Friday, December 19, 2014


At 10 a.m.  today.. it's the annual Christmas party with Friendship Group "The Wanabes"!  The Wanabe Quilters to be specific ... but since they have been together for 25 years....  they are no longer Wanabes but rather ARE  exceptional QUILTERS. I was lucky to join the group a bit over 10 years ago...   Blessed me!... to enter the quilt world with such experts all around me. I learned alot fast. No slackers in this group!!!  :-)

One of the fun things we did this year (a voluntary project in addition to regular basket pass projects)  has been individual interpretation of the "Christmas Album" pattern available still today through Quilters Newsletter (quilters It's fun.   There will be others finished in the next few months...   but Here's Carol Pankow's version where she added borders to make it a gifted full sized bed quilt rather than  pattern-sized wall quilt.
Phyllis Reddish always thinks out of the box and creates challenging and beautiful work.  She worked a miniature black and white abstract grid background which reads as grey from a distance.  Yet to add:  Christmas sweaters on the border. Phyllis dressed her gingerbread cookies, made cold blue snow trees,  and made licorice and peppermint candy canes. Too cute!
 I was thinking Christmas Candy when I created mine on a soft green polka dot on white background.  This was such fun.... I'd love to create a miniature of something like this.

and finally..
the best part of the day.... I get to present my secret  pal with this gift. Merry Christmas Carol Lundquist. It's 60 x 60 inches using an antiigue linen atop antique gold drapery fabric. We have the name of our secret pal for a full year.... enough time to change our plans multiple times.. but this year, I knew immediately what I wanted to do and stuck to it.  This can be used as either a wall quilt or table cover.

The quilting of the linen began earlier   Click here to see the start.
Click here to see progression.
Click here to see feathered border.
Click here to see the overall progress.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Finish Up Face and Paws

On those areas reflecting a more white area, I've changed thread to a warm but near white cream. You can really see the flecks of red/black on the previously quilted area. I found these flecks of color interesting. It's German made  40 wt. Madiera Rayon Col. 2302.  Click on photo for enlarged view.
The white/ cream  thread added on this paw. It adds to the feeling of soft fur.

I finally decided to straight stitch the snout area flat...  stopping at the top of the nose.  I have left the eye balls, nose and the whisker area to the lower right and left of the nose... UNquilted which pushes those areas slightly forward and adds dimension. I like this but will let it 'jell' for a while to be certain I am done.
I noted earlier I am quilting this on the road so will wait til home to block and trim... Then... it goes to it's owner: Jan Stewart. I'll have trouble parting with this guy!  We've become close.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hello Kitty!

The eyes were merely secured with black outline  ( not shown) and a bit more thread work (albeit minimal) surrounds his nose. I like some unquilted areas...   the eyes and ash rose colored nose seemed perfect candidates to 'leave' alone.
Using a Madiera thread that includes an occasional '1/8 inch flick of alternate colors ( mostly red, black)  I'm adding some simple fur-like quilting motifs generally surrounding his spots. That thread is interesting. .. and this was a chance to use it!  WHY NOT?!

This will take some time....   but looks okay!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Gift For Loretta

While in Auburn at their guild last month, my lodging hostess Millie Ruffalo took me to the local quilt shop "The Whistle Stop." This is a top-notch shop by the way and there I found this last of the bunch  ice skaters fused appliqué kit. It had friend Loretta 's ( lifelong ice skater enthusiast and quilter) name all over it.  I bought it in an instant so wanted to get it  bordered and quilted and of course to her before the holidays....   TODAY is delivery day.   Hubby is home but I am away curled up  recuperating from injury and illness so thanks to my friends Prudy Carter and Janmarie Halliday, it  gets delivered. 
Loretta has had a tough physical year and awaits major  heart surgery ( on the wait list)... thus we are looking forward to her  future skating and quilt retreat outings.   ;-)  Merry Christmas Loretta!

Click on photo for enlarged view
I inset a quarter inch fillet of cranberry dupioni silk  before bordering with a metallic gold and white dressmaker fabric. The fabric was exquisite all on its own so I essentially used gold thread for quilting and used the fabric as my guide  as to how to quilt  in order to play up the beauty of it's elegant design.

Key Learning... cotton is much easier  to use as binding... (Cotton holds the ironed fold over crease where softer/slippery synthetics don't)

 If using something soft for binding, I suggest 2 things...
1) Before adding binding strips to your quilt, sew ( and perhaps overlock) the 2 raw edges of your binding. WHY?  I found that when straight stitch sewing  binding to the quilt,  slippery raw edges of binding ( particularly the out of view edge)  easily slides out of place and fails to be caught in the straight stitch.  ARGH!
2) Once binding is on and turned to the back side of the quilt, consider adding a straight stitch 1/16th inch off the 'ditch' seam and on the binding itself.  WHY??  I  found slippery soft fabric used in a binding... somehow looks a bit lumpy even if the binding is on perfectly. The stitch off the ditch forces the  filled binding to lie down a good bit better.

Snake Shaped LIMBS

Using a slightly lighter value brown on golden brown twist, I used a linear graceful curved pattern to suggest movement that seem to be present in curved movement in the limbs.  Click on photo for enlarged image .
I'll start the big cat  on next post.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Quilting The Jaguar

The painting at the start shown here....    First things first, I  pinned... then secured major areas with monofilament.  Out with the pins then quilting can begin.   I normally quilt from inside ( center of quilt ) outward. This is a strangely integrated image ( one area to another) so the pre securing ( .004 monofilament) permits me to move around a bit as long as I refrain from seriously dense quilting.

This background area is pretty much there to support the central image so I minimized the quilting density.
The tree in which this guy is hanging out... has interesting structure. The photographers photo showed both  a rough dark greyed large horizontal limb and trunk structure and some lighter warmer colored snake-shaped  broken limbs which doesn't seem to fit w/ the former structure... BUT .. I found it interesting and painted them without trying to understand. I'll tackle the rough greyed limbs first.  How to QUILT?
Sometimes the fabric can give you a clue ... i.e.... just play up the fabric message. Gotta start somewhere.... I used a dark brown/black twist for this. Here's a start.

Slow quilting but basically a general outlining of the  somewhat out of focus pattern beneath.

I'm thinking I like it . 
A few more days hiding in Sedona, and I'll get it done.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tucked IN in SEDONA

I left So. Cal Friday a.m. ( to outrun the major storm) in route to Sedona... Sunny upon arrival Friday but storm moved in  here later that day. Still one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Pics below are taken of and from the Chapel of the Holy Cross so beautifully inset into the Red Rock Mountains. A must place to visit when coming to or thru Sedona.
I'm sewing like crazy. What a blessed time in advance of the Christmas frenzy.