Saturday, December 17, 2011

Red Rhythms II

Red Rhythms II

After completing the first Red Rhythms,
I had a few strips and some pieces of red left over.  Not one to let anything go to waste, I sewed up the red pieces to make another charity quilt. I had used all of the red to back and bind the first quilt.  This time I found a wonderful yellow-red-blue paisley for the back and a nice red with yellow for the binding.  Nice and colorful for a baby.

Although the first went to Japan, this one is going to our local guild charity reserve.  One person in the guild is in charge of all of these quilts.  She is listed as the contact person for fire departments, police departments, hospitals, nursing homes and others who might have a need.  One of the things I really love about my guild is their willingness to make and give quilts to those unknown folks who develop a need.  Always gives me a bit of JOY to be able to share.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guest Artist Elana Schacter

Since Elana had quilts she wished to share and I had a site, I offer to show her quilts.  These are so colorful and charming, I am glad to have them on my blog.

Big and Little

This picture is a tessellation I made for my granddaughter a while back. I had made a mockup to plan the color arrangement - which you have to decide before you start sewing with a tessellation pattern - and my daughter told me to stitch it up too, so my granddaughter has a quilt for her dollies too.

This one a la Klee, is a departure from my usual piecing work. Fun.

Flatauer challah cover

This is a challah cover (used to cover the bread while blessings are made over the wine on the Sabbath) I made as a trade with a friend who is a potter.

Shalvi Chanina

My daughter is named Shalvi; grandson is named Chanina.  The quilt is a quickie - I put the top together in one evening, did some simple quilting the next morning, and delivered it that afternoon. The pattern is from Anita Grossman Solomon's Rotary Cutting Revolution.
Wish I could do that in one evening. Knowing me, I would think about it for a week before I made a move. Isn't it lovely she has made all of these 'gift quilts'?

Shiloh Ne'eman Witt

This quilt is a small "nursing cover" quilt that was a collaboration with my daughter. Her concept and layout of the squares, my sewing.  Shiloh Ne'eman is my friend's son.

Sylvie Reese
Sylvie Reese is my new niece-in-law. 

The red and yellow baby quilt I just made for my daughter's sister-in-law's new baby. The mom is a lawyer, and the block is called the barrister's block. Two blocks have mistakes (or to be more politically correct, two blocks have special challenges.) Can you spot which two? I hope not.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quick and Easy Place Mat Purse

As I was getting ready to mail one of these little purses, I thought someone might need a last minute gift idea.  Although I made these months ago, there is still time to get one or a dozen done for the holidays.  I view these as summer bags to take out for an evening or day when you do not want or need that 'purse carry all' that I seem to lug around when shopping.

Lace Edged Place Mat

I cut the place mat lengthwise down the center.  Then attached a piece of dyed fabric to the cut side. Fold it up and French seamed that edge to close it while finishing the inside at the same time.

Two Similar Bags made from One Place Mat

For the top of both bags, I glued and satin stitched the lace to the fabric, following the lace pattern.  For the aqua bag, I finished the last edge in the same manner.  For the brown bag, I sewed the lace to the fabric and then finished the last edge with a French seam.  Last, I inserted some cording and fastened it securely.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mondrian Inspired Purse Design

The Modrian Inspired Design
Everything is glued, nothing yet stitched.

For a couple of months now I've been working on the FFF challenge 61, interpreting an artist's style.  I decided to go large.  Although I still want to finish it, I had so much fun making the first bag, I decided to try another one.  The bonus is that it is small enough to actually finish in a few days.  The first problem I encountered was the grosgrain moving all over the place even though it was glued.  I decided that was because the wool still has a lot of stretch and my even feed foot was not really feeding so evenly.

I used recycled wool jackets, skirts, and odd bits of wool that I felted in my washing machine and dryer.  It is really soft to the touch.  Felting seems to take out all the rough stuff.  I added grosgrain ribbon to cover the seams; wider grosgrain as the final edging. All was stitched down with zig-zag using polyester thread because I both wanted to cover up the grosgrain and add a sheen.  I first tried to use another stitch on my machine, but after many, many birds nest on the back side, I decided the zig-zag would have to do.  The lining is black satin: pocket on one side for my cell phone; pocket on the other for my charge card case.

