Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I just had to see if I could do it

I was stacking pieces laying on my cutting table and when these 2 ended up together, I thought that is kind of interesting, I wonder if I can remember how to "set in" one piece into another.

I started by marking the size "hole" I would need and sewing around it with a straight stitch.
Then I cut the "hole" 1/4" in from the stitching line.
I clipped into the corners.
Then I started sewing the patch into place with 1/4" seam.
Sewing in the last side.

The finished piece. Now I just have to decide what to make it into.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another trip

Here is another trip around the world waiting patiently for its borders. This one is made with 4 colors, 5 values from light to dark of each. This makes more rings than the one group of fabrics. I picked some of my coral bell leaves and scanned them yesterday.
This is the back of the leaves.
On the way home from my walk I started picking up good specimens that I don't have in my own neighborhood.
These are from my neighbors' red oak. The ones I scanned 2 years ago were a little browner.
Now I just have to print them on fabric. Since it costs about $3 a sheet I will only print the ones I am ready to use. I have some Bubble Jet Set which I can use to make my own inkjet fabric. Maybe I should try that this year.

Monday, October 29, 2007

From strata to beauty

Here is the HO HUM strata from the Kaffe Fassett fabrics. It's ok, but not very interesting. And then.....just like magic, when the strata is cut and moved look at the beauty. I am really loving this one, but I have another planned already from Kaffe fabrics.
Here are some of the leaves I scanned 2 years ago. When they are printed on the inkjet fabric they look just as real.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Colorwash/Watercolor Hearts

Some people call it colorwash, others call it watercolor. This quilt is made from the strip pieced strata method so every block is identical. Here is a close up view of the types of fabrics used.
We got a frost last night but the sun is shining today and it looks like it will be a beautiful day.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Star Trip

5 or 6 years ago I bought a pattern called Star Trip. Every time I would run across it I would think "I have to make that one soon". I was asked if I would teach at a quilt shop and I noticed they had this pattern in stock so I agreed to teach a class on it. I wanted to make mine out of all Kaffe Fassett fabrics. The great thing about having students is that you get to see how a bunch of other fabrics will look in the same quilt. Here are my students' works in progress.
The comment from J-MT yesterday had me thinking that I needed to go out and pluck a branch off that pretty tree and scan it. I did that with several leaves 2 years ago and printed them on ink jet fabric and then put fusible web on the back so I can just iron them onto a background.

Friday, October 26, 2007


One last late summer bloomer, along with dead leaves from a tree and grass gone to seed, is this coreopsis. This is a postcard that has been in progress all year. First I added a little hand embroidery,
and then I added the little plastic worm. When reading several other blogs that others are having trouble sewing the edge of postcards, it made me wonder if they knew they had to change to a sewing foot with a cut out area on the bottom so the lump of the edging doesn't get caught. On my machine it is referred to as an embroidery foot and should be used for all embroidery type stitches.
This is the back of the postcard. This was a free design offered awhile back for embroidery machines but needed to be resized to fit the 4" x 6" postcard.
I think I have identified this tree as a black ash. At first I thought it was a hickory, but the leaves are all similar size and the hickory usually has the end 3 leaves larger than the rest.

Julie has a woodworking husband who suggested a tree site that helps identify trees by leaf type. It was great and makes me want to go out and look for other trees to identify, LOL, like I need a new hobby!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another Trip

I am teaching another Trip Around the World class right now. I pulled out this one that has been in progress for more than 7 years. I can date it back to that time because that is when I quit working at the quilt shop where I used it for a sample for a class. I pull it out as a sample for every class I teach but rarely work on it. I decided to actually sew on it this time and finally sewed the last seam in the last strata. Now I am ready to slice the other way and finish it. This is a color combination I rarely use but I just love it. Here is a close up of some of the fabrics in it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Embroidery machines

I have always loved embroidery. I started out with hand embroidery in my early teens and continued for many years with the trends of the day: pillowcases in the 50's and 60's, crewel emb. pictures in the 70's, and combinations of many types over the years. The first time I saw a machine doing embroidery I was blown away. Wow! I waited until the Pfaff company produced their first embroidery machine in 1994 before I bought one. You are always encouraged to do a sew out on a sample fabric to check your colors and the density, etc. I had made several blue jean quilts prior to 1994 and liked them so I decided to do all of my practice stitchouts on old blue jeans. The family provided me with plenty of castoffs. Most of these designs were from the "cards" that are inserted into the machine.

