Monday, December 31, 2018

Sister's quilt - part Three

This is a continuation of the posts about the making of the blue and lights quilt for my sister, Colleen Wilson.

I continued to make paisley blocks with some embroidery or embellishment.  The size and shape of the paisley's were slightly modified for each set of 6, and I decided to put a darker fabric as the center for each of the set of 6 blocks.  Here it is on the design wall so far:

Some of the blocks have couched rick rack on them.  Before I added the rick-rack, I backed those pieces with a tear away backing.  After the rick-rack was added, I then glued the pieces to the dissolving applique foundation.

Here is a close up picture of how I handled turning the edges with both the backing and the fabric.  I used washable school glue in this step (the purple) , and I really put a lot on those spots.  If you look towards the upper tip, you can see that the glue is applied much thinner because there is only the fabric to turn in that area. 

One thing that I learned from another quilter a long time ago was how to handle the tips of applique.  After I glued and turned back all the edges, I snipped off the excess fabric from behind the tip and wet it down pretty well with Fray Check.  After it dried, the tip holds it's shape and the pieces of fiber won't split apart when they're pierced with the needle.

I learned a lot from other quilters along the way and continue to learn from them now.  I hope you have friends around that share your love of quilting too.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Quick and fun vest

I found a cool pattern for a quick and fun Modern Silhouette Vest that is sewn on the serger (and a little bit on the sewing machine).  I never know for sure how a pattern is going to fit, so I always sew it in a test fabric.  In this case, I had a couple of yards of cotton duck left over from making pressing boards, so it became the test fabric.

The pattern is #IJ986CR by Mary Ann Donze Design and published by Indygo Junction and it can be made in 3 different lengths and two different lapels.  I made it in the longest length with the widest lapel.

What fun it was to serge it all with black thread.  It was super quick to make up.  The only thing that needed a little modification was the shoulder slope.

But I liked the test garment so well that I lived with the slight fitting problem, and have worn it several times.  Now to make it in the real fabric!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Fabric Microwave bowls

I noticed at several of my friends' homes that they have hand made fabric bowls that they put their ceramic bowls into when they microwave their leftovers or soup.  They can remove the bowls without burning their fingers because the fabric doesn't get hot.  I'm pretty sure that I've made some of these before, but didn't have any in the house.

Well, I decided to resolve that issue!  I found my old pattern (there are several on the internet for free too) and made 4 of them straight from the pattern.  Then I modified the pattern to fit our larger chili bowls and made 2 of them.

Now we have our own fabric microwave bowls too!

I hope you try making one for yourself, or several for you and your friends.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Modern Small Quilt Group - Vancouver, WA

This summer, some people from my local quilt guild decided to start up a small quilt group focused on modern quilts.  I was so glad that there were enough people interested so that the group formed quickly.  I've been making modern style quilts for a while and a special interest group of like minded quilters seemed exciting.  I was really hoping we'd have some younger gals show up, but alas, none so far have come to the meetings.

Many cities have Modern Quilt Guilds and a lot of the younger quilters have joined those guilds instead of the traditional quilt guilds.  I think it's because most of us in the guilds have aged and the younger people want to hang around their own age group.  I'm a little sad that we all can't be one big happy family, but I do understand.  Our guild is like most others, in that we still have classes and other activities on weekdays, which is really hard on people that work or have small kids.  We have existing small groups, many that are closed to new members.  We don't have a blog.  And, in our case, there is a modern quilt guild right across the river in Portland that is very active.

The traditional guilds may shrink in size and modern quilt groups may be the ones that grow and survive.  Progress happens whether we accept it or stand  in the way.

I hope you can embrace change.   I'm sure trying to myself.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Knitting hats

I don't know about you, but as soon as it gets chilly outside, I want to figure out ways to stay warm.  The thermostat goes up; I put on heavy socks; the sweaters come of the closet, and I turn up the temperature on my shower.  Knitting things seems to be another favorite go to solution.

I couldn't remember how much yarn it takes to knit a hat, so I bought 2 skeins of each color.  (You only need one!).  So, I knitted the two hats that I planned, and then knitted three more that I hadn't planned.

