Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let's Face It!

I am often asked for guidance on how to face (rather than traditionally bind) a quilt. What I will cover here is how I currently handle this challenge of finishing off a completely quilted, trimmed, and blocked quilt. First thing to recognize is that doing this well, takes time. This is not a task for a hurried finish and precision is paramount to a nice looking end product. Here goes:

Step One Photo

Begin by cutting 2" or 2 1/2" strips of fabric which ideally match the backing. Using a quarter inch seam, piece these strips onto the quilt as if you are adding a sashing or border on the outside edge. Press 'sashing' fabric outward. You may at this time choose to turn,press, and machine stitch this outer raw edge under a quarter inch.... but it will be turned one way or another as described in step 4 later. :-) Read on!

Step Two Photo ( This is optional, but I find it a great stabilizer to the finished edge). Using a quarter inch foot, straight stitch (about 1/8" from sashing seam) through top of sashing and the 1/4 inch edge of quilt salvage beneath.

Step Three Photo
The most important part of facing is this piece so take your time. This will be done one edge at a time. Complete steps 3 - 6 one edge at a time. First, complete 2 edges on the opposite sides of the quilt, finally the remaining 2 opposite edges. Here goes: Roll the sash facing to the back of the quilt and steam press the edge for a flat clean edge.

Step Four Photo
Turn the raw edge of the facing under, press, and pin. Stop at the outer corners for review in the next step.

Step Five Photo
At corner, trim away excess fabric, press and pin corner as done in previous step.

Step Six Photo
Hand stitch corners and straight edges of facing. I tend to miter-turn the final sides corners though a straight turn is okay too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

12:05 pm tuesday... power off..yeah

Quilting DONE! Left to be done is trimming, blocking, and binding (actually facing).I'm taking the afternoon off before I start on the next piece.

Closeup view ...Mixin' it up in quilt textures

I'm on my fourth day here in Sedona... still quilting on a piece I had several days of quilting done before arrival. The lion in winter seen earlier in this blog is about a day away from completed quilting. (I'll take it home to block and finish) I've added snowpack curvy line quilting and we re getting closer to the finish line. This is about the time I can barely stand the quilt.. I'm sort of tired of looking at it from 16" away. I'm overall liking the quilting/image matchup but the real test is when it's done and blocked. I've been using a metallic white thread for the snowpack and having a heck of a time with breakage. Some times, it's just like that. Click on photo for detail view. I brought 2 machines with me (always the plan when driving) so I'm changing machines today. I've had lots of questions about how to face quilts rather than bind. I'll photo document that on this piece but it will be a week or so before I get it posted. To the person that emailed me on this, somehow, the message somehow went to email heaven... I can't find it. DRAT!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Follow the Leader

Man.. I'm putting in some hours on this lion.... but I can't quilt all day so I'll showcase just a bit. First with the lion's fur done with row after row of sweeping lines... I decided the image needed a change in texture so I chose to do the cool shadows in the snow pack with small overlapping circles despite it seeming natural to go linear in the snowpack. Remember that "everything in balance" cliche about how we eat (i.e. too much of a good thing ain't so good)? It's also true in design so I was beckoned to a change. Click on photo for detail.

The title on this posting is from my afternoon outing. This image shows three bronze sculpted children atop one of 3 logs that are part of this exhibition. The man that sculpted this exhibit has incredible skill. Too cool!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

In Sedona and Workin'

What a magnificient place to be! The top photo of Sedona by Brent Jones captures both the beauty and spirituality of Sedona. This town is all about nature and keeping business and homes blended with the terrain. Uh... what happened to the Golden Arches at MacDonalds? I suspect the city fathers asked for an exterior palette more in line with nature. Well, I have returned to working on my lion in winter. I have about 80 hours in this piece since I started it last year. The back and forth quilting motion isn't easy on the wrists, so it may take a while to finish this piece, but "I'M ON IT!...and it feels good to be back in the game. Click on photo for detail view.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Arizona Highways

