Sunday, November 28, 2010

Correcting An Irregular Over Dye Project

Well I didn't dye this piece to begin with but I have and occasionally do dye work. in this case, I bought this over dyed 100% cotton upholstery fabric that I wish to turn into a quilted gift table runner piece.... BUT... after I got it home, I found the over dye was most irregular in one corner so what to do? First for perspective,,, the original background for this piece was a soft blue and pale yellow. You see a bit of the yellow here and there. Here's one section of the already dyed fabric.

Well I 'm a bit mad at myself for not photographing the irregular area BEFORE I started this fix effort.... but here is the back side of the irregular area where some rather strong blue still resides.

There were choices on how to fix:
a. over dye again ( a bit challenging unless you dye all the time and can predict the value outcome. Also a big setup/cleanup project)
b. Overdye with inks.... I could do it in a method similar to item c. ...... It's just that ink all and all for big backgrounds is a little more costly than item c below.
c. 'Paint' the heavily water-misted background with a slightly watered mixture of matching transparent paint ( ala Pebeo Setacolor transparent). So that's what I did.... followed by drying/ heat setting using a dry iron on a cotton setting. Heat setting makes it permanent. Whoala!! Done in minutes!!!!

It's now ready to be prepped for quilting.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Great Turkey Day

The food was great, family likewise!!! My 6 year old great niece wrote her first play for her immediate family to perform. How wonderful.

Well it was her first play.... I needed an autograph! A pie plate seemed a fine place for an autograph.

Well we're at my "all man" nephews house where his wife (not pictured) had given him an apron. Like the ruffles? The ONLY reason he would put this on for me for a photo is that I am his aunt who cooked the turkey, stuffing, and gravy and he felt a bit beholden. He's not too happy huh? Posing with him, my niece.. the one with the turkey hat. I've always kidded at Thanksgiving.... " Have a turkey, don't be one." I guess my niece never got the message. :-) The names have been omitted here to protect the guilty! :-) Such a great family ... Lucky me!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bye Bye Birdie!

Oh heck.... last year at this time I posted a "before" photo of a very angry looking live turkey. This years post is what I HOPE my turkey looks like tomorrow. My family comes from Oklahoma farm stock so Thanksgiving is all about comfort food. This ofcouse includes a good cornbread dressing with lots of sage, creamed corn, etc etc. My hubby will make pies. How lucky am I?! Have a great day all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The ' Top of the Talk" is DONE!

A complete pieced top is always satisfying . The gal that gets this should be pretty happy lest we give it to her to quilt for herself. That would be BAD!! Hopefully we will get it quilted and bound before the middle of next month when the recipient moves away. I'm pleased with the result.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Planning the finish on "Let's Talk"

While I don't do alot of traditional quilts, when I do as in this group gift for a friend project, I seldom follow the pattern exactly. The original pattern for this quilt included plain fabric strips joining the otherwise fun blocks. Since the blocks already had a feeling of fun and whimsy, I wanted to keep that feeling going..... I made 16 half square triangled 2 1/2" pinwheel blocks as cornertones of sashing.... then auditioned fabrics for sashing strips...
The recipient loves greens, golds, and browns.... thus the gold and greens in the audition. The gold background looked a bit warm for this otherwise light and fresh project.... so I settled on a white and green sashing to keep it fresh looking.
So.. I go to sew all day.. Yeah! Tucked away in my warm and cozy mountain sewing room, I got busy! I was not alone, however!
A quilter's best friend was nearby with evidence contained in my scraps waste can .

Life and chocolate are GOOD!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fall meets Winter

Last night, I slept all night. Sheer bliss following the previous night of pounding rain that woke us regularly. The same rain forecast was expected for last evening and I was thrilled when I awoke so rested. The reason it seems the rain turned to snow and we can officially say goodbye to the beautiful fall leaves, Boo Hoo!!!

While I watched snow fall, an occasional leaf left a tree to land atop snow covered ground.

Even my car got slushy...

Only my hubby's tires preceeded me as I drove off the mountain to worship service. What a marvelous artist is our creator

Throwing out my machine cleaning excuse!!!

While I've always been faithful about keeping fuzz buildup out of my machine, I've been less faithful about removing the entire bobbin assembly , cleaning and oiling the rails. My excuse... I regularly have trouble getting everything put back in the right .. i.e. how to set the things back where they started. Enough said. DUH. In this digital age of cameras.... I now take a snapshot before I begin, and its easy to know if I have it right. Double DUH!!!!

