April 30, 2009

butterfly sneak peak and longarm work...

Beginnings of the butterfly challenge. Behind the blue fabric is my design where I make my pattern pieces. The curled over shapes are of a different shade of fabric but it does not show up in the photo.... which I guess means there isn't enough contrast in the fabric. I'll have to figure that out as I go along...

This is the back side of a sampler quilt. The woman hand pieced the top and worked on it over many years. Each block is different and came with it's own set of challenges. It was fun to work on in an around all the different types of fabric and seams. Each block is quilted out differently.

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April 27, 2009


The Garden Lady

Challenges are fun. I like them, they make me stretch and think. I've started to work on my Guild's challenge for this year. I'm using that gorgeous blue fabric from Vicki. The photo above is of a Guild challenge a few years ago. It was a scavenger hunt. We were given a list of 50 items to include in a quilt, no other rules were given.

I used the pattern 'The Garden Lady' by Quakertown Quilts for inspiration. My end result looks much different than the pattern. Using 3d applique I was able to hide the 50 and then some items... some are hidden some are incorporated in to the design.

One of the items was our own signature. I made a little mailbox, inside the mailbox is a little letter and when you open it you can see my signature. This and the little photo on the tree, I think are two of my favorites.

This particular section of the quilt has always drawn a lot of attention

..... (ohmygosh - i thought she was a redsox fan!) .....

One of the items was pin stripe fabric, another item was fabric you don't like. I combined the two, (which was legal to do) and made Yankee pinstripes, then of course- I hung them out to dry.

(not that this posting has anything to do with the Yankee/Sox series this past weekend or anything... i know it's a long season.... i'm just sayin'.) (and did you see that steal to home?)

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April 26, 2009

~In the Bag~

A bag I designed specifically for a pair of red, leather handles. Half way through I decided to make cloth handles. The leather handles will be better suited with some fall fabrics.

Inside, I put a zippered pocket.

The crazy ink project

I decided to use the 100wt thread and started the background quilting. The gold was used in the colored blocks in the top right.

Using Alcohol Inks I added some color to these silver charms. I may add them to the colored squares, but not sure.....

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April 23, 2009

Adding More Color and Thread

Using the crewel work images as inspiration, I freehand drew out the additional images to fill the remaining white space.

Color was added to the images and the white background. The images were then outline stitched with a 40wt cotton thread. My original thought was to hand embroider the outlines, then I decided not to....

Sometimes I tie off the threads as I go, sometimes I leave them and do them all at once. I left the threads here and need to sit and tie them off. Using a square knot, I tie the bobbin and top thread together. Then a large eyed needle is inserted into the hole the last stitch made. The needle threader threads the tails through the needle eye like a hook. The tails can be pulled to pop the knot into the layers and then the tails can be safely cut. I used to use the self threading needles, but found my threads would cut when I pulled them into the eye. Then, the stitches had to be picked back tied and stitched back in. I was loosing time and $, so I find this system works for me. Threading the eye without the threader can work also, it's just quicker for me to use the threader..... I keep one on a magnet on my longarm handle and one in my sewing kit I made specifically for tying off threads.

I haven't decided if I want to use a heavy gold thread in the background or a thin 100wt that won't show. This has been a fun little project to play around with the inks and paints.

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April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Things are waking up in the northeast.

These guys are starting to eat again. Still a little shy; but by the end of last summer they were eating out of my hand. Little Goldy is the most social and brave so far.

This is Stinging Nettle.

It started to grow in the perennial garden last summer. I got into it by accident. It's noxious to the skin. Thinking it was something else this past weekend, I went to yank it out and sadly remembered what it was. I did pull it out, and here it is back 3 days later. Not sure how to completely get rid of it without killing all the other stuff off.... It has a shallow, invasive route system. It will grow tall and has microscopic razors on the leaves.

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April 21, 2009

Quilter's influence

The QOV is quilted and will go back to Annie.

Before cleaning up the scraps from the crazy ink project, I put together some cards. Simple, quick and fun.

....And because somewhere along the line I learned -never return an empty friend, who bakes us goodies all the time, will get the cards on her plate....

A few years ago I found this phrase (by anonymous). I was head of Programs for my Guild at the time and one meeting we did a 'tips and tricks' night. I use a bamboo skewer in both my sewing and quilting on a daily basis, so I made these up and gave them out as favors. I will send this to Annie when I return the quilt to her, as she will finish this quilt with binding and pass it along to QOV.

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April 20, 2009

More Inks

The Tsukineko inks were used to color in the above image. I know, I thought I wasn't going to use them this way again, but then I thought about these neat images. The image above was traced from the book of patterns and instructions for American Needlework. I picked up this box of patterns at a flea market several years ago. It has $5 penciled on the cover, though, I know I got it for something like 25 cents. I love to find old stuff like this. (Now that I say that, I should be careful using the old word.. it's copyright is 1963... I am older.) The colored blocks are from another quilt that didn't work out, so I cut them apart and pieced them back together with the white scraps. It is rather boring right now, I admit. But, I will continue to decorate the white areas with the inks, add lots of quilting and embellishment. I think this will be my contemporary crazy piece for Crazy for Quilts. Check out the info for the Alliance for American Quilts here.

I purchased my inks at the MQX show. They can be purchased as a kit, or in individual pots. The kits come in various colorways. A search for Tsukineko inks will probably bring up quite a few purchasing options. If they are available at craft stores, I would guess they would be with the scrap booking supplies.
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April 19, 2009

Tsukineko Inks

Finally, I broke down and bought a set of Tsukineko Inks. (The Romantic Color set). Not wanting to be left wondering.... 'why did I buy these?' I had to try them out. I doubt I will use them in this way (from start to finish), but I think they will be perfect for adding shadows and blending colors for art quilts. They were more translucent than I expected. They felt much like markers.

I put a blue wash to the back ground because the white was too distracting. I like this better. There was some running of the colors, though, it didn't bother me. I don't know what I'll do with this, but I had fun messing with my new inks. ...... (and then the sideways image, not sure why this doesn't post straight) .....

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April 17, 2009

It's a Winner!

Thomas' "Kids Can Quilt" entry earned a 4th place ribbon at Machine Quilter's Expo. I'm proud he took on the challenge. It was fun to see the kid's quilt exhibit.

Tomorrow's quilters.

And, real men can quilt.... There was some phenomenal work in the special exhibit made by men.

''Ode' to Lukie'

A tribute to our little, blue parakeet earned a second place ribbon in the charity challenge.

It's a little stressful entering a quilt in a show, filling out the paperwork, finishing on time, sending the quilt, etc.... But it's all good in the long run.... and if no one entered quilts in shows, there wouldn't be shows to go to.

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April 15, 2009

Baby's quilt

A cute, little, baby quilt.

Amy is a relatively new quilter and does precise piecing and beautiful machine embroidery. Around the border twinkle - twinkle..... is embroidered.

So sweet.

A QOV sent to me from Annie. I will quilt it, send it back, she will bind and send it on it's way.

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April 13, 2009

The Day

~From the frame~

~From the feeder~

~From the pond's edge~

~From the backyard~
~From the sewing room~
~From the ball field~

April 12, 2009

Simple Gifts

.....the new lanyard using the 'right' fabric.

..... something for the olden golden. She will appreciate it, but couldn't be bothered with the photo shoot.

.....the long overdue BZ bag - For our gal pal who helped make the QOV.

....for our gal pal, too.... not only can she sew, she can run circles around any soccer playing guy! me from a friend. Too pretty to eat, but we will.

Happy Easter Weekend.

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