Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

Climbing Roses combines several techniques including string piecing, serged three dimensional flowers, and a flounced edge. 
I was thinking back on 2011 and the quilts I have worked on this past year. While I can think of several of them, others slip from my memory. Do you keep a listing of all of your projects? Or, perhaps you have been working on one that consumed all of your quilting time for the entire year.

Lizard Tails drew the most attention.
A few years ago, I decided to keep a notebook of my projects. The purpose was to document when I started, what fabrics, techniques, etc. that I used. This was a trial for me because I am much more of a doer than a documenter. With some projects, I made excellent notes and others just happened and were out the door before I even thought about noting them. This year, I will again resolve to do a better job of keeping notes.

My serged pillows put a smile on my face every time I look at them.  I love the bright colors and combination of fabrics.

What were the quilts that I most enjoyed making this past year? Which one did I learn the most from? Was it a technique that I learned or perfected (well, hardly perfected, maybe got a little better at)? Was it the creativity that hooked me in? Which project was the most fun making? Was there one that I enjoy using daily? Were there quilts that gave me great joy in giving away?

I'm happiest about all of the quilts our Undercover Quilters group made and donated this year.
Where did your quilting life take you this past year? What joy did it bring into your life?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday's Tile - Wisdom or Gold

Quilter's Tile - Wisdom or Gold?
8" x 8"
©2011 Sharon V. Rotz

Today's tile combines a variety of techniques. In the background of the piece, I've used Shiva Artist's Paintstiks over texture plates and Dye-na-Flow paints to vary the color of the fabric. I then took the fabric to my machine and added some decorative stitches using metallic thread. (Some of the over 200 stitches that my machine will do and I usually never use. What great options, I need to expand on this.)

For the writing, I dropped the feed dogs and machine quilted the words.

To finish off this tile, I went green and used recycled items. The borders strips were strips from old ties  and the buttons cut from an old suit coat.

Friday, December 23, 2011

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday's Tile - Red Leaf

Quilter's Tile - Red Leaf
8" x 8"
©2011 Sharon V. Rotz

In the midst of Christmas activities, a friend and I got together for some quilting playtime.

After watching Frieda Anderson and Laura Wasilowski  with Nancy Zieman on Wisconsin Public Television, Pat and I set out to have our own fusing adventure.  (By the way, I'm so thrilled to call these three talented quilters my friends. Frieda, Laura, and Nancy are all so enthusiastic about sharing, don't miss it if you have the opportunity to learn from them.)


Back to my quilting. Using pre-fused fabrics, I arranged and fused these pieces directly to the batting. Then I did a bit more fusing to add details. So quick and easy with great results. Another fun day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Christmas has come to the table when red and green fabrics streak across in a cheery table runner. 

For this project I used strips left over from another bigger quilt. Why would I think of tossing them when they can be easily stitched into multi-colored strips?

The pieced strips are cut into blocks and re-stitched into a quick table runner.

What have you done with excess Christmas fabric?  The options are endless.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday's Tile - Wonderful Counselor

Quilter's Tile - Wonderful Counselor
8" x 8"
©2011 Sharon V. Rotz

Today's Quilter's Tile is made of marbled fabric which I cut and added around a center marbled piece created by "Lost Marbles" by Debi Huff.

I added writing with a Pigma pen and handstitching.

The edge was finished off with hand beading.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Find Your Joy

Are you bustling with holiday spirit?  Even your sewing studio can have a simple festive look. 

I've covered my small cabinet with a miniature Ohio star quilt to brighten my day as I work on Christmas gifts. This piece reminds me of days when I first started quilting, (many of you may recognize several of the fabrics) and brings to mind the joy I have found in my sewing studio.


One easy and quick project is to make your own Christmas greeting cards.

I started with scraps of fabric that I laid on a thin batting and machine quilted.

From the quilted piece, I cut out letters and stitched them onto card stock (yes, probably not so good for your needle, I used on old one.) The fabric was loosely woven and the edges are raveling but it wasn't a concern.

Today, the JOY is in creation
not in perfection.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday's Tile - Constellations

Quilter's Tile - Constellations
8" x 8"
©2011 Sharon V. Rotz

And then the little angel flew off to the stars
 where she lived with Greater Bear, Smaller Bear
 and all of her other animal friends.

Looking through my sketchbook, I found this little angel and she was the inspiration for this whimsical quilter's tile.

My first step was to draw the angel's shape unto white muslin and used fabric markers to add color.

My little angel seemed upset with her surroundings, and I wasn't happy with the blue pencil that I added below the skirt. 

New plan: Applying fusible to the back and cutting out the angel. She was much happier freed from her background. Obviously, she wanted to fly. I thought I would try something new. I fused the angel onto a thin polyester fleece type batting and trimmed her to shape.

This blue background seemed to suit the angel and I  machine quilted her onto the quilt sandwich, leaving the edge of her wings free.

I used purchased single fold bias tape for the binding. Quite a challenge, as it was very narrow and hard to pull around the edge. It did look nice, like piping on the edge, but I don't think I will do it again.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Are you in the Christmas mood? Have you been busy running from shop to shop as you search for the perfect gift? Is you home beginning to take on a festive air?

As we put away Thanksgiving dishes and cleaned up from our holiday visitors, I gathered Christmas quilts to use in decorating our home. Often we face the dilemma of how to use a quilt which isn't sized for  our bed.  One of my favorite red and green quilts is smaller than my bed so I simply wrapped a coordinating sheet around the mattress and centered the quilt on the bed.

No, pillow tuck? Another quilt, lap size, covers the pillows. The red backs of my decorator pillows add a splash of color behind two muslin quilted throw pillows.

Instantly, we have transformed the room into a festive retreat for our next guest.

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