Here's my most recent before photo . YEP... time to clean!

Matching thread to needle

I am quilting Jambo for a clients first ever painting so we want the artwork painting to show. That said, I'm quilting dog Jambo with a combination of monofilament and almost as skinny 100 wt invisafil thread.
The message .. SKINNY THREAD = SKINNY NEEDLE. I like a 60/8 or 70/10 sharp. It's a narrow shaft needle that in turn pushes less fabric aside as it moves through.

Here's an area around his doggie collar.

On the other hand... FAT THREAD=FAT NEEDLE.
The background grass area called for some quilting interest and I used a variety of Sulky's blendables... mostly 30 wt.... a little bit here and there of 12 wt. A fat thread calls for a larger needle.... I use a 90/14 for that job.
By the way.... check out this small pack container ( $1.00 at Staples store). it sits smartly in my smaller sewing cabinet drawer, as you can likely see holds many packs of needles, and theres room inside for one of my favorite things... a needle puller rubber disk which i use to loosen/tighten the needle holder knob on my machine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Prepping and Pinning "Jambo"

'Getting this guy ready to quilt! I generally iron my backing, my batting ( sometimes thru a press cloth depending on whether man made fiber ( eg poly) is part of the mix, and certainly iron the top. I stretch the backing, lay the flat batting atop, and smooth. I will sometimes use a very light temp spray application on a half quilt at a time for bonding. ( by the way... I like Sulky's temp spray because it has a small spray area with minimal propellant so I can use it indoors). I will repeat this light spray process with the top.

If the quilt is very small.... I might then pin at each of the 4 corners and get on with it. If it's larger (eg tabletop size or larger), I generally pin as well. BUT know that if I have temp strayed, I use about half the amount of pins than I would with no light temp spray. The way I tend to quilt art pieces ( heavier than most) I push my quilts around so much that the pinning is extra insurance things stay where I mean them to stay!

All that said, when pinning, I tend to pin inside out, and place pins still open across the quilt top. Doing this will reduce the possibility of shifting an area during the pin closing process. They look like little soldiers, huh?
That done.. close pins
Do yourself a big favor and pin/stabilize the outer pieces of backing to batting as insurance from the backing unknowingly rolling back under the quilt sandwich, and getting 'quilted in!" It only takes one extended rip out session to know how well spent these 5 minutes can be.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Remember this fella?

He was painted by a student 2 months ago..done in a private class with me. Now.... time to get this quilted. My schedule was too hectic thru Oct. / early Nov. to touch this, but I will begin tomorrow and somehow get this and a couple other projects done this month . EEK. Who needs sleep?!

Still "Talking" Blocks!

I've had several questions about this oh so cute pattern. It's called "Let's Talk" by Custom Creations. I think I bought this at a quilt show some years back but I see it is still on their website. The link follows:

Your local quilt shop should be able to order for you as it appears they don't sell direct.

I got 3 more blocks for the gift quilt previously mentioned. One more to arrive Friday and then ready to sash
While I am seldom thrilled with using buttons on quilt tops, buttons are the perfect choice for the phone keys and dial!
Finally, in my Oklahoma farmhouse party line days.... there was indeed a wood wall phone similar to this one ( but for the color additions)

Back to Business

'Am working with friends on finishing blocks for a gift quilt for a telecommunications friend. Several quilting friends worked together for many years in that near dead landline business of phone service..... so these blocks are of vintage ( actually long before any of us) phone sets from a pattern called Let's Talk. I got 3 more blocks this week.. some requiring finishing raw edges but they're done.
Some need a bit of pressing... oops!
You must admit, it's kind of an elegant look at the past.
Somehow, I must weave this project in with 2 others needing near term completion. Oh... I need a day stretcher. :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Cooking Class

I took a slight break from quilting. This was my Christian duty ( are you buying it?). I bought a cooking class at a Food Bank Fundraiser, so I spent Saturday at the Kitchen Shop in Glendora California.... prepping for and tasting a spectacular prime rib dinner. Getting ready for the holidays.
First a fresh bleu cheese dressing on an iceberg wedge. For this I learned it is important to test iceberg heads for firmness. Firm is good!
Then I learned how important it is to find a good butcher that will cut,trim, and tie your rib roast of not more than about 4 ribs / 4 pounds. Bigger roasts are hard to get rare, med rare, and well cuts all in one roast.
Is this not a beauty?
Nice way to spend a Saturday.... dining with a glass of great red wine.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Outside My Window" complete

This image is inspired by a combination of photos I took in the canyon, beginning of course with the Scrub Jay photographed from my dining area window. I was marathon woman to get this done. Yesterday as I quilted leaves, the wind blew through our canyon at over 60 m.p.h. It was already cold so the extra wind chill was most unwelcome. It did however help to keep me inside at my machine. Happily, by evening I was working on the facing, label, and sleeve. Today, all is complete on this project so I can go to the next thing on my list!

