Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wool Quilts from Tailor Scraps...

At last I'm happily back to blogging after my computer nose dive. It was nearly lost for good, but thankfully the Staples tech magician was able to recover and restore much of what was needed. I did lose quite a few photos and videos, but most of the important stuff is still available to me. Even though I thought I'd backed up all files on the little "passport" device, the photos were gone. I apparently know just enough about computers to create problems, but not enough to solve them! However, I'm moving along the learning curve as I've had to reinstall some things and it's been successful. 

In the interim, I was able to visit blogs and I found this wonderful post on Jean Carlton's Quiltsetcetera. Visit her if you get a chance. She shows a variety of wool quilts- new ones and vintage examples. Just stunning. It reminded me that I'd made these wool quilts several years back, using scraps given to me by a New York tailor shop.

The one shown above is a Crazy Quilt with lots of embroidery stitches. I tend to fall back on a few of the same stitches. Notice how I changed the color of the floss to fool the viewer into thinking less is more! heh, heh, heh. But I did even manage some bullion roses.

Then I used more of the textured scraps in this Brick-style quilt shown below. It's jazzed up with some graphic shapes cut from the small pile of red wool scraps. And I stuck with a standard herringbone stitch for the seams on this one. Small projects were my choice for this because I find working with wool can be tricky (it can get baggy, to say nothing of moth-eaten) and large wool quilts are bulky and heavy. Plus the scrap supply was limited. But they were fun projects to work on.

So I'm glad to be back, and I'm still adjusting to the way things work differently now (like Blogger's layout). But I'll be back in December with a little giveaway for Christmas. I appreciate all of you who read and enjoy this blog, and this will be my way of saying many thanks. Oh hey... December is tomorrow! I better get working on the giveaway prizes. More to come! See you real soon.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Blues...

My computer is in sick bay once again. So when I get it back, I'll celebrate and express my thanks to those who visit this blog with a Christmas giveaway. How's that? Hope it's soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Girls of Christmas...

These five lovelies now reside on a mixed-media Christmas banner I made as part of an online class at Roses on My Table. The images are from a Dover CD titled "Christmas Illustrations." The pennant shapes, a chipboard product, went through several stages and processes before being joined together in the large display piece you can see below. I think the happy girl in the image above is my favorite one of the five. I'm such a fan of vintage images, and she somehow reminds me of old Coca Cola ads. I call her Merry.

After covering the triangles on both sides with patterned paper, we then added grommets along with collage elements like text papers, rub-ons, sheet music, and stamped images.

Next came some dry-brushed paints, stenciled paste, edge gilding, and embellishments of jewels and silk flowers. And finally, the completed pennants were strung together with ribbon. I'm not sure just where these will be displayed, but they'll probably grace our Citra sewing group's Christmas party... just to keep us company. The others need names, too. The one at above, left looks like Noelle might be a good choice for her. And possibly Ethel Ann on the right. These were great fun to make, and I've got enough triangles to make some for another holiday. I'm thinking Valentine's Day might be a good choice.

PS- Speaking of names, "Cosmic Confluence", "Ring Toss", and "Magician's Rings" were three excellent suggestions for the challenge quilt shown in the previous post. I haven't settled on one yet, but it will be one of these. Thanks for the creative quilt names!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quilt Challenge Revealed...

Here's my entry. I call it "The Quilt That Invented Itself". With only a fat quarter of the retro-floral-print challenge fabric to work with (we could have purchased more, and limited to the addition of pink, orange, black and white, this quilt just about did call the shots. I also wanted to primarily use fabrics on hand, so the black pin-dot was the lone purchase for this quilt. Can you suggest an appropriate name for this wacky lap-size quilt?

Here is the back. And a detail shot of the curly quilting in the rings. I combined free-motion quilting with colorful ties of embroidery floss to secure the layers.

Peggy's Heirlooms of Tomorrow, one of our local quilt shops, graciously hostessed our challenge tea. You can see the pretty table arrangement in the photo below, along with a wall full of more challenge quilts. There were more than 25 participants in this challenge. A record number, despite our little bit of whining about the challenge print!

Just look at the variety of techniques, methods, ideas everyone used! No wonder quilters love a challenge. The assortment of quilts seen together is quite exciting. You can just get a glimpse of Carol's "Viewer's Choice" winner... it's the Log Cabin and Butterfly quilt at the lower left of the photo below. It's king size and gorgeous. Mine is peeking out right next to hers.

Below on the right is Kay's winning quilt done in Seminole-style piecing and heavily embelllished. The entry on the left is all pieced over paper shapes as in English Paper Piecing.

And this one at right is Dot's "Crossing the Rio Grande" quilt.

Eddie made a quilt using design units from "Beyond the Block" (AQS Publishing), and Sharon made hers into a row-by-row quilt. So there you have it... the Country Road Quilters fall challenge. We're on to our next one now. It's Stars. I'm going to try and plan it rather than allow it to invent itself this time. But then again... maybe not.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Folio Fun...

Here I go again with sewing notebook covers! This one is a folio that holds a junior-sized legal pad. The Diane Rusin Doran pattern was published in Quilting Arts Gifts issue 2009/2010.

I must have done something wrong, or measured/cut incorrectly though because my legal pad is just a scooch too big for the folio, and my inside pocket is not quite as deep as the one shown in the pattern. Fortunately, Diane suggests covering the top of the pad with matching fabric fused in place. That seems to help disguise the size difference pretty well. I'm going to make another one and figure out where I went wrong. What's a scooch you ask? Just a small fractional measure. Sooo close... but not quite right.

I like how the flap is attached to the folio. It's made separately, then fused using a narrow strip of webbing, and top-stitched in place. I added a couched yarn at the join. Small projects like this one are quick and fun, plus it's a great way to wallow in the fabric scraps that pile up and use the decorative stitches on my machine.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fabrics and Beads and Yarns... Oh, My!

I like making journal covers like this one. It's a great project for using up fabric scraps, plus I can practice free-motion machine quilting on them fairly successfully. I used the pattern instructions from Angela McEntyre of Laughing Cat Designs.

The journal is a donation for a local silent auction to benefit juvenile diabetes. The book inside is a standard composition book, so it can be refilled and reused. I like Angela's instructions... they're easy to follow and clearly illustrated. My pet peeve is patterns that don't provide full directions and leave you to figure things out on your own. This one doesn't do that... the pattern is very helpful.

The project also provides a place for couching yarns and adding a small amount of beading, which was fun. Everything is in moderation, so it's a quick project, too. Very satisfying to make. And I especially love combining batiks this way.

No beading on the back so the notebook will lie flat for writing.

Another notebook cover appears in this post and and the first journal made using this pattern is shown here. I think I'll make some more!