There is a justifiable reason for a magazine titled Arizona Highways. My Gosh... what a beautiful and interesting drive! The moment I crossed the California / Arizona border, the landscape changed. Ragged dark mountains likened to a smaller high desert version of the Grand Tetons came into view. Dramatic Ocotillo plants dotted the roadside while incredibly interesting road or points of interest names began to appear... The "Lllavar Basin" ( yes 3 Ls), a road named.."The 5 Mile Road", and another named "Bad Dog Road."
I passed by Restaurants named the Roadhouse Grill, another named the Roadhouse Steakhouse and started to get hungry. I thought I might stop for lunch at the next Roadhouse but changed my mind when I looked more closely at the sign.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's a privilage to serve

Hi all... well.. eventually my church figured out I had some experience with color, and painting, etc... so am part of a group trying to create artistic/subtle images to support sermon series ( we are currently in a series on the subject of creating His Kingdom on Earth).. thus the 'create' graphic soon to be hung.... and one of my art pieces re: discovering your gifts, whatever they may be, and using them to serve here on earth. While there may at times be areas of difference between my thinking and the church, I am so very impressed that my church is solely focused on being God's hands on earth. There are many opportunities to serve the community. It's all good.

Headed for Sedona

Springtime in Sedona, Arizona is perhaps the closest thing to Heaven on Earth. While my hubby Ray is spending 3 weeks backpacking across Albania (like a college student... oh yeah he still IS a college student...working on his third bachelors degree just for fun), I am packing up to spend a week of welcome solitude at the Villas at Poco Diablo in Sedona. I will for certain visit this breathtaking Chapel of the Holy Cross as well. This is a glorious structure designed by a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright. Can you believe it was built in 1955 for a mere 300 thousand dollars. Times change!!! There is a sweet stillness and spirituality in Sedona. I am soooo ready ( but for packing... )

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Quilter joins the Circus"

What on earth? It seems I will be decorating a wedding cake later this year so I thought I best update my cake decorating skills acquired at a Park and Recreation class in 1965. Lots has changed . Well before one does the BIG stuff in a decorating class, I was required to make a cupcake clown family. I must admit, I was trying to figure out how to jump over this project to roses or the like... but NOOOO... and well, I'm glad.. because this was just plain fun. The trick to doing these decorating classes is finding someone to eat all this sweet stuff. Fortunately for me (and unfortunately for her mother) a granddaughter lives only 2 blocks away.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ode to Volunteers

One of the joys of speaking at Guilds around the country is finding little pearls of wisdom and ideas that everyone could enjoy. This piece of clever poetry was read at the Camarillo Guild a few weeks back to warm review. Carol Wharmby shared this with me so that you might get kick out of it. The author is unknown... but what a gift!

Many will be shocked to find
When the day of judgment nears
That there's a special place in heaven
Set aside for volunteers.
Furnished with big recliners,
Satin couches and footstools,
Where there's no committee chairman,
No eager team that needs a coach,
No Bazaar, and no bake sale
There will be nothing to staple,
No one thing to fold or mail.
Telephone lists will be outlawed.
BUT a finger snap will bring
Cool drinks and gourmet dinners,
And rare treats fit for a king.
You ask, "Who'll serve these priviledged few?"
And work for all their worth?
Why, all those who reaped the benefits
but did not volunteer on earth.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How Much Quilting do ya need?

