Sunday, October 28, 2012

Packed to Go!!!

What a week!... nothing that seemed worthy of photos... I've been packing supplies... creating docs/ handouts, etc for Houston departure tuesday at 0 dark thirty....
I've also been working on the connections and operations of my new lecture projecter which I must take with me.  I'm tired of carrying my larger projector... not all that large really... but when one travels and teaches with what seems like tons of stuff... every little bit helps.
For traveling... I'm now moving from my big screen laptop to an 11 inch Mac Air... YEAH! and from my 8.5 pound projector to a smaller 2.5 lb Optoma ML500 projector.  So far, I love it.... the colors are brilliant and fairly simple operation once you figure it out.  Does anything come with a manual anymore???
Go to for details.  This projector is available through Best Buy... I even saw on Apples website.
I've received my new postcards... one the winter hunt image shown in previous post and another of this years Houston winner My Gentle Giant Ben... "BEN" full view and closeup!!

So I am headed out with great expectations of a fun filled week.  early Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Framed Giclee of Winter Hunt

I recently sold one of my favorite pieces (Winter Hunt) but as an artist I retain the licensing of the image I had on my original quilt to be  digitally scanned in sections and digitally stitched into one printable image at such high resolution, I could hardly believe it wasn't the original quilt once framed behind museum glass.  We hung it last night in our mountain home where mountain lions are known to roam our area.  The detail in the imagery is off the charts impressive.  I can see every stitch... even the slight shadows created by quilted-in puffs of snow on the tree trunks.

 These are snapshot camera images in a slightly darkened room, though my original scanned for printing image is well over 300MB of data... for 1 pic.  It's incredible workmanship by the giclee studio.  I should be able to make giclees available for sale to one who might be interested.  I can be contacted through a comment here or through my website accessible in links on the side bar.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Steps to Face An Art Quilt

The following  pics are of  demonstration examples. In the interest of my limited time, I have not heavily quilted these though one might quickly appreciate how this method accommodates a cropped quilted edge. I do note most of my pieces are heavily quilted  right to the edge of each piece.
There may be many ways to do this.  This one works well for me so here goes.   If one notes that many art quilters CROP their finished quilted work, it makes sense to consider these early steps as key.
There are 6 examples... 5 steps
 ( Steps one thru three top row left to right)
   Steps four and five..bottom row left and middle
   Finished Sample.. bottom row right.

                                  STEP ONE.. Identifying The Edge.
 There are actually 2 related steps and this post does assume the quilt is already blocked and flat.  My blocking method is addressed in last weeks postings so take a peak at that if needed.
 A.  measure carefully and decide/mark the intended quilt edge. I used a sew-line white chalk pencil.
 B.  calls for a straight line stitch all around the perimeter right atop the chalk line.
In this example, I stitched only part of the way around so you could easily see the stitch line in relation to the marked line. (click on photos to enlarge)  Thread Color Disclaimer  : For demonstration purposes, I am using a contrasting thread so it is easy to see.  In reality, I normally (where possible ) choose thread color close to matching what I'm stitching atop. In truth... I sometimes on this step only use monofilament or 100 wt invisafil as both are so very thin. I'll be stitching more than once  around the quilt throughout the 5 steps so you'll perhaps appreciate why I normally might use such a thin thread.
The purpose of this stitch is two-fold.. to know where to trim and to secure quilted thread that extends beyond the edge/ultimate cut line. In the pics below, I've stopped short of stitching all the way around so you could see I am stitching directly atop markings.  This will make more sense in step two pics.

STEP TWO: Trimming beyond the outside edge
is pretty simple but highly important.  Using a rotary cutter, trim just to the outside of the step one stitch line. The straight line stitch from the previous step will now hold the 'cut' ends of quilting threads til we get through the additional steps. Failure to 'hold' down the loose ends of thread could present a messy finish. Notice in the second photo closeup below there is barely a hair-width distance from the stitched line to the cut edge. 

