Monday, September 29, 2014

OCT 11 QUILTING in Orange Ca

The Filling Station 

Join Patt Blair in this one day class and leave with confidence and quilting motif samples to use in your work at home. Learn to free motion quilt three types of of motifs: ones that stabilize, harmonize and even move your eyes on quilt tops. You will create a sampler of each type which can serve as your quick reference library.

A handbook with 24 easy quiltable samples will be available for ideas too.  Please join us... you'll be glad you did. 
Call to sign up... Orange Quilt Bee
628 E Katella Orange, Ca
714 639-3245
10 am to 4pm

Return to your sewing room with confidence!! YES.. IT's true!!! Patt ;-)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Roylco Insect Plates

With my okay and much appreciation to them, Roylco posted on their blog some directions and examples of my rubbing plate art on fabric. 

Click Here  to go to their site with examples I gave them.  These plates are pretty cool. I think there are about 16 of them. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Here Comes Santa Claus

Actually here comes Father Christmas! 2 classes this fall ( one Houston, one a guild) will offer students a chance to create their own story upon the winter coat of Father Christmas.  Here's my sample of the finished quilt, but students get to put whatever they want  on their coat and in his bag.   The one you see here, I created for my British friend, thus their flag.   Should be fun.
To do this class in one day, I deliver students the full sized piece of see thru white pfd(prepared for dying)  fabric with the face ready to go.  There's just no time to teach portraits in this class.   I'm prepainting faces so thought I'd show you the steps in one painting.    I begin with the laser print black and white line drawing under fabric.

First things first... I filled the skin tone area in with Tsukineko no. 95 (Tuscan Beige)  all purpose craft ink.
Since I used this pale ink near full's wet, and thus I need dry/heat set it before moving on. One could  go to the ironing board and iron on dry cotton setting ( cover with tissue or paper if you do)  but I use a heat embossing dryer so I don't have to move the fabric. The heat tool throws out a small circle of real heat ( careful... too close and you could scorch). A hair dryer would work too.   Move the dryer quickly and often and again not too close to fabric. I will use this several times as I progress through this piece but will only show here. When to use?... If the ink on fabric is wet... and you are about to put something like another ink atop it.. get it dry underneath lest your goal is to allow 2 to mix.
Using a light Fabrico marker ( no 152) Sand to lightly outline eyes, nostrils. again... get it dry before next step. ( I will darken eye perimeters later. ) 

Add some baby blues
I'll use the same image to explain 2 separate steps. 
I used a red Fabrico( 114 Poppy)  to add lips, a brown Fabrico (use either Truffle 155 or Chocolate 154)  to darken upper lids, and a small black pigma to add the eye pupil
 I used a very dry brush Tsukineko ink no, 52 (sand) to add a soft contour to his face, eye, nose   and very dry brush 15 (Cherry Pink) for his rosie cheeks 
A black Fabrico marker( no 182)  to darken inside the mouth 

And lastly either white (no 80) ink or a simple acrylic to add a highlight on the lower lip and soften any edges you think in need ... eg the right side of his lip above was too strong. 

This should be a fun class... Starting to prep supplies for  October 27 class at Houston Int'l.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Flight Of Fancy

As with the previous post, I had another media mixer class 'top' that called for quilting. On this piece, I  had used a yellow background fabric atop which I had attached  ( using matte medium) tissues   and handmade papers. I then  had added stencil elements and even scribble pencil  orangeish color ( w/ Prismacolor ) around some elements
I generally begin by stitch outlining to secure element edges.
Then begin at the central area to add filler quilting. I am not a feather quilter queen(yet)  but did figure out how to use unstructured feathers to cover open space.  
I then work my way around the piece adding filler stitching where I think it's helpful.
Even some stitching within outlined tissue elements (upside down because the first photo of it above is also )

Lots of fun. I learned how to feather a bit and hopefully will improve in that area. 

Click on photos for enlarged views

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Media Mixer Finish

Each time I  prepare to teach a media mixer class, I freshen up my skills prior to class by playing/creating a small piece. That means I have little tops around that need quilting.

