Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Braid the Perfect Accessory

"Night on the Town" Clutch
Approximately 7" x 10"
©Sharon V. Rotz

They say the perfect bag completes the look. You can create that perfect bag to compliment a special occasion wardrobe. With proms, weddings and other special evenings in the spring forecast, you can braid, yes, braid this fast and easy clutch purse using matching or coordinating dress fabric. Perhaps it will be made for you or perhaps you are thinking this would be a lovely gift for a daughter's first prom, the bride-to-be, the wedding party, or just a special friend.

I would love to guide you through the process of braiding your "Night on the Town" clutch. Join me at the Herrschner's Retail Store in Stevens Point, Wisconsin on March 12 and 19. I will be teaching the techniques in two class sessions from 1:00-4:00.

For those of you who can't attend, I will miss meeting you and hearing your stories. You can find instructions for the "Night on the Town" clutch and other bags in my book, Braidcraft, Designer Bags and Totes, available through Herrschers, Inc.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Working on Enlarging My Shrunken World

Many years ago, I made a lovely pair of black wool pants that I wore with pride. Then one day, they accidentally got mixed in with other laundry and were put into the washing machine. Opps! It was a sad day. My pants came out 6" shorter and were never worn again.

Since that time, I have moved on from tailoring into quilting, and now found new possibilities for wool that has been agitated and spun into a much smaller, felted life.  Recently, my sister gave me an old wool sweater to "play" with. Into the washer it went. It came out reduced from extra-large to mini and had a wonderful, soft hand.

Because there was small holes right in the center of the front, I cut a piece out and added subtle color. Now where would I go next?

Instead of trying to mend the holes, I emphasized them by adding stitching around the edges.

The wool really played off the blue of this piece of batik. And the path continues..........

Inspired by the beaded work of Mary Stori and others, I am now in the process of adding beads and stitching to my wool piece.

So this week, I have two hand projects going. When I am tired of hand-quilting my star quilt, I can take a creative break and add more stitching and beading to my small wool piece.

By the way, does anyone have an idea for a sweater with a large hole in the tummy?  Maybe a giant quilt block appliqued on the front???

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

O.K. I Confess

Yes, I was back in the kitchen again. No, not to cook!

Someday, I'll stop long enough to do that, too.

I was back in the kitchen for more quilting supplies.

This is how the story goes. I'm on a mad quest to finish some of my long neglected projects. In the midst of hand-quilting a broken star quilt, I realized that I don't have a quilting plan for the border. Fancy that, me not having a plan!

I was looking for a design that will curve in and around the star points which I've already quilted. Of course, I didn't have a quilting stencil that would fit the space.

I did find two templates that I thought had possibilities. 

Here is where my kitchen quilting supply comes in.

Freezer paper to the rescue.

Using a good size piece, I traced through my points. I could just see the points and feel the outlines enough to do this. Then I laid out my two templates, added some curving lines and a few extra leaves and I had a pattern. With shiny sides of the freezer paper together, I pressed a second layer of freezer paper to the back of my pattern.

I cut the pattern and placed it on my quilt and I'm ready to trace around it for quilting. 
I find this quick and easy freezer paper template is sturdy enough for several uses, certainly enough for the four corners of my quilt.

Happy quilting!

Friday, February 15, 2013

More Cups and Saucers

Cup and Saucer Tablerunner
16" x 32"
©2012 - Sharon V. Rotz

After battling another 5" of new snow, it's time to return to my studio for sewing time. Today, my day is brightened with a cheery tablerunner.  This one uses the same plan as the Cup and Saucer Pillows that I posted last Friday.

After appliqueing the large circle unto the background,

I carefully cut the fabric from underneath the applique.

I then used this fabric to make the small circle that was offset and added to the center of the design.

Now, I think I will find another use for that cup and saucer and fill it with a relaxing, hot cocoa.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Done With My Thirties

Done with My Thirties
51" x 51"
©2013 Sharon V. Rotz

The quilting has been stitched. The binding has been added. The quilt is complete and I am "done with my thirties" in more ways than one.

I realized that I had never showed you the back of this quilt.

Instead of a solid piece of backing, I used all of my partially completed projects. 

Apparently at one time, I was going to make miniature quilts. See how far that went!

