Monday, September 30, 2013

Beautiful Salem Update

Looks like I chose the right time to go to Salem and get back before the severe storms began. Thanks to host Teresa,  I got to visit Deepwood Estate (aka my summer home.. ha)  Such beauty.. The 'sun room' below. Click on photo for enlarged views.
 Main Entrance
 It is as beautiful as expected
The grounds are exquisite as well.
Gorgeous mallows
Looking toward the sky... ferns, moss, ivy cover tree trunks.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Salem Bound

I'll be in Salem, Oregon with MVQG Wed and Thursday for 2 lectures and a workshop. This should be great fun.  The pic below is Salem's Deepwood Estate Museum.  I think I'll pretend it's my summer home.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stitches that "Harmonize"

These kinds of stitches include largely circular, curvy lines that can make one feel "happy." The baby quilt just posted previous was loaded with circles, swirls, curvy flowers.
This bubble fill is a dance of circle 8 patterns of different sized circles.  It's a bit time consuming, but effective and interesting.

Here, a mix of curved lines and bubble fill. I like this fill pattern.
 This a heart-shaped variation of the teardrop. Totally fun and fast.
 No name for this one... just happy and fun.
There's a reason feathers show up on many a quilt... They curve gracefully and the world of quilters love 'em.This particular sample feather is my bad news good news sample. The bad news... I screwed up the right side of this feather motif . The good news... It's my first stitched out feather so there's hope for me.
 I call this a thread audition.  Before I start my art quilts, I audition thread this way (in loopy piles in quilt top areas to be quilted with different threads)
Again... there's as many ways to 'harmonize as one can think of.  There are many more in your and my head. Play on a scrap sandwich and you'll know what to do/not do!  Happy Quilting.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Time Out For Baby

Some things take precedence over others so I've put my other project on a temporary pause  || .   A lifelong friend informed me she is now a great grandmother of a sweet baby girl.  There's much to be thankful for in this birth and I want to honor this child, her mommy, the deceased son of my friend, and my friend who remains a dedicated grandmother.

"Love Da Baby!!!"
 I love this sweet panel I've saved for a moment just like this.  I know babies like softer quilts so this one is very loosely done.   A bit left to do but it will be done soon.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stitches That Stabilize

I often speak of the 'art' of quilting as about the message of line. I speak of the types of line in art composition... straight, curved, circular, angled, squared, horizontal, vertical  etc etc.   This is all important  and true and I considered today that even these can be defined/combined into quilting terminology that might not be so overwhelming for newer quilters. So today, I'll stitch out some from one set... Stabilizing....  For purpose of this .. note that stabilize will mean to the artful mind of the viewer.... truly.. the message of the line.

 Parallel straight lines  whether horizontal or vertical fit this category.
 The infamous grid fits it as well.  In this sampler, I marked the grid with a Frixion pen and then free motion stitched.  One direction first.  A soft touch of the heated iron at fabric setting ... and marks be gone!

 Then the opposite direction.
and it's done!  A grid viewed strictly hoizontal, vertical has a  slightly different feel than one done "on point"  On points does stabilize, and also is a bit uplifting.

There's a boxed scroll idea..
I love this  squared rooftop skyline idea
There's as many more as the mind can invent.. but  I think this conveys the general message. If what a quilter wants to convey is something... solid, stabile, maybe very calm... this might be the type of stitch your choose.
By the way... I'm creating this sampler on white silk.  I've got a bigger art quilt project that is challenging me to use a silk top, so I thought I better play a bit first. So I am doing 2 things at once here by  practicing stitch outs.   Happy Quilting.   I'll add some Harmonizing stitches next time.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rick Rack Follie

I'm doing a  13 1/2 inch unfinished block sample from Quilters Newsletter free pattern Christmas Album ( and it looks mighty fun. This block is 4 sets of mittens in a scattered pattern. The mitten sets are tied together  embroidery,  thin bias, yarn, ribbon, whatever one desires.  I drew the path I need to take.

 I chose to use baby rick rack which I'm going to enjoy though admit the getting it on in such a tight swirled path is my challenge.  One of my new best applique friends (the glue pen) will help make this happen with minimal challenge.
Glue goes down atop the drawn path. This blue goes away so it's best to do this post haste and a bit at a time. Press the rick rack atop the blue path, then continue with glue around the next part of the path til done.
Slow as you go free motion stitch following the zig zag of the rick rack

Stitch off the end that is tucked under the paired mitten.
Voila!!   Now to finish the mittens with either blanket, raw edge, or for some... needle turn.  I do love needle-turn but don't feel I have time or it's even additive to the fun piece.

All the different Christmas blocks are free on QN website.  There's also a picture of the finished quilt with all block variations.  This is all scrap Christmas fabrics but for the 48" x 48" quilt background.  Fabric/cutting info is in the Aug/Sept published magazine.  I bought 3 yards ( I think more than I need) for the background of soft green polka dots.

I hope some of my friendship group will want to  take this fun challenge on for 2014.  I'll find out shortly. Meeting tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spinning In My Jammies... One fun pattern

Yes, I know I am known as an art quilter... but sometimes pieced quilts are good mental therapy.  I've been running teaching so much I've missed my sewing machine but still have limited time.... so...
for my  Wanabes friendship group which does pretty traditional work swaps, I'm putting this in rotation for  member exchange work.

It takes 8  4 1/2 inch half squares  to  make one large block. This is a scrappy fun quilt using up novelty prints in this case.  Ideally, one half of the square is darker, one lighter. You'll see why at the end.  

I cut  2 7/8 inch black fabric squares , then cut diagonal to make small black triangles. These small triangles are sewn  as shown below.. stitched along the lighter side of the larger half square beneath.
Open/flip out the black triangle wings' , press, and trim the unneeded  light fabric corner beneath.
The next step is a reverse of the previous... With small white triangles sewn to the darker side of a half square beneath.

Now the fun begins.  Position 1 black 'winged triangle opposite  a white one, place right sides together along the long side and seam.

The result:I know this is a strange looking way to make a black and white half square... but it works great!!
 Four of these blocks are positioned with a pinwheel in the center.
The end result is just plain fun.  The quilt I saw had 5 of these blocks across and 7 down.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Window in The Woods

My hubby Ray is a master stained glass artist.  We've had 3 glorious understated Frank Lloyd Wright windows in our mountain home living room since we met... but the front door window in the same room had a complicated almost country design.  We needed something in the door window to compliment "Mr. Wrights" designs.   The muted color palette Ray used for this is perfect.  He put it in place last evening and this morning, I am in awe with soft daylight shining through. I'm gonna keep him.. MY Mr. Right that is! ;-)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Great Day At Maze Stone Quilters Guild

It was mighty hot in Hemet, Ca today but what a bunch of COOL Ladies and Gent Quilters with which I got to spend the morning.
I loved that each month this guild honors a Quilter of The Month with a mini trunk show and talk.  Very neat! 
 Tons of show and tell in this group.  With a focus on philanthropy, the "Strippers" friendship group  made many versions ( more than shown) of this fun pattern.
I had such a great time today...  a few of my pieces on a quilt rack display below ( looks a bit odd as it hangs in front of a painted wall mural. ...
L to R "Windsong", "My Gentle Giant Ben"( winner of the  Master Award for Machine Artistry - Houston International November 2012), In Quitos Market