Earlier in this process, I was uncertain about my choice of variegated thread in the air flow background. All said and done, I'm happy with the combination of dark teal, light teal, near yellow, and a burgundy/blue twist. It really made the air flow texture prominent.

"Outside My Window" will travel next year to multiple venues including amongst others, Road To California, and Mancusco Bros shows.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You're so "VEIN"

Okay I know the title makes little sense, but I keep hearing the 1970's song "You're so Vain" as I started to quilt the autumn leaves. My goal in 'veining' the leaves is to show off the bright yellows wherever possible. Saving the more simple yellow areas also offer a bit of an eye resting place.
I'll try to show what I mean. Here's a leaf part with some nice yellow areas. You can see I sketched in possible vein locations in ink.
I tried to quilt in a way that left the majority of the yellow area prominent.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Going With The Flow!

Quilting the background air is always a challenge. In Fall in our narrow canyon, air flows quickly down the canyon. It's graceful but nonetheless powerful. So I will quilt accordingly... or at least try. This piece will not be as heavily quilted as some of my competitive pieces so most of the original ink painting will remain visible.

First things first..... In each quilt, prior to starting with any new thread choice, I use the excess ( i.e. that extra border fabric not to be included in the fiinished quilt) to test thread tension. I used to do that on a separate quilt sandwich, but heck.... longarmers test in the outer edges so this made sense to me.
The background has bits of light or early snow if you choose to interpret it that way..... so first things first, I secured them jumping from one to another making certain to secure with small start / stop stitches as I went. Close clipping will trim nicely so this should work out alright.

Now to quilt air flow..... it's much like quilting flowing water but for the lack of sometimes water bubbles. There are a couple things to think about when doing this... lines must move and curve, adjacent lines can somewhat echo the previous BUT
exagerate the echo sometimes sweeping further out from previous curve, and sometimes coming closer to the previous echo. Ah nature,,,, it is here without regiment. That's good, AND it makes it a bit more interesting too. I haven't yet decided if I really like my thread choice.
Getting there.


The painted part is pretty much complete. You may notice I left the bottom edge in a rough ink pattern as I think I may 'wash' that area with a cool blue similar to the Jay's feathers.

This blue on the bottom edge may be additive when quilted.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Jay is Perched

'Have the Scrub Jay blocked in,and an experimental leaf
Now to play a bit with a would-be background. I think this will work okay

Friday, November 5, 2010

Starting a "Fall" Adventure

I have 3 weeks to start and finish a traveling exhibit piece on the Fall season. Usually, my traveling exhibit pieces are BIG as well as tongue in cheek attempts at everyday humor. I'm nostalgic about Fall however and my mountain home is exploding with color. Not long ago, I photographed a beautiful Scrub Jay just outside my dining room window. Now too, with all the leaves beginning to turn golden, brown and rust orange, I wanted to combine the 2 into a small piece representing the Fall season. So here goes... First the original contour drawing was created on 11 x 17 paper.... then enlarged at my local print shop to 150% ( about 17" x 25" a size nice enough for the subject and doable over the next 3 weeks as I likewise fold in holiday shopping, and Thanksgiving).
Fabric over the drawing, and let's get started using my favorite media of pigment inks. ( the fabric really is WHITE!)
Looking okay so far..

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A peak at the IQA 2010 World of Beauty Awards

We seldom get to see events like this... in fact there is no comparison ( I know of ) to this event. I was lucky enough to go to this stage to receive an award from Ricky Tims, but I thought you might like to see the Best of Show award going to Sharon Schamber for her piece titled Mystique.
It is even less seldom we can get close enough to any quilt in any show to see the real detail. Sharon used black silk thread on white fabric to create exquisite quilting.

According to Sharon, this was 4 years off and on in the making. She said in this high contrast of black and white... a thread off in a stitch line created chaos.
Importantly, the most memorable award of the evening was received by the husband of recently passed Moira Cannata. Mr Cannata accepted his late wife's award from tearful Marti Mitchell for Moira's final quilt "Last Chance, Last Dance." Not a dry eye was in the room. What a lovely gentleman and loving husband!