Purse Full View
I had a lot of problems deciding how to do the strap.  My first, planned idea didn't work at all.  I tried 3 more before I did this one.  Not as elegant a joint as I would have liked, but it works rather well.  The handle attachment added a day and a half to the project.  Luckily, I have an ergonomic seam ripper. 

Purse, Flap Side
Finished, closed the body of the purse is ~ 7" x 9".  Under the flap, this side is gathered on both sides and bottom.  This allows the contents to settle easily and not disturb the ornamental design. 

Purse, Design Side
Not sure which is the real front or real back.  My preference at the moment is to put this side out. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Silk on Velvet Purse

The Art Piece

As I started this design, I had in mind that it eventually would become a purse.  I was given a gorgeous piece of burgundy velvet [my friend Alex bought it at an estate sale for 50cents], I had some tiny cones of silk yarn, some iridescent seed beads and an idea.  I had never done any couching before, but this silk begged to be put with this velvet.  The FFF challenge was " chiaroscuro".

I first put a piece of velvet and stabilized in a hoop.  I could not get that under the foot of my machine.  Then I stay stitched the velvet to the stabilizer.  That seem to keep the velvet in place.  Velvet seems to have a life of its own as it slides and frays all over the place.  As I began to couch the silk yarn to the velvet I loved the look.  It is lush!  I had absolutely no idea I was stitching the shape of an onion cut pole-to-pole; I just liked the shape.  It wasn't until I took a break for a dinner of my Oven Roasted Onion Soup, , that I realized after peeling and cutting over 4 pounds of onions, that shape was definitely in my mind.

After dinner I added the seed beads to bring out the dimensions of the velvet-polyester batting-satin layers.  The beads are dark, but just the right touch to fulfill the challenge.  Today I finished making this work of art into an Arty Purse.  I plan to use it New Years Eve at a wedding rehearsal dinner.

The Arty Purse Hanging on My Design Board

The Arty Purse Sitting on a Table

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Best Contrasts = Color + Texture

Try 6 = Adaptation of Try 3

Try 6 in Full Color

This is the beginning 9 Patch for the 'Dissappearing Nine Patch'.  I wanted to have the three large prints on the bottom + the corduroy for the squares that are not cut.  As you see, it didn't work.  I didn't like  the tiny flowers on dark blue print as an un-cut square.  What to do?  What to do?  The black and white photos really helped me a LOT.  Now I substituted dark blue denim for the dark blue print.  Everyone loves denim, so I think this will work.  I like to put things like this together and then leave them for a time while I work on something else.  Then when I return to the project, I can look at it with fresh eyes.

Off to work on a new cape design.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Picking the Best Contrasts

I had a plan in mind when I started cutting these squares.  However, it took a turn when I photographed and printed in black and white.  I often use black and white to check values.  This time it is forcing me to change my original plan for this comfort quilt.

Original Plan

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Which option would you choose?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scrappy Christmas Comfort Quilt

Scrappy Christmas Comfort Quilt

This year my guild is having a 6" square exchange at each Meeting.  It began in October with Christmas theme fabric.  After putting all my fabric through a wash-dry cycle, I cut my squares all down to 5.5" to eliminate variations in cutting.  Of course I had to add some more fabric.  However, once this is bound [by another guild member since it is painful for me to do handwork], I hope it will bring a little JOY to someone in need this holiday season.  The guild was told that there is a lot of extra need through the holiday season because of auto accidents, fires, and other tragedies.  It always give me a lot of JOY to be able to do this small thing.  I am hoping I can make one charity quilt a month.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fleece Backed Comfort Quilt

Fleece Backed Comfort Quilt
Because it is so very soft, I decided to try fleece as a quilt backing.  I had finished piecing a Christmas Comfort Quilt; now I was ready to quilt the layers together.  The more I fiddled with the fleece, the more I decided to try using it first on a piece of cheater fabric that I originally purchased to use as a quilt back.  Good choice!  I hated working with the fleece.  I got a LOT of loops on the back and thread breakage.  Making this quilt tidy was a big chore.

