Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Borders on - Ready to Quilt!

Wow, what a difference the borders make!
It won't take too long to finish this one.  It is only about 28" square and I plan to machine quilt it, so it has a chance of being ready ahead of St. Patrick's Day.

I actually have some SHAMROCK fabric on order, but who knows when it will show up?  If it arrives soon, I just might put together another version.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reverse Applique

In the last post "Wait and See", I showed raw materials for a reverse applique project.  It's another based on Jan Mullen's book Reverse Applique with No Brakez.  I've made just about a zillion of them (which I'd better show in a future post) but since I was offering it again as a class, I thought I'd put together a fresh sample.  Here's the work in progress - kind of hard to see the white markings, but it is a duck with big feet.  What's so fun about this process is that there is a pieced hidden layer that is revealed when the top layer is cut away.  You never quite know what you'll get.

I also have a GREEN activity coming up in the near future, so I got to thinking about shamrocks.  I couldn't find too many examples of shamrock quilt blocks, so made my own adaptation of one I saw on the internet.  Four blocks are going together to make a table topper.  I like it so far, but it will look even better when the borders go on.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wait and See

I've finished another challenge quilt ... think I'll keep it under wraps until it's official unveiling in March.  I've shown bits of it before, but not the final product.

Meanwhile, I've been playing with the scraps from the above-mentioned project.  Little one inch wide strips, sewn at an angle.  Karen Griska described how she sewed her skinny strips in a fantastic fan quilt that I saw at the Empire Quilters Guild quilt show in NYC a few years back.  She wouldn't have any reason to remember me, but was kind enough to describe her methods as I admired her quilt.
Curious?  I'll let you know where I'm going with this next time!

(Karen is FAMOUS for her book Quilts From the Selvage Edge.  Oh, how I love selvages!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More Paint was the Answer

While I was fretting over the little painted piece the other night, I added a few more beads after the facing was applied.  I was not happy with the lack of contrast between the blossoms and the background.  Finally, this morning, I decided to just PAINT.  I'm calling it done now.
Katherine sent me a message to check out a scrap-booking blog ..... it had a NEAT-O idea for creating one of a kind stencils.  I drew this with a hot glue gun on a silicone sheet (can also use parchment paper).  After the glue is cool and hard, it peels right off.  I'm going to use it with a little spray paint.
I love it when I can jump right in and try a project that uses only common household objects.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Progress Report

Hand beading is finished.  I used a combination of little gold beads and some hand-made polymer clay beads.  Here it is, trimmed and waiting for the facing strips to be sewn on.  I still may add some detailing around the flowers.....

Friday, January 4, 2013

Skinny Strips

So much for improvisational sewing.  When all was said and done, I couldn't keep myself from matching the seams where these four elements came together.  

I was not happy with that first piece, so I found some more scraps and cut some more strips.  I am trying to make myself use skinnier strips.  And I plan to make a lot of "elements" before I mix and match and try to come up with an arrangement.  I like what I made today.
When I got tired of the strips yesterday, I went looking for more trouble.  I pulled out one of the painted fabric pieces that I began way last October.
I layered and machine quilted wavy lines following some of the lines in the paint.  Then I used my "Pearl and Piping" foot to couch yarn, also echoing some of the wavy lines.  It was the first time that I had used the $30 foot that I "needed".  I must say that it worked like a charm.   
This was originally just an episode of playing with paint, not a conscious effort at composition and design.  Now I'm trying to pull it all together.  I've added some hand stitching with pearl cotton.  I also painted in flower centers (first I painted dryer sheets to use for the centers, but couldn't figure out what to do besides just making big yo-yos). 
I found some beads that I might possibly use.  And then I made some little square polymer clay beads that also might work.
It needs more painting and stitching.  GREAT - now I have two projects in progress that I'm going to struggle with!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Use of a Jelly Roll

My friends know that I dislike the concept of jelly rolls.  Quilters have been duped into buying manufacturers scraps for the equivalent of $20 or more per yard, cut into 2 1/2 inch strips and tied up with a cute ribbon.  How silly is that???

My good friend, Katherine, recently shared a Quilting Arts DVD featuring Rayna Gillman, and I was very interested.  Rayna whacks up jelly rolls into unrecognizable skinny strips and pieces them back together free-form, the results being very appealing art quilts.  I have gobs of scraps and since the skinny strips are mostly 1" or narrower, I pulled out some some of those scraps and got busy cutting.  In a planned-scrappy way, I decided to use blues and greens with a few warm colors thrown in as accents.   Here's my first attempt (approx. 9" x 12").
Where do I go from here?  I don't know.  I have a problem with trying to sew too straight and I need to loosen up.  I also need to be brave and make skinnier strips.  But, that was just a first try, so this morning I cut some more scraps and started putting together more strip sets.
I think I also need to pick up a copy of Rayna's book
Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts!

When I finished the shop sample the other day, I forgot to take it's picture before I hung it in the shop.  So, here it is in it's natural habitat.  I debated doing something more with the borders, but, because it will probably end up being a class, I decided not to complicate things.