Saturday, April 30, 2011

WAB Lobby Exhibit

Uninhibited Growth
Sharon V. Rotz

You are invited to view the art quilts of 
Pat Kroth and Sharon Rotz
at the 
Wisconsin Arts Board and Dept. of Administration
Lobby Exhibit
April 25 - June 17, 2011

WI Department of Administration Lobby
101 East Wilson St. 
Madison, WI

Friday, April 29, 2011

Calico is Back!

Calico, it is. And calico is perfect.

I've found that I have a soft spot for calico.

Well, no, this isn't the front of the quilt. You've seen the front in my last post and you know there are string pieced stars on the front.

O.K. so I should have titled this "Calico is on the Back".

Nothing can compare with the quilt fabric offerings we have today. The designs are fantastic and the colors are rich and complex compared to the simple designs of older calicos. But for a backing, calico ranks right up there. It blends in and doesn't offend the quilt front by competing with it. The small bits of color help us hide irregular stitching and tiny knots.

I found this piece in my stash and its the perfect backing. I even love the combination of the fabric and the quilting motifs.

What's on the back of your latest quilt?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aha, Finally Quilted

Previously, I had been working on quilting my small string pieced star quilt. For the most part, it's obvious, I have really been procrastinating about finishing it.

I wasn't happy about any of my quilting designs. So, I put it off and played a little more in my sketchbook. I came up with this option that I was more excited about. Not really too different, maybe a touch less busy.

The moment had come when I sat in front of my machine and actually got this baby quilted. As you can see I chose the yellow thread instead of the multi-colored. I felt the yellow would give a crisper line on the blue background. Since it wasn't very big, I was done so quickly. Why did it take so long for me to quilt this?

Do you ever hit stumbling blocks on your projects that keep you from moving forward? 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ready to Help

Quilters are the most sharing people I know. They are always ready to help, whether the sharing is a simple technique that is baffling us or an emergency situation that overwhelms us.

This past week, a tornado touched down and destroyed the homes of many in a community close by. The next day, the word went out that a local quilt shop was collecting quilts for the families. I know the response was immediate. Quilters care and are there, ready to help.

A small group of my quilting friends got together and quickly tied these quilts to add to those being collected and distributed. With them, we send our prayers and love, to comfort those whose lives were instantly changed in those few seconds.

Whether you are sending quilts to Japan or passing them out in your community, be proud that you are a caring and sharing quilter. I know that I am.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Carried on the Wind

Quilter's Tile - Blue Leaves
8" x 8"
Sharon V. Rotz

This past weekend, we had some of those dreadful spring storms and overflowing river banks in our area.  I was watching the wind bend the trees back and forth from my studio window. It was a good day to be inside.

As a diversion I started playing with bits and pieces of techniques I had tried. One day in the past, I had fun marbling fabric with Dye-na-Flow paints swirled on shaving cream. I decided to use one of my uninspiring efforts as a base and keep building on it until I was happy. I added some brush strokes of acrylic paint and let it dry. Still nothing of worth.....

As those winds continued to whip the trees, I was thinking how lucky the trees didn't have the added weight of leaves to put at them. With that thought, inspiration started to flow and I started cutting leaves from blue fabric to fuse on my background. The leaves became more interesting when I had the courage to cut holes in them giving them a sheer lace-y look. A bit of pink swirl fabric found in a scrap bag became the swirling wind. 

A border of narrow strips of wool and a binding of striped pink and blue completed the project. I'm glad a pushed myself to continue. Finally, out of flat, unworthy beginnings, I have achieved something that brings me pleasure. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pondering Sketchy Quilting

How to quilt a project is always thought provoking. Should we follow the design by stitching in the ditch? Should we complement the design with quilting? Or should we go off in a different direction and quilt a design that has no relationship to the piecing of the quilt?

I have quilted stars with traditional design motifs in the past and it would be a comfortable choice to go that route again. Quilting an overall quilting design would push me in a new direction and help me grow as a quilter. (As opposed to eating all the Dove chocolate candies so I can use the metallic wrappers in my quilt, helps me grow as a quilter! But, that's another story.)

Back to quilting designs. I've been doodling in my little sketchbook and it's a good time to refer back to it for ideas. I've found these two designs that may have possibilities.

Both of these designs have flowing, curving lines that would be a compliment to the straight lines of my stars. Would one of these be the perfect choice or should I keep drawing?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Threading You Along

I have not pre-marked my quilt top with quilting designs prior to basting. Actually, this would not have worked well since most marking tools tend to heat set and I would have done just that when I fused my sandwich together.

I now need to make my final decisions on choice to thread and quilting design. First, let's look at thread choices. I went through my thread and found these two options.

The multicolor cotton thread certainly picks up all the colors that are in the quilt top. Because the color changes as I stitch, I've noticed that can be a good thing if my line is a bit shakey or otherwise less than perfect.  The multicolored thread also adds more variety to my quilt.

On the other hand, the solid yellow rayon thread will show more with a crisp, sharp line.  It will lend continuity to the quilting.  It is also the thread that I used for the previous projects with these fabrics. But, I have changed the background color in this project, should I also change the thread color?

What do you see? Should I go with the excitement and movement of the multicolored thread or the crispness of the solid? There are those larger areas of solid blue to fill in. Does the quilt need more action with the quilting or is there already enough going on?

Questions, questions, questions! Enough thoughts and decision-making for one day, tomorrow we'll move on to the quilting design.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sticking Together and Ready to Go

It's time to get my star quilt layered with batting and backing for quilting. I'm using a piece of  Fusiboo bamboo blend batting. I found that it does fuse nicely to the quilt top and backing. After pressing the top, I turned my sandwich over, adjusted and repressed the back so there would not be any folds or pleats of fabric to quilt into the back.  That would certainly spoil a sunny day.  The quilt sandwich is a little stiff but I don't feel that will be a problem on this small project.

The extra step I am taking is to hand baste around the entire edge of the quilt sandwich. I know the fusible batting is holding nicely at this stage but by the time I maneuver the quilt several times under the needle of my sewing machine the fusing is likely to start pulling apart. I also find that any seams on the edge of the quilt top are also stressed during quilting and may pull apart. The simple act of basting around the quilt solves the problem and keeps everything secure and in place.

Have you tried a fusible batting for your quilting? How did it work for you? 

Friday, April 1, 2011

White is Right, Then Why Blue?

Previously, I was working on a string pieced star and choosing the best color for the background.  The white seemed to be the most appropriate choice. (How can I say that?  Is there ever a right choice, or only different choices?) The white did match other projects I have made with the same fabrics and it did offer a crisp look that I liked.

Does that explain why I decided to go with the blue background fabric instead? I knew the white would work and look wonderful. But would the blue work as well? The only way I could tell for sure would be to give it a try. So, into the pond I jumped.

As you can see, I had enough fabric to make a smaller star and add squares to the borders. This became an interesting challenge to piece, but a little planning and measuring was all that was needed to fit the pieces together. It became a jig-saw puzzle to be slowly worked out one step at a time.

I think the blue does work. I have enough blue for the binding which I think will finish this fun piece with just the right touch.

Have you tried a color just to experiment with a different look?  Were you happy that you did?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...