Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Blemished Beauty, my environmental statement


I was inspired by the Threads of Resistance Contest to make my plea for the environment.  I remember a horrific sight a couple of years ago as I was driving to Midland Texas.  We were driving for miles and miles through the western landscape of cacti, shrubs, and tumbleweeds and they were covered with plastic grocery bags.  I thought then that Midland and Odessa really needed to ban those bags in these cities badly.  Austin, Tx has had the ban for a few years.

Those bags take over 500 years to disintegrate, so unless someone goes out to that 100 miles of open prairie and picks up those bags (very unlikely to happen), then this will be the view for 500 years??  Here's a photo my husband took in West Texas yesterday...

This is just a small amount of bags - see the white stuff in the prickly pears?


So I was inspired to make this piece.  It is called Blemished Beauty.  I found a beautiful landscape photo from Eric at Adobe Stock and made a raw edge applique' quilt of it. I painted some details with Tsukineko inks and thread painted other details.   Then I stitched on little pieces of plastic bags.  DH didn't want me to ruin it with the bags, but that's how I feel about the true landscape, right?  

  Those four cornerstones are from some plastic fabric I made using bags found on my morning nature walks.  I put several layers of plastic together inside a 2 pieces of parchment paper and experimented with melting them together to make a type of fabric.  If the iron was too hot, the plastic just melted away to a small blob.  Too cool and they wouldn't fuse. I did all this outdoors to protect myself from the fumes.  

Then I looked up all the chemicals used in the manufacturing of these bags and quilted them around the inside light brown border.  Everything was heavily stitched on my stationary quilting machine.  








View here if you'd like to see a video of my quilting technique: 




"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."  Ansel Adams

Monday, April 10, 2017

March was a month for trying new things.  I made two cameo quilts...  I saw a pretty cameo and thought it might be possible to do a whole cloth cameo with my longarm.  So I used a picture of a cameo that might not be so hard to try out the whole idea.  I used two layers of wool batting, hoping the open spaces would show dimension.  I like how it turned out, the piece is 8 inches wide and 15 inches high.  I used neocolor II crayons to paint the background.
This was quilted on my sitdown longarm.


This was all a test before I quilted the larger piece.  This piece is 40 inches tall x 30 wide approximately.  The cameo depicts the goddesses Selene of the dawn and Eos of the dusk.   I used my  Innova longarm to quilt the images (I know, I know - two longarms???).  And I am so happy that I could do that.  I turned off the stitch regulator to do the quilting, it makes the machine run so much smoother - no jerking me around.  I even used the longarm to couch that braid around the circle.  The inner circle is made with a creamy radiance fabric and it is inset into slipper (the pink color) radiance fabric. I still needed to paint in some shadows in this photo.
Here is the cameo that I used to make this quilt.  




I may need to add more wool batting to the chest of Selene... I tried steam and starch to get rid of her chest wrinkles.    I will figure it out.  That's what's fun about trying new stuff, it takes a little finagling to get the kinks worked out - then either it does or it doesn't.  Here is the bound and finished piece.  I am thinking about making a slit in the back and stuffing that wrinkled chest with more batting, then sewing it closed like the trapunto of yesteryear.  

I dunno, it was a fun project, but I think I'll move on to something else.  I have an idea for a new art challenge: Threads of resistance challenge    I don't get too worked up about politics in general, but I am concerned about some environmental issues.  If you want to talk politics with someone, look elsewhere, I just hate that sort of thing.  So I will have my little say with art in this challenge.  I will keep you updated.  

“I realized something on the ride. I realized if I wait until I'm not scared to try new things, then I'll never get to try them at all.” 
― Marie SextonBetween Sinners and Saints

Have a great day, karen Lambdin, proud to be a quilter






Friday, March 10, 2017

Kiara and the Turtles

Hi fellow quilt lovers, now that I have finished that king-sized Christmas quilt all sorts of projects are getting done.  They were all waiting in the wings.

I will be teaching two portrait classes at the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild in Beaumont next week.  The first class will be people portraits, and the students have given me their pictures to be prepared for the class.  The second day will be pet portraits; and we have the usual puppies, kitties, but there is a bird, a pig, and a hedgehog for a little excitement.

I made up a new portrait quilt, one I have been dying to make for a couple of years since I took this photo Christmas Eve 2014:

This is my granddaughter, Kiara, who is one of the triplets.  We were at the petting zoo at the Phoenix Wildlife park when that male turtle climbed on the female and started grunting loudly- they were doing it!  The kids were all very curious and we had to hold them back; even if it was a petting zoo, there are times when you should leave the animals alone...

This quilt is titled "Gigi, What Are They Doing?"  Since that is the question I heard several times.... and yes, I'm Gigi.  


These collage quilts are so fun to make.   After working for months on getting perfect piecing and intricate quilting, it is so fun to cut and fuse fun little shapes and watch them turn into pictures.  


