Monday, February 27, 2012

A Walk Through My Garden

"A Walk Through My Garden" is the official name of the challenge.  And mine is done!  The last bead was sewn on this morning.  The official unveiling will come on Saturday, when the Artrageous Fiber Art group meets.  Each member was challenged to create a garden quilt 12" x 30", the only other requirement was that each should contain some of the same green batik.  Last year, 14 finished challenge pieces were returned, so we hope to see that many or more this time around.    
I enjoyed each part of the process.  With the embellishments, I was able to add a lot of details that can only be seen with a close-up look.  I found a perfect little bee bead that I added near the top, along with just a sprinkling of gold sparkly seed beads.
A wide piece of a novelty yarn was remodeled to become a caterpillar.
Some very dainty bead flowers grow along the side of the path.
 The edges of the "cement" border were softened by adding a little bit of yarn "moss" spilling over.
What does the back look like?  (I often wonder when I see other quilts online.)
So, what comes next?  All that is left to do on the "Phone Book Quilt" is the binding.  I have a new pattern that I want to write up, also.  AND, Sally Ruth and I got together again to play with crayons.....

Saturday, February 25, 2012

ALL Day Long

I've been working on the challenge quilt ALL DAY LONG!  I like what's happening, but it is taking forever.  Lots and lots of beading and embellishment.  I don't want to give it all away, but I'll show updates for the details I shared last night.
Last Night:


Last Night:


Now, BACK TO WORK!!!  Maybe I'll be ready for the facing tomorrow.  I have a meeting with one of my quilting groups on Monday night and would sure like to have this ready to take along.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Walk in the Garden Up Close

I may make it to the deadline after all!  I have finished all of the machine work on the challenge quilt.  I love how flat the piece lays with all of the dense quilting.  All that is left is the embellishment.

Some yarn will add a mossy look.
The rolled felted centers didn't work out for the flowers after all.  Either they were too big or the flowers weren't big enough.  I cut plain wool centers instead.  Some beads and hand stitching will add detail.
LIBERATED QUILTMAKING!  Making design decisions as you go along.  It's OK to change your mind. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Miles to Go ...

With about ten days to go, I was back at work on my challenge quilt tonight.  Maybe I'll make it!  I'm just showing a closeup of the area surrounding the turtle.  I stippled the edging in the foreground and quilted pebbles in the ground surrounding the turtle.  I also finished quilting the shrubbery.  It took longer than you would think ... and at one point I found myself holding my breath while I made all of those little pebbles.  Guess that meant it was time for a break!

What's next is quilting the blossoms, dealing with the yellow background behind them and adding a little bit in the way of embellishments.

Now I'm off to work on the phone book quilt (almost done) for a little while.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Found Objects

The little crayon batik is finished!  After hand quilting with big stitch and pearl cotton, I applied a facing to finish the edges, rather than a regular quilt binding.  The final touch was beading around the blossoms.
After completing the beading, I made a attempt to re-organize my beads (not entirely successful) and that is when I found a little necklace, beads on a ribbon ... I tried it on my bird and it fit!  So, I snipped off the ends and sewed it on.
I never would have found that little treasure if I hadn't been digging through all of the beads.  I don't even know where it came from, but I suspect that it came from my sister.  She and Mom occasionally give me beaded necklaces that they come across so that I can use the beads.

Here is a picture of the entire finished quilt.  It is very small, only 11" x 15", but I had a lot of fun making it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Four-Patch Kaleidoscope

Doesn't this look like SPRING?  So sweet and pastel.  I am glad that I chose the yellow over the pink;  I think that more pink might have made it TOO sweet.

In the end, I wimped out and didn't do anything too special with the borders.  The outer border HAD TO be the floral print that the 4-patches were created from.  I did take the time to put corner blocks in each border, but mainly I wanted to get the quilt top done.  It is bad enough to have as many unfinished projects as I do, but it is worse if they are in bits and pieces.  I will make sure that I have enough fabric for the binding set aside, then it is safe to leave this project for a while.

