Friday, December 28, 2012

Sewing On Air Art Quilting Technique. . .

On Wednesday, we held our monthly art quilt workshop.  This month's technique was "Sewing On Air" by Nancy Green as featured in the October/November 2012 issue of "Quilting Arts Magazine."
Following along with the instructions, this is my quilt base.  I fused fabric to fabric using Mistyfuse, and layering front and back right sides together with fusible batting.  I then used the no binding technique I described here.  Once layered and with the fabric turned inside out, the piece was quilted.
The circles were left unquilted as my sewing on air will be done within one of the circles.
The center of the circle was cut out.
The circle is then heavily zigzag stitched.  Heavily means going around the circle four times with a free-motion zigzag stitch (my favorite :). 
The fun begins as the needle is placed to the back of the circle and straight-stitched across its diameter at a medium speed.  Once across, the fabric was turned 180 degrees and gone across again.  I did this three times, always with free-motion stitching.  The three lines of sewing were then zigzagged over with my machine set at 2.5 width.  And, whalaa, there is a strong cord-like thread line running through my circle.
This was an easy technique, much more so than I realized it would be.  If you would like to try this technique, let me give you a few hints that were learned in the workshop.  First, the magazine technique does not require a stabilizer for the stitching.  However, I used fusible web,  fusible batting, lots of quilting, and heavy stitching around the perimeter of the circle which all acted as a stabilizer for the stitching across the diameter of the hole.  I also noticed that the smaller size of my hole seemed to matter in being able to keep its shape compared to larger holes done by others.

If you do give this a try, please let me know of any tips or hints you find to be helpful.

Until next time,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cat Bites are Dangerous!

I know.  This is a quilt site.  Why am I talking about cat bites?  My experience of this weekend makes me want to share and warn others.  Here's my story.
This is my cat, Gracie, and this weekend she bit me.  Now I've had cats most of my life but have never been bitten (I mean hard) by one.  Gracie's form of communication is biting rather than scratching and I'm respectful of what she tells me.  But this time, as we were playing, she switched gears and attacked me ferociously.  Her teeth went deep into my hand.  I was taken by surprise and it hurt more than I can say.  I rinsed the punctures with cold water and put antibiotic gel on it and thought that was the end of it.  Boy, was I wrong.

By the next day, my hand was swelling, and red.  The pain increased as the day went on.  I decided to do some internet surfing on the subject and was surprised by what I found.  Did you know cat bites are infectious 80% of the time?  And that if the infection progresses, it damages the tissue around the bite and you may have to have surgery?  Needless to say I was shocked!!!  
This is a photo of my hand 24 hours AFTER I began taking antibiotics.  The swelling has gone down, the redness has decreased, and the pain is minimal.  I didn't take a photo at its worst but you can still see swelling.  That little red dot on the lower portion of my hand is the little puncture mark that started this mess.  I'm afraid to think of what may have happened if I hadn't done a little research and moved into action right away.  So take this post as informative and a warning.  If a cat bites you, don't take it lightly.  Find out the steps necessary to keep you healthy.

Until next time,

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bringing You Up to Speed. . .

 Since last I wrote, I've been busy, busy, busy with many happenings and changes.  In my attempt to bring you up to speed,  I will begin where I last left off:  on my way to Texas.

My trip to Texas began with a speaking and teaching gig in Beaumont at the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild.  It was my first opportunity to speak and teach on a national level and I was excited.  The guild members were welcoming and friendly.  Two classes were taught.  Here are student photos of my Henhouse Whimsies Rooster.
The next day I taught my Shapes II abstract quilt and its technique.
The most exciting thing to happen was my seeing this surprising creature on a sightseeing journey.
I then headed to Houston to attend Quilt Market.  It was my first market and fun being a buyer for my new quilt shop.  The one advantage to attending Market is the opportunity to view the International Quilt Show without the crowds that would be coming in the next week.  Many beautiful and inspirational quilts were viewed and photos taken.  I include only one quilt here, one that I felt was quite innovative, made with pipe cleaners.
I head home with a full moon in the sky, a perfect ending to a perfect journey.
I will continue to catch you up on happenings in my life in my next blog so stay tuned.

Until next time,