Thursday, December 31, 2020

Bryce Canyon Shadow Quilt - Part Two

 This is the second post about the making of the shadow quilt of my husband hiking in Bryce Canyon.

I scanned the photo into Photoshop and changed it to black and white and blurred the photo.  

Then I traced it.  

I remembered a couple of techniques that I liked from some previous art quilts and lessons from teachers.  So, I took out my water colors and water color paper and painted a few background colors.  Then I took out some fabric and had fun making other types of colored background.  Here are the pictures of those things:

It was a ton of fun to just play around with my art supplies while it rained and stayed gloomy outside.  I asked for input from my husband and small quilt group and the consensus was that they liked the diagonal painting with orange, blue and purple.  So I drew the diagonal lines on the tracing and that will be where the colors will change. I also liked some of the splotchy areas on the painted fabric.  I plant to make paper fabric and paint that with the splotchy effect and use that for the background along with black, and dark blue and dark purple.  Here's hoping that it all comes together.

I hope you have ways to entertain yourself when you can't go and see friends or go outside because of the weather.  And especially when you don't watch the election returns on TV!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Shadow Quilt from Bryce Canyon National Park

Several years ago, my husband and I went camping and hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.  It was really different and fun to hike DOWN into the canyon, around all the hoodoos, and back up to the canyon rim.  The hoodoos are the tall spires of rock, which are so prominent in the park.

I snapped this interesting picture of my husband with his backpack, coming through one of the arches.  The sun was just right to cast a shadow of him on the wall of the canyon, and it reminded SO MUCH of the Don Quixote by Pablo Picasso.  Look at the pictures and tell me if you think so too!

This is just the type of picture that begs for it to be memorialized in a quilt.  My hesitation over the years has been how to actually make this one.  Should it be painted?  Should it be pieced or appliqued?  Could it be simplified and done another way?  I am terrible at portraits and am terrified of doing this one and having it end up looking nothing my husband.  Best to just dive in and see what happens.

Stay tuned to see what I did.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Knitted Slippers

I may have already told you about the knitted slippers that our family has been making for over 50 years.  Just in case I haven't, my grandmother must have started making them, then my mother, then me and my sisters.  I wear them every day in the house and usually wear out a pair over the year.  I noticed that the pair I was wearing had just about worn out, so I knitted myself another pair in lime green.  My favorite color!

When I pulled out the knitting bag, I found out that I had made a pair of extra soles for the old pair.  So, I was able to repair them too.  Now I have a new pair, and an old pair!  I think it was a great idea to have the spare set of soles.  Before I put the bag away, I'll knit a spare set of soles for my new pair too!  

I hope you have a pattern for something that was passed down in your family too.  Maybe it's not a sewing or knitting pattern... perhaps it's a family recipe.  Anyway, working on the slippers makes me think of Mom, and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Drink coasters/wine glass coasters

I have a set of 4 drink coasters/wine glass coasters that somebody made and gave to me as a thank you gift from serving on a board of directors.  I wish I could remember who that was!  Anyway, I bring them out in the fall since they were made with fall fabrics.  This year, I decided that I would make some more for different seasons. 

Here are the pattern directions:


6 each 5” squares of  fabric (2 for the bottom and 4 for the top in two shades)
1 each 5” square of lightweight batting.
Fold 4 squares of fabric in half and press. They should be rectangles, 5” L x 2-1/2” W.

Layer as follows:
 Bottom fabric for the inside, right side facing down
 Bottom fabric that will show on the outside, right side facing up

All 4 fabrics that have been folded in half, overlapping like a closed cardboard box, with the raw edges on the outside.

around the outside edge in ¼” seam, and sew diagonally at each corner a few times, then trim corners

Turn right sides out and press.

To make a coordinating set of 4, increase the amounts of fabric and batting 
by four.

I hope you find the time to make this quick set of coasters, and perhaps give them to someone that you know1

Monday, December 21, 2020

Clothes from Silhouette Patterns - Some More!

 I found a fantastic fabric at Mill End Store in Milwaukie, Oregon that combined animal print, black, silver, and blue.  It seemed like a fabric that could be paired with leggings, jeans or jeggings, black slacks, or white pants in the summer!  How about that for a versatile fabric.

Since I had previously made and fitted the Silhouette Pattern #195, I used that pattern to make two tops.

The first one was a tunic top with a V-neck black velvet trim.  I decided to add a bunch to the side seams to give it plenty of room.  Here it is:

The second one was made as a sleeveless top that could be worn underneath a sweater.  Here it is being modelled with a black sweater and jeggings. 

