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

Monday, April 8, 2019

Charity quilt from leftovers

I had lots of leftover pieces from the burgundy quilt that I made from strip sets.  Rather than throw these out or toss them into my scrap bin, I decided to make a quilt and donate it to my quilt guild's charity group.

I started with 5" squares of a print fabric and sewed them to the scraps, which were also cut into 5" squares.  I sewed on both sides of the center line so that I would end up with 2 half square triangles.  These were then squared up to 4-1/2" squares. Here's the pile of them on my design wall and ready to put into the quilt.

I sewed these into 8" squares.  The half square triangles are all 4", the solid squares are all 2", and the setting blocks are all white on white 8" squares.  I love bright colors, so I used those fabrics in this quilt to make it fun and young looking.

Here is the finished top.

I hope whomever gets this charity quilt will like it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Quiltfest Northwest Video on You Tube

I was recently involved in an interview during the Clark County Quilters annual quilt show, which is now called Quiltfest Northwest.  Here's a picture of Wilma Scott, Sharry Olmstead, me, and Jim Scheurman. 

Have a look at the video, which is also available on YouTube and at The Quilt Show.  Besides our interview, the video shows most of the show and some of the vendors.  Happy viewing!

Quiltfest Northwest Video

Monday, April 1, 2019

Burgundy quilt

I headed to the beach for a retreat in January 2019, and didn't have any projects in the works to take along.  What?  No UFO's?  Great!

However, that meant I had to scramble to put together a couple of ideas for a project.  I decided to get 2 quilts from the charity group that needed binding; and to make a quilt from the leftover fabric from my Nancy Crow class taken 2 years ago.  I had tons of burgundy family fabrics, a lot of black and white and grays, and a few pops of color to go with it all.

Here are the piles that I started with:

I had no idea where I was going with this quilt, and that was part of the fun.   I sewed 5 different strip sets. And, I forgot to take pictures of them.  I hope you can figure out what they were from the picture.  These were cut into varying widths and sewn together with black setting strips.

I decided to quilt it with a heavy variegated thread with a walking foot.  It was fun to make and used up a lot of fabric that has been sitting in my stash.  Two good things!  

Here is the completed quilt.  It is 48" x 64".  

I hope you like it!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sewing with metallic thread

I recently overheard a person asking a shop employee if she could use metallic thread in the top and bobbin of her machine.  I couldn't help myself and jumped in to answer the question.  I wasn't sure that the shop employee had enough experience to giver a reliable answer (plus I'm a little bossy).  All right, I can hear all my close friends laughing now.  I can actually be outspoken and blurt out things from time to time.  Like, "Are those basting stitches?", or "How satisfying".  Inside jokes with some of my quilting friends (now).

Well back to my story.  I've used a lot of metallic threads over the years to both embellish and quilt.  They are finicky threads, to say the least.  You want the threads to show and they aren't suitable for seams.  I've found a couple of things that help, and I passed along some of these to the person in the store.

First, buy a good quality metallic thread.  Some of them fray quite badly, others work just fine.  My suggested thread is from Superior Threads.  It comes in several colors and comes in several sizes, including cones.  If you want use other brands, run the thread through your fingers.  If it feels gritty, it will probably shred and break.  If it feels smooth, you're in luck.

Second, use a metallica needle.  The eye is large and the groove is elongated and allows the thread to slip through without fraying.

Third, DON'T put metallic thread in both the top and the bobbin.  The two threads will act like scissors and you'll be cussing out your thread and project.  I guarantee it!  Use a lightweight thread, preferably 50 wt. that closely matches the color of the metallic thread.   Light gray for silver, light yellow for gold, for example.

Fourth, lengthen your stitch.  You can go easily to 3.0 instead of 2.4 and this will show off the thread much better.

Fifth, loosen the top tension.  Less resistance in the sewing machine guides will mean less tendency towards shredded thread.

Finally, place the spool on either an off machine stand or on an attachment to the machine.  Both of these will let the thread relax before it goes through the machine guides.  If you have a persnickety thread, you may also want to pull out a foot or so every now and then to get rid of any micro-shredding or twisting that might be happening.

The Thread Director

Some people suggest squirting the thread spool with a silicone thread conditioner, called "Sewer's Aid".  I do sometimes resort to this myself.  (Just make sure you don't reach for your fray check, which is an adhesive!  The bottles look very similar.)

I hope this helps you embellish and quilt with metallic thread.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Whisper Challenge - Part Nine

This blog is part of the series about the Whisper Challenge quilts.

I got this little 12" x 12" quilt from Sharry Olmstead.  It was the 9th one in the series for Karan Brooks.  Sharry did a beautiful hand painted still life and chose the perfect fabric for the border.  My immediate thought was to do something floral.  I also know that Karan likes burgundy.  I landed on a painted burgundy rose.

Here is the one that was passed along to me:

After I painted the rose, I highlighted it with thread.  It was fused to the background, stitched down and quilted.  Here it is:

I hope she likes it.