Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
I’ve been taking Leah Day’s Free Motion Filler class on Craftsy, so I decided to do an allover design of her swirling water pattern.
Although the stitching is not quilt show perfect, it’s good enough. It was a fun design to quilt, and I didn’t get tired of repeating the design.
Here’s what I used
Juki TL98E mid arm machine set in a table
Hobbs wool batting this is the batting I use for all the quilts I keep for myself. Many people think hot and itchy when they think of wool, but it is a beautiful quilt batt with gorgeous loft and drape. It is very comfortable, washes well and I even dry it in the dryer until damp dry. What’s not to like? the price…
Superior Magnifico 40 wt. polyester thread This is a new thread for Superior and it is fantastic. It comes in a wide range of colors. I purchased a color card so I can get a good match. I used the sky blue thread for this quilt. The needle tension needs to be set between 3.0 and 4.0.
Organ 90 topstitch needle Every sewing machine has a favorite needle. My Juki will not sew with anything but an Organ needle, and the quilting process works best with a topstitch needle.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The show is in Herndon, VA, a suburb of Washington DC, July 10-28. It’s an opportunity for quilters who create quilts with sacred themes to share their work as well as the inspiration behind it. This quote from the Sacred Threads website gives the story behind the show.
“In 1999 a small group of women gathered together with a vision of a "new" type of quilt exhibit. At that time topics such as spirituality and inspiration were not always understood or welcomed at traditional quilt shows, and all-medium liturgical art exhibits generally featured few if any quilts. There was no "safe" or welcoming venue for quilters who saw their works as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their own spiritual journey. Often the meaning behind these works was missed or misunderstood because the artist did not have the opportunity to share their sources of inspiration with the viewer. The show does not emphasize any particular religion or theology but conveys the spirituality, healing and inspirational messages that transcend all people.
For the exhibit, quilts are divided into categories based on theme. These are Expressions of Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing and Peace/Brotherhood. The artwork themes provide thought-provoking insights, encouragement, inspiration and healing responses to grief and human hardships. It has attracted a wide array of visitors and has proved appropriate for all ages from young teens to seniors. The exhibit is a positive influence on the human spirit, giving joy as well as addressing concerns of the soul and mind.”
The sanctuary quilt was submitted in the category Peace/Brotherhood, and the funeral pall was submitted in the category Grief.
I am beyond thrilled, and am so happy for those who worked so hard to bring these projects to life.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
The top is completed!
It measures 64X86. I do not plan to add borders, and at this point, I’m letting it rest while I think about how to quilt it.
Cross hatch is always an easy safe choice
a more complex variation of cross hatching is orange peel
Swirling waters is a design that is new to me, but I like the way it looks. It’s going to take some practice before I put it on a whole quilt.
Spirals is a design I’m accustomed to doing
Its a busy quilt, and I don’t want to overquilt it. I’m leaning toward orange peel. Any suggestions?
I’m using wool batting, so whatever design I choose will definitely puff.
Friday, April 12, 2013
I have a new favorite blog, the New York Times Haiku. The NY Times developed an algorithm that scans the front page articles for syllables. Then those syllables are presented by the algorithm as a haiku. Human editors select the best one for the daily blog.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
I had four baby quilt tops to quilt and used them to practice the various designs Leah introduced. Great class, I highly recommend the class.
Here are some close ups of the various designs
The class introduced 50 designs, but I only chose 24, and added another from Angela Walters Quilting Negative Spaces, another Craftsy class.
Here are the finished baby quilts
Friday, March 29, 2013
Years ago I made a quilt using these fabrics in blocks that were about 8”x4”. The fabric store where I bought the fabrics wanted to promote the fabric line (Seven Islands) and so they hung my quilt in the store for awhile and gave me a big bag of the fabric. It’s been in a bin at the bottom of my closet for years. Somewhere along the line I cut the scraps into tiny squares.
Deciding that it was time to use it or get rid of it I began the journey. Eight blocks done, forty to go.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
details, details, details. I had a great time trying some new motifs.
I did stitch in ditch quilting on the owl quilt. For me, this style of quilting is tedious, but I was pleased with the final result.
I’m experimenting with machine stitched bindings, but that topic is for another day.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
We have a Spanish mission style church, and we chose to replicate the carved cross in the chancel. The congregation contributed fabric that had personal meaning, and we received fabrics such as a traffic vest, a baby bib, a high school letter jacket, military symbols, a wedding dress, and lots of tee-shirts. For our congregation, this quilt has become a symbol of who we are. We are the Body of Christ, as represented by the seemingly incongruent fabrics, tied together by the love of God.
