Monday, May 29, 2023

Carnival Flower - Part Four

This is a continuation of three previous posts about the making of Carnival Flower.  The fourth class covered the pieces that were next from the outside in.  I thought the last section had skinny long points, but this one was even harder! I went ahead and started sewing the top together (starting from the outside in) so that I would get some of it done while continuing on with the classes.  (Plus, the teacher told me too!).

Here is the picture with these pieces on the design board.  

I still like it and hope you do too!  Only 2 more classes left to go.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Green Butterfly Lady - Part Four

This is a continuation of 3 previous posts about the making of the Green Butterfly Lady.  I tackled the dress next and did it in three parts.  The dress top and bottom were worked in torn strips of green fabric, dyed cheesecloth, organza strips, ribbon and a few of the leaves and flowers.  The whole thing was covered with green tulle, backed with light green fabric,  and lightly quilted with 4 shades of green thread.   The corset was made with organza and ribbon.  It was backed with orange fabric and covered with tulle, then lightly stitched with bronze thread.  The three pieces were pinned to the design wall to see if they were going to work.  And they did.

Then I turned the edges under and stitched the pieces together with a zig zag stitch.  

As I turned and tossed in the middle of the night, I remembered that I had a light green fabric that might work for the background.  I didn't want to lose the transparency of the wings with a darker color.  So, I  pinned the pieces to the background to test it out.  I placed a few of the loose flowers and leaves on top too.  Here is the picture off the components as they might appear on the final quilt. 

Nope, it was too pale.  I did a little shopping and found the perfect fabric.  It was Moda Ombre Fairy dust metallic, stock #10871.  I could have used just one length and had the lightest ombre in the middle, but I decided to put a seam in it and offset the light part to the right.  Now, here is the butterfly lady on that backing.  Just right! 

Stay tuned to see what the next steps were.  

Thursday, May 18, 2023

"Hootie" published in bird book to be available on Amazon


"Hootie”, my owl quilt is featured in Stitched Journeys with Birds: Inspiration to Let Your Creativity Take Flight. This collection – brought together by Martha Sielman, executive director of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) – features gorgeous images of avian art made with fabric and other materials.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Green Butterfly Lady - Part Three

This is a continuation of two previous posts about the making of the Green Butterfly Lady.  I started making flowers and leaves out of some of the fabric that I bought and some that was in my stash.  When making the flowers from the organza and organza ribbon, I placed two layers of fabric between two layers of Solvy, drew the design with permanent marker, and stitched around the edges with a tight zig-zag (2 stitch width; .5 stitch length).  

After they were stitched, they were cut out and soaked in warm water to dissolve the stabilizer.  Here's the pile of the flowers and leaves.  

And here is the face with the flowers approximately where they will be placed.  

I think it's turning out OK so far.  I hope you think so too!

Monday, May 8, 2023

Green Butterfly Lady - Part Two

This is a continuation of a previous post about the making of the Green Butterfly Lady. I previously showed one of the top wings, and now I'm going to show you a picture of the bottom wings.  They were much more difficult because of the size, but the steps were the same as for the top wings.

I really don't like to do faces and hands, but this quilt called for me to do both (yuk).  I thought that I'd better tackle them next and get that step behind me.   I traced the pieces of the face onto Steam-A-Seam, applied them to the various colors of fabric, and adhered them together.  This is what the face and arms looked like after I added colored pencil.

I hope it still looks like its going in the right direction.  

Monday, May 1, 2023

Green Butterfly Lady - Part One

After making the Northwest Garden Lady art quilt, I decided to make 2 more green lady art quilts.  I LOVE LIME GREEN!  If you've been reading my blog, you already know this about me.  I have green doo-dads all over my studio, and frankly, all over the house.  I collect green depression glass, have a lime green stand mixer, lime green dishes, lime green clothes, lime green front door, lime green patio furniture, plus a lot of other stuff.  I just bought a lime green rain coat from Pendleton!  I am just so happy and delighted when I surround myself with lime green.

Neiman Marcus put a green butterfly lady on the front cover of "The Book" in May 2003.  I saved it and have had it on my bulletin board ever since.  20 years later and I still love the picture!  This was the inspiration for my second green lady.  

I traced it and had it enlarged to be the same height as my other green lady.  When I traced it, I noticed that there was a cat sitting on the lady's shoulder.  I had never seen it before; or I hadn't remembered seeing it.  I'm going to imagine that it isn't there for my quilt and perhaps fill in the space with flowers.

I started by concentrating on the wings first.  Since I wanted them to be transparent, I pulled out all of the organza in my stash.  I had lots of colors that would work, but needed a large piece for the background of the wings.  So, I headed over to JoAnn Fabrics and found much more than I thought I needed in both organza and ribbons.  I found a luscious lime green organza, a sparkly white net, a sparkly pink organza and a peach floral sheer.  Then I picked up some ribbon in several shades of pink , a couple in bronze and finally some fake flowers.  