Well, that sure is a question? The truth is ofcourse it depends. I must admit I have a tendency to use the image underneath as the start for my quilting which at times translates to I quilt a bit on the heavy side. Some of us just don't know when to quit ;-(
A heavily quilted quilt can quickly become more of a thread painting. Frankly I enjoy thread painted pieces but painted surfaces don't have to become a thread painting.
I was looking at this piece done a while back though.... and I didn't over do it so it seemed a worthwhile posting. This simple portrait called Water For Life ( part of a "water" element exhibit) just needed some quilt securing to keep the message simple. I was at a loss for how to quilt the background.... so I let flowing water hit the shower door and watched how water drizzled down the glass door changing directions while ever moving downward. Right now, I bet you are thinking this girl needs to get a life!!!! I imitated that downward dripping pattern in my quilting. The rest of the quilting was fairly simple.... securing facial features with invisible thread.... outlining folds on the boys jacket, some admitted fun with thread in the boys hair... and that's pretty much it. By the way... this piece is also titled "Surely Redfords Kid", after my long lost love, never before met... Robert Redford. That man has INCREDIBLE hair! Click on upper photo for quilting detail.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Machine Quilting magazine article is out!

Wow... I spent most of the Christmas holidays writing an article titled THREAD: The Linear Paint! It now in print in the Spring issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited. I LOVE this magazine which is specifically targeted at those that do the quilting on finished tops. If you quilt, and are unfamiliar with this magazine, you might check them out at They are a subscription only magazine with beautiful photo quality and (I think)informative articles. I did a several page spread on how one 'might' use complements to spruce up or tone down areas of a quilt top. Posted here is a snippet of the article. Contact for past issues and subscriptions.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Great Fun With Arapahoe Quilters

Just home from Englewood, Colorado following a whirlwind FUN visit with a wonderful 360+ member quilt guild in the heart of the Denver area. What an incredibly helpful organized board and volunteer staff. Thanks too to for bringing and offering some training products and supplies, and congratulations to Jukebox owner Kelly Galleghar Abbott who will be the featured artist at the Denver Mancuso Quiltfest show in late April.

I'm so impressed with the volume and quality of this guilds philantrophy efforts. God Bless you for being God's light in the world.

THANK YOU for the great time at last nights lecture and the array of Q and A segment questions. I hope I get a chance to go back someday. Click on photo for a closeup. To those waving in the back row.... I'm waving back right now! Really!!!
Does everybody look happy here????

Monday, April 6, 2009

You Must Be "Croaking" froggie eyes!

The transparent inks I like and use are soooo versatile. In this lil project, we are creating eye balls for the 18 sightless frogs found in this pieced and appliqued Java House Quilt Pattern. Friend Phyllis Reddish was less than thrilled with the suggested pattern instructions for creating froggie eyeballs so I created eyeball sets using bottled inks and markers. Now for Phyllis to match eyeball sets to individual froggies and applique them on her quilt top. This will be one cute quilt. "Click on photos for closeup.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What does this girl do with her time?

Don't ya sometimes wonder where your time goes?... why more projects don't get started?, or worse finished? I have a finished project that didn't feel completely finished. I started thinking about my friendship group and the lovely gift they gave me for my birthday (a tablerunner with 'cakes' at either end and flanked along each side with fabric presents (each made by a different member). I want to always remember who made what present. What better way than to place a name tag on each gift. Whaddaya think? Anyway.. all ten tags are done and can be added to presents as displayed. These were really quite simple to do.... just printed the names on fabric, fused the names to a 'tag fabric, placed fusing on the back of tag fabric and doubled fabric over (wrong sides together with fusing in between and pressed to make the tag slightly more rigid. An edge snip of the fold over edge to shape like a tag. Then a metallica needle into the machine, metallic thread top and bobbin, and a simple satin stitch around loose edges.Slow stitching kept any threads from breaking.. yeah!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Frat House Crest

The Sigma Alpha Epsilson Fraternity long ago adopted this crest as their iconic symbol. When a friends hubby wished to honor a frat brother with a 'Fraternity Quilt', his wife came to me to 'ink' the crest. It was a heck of a lot easier than applique for certain. I inked this 20" x 30" image on a cream colored sateen which admittedly soaked up ink like crazy but also produced a nice even finish color. Click on the photo for a closeup view. It's heat set and done, and will be off to my friend Laurie Lyon to incorporate the crest panel into the gift quilt.