Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013...It's a Wrap!!!!!

Have a  happy evening all, and stay safe.  'Love this Kitty!!!

BUT... I like the way IT IS!!!!

This is likely NO surprise to anyone thats done much quilting. If you want the fabric underneath to stay just like it is..... a same color/value solid or variegated thread works great!  Like it like it is!! This is a great choice for newer quilters when still mastering stitch skills.  ( Again... thread spool shown at bottom of photo) 
Variegated works somewhat similar but adds a tiny bit if interest.
Finally,lets just look at comparing three values of a complimentary thread color... 

 On the same mid value background red fabric... a dark, same value, and light compliment thread are stitched in similar quilt density.

 Can you see a difference? It's actually harder to see up close than far away....

The DARKER value thread darkens the value of red fabric 

the SAME VALUE thread does little but is a bit drab (neutralized) by comparison.. 

LIGHTER VALUE thread draws attention to the area and lightens the overall value of the area.
 Good stuff to know... Thats it for 2013.  New projects to arrive NEXT YEAR!  Stay safe tonight.  Happy New Year!!! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Different Values of Compliments?

If one uses a compliment color darker thread to add darkness / shadow on fabric underneath... you will likely note the result has a richness to it that a darker same color as the fabric wouldn't. Check out the burgundy thread (from the red family compliment to green) and what it does to add richness/ interest in the veins of the leaves.
 How about Lighter compliments
Nope.... I don't mean just saying something kind of nice to someone. See what happens when you use a lighter value compliment thread atop the compliment fabric? IT says.. LOOK AT ME!!!! The spools of thread I used  are shown at the bottom of the photo... 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Knowing When To Compliment Your Quilt Top

As 2013 draws to a close... I hope to give you a bit of thread ammunition knowledge... i.e. a bit about thread color choices when quilting... and thread value.  Most of this info is driven about knowledge of the power of compliments... so here goes...    First a color wheel for general reference....
You ofcourse note there are no neutrals or black shown on this wheel. Mixtures of other colors that do appear on the wheel make up a variety of neutrals.DID YOU KNOW that complimentary colors ( ones across from each other on the wheel)  mixed together make a brownish neutral?  eg... red and green ( ala Christmas colors are across from each other on a color wheel. Look what happens when they are mixed together.  Same is true mixing blue and orange)  What I'm showing here was done with approximately equal parts of textile ink.

 When this equal parts idea gets translated to thread... think of it as same value thread in the complimentary color.   This may seem hokey.. but as we will learn,  it's pretty powerful knowledge to have when starting to choose thread colors.  Might one think if you wanted to tone down a fabric area on your quilt top... you might consider using a complimentary color of thread in pretty much the same value... i.e on red fabric.. use same value green thread... and vice versa. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Final Christmas 2013 project

I made 3 of these cozy fleece blankets ( a word seldom spoken by quilters). This NON quilt cozy fleece is so warm and wonderful they are a joy to sew when one lives in a chilly mountain canyon.  One last one before Christmas Eve dinner.  Check out these sweet Christmas doggies...
 Simply backed this adorable fleece with a black fleece by sewing right sides together.... birthing through one end...  then stitching a fake half inch binding as shown here. This is the fastest project ever.
I admit I would like to have this warm comfort for myself.... but it's Christmas and I made it for giving... and it's perfect for a child curling up later tonight as he or she awaits Santas arrival.  I will certainly look for something to make for me after Christmas.

Ready To Celebrate

Family and friends are heading up the mountain for an evening of sharing and good cheer before late night church.  Because this snowman seems so relaxed and connected with nature, he is one of my favorite cards this year.... 'looks like a future quilt.
Have a wonderful evening everyone. 
Merry Christmas and may God Bless You All !!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

This takes the CAKE!

This was certainly fun. My hubby is a master baker so for my annual Christmas luncheon with my gal pals... he baked the most delicious carrot,pineapple,walnut.coconut cake ever... and I decorated it  with  edible gold mist/flakes atop a nummy cream cheese icing... plus 12 gum drop gingerbread men around the  cake perimeter. It's a party!


The annual"Wanabe Quilters" Christmas party began with scrumptious appetizers.. followed by secret pal gifts...and then a luncheon beyond compare.
Check out these very clever penquin olive appetizers by Phyllis Reddish.
Our hostess Laurie Lyon seemed to like her lion.

