Monday, June 10, 2019

Brown Bag Challenge - Final

I'm calling this quilt, "Psychedelic Spots" in reference to the 1972 calendar that was part of the pieces in the brown bag challenge for Vagabonds.  It was really fun to use all of the weird things that I received in the bag, including the black zipper, some silver washers, rusted fabric, slippery satin, metallic thread, thread trimmings, trimming of a finished art quilt, silk ribbon, upholstery fabric, and cotton fabric.  Before I got the bag of stuff, I was certain that I would start with a landscape photo and use all the pieces in a collaged landscape.  That idea was snuffed right away!  I instead opted for a collaged background that was non-representational with circles appliqued on top.

Several previous blogs were written to describe the process.  And here is the finished quilt.  It measures 36" W x 51" H, and was finished with fa acing.

Psychedelic Spots by Joanne Adams Roth

I hope you like it!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Painted bee on flower

I made another painted quilt of a bee on a flower.  In an earlier post, I gave you some choices, and almost everyone picked the green bee on the sunflower.  I took this picture in Walla Walla in September.  The bee really was green, and I found out later that it is a native bee.

This quilt was made to be a raffle quilt to raise money for the Clark County Master Gardener foundation.  It will be raffled off in September at a music/garden party.  I hope it brings in a ton of money.  The ladies coordinating the event asked that I make the bee more apparent.  It was an interesting request, and I think that they asked because the bee had so much pollen on its legs that it was hard to tell where the bee stopped and the flower started.  Here is how I painted it to reflect their request.

After it was painted, I used a lot of different colors of thread to both highlight the piece and quilt it.

After it was quilted, I added the wings, which were made with two layers of organza and variegated silver/black thread.

I hope you like it!

If you're interested in buying a raffle ticket, just let me know and I'll get the information to you, including the date of the drawing.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Facing for art quilts - wavy edges

I wrote a previous blog about adding facings to art quilts with straight edges.  This blog is how to do it on a quilt that has wavy edges.  The quilt that I'm showing you is the (almost) completed brown bag challenge quilt.  It called out to be cut curvy and wavy on the edges enhance the curvy piecing and artsy-fartsy nature.

Most of the time, you can follow the same steps on the previous blog, cutting the facings 2-1/2" wide.   In this example, I cut the facings 3" because there was a lot of wave on the edges.  You do NOT have to cut the facing on the bias.

Press over 1/4" on the long edge.

Pin the facings right sides together with the quilt, and let the facing hang over the wavy edges.  Here is a picture showing the top of the quilt, and another one showing the back of the quilt.

Sew the seam, then trim the facing that sticks out beyond the wavy edge.

You can follow the rest of the steps as in the previous blog.  It's a bit harder to press the curvy edges to the back, but use patience and pins and you'll be rewarded by a nice finish.  Here is the facing turned to the back and pinned in place.  Believe it or not, you'll get almost a straight edge to sew onto the back side of the quilt.

Here is the finished quilt top with the facing all sewn in place.  I hope you can use these hints for your next art quilt with wavy edges.

I hope you like it!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Brown bag challenge - Making the circle pieces

This is a continuation of previous posts about the Vagabonds brown bag challenge.  My design called for circles of varying sizes.  After looking at ideas on the internet, I landed on all kinds of techniques that I wanted to use.

Painting - after painting the ugly 1972 textile, I fused it to Steam a Seam Lite II and cut out the circles.  In this picture, the top and bottom circles were made with this technique.

Washers - I painted the silver washers to match the painted textile and hand appliqued them to their background fabric pieces.

Copper - I cut it into circles and hand appliqued them to their fabric backgrounds.

Heavy and odd fabric - I fused them to Steam a Seam Lite II and cut them into varying sizes of circles.  I also sewed them to a backing fabric and turned them right side out.  The lower right circle was made this way.

Leftover threads were combined with some of my scrap threads and Angelina fibers, then sandwiched between two layers of green tulle.

Handmade paper fabric was cut into circles and appliqued to background fabrics.

I beaded and embroidered many of the circles.  After I made all of the components, I appliqued them all to the background.   Here is the quilt after the circles were appliqued:

Monday, May 13, 2019

Commission Sewing and Review

I've accepted a new challenge!

This time its not a skills challenge, but instead is an income producing challenge.  I applied to Connecting Threads to be a quilt pattern tester and they have hired me to do this for the past couple of months.

Its right up my alley, with my engineering degree and background in developing patterns and quilt classes.  Plus, I get to sew with someone else's material and supplies.  And, finally, I don't end up with more quilts stored in bins.

Unfortunately, I can't show you any of the quilts that I've made.  Secrecy is the key to working with catalog companies before they unveil their patterns and fabrics.

So far its been pretty fun and is another thing to keep me busy in retirement.

I hope you find things that are challenging and fun too!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Design start for brown bag challenge

I wrote two previous blogs about the Vagabonds brown bag challenge.  It's not a secret this time, so I can share my progress with you.

I sketched up a couple of design ideas based on the bag of goodies I received in the exchange.  Originally, I was certain that I would take one of my landscape photos; shred whatever fabric I got; and make it all into a collaged landscape.  However, I got a zipper, some washers, a bit of copper, and some really interesting fabrics.  There went my first ideas of a landscape based on one of my photos.

I searched internet sources for ideas and narrowed them down on my sketch pad.  The winner was the 35" w 50" L design on the bottom right, which is a fantasy landscape.

I placed some lines on my design board that looked like the drawing, and used it as the pattern that was transferred to freezer paper.

This is a series of pictures and a description of how I used the pattern to make the background.  Batting was cut slightly larger than the outline and was pinned to the wall and then the freezer paper pattern was pinned on top of that.  You can see all the layers with the outline ribbon, the batting, and the paper pattern below.

I cut out one wedge of the pattern at a time, sprayed the batting with basting spray and placed chunks of fabric directly on top, slightly overlapping the edges.  Here are the progress pictures with the background fabrics going up on the design wall.

After all the pieces were placed, the top and batting were removed from the wall, a layer of light gray tulle was pinned on top, it was backed and quilted.  That's all for the background.

I hope you like the progress pictures.  Stay tuned for more on this challenge quilt. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Diagonal Set quilts - Corner Triangles and Setting Triangles

Use this simple math to figure out how to cut setting triangles and corner squares for diagonal set quilts.  They are cut differently in order to get straight of grain on the outside edge of the quilt.  I saw this recently on YouTube from The National Quilters Circle, and retrieved the graphics off the internet from Spruce Crafts.

Corner Triangles
These are cut from squares, on the diagonal.  Simple math lets you determine the size of the square.

Use your finished block size and divide this by 1.414.  Add 7/8” and round up to nearest eighth.  Or, you could round up to the nearest ¼, and trim after sewing.

Example:  12” finished block
Size of square = 12” / 1.414 = 8.49”
8.49” + .875” = 9.365”
9.365” rounded up is 9.375” or 9-3/8”
Option to round up to 9-1/2” and trim after sewing

Setting Triangles
These are cut from squares and cut twice on the diagonal.  Use simple math to determine the size of the square.

Your finished block size is multiplied by 1.414.  Add 1-1/4” and round up to the nearest eighth.  Or, you could round up the nearest ¼” and trim after sewing.

12” finished block
Size of square = 12” x 1.414 = 16”
16” + 1.25” = 17.25 or 17-1/4”
Option to round up to 17-1/2” and trim after sewing.

I hope this helps the next time you make a diagonal set quilt.