Then we were introduced to the software that accompanied the machine where we could take a fancy stitch from machine, enlarge it, and make it into an embroidery design.
Many more embroidery machines have been made since 1994 and since I worked at the sewing machine store I was always around them I have gotten newer updated models over the years. The hoops have gotten bigger, the computer portion of the machine has gotten more sophisticated. I am continually torn between making quilts and playing with the embroidery machines, so combining the 2 in one quilt only makes sense.

What tree is this?

I have this tree in my back yard that I can't identify. Its leaves are bigger that walnut tree leaves but they grow in a similar fashion with 7 or more leaves to a small branch. Can anyone help me out with its identity?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A walk around the yard

This is the same group of trees that are all pink with flowers in the spring, Redbud trees. I don't remember them ever being this yellow. They start dropping their leaves long before the other trees but this year they have taken a break and changed color instead. I have one stubborn Rudbekia that wants to continue blooming after the other plants have gone to seed.
The last zinnia blooms are really straggly but aren't ready to give up. The coneflower seeds are good food for the finches. They are usually the yellow finches but yesterday I saw a bunch of little birds with striped heads having lunch in the back garden.
The burning bush has a lot of berries but not many leaves have turned red yet.
I was promised beautiful color from my Viburnum bush, but usually this is what I get, a few red leaves and then frost and the rest of the leaves drop.
I won't have time to sew today. My dad's lenses for his glasses are ready so we have to take a drive and then we go grocery shopping. Hopefully I will see some beautiful color from nature while we are out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Class Situations

I have taken a lot of quilting classes over the years and I don't always do well under pressure in a class. My mind goes blank. First of all my workplace is way too clean and organized on the table they provide for me and I thrive with piles of scraps and yardage and general clutter. I made this piece at a Therese May workshop at QSDS. Our first project was to make a "doll" of some sort and when it came time for the main art piece that we would be working on, I just took my doll shape and used it again.  I decided to just do a little of everything she taught us on this one project. If you have seen her work you know she uses dabs and dots of paint on most of her pieces. I had never really used paint at all before this so it was definitely an experiment.
I used double needle quilting, paint to hold a patch in place, dots of paint to outline the "person"
buttons tied on with hand dyed thread and the tails of thread left hanging, charms tied on. Two of the fabrics have faded quite a bit, the black and white check and the lavender shooting off above the head. This little piece is titled "Magic Wand(a)" and is one of my self portraits.
The class was a lot of fun, a time of just relaxing and playing. Every piece can't be serious or stuffy!
Here is a link to Therese May.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Header quilt

This is the quilt that is in the header of my blog. I love it the way it is but I keep telling myself it has to have a triangle border. I have started making some triangle squares so we'll see what happens. It is a beautiful sunny morning and we are supposed to get near to 80 degrees today, this far into October. Have a happy day everyone.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Colorwash again

This is the other quilt that made it into the AQS show in 1992. It is called "Colorwash-4 Pinwheels". I started making my colorwash quilts in 1990. I had long admired the work by Diedre Amsden of England, having seen the first pieces in a book in 1987. I started gathering the fabrics I thought would work and just started making the quilts. I was asked to teach a workshop on colorwash in early 1991 so I though I had better have more that the one piece the workshop chairman had seen. This was at the time of the Gulf War and I worked on the dining room table in full view of the TV. This was my effort to put some peace in the world. I feel that colorwash quilts are very calming. This one was completed in January, 1991 and it hangs in my bedroom. You can see just a little of the purple wall around the edges.

Friday, October 19, 2007

More charms

I made this Ocean Waves variation also in a set of two because of the piecing technique. My daughter has its mate in NC so I can't take a digital of it. Hers is stars in each individual color instead of multicolor as in the 2 previous quilts yesterday. This one hung on the wall above my couch for several years. It has 809 different fabrics and was made in 1990. This is my famous charm quilt, Bricks. It hung in the 1992 AQS quilt show in Paducah, KY and was also in the AQS quarterly magazine the following year. It took me a looooong time to put the binding on all of these points. This one has 961 different fabrics. It is 96" x 96" so I don't have a wall big enough to photograph it on on so the bottom edge
is shown in these 2 pictures. This one was inspired by a pink and brown antique quilt pictured in some issue of Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts magazine.