Sunday, May 25, 2014

All Dressed up with Nowhere to Go…


This vibrant lovely has been languishing in a drawer just waiting for the day when I would find a way to make use of her. I made the face in a class with Yvonne Porcella called “Jewelie” where she taught a fusible method for making freeform images. At last I decided to use the piece in a sewing machine cover just to give her a new purpose and outlook on life. She’ll keep dust off the machine while it’s idle, and she’s got a great view of everything happening in the sewing room. Even though there are several quilt projects waiting in the wings, I’ve popped the top onto the machine and I’m off working on paper projects. As if managing fabric and quilting supplies wasn’t enough, I’m dragging paint, paper, punches and more out of the closet! I think this charming lady needs a name. She’s Carmen-Miranda-like, but I’m blank. Any ideas?


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ripping and Stitching Fun…


I’m a big fan of online classes, especially mixed media ones. Now that we finally got DSL in our rural area, after a 13-year wait, I’m discovering many more videos and classes I can access and enjoy with no data limits. One instructor whose work I’m drawn to is Roben-Marie Smith. I signed up for her "Ripped and Stitched" workshop and made this journal, complete with inky and painted fabric strips, and sewn-in pages. It was great fun to assemble, and I learned a lot about mixed media techniques while making it. Pardon my camera skills- the front label doesn't really go downhill quite as badly as it looks in the photo.


This photo gives a view of Roben-Marie's unique ribbon binding method for putting the pages into the book. It was quite easy, plenty sturdy, and not a method I’ve seen before.


Inside the journal are a dozen catalog envelopes gelli printed with acrylic paint, stitched and folded into pages with pockets. I had not tried the Gelli Plate before either, and I like the messy fun and surprise results of it. This journal could lend itself to a year-long effort with a page a month and a place to store memorabilia. While I love to make journals, I’m less inclined to write in them. But I’m trying to get better about that. That’s another whole post! Meanwhile, I’ll just keep ripping and stitching!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Inspiration Galore at the Quilt Retreat…


There are so many great things about time away at a three-day quilting retreat. Let me share just a few of them here. First, there’s plenty of table space to lay out and arrange blocks for a quilt project. This one is my version of “Stash Attack”, the free pattern offered by National Quilting Association (NQA) for National Quilting Day. This project was easy to cut and sew, and it made a good-size dent in my fabric scraps, which is always a plus. I got the top sewn and ready for quilting while at the retreat a few weeks ago.


There’s no shortage of scrappy fun at a retreat. The strips above are the start of a ScrappyTrips quilt made using Bonnie Hunter’s tube method of sewing blocks. And I learned there is yet another Pineapple ruler! So far I’ve seen four different ones. This one looks like it resulted in an accurate block. All those small triangles in the project below are eye-catching, too.



This is a striking kit quilt that made interesting use of the medallion fabric. It got hung up on the “done wall” early in the retreat. Below is a bright Jelly Roll quilt. Cute, simple, and so appealing.


While everyone hauls their sewing machines and, it seems, practically the whole sewing room, several of our group members brought hand work projects. I loved seeing this One-Patch triangle quilt being hand quilted with Big Stitch.


I always get lots of ideas from my fellow quilters. I love how the machine feather stitch looks for quilting this bright and lively quilt. It really adds a nice accent. I’ll file this idea away to use sometime.


Several years ago I participated in a “brown bag” row quilt exchange. I assembled fabrics I wanted in my project, made one row of the quilt, and put the row and the fabrics in a bag to be passed along, one by one and month by month, to seven other quilters. At the end of the project, we held a reveal party where we got to see all the rows made for each quilt together. I love my rows, shown below, and yet back in the bag they went where the languished. Finally I got them out and sought input from others on how to assemble them. So this project moved a bit closer to completion. Many of my quilts make more than one trip to retreat before they reach the finish line!


When it’s time to take a break from stitching, a stroll around the workroom is just the ticket when there is this much eye candy to feast on! Even though I whine a little when I’m packing the car for retreat, I’m so happy when I’m there. And I’m so impressed with how much work everyone gets done when there is nothing but sewing happening.


Ah the quilt life!