*** Oh, in case I forgot to mention it before, this pretty floral print is a product of Kona Bay Fabrics. 

The crayon batik will be finished and ready to show off tomorrow.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In the Garden

Wow, I'm really enjoying the crayon batik ... big stitch quilting with #12 black pearl cotton.
I've finished stitching around most of the shapes.  I need to do something in the background and may switch to yellow thread so it doesn't overwhelm the rest.  I wish the detail was easier to see.  Here is a close-up taken right after I started.
The March 3 deadline for the "Walk in My Garden" challenge is coming SOON.  I've made progress tonight and may be ready to start quilting soon.
The garden quilt will be machine quilted, then I will add various embellishments like the felted flower centers, beads and yarn.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crayon Batik

Here's what I started with.  Sally had seen instructions for making a faux batik using crayons and black dye.  Of course we had to try it out.  The first step was to melt crayons and paint them onto plain muslin.  I made a very simple sketch and colored it in.  We found that we had to work fast because the crayon thickened quickly as it cooled.
The next step was to crumple up the fabric to make "cracks".
After the fabric was smoothed out again, it was sprayed with black fabric dye.
The dye was allowed to dry thoroughly, then was ironed between sheets of newspaper to remove the wax.
It took many layers of paper.  At first, a LOT of wax came off.  Here is what it looked like after repeated ironing between newspaper:
A couple of the colors blurred a bit with ironing.  Overall, I am happy with the effect.  Next will come quilting and embellishment.  The original source suggested outlining with black permanent markers to emphasize shapes.  I think that stitching will accomplish the same. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yellow Kaleidoscope

Yes, the yellow won in the end.  More contrast with the four patch blocks.  All of that pink might have just been too much pink.
So, the rows are together and I know what fabrics I will be using in the border.  Maybe I will make fancy corner blocks to finish it off.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Today was the first day in a week that I was able to plug in the sewing machine.  I still had a few of the little four-patch kaleidoscope blocks to finish.  Next, I have to decide how to put them together.

I love to set quilts on point, but decided to do something simpler with this little quilt.  I will alternate the pieced blocks with plain blocks.  What should the plain block be?  I had been considering two pinks, chose one, then decided to also look at a pale yellow.  There is a nice aqua stripe that I will use as the inner border either way.  Because of the way the repeats for the blocks are cut, I have plenty of the matching floral print for the outer border.  Here are my choices:
Now I just have to make up my mind and start cutting.  

Monday, February 6, 2012


Guess what?  The SHATTERED quilt is finished!  It is in response to the challenge "I am _______" for the Greenville, NC guild show in April.  I really, really enjoyed the process, using tons of free form big stitch quilting. 

The colors show up more vividly in the close-up shots.

The bad news is that there is another challenge, this one due the first weekend in March.  Just like a school project, I've known about this a long time, but just recently got serious about it.  The theme is "A Walk in My Garden".  Last night I took out the materials that I had gathered earlier.
With Baby's approval, I pulled out the acrylic paints, fabric medium, stencil brush and freezer paper to stencil stems and leaves.
A while back I had felted a roll of different colored wool.  I sliced it and I think that the result will make interesting flower centers.  I also cut and fused some more leaves.
I like the direction this is taking.  I'll have to do mostly machine stitching and quilting, so I think there is a good chance it will be ready in time.   

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hoppin' Along

Today was the first day of our seventh annual shop hop.  Alice and Vickie were the first shoppers in the door at 9 am.
I can finally reveal the shop hop quilt.  Each store owner chose a different star pattern and designed a quilt using that star block.  The block pattern I chose was "Hope of Hartford".  Here is the finished quilt, which I have named "A New Hope".
The first day of the shop hop was busy and fun.  The weather was cooperative and that's always a concern.  Three more great days to go!