Monday, January 31, 2011

Artrageous Saturday

On Saturday, the Artrageous Quilters met here at Cotton Fields.  Our activity this month involved writing "prompts" on slips of paper, drawing two and beginning an original piece based on those prompts.  We had 20 minutes.  Some of the prompts were simple, like "circle" or "green".  What did I get?  "tell a story" and "paisley"!  Here's all I had at the end of 20 minutes:
Someone brought a red paisley print, so I cut out a couple of the motifs.  Thinking of the "Mr. Peanut" character, I decided to design a "Mr. Paisley".  For the "tell a story" part of the challenge, he needed to be doing something.  I had flowers and ground and sunshine to work with.  Maybe he's going for a walk!

I began the layering and stitching.  I added some trees.

Here's the finished product: "Mr. Paisley goes to the Park".  Everything is machine sewn with the exception of beading, sewing on the bird button and finishing the binding.  Ta da!


Saturday, January 29, 2011


I'm not really that much of a "pink" person, but I've ended up finishing two pink things in a row.  First, there's the little purse that I was beading the other night.  I've added a narrow strap and a beaded flower.
Then there's this little scrappy pineapple piece, only about 19" square.  I came across the quilt top in a drawer a couple of weeks ago and knew it wouldn't take long to quilt.  I used pink quilting thread and hand quilted it.  I still need to remove my markings and the rest of the basting thread.  I'll use it as one of my visual aids when I teach a binding class in February.
 I'll post another picture when it is truly finished.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This and That

I'm still cutting out Oriental Tiles.  Lots of pieces.  All I can show so far is the fabric I've chosen:
Last night, my good friend Sally H. showed me the basics of beaded fringe.  I made a simple flat bag to practice on.  It's only about six inches wide but the fringe took three hours.  I still need to add a strap and probably a little embellishment on the flap.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crooked on Purpose Finished

Here are pictures of the quilt top before and after borders.
This version, with 6" blocks ended up measuring approx. 46" x 56".  I think the pattern would also be great with a big novelty print in the border.  Not sure when this will be quilted.  QUILT TRIVIA:  of course the "lost" finished 6" blocks showed up the day after I cut this one there will be at least one more "Crooked on Purpose" quilt  Thank goodness it is in a different color scheme.

I'm cutting out another quilt top today.  The new one is called "Oriental Tiles" and was designed by Canadian quilter Ursula Riegel.  It features a large scale Asian print.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crooked on Purpose Continued

Last week I mentioned my pattern "Crooked on Purpose"  and showed a picture of the small (3" block) version.  Do you ever lose things?  I had made 6" blocks for the large version and couldn't find that nice tidy stack ANYWHERE.  That was a perfect excuse to start matching again.  I had that Kaufman print that I'd been wanting to use anyway, so I brought out the bolt and some batik scraps and started playing.
I pressed and cut and cut some more and eventually had enough to make more than one quilt.  I have discovered that I love getting things READY!

Here's how things looked after the blocks were done and I was working on the placement.

There is always some shuffling involved when trying to make a scrap quilt look random!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tastes Like Chicken

The turtle quilt is finished (probably).  There might me room to do a couple more things at a later date after I've lived with it for a while.
Have you heard the expression "tastes like chicken" when someone talks about eating turtle meat?  I love turtles and would never eat one, but it doesn't keep me from giving a whimsical quilt a silly name!  Look closely, what's that following our turtle friend?  A snake in the grass!  It's made from a key chain.  The turtle shell is decorated with plastic bread fasteners.  Here's a close-up of the key butterflies:
What's next?  I had an idea last night that led to designing a pieced pattern this morning.  That will be a coming attraction.  I have a secret SHOP HOP quilt that will be revealed on the first day of our local shop hop (Feb. 2).  I also have a secret project that is part of an art quilt challenge and it will be ready for public viewing on the first weekend in March.  Stay tuned....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Selvage Obsession!

I first became aware of Karen Griska and her selvage quilts when I attended the Empire Quilters Guild quilt show in NYC two years ago.  Actually, I was most fascinated by her strippy fan quilt (but that will be the subject of a later blog).

Many of my friends just shake their heads when I talk about sewing with selvages, but it is so much fun!  I can't take credit and I won't tell you how to do it, so get the book:  Quilts from the Selvage Edge.  Also, if you do an internet search of either "Karen Griska" or "selvage quilts" you can find her website and blog and pictures of all sorts of things people have made using selvages.

Here I am in our booth at the Durham, NC quilt show, showing one of my first efforts, a design taken from the book.
Well, I didn't stop there!  I made pot holders and snap bags (from the pattern "Snap Happy").  Then I made a little flat purse, earrings, and fabric postcards (another hobby of mine).
On Saturday, two very good friends, Marty D. and Sue F. came over and I showed them how to go about sewing with selvages.  They are each designing their own projects.  Here's the top that I made.  It's only about 20" x 20", so will be a table topper.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Turtle Continued...

Here's the little turtle so far.  Once the main elements were in position and the hand stitching was finished, it was time to machine quilt.  I'm a novice at machine quilting, but something this size (approx. 15" x 17") is just my speed.  I've gotten really good at stippling, but wanted to branch out a bit, so searched Google Images for ideas.  I found the simple flower pattern that I used in the area around the turtle.  Here's a close-up:
The next thing to do is EMBELLISH - so much fun.  I'm planning on beads plus a few surprises.  I have a quilting bee meeting on Monday night, so I'll try to have it ready by then.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crooked on Purpose

I have a pattern titled "Crooked on Purpose" that people really seem to like.  You square up the blocks after they are sewn, which makes everything fit together easily.  Another thing going for it is that it is a scrap quilt, and in the miniature version that means that you only have to find pieces 4" x 5" and away you go.  I had made the small version first, hand quilted with pearl cotton and added a few buttons.  Here it is:

The other night I decided to make it again, with 6" blocks.  I had a great Robert Kaufman print that I wanted to use as the inspiration, and this time I went into my batik scraps to mix and match.  Then I had a lovely time cutting (got carried away and cut enough for two and then some).


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Art Quilt in Progress

I made my selections, found a cotton batting base, cut and laid out colored shapes.  Raw edges are temporarily held down by glue stick, then hand stitched with embroidery floss, using either ladder stitch or cross stitch.  I'm thinking that this might be just the background for a TURTLE!

The basic stitching has secured all of the large elements.  Now, what to do with that big purple space?  Maybe this turtle is in the garden.  I've fussy-cut some tropical looking flowers and need to figure out how many and where.

Short Attention Span

In a severe reaction to binding a "traditional" quilt the other night, I brought out my sad little collection of synthetics (I have been a cotton snob for over 25 years) and started to put together an art quilt a la Pamela Allen.