STEP THREE: Adding Facing Fabric 
I add a 1 3/4" border (really facing) to a finished quilt seaming at about 1/8" from edge.  I didn't completely finish the 4th edge for your preview. Click on photos for closeup.  In the second photo closeup below.. you may note this steps stitch line is barely inside the step one stitch line. 

STEP FOUR Stitch at facings edge and stitch /turn under outer edges
 Like step one.. these step has 2 parts.
A.Once Step 3 is finished, I press the outer border flat, then begin a third stitch line that goes through the blue fabric and also through the sliver of batting in that 1/8" seam from from step three. I use the inside edge of the left side of my 1/4" pressure foot to run directly along the edge of the 'ditch' as I stitch. 
B. Turn under outer edges of facing approx. 1/4 inch and stitch from right side. 

Several views following ending with the backside view. 


STEP FIVE: The handwork finish
This step likewise has 2 parts...
A.  First fold the directly opposite sides of the facing to the back side and hand stitch as you would a traditional binding.  (NOTE: IF you have an extremely stiff quilt edge resulting from very heavy quilting.. you may need to dampen, roll to back,  and pin edges til dry when they'll  become more easily managed.)  Your hand stitching appears only on the quilted back.. and stops short of the outer edges that are facing fabric only.   You see below two sides already turned to the back and stitched.  At the  top outer left and right... there are fabric sample pieces of what one could (to minimize bulk) "CUT out" the loose edges of the sides just turned and stitched.   

This second pic may give you a better idea how to trim excess bulk from the corners.

 B. The top and bottom edges are now rolled to the back and hand stitched including a hand mitered corner.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT.. in both parts of this step  that the  first stitch line made in step 4 is visible from the backside thus assuring you have properly rolled the facing to the back.

                                                          THE END RESULT:
                                              Overall.. a nice clean knife edge facing.

 A look from the side edge shows a clean looking fold atop the back facing.  Remember... in a non demonstration effort, the lime green thread would likely have been blue like the backing fabric.

                                                            HAPPY QUILTING ALL!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sidestep to A Facing Sample

One might guess I am always balancing commitments and as they say... work gets in the way... only difference is this work is fun... so juggle it is.  At the upcoming International Quilting Festival  in Houston, I will be teaching my facing method.. the very thing I am stalled in the middle of in the last posting.
Since Thursday, I visited and lectured at another out of town Guild (the talented Village Quilters in San Diego), managed to get a migraine and head cold and have been out of commission for a day and a half. So now I am on the move again.    If interested on seeing the whole process at once, go to a previous posting on how to face a quilt... on the blog side bar, go to 2009, Month of April,  select "Let's Face It" 
For the upcoming quick teaching forum...unlike on a blog where I can post as I complete a project like facing, I need mini quilts reflecting steps at every effort so I am in the midst of making several block sized quilts to show the process. These are colorful small pieces I've made to stitch out the process at each step. That's my job for the today.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Marking / Squaring A Blocked Quilt

A day after blocking as discussed in yesterday's post, I am ready to square up this quilted piece. So the rest of this post makes sense, let me first give you a description of my overall approach.  The blocked flat quilt is marked,  stay stitched on the marked line, and then cut just to the outside edge of the marking.

First, the measuring and marking. I evaluate which side is most important to mark first and do that.  I am using a frixion pen that I can see well.
1)  In this example I chose the bottom of the quilt as the entire bottom portion is a view of a street that meets up a few inches away from a stoop on which my subjects are sitting. It seems important that the distance between the bottom of a stoop/step... and the shown street edge be the same... thus I began there. I'm using a big T-square to do this marking. Really helps.
2)  Before I mark the opposite side (in this first effort, the top edge), I measure ( I like a metal carpenter tape for this as it is rigid and can be locked in position) at least 3 times from bottom to top and lightly mark spots where I wish to draw the long line. The line gets drawn all the way across the top.
3) On one side of the quilt, I determine where I might want to crop the edges and then mark a vertical top to bottom line making certain they are right angles at each intersection of top and bottom lines.
4) Use a similar process used in step 2) for the opposite side of the quilt.   Once all 4 sides are marked, it's time to move on.