I found both patterns for free on Ravelry, which is a super website for knitters.  One of my knitting friends told me about the site several years ago.  If you're a knitter and you haven't already learned about it, please go and check it out.

My knitting tension changes daily, since I'm not a constant knitter.  The first day that I knit the hat, it was way too big.  So, I changed needles and knit it a second time.  Just right.  My daughters tried on the hat and it was snug on them, so I used slightly larger needles when I made their hats.  They seem tighter than the ones I knit for myself on smaller needles.  Oh well, I'm sure they'll still fit.

So here are 3 of the hats that I finished.   The 4th and 5th ones are duplicates of these.

I hope you find ways to stay warm this winter too!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Shadow Selfie #9 - Fall Strolling

This is the 9th quilt that I've made in the shadow selfie series.

We took a nice shadow picture while walking in Walla Walla, WA in September.   It called out to use an orange background to both represent fall and to complete the color effect of the series.  I bought a nice new orange batik and cut it into wedges for the background.

I wanted to try using a different technique than the others in the series, so I placed the black fabric on the background, placed the picture on top of that, and triple stitched around the edges.  Here it is pinned in place:

Here I'm showing the stitching and the settings on the triple stitch.

I used 2.4 stitch length on the long straight lines.

Then I reduced the stitch length to 1.5 to go around the smaller curvy edges.

Then, I cut off the paper, and removed the excess black fabric.  And since there was a lot of fraying at the edges, I zig zag stitched around the outside edges.

I wanted to add some fall leaves at the bottom to make it feel like we were strolling through the downed fall leaves.  I got the idea to use some of my fancy fabrics, including lame and organza and make leaves out of them.  Here is a picture of the sandwich that I made.  The layers are dissolving foundation, organza, thread (if used), organza, and Solvy.  I used a blue dissolving marking pen for the first set, but it was too hard to see.  On the later sets of leaves, I marked with a permanent marker on the Solvy.

 I zig zag stitched around the edges with a .4 stitch length and 1.4 stitch width. 

Then I dissolved all of the disappearing products in warm water in the sink, laid the pieces flat to dry, and cut them out.  Here's what the leaves looked like after they were cut out.

And here is the finished quilt. The piece is 12" x 12" and has traditional black binding to go along with the rest of the series.

Shadow Selfie Series #9, Fall Strolling by Joanne Adams Roth
I hope you like it.  And I hope you have liked seeing this series of 9 Shadow Selfie Quilts.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Shadow Selfie #8 - Anniversary

This is the 8th quilt that I've made in the shadow selfie series.

We took a nice shadow picture on our anniversary this year while touring the Oregon Gardens in Silverton, OR.   It called out to me to use a red background and add some hearts.  I had a piece of red ombre fabric in my stash and quilted around my picture with black thread.  After I removed the paper, I used Derwent Inktense pencils and fabric medium to paint the shadow.  After I quilted the piece, I used Fabrico markers to fill in the hearts.

The piece is 12" x 12" and has traditional black binding to go along with the rest of the series.

Shadow Selfie #8 - Anniversary by Joanne Adams Roth

I hope you like it!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Quilt sleeves - another method

I've written posts about quilt sleeves a couple of times.  Just search on the word "sleeves" and you will find them.  This post is about another method.

Several friends use this method to insure that they get some excess fabric to allow for the handing rod/pole.  You really must allow for this space so that the rod/pole doesn't show a bump on the front side of the quilt when its displayed.  All you need is an extra 1/2" and it really does make a difference in how the quilt looks when it's hanging in a show.

Here is how this method works.

1.  Measure and cut the the material 9" wide times the width of the top of our quilt.  In my example, I cut it 9" x 12", because my little quilt is 12" wide.

2.  Press it with wrong sides together in half lengthwise.
3.  Sew a 1/4" seam on the raw edges.

4.  Fold over to the wrong side (or inside) 1/2" twice and both ends and stitch in place.

5.  Baste with your longest basting stitch, 1/4" from the folded edge.

6.  Press the seam towards one side, centering it.

7.  Turn the sleeve over and press the basted seam towards one side; it should already be centered.
8.  Pin the sleeve onto the top backside of your quilt, leaving approximately 1" from the top.  Make sure the basted seam faces out and the sewn seam is against the backside of your quilt.

