Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday's Tile - White on white

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

Floating on a cloud
Peaceful, gentle breeze

This week's project is one that enabled me to enjoy the gentle art of hand stitching. Everything here was done with a hand needle, a spool of thread and a bit of heavier pearl cotton thread. 

Also, my color muse was on vacation and I only used white muslin. This was a stretch but I do like the result.

I had the opportunity to play with yo-yos, different sizes, shapes and applications. Some were appliqued around the edge, and some were attached just at the center. 

To make a yo-yo, a row of hand stitching is done on the edge of the circle.

The thread is pulled to gather.

The yo-yo is complete with the gathering centered.

The fun begins as you change where the gathering is located.

As these off-centered yo-yos are placed, the fabric starts to balloon. Therefore, the large ones were furrowed, a method where the ballooning fabric is tacked to make a lovely, textured surface.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday's Tiles - "Did You Hear......."

Quilter's Tile - "Did You Hear...."
8" x 8"
©2011 Sharon V. Rotz

For today's Quilter's Tile, I tried an idea I saw on the Pink House Studio blog where paint blobs on paper were folded to get the reverse image.

Of course, I had to try this on fabric using textile paint. Using red paint, I blobbed, folded, opened and let my fabric dry. Then my imagination went to work. How was I going to take my blobs and make something out of them???

Digging through a drawer, I found fabric markers which were set aside and forgotten. The colors seemed a bit bright, but, until you try, you don't know. And, they weren't dried up, the color flowed freely. My Quilter's Tiles are a chance for me to experiment and investigate ideas, aren't they?

I used the orange to draw around and over my textile paint blobs. Little creatures were taking shape. 

I don't know what I was thinking when I picked up the turquoise marker, but suddenly my creatures were surrounded. Were they now in a fish bowl, or pictured in an elaborate frame? And, what were they saying, already gossiping??? Were they telling stories about ME?

Layering and backing my mini quilt, I was off to my sewing machine. Free motion quilting added detail and texture (as it always does). 

Now that I'm ready to finish off the edges, I realize that I was way to close to the edge with my markers and I would be trimming off the design or covering it up with any of my favorite binding techniques.  Now what?

I tried zigzagging the edge with white thread. This didn't cut off any of my design but it seemed to stretch the edge. Guess I'm not done yet!

Another trip to the sewing closet. I dug into my trims and found this narrow rickrack which I stitched onto the edge. Keeping it taut, the rickrack drew up the stretching and the edge is flat and finished.

Lesson of the week: Remember to leave room so you don't get pushed off the quilt.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Finished, at last and in the spotlight

As I walked into my studio this morning, the sun was coming through the window and there in the spotlight was my blue broken star. I had just completed hand stitching the binding last night and now my finished quilt was shining in all its splendor. Finished, at last.

Today, I want to share with you the method that I used for the binding.

First I cut strips of one of my coordinating fabrics, piecing as needed to get the length. I make enough to got around the quilt plus at least 6 inches extra. Because this quilt has an uneven edge, I allowed a bit  more.

I fed one end of the strip through a Clover 18 mm ( 3/4") bias tape marker.

I pulled the bias tape maker along and pressed the strip as it came out.

Then I opened one side of my coordinating tape and stitched it to the quilt edge for a binding. This strip was then folded around to the back of the quilt and hand stitched to the back.

Blue Broken Star 
44" x 44"
©2011 Sharon V. Rotz

The basic pattern for a broken star quilt is available at my website.

How will you make it your own?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday's Tiles

Quilter's Tile - Ghosts of Koi
8" x 8"
©2011 Sharon V. Rotz

One bright and sunny day, the happy little quilter decided to brighten up her garden with a soothing and serene pond full of colorful, orange and white koi. The little quilter dug and dug and filled her pond with clear, clean water. Cheerfully, she admired her beautiful koi as she placed them in the water. How she loved their bright, intense orange color.

But, as the fish splashed into the water, their brilliant color began to bleed. Alas, they were not colorfast. The sad little quilter was left with nothing but ghosts of koi.

Moral of story: Always test your koi before adding them to your pond.

Today's Tile was made using Jacquard's Dye-na-Flow and Lumiere paints. The orange Dye-na-Flow was marbled into the background. The metallic olive Lumiere was painted on with a round brush. The fish were drawn on with Zig Textile markers. The borders were fused on with Lite Steam-a-Seam. The free-motion quilting was done with a rich rust Madeira rayon thread.

I enjoyed each step along the way in this project, exploring and trying new things.

I tried a new way of finishing the quilt. (These steps were done before quilting.)

I pieced the back leaving a slit to turn the quilt. I then layered the backing, top and batting and stitched totally around the quilt.

I turned the quilt, only to find that the corners were not not firmly stitched and starting to pull apart. Oops!

As you can tell by my lack of concern, things like this often happen and I just carry on.

Plan 2:  I am now "rounding" the corners. I'm going to like this so much better now!! (Actually, I did.)

After turning the quilt, I hand stitched the opening closed. I then pressed the edges and machine quilted my quilter's tile.

I did like this finishing method and I would do it again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Squares, Anyone?

What is it about squares?

Do you finished off your quilts with quilted squares (crosshatching)?

I've found this is one of my favorite, go to, choices for quilting areas of my quilts. Is it the consistency of the pattern? Is it the predictability? Is it the way the light hits the surface giving each little square an area of highlight and shadow?

Again, I have found myself falling back to this old favorite. It seemed to set off the other areas of quilting nicely. Quilting squares is not always the easiest to do. It can involved a lot of starts and stops or constantly turning the quilt. Today, I've chosen to free-motion my squares. It will eliminate the turning and stopping but it is  definitely a challenge to make straight and even lines.

Do you find squares a perfect choice for your projects? What is your best working method?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Small Play, Quilter's Tiles

Quilter's Tile #1
8" x 8"
Sharon V. Rotz

No, I have not finished all of my larger quilts. I am still quilting on my blue broken star. I still have grand ideas and more large projects floating around in my head ready for their moment.

But, I have found great joy in making small quilted projects which I am calling Quilter's Tiles. There are so many things I want to try. Everyday, I am inspired by something I see on another blog or read about in a quilting magazine.

I can't wait to try new ideas and have found a fun way to experiment and end up with a finished project. It may be spectacular or it may be a dud, chances are it will be somewhere in between. Mostly, it will be a learning experience.

Because, I want to share the fun with you and get your thoughts and suggestions, I will be posting my Quilter's Tiles on Mondays. (See I've already missed this week.)

Stop by and see what's happening.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lullaby or a March?

As you can see, I'm back to quilting my broken star quilt. All the stitches that I took out are back in. It was easier the second time and I made doubly sure that I checked the back of my quilt to see that the stitch tension was fine. In fact, I checked several times.

See..... a lesson learned, well..... truthfully........., re-learned.

I enjoy seeing my quilt take on its personality. Before I started, it was just a flat surface, granted, a rather nice flat surface, but it was definitely lacking charm. The quilting adds so much to a quilt. It's when a quilt really comes into its own.

Will the quilt's personality become a soft, soothing lullaby or will it speak with the crisp, sharp notes of a high stepping march? Today, my quilt is bringing forth its voice with smooth curves, highlighted with wonderful puffs and flatten spaces.

My sewing machine is calling. It's back to stitching.
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