Thursday, May 28, 2015

With Flounce and Ruffle...

This pretty "Ninetta, the Magpie Girl" is a project completed as part of Alma Stoller’s STITCHED , a series of online classes taught by a variety of teachers. The instructor for this one is Carrie Payne of Believe Magic blog. The Magpie Girl is based on The Thieving Magpie, a Rossini opera. Ninetta, the servant girl, is blamed for stealing valuables from a wealthy family and is nearly hung for the crime. Just in time it is discovered that the magpie bird, lover of shiny treasures, is actually the one who purloined the items and hid them in his nest. A happy ending- Ninetta lives! Carrie designed her project so that the ruffles of the dress could “hide” some little treasures. We began our project with a collaged and quilted background, then added the Magpie Girl image and crafted her dress. My background incorporates many of those decorator fabrics and samples that have found their way into my fabric stash. I like them for their shine and fancy embroidery elements.

"Ninetta" has an earring, bits of lace and trim "stolen" from a quilting friend’s workspace, a tiny clothespin, and lots more concealed in her tiers of muslin ruffles. My version is scaled down in size from the original pattern so it makes a nice size wallhanging.

I twisted some yarns together, and couched them in place for an edge finish, and added a couple of large, shiny treasure beads dangling from the corner. "Ninetta" was lots of fun to sew and assemble, and I’m already planning a Christmas version! I’ve got plenty of treasures in mind for that one.

Friday, May 15, 2015

At Home In a School of Fish…


Collage-style fish quilts are quite popular thanks in large part to teacher Susan Carlson’s collage methods presented in her magazine articles, her book “Free-Style Quilts”, and even an old episode of HGTVs "Simply Quilts". Our guild recently held a workshop in which about 15 members tried their hand at creating their own fantasy fish. This Angel Fish is one I made ahead of time to show how simple the designs can be and still produce fanciful results. There are just five or six fabrics in this one.


But the real fun begins when even more fabrics are introduced! Aggie started with a bold floral fabric, and just kept adding until her fish looked like this. It started with a striped tail, shown below, but she got some color going and added the brights in the tail and fins. Love the eye!


Hope had some soft pink feathers with her, and they wound up in the mix in her fish, below. We all shared our fabrics, which was a good thing. She’d brought some darker backgrounds, but we all agreed this bubbly light blue showed her fish off to best advantage.


Janice was pretty sure she wasn’t very creative, so she was pleasantly surprised when she put together her bits and pieces. She even had some bling bubbles to glue down, and a classmate had some seaweed-looking yarn to add to the composition.


We all shared tips while we worked. Suzy noted that a good source of copy-right free images could be located by doing an internet search for “coloring book images” on the desired topic. Her graceful fish pattern, below, was the result of her search.


I missed getting some of the stone and shell fabric, but I really like how it looks at the bottom of Freda’s vibrant ocean scene. I'll have to track down some of that.


Cathy meant business and brought all of her cutting tools ready to get to work. I liked how festive they look, and ready for duty.


I mentioned to the group that I was pretty sure that we’d all be “seeing fish” wherever we go after working on our projects. Sure enough- we took a day trip to Cedar Key, Florida, where fantasy fish were everywhere. Decorating a purple picket fence for one.


Swimming in a beautiful mosaic wall on the main street, for another.


And they showed up on advertising signs all over town. It was all fish all the time! I couldn’t put the camera away. I’m sure some of these will translate into quilts. I actually have two more fish in progress. As always seems to happen, while I’m working on one project, two more are trying to emerge. And THAT is how UFOs are born!


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Neck and Neck…


Hands-free pouches worn around my neck are a go-to item for me for quilt guild meetings and quilt shows. Depending on their size, they can hold just enough items- cell phone, credit card, car keys, pen, and more. And they’re the perfect spot to pin a name tag. So it seems that I have gathered quite a collection of these over the years. That doesn’t stop me from making more when I see designs I like! And I really liked this Treasure Bag by Barb Originals. A vendor at a quilt show displayed two versions- one made from a necktie, and the other from old quilt fragments. The kit came with the pattern, a tie, and some beaded trim. Once I put it together, I sifted through my bling bits and found this old brooch. It was the perfect complement to the colors in the necktie and the bead trim, so on it went. This pouch is small, as you can envision, no wider than the body of the tie. So it doesn’t hold as much as some pouches, but I just love the vintage look and know I’ll get plenty of use from it. And I have more ties in my crazy quilt supplies.


This roomy neck purse has double inside pockets and can hold a large cell phone, along with other items I might need. This one will be my name tag purse for a new guild I’ve recently joined- Quilters of Alachua County Day Guild. I added a few handmade fabric and paper beads, and will stitch my fabric name tag to the front. The directions for this one came in a kit from Quiltsmart which included three of the Quiltsmart interfacing pieces to iron onto fabric and then assemble to make the cell phone purse.


And finally there’s this cell phone purse. It, too, was made using the Quiltsmart interfacing. The interfacing is marked with clear fold, stitch and cut lines so it’s very simple to put together. This heavily beaded and embellished purse contains the remnants of an earlier purse I’d used, but its size made it unsuitable to hold the newer, larger phone. So I might call this project a hybrid- partly made by me, and partly an up-cycled purse. I’ve noticed quilters always carry “stuff”. It’s one reason we have an SUV because it’s always loaded down with quilts going here, fabric going there, donations from the prison crafting program where I volunteer, totes with items needed at quilt guild or quilt classes. I often refer to myself as a “schlepper-in-chief”. These small neck purses really come in handy so I don't need to also carry a large purse in addition to the "stuff"! I used this one recently when going through airport security to keep my id safe and at the ready.


Here are the covers for the two patterns I used in making the neck purses pictured here. I still have a piece of the interfacing so I can make one of these as a gift.