9.  Slip stitch the top, bottom and both ends to the quilt.

10.  Remove the basting thread.

There you have it.  A quilt sleeve that has room for the hanging rod/pole.

I hope you try this method too.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Features of the Bernina 570 that I love

I am loving my new Bernina 570 and some of the new features that I didn't have on my older machine.

Built in Walking Foot
I used to have to attach a separate apparatus to turn my machine into a dual feed.  It was called the walking foot.  I got used to putting it on and taking it off, but it was hard for a lot of people to get used to raising the presser foot extra high in order to slide it on the machine.  I did use it a lot when I was quilting straight lines and when I was sewing on binding.  The new machine has a lever where the presser foot lever used to be that lowers and engages the walking foot.  The only thing you have to remember is to use a "D" style foot.  It's great that the walking foot is now built into the machine.

Thread cutter
There is a little button that you press when you want to cut the thread and remove your sewing project from the machine.  I don't know yet if I really like it that much better than grabbing a pair of scissors, or than using the cutter on the side of the machine.  But it seems like it will come in handy, so I'll keep using it to get used to it.

Bigger bobbins
OK, this is one of the best features of this machine.  The bobbin is almost twice the size of the older bobbins.  I just know that I'll be able to sew longer without having to worry about winding another bobbin.  The bobbins are also slightly tapered so they can only go in one way into the bobbin case.  No more worries about putting the bobbin in the wrong way.

LED lights
I also love this feature with the bright LED lights right above the work area.  I can ditch my cumbersome light that I used to have to put onto my older machine in order to see better.  Bernina must know that a lot of us are getting older and can't see that well unless we have bright lights.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Giving Thanks

I think I missed something about Friends getting together for Thanksgiving - called Friendsgiving.  I discovered this term when my granddaughter came over for Thanksgiving this year and told us about her celebration with her friends the day before.  The weekend after Thanksgiving, I heard the same term from a 30-ish woman about getting together with her friends.  Does that ever happen to you?  You think you are totally with it, and then you find out there is another parallel reality going on that you had no idea existed.  Oh well, better to find out at some point!

Friendsgiving is a real term. I looked it up on my best source, Google.  Seems like I am only 5 years behind the times.  I LOVE THE NEW TRADITION.  I am thrilled to know that getting together with friends is just as important as staring at your cell phone.  I know that it's important for me. (Not the staring at the cell phone.)

One of my good friends has hosted Thanksgiving for years.  Many of our mutual friends are from out of state and she has gathered all of them up along with other friends who find themselves solo.  This year, she had another dinner on the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It was a delicious enchilada night, using left-over turkey.  What fun it was to get together with a bunch of old friends.  It felt like a real Friendsgiving to me, even though we are decidedly not in our teens, twenties, or thirties!

What was really special was going around the table and telling each other what we were thankful for.  Most of us at the table have been friends for over 25 years, so we know each other pretty well.  But it was still nice to hear the hostess tell us all that she was so thankful for the friends she has and that we were able to get together.  Health, family, and prosperity were all things that we gave thanks for that night.

Thank you to all of my friends and relatives.  I am grateful you are in my life.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Foundation piecing papers

I recently was asked the question about what paper I use for foundation piecing.   I wish it was a straightforward question, with one definitive answer.  But there are so many options on the market nowadays.

I used to use just plain old copy paper (20 to 24 lb) and I would run my templates through my printer at home.  When I was in my heyday of teaching foundation piecing quilt classes, I used to provide the patterns to my students.  Since that was about the only paper that anyone used in those days, it was fine.  The key then, and now too, is that your stitch length MUST be reduced to 1.9 to 2.0 mm.  (Normal is 2.4 to 2.5).  And you must start and stop 1/4" ahead of the beginning and after the ending of your pattern stitch line. 

