Monday, December 14, 2009

Whole Wall Insulating Quilt

I've been dragging my feet on this project for months. The problems started while doing the quilting; the thread broke almost twice for every vertical row. Not fun to pull all of those threads and secure them so that they will survive the wash. When that was finally finished, it sat for a long time. Now however, with the cold coming off the wall, I got myself in gear [finally].

Nothing seemed to go right. Somehow I had made it 3" too short. Therefore I added a strip to the top. Because this is a sloped ceiling, I did special vertical quilting in the top section so that it would go higher than the support rod. Unfortunately, I did one of those "what was I thinking" things, I attached the top of the hanging strips, before I quilted the top. That made quilting the top really tedious [had to go around those pieces] and the quilting is not very regular. I would go larger or smaller to work around the attachments. But finally it was done.
Done is good!

Day View Drapery Closed

The best news, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! If I had known how much I would like it and how warm it keeps the wall, I think I would have finished it earlier. If you are thinking about making something like this, please persevere. It is definitely worth it.

This winter I quickly put together a support for the drapery over the hot water baseboard heat. Instant supports are made from odd pieces of wood and braced with tea boxes screwed into the sides. I had to either to make something to hold the quilt above the baseboard heat or close the heat at night. Options are nice.  This works GREAT!

This is a west facing window, so I know it will also be a wonderful thing to have this insulation in August.
Night View with Draperies Open

Since the wall is only 8'-6" wide and the windows are over half of the area, covering the whole wall turned out to be a wonderful idea. I'm really happy happy happy with the effect of this insulation on my little sleeping nest- desk area alcove.

Related posts:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Me and My Buddies

When do you turn an x-ray into a quilt. When you are part of the FFFC group and participating in this month's challenge.

It is actually a slice of my brain. Not too much to explain. I cleaned out all of the labels, arrows [missed one arrow in this first fabric printing], tags, etc. I wanted it much lighter, with more yellow tones so I adjusted the color ratios. Then, luckily for me, the black ink ran out. I liked this print much better because of that. After printing it out, I flipped it upside down. Actually, it got flipped every which way until the Critters appeared. I didn't add a drop of paint or change it in any way EXCEPT I did quilt it hard to bring out the images I saw.

Me and My Buddies
That's a belly button in the middle. It is on the film.
This is not like anything I've done before. Of course that is one of the purposes of FFFC = to explore, stretch, expand, grow and DO. "We grow by doing."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Art Deco Women in a Crazy Quilt Purse

I have finally put the finishing touches on my new crazy quilt purse. So far it is my favorite: black, white and gray with red on white or white on red in 1\4" strips between each piece. This really sets off the pieces so that they stand out as individuals. The art deco women who are the theme, were a fabric gift. This is also a purse full of grateful memories. Of course I do 'fancy' machine stitches on the edge of every piece or either side of the strip between.

I also lined the front so that it could become a whole pocket that is closed with Velcro for those things that I want to keep separate for the usual stash of 'necessary stuff' that seems to weigh me down. I'm working on minimizing, but not making a whole lot of head way.
Purse front featuring 3 of the art deco women.

Purse back.
Purse sides.

Purse inside showing full front pocket with velcro closure and 2 pockets in the back for pen and note paper.

I lined the closure flap and the inside of the front pocket with this wonderful fabric which was a gift. I put my name in yellow on the front. It is under the flap when closed. I just had to have my identity tag.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Star Block

I don't come from a traditional quilt background. I come from an art background with limited sewing skills. When my guild announced last month that they we were each going to make blocks for Christmas quilts, I panicked. What if mine wasn't good enough. The colors were predetermined: Christmas red, Christmas green and white on white. It was the white on white that cause me so much trouble. Half the time I put it on the wrong way. I found it more than enough of a challenge. I don't ever want to use white on white again where I have to worry about which side is up. I've never ripped out so much on such a little piece: 12" square. At any rate, I threw it on the pile last night at our meeting. I wasn't the best, but I was far from the worst. In fact, I feel rather good about my contribution.
Christmas Star Block
PS. I also showed my 'Blast Off' quilt. I was thrilled with the response. It was also fun to see what every one else is making. This is my first time with live [not over the computer] quilters. I'm really having fun with this group. There is a lot of diversity. Everyone seems to appreciate that. If you are not in a guild or a group, I encourage you to seek one out

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crazy Quilt for a Baby

This is my first baby quilt. Therefore, I looked at LOTS of designs. Many were very cute; most were done in pastels. My priority was for the quilt to be interesting to the baby. I went through my stash of specialty prints. I pulled out all the really interesting ones, especially if they were bright colors. Some were black and white, but that worked for me too. I usually buy seasonal prints when they are on the BIG sale. Then I added some wild stripes and bright colors. In my mind, it had to be a crazy quilt because of the diverse sizes and shapes of the interesting bits that I had. I also pulled out all of my gross grain and washable ribbons and other decorative items, like rick rack. Then I looked for bright colored thread.

