over.

Here is part of the outer border before binding.

outer border finished

outer border finished

Till next time, expand your horizons and try something new–a new quilt design, a new recipe, a new technique, a new skill.  This will keep your craft more interesting, fight boredom, and perhaps, prevent dementia.  If it’s frustrating, it’s good for you.