If I was a better model, you would be able to see that these tops are different.  Anyway, I hope that you like both of these tops and can envision yourself in clothing that you've made from just the right fabric and pattern.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Silouette Patterns - more clothing sewing

 I love watching all of the Webcasts and programs by Peggy Sagers of Silhouette Patterns.  She developed her patterns to try to and fix all the problems that sewers have experienced with all of the other pattern companies.  Her technique is to measure your CLOTHING that fits you well, and pick the size of the pattern that fits those measurements.  Forget about measuring yourself and try to pick a size based on that.  Then make a test garment and fit it to your body.  And finally make the garment out of the fashion fabric.  Once you have fitted the pattern, you can alter it for different necklines, lengths, sleeves, etc.  So cool!

I purchased 3 of her patterns and signed up for a fitting class in May 2020.  Due to COVID restrictions, the class was postponed and finally happened in October.  There were 7 of us in the class and we learned so much!  The 3 patterns were fitted to me by Peggy and I went home and quickly sewed up a few tops.

Here is what I made so far:

From her pattern #195, called the sweater set, I made an orange T-shirt, an animal print shell and sweater set, and an animal print T-shirt at tunic length.

From her pattern #915, Hugo's Cardigan,  I made a cozy brown cardigan.

I was fitted for another pattern, but have yet to purchase the fabric to make it.  

I also have purchased some really cool blue fabric to make another top from pattern #195, with a different neckline.

Hope this finds you all well and happy.  I can't wait to have all of the pandemic restrictions lifted.  

Monday, December 7, 2020

Backing Fabric

 OK, here's another new one for me!  I have never bought the wide fabric especially made for backing for quilts.  I have always pieced together 42" wide fabric, or pieced the back from fabric in my stash.

For once, however, I decided that I would just buy the dang backing fabric and be done with it!  I found a nice gray print at 108" wide, and bought 3 yards, which is 108" long.  Voila!  I have the backing all done for the pickle dish and mariner's compass quilt.

Geesh. Sometimes it takes years for something to sink in.  It was less expensive and much more pleasurable to just plunk down the money and have the backing all done.  Guess what I'm going to do next time?

I hope you enjoy quilting and are getting a few laughs from my blog.  Tee-hee....until next time.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Reflection Quilt used for advertising the Clark County Quilters 2021 show

The Clark County quilt show coordinators picked "Reflections" as the theme for the Clark County Quilters show in 2021.

They remembered that I had made a quilt of my granddaughter looking into a lobster tank, and that her reflection on the stainless steel vat was a key element of that quilt.  They asked me if they could use that image for advertising, and of course I said, "Yes".

Here was the postcard announcing our 2021 show, which unfortunately was never distributed.  The postcard was printed and ready to distribute at the 2020 show that was supposed to be held in April 2020.  That show got postponed to November, then got cancelled entirely.  And the 2021 show got changed to November 2021.  As a result, this postcard became moot,   There would be no show at which it would be distributed.   The 2021 show is usually not announced until the 2020 show is in full swing.  And I think it has because I've seen it in print in a couple of places.

I hope you attend our fabulous show, and that you like the postcard!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Pickle Dish and Mariner's Compass - Piecing underway Again and top finished

This is a continuation of many previous posts about the making of the Pickle Dish and Mariner's Compass Quilt.  I'm going to try and show you how I sewed together the vertical rows on this challenging quilt.  First, I sewed the vertical units together, then sewed the pickles to the vertical rows.  This made the "pickle dish" vertical rows.

Then I sewed together the "Mariner's Compass" vertical rows. (See the second row in the picture below.)

The key was to sew rows so that they nested as an "Ess" shape.  Very similar to the process of sewing together the pickle dish units.  Look at the center vertical strip and the one on the right.  You can see that I picked up each piece and sewed them together to make the vertical rows.  And can you see the resulting "Ess" gap?  That's how you make it easier to sew all these curved seams together.  I sewed the border pieces onto each end as well.

Then the vertical rows were sewn together.  Here is what it looks like with those two rows sewn together.  I actually sewed it in sections.  First by sewing all of the center pieces with their corresponding pickle dish section.  Then going back and sewing in the Mariner's Compass sections with the center pieces.  And finally, by sewing the pickle dish end pieces and border pieces together.  It wasn't complicated, but did involve a lot of pinning and SLOW sewing.  Oh, and in order for the Mariner's compass to overlap the pickle dish ends, they do have to be marked for the curve.  I just made a freezer paper template and marked the seam line.

