Monday, August 10, 2020

Lime green 3-D quilt, Final

This is the final blog about the making of the lime green 3-D quilt.

The quilt needed to have lines that enhanced the 3-D effect, and I liked using just plain old gray thread.

Here it is in progress;

And the final quilt.  There's a very skinny pop of lime green piping just inside the border.  It's 51" x 51".

I hope you like it.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Lime Green 3-D quilt, Part Four

This is a continuation of the posts about the making of the 3-D green quilt.

I next turned to the background for the globe.  Since I wanted to use fabric that I already had, I used a gray grunge dot fabric.  I wasn't sure if that would be enough for the background, or if I still needed to add lime green circles.  So, I made a few of the circles and pinned then in place.  Here's the before and after pictures showing the difference.

I decided that I liked the plain background the best.  So, I stitched it down and the top was all ready to quilt.

I hope you agree that it didn't need a ton of lime green circles on the background.

P.S. I know that the original intent was to reduce my lime green fabric stash.  But alas, I had to buy 2 yards MORE in order to do the binding technique, which I'll talk about later.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Clark County Quilter's Show - Cancelled

Sadly, the Clark County Quilter's annual show, which was postponed from April  to November, has officially been cancelled.  COVID-19 is still spreading all over the world and events in the State of Washington are being limited to a very small number of people.

Since most of our members and likely most of our visitors are in the high risk age group, it just didn't make sense to plan a large event in November.

While we are all sad that there won't be a physical show this year, there is likely going to be a virtual event.  I'm so glad that there is a group of people in the leadership of our guild that have been able to be nimble and think outside the box.  It's due to these leaders that the rest of us can enjoy whatever event in whatever form can be imagined.

I hope you have great leaders in your quilt guilds too!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Lime green 3-D quilt, Part Three

I've written two previous posts about the making of this lime green 3-D quilt.

I continued to cut, paste, and applique the green ovals onto the background strips of this quilt. After I appliqued down all the pieces, I sewed the horizontal strips together, using the same applique method that I used to make the strips.  I could have easily pieced this stop, but I wanted to use applique throughout this quilt.  It's actually much faster than trying to piece the curved sections.

Here is a picture of the top with  the "globe" part of the quilt all sewn together.

And here is the back of this section, showing the start of the removal of the tear away backing.  It's really easy to tear it away because the stitching lines serrated the tear away.  I left the outside pieces in place so that they would form a nice edge when I will applique the globe to the background.

I hope you like it so far!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Lime Green 3-D quilt - Part Two

This is a continuation of a previous post about the making of the lime green 3-D quilt.

After I finished sewing the horizontal rows, I cut out the circles and ovals for the lime green applique.  My favorite technique is machine applique with invisible thread and dissolving foundation.  I like to use Ricky Tims poly stable stuff for the dissolving foundation.  I dabbed on some glue stick at the edges and pressed the dissolving foundation to the back of the fabric pieces.  Then I ran the glue stick around the edges again, and pressed over the edges.  When I was done with the horizontal row, I appliqued the prepared pieces to the background.  The stitch was set to 1.3 mm W x 1.0 mm length on the zig zag setting.

It was much easier to work on this quilt while it was still in strips than to wrestle the entire top under the sewing machine.  Here are some progress pictures:

The first one shows one horizontal row of the applique pieces with the green fabric on top and one row of vertical pieces with the dissolving foundation.  The next picture shows a bit more progress.  (Sorry that the picture is skewed.  It's hard to get a good shot with some of my furniture in the way.  

I think you're probably able to see the lime green quilt emerging.  I hope you like it so far!

Monday, July 13, 2020

Lime Green 3-D quilt - part One

It takes a few months of staying at home and staring at your fabric stash to come to the conclusion that some of that fabric should be USED and not stored.  I've known for a long time that I had two stacks of lime green fabric.  And that it was too much.  I know, you're SO surprised!  My mantra has always been that there can never be too much lime green... in anything... clothes, dishes, jewelry, decorations, and of course, fabric.  But, now, I've decided that it just has to be used and reduced to one stack, like all of the other colors.  Many of the lime green pieces were just scraps, but others were 1/2 yard or more.  This screamed out to me to make a quilt using as many of these different fabrics that I could fit into the top.

The other color that I had a lot of was gray.  Normally, I wouldn't think to combine gray with lime green, but I consider them both to be neutrals.  Yes, lime green is a neutral for me!

I looked through the file where I had been saving scrap quilt ideas.  And I also looked at the quilts that I had pinned on Pinterest.  A couple of them popped up as possibilities.  In the end, I landed on a quilt with a lot of circles on it that had a real 3-D effect.  The original quilt was named "Forca Barca" and was made by Rosa Rojas and Olga Gonzales-Angulo.  I believe it was exhibited at QuiltCon in 2018.

