Friday, June 29, 2012

From Braiding Hair to Braiding Bags

I am excited to share my newest designs for braiding, not hairstyles, but Designer Bags and Totes.  

Learn how to use simple fabric braids, in this case with a stand of yarn added in,

coil them into shape,

and create a trendy fashion bag ready for a special outing.

Shown is "Night on the Town".

The book and braidcrafting tools are available through Herrschners, Inc.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday's Tile

In a previous post, I decided to hand embroider this quilter's tile that has pink stones fused on. Since hand embroidery can be very relaxing, I am slowly making this a summer long project. Just a little something to do in quiet moments. 

This is a stitch that I tried for the first time. It's called the vandyke stitch. I had a bit of trouble getting started but I gently unthreaded my stitches until I figured it out.

So much simpler, just straight stitches, the long and short of it.

A buttonhole (blanket) stitch looks more elegant with a second row of stitches between the first, each row in a different color floss.

The cable chain stitch was fun to do. I worked until my thread ran out.

I still have a few stones to fill. I'll continue on another day.

Friday, June 22, 2012

What Charms You?

Thirteen's a Charm
56" x 80"
©2008 Sharon V. Rotz

Do your quilts make you happy? Do you have a favorite quilt that puts a smile on your face every time you looks at it?

I have to admit that "Thirteen's a Charm" is one of my favorites. This quilt has woven itself around my heart and continues to brighten each day. I love the intermixing of bright colors and lively patterns.

It is made by serging fabric strips together in sets.  By stitching with the fabrics wrong sides together instead of the normal method of right sides together, the serged seams will be on the outside of the quilt top adding extra detail to the quilt.

The pieced strips are cut into triangles and then pieced with triangles cut from the various fabrics.

This project and other serged quilts can be found in my book Serge and Merge Quilts.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Mariner's Compass

Quilter's Tile - Mariner's Compass
8" x 8"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

For small projects, I like to use a single layer binding. Commercially packed bias tape could work, but I prefer to coordinate the binding by using a fabric from the center of the quilt.

The Clover Bias Tape Maker works well for folding a binding strip. Both bias and straight grain fabric strips may be used. (I usually use straight brain strips for my bindings.) 

If the corners of the fabric strip are trimmed off, it is easier to start feeding the strip through.

In it goes.

The fold is started and my iron presses it in place as the strip feeds through the bias tape maker.

Out comes a beautiful, coordinated binding strip.

The unfolded strip is stitched to the edge of the quilt. The fold line guides my stitching.

The binding is folded around to the back of the quilt, ready for hand stitching.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Are You Stuck in Winter?

As you look around your home's interior, do you see bright and sunny summer or are you still in winter mode? Is it time for a change? Do you need to update to match the sparkle of your summer garden?

Fast and easy pillow covers can add a dramatic splash to the look of your room. Made with an overlapping closure on the back, change is as quick as blink.

Enjoy summer inside and out with your updated fresh new look.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday's Tile - Drop Cloth Poppies

Quilter's Tile - Drop Cloth Poppies
8" x 8"
©2012 Sharon V. Rotz

Am I really reduced to using paint rags for my art? Is this all I have left? Have I reduced my stash to the bargain basement floor?

Actually, that could be a good thing, reducing my stash a bit. I'm not out of fabric but.....
I can dream of going crazy buying all new fabric.

Back to my paint splattered fabric. It kept popping up. I kept thinking about it. I began to see images in the fabric. 

So it went from scrap fabric to fabric filled with creative potential.

Flowers started to bloom under the needle of my sewing machine.

And more flowers appeared.

Until the surface was covered.

Then a dragonfly left from another project landed.  

Normally, dark bindings work best to show off a piece, but I left that thought behind when I chose a light tan fabric to finish the edge. (in progress, stitched to the front and ready to hand stitch to the back.)

Lesson of the day:  Keep your eyes open to creative possibilities.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Wisconsin Quilt and Statewide Shop Hop

The Wisconsin Quilt
48" x 48"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

Capture the beauty of Wisconsin as you quilt your way
 through curving roadways, amid rustling leaves and flowing waters.

Join in the fun of the Wisconsin Shop Hop
June 8-24, 2012

With over 70 quilt shops participating, you have destinations both far away and close to home. There are specials, prizes and fun for all quilters.  Holly Taylor of Moda Fabrics has a designed an exclusive Wisconsin Fabric Line to celebrate the event and I have designed a new pattern especially for you to use this new fabric line. (This pattern is now available at Antoinette's Quilt Shop in Plover WI.)

Choose the Moda Wisconsin Fabric panel and a quarter yard of each of the 15 coordinating fabrics (plus a bit more for binding) and you are set to create your own Wisconsin Quilt.

Quilters, start your engines for  a memorable trip through Wisconsin. Sharpen up your rotary cutters. Oil up your machines and sew away!

And, please, tell me of your Wisconsin adventure and your favorite shop in the comment section below.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Memory is Shot! Is it Tuesday?

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

This is one of my favorite quilter's tiles. THE best part about it is the little green card attached to the back. I get so excited making a tile but when it are finished and out of my mind for a second, I often can't remember how I did it.

Did I use this paint or that stitch? What did I put inside for a batting?  How did I attach the binding?

Even if my nose is closer, at times it is still a mystery.

I have to admit that I'm not the best at remembering or at keeping records.  I have to make an effort to document the techniques or products that I use. I may not remember to write everything, but it is a start. I have attached little cards to the back of my quilter's tiles (well, when I remember) with these notes.

How do you document your projects? Or are you blessed with that perfect memory?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pondering on Friday

Spring Green
12" x 24"
©2012 Sharon V. Rotz

Today, I'm looking at this small wall quilt that I just finished. Or is it finished?

Part of the fun of making this was machine quilting a tree and feathers in the solid wine-colored center. But now I'm pondering if I should leave it as it is. My original intent was to draw the viewer in for a closer look at the details.

Today, I'm wondering if it would be better to grab some paint and paint in the tree, making it a more definite focal point.

What would you do? 
Please take the time to leave a comment on my blog. I would like your input.

Thank you.

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