Sunday, October 25, 2015

another portrait started

I have this family photo of my grandmother when she was a young girl. Very blurry, but I am hoping it can be translated into fabric.   

Look how long her hair was!  It was always shoulder length when I knew her.  Her name was Christina Joly Comiskey and she had 10 children which she raised alone after her husband died of a heart attack while there were still 7 children at home.  I loved her dearly and am feeling her peaceful presence while I work on this piece.

I started with her face, hair and arm...  ooh getting excited...

Put the whole thing on a muslin base...

This is how far I got today.  Going to work on her image in the mirror tomorrow, can't wait!

I finished this project this weekend in between portrait playtimes.  I painted this in April at Hollis Chatelain's class at Asilomar.  I played with some zentangle designs for the quilting and tried out some new fillers.  Glad to have this done - no clue what to do with it though :)

Going to Houston on Thursday to the International Quilt Festival.  Maybe I'll see you there!  Karen

Monday, October 12, 2015

shams for double wedding ring quilt

I did finish something this week.  My cousin asked me to make her some shams to go with the quilt I made her last year.

I didn't do such a great job getting photos.  My cousin sent this one to me after the fact.  Guess it was such a relief to finish, I plain forgot to get pics.  

thank goodness I had a couple of blocks (bits and pieces of blocks, anyway) leftover.  I made two of these shams.  

You can almost see the quilting here, it's the same design used in her quilt.  It's from a stencil made just for DWRs.  

Another finish,  this strange little project is from a workshop that I took with Hollis Chatelain last spring at Asilomar, Empty Spools.  It started with a cute photo that my bro-in-law took at his local pool with his underwater camera.  He played with the original on photoshop a little, so this is what I had to work with. Isn't she cute?

So, in Hollis' class, we learned to make and use her paints, how to paint strokes, etc... and then how to quilt the finished project.  

Needless to say, my painting skills are pretty sad.  And the paints were kinda hard to come by.  It took a long time to prepare the dye paints, so when you ran out, you had to find someone who had some of that color left over.  I guess that's why her face is cantaloupe and her chest and arms are hot pink.  oh well, it was a learning project.   It's about 15  by 18 inches.  Hard to tell in this photo.  It's still kinda cute and I always wanted to do something with that picture.  It reminds me of my daughter, even though it's not her.  I could always find my daughter at the pool, because even when she was 4 and 5, she always had her goggles on!  (None of the other little girls that age wore goggles)

Those are bubbles on her chin and in her nostrils.  Might need a little paint or something to look a little more like a bubble.  I trapuntoed them and everything.... sigh 

on the last portrait quilt I made, the quilting was so dense that it made the quilt too stiff.  So on this one, I thread sketched it...  I put some of that wash-away applique paper under it and went to town with the quilting on her hair, face, flesh, and swimsuit... everywhere but the background water.   I even stitched the word Speedo :)

Then I basted the whole thing with blue tulle on top and a thin cotton batting. My plan was to quilt the water swirls all over her face and everywhere.  Ooh, bad idea though.  I ripped it off of her face and just quilted her features and then gave the water some ripples and bubbles.  She just needs a binding or facing and I can move on to another project. There are many to choose from.

Oh yes, update on the auction.  I did not win the bid on my wholecloth quilt, shoot!  But I got another lovely quilt in the auction.  Well, I was talking to the gal that bought "my" quilt, and she really wanted the quilt that I got.  She has a shop and it would make a great sample for her pattern and fabric line.  I suggested we make a deal as we got the quilts for the same price, isn't life weird.  maybe she will let me take the wholecloth to my trunk shows and workshops, and I will let her hang the one I got in her shop for a while.  It was a good auction with lots of pretty quilts and supplies.    I got this quilt at the boutique for $25... (after I bargained at the end of the show)

I loooove this... hand appliqued and hand quilted and loved on so much.  There are a couple of tears and some brown stains.  But who cares when it looks like this on my stand, right?

A little motherly bragging now.. My son just completed his hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, from the border of Mexico all the way to Canada.  He left last April and has been keeping this amazing blog along the way (using only his phone, no less).  Take a peek at the mountains in Washington... wowzers...  Ken Lambdin's Walkabout

He likes that quote thing too... but I was first:)

Happy quilting, Karen

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Wholecloth feather wreaths

Today I thought I would write about this little wholecloth quilt.  I started out with a 36 x 36 inch piece of white Kona cotton divided into fourths with a circle drawn in each quadrant.  That was the basis for the feather wreaths.  This was a project suggested by one of my students in a 5 month free motion quilting class that I taught.   

We learned several different kinds of feathers, top left is a paisley feather, top right - I don't know what that feather is called, but it is going around :).  bottom left is a bump-back feather, and bottom right is a swirl feather (easy-peasy and pretty).  

The next month we learned different fills, some pebbles inside the wreath and pumpkin seeds around this wreath.

This wreath has a curved spiral (not too perceptible) and a paisley fill.
The inside border design with the curving feather is from a stencil (another lesson was using stencils...)

A filled grid around the top wreath and a stencil fill around the bottom one.  
The borders were another lesson - designing your own borders.  I demonstrated how to use curved rulers to design a border for the quilt, then played with different fills to accentuate the border.  

Can you see the stitched binding?  We even learned this technique that I learned from Melody Crust when she was in town last year.  I love putting embroidered designs on bindings.  I have done this many times since I learned it (and I got a new/used Viking with lots of pretty designs).  

The last touch is a piece of an old linen (damaged in some places) for the sleeve.  Ooh, I love this quilt!

And do you know what I did?  I donated it to my guild auction.  I figured I could always make another piece for classes, arggghh.  I have decided to bid on it myself - I want it back...  The money will still help the guild, it doesn't matter where it comes from, right?  So if you are going to be at the Alamo Heritage Quilt Guild auction on October 10, and want this quilt, be prepared to pay out the nose for it!

I am linking up with Whoomp There It Is... linky party.  Check it out, there's lots of great Saturday finishers there.