Thursday, October 29, 2009

True or quilting messy?

The answer is soooooo false... at least it is today. Cake decorating is so much more messy I could scream...between cleaning counters, bowls, mixers, spatulas, etc etc. I'd planned to make a cake today...actually I planned for my hubby to make a cake as he loves to bake, but at 70 years old, he is going to college for his 3rd degree for FUN... and today he had algebra class....a.k.a. self-inflicted pain. I decided I would be the baker and use one of his favorite recipes. It's not hard to thumb thru his cookbooks and tell which recipes he really likes. Favorites have notes all over the recipe page.

Tomorrow is my quilting friendship groups 20th birthday. So we need a birthday cake for each member. I now know why we don't see alot of individual serving birthday cakes at the bakery. They are hard to ice. I bought one of Wilton's brownie pans... sectioned for 12 good size brownies. It worked great for my little cakes. A piece of parchment in the bottom well, and these little cakes popped right out.

These look pretty cool in the end... but transporting them to the monthly meeting some 35 miles will be a trick.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my "Wanabe Quilter" friends!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Slow goin' on ancient Architecture

I've had this painted for a few months, and now am on a quest for quilting closure. I have about 3 days into the quilting of this piece, likely 3 more.... but I want it done... and I am surprised how much I am enjoying the quilting process. This piece is for a pastor that has requested it. Someone who serves so many deserves a fulfilled wish. At least by Christmas. :-)
I quilted much of the stonework with blendable 30 and 12 wt.... on my Juki TL98E. The tension spring sprung on the Juki. Coincidence? dunnoh.... but am moving forward on a Bernina.
I most often 'draw' with 40 wt thread. Machines are pretty forgiving about slow quilting with a skinnier thread like a 40 wt.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A little R and R in Lake Tahoe

Well, dang...somebody needed to be in this beautiful lodge in South Lake Tahoe. 'Sure glad it was me.... and well 38 others from all over the the U.S. I flew straight from Houston International to this annual week long retreat of long time and new friends. Really fun and productive too. Click on photo for closeup view. Reading Left to right at my sewing table, Paula from Tennesee, Karon Cornell (Yorba Linda Ca), Barbara Cohen (Ft. Collins, Co), Phyllis Reddish (Anaheim Hills Ca.),hands only - Hilary Field (Orange Ca.), Carol Pankow( Fullerton, Ca)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What a Show!!!!!

WOW.... I'm home from Houston and some personal R and R . I think Houston International is better every year. It was a whirlwind week. 'Taught 5 classes, plus some demo, hosting efforts. I needed a rest! Winter Hunt did place third in the painted surface category. Thank You to Ricky Tims for sponsoring this category and prize money. You can see all the winning quilts at The competition was downright incredible this year. Sooooooo many beautiful quilts ribboned and otherwise. Wow again!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Packing for Houston

I'm leaving in the wee hours for Houston IQA Festival. Exciting to say the least. Hope I see some of you there. I'll be:
0 teaching all week
0 picking up a cash award tomorrow night ( might be 3rd place but who's Houston!
0 in the Imagine Hope Booth #814 thursday 5-7 pm
0 Demoing in the Meet The Teacher Area Sat. 2-230pm
0 Hosting in booth 4-5pm
:-) patt

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Visit to The Quilt Council

Today was Meet The Teacher Day for the Southern California Quilt Council member guilds. As luck would have it, as a teacher, I was set up to table share with my very talented friend Rose Hughes. I'm on the right. A very fun day.... 3 minutes is all a teacher gets to 'sell' their services in a mini presentation to the audience. I was first, I think because they know I'm not shy!

I really am working

Just a bit left to complete on my Spanish Dancer. This quilt has finally named itself the spanish words for both pretty and lovely dancer... "Balarin Linda." Just putting finishing quilting on the shawl draped across her shoulders. Darker and lighter value variegated threads seem to add something to a large space like this. There are so many manufacturers of lovely variegated threads: Superior, Sulky Blendables, YLI, Madiera. I'm sure there are others, but the thread cabinet is only so big! Click on photo for detail view.:-)
I like leaving a few small unquilted areas for dimension and added texture.

I'm off today to visit the Southern California Quilt Council. Later! :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Label that Baby when done

There are lots of ways to label a quilt and I do it the easiest way possible. After the quilt top is created and photographed, I insert the photo onto a Powerpoint slide background. I add text defining the piece, and then print the full color image on print ready fabric sheets. I generally leave the image full size ( 8 1/2 x 11), print and press the plain white margin to the back before putting it on the finished quilt back. It's done fast and easy. My quilt for this label has a bit more work before being finished so it's currently seen on the kitchen table.
I always include the following on the label...
The Quilt Name
Materials used on quilt top
Batting content, and backing type
Your artists statement about the piece
Makers Name
Contact Info
You may add other things about who it is for, on what occasion, where presented.

The machine set up

I'm busily quilting quilting quilting much the same thing the last few days.... so rather than a play by play on the movement of my machine needle..... I thought I'd speak to my machine setup. First (poor me) I own a number of machines and keep a separate 'pressure foot/tools box for each.... not the one that came with the machine.... but a smaller semi clear plastic box that will fit on the machine shelf next to the machine ofcourse, and easily viewable thru the acrylic drop down that surrounds my machine. I also keep on the same shelf, my Fons and Porter cushion marked for machine needles as suggested by the ever practical Libby Lehman. Little used, still good but currently not needed machine needle types are stuck in the appropriately marked 'petal' of the cushion. The colored straight pin is placed in whichever 'petal' represents the needle I actually have in my machine (the all look alike without magnifying glasses.)
When I am doing small movement detailed work when the quilt is near done and getting hard to move on my domestic machine, I LOVE the Super Slider placed over the machine tabletop. It helps things 'move' around much better. You'll also note the red and white Take Hold fingertip grip normally used for sorting papers including money. This tip comes from Hollis Chatelain. This fingertip grip represents my quilting gloves. It does not affect/hurt the quilt top surface, and I really can 'get a grip' to move the top in free motion.

To the right of my machine are the essential tools placed on a small piece of gripping material. The arched white rubber weave piece is really the edge of a place mat but a piece of shelf liner would work as well. I cannot quilt without my Fiskar curved tip scissors for clipping, my la cross flat edge tweezers for pulling out seam ripped boo boos.Dang, I failed to photograph the seam ripper, but we all know what THEY look like... DRAT!

Monday, October 5, 2009

creating a water soluble quilting template

Got a few questions about an earlier piece on this topic. So, a bit more info to come here. I first found a design from which I wanted to create a template. I then layed a piece of tracing paper over the source design, and used a sharpie to trace the design outline. After that, I slightly enlarged the traced image on my copier as I wanted the finished quilted image to be scaled a bit larger. After that... I chose a 'lightweight' water soluble stabilizer. There are a number of brands... a couple shown here. A second tracing using a permanent marker ( ala sharpie) onto the stabilizer which was then pinned to the quilt, and quilted right thru the stabilizer.
After quilting was done, excess stabilizer was torn off the surface, remainder dissolved with water per product instructions.