Monday, December 24, 2012

The Circle of Life

Today we lost a cousin...Mike.  Mike lost his beloved wife Mary, not too long ago.  Today, as sad as it is for those of us left behind; Mike and Mary are together again.

In this season of joy and renewal, take a moment to remember those who are no longer with us.

The older I get, the longer that list grows...but at the same time we have new little ones joining us.

So, we celebrate the cycle of life.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, take time to love the ones still with you, and remember those who have left us...they all make us who we are.

 

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate tomorrow. Happy Holidays to all the rest...whether Hanukkah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, or whatever you believe. We are all in this together...May we have Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward ALL Men.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Transformation Has Begun...

Yep, the backing has been dyed

hand dyed backing fabric 2

 

The elements to be added during quilting have been prepped

100_5825

 

The silk and Razzle-Dazzle threads have arrived, and the top is loaded on the frame

100_5823

 

The stabilization process is well under way. The "fun" quilting is coming soon.

I really love this part of the process!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Watchers II...Applique Version

After the reveal of my painted version of this quilt here, Vicki and I talked about developing an applique version on one of her gradient fabrics as a kit for sale.  Well, I finally got it done. As you may remember, the painted version is done entirely in neutral colors.  In this version, I used a neutral background, but added a little blue and green.  The background fabric is 1 yard of ...can you believe I can't remember the name of this gradient!  I'm sure Vicki will pipe up and rescue me!  At any rate, here it is.

[caption id="attachment_2963" align="alignnone" width="269"]The Watchers II The Watchers II[/caption]

It isn't quilted yet, and that will not happen until the High Priestess is done and off the frame.  But at least the top is done.

The pattern is almost done,(just have to burn  the discs and print the covers)  and will be ready to ship to Vicki in the next few days.  When she has the kits ready to go, she'll let you know!

 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Log Cabin Quilts E-Book

Upon returning home from Virginia this week, I had an e-mail from Fons and Porter asking if I would be interested in reviewing their new Log Cabin Quilts E-book.  I certainly was happy to do that and they promptly sent me the E- book.

I have always loved log cabin quilts. They are so many varieties and options to make them very traditional or very contemporary. They are great as stand alone pieced quilts and they also make great backgrounds for applique.  The first large quilt I did was a log cabin quilt.  I have done them the traditional way; I have done them with paper pieced centers; and I have done them with applique.

I read  through the E-book and found it to be a wonderful resource. Not only does it have complete, easy to follow instructions for a variety of log cabin settings; it also has charts with cutting instructions for 5 different size blocks.

Also included are bonus instructions for adding piping and a binding tutorial.   All through the booklet there are lots of photos, hints, and easy to read charts.

But the best part for me is that it is in PDF format...which means you can transfer the booklet to iBooks on your iPad or iPhone . That means when you're in the quilt shop and find the perfect fabrics for a log cabin quilt, you'll have all the info you need right with you!

And the great folks at Fons and Porter are making it possible for you to have your own free copy too! Just follow the link below and get your own.

http://www.fonsandporter.com/landing/free-log-cabin-quilt-patterns

Monday, December 3, 2012

Finished One and Getting Ready For A Trip Home

The High Priestess top is finally finished...major construction issues and a couple of re-do's, but in the end I am happy with it.

Just a few peaks of the final elements...all of which have had further surface design since these photos

Some extra "padded" applique diamonds to accent the pieced ones...



They and the following "padded" elements will be added during the quilting process...The edges are all turned and ready.

The Luna moths



And the word bubbles...oh these photos were before the words were added...



That will have to do you until I get back and load it for quilting.

I'm headed to Virginia to celebrate Mother's birthday with her. Hubby and the kitties will hold down the fort here while I'm gone.  I'm excited to spend time with Mother, and also the kids and grand daughters...all 5 of them!  I am so lucky to have wonderful children and their terrific spouses who gave me 5...count 'em 5 wonderful grand girls. Kara, Becky, Samantha, Fiona, and Siobhan

Life, even with all its challenges... is good!

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Re-Do

There was just something about the High Priestess top that bothered me...so much so, I couldn't bring myself to stitch down the applique.  I finally figured out my issue with it,  so I ordered more fabric from Vicki. Then I  took the whole top apart and re- did it.

Tonight it is done and I am happy with the way it looks. So, tomorrow I'll start stitching  down the applique.  Still on track, to have it loaded before I go to Virginia the first week of December.

I'll post photos after the applique is stitched.

Sometimes, you need to listen to that little voice :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sampson and Clyde

I finally got around to binding Sampson and Clyde, so I thought I'd post the finished photos.

First, Sampson

[caption id="attachment_2946" align="alignnone" width="300"] Sampson[/caption]

and a close up



and Clyde

[caption id="attachment_2948" align="alignnone" width="300"] Clyde[/caption]

and his close-up



This has really been a fun series for me ...two left to go and Harvey is on the frame being quilted now.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Watchers

Today is the reveal for the Fiberactions group challenge "Neutrals".  The color palette could include black, gray,white, brown and beige. I wondered if with this shoulder injury I would be able to get mine done, but thankfully I made the deadline! The only things left to do are the label, sleeve and blocking. I also need to get better photos...these aren't the best.

