Sunday, November 29, 2009

Starting Anew

Happy Sunday all.... I'm picking up where I left off yesterday.... starting a new quilt line or picking up from a broken thread.... same approach either way. This might seem a strange thing to post for some, but I was amazed how long I had been quilting before I learned this, so here goes. The idea of what we're going to look at is how to bring your bobbin thread to the top surface as you start quilting so there will be nothing to snag or clip on the back... yeah!!! First holding your top thread slightly taunt, position your needle exactly where you want to start your stitching. Send your top needle down through you fabric!
As you bring the needle back up, you'll note your top thread remains beneath the fabric surface.
A slight tug on your top thread and the bobbin thread will pop through to the upper surface. I used my curved fiskar scissors to slip into the resulting loop and pull the loop forward so that the entire bobbin thread pops up top.
At this point... hold your top and bobbin threads together and begin stitching at the desired starting point. After a few stitches, you may trim both threads (YEAH) from the top surface!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pinning and Planning

Most of my quilting is unmarked textures and fillers. The first part of this piece had wavy continuos line scrolled in and out squares, triangles and rectangles. It's a fun and fast filler. This time, I noted I had a more open space than I wanted... albeit small.... so when I note such a thing.... that's all I do is note it by placing a straight pin in it and know I can/ will rectify that later. I find if I stop and fix something right now, I often lose my rythym. I can come back later.
The other time I drop a pin in is when I break or run out of a thread. I place a pin where I stopped to minimize the potential to unravel and so if I take a break, I know exactly where to begin again.
Working this piece, I got to a point in the wavy scrolled fillers, I decided I needed a different texture, different feeling and decided upon an irregular 'channel' of small meandering. In this case, a straight stitch outline on both sides of the would-be channel was desirable. A rare occasion... I blue marked (the washable marker) the outside channel allowing a unquilted tufted area to be saved as a separation between one quilted area and another.
Doing so made it easy to efficiently fill the channel. I also changed thread for interest.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Upcoming exhibit...

I am on a quest to get this piece done and in the mail for a 2010 Robert Kaufman traveling exhibit titled "Solid Expressions." The exhibit will showcase Kona Solids as the base fabric. Participating artists are permitted to embellish solids in any way they wish... i.e. add other non kona solids, paint etc. I chose to paint using a light value yellow fabric on which to paint 3 portraits ... and enjoy the open natural fabric area with varied quilting. Believe it or not, I was able to take a yellow fabric and create pale caucasian skin tone colors/values using the transparent inks I so love. Then on to quilting. I'll post and explain more as i go forward, but wanted you to know I HAVE been working! :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy BIRD Day to YOU!

I have been workin' like a maniac on a quilt deadline ... pictures will be posted next week.... but for today my bird is in the oven, dressing and cranberry goodies made...and I sincerely wish you a
Sorry, not everyone is happy today
As I often say this time of year... Have a Turkey... Don't Be One! (just kidding... sort of) GRINS.... and keep the Rolaids handy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If cut but not bound and the power of Power Point

Following up on the last posting, I created a quilt label using my normal process. With a picture already taken of the finished piece, and stored on my hard drive, I launched Microsoft powerpoint as if I was creating a slide show. This is simple if you have even basic power point skills. I sorted through the slide themes and chose one I wanted for a background. Using INSERT... a Picture... from the drop down bar up top, I browsed my picture file til St Antimo's church was found, then selected it and used the open button on the screen to insert the image onto the slide background. After that, I inserted various TEXT BOXes and inserted text to my likeing. Finally its time to print. I print the first print on paper even if I plan to make a fabric label. I make any corrections I think necessary before I print on the fabric sheet. Both printed images essentially look the same in this picture, just one is on fabric and will become the label sewn to the back of the quilt. In this case, because this piece is being framed like a standard painting, I will post the paper version on the back...paper side of the frame.

Lastly, If you have blocked, and cut a quilt that is to be framed, it would be wise to straight stitch along the edge of the freshly cut edges. The edges in this picture were cut several days previous, and while the piece was carefully handled, you can see ends of threads were starting to lift. I happened to use monofilament clear thread to stitch twice around within 1/8 inch of the edge so you can mostly just see the needle holes, but thread is there. Before doing this, adjust pressure on the pressure foot of your machine so little pressure is on the quilt surface. Lots of pressure could easily re stretch your blocked quilt.

