Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Flower mosaic

I finally finished my mosaic flower top.  It still needs quilting, so I will have to post the finished item one more time.
It all started with this photo I took in the Spring.

Then careful placement of little 3/8 inch squares on a piece of Steam a seam II, with the drawing underneath.  

Almost finished here.  Need to add some leaves, and I chose to make them a little bigger than 3/8 cuz I was eager to finish.
 Placed a piece of tulle (oh, but too dark - it dulls my colors) on top of the piece and fused it onto a dark fabric.  This is it.  IT is done, not sure if I like it, and I may not make another one, but I did it.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

what I've been up to...

This is a mini dresden plate quilt that I made for the Quilt Show's International Miniature exchange.  I am exchanging it with a woman from Germany.  We decided on a rainbow theme.  I quilted this on my domestic machine and it is very intricately quilted.  

this design is called cadent and is a popular zentangle design.  

Here I dolled up a stencilled border design.

I love that twisted clamshell.

The next quilt photo is of a plaid group quilt that my bee made at our last retreat.  I quilted it on my longarm trying really hard not to overquilt it :)  I quilted alternating blocks with two designs - a large pumpkin seed and some curvy stuff. Wool batting!  We decided to donate this one to our guild auction coming up in September.  

I quilted up this beautiful flower panel (on my longarm) for the quilt shop that I work at.  They have it hanging and have sold many panels.  It was so fun to work on, all those different types of feathers.  I bought another color for future fun.

My hairdresser had this old quilt top that she asked me to quilt for her new granddaughter.  I dolled it up a little and quilted it on my longarm with a flannel backing.  I gave it to her yesterday and she loved it.  Here is the finished quilt:

That giant pink rickrack broke up the giant blue stripe fabric sashings.  I feathered on both sides of the rickrack too.  I layered muslin fabric under the top because the fabrics are so old and thin.   

Did  you watch the April Quilt Show with Alex and Ricky?  Cheryl Lynch taught this fun mosaic technique and I ordered the pattern for one and made this:

It is very small, like the size of a piece of typing paper.  And it was very fun - I made it in one afternoon.  Now I want to use one of my own photos and make a larger mosaic.  I chose this primrose photo that I took on one of my walks.

I have it started, it is the size of four sheets of typing paper.  NOT going to finish this afternoon.  It is taking some time and I'm not sure how it is going to turn out.  But isn't it fun to try something new?  

More projects on the way, Karen

Monday, February 26, 2018

machine move

I had a brilliant idea one yucky January day as I looked out this window in my sewing room.

Not only a dreary day, but I have had it with this view of my neighbor's roof.  When I set up my sewing room, my son and daughter were still living at home and they were in rooms with better views. Those are guest rooms now.  So hey, why don't I just move into one or both of those rooms!!  Brilliant, oh but what a pain... My husband and I did most of the move over the last couple of weeks - moving beds, dressers, desks, and yes the longarm. Now look at my new view:

still a dreary day, but there is a neighborhood playground and tennis court out this window and

Here I can see the neighborhood pool and my backyard where the dogs are frolicking.  

I love my new location, but whew it was a lot of work moving all that.

I put my great-grandmother's quilt top on the longarm after the move.  

Here are more pictures of it:

just the top

here is one of the blocks that I repaired, I appliqued the light blue background diamonds over some shredding fabric.

Another background repair with the sage green diamonds.

Here is how the quilt looked on the back, all hand pieced.

She used different colors of threads

I put a layer of muslin underneath the top to help stabilize the aged fabrics.  Now many people told me to do this (add the muslin), but no one told me HOW to do that.  so I spray basted the muslin to the back of the top.  Then when I described my method to a friend who's a longarming genius, she asked me if I had pre-washed the muslin.  Well, duh, of course I didn't, what a doofus!  Then she asked me why don't I just put the muslin on the longarm and baste the quilt top to it... I could then take it off the longarm and put the backing and batting on as usual.  So I took the spray-basted muslin off, washed it, and re-baste it on the machine... a much better method.  

I added a pretty blue border AFTER I basted the muslin to the back.  That also helps keep the muslin from shifting.  

Okay, so it is all together and getting quilted now.  Here's a teaser, with more photos to follow as I finish.  I am using two battings, a cotton from American Fiber and Hobbs wool on top.  I really hope this double batt doesn't make the quilt too stiff.  I want it to be cuddly, but pretty too.

another view of my new longarm room, see the room is kinda rounded with those three pretty windows, and it is also gives me two more feet to get around the longarm.  Not too sure about the lighting, but I can work on that later.  Oh  yes, and what a show off, I hung up my ribbons yesterday!  

I got some more information about my great grandmother from my Dad last weekend.  He remembers playing around her quilting frame as a child.  He poked his finger with a needle and she told him he would forget about it soon.  Dad is 83 and she was wrong, he still remembers it!  He showed me a picture of the house where she lived and pointed out the upstairs room where her frame was, and would ya believe it has 3 rounded windows just like mine!  I hope that her spirit will be happy to have this top quilted finally, even if it is on a machine!  