In the following steps I am using my regular 1/4 inch foot  to run a stay stitch right atop the marked lines. To do this, I must first reduce the pressure the foot places on the now quilted piece.  I lower the pressure 'til the quilt can be fed ( with feed dogs up) without stretching out the blocking we did on yesterdays post.  I suppose one could use a quilting foot on this too... I just prefer this method as I can see much better with a simple pressure foot. I stitch all the way around the quilt atop the line.

In this case, I used monofilament thread so you can't see it at all... but it is there.

Next up, I rotary cut a clean edge just to the outside of the marked line. The cutaway excess becomes scrap.
The quilt remains nice and flat and we are trimmed up, ready to either bind or face.  I like to face most pictorial pieces.  I show that next up.

Don't be worrying about this blue marking.  It will disappear in the next effort.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Quilter Version of a Block Party

Back from traveling... banking done and now back to finishing my own quilt on which the quilting was finished a week + back.  First things first....  The quilt needs blocking nice and flat.   Here's the way I tackle blocking.  I have an oversized 'big board' padded ironing board made to fit my work table so I drop the board down atop my 36" x  60" work table.  You may not have anything like this so know this step can be accomplished atop a soft carpet or a piece of insulation board.  I have even used a good hard bed top when traveling.  In the later 3 examples, I would place a clean sheet or oversized towel atop the base surface.
 Get a clear water spray bottle and lots of strong straight pins ready.  With clean hands and the quilt top facing right side up.... I evenly spray the entire surface ( my quilts are a cotton surface and fine to be  water sprayed).  I get it fairly wet but not totally dripping wet.   Use your clean hands to 'smoosh any wrinkles or waves flat, then use strong straight pins to pin through the quilt edges and into the big board (or whatever you might be using as discussed earlier). Pins must be secure.
You want this wet top to dry while pinned in place.  I usually leave this overnight and if you feel you need it, I would turn on a fan in the room though don't point the fan directly onto the quilt top... just move the air in the room so the quilt will dry uniformly.

Once the top is completely dry.... we'll begin marking and squaring up the edges.  That's the next post.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Painted Quilt Art Student Work

What a talented group of people in this class.  A completely full class of 20 people... Two full days of wonderfully creative work...some original drawings from personal or approved for use photographs.  Check some of them out.

Terri Doyle and her breathtaking owl in progress

Vicki Bohnhoff's exciting cactus
                                                  Jeannies' I see you... You see me
Wanda's portrait in progress

I am honored to pose with a recent  Arizona entrant to the Quilters Hall of Fame.. Yeah Wanda! The  beautiful Indian girl above is her work.

Vicki Bohnhoff created the colorful cactus
and Arizona Quilt Guild Secretary Jeannie created an amazing tiger. Jeannie 5'10"..Patt 5'4 1/2"
Jeannie wins.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I thought I'd Seen Everything in Quilt Shops

...until I went the 35th Street Sew and Vac in North Phoenix. This place is not just BIG, it's enormous.

This store increased it size by a good bit this last year. That suggests nothing but good things are happening here in Phoenix. All kinds of machines available ( short arm, mid arm, long arm.... domestic and commercial. Juki, Pfaff, Baby Lock, Tin Lizzie, HQ 16', and on and on.
Bolts of Fabric beyond belief in numbers.

And then row by row of threads

and that was NOT all  they had... but I was pleased to find one of my quilts represented on the Sulky Thread Cabinets. The Ballerina is one of my quilts that won The Sulky Challenge a few years back. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

NO Sew Much Fun

Designing by Fusing is just great fun... I'm just posting a bunch of pics of various projects with completed quilt tops... some traditional shapes... some wall hangings with 'off the wall ( in a good way) shapes.

The variety created was quite a joy...really. ;-) 
 The end of the day brought partial beginnings of a new project to grow later.