Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shapes I continues. . .

Now that the prep is done, the fun begins as we get to work with the project fabric.
Using the shirt-tailor interfacing pattern pieces, press them to the appropriate fabric color leaving a minimum of 1" between each pattern piece.  Leaving the fabric intact, stay-stitch approximately 1/8" around each piece.
Next, cut around each stitched pattern piece, leaving 1/2" seam allowance around each.
Fuse the applique pieces to their appropriate fabric pieces.  To stitch the fusible applique, I used a free-motion zigzag stitch, my personal favorite, using a varigated thread on all three shapes.  The shirt-tailor interfacing in combination with the fusible web creates a strong enough stabilizer for the stitching.
 Before putting the sections together, take a moment to determine what order the pieces need to be placed in and number accordingly.  As the circle is the furthest back of the three shapes, I numbered the blue pieces 1 through 4 and laid them down on the prepared stabilizer base, with seam allowances lying flat.  The circle is number 5 with the seam allowances pressed under.
Place the circle in the appropriate position on the base and covering the stay-stitching of the under fabrics.  Pin.  Using invisible thread and a button-hole stitch, stitch circle in place.
Progress with the square next, and finally the triangle.  Notice that, although difficult to read, all sections are numbered on the base.
 Once the top is pieced, trim it to the base.
I determined that I wanted to add one small border.  The quilt still needs to be quilted.  It hasn't spoken to me yet and I can't decide what to do.
'Til next time. . .

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Attitude of Gratitude. . .

If you've been able to take a moment out of this busy day to read this blog, take one more minute to think of that which you feel gratitude for.
 I will begin by being grateful for this beautiful place I live in, and to my husband for bringing me here (and for lots of other reasons too).
I also need to give thanks for this thing we do called "quilting."  Quilting has changed the course of my life in so many ways:  It has been great therapy during difficult times;  given me a career as a professional quilter; brought me great friends (quilting friends are the best).  Quilting has been a creative outlet, allowing my artistic side to spring forth.  Who knew that what began as a hobby would give my life depth in ways that are too numerous to count.  I have been greatly blessed through our quilting world.  As you enjoy your holiday, I wish for all of you many blessings to be grateful for.


Monday, November 21, 2011

My 1st Abstract Quilt Series - Shapes I. . .

Here is my first in a series of new abstract quilts: Shapes I.
I have been wanting to design and make a quilt using these shapes for some time and thought it would make a good subject matter for an abstract quilt teaching pattern.
It all began with this very small drawing.
I then drafted it and enlarged it to approximately 18" x 12" on a large sheet of paper.
The pattern original was turned over and drawn in reverse.
The original pattern was drawn once again on Swedish tracing paper.  This will be used as the base to sew the fabric shapes to.  
Although difficult to see because of the transparency of the paper, notes of fabric colors and where the fabric shape went under another were made.  This has now become the master pattern.
Using the reversed pattern, the pattern was once again drawn, this time onto shirt-tailor interfacing.  This pattern is labeled with fabric color choices and then cut apart.  The last design to trace is the pattern pieces to be appliqued.  They are traced in reverse onto fusible web.  Note that my original pattern does not have the appliqued triangles on it.  I couldn't decide what to do when I drew the design so I moved ahead knowing that it would come to me eventually.

I am now ready to put fabric to pattern pieces.  Until next time. . .


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Last weekend I went on a retreat, my first one.  I highly recommend this event to anyone who hasn't attended one.  I had a great time with good friends, quilting, eating and sleeping.  Lots of quilting was accomplished, including completing this quilt top.
 It was one of those UFO's hanging around.  I only needed to finish putting on the borders.  The great thing about finishing this at the retreat is that I was able to get group participation on how to finish the borders.  This quilt only looks as it does because of input from other quilters.  
Here is another quilt made due to group participation.  One of our cohorts had her IPad with her.  As she was perusing the web, sharing quilts and techniques with us she came across this quilt technique "Twister" that she had done.  I fell in love with the idea and decided to make it right then and there.  Our inn hostess had fabric available for us to purchase.  I selected a charm pack and one yard of border fabric and instantly went to work.  The quilt was pieced, quilted and bound in one day (a small wallhanging mind you), including group input on the border.  Here is a quick overview of the technique:
Piece together same-sized squares.  I choose charm squares.  Add a border; I added a 3" border of brown.
Place a square ruler off-center and cut out at every seam junction.  You will get what looks like this as leftovers:
i cut out the remaining squares to use in my border.  Now repiece to get this:
Add borders as desired.  It's fast, easy and fun.  Look up "Twister" on the internet for full information.  And now an interesting nature story about this spider.
My retreat cohort and myself were watching this spider on a window of our inn.  I noticed that the spider began swinging itself on its web.  All of a sudden, my friend and I had web on our faces.  Can you believe that?  The spider had gotten irritated with our watching it and sprayed us with web.  It's been a week and I'm still surprised at how aware the spider was of us.  My retreat was full of great experiences.  Be open to trying something new and you might be surprised as what you'll experience.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Back from Houston Market. . . what you didn't know I had gone!

Yes, I'm back from market at the Houston International Quilt Show.  I was asked to go at the last minute to work the booth for Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. Yippee for me!  What quilter could possibly say "NO" to seeing the International Quilt Show (certainly not me).
Three of us went.  Here is Jane from her backside (she doesn't like her picture taken).  Beautiful long hair, isn't it?
And here's Traci, our marketing gal who I would never call shy (although she says she can be).
Our booth looked great and we met lots of great people.  My favorite new person I met was Jane Davila.  She's a great art quilter, author, and teacher.  I found her to be a warm person with a gentle soul.  Her mom was great too!  Please visit her blog at to see what she's up to.

I did have an opportunity to see most of the quilt show.  Here were a few of my favorites.
This quilt was part of the special exhibit for breast cancer.
Loved the perspective of this artist's butterfly.  Here are some twists on a few tradtional quilts.

 Notice the large yellow mariners compass quilted across the top.
Isn't it cool the way the bodies are built with traditional blocks.
 These are bold, graphic, and colorful.
Especially loved the way everything in this quilt is outlined in black.
 These next quilts are artful.
 What is unique about this last quilt is that it is a round robin project.  Wow!  I want friends like this to work on my round robin.
To see more of the great quilts and winners, visit the show's website, Quilts, Inc..  I highly recommend that if you ever have the chance, you go to this quilt show.  The quality of quilts and the special exhibits are great eye candy and will get your creative juices going.