Here is the drawing of that quilt which was blown up to 54" x 54", with one row of background fabric already pinned in place.  I traced the entire circular part of the design onto a tear away stabilizer.  Then I cut it into horizontal strips.  If you look closely, you'll see the stabilizer on top of the drawing.

Here it is with a few more background rows in place.

 I traced each horizontal strip onto freezer paper and used that for my templates.

I ironed the freezer paper to the front of the fabric, turned under the top edge where it would be appliqued to the next piece, and pressed it, using the edge of the freezer paper as my pressing guide.

Then, I pinned it into place on top of the stabilizer, making sure to line up the pressed edge with the seam line on the stabilizer.  When all the pieces were pinned in place, I removed the freezer paper and stitched it with invisible thread and a narrow zig-zag stitch (1.4 mm W x 1.0 mm L).

Here is the background with all of the strips done, and some of the templates ready for the lime green applique.  You're probably wondering why I have been referring to it as the lime green quilt.  Don't worry, it'll get there.

Stay tuned for further posts about the making of this 3-D lime green quilt.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Bee on pink rhododendrom

I've been on a roll.  Several "bee on flower" pictures were printed about a year ago when the Master Gardener Foundation of Clark County asked me to donate an art quilt for their summer auction.  I decided to finally paint and quilt the rest of the pictures that were candidates for that auction quilt this year.  If you look back into my blogs by searching on bees, you'll find my previous posts.  This one was a bee on a purple rhododendron.

Here is the picture and the painting.  I added more shadowing so that the bee wasn't floating above the background.  Notice that the purple rhododendron turned into a pink one!

Here are the threads that I used to highlight the piece.

And here it is all done.

I hope you like it.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bee on flower - Bumble bee on a white rhododendron

I love to take pictures of bees on flowers.  It's one of the things I do when I'm in my own backyard and when I'm out for walks.  People see me taking pictures with bees buzzing around me and probably wonder if I'm loonie.  Well, all I can say is that I get super excited about nature and never tire of seeing living things, blooming things, and being outside.  I don't know if it is because I live in the wet Pacific Northwest and I have to sneak out between rain showers.  Or if I like to see things grow.  Or if I am love with the changing seasons.  Or if being in nature makes me feel alive.  Its all of those things and a little something more that is hard to put my finger on.  Elation, gratitude, oneness.

Here is the piece after the painting was done, with the picture of it side by side.  I could see that I needed to darken the bee a little bit more, which I did with permanent markers after the painting had dried.

I highlighted it with several threads:

Then quilted the piece and faced it.

I hope you like the finished piece.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Vagabonds Challenge 2020 - FINAL

I've written 5 previous blogs about the making of this art piece.  I hope you've enjoyed seeing the thought process on how this quilt was made.  Many times, my pieces go much faster.  But this one has been intuitive at each step as well as pushing the limits on my creativity and skills.  It's been extremely helpful to run my ideas past my small design group, as well as just trusting my gut.

So, last time, I played around with layouts and how to connect the pieces into one quilt.  I tried so many backgrounds and let them sit; then tried more and let them sit; then tried even more and let them sit.  My biggest issue was that I didn't want to lose the transparency of the holes. Here were some of the trial backgrounds:

I finally just decided to connect them same way that I connected my nine shadow selfies, which was with thread enhanced fabric.  Here are the pieces:

And here is the final quilt as nine small quilts sewn together with spacers:

I'm calling it Dancing Circle I.    I hope you like it!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Threads and more threads

I have so many threads!  While making the Vagabonds challenge quilt, I discovered (or remembered) that I had quite a few decorative threads that I had never used.  Some of them date back to when I took a class from Ellen Anne Eddy in the 1990's.  Whenever I had tried to use those threads before, they broke and twisted on the spool holder.  I also had a lot of heavier threads and metallic threads that I hadn't used in a log time.  Nothing like a quarantine to make you go through your stash!

Do I dare count them?  Not on your life.  That information might get out the quarantine partner who may just think that there needs to be a comment made if I buy more thread.  What do non-sewers know anyway about thread that you need for hand stitching, for machine stitching, for long-arm machines, for decorative stitching, for repairing jeans, for your serger, and on and on.  Only we know that!  I don't go snooping around in the fishing tackle, do I?  Our agreement is that we don't track what the other person spends on their hobbies.  And we both like it that way, thank you very much.

Ahem. Well, back to the threads.   I have a drawer full:

Two levels of long-arm machine threads in my quilting room carts:

Four boxes of sewing threads of mixed types in my closet:

Some cones in my serger box:

A  box of hand quilting threads :

and finally a box  of silk threads

I bet I don't even come close to winning the prize on she-who-has-the-most-threads.  But I'm probably close to some kind of award.

