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.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Using old textiles in art pieces

I received a bag of textiles as part of a challenge and one of the things was a 1972 linen calendar.  It was UGLY!  I needed to turn it into something a little more current without totally annihilating what was underneath.  Painting seemed like the right thing to do.  Here is what the wall calendar looked like before:

Here is what I pulled out of my painting supplies:

Here it is in progress with a couple of coats of gesso:

And here is the final painted piece.

I like the way it turned out.  If you look really closely, you can still see some of the original background.  But it turned an ugly piece into something that I can use in my challenge project.

I hope you try to re-purpose textiles instead of tossing them out next time.

Monday, April 15, 2019

New Challenge for the Vagabonds

Since the Vagabonds finished their whisper challenge series, it was time to select the 2019 challenge.  Here we are at a retreat in January.

Several ideas were discussed and the one we landed on was to take a brown paper lunch bag, fill it with scraps of fabric and other fiber, fold it over 1" and staple it shut.  In the February meeting, we put all the bags into a pile and drew names.  The first person chose a bag from the pile, and so on.  (We put our names on the bottom of the bags so that we knew not to pick our own.)

Once we got the bag home, we had to empty it and take a picture of what was in the bag.  Each person had to use a recognizable amount of the all of the contents of the bag on the front of their quilt.   Finished quilts can't be larger than 180" perimeter, and can use any technique.  Painting and over dying are allowed.  Due date is the second Thursday of January 2020, just when we will have our art exhibit and sale at the Second Story Gallery in Camas.  Here's what I got in my bag:

I can't wait to start!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Clark County Quilt Show - Quiltfest Northwest - March 2019

My local quilt guild, Clark County Quilters, held it's annual quilt show at the end of March 2019.  The name of the show was changed to "Quiltfest Northwest", and this is a sure sign that the show is huge, varied, and worth the entry fee!

Here are some of the blue ribbon winners.  Enjoy!

Friends and Mentors by Lynn Czaban

Best of Show Wall size by Judith Phelps

Best of Show Large Quilt by Carol Hattan

Burgoyne Surrounded by Audrey Prothero

Joanne Roth, Lynn Patterson, Kathy Ericksen  with Colleen's Paisley

Winter Raven by Judith Phelps