Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Green" batting

Going with the green (sustainable) theme, I am going to try a new batting in my next quilt. Fairfield's Fusi-boo batting is made from cotton and rayon fibers made from bamboo. I have used bamboo batting in other quilts and thought it worked well.

I will give the fusible bamboo batting a try and see how it goes. Have you had good results with it? I am not on board with fusible batting in general so ... the results are questionable.

By the way, I did get an offer of foil candy wrappers from a package of Rolo candies. Somehow, it is much more appealing to be forced to eat the candy first!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You've Been Wallpapered

What can be done with an interesting collection of re-cycled/re-used parts? When you are a quiltmaker, the options are endless. This is creativity at its best.

In addition my previously mentioned collection, I've added one more thing. When I was visiting my friend Mary, she was in the midst of removing dated wallpaper from her hallway. We started coming up with wild ideas for the re-use of wallpaper. In the end, I couldn't stop myself from coming home with a piece, with the challenge of using it on a quilt. (The wallpaper was heavy with threads running through it, quite substantial.)

Here it is, Mary! Your wallpaper has become the background for my re-cycled quilt project.

To this, I've added the embellished foil candy wrapper, the cuffs from the silk shirt and, of course, the matching buttons. The leather jacket donated its sleeve and buttons. An abandon shoe lace completed the picture. (And not seen, a used linen dish towel became the quilt back.)

What a fun project! What have you tried lately?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recycled materials

Now I am thinking of making a "green" project using more recycled materials. In addition to my used candy wrapper, what else could I incorporate into my quilt? I have several old silk shirts and an old leather jacket. Could these be used?

What about old linens? Eco-friendly bamboo batting? Outdated neck-ties, re-used buttons, trim or lace?

What would you suggest?

Monday, February 22, 2010

It was meant to be

There it was! As I was paging through an old issue of Quilting Arts, the caption read "Using Gold Chocolate Wrappers". In an article by Elli Woodsford entitled "Getting into Hot Water", she used foil candy wrappers in her technique.

O.K. so I didn't follow her instructions very well, but I did come up with a way to incorporate the wrappers from my delicious Dove candy bar into a quilting project.

Gee, does that mean from now on I could buy chocolate and see it as a business deduction? How could this get any better?

Anyway, I sandwiched the wrapper, which I crinkled a bit to get more texture, between a layer of sheer netting and a stabilizer. Then I took it to my machine and free motioned circles through the layers. What a great look!

Now where will this take me?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Sweet Day

My husband is always surprising me with special little treats. He knows a bit of chocolate will sweeten the day.

I'll nibble a bit as I look through old copies of Quilting Arts magazines. I love the ideas but seldom take the time to explore further than reading the articles. Today, it will be my goal to get my hands busy and start my own version of a creative idea.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Add a little sunshine to your day

Whether the world wakes up bright and sunny or the clouds fill the sky, it brightens our day to fill our space with the warmth, the beauty and the texture of quilts.

Not only do we have the joy of playing with color and pattern as we create our masterpieces, we rejoice in sharing our lives with others through our quilts.

Whether you are busy stitching or enjoying a finished product, may God bless you today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Capturing the Sun

I loved playing with the colors and transforming my leaves into a sun-washed glow of autumn days. The silk has a wonderful sheen that really comes to life with quilting on it. The subtle color of the over-dyed print background suggests dappled shade among the leaves.

I couldn't resist the temptation to continue and am working on two companion pieces. This coming May, I will be having a gallery show in Monroe, WI and this piece (and its friends) will be there. Check the Gallery Exhibits link for the dates and exact location.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Choosing fabrics

I couldn't resist the beautiful silk fabric hand dyed by Frieda Anderson. The color are vibrant and true and the silk has that wonderful sheen. I think I will combine it with two other hand dyed fabrics created by another friend. The green and the over-dyed print are more toned down and will be a good combination with the brilliant silk.

I can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Working from my inspiration

From my inspirational photo, I chose to re-create a small section of leaves in my quilting project. Although I loved the whole composition and may at some time choose to make a larger quilt, today's project will be small, approximately 12" square.

I drew out three leaves based on the leaves in the photo. Because I can pick and choose, I am not limited by my photo and can combine or delete as I desire. I can simplify the leaves. I can also add other elements. I can go realistic with the colors or into a fantasy realm.

Now the fun part of sorting through my fabrics, on a quest for the best choices to complete my vision. The fabrics that pop out at me may change my vision and clear the way for an ever greater artwork. I always try to keep open to the possibilities that may arise.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Where do you look for your next idea? I have been looking through photos I took of autumn leaves and found this view which I found interesting. The colors, the shapes of the leaves, the light and the shadows all were inspiring. How can I turn this into a quilted piece?

Will it be the entire photo or just a close-up of one area? What fabrics would be the best choices? How could I incorporate the multiple colors in each leaf? Will the finished piece be realistic or abstract?

These will all be questions I will ponder as I work on this idea.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What do you think?

Should I have left off the red flanges on the redwork blocks? Should I have made the quilt square instead of going for a more unusual shape? (See Friday's blog for the photo with the flanges.)

When laying out the blocks and stitching them together, I felt there should be more red to emphasize the outline of the redwork blocks. A solid border didn't seem like the best solution. Ever exploring the options, I came up with the red flanges. I liked the more dramatic shape, so I finished it that way.

Did I wander off? Or did I come up with a more interesting quilt? You be the judge.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Speaking of Red

I've completed my redwork table topper. Even though this is a smaller project, it was a work in progress of a considerable amount of time. Initially, the four redwork blocks were stitched together with five solid red blocks. To me, this was too ordinary and unexciting. Maybe this was why it was never finished. I removed the solid red blocks and added pieced blocks made of a variety of reds. Now it captured my attention and I could move on. I machine quilted the red pieced blocks and hand quilted the four hand-embroidered redwork blocks.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quilting the design

As I said yesterday, I can make multiples of my quilting design by stacking papers and stitching through thread-less. Not only do I now have the needed copies of the design but the perforations on the copies make it easier to later remove the paper from the top of my quilt.

As you can see, the tracing paper is thin enough that I can center the design on my block. I then pin in place and quilt on the perforated lines. I do have to remove the paper later but the design is easy to see, quick to quilt, and I don't have to remove marking lines from my quilt top.

Life is a trade-off, but we are always looking for the option that is easiest and most satisfying for our needs.

Making quilting designs

I have been busy getting quilts ready for the quilting step. Often I need multiple copies of the quilting design to place on selected blocks in my quilt.

My favorite method to make these multiple copies involves stapling several sheets of tracing paper together with the design on the top sheet. I remove the thread and bobbin from my machine and trace around the design perforating the paper with my sewing machine needle. I remove the staples and carefully pull apart the sheets of paper.
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