St Antimo's Church done but for label

This labor of love and labor intensive piece is trimmed, blocked, and is essentially complete. Because it will be hung over a wood burning fireplace ( gasp!) it will be framed and placed behind glass as opposed to bound and hung via a quilt sleeve. This is a new adventure for me, so it will be interesting to finish up that way. I will place a label on the back of the quilt itself before putting it in a frame, and print an viewable image of the label for the back of the frame. Since this is for someone else, I think I might create a "making of the quilt" booklet. I'll let you know how that goes. Click on image to enlarge.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Free viewing of my Episode on The Quilt

Hello all....
A free viewing link for my Episode 510 of "The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims" is now up and available for your viewing between November 16 - 22, 2009.
Instructions for access follow between the horizontal lines below. .
The Episode titled "Quilts Through Two Artists' Eyes" presents different perspectives from two quilt artists - myself and Tammy Finkler. Tammy, a traditional quilter and long arm quilting expert, guides you step by step through the process of designing intricate wholecloth quilting designs. Then I run through 'DRAWING FOR PEOPLE THAT DON'T DRAW...AND PAINTING FOR PEOPLE THAT DON'T PAINT." I think you might find it fun... at least most of it was fun for me! We had NO rehearsal so I responded to questions as they came. I wasn't thrilled with all my answers... but it went well overall, and you might find it fun to see me work so fast... like cooking on a morning TV news hour.

So here is the link to allow you to watch my episode 510 for FREE from November 16th through November 22nd.
To watch the show go to:

For my QUILTING FRIENDS... that are not a TQS member, (Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims) has authorized me to offer anyone reading this message $10 off a 1 year membership to Look for the "Redeem Gift Certificate" button at the top of the page when you go to watch your show. This is your call... just a nice promo offer on their part.

To receive $10 off the price of a 1 year TQS Membership, you must use Coupon Number #108490263410 when redeeming this gift certificate.
By entering this code you would be purchasing the 1 year membership for a reduced $32.95. All your call.
Once your purchase has been completed you can move freely about the entire site!

Thanks for being a supporter and friend of my work! Patt

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lovely Day in Old Town Orange, Ca.

It couldn't get much better than this! 3 of my quilting buddies decided to visit a nearby daytime guild to see how they function so of course we went to lunch afterward. We decided upon the Citrus Grill in old town Orange, California. I encouraged this decision because it is surrounded by antique stores... which carry antique linens (something I've been collecting of late).
All the lunch salads were wonderful, but this was extraordinary.... a fresh berry and shrimp salad. Sadly, this was not my order, but my friend Karon let me watch her consume every bit of this luscious salad.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Starting NOV 9th on

Hiya... check out which on Monday next will launch a segment featuring MUAH! They posted a pic teaser and trailer on their newsletter also posted on website.. Not so bad in this picture but in their slideshow viewable at website, one thing I've already noticed... I may need a necklift soon! eek!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beautiful in Mt. Baldy, Ca

How much better than this could it get? I love nature and it surrounds me. This shot is from the canyon road just off our steps.... the walking bridge goes over a stream than runs under the road. How glorious! Fall is so lovely!

Almost a finished church

The thing I was worried about the most turned out to be the easiest! Go figure! How to quilt the tall marble columns was wayyyyy more fun than the repetitious bricks. I used 4 colors of thread on this large column.... Each thread "locked" or keyed in to the adjacent so as to allow for a smooth visual transition. It takes a little planning... i.e. leaving space for the next thread color to lock in to the currently sewn one... but it's not all that big a deal once you get started. Click on any photo for enlarged view.
This lock and key idea came from a long ago painting instructor encouraging painters to link one element of a painting to another. It makes the overall result less fragmented. I think this will do the trick.

It's almost there.... this is admittedly a partial view of this St Antimo's Church Quilt.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hoe DOES one quilt marble columns?

I am STILL working ( third week now) on the Church at St Antimo in Tuscany. I've quilted walls and floors of the 900 year old stone church.... but wasn't ready til now to work on the marble columns. Here's the unquilted crest top of one column.
A fine cotton seemed to work well in the crevices of the carved stone.
Bottom line, I think this will look okay.... 1 column crest down... 8 to go.