Saturday, September 13, 2014

Loving This Feathered Border

The final outer border is a beautiful structured border feather design.  I've never seen this stencil before and have searched the web for it. I would love to use this again. Holler please if you know who made this one.
I went back to  very center to add a few more stitch elements so that the center melded better with the outer areas... but.... now, I'll take a break before finishing the very outer edge (and finish removing original grid work.)  There's more to do beyond the linens edge, but there seems less to do than when I first began.  Time to think/ rethink is a good thing.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Continuing The GIFT!

Moving outward from the cutwork, there is a central floral border around which I added three lines of outline then a filler meander to knock down larger unmarked/ unembellished areas.  You can see the invisible thread quilt line 'holes'  
I removed the grid work thread, then dampened  and gave the  flower petals a slight massage to  close up the needle holes. Don't worry... the  Frixion pen markings also dampened will  later disappear with heat.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beginning a Gift Project

I've always wanted to take on a vintage linen project  for 2 reasons.  One...because I'm from Oklahoma farm country where in my youth linens were seen everywhere. And second... Cindy Needham is a friend and has done wonders to revive the love and appreciation of vintage linens.
Not quite 2 years back, I had a day at Road To California I was not teaching and decided to take my buddies one day class on designing patterns for a vintage linen brought to class.  The number of stencil options Cindy brought was unbelievable. I relaxed ( a bit too much as you'll read), but designed and marked a linen with hopes of finding time to quilt it later.  The cutwork linen I'd purchased and brought to work on was SO beautifully made that I failed to note I had marked the linen on the BACK side.  Oh well... I had a great design day and a few mos. back I decided to carefully place the image on my light box and trace marked the front side too.

So the time to begin the quilting is now. I've placed a  contrasting value drapery brocade behind the linen so the cutwork elements can be appreciated.  I had secured the linen top to the backing using a  machine basting stitch grid of invisible thread  (which will need be removed later). After the fact, I wonder if this would have been a good time to use a water soluble dissolving thread...  but I'm fine with what I did .  I still found I was more comfortable pinning here and there but recognize some old linens might not like pinning.  This one did.
I begin like I do my art quilts... working from the middle outward. I used a thread slightly warmer color than the crisp white linen. I now know I might have used a slightly darker cream value but I'm good with this and will not 'unstitch"
Moving outward from the center there is a squared pattern of 8 cutwork elements.  All elements called for outlining to show off the cutwork.The cutwork looks nicer with the outlining and I now think there would be benefit in outline stitching the embroidery. I love the quilting journey.

Doing so added a bit of refinement /stability to the small original embroidery design. 
My short term goal ( still  progressively working my way out  from center toward outer edges) is to get the basic quilting done.  I'll be coming back to add filler elements to even better show off the original linen design.  I'm loving this... 'am awakening at odd hours to steal an hour of two of quilting. 

(  Cindy's book... "Wholecloth Linen Quilts"published by AQS  in 2007).  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My new color wheel clock.

I think I've worked out the perfect WIN WIN with friend Jan Stewart.  Jan made this Cherrywood Fabric / Cherrywood pattern color wheel and her brilliant hubby turned it into a wall clock.
I get the clock in turn for finishing up an art piece she began. This clock is both functional and a great color wheel reference. I've had this pattern myself thinking I'd make it "someday." Not Required now! Yeah and thank you Jan.

Monday, September 8, 2014

In a New Book!

Linda Seward  ( in the U.K.) just published her comprehensive art quilt book titled "The Ultimate  Guide To Art Quilting" It is available now on Amazon. 

click here   to go to  the listing on Amazon

It includes lots of how tos as well as inspirational photos of finished quilts, among them my piece... "My Gentle Giant Ben."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hope For Good News

Today I take Ray for xrays on his broken bones. Sure want him out of this wheelchair.
Looks like he does too.
UPDATE:  He did get out of the rented wheelchair  Yeah! He's pretty unstable still but it's definite progress. His shoulder injury ( break behind the humerus) will be a longer issue but we are moving forward. He's not scouling as shown here but  he was mighty grumpy when he took his first steps and wasn't perfectly well.  The word tantrum sort of fits the moment.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Weekend to Sew.

Therapy at last.  I got 2 1/2 days of time in Temecula, Ca at Vina Lestonnac.. a favorite retreat of quilters.   Okay.. this is a beautiful place surrounded by vineyards and horse ranches.

Thanks to my hubbys daughter and some friends who checked in on him, took him to church, etc.... I got to take care of Me for a couple days. HEAVEN....
This is the third block of 9 from the QN My Christmas Album pattern... I stayed true to the pattern but admit I wasn't crazy about this  one so I used a variety of fabrics  to avoid being serious about this vase of poinsettias. .

Then came ornaments....  made in kind of a color wheel orientation for me. You can see I'm not feeling bound by a Christmas color scheme. 
Then Candy Canes. Why go strictly red and white? 
and HOLLY!
Egads... these snowflakes took forever. 
I've started laying out the sweater borders but had one more block to finish.  
These LITTLE gingerbread guys took a long time. 

and finally... the big picture is done.... using every bold color possible. 
I made this for fun... along with other members of my friendship group the Wanabe Quilters of Orange County Ca.  I can't wait to see everyones put together. For once, I'm a couple months early. 
yeah... a sense of completion.... at least until I'm able to quilt it.