After a few years, I stumbled into foundation piecing classes taught by Judy Niemeyer .  She provides all of the foundation paper with her patterns.  She uses newsprint paper, which is lighter weight (30 lb) than copy paper.  It tears easier, which is great when you need to remove the papers.  But it also is apt to tear if you have to rip out your seams and resew on the same line.  You can get newsprint paper in various sizes at a well stocked art supply store or from Amazon.    I recommend Blick in both Portland and Seattle.  Carol Doak also sells newsprint foundation papers, and they are readily available in most quilt stores or online.  They come in 8-1/2 " x 11" sheets and are easy to run through your printer and they tear away nicely.

Some manufacturers now make dissolving foundation paper.  Two sellers of these papers come to mind.  Ricky Tims sells a product called stable stuff poly.  He sells it by 8-1/2" x 11" sheets or by the 3' roll.  If you use these to paper piece, you do NOT have to remove the paper when you're done; it dissolves into fibers when the quilt is washed.  Sharon Schamber also sells a similar paper, called Sharon's Secret Foundation.  It comes in a roll that is 19" wide x 5 yards.  These products are quite firm and may be difficult to piece into curved seams, but are excellent for straight sections (think sashing with a lot of little points).  I use the stable stuff poly for almost all of my machine applique.

If you look at embroidery stabilizers at a well stocked retail store, you will find all kinds of dissolving products there too.  Since I haven't used any of the embroidery stabilizers myself,  I can't recommend one over another.

Here's hoping that you find the foundation piecing product that you enjoy the most.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Arizona throw quilt

I made a wall hanging for my sister, who is wintering over in Arizona these days.  Since I had a bunch of left over fabric, I decided to make her a throw quilt as well.  It has all the colors of her wall hanging, plus a few more that looked kind of Southwest style to me.

It was a piecing extravaganza with no idea how it would be put together in the end.  I started with 6" pieces of fabric and made half square triangles .  After these were sewed, cut, and pressed, I added 5-1/2" squares and sewed them in half square triangle method, in the opposite direction as the original half square triangles.  (I should have taken photos, but alas, none exist).  After these were cut apart and pressed, the blocks were all squared up to 4-1/2" squares.  I ended up with quite a pile.  Here's the block.

The blocks were put up on my design wall and moved around until there was a layout that I liked.  I quilted it on my sit down longarm with bright orange thread and used a circle ruler.  I love how bright and fun it ended up.

I hope you like it too.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Artist Show - December 2019 and January 2020

Yippee!  I will be in an upcoming artist show at Second Story Gallery in December 2019 and January 2020.

I exhibited my nest art quilts at Second Story Gallery in Camas, WA a few years ago.  It is a nice gallery in downtown that rotates exhibits once a month and showcases local artists.  If you exhibit there, you can't apply for another exhibit until 3 years have passed.  So when the call for artists for 2019 came around, I asked my small quilt group if they wanted to apply as a group.  They said yes, and we got the call that we were accepted for a 2 month run of our Whisper challenge quilts.

There will be 81 quilts in the show, all 12" x 12".

Too excited for more words!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Lost and Found quilts

I have located a couple of quilts that I didn't have on the list of quilts that I've made.  They weren't in my books of stories about the quilts and pictures.  Somewhere back in my box of old photos, I'm sure there is a picture of them??  Anyway, I made lots of quilts over the years and many of them were for classes that I was teaching.  So, I'm surmising that I must have been in a hurry to produce them for class samples.  Then when I got buried in quilts at the house, I gave a lot of them away to my friends and relatives.  Two of my friends recently came over for lunch and loaned back the quilts that I had given them.  It was all part of the process of gathering up the quilts for the solo show that was held in October.

To my surprise, they both had quilts that I recognized but had no record of!  Of course, neither one had a hanging sleeve, and only one had my signature.  (Sigh).