Her table runner gift to her secret pal Carol Culbert
Phyllis Reddish wearing her "fascinator hat' brought from New Zealand and a  gifted table runner of her own. Phyllis is dressed pretty sharp as well.
Karon Cornell received this spectacular quilt.
Carol Lundquist received this happy holiday quilt from Hilary

A beautiful use of a friendship knot block. Lucky Nancy Kastner goes home with this one.
Janmarie Halliday was mighty touched with this framed gift made by Nancy.
Carol Pankow loved Thanskgiving all Colors so she really was quite pleased with this quilt from Janmarie.
Mary Lou Ripper received a cleaver bag from Ms. Brodie (seated).
 Then Mary Lou reciprocated with a swedish weaving. BEAUTIFUL!
 I missed a few pics ( either fuzzy or missed foto opp)... but NOBODY missed our beef wellington lunch!
A very happy day indeed!!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays from Out West

Lucky me to have spent a week + in one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S.... Sedona, Arizona.  I was there mostly working on projects but did get out to a few galleries.  I LOVED this enormous... I mean enormous metal horse outside a local gallery beckoning me to stop for a visit.
To give you perspective on HOW big he is... I shot this photo from my SUV so I'm shooting from greater than normal height. Notice how the small the SUV behind the horse appears.  WOW!
Happy Holidays all!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Friday's post revealed my red lion canvas painting destined for a new owner.  I liked this lion once all was said and done so I had a hi-res photo of him printed on fabrics... L - R   1 cotton, 1 silk... I'll quilt them later but 'am thrilled with the result on both fabrics. (Click on photos for enlarged view)
Both images are on fabric adhered to a paper backing so the difference in fabric not as readily evident here.  The color/values came out spot on attributed to the technical ability of the studio that printed for me.
I'll remove the paper back when I quilt and the silk finish will begin to show itself. the silk is beautiful!!!  I'll discuss in later posts about how to prepare your quilt 'sandwich' when working with silk.  For now, I wanted to share info on a studio and owners you would surely enjoy working with. The owners are caring pros. How refreshing, eh?
 Their prices are reasonable and please tell 'em Patt sent you.   Happy Holidays All!!!!!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Merry Christmas Lion

Well, I know the current name of this piece ("Red Lion") sounds strange.  I have had this oil painting shown below done for months ( It had to dry) but has been hidden.  This guy is definitely having a bad hair day, but lions generally do. I liken this guy to a recent commercial for music speakers where the TV screen shows a side profile view of  modern day male sitting in a black leather arm chair  and being 'blown away' by the strong speaker volume coming at him.

 My lion is being blown away too... but he doesn't care!  After all, he's a male lion... king of the jungle so they say.

 Today I get to post the finished product as it is to be gifted this morning to my SECET PAL... in my Wanabes Friendship Quilt Group.  At each December meeting/gathering a handmade gift (often but not required to be a quilt) is presented to a member whose name was secretly drawn the Christmas previous.  I went off the quilting grid this year...  It is so danged hard to keep a secret for 12 months.. so I am elated this morning to be able to show the piece and present it to this months meeting hostess Laurie Lyon of Anaheim Hills, Ca. .  Laurie loves red... and her name is Lyon...so why not a red lion.  Its a 20 x 20  wrapped canvas oil.  I hope she likes it. (Click on photo for enlarged view)
 No one in the group thinks about receiving a gift 'til today. We are all so excited about presenting what we've worked on.  Unless I've been secretly blackballed from the group, I'll possibly have something to show that I have received from 1  of the 11 other members.     Happy Friday all.  Suspense is now building.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Beautiful Work By Judy Pearce

In early October, I had the incredible good fortune to teach in a private retreat in Canada. One student  had significant background in pencil portraits, etc and was there to learn how inks would translate onto fabric. No question here... she got it down quickly.  Here is her source/in progress and finished painting done shortly after our class.

My apologies to Judy for delays in getting this posted... The photo format received wasn't compatible with this site. It took some creative tech thinking on how to get these photos on line... worth the effort for sure.

Her reference source..
In progress work atop a mottled neutral commercial fabric

Artists get to make changes from the original source photo.  I much prefer Judy's chosen scarf pattern
This image was ultimately included in a philanthropy fundraiser quilt. Wish I'd seen that and could have bid on it. Gorgeous work! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let The Fabric Do The Work

The  zig zag border of this quilt  needs no special quilting to draw attention to it. So very simple quilting to secure the border is all that is needed.  This is a perfect example of the phrase "Less is More."  The end result appears to deepen value of the adjacent gray strip of zig zag.
A quarter inch binding of the same pattern in  teal and silver finishes the piece.
The sleeve was added but not shown. A label likewise awaits but only after a proper quilt name comes to me. I  LIKE this piece much more than I ever thought I might.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Time to Hop

There are 4 outer corner areas each with 16 separate areas of light and warm gold segments.