I hope you like the color placement and beauty of this quilt.  The top ending up being 90"  x 90".  

It's so big that it goes from the floor to the ceiling of my design wall and I wasn't able to step back far enough to get a good shot of it.

Anyway, I hope you like it.  Now onto the quilting!  

Friday, November 27, 2020

Pickle Dish and Mariner's Compass quilt - part whatever plus one

 This is a continuation of the posts about the making of the Pickle Dish and Mariner's Compass quilt.  

After I got the pieces done, it was time to sew the units together and the rows together.  It was tricky with all of the curved edges and trying to determine which pieces needed to be sewn together first, next, and last in order to make the piecing the easiest it could me.  (None of this quilt was easy, however.)

I sewed several components together, and starting from the left, I sewed 3 vertical rows together.  However, I noticed that I had big problems putting the pieces together.  Not so much in the stitching, but when the sewing was done, I had a quilt that was not laying flat.  I tried taking a nip and tuck here and there to solve the problem.  But it was very clear that something was really wrong somewhere.  

I was so worried that all of my work was headed for the trash can that I couldn't go to sleep at all.  So I got up and went into my studio and redrafted the whole pattern again.  Then I worried that one of the other quilters had used my pattern and thought that she was going to hate me when I divulged that there were some problems.  By 3:00 am, I was in a better place and was able to go back to bed.  My pattern was OK, but the sewing was a little sloppy.  I knew that I would have to tear out all the rows and sewing to join the components before I could move forward again.  So, tear out I did.  (Mumble, mumble).

How I fixed the problem was to make a freezer paper template of the pickle dish component and iron this on top of the completed units, redraw the seam lines with dissolving blue pen, and then resew the units. Too bad I had already trimmed the seams to 1/4".  Some of the seams would now be skimpy.  

Here is the new marking.  

I also had to redraw the seam lines on the center pieces and they were slightly more off than the pickle dish units.  Here is where I lined up the new seam lines.  I sewed the cured section first.

Then I sewed the two straight seams on both ends.

There were 2 steps to press the end seams.  Pressing open the straight seam with the white piece out of the way.

Then put the tip of the white piece back in place and press again.  Trim if necessary.

And here is what it looks like on the front side.

When I get all the rest of the pieces remarked and back up on the design wall, I'll be able to make forward progress again.

Until then, happy sewing!  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Pickle Dish and Mariner's Compass Quilt - part whatever

OK, I've completely lost track of how many posts I've made about the making of the Pickle Dish and Mariner's Compass Quilt.  I think I numbered them, and then sneaked in a few about the intricate units.  And then added a little bit of humor about how my group is all whining about making the quilt.  So, don't ask me what number this one is - it's a continuation, OK?

I got bogged down when I had most of the sub-pieces done and had a hard time figuring out what color to put on the edges of some of the center pickle dish units.  I cut out and placed moss green.  Too dark.  I tried lime green.  I tried white.  AAH!  I don't really like any of them, but ended up with the moss green so that the background receded behind the Mariner's Compass blocks.  Here are the pictures of the trials.

All lime green made the circles a focus element and it fought with the Mariner's compass blocks for attention.

All white - too blah!

Moss green just right.

I hope you learn something from all of my trials.  I know the other people working on their quilts are learning what NOT to do!  

Monday, November 16, 2020

Sewing outside border to outside pickle dish units

 For the border of the Pickle Dish and Mariner's compass quilt, I designed the pieces to fit around just one pickle and then seam them where they met.  I remembered a cool technique that I learned from Judy Niemeyer on how to piece large pieces together in an ice cream cone fashion.

Here is a picture of my freezer paper template of the border piece.

I marked the seam lines and a few key intersection points and left a bit of overhang on the outside edge to be trimmed after the quilt gets quilted.

Just like the pickle dish units, the mantra is pins, pins and more pins.  I matched the center, the intersection of the pickle pieces and the end pieces and then the seam at the edge.  Then I placed pins about every 3/4 inch.

Then the fun part comes when you put the edge piece on the top and grab up all the fabric like and ice cream cone.  This bends the top pieces to more or less match the bottom curved piece.  

It's quite easy to sew this long curved line this way, by letting the curved piece stay curved on the bed of the sewing machine.

When it was all sewn, the seam was pressed towards the outside edge and away from the pickle dish unit.

I hope these pictures and description of the steps helps you on your next quilt.