An small piece I've named "Baroque" included  matte mediumed tissues, papers, stenciling, and stamping on it's surface. With matte medium over once delicate tissues and dried... they can be quilted albeit carefully. This is a strip of grey and cream colored tissue. I secured the edges and then 'knocked down'  i.e. stitched some cream areas allowing texture to be evolve.
Simple quilting seemed to work okay. I was listening to classical music and sought a bit of calm in this already complex surface.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Day at the Fair

A few days back, an invite from friends Peggy and Mary to go the the L A County Fair was just what I needed. Given the ladies involved, it was clear there would be laughs( there were plenty) ... and I wanted to get to the Fair and see how my hubby's breadmaking faired (no pun intended).  His Golden Raisin Bread .. .a 1st place.  His white bread.. a 2nd place. He was pleased. Ray has been making bread the old fashioned way for 30 years.

 The Barnyard races were a hoot. Our team( 3rd gate)  pig ( orange neck scarf)  won first place on the first race.

Our gate 3 orange scarfed pig took third in his second race but now that I look at this '' off and running" start of race photo, I see why and view 3rd as a good finish.
You can click on photos for enlarged view.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Facing The Bird

Okay... It's quilted as shown on 9-18-2014 posting   ... now to face it.
Above... I added a small strip ( sort of like adding a border after the fact)  on all but the lower fringed edge. ( I think I used 2" strips but could easily have used smaller... maybe 1 1/2"  to 1 3/4". In adding these after quilting strips, I  stitched  them with an approximate  1/8" seam. See below.

After pressing the strips outward... I returned to the front ( see below) and stitched a 'stay' stitch just off the edge of the seam that added the strips and within that 1/8" seam allowance. You can almost see where the seam allowance is as the pale yellow strip is shadowed beyond the 1/8" seam allowance.  I use the inside edge of  my 1/4 inch foot to guide my now 1/16" line from the 'ditch'.  You might also note at the far right, I turned under the very outer edge of these strips about 1/4" or so and stitched them.  This will be important in the hand finish part of facing.
 Shown below... Steam iron or spray iron press and roll the side 'borders to the back.( look to see that 1/16" stay stitch in a straight line)  and pin to cool.   If you see that line from the back... you've done a good job rolling back the quilt edge.   The finished inside edges get whip stitched as you would a binding.  Once the two sides are done, the top can be done similarly though to eliminate excess bulk, I cut out all possible excess at the corners. When I turn the top edge to the back, I usually hand miter and then whip stitch.
Add your sleeve and label and you are done.
This was a fun quick project.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quilting "Fly Be Free"

Remember Mork and Mindy back in the day when Mork  learned birds begin life inside an egg then threw an egg in the air and said " Fly Be Free." Well... thats where this title comes from. Such a talent for the ages...
I had painted this little bird a while back ( mini therapy during the hubby in wheelchair days)  .. now to quilt!  I painted this little bird on a light value yellow stonehenge and decided I liked the fringed out bottom edge and wanted to incorporate it in the finished piece...  so the question in addition to "how to quilt?" was also " how to sandwich?"
 First... before sandwich time I marked an on point double grid behind the bird. I LOVE frixion pens.
Then I stitched the top edge of the fringe to the backing where I also placed a finished edge at the bottom.. THEN inserted batting.
 I secured the bird and limb with .004 monofilament.  I liked the bird surface and didn't think threading to be necessary. Now to quilt. Free motioned grid done. (I use a heat blower to erase the frixion pen  lines).
Next the lower area: There was not a clear pattern in the painting so I kept it sort of ethereal... not too formal on purpose. I think that made a nice contrast to the structured grid.
I thought the side areas  might look okay using linear vertical curves...

