Friday, March 29, 2024

Cindy Grisdela improv piecing quilt - Final - Swirls

This is a continuation of a previous post about the quilt started in a Cindy Grisdela class on improv curved piecing.  

I quilted the piece with straight lines using black thread and a walking foot.  I placed the lines by using the edge of the walking foot.  I don't why it is that the lines eventually drift one way or the other.  I know that this is not only my problem.  Jacquie Gering posted a YouTube video a few years ago about solving the drifting problem.  And she has written THE BOOK about walking foot quilting.  So, what I did was to quilt 5-6 lines on the left side of the block, then 5-6 lines on the right side.  When those were done, and were clearly drifting, I sewed right down the middle of the block.  Each remaining section of unstitched space was then divided and quilted, until all of the unquilted sections were done.  I like the look of some lines thin and some wider.  It makes my quilt a little more human-made.  And I am a maker.

Its faced with solid black fabric and measures 41"x 41".  I named it "Swirls".

I hope you like it.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Cindy Grisdela class on improv curved piecing - Part One

Our quilt guild recently hosted a 2-day zoom class with Cindy Grisdela on improv curved piecing.  Even though I've done a lot of this before, I always jump at the chance to take classes and see what I can learn from either the teacher or from the other students.  This was no exception.

I made 9 blocks that were about 15" square.  I used a combination of several different hand dyed fabrics and a few commercial prints.  One of the zingers that I added was a black and white stripe cut very thin.  Here are the 9 blocks that were completed during the class.

I didn't like the way it looked for several reasons:
   - The orange backgrounds were too bright
   - I thought that it needed more movement, and continuity
   - It could be bigger

I cut out a few small circles from Ricky Tims poly stable stuff and pinned them up.  That looked really good to me.

Then I took out all of the orange backgrounds and made a few more potential starts to blocks.  Some of the circles were covered with fabric.

It started to look better.  Then I made a decision about the backgrounds on the two bottom blocks and  thought about making 3 more blocks to get a little more movement on the bottom left.  What I ended up with were just the nine blocks that were 15-3/4" to 14-1/2" square.  I decided to square them all up to 14-1/2" and started covering the circles with fabric.  Here is what that all ended up looking like.

I decided that this piece was done and that I didn't need to keep making it bigger.   (Mostly because I have two other garden ladies all ready to start and I'd rather work on those for now.)  So, I stitched down all the little circles and called it complete.

I hope you like the way the top turned out.  

Friday, March 22, 2024

Finishing Sister's Quilts

One of my sisters sent me 2 unfinished quilts and asked me to finish them for her.  This issue with UFO's nearly done and languishing in closets is sad, but very common.   In her case, her sewing machine had cratered and she didn't want to replace it.  She was so close to having them done.   There was only a little bit of sewing left to do on both of the quilt tops.  So, I cheerfully set out to get these two quilts done for her.

The first one was a completed top done in fall colors.  All it needed was to be layered, quilted and bound.  I used brown thread and quilted it with a meandering stitch.  The binding was made with several pieces of brown fabric from my stash.  Its 48"W x 68" H.

The second one was also in fall colors and it was mostly sewn together.  The rows just needed to be sewn together, then it was ready to be layered, quilted and bound.  I also quilted this one with brown thread in a meandering stitch.  And like the first one, I used several pieces of brown fabric from my stash  Its 54" square.

My good friend, Linda Taccolini, made machine embroidered labels for them, which are perfect!

I can't wait to get them back to her so that she can use her cute little quilts.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Garden Lady #6 - Part Five - Final- "Spring At Last!"

This is  a continuation of 4 previous posts about the making of Garden Lady #6.

The flowers were made next, and then all of the components were stitched down to the top.

I added black binding to frame the simple art quilt.

Here is the completed quilt.  It measures 37" W x 49" H.  I named it "Spring At Last!"

I hope you like it. 

Monday, March 11, 2024

Garden Lady #6 - Part Four

This is a continuation of 3 previous posts about the making of Garden Lady #6.  After I appliqued the lady and the bird, I quilted the background and the lady.  The background fabric was so busy that I chose to quilt it with light gray thread in a horizontal wave style.

I made the nest with layers of yarn and thread sandwiched between 2 layers of Solvay, stitching through them, and soaking away the Solvay.  This picture shows the sketch and the completed nest.

The birdcage was made by layering Aquamesh, an off-white organza, the nest, and the top layer of Solvay.  I traced the bird cage pattern in permanent marker on the Solvay, then stitched through the layers with thread.  After that was completed, I couched down a layer of black perle cotton with a thick zig-zag stitch set at 2.5 width and 0.40 length.  

The bottom of the bird cage was several layers of zig zag stitching with the black perle cotton couched down.  The stitch width was widened to 4.0 and several passes were made to really thicken it up.  Here it is before soaking:

And after soaking:

I hope you like it so far.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Bog Coat

I recently took a class from Kathy Powell on how to make a reversible bog coat.  It was so different and so fun!

I used some gorgeous material from Marcia Derse as the outer layer and a gray and white batik for the inner layer.  I had a ton of lime green ombre fabric that I used for the 3" finishes around the neck, the sleeves and the bottom.  This loose fitting jacket was so different than any other pattern that I have sewn.  For sure, I was skeptical that it would turn out looking like something wearable.  But it was fun and entertaining to stretch my brain to make this coat.

I really like it and hope you do too!

Monday, March 4, 2024

Garden Lady #6 - Part Three

This is a continuation of two previous posts about the making of Garden Lady #6.

I made the apron over skirt out of lime green organza and red thread.  The layers that I used to make it were Aquamesh (dissolving product for stability) on the bottom, the organza, Solvay (dissolving clear product to use as a pattern and to keep the thread from sinking into the organza) on top with the pattern written in permanent marker.   I set the zig zag stitch for a tight stitch (.40 length and 3.0 width) and stitched over the lines twice for the top apron and once for the bottom apron.

After rinsing out the product, drying and ironing it, I pinned it in place.

While I didn't want to add tons of floral details on this quilt, it was obviously too plain the way it was.  So, I sketched up a birdcage with a nest, a pot of tulips, and some muscari for a spring feel.  Here were my ideas.

I didn't like the look of the original birdcage that I drew, so I sketched up a second one and will use that for this quilt.  

I think that this was enough and I went forward with these ideas.

I hope you still like where this art quilt is heading.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Charity quilts 2024 - 2nd batch

These two quilts were made with left over fabrics in mostly blue and purple.  I used the same pattern as the first two and donated all four of them to our comfort quilts group.  They were all 54" W x 66" L and were made with 6-1/2" (unfinished) blocks.  They look so much like the first two because I used the same stack of blue and purple fabrics that were sitting in my stash.

I hope you like these two as well.