Friday, March 30, 2012

RickRack Out of the Box

La Bohemia
51" x 51"
by Sharon V. Rotz

As a previously posted, I started with a collection of rickrack from my mother and my collection has grown from there. I questioned whether to use my vintage rickrack but I have grown fond of this zigzagging little trim. I found my local store can keep me supplied so on my quilts it goes.

In La Bohemia, I went all out incorporating rickrack in many areas of the quilt. It added detail between appliques flowers.

It was used to made three dimensional centers for the flowers.

Rickrack created a wing for the bird.

By inserting coordinating rickrack in the seam, a subtle detail is revealed.

A contrasting rickrack adds to the bound quilt edge.

The pattern for La Bohemia and other quilts (many with rickrack details) are found in my book, 
Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude.

How have you used rickrack or other trims in your quilts? Have you opened up this world of opportunity?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Pods on Golden Pond

Quilter's Tile - Pods on Golden Pond
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

This tile started with a drawing from my sketchbook. My drawing abilities are limited but they are improving the more time I spend observing and practicing my sketching. 

I seemed to acquired a collection of metallic paints. How could I resist those sparkling colors? It was time to break open those bottles and spend a little time playing. Since I was pleased with my pods sketch, I redrew it on fabric and started in with the paints.

I am so pleased with the results. I can't wait to try this technique on a larger piece. This Quilter's Tile has served its purpose. It has given me the chance to try a technique on a smaller scale. Since I was serious about finishing the piece with quilting and binding, I treated it differently and learned more than I would have if I was just practicing on scrap fabric.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Opening a Sewing Treasure Chest

Because I quilt , I have found my family thinks I need and want anything they can find related to sewing or a sewing machine. One of these finds is rickrack. It started when my mother cleaned out her sewing machine and found several packages of rickrack. I, of course, became the new proud owner of these. 

That was just the start, the rickrack treasures continue to come. (I had to add a second photo so you could definitely pick of the price on these packages. A far cry from today's prices. And the different brands available, the choices are definitely more limited in my local fabric store.)

And the rickrack does not stop with one or two packages, but apparently it multiples with age into boxes of rickrack. Here is my latest collection received just this past week.

The question is:  What will I do with all of my rickrack stash? Put it to use or save it in its original packages because it's worth more that way?

Please help me decide. What would you do?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Displayed

Quilter's Tile - Blowing in the Wind
8" x 8"
Sharon V. Rotz

Today I thought I would share another way to display your Quilter's Tiles. In this tile, I have used an ultra firm interfacing, Pellon Peltex 72T, and the tile is stiff enough to stand on its own. The stand is super to use because you can easily change your tile or move your art from location to location.

This display stand was purchased, but I think a similar one could be easily made. You would need a groove cut into the front of the wood base. Two wooden dowels, cut to 4", are placed into drilled holes.

Do you have other suggestions for displaying small artworks?  Please share your ideas.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quilt It Now or Later?

I have just finished quilting this project that had several starts and stops in the quilting due to appliqued designs on the quilt top. I was thinking it would be so much easier to quilt if I didn't have all these pieces in the way. I could quilt from one end of the quilt to the other uninterrupted.

Would it work to "pre-quilt" the top and then add the applique?

So this is my goal for my next project. I will quilt first and see what happens?  Will it work? Will I be sorry I started this plan? What do you think?

I've begun quilting some of the lines.  Nothing in my way, I am having an easy time of quilting across the surface. (Yes, despite the color difference in the photos, this is the same piece of fabric.)

Come back again and see where this project goes. Meanwhile, enjoy the season. This morning I stepped outside and was greeted by a robin singing his heart out. What a glorious day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Falling Leaves

Quilter's Tile - Falling Leaves
8" x 8"
©2012 Sharon V. Rotz

Of the three samples of fabric that I previously stamped, this one seemed to be the stumbling block for me. One of these samples was stamped in regimented rows, a second sample was free-form stamped and this last one was somewhat even, somewhat random. Of the three, this was the one that I liked the best. Then why did it cause me to stumble?

Maybe because I didn't want to "mess it up". Often when we buy a piece of fabric that we just love, we are afraid to use it. We don't want to waste it by making the wrong choice, or we don't want to use it up  and there won't be anymore. So we hold it tightly in our hands and fear cutting into it. 

Well, right or wrong, I jumped in and chose to use my sample. I applied fusible to the back of a sheer blue and cut a tree. This I fused this in place and added a few fused leaves. I was happy with the fact that you could see through the sheer, creating the look of complexity with layers. The quilting added another layer of interest.

For the wider binding, I chose two fabrics to give a feeling of earth and sky. 

I still have my fabric but it is not longer grasped tightly. It is enriched and displayed proudly.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Three Things I've Learned while Quilting

detail - Blue Broken Star

1. I quilt better before lunch. Maybe my head is more clear in the morning. Maybe as it gets closer to lunch the hungrier I am and more focused. Maybe after lunch I am lazier. Maybe after lunch I should nap, yes, like a cat sleeping in the sunshine.

Spring Leaves

2. If I start with a larger piece of batting and backing, I can change where the center of my quilt is (hence the opportunity for uneven borders and bindings even at this late stage).

Lizard Tails

3. The quilting brings fabric to life. We, as quilters, have the golden opportunity to easily add texture and dimension to our work. This is what other artists strive for on a flat, one dimensional canvas.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday's Tile is Looking for Spring

Quilter's Tile - Spring Leaves
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

Getting back to a previous post, I was playing with textile paints and hand made stamps. I found I had a tendency to want to line up my stamped images in nice straight rows.

I did break away from those rows on this sample. I tried yellow paint to see if it would look green on a blue fabric. Maybe not as much as I would have thought, next time I can add a bit of blue paint.

I didn't do much to change this fabric, just layered and added machine quilting. Sometimes, simple is best.  I used a variegated green thread for the leaves and a matching blue thread for the echoed background.

I thought that my stamp looked like evergreen boughs but when I added the quilting it changed entirely. It certainly helps to keep an open mind and go with the flow. 

With a late season snowstorm dumping on us, we are all grasping for spring.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gee, I Love that Man

Gee, I Love that Man
12" x 12"
©2012 Sharon V. Rotz

This is another quilted artwork that I have in the Original Valentines, Artful Expressions of Affections show. It was made with my husband in mind. There have been many times when he has stopped at the store for bread and milk and came home with flowers. How could you not love a man like that?

I had so much fun with the background. Maybe even to the point where it overshadows the foreground?? But it is the adventure of trying new things. Never, never, keep making the same thing over and over again. (There are machines to do that!)

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