Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Couple of Finishes

This first one is a quilt I pieced and quilted for the school where I am lucky enough to volunteer.

The middle school students went to winter camp recently, and one of the activities was painting these 8.5" squares. They all did such a wonderful job (their names have been blurred in the photo), the different colours are their House colours. It was fun quilting different designs in all the blocks. The quilt is 74" x 98". It will hang in the entrance of the school.

I quilted a large hooked feather in the border (8.5" wide).
The batting is Hobbs 20/80 - it is the first time I have quilted with it and it was very nice to quilt (although a bit fuzzy and hard on the allergies). For the quilting in the ditch and the FMQ in the blocks I used Invisafil 100Wt thread, and the feather in the border was quilted with 50Wt cotton thread, so that it would stand out. The usual - quilted on my DSM, #80 Titanium needle, single hole throat plate, feed dogs up, 50Wt cotton thread in the bobbin.

This is my other finish -

a Romanian Point Lace doily - just a sneak peak. I think my blog is mainly quilting, but really it is a Romanian Point Lace blog. By far I get more views on my Romanian Point Lace Tutorial than any other post on my blog. I posted it two and a half years ago, and thought it was about time that I did a follow up intermediate tutorial - coming soon.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January Art Quilt of the Month

Note - If you have come here from FaveQuilts looking for an art quilt pattern, I am sorry - this is just how I made this art quilt and was never intended as a pattern for others to copy. If you are inspired by it, that is wonderful.
I am making one art quilt a month for 2013 and I will bind them all into a "book" at the end of the year. The art quilts of the month can be seen here.

For 2013 I have decided to make a small art quilt every month, and at the end of the year bind them all together into a book.

I have chosen to make the quilts based on something that happened that month. For this month the theme was snow! We have had way too much recently.

I had taken some pictures of birds at the bird feeder during a blizzard,

painted on fabric
fusible web to attach the pieces
thread painting and couching
decorative yarn for couching

I quilted the piece with a very thin polyester batting, and added beads for embellishment.

When the piece was finished I trimmed it to 6.5" x 8.5". Instead of binding I have decided to finish all the quilts like a pillow, with some stiff interfacing on the back piece of fabric.

opening at the side for turning around
the back is a great place for writing
close up of thread painting

The finished piece is 6" x 8". Next time I will add some fusible web to the backing piece so that the layers can be fused together when the piece is turned around. I will add some beads or decorative stitches around the edge when I bind the quilts into a book.

A friend has decided to join me in making art quilts every month. She is planning on trying a new technique(s) every month. Maybe you will consider joining us?

sun dogs
It has been bitterly cold recently - our furnace, front door bell and garage door opener all stopped working - they don't like the cold. Luckily the furnace was repaired quickly, and the others we can live with, it will warm up eventually.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Embellished Apple

I saw some beautiful pieces of embroidery that were simple shapes, wonderfully embellished, and thought that I could do the same with machine quilting.

This piece is 13" x 14".

It started with a simple invisible machine appliqué apple. The apple is 8" across.

The quilting on the apple was inspired by an old pressed back chair -

When I was given a pair of these chairs none of the detail was
 visible, it was solid paint. I was pleasantly surprised when I stripped them.

For the background I wanted to practice Cindy Needham's "Pearls and Swirls".

The quilting is with 100Wt Invisafil  thread, with a #80 Titanium needle. The batting is one layer of cotton with half a layer of wool on top.

Partridges digging for seeds
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 18, 2013

FMQ Palm Leaf Design

In December I made this wall hanging -


and a few people asked me how I quilted the palm leaf design shown in the upper right corner, so I thought I would add a tutorial for it. 
The design is one from the amazingly talented Cindy Needham. She uses a stencil for her starting clamshell design, mine is made using a grid. She also calls it Gingko Leaves, but since I already quilt a different Gingko design, I have chosen to call mine Palm Leaves.

The design begins with a clamshell, that is made up of a quarter circle in a grid.

Four of the quarter circles are put together to form the clamshell,
all the clamshells fit together like this - 


The design starts with a grid. I marked a 1/2" grid for this one, using a iron-off marking pen and a ruler. The lines should be at 45° to the grain of the fabric.

Plain Clamshells are stitched as bumpy lines, one row on top of another. Clamshells can be made on various size grids, and additions can be added for embellishment. Anita Shackelford shows some lovely additions to clamshells here.

Close up of the Palm Leaves
Here is a video demonstrating how I stitch the Palm Leaves -

I divided each half of the clamshell with 4 stitched lines, but the number depends on the size of the grid and personal preference.

When stitching the next row, the design is reversed -

Clamshells and Palm Leaves - 

I used regular sewing thread for the stitching on this piece, in a contrasting colour so it would show, usually I use a 100Wt thread in a matching colour so that the design looks better.

I also added beads to the Palm Leaves on the Whole Cloth frame (you don't notice all the backtracking with 100Wt thread).

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pieces of Time BOM

A group of friends and I started a new Block of the Month this month - well it is actually two blocks a month, one appliqué and one pieced. The pattern is Pieces of Time by Lori Smith.

This month we did both blocks #4. I am using Edyta Sitar's fabric - Dancing in the Rain. The blocks are 8" and will finish to 7+1/2".

I am just including this picture because I was pleased to see different blooms inside, especially since outside looks like this -

Not that I am complaining, I much prefer the cold to slushy conditions.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First Finishes of 2013

 I finished off a couple of projects that have been sitting around for quite a while.

A piece of tatting and an art doll. The tatting is a pattern that I have made a few times, in different weights of thread - it is such a wonderful pattern. This piece is 12" x 19".  The art doll just needed beads around the edge, she is about 6"tall.

The best finish for the new year is that we finished off a bathroom renovation. I wish I had a before picture - it was pretty sad. The bathroom needed renovating, and a little leak in the bathtub helped us make the move to renovate. I am so pleased! The only original thing is the cabinet, and we did all the work ourselves. This is our sons bathroom.

 This time last year I did some stash busting and made a string quilt, this year is starting the same way.

I cut strips for a log cabin.

Sixty 7" blocks pieced so far. I think I'll need about 150 blocks. The fabric is mostly reproduction.

I am using the Judy Martin technique from her Log Cabin Quilt Book, and it is working well.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

We went to Hawaii for Christmas - we were so lucky to see Santa on the beach Christmas morning!

It is the first time we have had a relaxing, beach vacation (usually there are places to go, things to do), and our first vacation away from the cold. The day we left it was -28°C here, and when we landed in Maui it was +28°C.

This was the view from the condo that we rented, in Kaanapali, on one of the golf courses. Most afternoons were spent lounging on the lanai, watching whales playing in the ocean. It was a 5 minute walk to the ocean. The island of Lanai is visible in the distance (we also saw Molokai on the right).

 There was a Hawaiian quilt on the bed.

There were beautiful flowers everywhere. This double hibiscus outside the front door, always had a lizard around.

We went snorkelling everyday. I never imagined anything like it - such clear, warm water, and so many amazing fish. My sons took these photos with an underwater camera, the pictures don't do the actual reef justice.

humuhumunukunukuapua'a (reef triggerfish) - the state fish 

unicorn surgeonfish

We visited lots of beaches,

and drove to the edge of the Haleakalā volcanic crater.

It was an incredible vacation! Now back to my normal routine.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!
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