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.