If you use fleece as a backing, what is the secret to avoid the problems I encountered?  Not sure I want to try this again.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Year 4 in review

My quilting year runs from October - September.  This year was filled with many medical challenges.  Sometimes the only thing I wanted to do was just sew something small and easy.  Luckily my local guild has a Block of the Month [BOM] challenge.  I found these just the right size to complete when I wasn't feeling totally up to par.  Another plus is that because I came to quilting from an art background, I never had done the traditional blocks.  I am enjoying these very much.  Of course the guild group is making all 12" squares.  I am going to make something small so my blocks are a smaller size.  It will be interesting to see how these odd BOM's make a quilt.
Pink Friendship Star = 3" square

Purple Friendship Star = 3" square

Umbrella = 3" square

Sail Boat = 6" square

Pin Wheel = 6" square

Basket = 8" square

Pink Apple = 3"x4"

Purple Apple = 3"x4"

Basket = 6" square

I was attracted to Zentangles; here are a few of my many attempts.

ATC front and back
Tangled Tulips = FFFC, 10" square

Tangled  = FFFC, 10"x12"

This started as an Fast Friday Fabric Challenge [FFFC].  Not happy with the original response, I am happy with the pieces made from the divided parts.

Tiny Quilt for my kitchen
[aka potholder I am proud to have hanging out]

Quilt Show Purse
This is one of the most FUN, favorite things I made during this year.  There is a how-to on this blog. I wish I had it when I went to Houston.  Next show = READY TO GO!

Houston 2010
The fall was the most fun for me because I was able to attend the Quilt Festival in Houston. It was my first time; of course I want to go again. I was thrilled to see my quilt in a special exhibit of quilts from the book, "500 Art Quilts".

I was also a part of an ATC exchange. Fun to receive, but the deadlines got overwhelming when I was struggling with medical stuff.  I no longer am part of a group with strict deadlines.  Luckily, my favorite group, FFFC, is very flexible with due dates.  Works really well for me.

Love ATC - paper, fabric, lace, ribbon, tiny pearls

Water Color ATC

Letter ATC - painted and heavily stitched

Letter ATC's - I made a letter for each person

I even managed to make and/or finish a few art quilts and a few other 'arty' things.

Sunlight and Shadows - 48"x60"
This is my first quilt. I pieced the top during the winter of 1995-96; quilted it this past year.  It still needs the edges finished.  Hopefully that will happen before another 15 years pass.  I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  I used uphostery fabric from books I picked up for $1 or less.  It is really heavy.

Sunlight and Shadows, detail 1

Sunlight and Shadows, detail 2

A Taste of Summer 2 - 16"x20"

Red Rhythms - FFFC, baby quilt sent to Japan

Water Lily - FFFC, 17" square, [edges not finished]

2 Ferns - 11"x16" [edges not finished]

3 Ferns - 11"x16" [edges not finished]

Throne Cover  - FFFC
This is becoming one of my favorite items in the house.   It makes me smile every time I see it, which is often.  I encourage you to make some practical items to add art in a FUN way.

Spinal Dance - 18"x29", FFFC, [edges not finished]

Shibori Dyed Cape - my original design

Wedding Cape
Photos and story are on page 72, "Machine Quiting Unlimited", Nov/Dec 2011 issue.  My dye steps and more are on this blog.

Strip Pieced Tote/Purse
How to is on this blog.

Emblished PJ Top = FFFC expressing a mood
Step by step is on this blog

Sunlight on a Cloudy Day - 5.5"x6"
This was made for a book to cheer a person in need.  I applied paint to a piece of prepared canvas glued to chip board, then used sheer fabric to finish the design.  Although not my usual style, I really liked it.

Dream Rocket Panel - 24" square

My dream is for world peace.  This was so much fun to make and now really exciting to watch where it is being exhibited.  If you haven't yet made a panel, I encourage you to do so.  Here is a link to the project

Totally practical.  Both of these have long tutorials on this blog.  Both are an answer to a specific need.
Folding Coxic Cushion - wonderful for plane travel

Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder  = it really works!