Monday, December 25, 2023

Garden Lady #5 - Part One

I got the inspiration for this quilt from a greeting card that was designed by Jane Newland.

I thought that it was really sweet.  I decided to try for a more natural face, arms and legs.  So I went hunting for inspiration and pictures.   Here are the sketches of the arms, legs, face and hat. My intention is to use the hat to cover the eyes. (I'm not that great at making realistic eyes!).

I decided to work on the background first on this quilt and wanted to use fabric and fibers that were already in my stash of supplies.  Here's the patterns pinned to the green and brown background fabrics that I selected.

I pulled out yarn, thread,  fabric, vegetable bags, antique trims, and doily pieces and put them all in a pile.

These were all snipped and layered onto the green background and covered with green tulle.  Here are the pieces all ready to stitch down.

I put a tear away stabilizer on the back and stitched the pieces with green thread - just enough to hold the things in place.

I hope you like it so far.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Garden Lady #4 - Part 4 and the final quilt "Don't Bug Me"

This is a continuation of 3 previous posts about the making of garden lady #4.

I added more bugs and things:

A couple of embroidered snails that my friend, Linda Taccolini, made for me.  She machine embroidered the snails onto white fabric with a tear away backing.  I inked the edges with Fabrico markers, added a little fray check, trimmed them, and stitched them onto the quilt with dark invisible thread.

A couple of caterpillars, also made by Linda.

And a few hand embroidered lady bugs.

The piece needed a little more flowers on it, so I hand embroidered several more in shades of pink, and did some stem embroidery too.  Then I hand embroidered a few more stems.

It's 32.5" W x 50" H.  I'm calling it "Don't Bug Me".

I hope you like it! 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Garden Lady #4 - Part Three

This is a continuation of two previous posts about the making of Garden Lady #4.

After making all of the foreground components, it was time to make all of the flora and fauna.  I used pictures from my garden to photoshop the echinaceas, which were printed onto prepared for printing fabric, then fused onto the background.  I added French knots in 2 colors on all of them.  The rest of the flora and fauna were randomly cut from quite a few fabrics and fused into place.  Finally, they were all stitched around the edges.

 One of my granddaughters said that I needed to add a butterfly and maybe a bird too.   And one of my friends, who is an expert in machine embroidery, suggested a snail, a butterfly, and I thought about a caterpillar and a ladybug.  I'll have to figure out when to stop coming up with ideas and finish the piece!  Here are a couple of the birds that were inked into the sky and a bee that was hand embroidered into the flowers.

I used 3 templates from Quilters Apothecary to stitch the arcs and free styled the circles here and there.  It's hard to tell, but I used several shades of green thread to do the quilting in the background, several shades of blue, gray, yellow, peach, pink, and metallic threads to do the quilting on the lady, the hose, and the water.  

So far so good.  Stay tuned for the finale.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Garden Lady #4 - Part Two

This is a continuation of a previous post about the making of Garden Lady #4.

I felt like I needed a little more definition on the face, so I took a picture of my friend and sketched it up.  I also felt like I needed to define the pants a little more, so I downloaded a few pictures from the internet, and sketched the pants onto the pattern and used it for the pattern.  Here are the pictures and the results:

It seemed like it was about time to pick the background and start working on getting that into place.  In addition to the hand dyed material for the pants, I had a hand dyed green fabric that seemed like it would work for this art piece.  I didn't have quite enough of the green, so I pieced in another green and plan to use the remnants of both to scatter the greens throughout the flowers to come.

Next was the hose and water.   I used another of my hand dyed green fabrics for the hose.  A gray and turquoise fabric was used for the nozzle.  

The water spray was made with 3 shades of Angelina fibers (white, gray, and gold).  I put the tracing of the pattern underneath the Teflon pressing sheet, laid the fibers on top, pressed them, and used the pattern to cut it out.

So, here is the background with all of the components in place.  I can't wait to start on the flowers that will make up the garden.

I hope you still like it!

Monday, November 27, 2023

Garden Lady #4 - Part One

I found a picture that I wanted to use for my Garden Lady series.  This is #4.  It'll be named when it is complete.

The inspiration is from a watercolor designed by Lois Dahl.  It really spoke to me and the artist gave me permission to use it as an inspiration for my garden lady series.  I loved the ethereal nature and all the green shades and flowers in this piece.  

I traced around it and had it blown up to 50" H at the Rose City blue print shop in Portland, Oregon.   There was a huge "For Lease" sign in the front.  I looked panicky when I got up to the counter, but the people there assured me that they were not closing, but that they had gotten close to it before negotiations made it possible for them to stay.  (It is run by only 2 people).  This is my absolute favorite place to get my sketches blown up.  They are quick, courteous, privately held, and very inexpensive.  I don't know where I'd take my sketches if they closed.   Anyway, here is the pattern from the print shop.

For the shirt, I collaged hand dyed material, lace hem tape, rick-rack, organza, thread and Angelina fibers; all in multiple colors.  I quilted it with pale green thread, cut it out with the pattern on top and turned under the edges.  Here are some progress pictures.

Layering the materials on an off white batik. 

Showing the quilting on the back side of the sleeve.

Sewing the pattern to top of the collaged sleeve.

More detail on the layers of the body of the shirt.

The shirt with the sleeve pinned onto the pattern.

A pile of the components.  Angelina fibers, 3 colors of organza, purple and green hand dyed material, antique rick-rack and hem tape.  Not included is the thread that was snipped and dropped into place.