Can you name all of these traditional blocks?

The blocks were joined together with borders and fill-in areas of 1-1/2" squares of my remaining fabrics. It reminded me of putting together a puzzle with the various sized blocks, but actually went quite smooth.

Did you remember the names? 
Dresden Plate, Hexagon Star, Old Maid's Puzzle, and Rob Peter to Pay Paul

I found blue borders that were cut exactly the size I needed. How did this happen when I didn't even know what I was going to do? Nor the size that it would end up?

And, I had just enough matching fabric for a rod pocket so I could hang this quilt on either side. Step back a bit, and the rod pocket blends in nicely.

It is now official, I am "Done With My Thirties".

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cup and Saucer, Anyone?

Cup and Saucer Pillows
16" x 16"
©2013 Sharon V. Rotz

After working with interior designers and making a vast number of decorator pillows, I know the power of a pillow to renew and define a space. As a reprieve from working on my traditional 30's reproduction quilt, I thought I would finish these contemporary pillows.

The name was taken from the cup and saucer that I used for circle templates for the applique. 
Who doesn't raid the kitchen when looking for the proper size circle? 

Rather than the more traditional satin stitch for the attaching the applique, I used one of my un-used sewing machine decorative stitches, stitch number 203 on my Pfaff, a pseudo satin stitch with one consistent edge and one random edge.

The circles were cut from a powerful orange and the bold background fabric. Placed off-center, these blocks shout contemporary even with the use of a very traditional sounding rick-rack edge.  

I couldn't stop myself from adding a funky edge treatment to the pillow with the use of prairie points and more large rick-rack.

These pillows put a smile on my face, perfect to spice up the mid-winter blues.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Quilting My 30's

After finishing my 30's quilt top, I started looking at ideas for quilting. I contemplated contemporary designs but went back to more traditional ideas. These just seemed right for this quilt.

Although this design and the previous one were the wrong scale, they still gave me an idea of how the design would look.

What about weathered wreaths? Maybe a bit too much?

Oh, I think I like this design.

Or maybe this one?

My final decision was to alternate the last two designs. The designs were modified slightly, one by changing the outer points of the design and the second by turning it on point. 

An easy method to make multiple quilting patterns is to staple several sheets of crisp, tracing paper together.  With the pattern drawn on the top sheet, you can stitch with an unthreaded needle through all of the sheets.

 I always like to make a few more patterns than the total number that I need.

After stitching the design, remove the staples and carefully peel apart the perforated sheets. Pin in place on your quilt top and stitch the design through the paper. Remove the paper from the quilt, using tweezers to catch the last small bits.

I had what I thought was the perfect thread for quilting this project. The variegated thread picked up all the colors of the fabrics. BUT, after I completed one block, I just wasn't pleased with the results. To me, the thread competed too much with the blocks.

I tried a simple white thread on the next block and was much happier. Yes, I had a fun time removing the quilting from the first block but it was worth the effort to be pleased with the final result. 

And, I now need one of those extra patterns to re-quilt the first block.

Buried under my quilt and machine needle flying, I am busy quilting. See you on Friday!

Friday, February 1, 2013

1997, It Was Just Yesterday, Wasn't It?

One year, our quilt guild focused on 30's reproduction fabrics. We made friendship star blocks and exchanged them with fellow members to use in our next quilt. A few days ago, I discovered my blocks hidden in my closet. Hm, the blocks were dated 1997. Could it possibly have been that long ago? 

Why didn't I ever get to making that quilt? Did my blocks have to go through some long seasoning process?  Like aged cheese or fine wine, are they finally at their prime in 2013?

It seems they must be, because I have finally gotten to making that quilt.

There were nine blocks with colored backgrounds, which became the center "9 patch".
How interesting to remember quilters I haven't seen recently.

The blocks with the muslin background formed a border around the center.
I wonder when and if the other quilters finished their projects. Are they still busy making quilts?

 I did find my remaining 30's fabrics. 
It seems amazing after all these years, but apparently, I never throw anything away. 

I cut the fabrics into blocks for a colorful outside border.
Now, I have the quilt pinned and ready to be quilted. What design will look the best?
After making art quilts, will I revert back to traditional motifs for this one?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...