Have a good day, I better get back to work, Karen

Monday, January 29, 2018

What I've been up to...

Yikes, it's been so long since I've blogged, I might have forgotten how to do it.  I think I will just show some pictures of projects I have been working on.

Here I am right before giving a trunk show and power point talk at the UUMC quilt guild in San Antonio.  What a nice bunch of ladies, and they  seemed to enjoy the quilts that I brought.  

I bought this jelly roll of ombre fabrics in Houston just to make this project.  I saw it online and loved the dimension.  the pattern is called Strip it Three Ways by Nancy Rink.  Very fun and quick.

I am quilting this one on the longarm right now.  My friend Cyndie made these blocks for me for my birthday and we put the top together one fun day.  it is the periodic table of quilting, she made it for me knowing my chemistry background.  Wasn't that super sweet?  

I plan to paint those letters with lumiere after quilting the top.  I'll post photos then...

I quilted two of these panels before Christmas and then put the lights in as shown on the Missouri Star site.  One went to my daughter who never puts up a tree because she's afraid her kitty will destroy it.  The other went to a Christmas gift exchange.

I have been working on this quilt for a while now.  The snails trail blocks are stencilled with a J Michelle Watts pattern and stencils.  I had to make stencils for the storm at sea blocks to fit the stencilled blocks.  The top is almost finished.  It's for ME and I love pink. so this quilt is going to be my cuddler.  

I made a portrait quilt of my niece for my sister for Christmas.  I loved this pensive look and she is going to college at Appalachia State, hence the mountains in the background.  

My cousin called and asked me if I wanted to quilt this old top that my aunt had kept in a trunk for 60 years and I said yes, yes, yes.  We're not real sure who made this - it might be my grandmother...  

There was one fabric that had deteriorated and it was used in many places.  I decided to applique over these patches.  

alice also sent me some old fabric that had been in the trunk, so I made applique patches out of that fabric. 

And here is the patch with the baby blue appliqued on top of the old rotten fabric.  I had three of these blocks to repair.   Now that it is done, I am going to back the top  with muslin and quilt it on the longarm for our family reunion auction.  I will also be adding a blue curvy border.  

So, I have been doing lots of things, but no blogging....

Have a great day, Karen

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fabric paints to the rescue

Our biannual quilt show is this weekend, so I have been working to finish my entries to the show.  ah, but this one looked so sad.  It is a mini and up close it was so pretty, but when I took a picture it was just blah except for the blast of dark blue cross-hatching.

So I went to my drawer of paints and pencils and just started in on it.  Above, the green radiating lines have been started - on the left is without and on the right side I used an inktense pencil with aloe vera gel as my medium.  Looking a little better....

so getting braver, I used lumiere pink paint on the unquilted outlines of the pink leaves.  wow, dayglo!  but still better than blah...
then I used the inktense to make those inner lines green too.

Here is the finished mini wholecloth quilt, not bound here but I did get that done too.  This is about 14 inches square.  A little blinded by the colors...

Now on to my big piece that I called Shangri-La.  Except I forgot what name I put on the entry form months ago when this quilt was just a top, and I put "Arabesque" on the label...  duh, one of these days I will make copies of my entries and keep them somewhere I can find them!

Here is how some of the light thread showed up yucky in the purple sashing strip.  Well, this is an easy one...  I got out my fabrico marker.   it is tsukineko fabric ink in a double sided marker.  I love these and have them in many colors just for these kinds of touchups.  

Here is the same portion of the quilt after I touched it up with the marker.  Now this may seem like cheating, but the integrity of the quilt is intact.  I just consider this fabric art.  I am changing the color of the thread in specific areas.  Right?  

Here is this quilt that I entered in this weekend's show.  After quilting it, I rinsed and spun it in the washer and laid it out on the back porch to block.  Then I noticed some of the vines in the center block had become dull and lost their vibrant green color.  

Here is a closeup, sideways view.  That fabric totally lost color in the rinse cycle of my washer.  oh what to do??? 

I dug around in my fiber arts arsenal. (I have bought so many types of fabric paints and markers over the years) and found some tsukineko ink paints.

And look how good it looks!  yea for tsukineko...  the vines on the bottom have not been painted yet, and the ones on top have been inked.  I also had a few leaves made from the same fabric.  Oh wow, I was so happy with the result.

Another picture of the quilting, which I am proud to say, I did on my Innova longarm.  I am traditionally a sitdown quilter and the transition to a track mounted longarm has been difficult for me.  I have struggled with control, and there are many places in this quilt that I am not thrilled with the quilting, but I am definitely improving.


and here is ShangriLa hanging at the quilt show.  If you are near San Antonio, Tx this weekend you should come out and see our 300 beautiful quilts and shop at our 40 vendors.

Look at that vibrant green vine!

So if your fabric or thread is not exactly the color you had hoped, don't despair,  fabric paints can be your salvation.  

Painting is by nature a luminous language." - Robert Delaunay