I hope you like the progress so far!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Mix and Mingle by Natalie Crabtree

 I made a top for our charity group that was based on a pattern called "Mix and Mingle" by Natalie Crabtree.  It was such a modern and cute quilt that I just had to make it, but with some improv blocks.

It's 59" W x 83" H.

I hope you like it.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Improv drunkard's path blocks

I am making a quilt that has drunkard's path blocks dispersed throughout the top.  I saw the quilt in a shop in Walla Walla, called "Stash".  They didn't have the pattern for sale, so I looked it up after the trip.  It was a quilt designed by Natalie Crabtree called "Mix and Mingle".  And it was so modern and cute that I knew I just had to make a version of it.  When I say version, what I mean is that I like improv and intuitive placement instead of blindly following a pattern.  

Anyway, here is the process I used for the drunkard's path improv blocks.

Stack the two colors together, right sights up.  Cut a gentle curve with a rotary cutter about 2/3" away from the left edge.  You can see the ruler below is at about 3.75" on the 6" square.

Switch the two pieces so that the light color is matched up with the darker color.  Place a pin at the center of both pieces.

Line up the pins and pin the pieces together with the concave (or inny) piece on top and the convex (or outie) piece on the bottom. 

Using a glue pen, gently glue the pieces together from the center towards the edges.

Sew a scan 1/4" seam.  Try to sew slowly to make sure that you don't get any wrinkles in the top piece.

Press towards the outside of the block.  You'll get two blocks, with the colors opposite of each other.  Since these are improv blocks. you can see that they don't match up like they would if you used a pattern.  That's the reason why they start with oversized squares.

Trim the blocks to the correct size.  I needed a 5" block and I started with 6" squares.  First, line up the ruler on the pie, or inner piece and trim both sides.

Turn the block and trim the outer edges. 

And its just that easy to make an improv drunkard's path block.  

Monday, November 6, 2023

Challenge quilt to celebrate 50th guild anniversary

Clark County Quilters in Vancouver is celebrating their 50th year from the very start of the guild.  The guild has put out a challenge to make a quilt celebrating the 50 year anniversary and to enter it into the quilt show in April 2024.  I did a rough drawing of balloons and a banner.

After looking at several photos of balloons, I realized that they weren't exactly circular, but more rounded on top and thin at the bottom.  I also noticed that I had 4 balloons, which is an even number.  So I added one more and 5 balloons fit better with the 5 decades of the guild.

My idea was to use LED lights for the largest balloon, and do them in shiny material.  I gave up on this idea early on and instead used gold fabric and ice dyed fabric from my stash.  I don't know why I didn't take pictures along the way, but that is how it goes sometimes when I get into the groove.

It was quilted on my domestic machine with gold thread and has some gold trim and green yarn couched down.   I added purple and gold sequins and beads after this picture was taken.   It's 24" x 34".

I like how it turned out and I hope you do too!!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Synaptic - Final

The synaptic quilt is done!

It was quilted by Alvera Gaskins with a digital design called "Modern Curves" by Anita Shakeford.  I absolutely love it!  She used a variegated thread, which really adds to the movement.

It's 66" x 66".

I hope you like it too!

Monday, October 23, 2023

Lime Twist - Mod Quilt Squad Challenge - FINAL

This is a continuation of 3 previous posts about the making of the Lime Twist challenge quilt.  And the final too.

I quilted the piece with a wavy stitch on my domestic machine.  On the Bernina, it is stitch #1318, set to 4.1 width, and 24.8 length.  I used green thread throughout.

I used black batting and a pieced backing.  And then finished it off with a facing.  It's 24" W x 53" H.

I hope you like it!

Monday, October 16, 2023

Lime Twist - Mod Squad Improv Challenge - part 3

This is a continuation of two previous posts about the making of the Lime Twist Improv Challenge piece.

I had to remember was that the piece would get much smaller when it got pieced together, and I had to be able to piece all the different sizes of blocks together.  Here are a few pictures of the piecing process that I started from the top.  There were a few pieces that had to be inserted as coping strips, and other pieces that needed to be made.  I also ended up doing a lot of partial seams!  I think that it ended up with the same concept as what I had when the blocks were just up on the wall and not sewn together yet.  

And the final top all sewn together.

I hope you like it.  I'm certainly happy with the improv nature of it.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Painted fabric and improv pieced quilt- Improv Transparency

I painted a yard of fabric a while ago and hadn't been able to cut into it or find a use for it as a background.  The white squiggly lines were made with a glue resist, painted over, then washed out. 

Finally, I decided that I would use it for an improv quilt.  A few months ago, one of my friends taught us how to take advantage of transparency in a quilt.  We made 18" blocks with free hand curved lines.  I used turquoise shades and a white and black print.  

Some of the others in the group made 4 blocks and sewed them together.  They looked fabulous!  But I didn't want to do the same thing.  So, I cut it each block into 6 pieces and inserted 5 strips of my hand painted fabric.   Here is the result:

I felt like I was onto something, so I made a couple more in shades of turquoise and blue and had enough of the painted fabric to do a couple more.  I put them up on my design wall and played around with the layout.  In order to make them all fit, I used some coping strips, cut edges off of some and placed them in other places, and finally, sort of straightened the edges.  

I quilted it with several colors of blue and green thread in 1/4" lines that curved to match the shapes in the quilt.  There were A LOT of stops and starts, which I handled with tiny starting and ending stitches, as well as some that were tied off.  And here it is after the quilting.  Its 35" to 37" w x 52" to 53" h.  (The dimensions reflect a slight difference as the quilt is not totally square).  I've named it "Improv transparency". 

I hope you like it!