It was fun seeing all the quilts loaned back to me, and even more fun to see all the people!  I hope you have your quilts spread out among your friends and family too.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Fabrico Markers

I purchased some Fabrico markers for highlighting and shading quilts a few months ago.  One of my friends uses them a lot on her quilts, and since she has won so many top awards, I thought that I should learn how to use them too.  Fabrico markers are a product by Tsukineko, which makes other products that are used by art quilters and paper crafters. I usually use Derwent Inktense pencils with fabric medium to add depth to my quilts, and have written a blog or two about how to use them.  The Inktense pencils are really easy to use and they don't bleed when you use fabric medium.   These markers also do not bleed.

I made a little butterfly quilt and after appliqueing down the pieces to the painted background, I thought that it looked totally flat and fake.  I wasn't trying to make a realistic butterfly, per se, but I wanted to make it look less like a cartoon character.  I used the markers and found them easy to apply, but I had to go over the area a few times to be able to see the shading.

Here is the picture of the little quilt before and after the shading, but before the quilting.  It's faint for sure.  You can see it more on the body than on the wings.

I hope you try new products too.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Embroidery designs and supplies

I have done a little bit of hand embroidery over the years.  My skills are pretty basic, I have to admit.  I can do daisy chains, back-stitch, French knots and a few other combinations of those.  So, in order to come up with some new ideas, I turned to Pinterest.  I really like being able to quickly find ideas on that site, don't you?

Some of my quilting friends are avid embroiderers and have taken classes from Sue Spargo, who is well known for her wool applique.  And others have taken classes at Crab Apple Hill from the owner Meg Hawkey, who is well known for her colored and embroidered patterns.  My friends own expensive and beautiful embroidery supplies such as hand dyed pearl cotton, embroidery threads, ribbons and beads.  Nice hoops, white color crayons, and a whole bunch of stuff I don't even know about.  Don't you find that each hobby comes along with its own set of supplies and once you get into it, you are blown away by how much stuff there is to tempt you?

I just use my old-fashioned DMC embroidery floss.   You can buy it just about anywhere and it comes in tons of colors.  I have an old metal spring hoop.  It seems to be working for me.  Here's what my set up looks like:

I hope you have a few basic skills in embroidery too.  It's a skill that used to be in every young woman's repertoire a couple of generations ago.  Back then most women also had to know how to can fruit and vegetables, make butter, milk the cows, feed the chickens, take care of 10 kids, cook 3 meals a day, bake bread, make soap, do laundry by hand, sew clothes, darn socks... you get the picture.   So glad life has gotten easier for all of us.  Aren't you?

Friday, October 26, 2018

Passion Unfolded - The Quilts of Joanne Adams Roth

Passion Unfolded was the name of my solo show held in October 2018.  This show was sponsored by Clark County Quilters, and is such a wonderful event for a member who has made at least 100 quilts (or a group of quilters that have made that many).  I was honored and excited to be the selected artist for this show.


Nancy Tubbs introducing me

Jack and Dottie Cox

Dee and Vern Brunner

Steve and Dessie Carptener, Bill McCabe


final day in casual clothes

Sisters Jeanne Lematta and Colleen Wilson

Brother Bob Adams and son Bill DeJarlais

Sister Colleen Wilson, son Bill DeJarlais and me

Al Roth, Joanne Roth, Bill DeJarlais, Jeanne Lematta, Colleen Wilson,
Bob Adams, Beverly Adams, Becky Adams

Judy Mezen, lifelong friend

I exhibited 114 quilts spanning 50 years of quilt making.   Most of my early quilts were bed sized and hand quilted.  There were quilts made for high school graduation presents, anniversary quilts, quilts made for classes that I taught, lap quilts, wall quilts, and many of my recent art quilts.

It was so much fun to collect all of these quilts back from the owners.  It gave me a chance to see a lot of people and reminisce about the making of the quilts.   I also was able to get some of them washed to nearly new condition again, add hanging sleeves, and in some cases, add a signature label.

During the show, I was really thrilled to see all of the people turn up and to see so many of my quilts exhibited in one place at the same time.

A huge thanks goes out to Clark County Quilters for sponsoring this event; to Nancy Tubbs who organized the show and the helpers; to all of my friends and family for loaning back their quilts; and to my husband, Al Roth, for putting up with all the interruption in our lives and home while gearing up for the show, during the show, and its aftermath.