How many threads to you have?

Monday, June 8, 2020

Tea Cozy

I've been thinking about making a tea cozy for a long time.  Why did I wait so long?  Who knows?  Now that I'm stuck at the house most of the time due to the Stay at Home orders for the State of Washington, it finally jumped to the top of my to-do list. I find that I am drinking a lot of tea and am making lots of it my two teapots.  I've just been tossing a tea towel over the top, and that just is too lazy.

I found a really nice pattern at The Seasoned Homemaker that I downloaded.  It doesn't use that much fabric and is very quick and easy to make.  I didn't have the fusible product that she recommended and substituted what I had on hand, which was left over from making a bag.

Here are the pieces cut out.

I quilted the outside pieces to the "stuffing" about every 3/4" apart.

 Then I followed the rest of her instructions.  Since I didn't use the fusible, I stitched in the ditch from the bottom up about 3" on each side and then hand stitch about 4" at the top.  That should hold the layers together well enough.   Here is what it looks like on the smaller green teapot.

And here is what it looks like on the larger teapot.  It's a tad snug on the larger one and doesn't quite fit down onto the table surface.  If I make it again, I'll add 1" on the outside edges of the pattern so that it'll fit the larger teapot and keep this one for the smaller teapot.  

I think it is really cute and I hope you like it too.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Vagabonds Challenge - Part 5

I have written 4 previous blogs about the Vagabonds 2020 challenge piece.

My quilting friends gave me lots of ideas on how to connect the 9 test pieces that I made.  YouTube also had some videos on how to connect "quilt-as-you-go" blocks.  We all immediately dropped the idea of adding binding in the quilt-as-you-go method, because it made this art piece turn into a traditional quilt.

 Other ideas from the brainstorming:
-  sew together the blocks without the binding and cut away the excess batting
-  connect the pieces with painted washers
-  quilt a background piece and mount them on top of the background
-  add some lighting
-  use shear fabric or mirrors behind the cut out pieces
-  use more of the fabric that was made from the yarn and threads
-  cut some of the pieces in half so that the layout could be different than a nine patch
-  include organza
-  face the pieces so that they are distinctly separate

I promised that I would do some work on my design wall and in my design book.  Here is what that all looked like in the process.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I am drawn to using 8 pieces and mounting them onto a background.

Stay tuned for what I decided to do!  And happy quilting.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Vagabonds Challenge 2020 - Part 4?

I have previously written posts about the Vagabonds challenge piece.  I think this is Number 4.  But I'm not sure.

After I made the test piece, I decided that I liked the technique and result, but I didn't want to wrestle a large piece around the machine.  So, I decided to make some more pieces the same size with different backgrounds and different colorways of the printed pictures.

Here are the 8 other pieces:

These pieces have been so much fun to make.  Like playing!  I was able to use a lot of threads that I had on hand that were perfect for the satin stitch highlighting - 40 weight rayon, metallic, and heavy weight variegated threads. 

I placed the pieces on my design board and now I will have to figure out how to attach them together.  Hmm.  Well, I do have a lot of time on my hands.   So maybe more testing of techniques?

What do you think so far?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Vagabonds 2020 Challenge

I wrote several previous blogs about the making of this quilt.  It is the Vagabonds 2020 Challenge.

Since I was stuck at the house for the Stay at Home order for the State of Washington, I discovered that my patience and focus was compromised.  I had the whole day and every day to complete projects instead of distinct time frames around all of my social activities.  So, I actually got bored and flitted from one thing to another.  You know, out in the yard, cleaning closets, writing in my journal, eating too many snacks, playing with the dog, calling my friends .... the typical behavior of a procrastinator.  What?  Me?  No Way!

Anyway, it took me several weeks to get back to this challenge piece.  I knew that I needed to make a smaller test piece to refine the technique I wanted to use.  So, here it is.

I started by quilting a 12" x 12" background and making more of the yarn and tulle pieces.

Then I marked several places where I wanted to place these tulle "holes".  I stitched around the marking 3 times then cut out the inside of the holes, leaving about 1/4".

I placed the tulle on top of the hole and stitched it from the backside, so that I could see the previous stitching.  Then I cut the seam allowance to a scant 1/8".

I turned the piece back over and stitched the edges twice with a zig-zag stitch, set to 4.0 mm width and .60 mm length.

I had previously printed the photo onto fabric; this was backed with fusible web and cut out into shapes.  I cut out both the large circles and sections of the smaller circles.  These were stitched with  zig zag stitching.  And here is the test piece.

I really like how it turned out!

I'm not sure if I will make more this size and join them together, or if I will use this technique on the large quilt.  More to think about.

I hope you get ideas that you can try out on a smaller scale too.