Monday, January 30, 2017

Orange - Heat Wave - Part One

My local art quilt group put out a call for entries for an exhibit called "Heat Wave".  I immediately thought of the bright orange of the forest fires that we have been experiencing all over the Western United States over the last couple of years.

I sketched up a few ideas, looked through my pictures, and scoured the internet for additional color inspiration.  What I landed on was a plan to make a piece 3' x 4' with flames licking up from the bottom part of the quilt and pieces of burning embers floating up and through the trees.

I collected a few fabrics that spoke to me.  This time I really wanted to free form piece the background and layer on the units in a more intuitive way.  I free form cut curvy lines and started piecing.  Here are some progress pictures.

Background fabric try outs
 After putting the strip pieced units against the remaining fabrics, I opted to piece in some of the dark brown and continued to piece intuitively and free form cut the strips.
Upper background piecing progress 1
 Here is the upper background fully pieced.  You can see that it mostly covers the top 2/3 of the area.  The lower 1/3 was purposely reserved for a different technique and a different foreground look.  I asked my husband to come in and tell me the first thing that came to mind when he looked at this background, and he said, " FIRE".  Yippee!  It has the feeling that I was going for.
Upper background piecing progress 2

I hope it feels like FIRE to you too.  Stay tuned for future progress.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cindy Needham class

Our local guild brought in Cindy Needham for a lecture and classes, and I was so glad to take her Heirloom Feathers class.  It was almost snowed out, though.  We got a historic amount of snow and freezing rain on Wednesday and early Thursday.  Many flights were cancelled, all schools were shut down, and most everyone was stuck in their homes with 5" to 14" of snow!  Our guild meeting (Thursday night) got cancelled, so we didn't get to have the lecture at all.  But Cindy was a trooper and got into the airport.  And the Friday and Saturday classes were still held.  As a special treat to those of us who took her classes, she held a trunk show for the first hour with some of the quilts she was going to show us at the guild meeting.  Thank you Cindy!

I have done machine quilting for a long time, and since I have a wonderful sit down long arm now, going back to my sewing machine seemed odd.  The motions on the sewing machine, however, are the same as the sit down.  And it is always helpful to get hints and tips from as many teachers as you can, and students sitting next to you.  Cindy was extremely generous with her threads and templates and she showed us a lot of different ways to design and draw feathers, and gave us lots of tips about thread, needles, heirloom soaking products, and batting.

She readily shares on Pinterest, so if you want to see some of her work, and some of her students' work, check it out.

Picture from Cindy's web page

I hope you have the opportunity to take classes from National teachers too!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Boy's Charity Quilts, all the rest!

I am done sewing quilt tops to donate to our charity group.   Well, this season anyway.  I wrote a few previous blogs about the other 8 quilt tops that I made and how I got the fabric from our charity stash.

So here are quilt tops 9, 10, 11 and 12.  I decided that I am done for now because I have to do some other things around the house.  Although you'll be seeing this post sometime in January, I finished the tops on December 15th.  It isn't in time to get these quilted and donated before Christmas, but they will make it to the boys sometime in the early spring, I hope.  And I hope they all like them!

47" x 57"

47" x 57"

45" x 57"

44" x 52"

Monday, January 9, 2017

Boy's Charity quilts 7 and 8

I have to share a very funny and serendipitous event with you all.  I've been sewing madly on the quilts for our charity group, which are mostly quilts for boys.  I picked up a couple of bags of fabric to use and divided it all up in piles, which I blogged about a few weeks ago.

I pulled out one of the piles today and discovered that the zebra print fabric was originally my old kitchen curtains!  I moved 4 years ago and donated the fabric (I thought I gave it to Goodwill, but I must have put it on the free table at the guild meeting).   When I pulled it out to iron and cut it into squares, I saw that there were seams at the top and bottom.  Then, whoosh!  It hit me that these were my old curtains.  No wonder I pulled that fabric back out of the stash to go with the other fabrics.  I love animal print fabric!

Well, of course I love the look of these two quilts, which are quilts #7 and #8.
Boy's Charity Quilt #7, 47" x 47"

Boy's Charity Quilt #8, 47" x 57"

I hope you like them.  And I hope they will make somebody really happy!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Boy's Charity Quilts #4 and #5 and #6

Still sewing madly with the donated fabric.  This week I cut and sewed 3 quilts from this really cute tractor fabric.  These 3 quilts are destined for boys.  I hope they like them!  And I hope they like them too!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Holiday presents from Grandkids to parents and grandparents

We had a fun night and day with our 3 youngest Grandkids in December.  The 10 year old has been taking sewing lessons from me, so we assigned her the sewing tasks.  The 8 year old loves to do craft projects, so we assigned her the crafty tasks.  And the 3 year old.  Well, she kept grandpa busy.

We decided to do personalized holiday cards with fabric inserts and a picture of all 3 girls pasted inside along with their 3 signatures.

They all got to pick the color of their paper, the fabric for the insert, and the pattern of the insert.

Here is a picture showing them at the sewing machine, and the picture that we used for the inside.

Their parents each got a card, their great-grandma got a card, and the other set of grandparents got a card.  We didn't get one, but we got the memories, which was even better.

I hope you get a chance to spend some time with your Grandkids and make something homemade and special next holiday season.