I backed some of the organza with Misty Fuse and then cut it into shapes for the eyes and embellishments on the wings.  This step was done first, using freezer paper templates.

I already had all kinds of stabilizers and decided on two for the wings.  For the bottom layer, I placed OESD Wash Away AquaMesh.  It has enough body to support the organza and stitching, but washes away to leave only the light transparent layers.  The top stabilizer was clear Solvy.  I could trace the design on this top layer, stitch the piece, and wash off the stabilizer and marker.

Here is the order of the layers:   AquaMesh; green organza, sparkly white net, eyes and embellishments backed with Misty fFse, and Solvy.  The sandwich was pinned together and stitched down with regular green thread on the outer edges and the lines between the wings.   I used one of the ribbons for the pieces between the ribs of the wings using a 4.5 W x 2.7 L stitch setting.  Zig Zag stitching was done as 2.0 W x 1.0 L for the veins in green sparkly thread, and 3.6 W x .65 L for the outer edges in bronze sparkly thread.  

When all the stitching was done, I trimmed the outer edges, leaving a little extra, then soaked and dried the pieces.  Here is one of the upper wings:

I hope you like it so far!

Monday, April 17, 2023

Carnival Flower - Part Three

This is a continuation of two previous posts about the making of Carnival Flower, a Judy Niemeyer technique quilt.

The third class covered the pieces that were next from the outside in.  These were quite difficult, but had some interesting and new techniques to me about foundation piecing from strips.   Long skinny points were a bit of  a challenge!  The instructions are very detailed and so well thought out.  I especially appreciate the TRP lines (temporarily sewn so that pieces can be matched). This quilt is not one that you can take to retreat and chat with other people while you're cutting and sewing!  It takes complete mind focus in order to do it without making mistakes.  

Here is the picture with these pieces on the design board.  

I hope you like it so far!

Monday, April 3, 2023

Selvage edges - Adding black

I recently went to a retreat with the Clark County Quilters.  One of the organizers led a class on selvage edge piecing and before you knew it, we were a pack of hungry wolves going through the enormous pile of selvages.  I came away with a sack full of mostly green and blue selvage edges.

Since I have a bolt of black fabric, I decided to make half square triangles with one half done with selvage edges and other half black.  I didn't actually cut half square triangles, though.  I cut 8" squares of the black fabric and stitched down the selvages to the black background.  The sewn line was 1/8" or so from the edge of the selvage. 

The next piece was placed over the raw edge of the first one and sewed down in the same process.  I added antique green bias strips to give it some cohesion, although they are tiny pieces of green that nobody else may even notice.

I especially liked the selvage edges that had colored dots on them, but occasionally, I picked a piece that had words on it.  Here is what the top looked like after it was complete.

It's 45" W x 60" H.  I hope you like it!

Monday, March 27, 2023

Granddaughter's Graduation quilt - post #3 - FINAL

This is a continuation of two other posts about the making of the graduation quilt for my granddaughter.  I had coffee with her parents after watching her in a Veteran's Day parade with her high school marching band.

They asked me if I'd seen her bedroom decorations recently, and I answered that I hadn't.  They said it is almost pure white, with very little color.  That really helped me "pale out" the quilt.  I think the quilt will now be more to her liking, while still letting me put in a few flecks of color.  

I sewed it together on the diagonal set.  And here it is already quilted.  Side Note:  I woke up at 3:00 am and thought it might be fun to applique some white flowers on the top.  Then woke up later:  NO.

Tami Levin did the quilting for me with a digital design that has swirls and circles.  It is so modern and beautiful all quilted. 

I love Tami's work.   I hope you like it too!

Friday, March 24, 2023

A ribbon for a friend

One of my friends has a new goal.  And to help her visualize the goal, I made her an award ribbon.

In 2015, she and I were part of a group to go through "The Artist's Way".  One of her goals, then, was to win first place in a category at one of the National Shows.  Since she was already a winner in our local guild shows, it seemed like she would easily achieve that goal.  But to help her along, I made her a blue ribbon that had "First Place, National Show" on it.  Since then, she has won 2 blue ribbons in categories at National Shows; has had 2 solo shows; has been featured in a SAQA journal, and has continued to win both local and national ribbons at the highest level.  She is an amazing art quilter, mostly focused on portraits that are based on pictures in the National Archives.  Just Google Lynn Czaban and you will get a feel for her body of work.

Recently, she told me her next big goal is to win a Special Award at a National Show.  She didn't say what the special award would be for, but they can range from a judge's choice, a sponsor's choice, best of show, and many other areas.   Well, guess what I did?  Yes, I made her another ribbon that had "Special Award, National Show" on it.  It was so much fun to pull out ribbons and go shopping for all of the bling and to look at YouTube videos on how to make a ribbon. Here's the picture:

I hope she gets a kick out of having this one too!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Carnival Flower - Part Two

This is a continuation of one previous blog post about the making of Carnival Flower.