Then the very top  an open circular pattern I call Curly Q.
I'm pleased with the overall. ( The dots on the lower edge are markings on my cutting table... duh...   looks like beads tho... Nope!
Next post.. I'll face this puppy.. i.e. birdie.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Loving This Feathered Border

The final outer border is a beautiful structured border feather design.  I've never seen this stencil before and have searched the web for it. I would love to use this again. Holler please if you know who made this one.
I went back to  very center to add a few more stitch elements so that the center melded better with the outer areas... but.... now, I'll take a break before finishing the very outer edge (and finish removing original grid work.)  There's more to do beyond the linens edge, but there seems less to do than when I first began.  Time to think/ rethink is a good thing.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Continuing The GIFT!

Moving outward from the cutwork, there is a central floral border around which I added three lines of outline then a filler meander to knock down larger unmarked/ unembellished areas.  You can see the invisible thread quilt line 'holes'  
I removed the grid work thread, then dampened  and gave the  flower petals a slight massage to  close up the needle holes. Don't worry... the  Frixion pen markings also dampened will  later disappear with heat.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beginning a Gift Project

I've always wanted to take on a vintage linen project  for 2 reasons.  One...because I'm from Oklahoma farm country where in my youth linens were seen everywhere. And second... Cindy Needham is a friend and has done wonders to revive the love and appreciation of vintage linens.
Not quite 2 years back, I had a day at Road To California I was not teaching and decided to take my buddies one day class on designing patterns for a vintage linen brought to class.  The number of stencil options Cindy brought was unbelievable. I relaxed ( a bit too much as you'll read), but designed and marked a linen with hopes of finding time to quilt it later.  The cutwork linen I'd purchased and brought to work on was SO beautifully made that I failed to note I had marked the linen on the BACK side.  Oh well... I had a great design day and a few mos. back I decided to carefully place the image on my light box and trace marked the front side too.

So the time to begin the quilting is now. I've placed a  contrasting value drapery brocade behind the linen so the cutwork elements can be appreciated.  I had secured the linen top to the backing using a  machine basting stitch grid of invisible thread  (which will need be removed later). After the fact, I wonder if this would have been a good time to use a water soluble dissolving thread...  but I'm fine with what I did .  I still found I was more comfortable pinning here and there but recognize some old linens might not like pinning.  This one did.
I begin like I do my art quilts... working from the middle outward. I used a thread slightly warmer color than the crisp white linen. I now know I might have used a slightly darker cream value but I'm good with this and will not 'unstitch"
Moving outward from the center there is a squared pattern of 8 cutwork elements.  All elements called for outlining to show off the cutwork.The cutwork looks nicer with the outlining and I now think there would be benefit in outline stitching the embroidery. I love the quilting journey.

Doing so added a bit of refinement /stability to the small original embroidery design. 
My short term goal ( still  progressively working my way out  from center toward outer edges) is to get the basic quilting done.  I'll be coming back to add filler elements to even better show off the original linen design.  I'm loving this... 'am awakening at odd hours to steal an hour of two of quilting. 

(  Cindy's book... "Wholecloth Linen Quilts"published by AQS  in 2007).  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My new color wheel clock.

I think I've worked out the perfect WIN WIN with friend Jan Stewart.  Jan made this Cherrywood Fabric / Cherrywood pattern color wheel and her brilliant hubby turned it into a wall clock.
I get the clock in turn for finishing up an art piece she began. This clock is both functional and a great color wheel reference. I've had this pattern myself thinking I'd make it "someday." Not Required now! Yeah and thank you Jan.

Monday, September 8, 2014

In a New Book!

Linda Seward  ( in the U.K.) just published her comprehensive art quilt book titled "The Ultimate  Guide To Art Quilting" It is available now on Amazon. 

click here   to go to  the listing on Amazon

It includes lots of how tos as well as inspirational photos of finished quilts, among them my piece... "My Gentle Giant Ben."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hope For Good News

Today I take Ray for xrays on his broken bones. Sure want him out of this wheelchair.
Looks like he does too.
UPDATE:  He did get out of the rented wheelchair  Yeah! He's pretty unstable still but it's definite progress. His shoulder injury ( break behind the humerus) will be a longer issue but we are moving forward. He's not scouling as shown here but  he was mighty grumpy when he took his first steps and wasn't perfectly well.  The word tantrum sort of fits the moment.