The first start was awful. It got totally out of shape. This time I used a firmer backing fabric and carefully pressed, especially if the seam was covered with trim. As I assembled the pieces, I did decorative stitches [machine] to hold the seams firmly in place. My starting point, in case you can't find it, is the little girl on the ad. She resembles the mother very much. I also added a pocket and put in a firm, sewn 'teething chew'. I made these by taking some flannel, doubling it twice and then covering it with fabric and stitching it many times to make it firm. I gave one to the baby right away, as she was teething at the time. She used it immediately.

Even though the colors aren't bright, I had to include a piece with sewing supplies.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blast Off

This project began as an FFF Challenge. The theme was space.

I spent days looking at marvelous photos from the Hubble Telescope. However, as much as I was in awe of the photos, nothing spoke to me. Finally I hit upon this theme = going into outer space.

I wanted to use dyes, but my past experience had been just painting the dyes on a piece of cloth laying on a table. It didn't work as I had envisioned. Lots of flow across the table; very little control. Therefore, my first step was to make an adjustable frame on which to secure my fabric. I recycled wood from some old frames I had used when I lived in apartments and moved a lot. These were very flexible, but no longer needed. I think the photo explains it very well.

Old side rails from my portable shelves

Side rails recycled into a frame for dying and painting

I lightly sketched my rocket, platform, and buildings as seen from across a bit of water. I used a textile maker in gray as I only wanted a little bit to show threw the 'dust from the blast off'. Then I applied dyes. It took several layers of dye to get what I wanted. Then I began with the paints. I ironed between layers to preserve what I had already done. Previously, I had skipped this step. Not happy when the colors moved. I learned from that mistake.

Sketch on stretched fabric on frame

Dyed with painting started

When I was satisfied, I added an inner border of a very soft brown and an outer border of a dark purplish-blue. I spent two days interviewing borders. I was very invested in this step. I thought the brown was perfect. Fortunately, I had just barely enough to do a 1\4” border. Then I started quilting. That took a while. I messed up on the inner border, but tried for days to save it.

I was in love with these borders. Hard to cut them off.

FINALLY, I realized the borders had to go. This was hard. It was after reading from the Quiltart list that I knew I had to do it. I don't remember who, but someone said something that has stuck. It was similar to , 'If you are in love with one piece of fabric maybe that is what needs to go.' I sure wanted those borders. Cutting them off lost 7” in both horizontal and vertical directions, plus I was in love with both fabrics. However, as it turns out, cutting them off was absolutely necessary to achieve the final result. I know it is not perfect However, it is the best I've quilted so far. I darkened the details to better show the quilting. The full art quilt is truer to the actual colors.

BLAST OFF 17" x 37.5"

Blast Off darkened detail 1

Blast Off darkened detail 2

My name, Ann E. Ruthsdottir, machine embroidered on the front.
It actually is hard to see because the color blends in so well.
However, it would be quite a job to take it off.
I had to lighten the photo in order to see my name.

Comments welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quilting year 2 in review

Last year about this time I posted a photo review of the first year of my blog. Now I'm summing up in photos the results of my quilting efforts from October 2008 through September 2009. I was surprised at the volume since I had not accomplished much of what I wanted to do. Much of my stimulus came from being a part of the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge [FFFC]. The challenges spurred me on to try something new. I really learned a lot. Of course I'm still just beginning; learning every week. As you will see, many of my projects are very practical. I guess that is part of my nature. However, isn't it more to make practical things artistically, instead of something purely functional.
If you want more details about any of the photos, please look over the lists on the right panel.

My first quilt of the 'blog year'. 

Nana was my mother's mother.  Although she died when I was 11, I still have very warm and wonderful memories of her.

Following are my insulation projects = keeping warm in the winter.

Kitchen insulating shade down = keeping the cold out.

Morning room original drapery over a blanket and insulating shade.

Bath insulating shade.  It made a BIG difference.

The next 4 quilts were done for the Alzheimer's Initiative; all are titled
"The Changing Face of Alzheimer's"

Annie's "My World in Black and White" entries.

"Mom"  = memories of The Farm

Ballet Trio

Ballerina On Stage.  One panel from the 'trio quilt'.
This became my blog title background.

       Cellar door storage

Following are some lap quilts I did in response to a need in our community. 

This is in response to "The Poe Challenge"

Quoth the Raven

Responses to various challenges + one for my Mom

Catch a Falling Star

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Fabric Interrupted

On Point

Quilting practice

heavily quilted yoke [my first attempt at a quilted garment]

My contribution to the "Little Gems" fundraiser in Birmingham, England.

Beach Girl

Following is a series of prints I did after making a doily into a printing tool.

These next prints are using nature's tools as a print object.

Soft green  fern [print from a real fern, stitched in gold]

Golden fern [multi print from a real fern, stitched in gold]

Dancing limes [metallic print from half a lime]

Thread saving container [helps keep it off the floor]

Airline travel purse [back]

Airline travel 'purse' [front]

Coccyx cushion [folding for travel]

Fidget Quilt

I hope you have enjoyed this summary.  Please think about doing the same on your blog.