I just happen to have a picture of the sanctuary taken at a wedding 42 years ago. You can see the motif the designer selected to replicate.
The quilt was designed by Eleanor Frye and pieced by a group of us, but I had the privilege of quilting it.
This past year I was asked to coordinate a quilting project to make a pall or casket cover for use in funerals. As many services this day do not have a casket, the pall was designed to either be placed on a casket or to hang from a loft at the side of the chancel. Again, the congregation submitted fabrics and we received as much variety as for the sanctuary quilt. Our Wednesday morning quilting group pieced it and we counted over 3,000 pieces of fabric in the pall. It measures 72”x78”. I quilted it with Superior variegated gold metallic thread and YLI silk 100wt thread.
The pall has several liturgical symbols throughout that were appliquéd to satin fabric left from making bridesmaid dresses.
Both pieces have been entered in the biannual Sacred Thread quilt show which will be in the Washington DC area this summer. It’s a jurried show, so I won’t know if either piece has been accepted until late April.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
I used a stack and whack wonky log cabin block pattern to make the blocks. When the blocks were finished, they measured 13.5 inches and the center space of each block seemed so empty. I used some fused scraps and put owls in the blocks, and pieced the border.
How’s that for a $3.20 quilt top? Plus I have lots of leftovers for another project or two.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Rather than groaning that I had to piece the back, I had fun using left over scraps to create a new design element
I went a bit overboard on the quilting for the yellow string quilt which will go to our hospital's neo-natal unit. I used some of my odds and ends of variegated thread to finish it.
I had to piece the back on this one as well. I think I hear the modern quilt movement calling my name.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Best artwork: Tom for hand drawn heart font
Best Pop culture valentines: Laurel
(Raylan and Boyd from Justified, my favorite show)
Best UK themed valentine: Patricia
(You must be a hard-core, long time fan to connect the dots for this one)
Best use of personal photographs: Susan
Best use of newspaper puzzles: Tom
Best use of advertising: Laurel
For additional Clayton valentines, check out Patti Wagon. You’ll find my stitched owl valentine there.
We always have so much fun with these silly cards.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Set with 10” scrappy blocks, the blocks are ready for a member of my quilting group to finish.
Monday, February 11, 2013
I do love string quilts. They are such an efficient way to use scraps. I use foundation fabric for piecing my strings and pair them with a solid fabric to make a diagonal block. Some quilters recommend using paper, but after spending over 20 hours picking out the paper from a paper pieced quilt I made, I said never again. I now use the cheapest thinnest cotton muslin I can find and pre-wash it to avoid shrinkage.
I begin with a color scheme in mind. In this case I had some yellow batik I wanted to use as my background fabric, so I chose strip scraps of yellow and orange for the strings
I cut the muslin to 7.5” squares. The first strip is laid face up diagonally across the center of the muslin. Since this strip will be cut in half later in the process, I choose a strip 2.5” to 3” wide. I then pin strips on either side of the wide strips right sides down. For efficiency, I pin both sides, so that as soon as I have stitched one side, I turn it the block around and stitch the other. Working with a pile of 15 blocks makes it easy to chain piece.
After stitching both sides, move to the iron and press sewn strips face up.
Add two more strips face down on both sides of the block. I try to alternate width of strips as well as color to create contrast. I very my strips between 1 and 2 inches, and like that they are not cut straight.
When all the muslin has been covered, the block will look like this.
I then turn the block over and trim it to 7.25” square. The sewing process does tend to draw up the muslin. Your blocks may differ slightly, but all the blocks need to be the same size.
You could stop here and make a quilt with your trimmed blocks.
But I’m going to double the amount of blocks and increase my seting options by sewing them to solid yellow squares.
Cut your solid fabric into 7.25” squares. (or the size of your trimmed blocks) Your trimmed string blocks need to be exactly the same size as your solid blocks)
Lay your trimmed block face down on the solid block, making sure the corners and edges are lined up.
Draw a line with a pencil diagonally across your string pieced block.
draw the line in direction as the stitching
Taking your blocks back to the sewing machine, use your 1/4” foot and sew on both sides of the drawn line.
Now for the reveal!
Now cut your block in half diagonally, on the drawn line.
And open your block
Decide on how you want to set the blocks and complete your quilt. The finished blocks will be about 6 3/4” squares.
Here are some setting options
And that’s another edition of taming the scrap bag. Even for a scrap hoarder like me there are limits as to the size of the scraps I use.
You might also like taming the scrap bag