July 30, 2011

and then there were two

Below is one of my guild's raffle quilts for 2012.

and this is the second

  Using fabric, members replicated several historical buildings of Massachusetts.
Tiny squares were stitched into the background to create a water color frame.
The colors and detail are super.

 My job is to quilt them.
And because this is a group project I thought I would invite guild members to follow along in my process.

The first order of business is to decide on the batting....
Because these are art quilts and have some paint, marker, fusing, and delicate fabrics; traditional wet blocking won't work.  So I planned for battings that could take a little heat to be steamed into submission in the end, if needed.  A poly batt doesn't like heat, so I'm going with natural fibers.

I'm going with cotton and wool.

2 batts?!
These are wall hangings so a nice dense, cotton batt will work well.  But, there is some fullness in areas and also some areas will require more quilting than others, so a lofty wool batt will help to fill in the spaces.

You can see below a scrap of wool placed over a scrap of cotton.
It gives a nice loft but is not overly puffy.
The cotton on the back should give it a nice a hang.

The next order is choosing a backing.  Something in keeping with the buildings on the front is a must, but nothing solid.  There will be many thread color changes, starts and stops.  A busy back gives a more pleasing look.

Below is a busy back.  It is a little wild for the look we want on our buildings quilt, but that is what I mean by busy.
Each quilt is approximately 41 x 38.  A solid pieced backing is preferable.  There are many seams and layers to sew through on the top so one less seam on the back would be nice.  

Now, if I remember to continue to post pictures of my process -  you'll get to see the loading of the quilt, the importance of square backs, stabilizing the quilt and more!
-see you again soon- 
= )

July 26, 2011

. . . the dog days of summer . . .

. . .  it happens every year about now. . . 
time slows 
it gets really hot
and production goes down

I did get some key fobs finished.
Macrame is back you know.

it's a fun summertime thing to do.

so is watching the bees, dragonflies

and the frogs

-wait, what?  

did you say frog days of summer 
dog days of summer?

i said dog days!

meet our new little friend-
we get to bring him home in a few weeks.

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

July 15, 2011

-a good life-

 Today is our Fiberactions challenge reveal day. 
 Departure is our theme word picked by artist Connie Rose. 

My piece is constructed of vintage blocks which were stitched, painted white with artist's gesso and then watered down acrylics.
This is a traditional three layer quilt consisting of a top, batting and backing.  The flowers are painted silk organza and were stitched to the top after quilting.

 The vintage blocks, shown below, were given to me from Cathy Racine.  Cathy is the proprietor of Charlton Sewing Center and hosts a charity auction for our Guild once a year. We have raised thousands of dollars for various causes. 
Cathy included these blocks with something I bid on and told me to make something beautiful out of them, she didn't have the heart to throw them away.
Reluctantly, I took the badly soiled, stained and smelly blocks.
Several washings and soakings later I was able to work with them, but they sat waiting in my cupboard for a year.

There are blocks for at least a good sized queen quilt, but the integrity of them is very weak. They are hand pieced using a variety of thin fabrics and threads.

I'm not sure what I will do with the remaining blocks,
but at least I saved a few from departure and gave them
a good life.

Now head on over to Fiberactions and check out how the others interpreted the theme.

July 6, 2011

Good Independence Day weekend

spent watching a lot of this

  and this

  hanging out

now it's back to working on this

 and finishing this