A painted wholecloth: 41" x 40"

[caption id="attachment_2928" align="alignnone" width="300"] "The Watchers"[/caption]

Painted with fiber reactive dyes and Liquitex professional artists inks. Quilted with Superior and Wonderfil threads and filled with 2 battings...Quilters Dream Wool over Quilters Dream Puff.

I did take some photos during the process starting with the freezer paper masks on white PFD fabric



background color added



masks removed



Inspector Bouree



looks like he approves ;)



painting the details



and more



and painting done



on to the quilting...lots of threads tails to bury



and the details





notice the thread painted "ghost" birds? You may need to enlarge the photo to see them



and the back



Be sure to head over to the Fiberactions blog to see the others.

 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Peek at my November Challenge

I figured I needed to get started on my Fiberactions challenge quilt due  November15th, so I've been working on that the last couple days.  The challenge is to use only neutrals, with neutral defined as black, white, gray, brown and beige.   Mine again, will be a painted wholecloth.

So here a couple snippets of the piece in progress...with my able assistant Bouree :)

Before background painting...masks in place



After background painting



Masks removed



Bouree helping



He says it looks okay so far



Miss Chloe spent the afternoon sleeping...she says she doesn't work!

 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Construction Challenges

Piecing all those diamonds around the solid pieces of gradient fabric that have the moon and  High Priestess appliqued to them proved to be a little challenging.  Rather than piece the areas behind the applique and then cut them away, I decided to piece the background with the "holes" in it.  It turned out to be a bit tougher than I had anticipated. In the end, I divided the background into 7 sections of pieced diamonds and then pieced the sections together leaving the "holes" for the moon and High Priestess.   Getting the sections with the holes to line up and lay flat gave me some frustrating moments, but in the end it all worked out great.  That said...I won't be doing things that way again!

Some photos of the process... Section 1 & 2



After sewing



Section 3



3 sewn



Section 4



4 sewn



Section 5



5 sewn



Section 6



6 sewn



Section 7



7 sewn



I'm amazed that it lined up as well, and actually is pretty flat!

Then the prepped hole # 1 for the moon and pinned in place for reverse applique...with Bouree toes :)



Then prepped hole #2 for the High Priestess and pinned her in place



I did the reverse applique by hand and the reverse appliqued sections blend beautifully with the pieced background diamonds!  Now I'm adding the trees, sphere for the wand and Luna moths (by machine applique).  Photos of all that another time.

There sure is a lot of hand work in this quilt...wonder what got into me. lol !

 

 

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Working a Little Slower

The last six weeks I was slow getting things done. I'm dealing with a frozen shoulder and all that goes along with that. Physical therapy takes a chunk out of my day and when I do work, it is only in small bits of time.

Since I'm not able to use the longarm comfortably or safely right now, I'm doing other things like dyeing, painting, piecing and appliqué. That has lead to a lot of changes in the High Priestess.

I'm using Vicki's "twilight" gradient for the background.  Part pieced, part not.... Presents interesting construction dilemmas.  I think I have them worked out now; we'll see in the next few days as I combine all the elements.  In the end, the judges will decide if it is successful next year when this quilt starts the show circuit.

My goal, is to show that you can combine old techniques with new ones;  contemporary fabrics with traditional ones;  sewing techniques with art techniques.... And each hold their own, yet add to the composition as a whole. All the while still feeling  fresh and new.

So, I've appliqued the painted High Priestess and the hand pieced silk hexagon moon to non-pieced portions of the gradient.  I did not want seams distorting those elements. You might wonder why I just don't cut away the background behind the applique...I like the extra stability .

The high priestess... You can also see a few of the pieces of her skirt overlay that I'll  add after quilting.



And the moon...both machine appliqued with a close zigzag ( not  satin stitch)  in rayon thread.  Another reason to leave the background behind is to add shadows to the moon from the dark fabric behind.



Next, I cut with my Accuquilt "GO" cutter, well over three hundred 60 degree diamonds for the other background areas. Again from Vicki's "Twilight"...this is what 6 yards looks like after cutting and being pieced into 2 and 4 unit segments



I got all the segments joined for the tree and Luna moth sections...tomorrow I'll start appliqueing those to the pieced background sections.

In other work news, I had promised Jamie Fingal a house quilt, for her House Quilt project. Poor thing, she probably thinks I forgot.  I did not...It is painted and ready to quilt as soon as my shoulder will allow.



I've never done a quilt so tiny before...it was a challenge to work so small for one who usually works so large! So small, I used a scrap of PFD fabric left from the "Queen".  But I like it so far...the quilting will really bring it to life. So soon, Jamie...  And I still owe you another one...it's nearly finished the painting stage.

So with  those things... and I  dyed 8 more silk scarves...I'll show those another day.  For now, I'm done...it's kitty snuggle time.

 

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Some Silk Dyeing

Yesterday, I took the day to dye some silk scarves.  One can never have enough of them :)

Today I did the washout and was thrilled with the depth of color.  Instead of using acid dyes like I normally do for silk and wool, I just used the fiber reactive dyes that I use for cottons. Did everything the same as for cotton,  and it worked great...no steaming!

These photos are all of Silk Devore...all different patterns

Dots





Deco





Arabesque





And Curls





Pretty, aren't they!  There are more, but I'll save them for another day.