The second class and booklet of instructions were for the pieces next to the outside border.  They were made in two stages, then pieced together with the curved piecing technique with glue.  I LOVE this technique and have quit using pins!  This section also included applique circles and gumdrop shapes.  It's a good thing that there is a month between classes.   Because it takes a long time to turn the edges and applique 120 gumdrop pieces and 72 circles.  Plus, all of the piecing. 

Here is a photo after the second booklet of pieces and instructions were completed.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Published in Quilting Arts Magazine - Spring Issue

I wrote an article for Quilting Arts Magazine and it got published in the Spring Issue.  I'm linking the magazine order page here:

Quilting Arts Magazine - Spring Issue

The magazine features an artist who has something to say about quilting and what it means to them, and it is usually at the end of the magazine.  I was thrilled that they selected my article.

I hope you can read the article and that you like it!

Monday, February 20, 2023

Gigantic foundation pieced project - Judy Niemeyer Carnival Flower - Part One

I know that I said I would never make a big quilt again.  But I just couldn't resist this one.  One of my friends is a certified Judy Niemeyer instructor, and I told her that I'd be interested in learning some of the new techniques that have been developed since the last time I made a Judy Niemeyer quilt.  Well, the company came out with a technique of the month pattern, called "Carnival Flower".  I'm taking the 6 classes from my friend and we meet once a month.  That gives all of us plenty of time to finish the homework between the classes.

The quilt will be 80" x 80", which is called the wall size; I call it a big quilt.  I used the pattern and colored it in several different ways. I landed on lime green (of course), orange, yellow, turquoise, and eggplant.  I think its going to be spectacular.  

The first class was to work on all of the outside border pieces.  We will continue to work our way towards the center, so it will be an interesting process.  Here are the border pieces on the design wall.  It covers the wall from the ceiling to the floor.  There won't be much room for anything else until this one is sewn together, but I think I can squeak a little one on the right hand side of the design wall.  

Stay tuned for all of the posts about the making of this quilt.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Northwest Gardening Lady - Part 5 - Final

This is a continuation of 4 previous posts about the making of the Northwest Gardening Lady art quilt.

I chose to do all of the background quilting in a dark green thread that closely matched the background fabric.  Before I sat down at the quilting machine though, I used a chalk marker to essentially draw out the design lines.  That way, when I was quilting it, I had lines to follow and could listen to my podcasts without too much brain power.

Here is the final quilt.  It measures 41" W x 50" H.

I hope you like it!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Northwest Gardening Lady - part 4

This is a continuation of 3 previous posts about the making of the Northwest Gardening Lady art quilt.

I needed to add the plants in the tall pot and the trunk for the strawberry tree.  These were made from fabric that I had in my stash.  The final selection of plants were the ones that I wanted to place at the bottom of the piece.  I had pictures of poppies, columbines, and hostas that spoke to me.  I printed them off on 8-1/2 x 11 sheets of paper and tested out the placement and size.  In the end, I decided not cover up the dress.   So, here is the top all ready to be quilted.

I printed a black and white copy of the quilt and then traced the outlines onto tracing paper.  Then, I fiddled around until I had some quilting lines that I liked.  Here is the quilting plan.

Of course, the quilting will not end up being so prominent once its on the quilt with the dark background colors. 

Stay tuned to see either more progress, or the finished piece.


Monday, January 9, 2023

Northwest Garden Lady - Part 3

 This is a continuation of 2 previous posts about the making of the Northwest Garden Lady art quilt.

The plant pots were based on pots that I had seen on a British gardening show, and some in my garden.  Here is the drawing of the large pot that I made on freezer paper.

It seemed like painting the pots would work the best, so I took out my paints and prepared for dying fabric and painted both of the pots.  They're supposed to fade into the background, so I may tone them down a bit.  In the picture, they still have the white background, which I'll trim when I'm satisfied with the final color and shade.

I also drew and painted the two gardening tools.  They also have the white background of the PFD fabric, which will be trimmed.

Stay tuned for the next post.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Northwest Garden Lady - Part 2

This is a continuation of a previous post about the making of the Northwest Garden Lady art quilt.  I take tons of pictures of plants in my garden and wanted to use some of my own photos for the flowers and foliage to give it a Northwest feeling.  Here are some of the pictures that I used.  They include zinnias, chrysanthemums, hellebores, Japanese anemones, coneflowers, and feverfew.  

All of the pictures were sized to the right scale in Photoshop and printed onto EQ Printables Photo fabric sheets.  They were fused to the background, along with fabric leaves. 

I also love our strawberry tree and made the tree out of more pictures.

I made the face, wine glass and glove out of fabric pieces and added Steam-A-Seam to the back, so that they can also be fused to the background.   Here's a progress picture.

So far, so good.