 I'm choosing to quilt these golden areas with a small bubble fill.  The circular pattern will  provide counter  balance to the angular pattern in the outer border and the fire-like fill in the small blue area quilted in the previous post. BUT....  theres a lot of starting and stopping with over 60 areas of quilting.... so while my quilting plan to be used here might not be suitable for every multiple adjoining area fill, a stitch, hop, cut stitch and repeat approach should work fine here. I am using a 40 wt poly thread here.
 While I'm photographing here  from having already crossed into a next stitch area... note that I am outlining the golden areas with a straight stitch... .. I've already gone all  the way around the perimeter  of the area to be quilted and 'am a stitch or two away from the beginning point.
 To tightly secure the original staring point, I've continued to straight stitch atop the original stitch line til I am a few stitches beyond the starting point... then I can begin my circular bubble fill.
I continue to fill the area and do my best to finish my final stitch somewhere in the middle rather than the out edge of the filled area.  Start the repeat and continue to fill all areas 'locking' the final stitch inside each completed area.  
To trim...slide your small scissors ( I love the Fiskars upward curve tips for this)  under the "HOP OVER stitch"  and clip.    The second clip in the center area won't show a 'clipped' end fuzz as long as you previously locked your final stitch in place, your scissors are sharp, and you haven't used a highly fuzzy thread to begin with.
These took some time but look good in my thinking. I'll move to the border after a break. Nothing is required of the teal green area.  They stand on their own just fine. 
Next post, we'll finish this celestial piece. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Moving Out from the Sun

The surrounding swirling lines seem to stand for themselves so I didn't choose to densely quilt them and in fact, I will just free motion outline the dark swirls.
This admittedly called for several starts and stops but I think it will work out well this way.  I've chosen NOT to quilt in the lighter lavender/purple area between the midnight blue lines.  Because this is a smaller quilt, I seem to be able to get away with a less that consistent density of quilting throughout the quilt top.
The light blue circular area that surrounds the entire center medallion didn't call for attention so a simple meandered fire-like fill seemed to work fine.

Moving outward from here, it's decision time.  How to treat the flared areas at the quilt tops edge.  When stitch patterns are not immediately/intuitively obvious, I sleep on it.. and so I will.  I think I know what I want, but I'll know better with a fresh brain and eyes.  Sometimes you must stop and rest the brain and eyeballs.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Time to start the Sun and Moon

I painted this piece a while back and my schedule has been so busy, I couldn't get to the bordering/ quilting til now. I'm thrilled to get to it.  I'm in Sedona, AZ presently, one of my favorite getaways for quilting and inspiration.  But it's cold outside.. 19 degrees.  Oh well, I'm inside by the fire.
The Painted Piece complete with lavendar eyes honoring the mesmerizing eye color of the late Elizabeth Taylor....

Now to border or not... and how if so.  This piece is fairly small and I felt a  border would help support the center but  I wanted it to be narrow ( 2" of so) and maybe a bit graphic thus I choose a metallic silver/grey zig zag border.  I may be sorry but I think this will read contemporary and well.   We'll see.
As with most of my work, I begin in the middle of the piece and work outward.  First up I work to secure basic elements and quilt edges using monofilament.
You may note the strange teardrop stitching beyond the  top quilt edge and onto the batting which is  atop backing.  If one has EVER had a backing turn itself under the quilted top, you never want it to happen again.  I once had to pick out a quilted poem that went around the edge of a quilt top. ARGH...   so while I am securing the edge of the quilt.... I'll  go off the edge and stitch out into the batting to keep things together nicely while I'm quilting. Yes,  I know I could leave pins there instead, but I  love the freedom from pins so this works well for me particularly on smaller pieces where my hands spend plenty of time atop the batting area.

So I began in the very middle by stitching those cute rosy cheeks in a simple in and out spiral.  That was done BEFORE surrounding the cheeks with a fill pattern.

I'll start here with  the Mack The Knife- looking character ( Mr. Moon) .  I wanted a small/tight filler that wouldn't draw a lot of attention.  I was quilting a male character here so I didn't feel I wanted a curvy set of lines.  I settled on a very small triangular fill I've used before.  Here's the basic stitch idea... a VERY simplified scrolled triangle...
Scroll in and out and on to to next triangle and it seems to work out just fine especially with slightly different shapes of triangles as needed to get the job done.
The lady SUN in my mind called for a few curves, so another tight fill.. this time the simple triple teardrop worked out fine. 
with the outer edges of the lady sun flared out with echoed curves coming together at the point of each sun flare. 
I finished off the center of the medallion image with an on point gridded background that seemed to provide a contrast of "open but nonetheless supportive structure" 
I'll stop here and pick up next post. ;-)  My hubby is taking me out for a mini shopping trip and a cup of coffee at one of my favorite Sedona haunts... The Wildflower Bread Company with a 'spectacular' view of red rock mountains. .