I didn't know what to do with that background.  In the picture it was just dirt or sand.  So I was inspired by some aboriginal art with turtles and kangaroos with these big circles within circles.  I wanted to keep it subtle and in the background, but after all that work, I still wanted the quilting to show some.  So I used light colors of Glide thread and two circle templates, Jamie Wallen's 2 inch template and DeLoa Jones 1 3/4 inch circles.  

I did quilted this whole thing on my Innova, which is a big deal for me.  I usually quilt them on my sitdown machine as I have way more control.  

One of my Innova friends was talking to me the other day and mentioned how she is someday going to get brave enough to turn off the stitch regulator, and bam, lightining bolt.  That's how I got control!  I used the regulator to make the circles, but when echoing around the circles freehand, I had to turn off the regulator to gain control and not get jerked around (literally).  

The longarm performed beautifully on those fused pieces where I quilted texture on the turtles, etc...  

I got so good without the regulator that I put my next cameo piece on the longarm.  Maybe I will be posting a finished cameo soon.  Here's what I have so far...


Be back soon, Karen

"Creativity is intelligence having fun."

Albert Einstein



Monday, March 6, 2017

Christmas Treasures Finished!

I finally finished this one (king-sized), it is quilted very heavily and all on my sitdown pfaff powerquilter.   My shoulders are still achy.

It was a top made by a friend and she has been meaning to get it quilted for 20 years!  I am honored that she chose me to quilt it for her.  It is her original design and she is thinking about making it a pattern.  Her applique' is exquisite, and she left lots of space for me to quilt intricate designs.  so here it is, all finished except the binding:




The blocks all have radiating lines and curlicues:





I am very proud of my border design, I pulled those radiating lines and the curly shapes into a border design all my own, with a few feathers...


oh and isn't that candy cane striped border fun?  The braid design is a stencil.  



Here are the ribbon corners too.  

I used all Glide threads on this quilt (love Glide).  It is Sea Foam green, a very light shade and a little pink on the candy cane stripe.  

There are two layers of batting, tuscany wool on top and Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton under the wool.  

Now I have time to finish up some other projects, and I am taking them to the longarm since my shoulders are tired.  I hope you enjoyed seeing this quilt.  Karen



Sunday, February 26, 2017

quilting around a raised applique

I have been working on this quilt for months.  I am stitching it on my Pfaff Powerquilter which is a sitdown machine similar to the Sweet 16.

There are these holly berries on the quilt that are fabric covered googly eyes.  they make the greatest 3D berries on this quilt.
But stitching around them was rather difficult.  I quilted as close as I could with my foot on, so about 1/4 inch away.  But that left big lumps in the quilt, unacceptable.  

So I thought and thought, and what I came up with actually worked!  I brought the quilt to my Bernina 153 (20 yr old domestic) and took off the presser foot, Yikes!  




I carefully stitched around the googly eyes, watch  here: 






It looks kinda floopy, the fabric bouncing around because there is no presser foot to hold it down.  But when I looked on the back it looked great.  

So I just had to share my technique and film it for posterity.  If you try this, be very careful.  I broke a needle when it hit the googly eye on my first try.  Scary...  But I was extra cautious after that.  

Got 'em all done now and I will be sharing pics of this quilt in a couple of days.  It will be so nice to move on to another project. 

I painted a little on my cameo and it really made it pop.  I used a pink neocolor II crayon to make the background color.  I plan to make a larger cameo next.  So fun!
I'll be back, I promise, Karen

"I always believed that if you set out to be successful, then you already are." Katherine Dunham




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cameo quilting

Hi, I know it's been a long time.  I am eager to share a new project that I made last weekend.   I will share how I made it so you too can make a cameo quilt.




I took a photo of the cameo and changed it to black and white in Photoshop.  Then I printed it out onto 4 sheets of paper using Posterazor App.  Taped the papers together to make a large pic.


 Now I used tracing paper to outline the lines that I wanted to quilt on.


 Here is the tracing paper without the picture behind it.  I see I missed a little bit of her head scarf - no biggie, I filled it in.



 Now I have a piece of creamy radiance fabric on top of the tracing paper which is on my lightbox.  I then lightly traced the lines onto the radiance with a pink prismacolor pencil.




I backed the fabric with two layers of wool batting and a piece of purple silk for the backing.  I then quilted all the lines with a pink Glide thread.  




I enhanced some of the creases with cherry pink tsukineko ink and a fantastik applicator




 She's about 15 inches tall and 10 inches wide.



 Here's the back with the purple silk and no paint.

This was a fun project and was just a test sample for a larger piece that I hope to share soon.  Thanks for dropping by, Karen

Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 charity quilt

Here is the quilt that my bee made for charity - we will be donating it to the New Braunfels Habitat for Humanity.  It was made with a design by Missouri Star Quilt company, the Disappearing Nine-Patch.  Cyndie quilted it on her longarm and Nancy put on the binding.  It was very simple for a group to make.  We just needed a batik and a white, 51/2 inch blocks.


This wonderful group of ladies call themselves the Wannabees.  We will be making another quilt for charity at our retreat in a few weeks.  

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” 

Have a wonderful day quilting, the weather here is conducive to sitting in my warm studio with a cuppa and a sewing machine.  I hope you can too!   Karen