Saturday, June 11, 2011

Painting with fabric - part 2

This morning, I was excited to work more on the iris project.  I finished drawing all the pieces on the SteamASeam and cut them apart.  Then, I put them into piles for the different fabrics I was using.  I ended up using five plus the little piece of yellow.  After I got them tacked down on the right fabric, I cut them out and started building the puzzle.  After I got everything in place, I realized that I had to transfer everything to the fabric I selected for the background.  Hmmmm.  I know there are easier ways to do this, but I just decided to eyeball it.  After all, it is my drawing and if I changed it a bit as I moved it, that was okay.

The next step is the machine work.  I picked up some King Tut in four shades of purple some time ago on sale.  I know I am going to use a double button hole stitch around the edges of the pieces.  Then, I want to do some thread play.  Right now, it is on the design wall so I can sit with it a while before I tackle the next challenge.
Then, I changed directions completely and pulled out my fat eighth bundle of Perennials by Kansas Trouble for Moda.  While I was staying with Bella, I drew up pattern designs for four quilts.  One of them was for this fabric.  In the center are six of my favorite stars.  Around that there will be flying geese.  The outside border is also fun.  I didn't get the stars completed, but enough to lay them out on the design wall.  There will be sashing between the stars, but I don't know what color yet.  I love the fabric line and I want to show it off in this quilt.

What fun things are you working on these days? 
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trying painting with fabric

I am not sure what the correct term is for my new project.  I decided I wanted to create an Iris with fabric and make it into a quilted piece.  I have seen flowers done with applique, and I have liked them.  I looked for books at the library on how to do this, but there were none at my local branch, and since I wanted to try it now, I decided to just go ahead and jump in feet first.  Anyone who knows me shouldn't be surprised by that.

The first thing I did was go through my husbands photos.  It is so lovely to have a professional photographer around the house.  I selected one of the irises he took last week at a neighbor's house.  After I printed it, I took some time to sketch it out freehand.  I realized I had to simplify the design a bit to make it work in fabric.  I still wanted it to look like an iris, though.  After the initial sketch, I took a black marker and outlined the basic shapes I would be using.  Then, I enlarged it so that when it is taped together, it is approximately 22" x 18".  With the pattern (or cartoon in weaving) drawn, I headed to the new fabric shop in Kent.  I purchased the green for the background, and the three purple batiks for the flower.  I already had some yellow for the center.  All of this took most of the morning. 

My next step was to number all the different parts.  I figured out how to draw the parts on the SteamASeam so the flower would not be reversed, and started cutting for the bottom focus petal.  I decided to do fusible applique after much internal debate.  I really enjoy hand work, but it took me so long to get my Hawaiian piece appliqued, and I would like to finish this sooner than five years.  I would also like to do some thread play on at least the focus petal.  The iris has purple lines radiating up from the purple edges and I think I could simulate that on the machine.  My question is, do I do that as part of the quilting process, or before I sandwich everything together.  I have a while before I have to figure that out.
I mentioned that I went to a new quilt store today.  It is called Running Stitch Fabrics and it is in the Kent, Washington historic district.  The shop has been open about a month and is still growing its stock.  If what they have is any indication of the future, I will be going back there often.  They are building a collection of Island Batiks that is stunning.  I had no trouble finding what I wanted there.  They have the Grand Finale line by Sandy Gervais for Moda which I am in love with.  I think I have mentioned before that Sandy Gervais is one of my favorite designers.  My budget won't allow me to buy any this month, but if I save my pennies, maybe next month.  The shop carries bright fabrics and has a good selection of blenders.  There was a very wonderful fat eighth bundle of blenders, but I stuck to my Iris fabric today.  There is a very large classroom area in the back which is open for quilters to come and work when classes are not in session.  They just got in their long arm quilting machine.  Soon, they will have classes and rental times available.  If you are ever in Kent, I highly recommend this warm friendly shop.
The last thing I have to share today is a completely ridiculous project I have been working on.  I am going to be singing with my small group in a show next Saturday.  We are using hats as props.  It was deemed a good idea for me to wear, at one point in the show, a replica of the hat that Princess Beatrice wore to the Royal Wedding.  I, of course, have to make the hat.  So far, I have used an old baseball cap, heavy fusible pellon, pink fabric, rubber tubing, and a glue gun.  As soon as my husband eats another popsicle, I will have a pair to use to hold the thing at the correct angle, I hope.  Here it is so far.  All I can say is that it is a good thing I am not trying to make my living as a milliner.

At least, I think it will be recognizable. 
I hope you all have a wonderful quilty weekend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Having trouble leaving comments?

I know that several people have been having trouble leaving comments on Blogger for a while now.  It finally happened to me.  The solution is to make sure you uncheck the "stay signed in" box when you log in.  That has worked for my husband and me.
On another note, I really love to read your comments and try to respond to each one.  If you are a no reply, which means you haven't added your email to your profile, please add your email address to your comment so I can write back. 

Orange and Blue in a Dresden Platter

I worked on my Dresden platter today.  First I cut the pieces in 2 inch strips.  That was my first mistake.  I thought I measured correctly, but I should have added another 1/4 inch.  It was pretty touch and go making everything meet, but I was able to get it all put together.


After I got it all trimmed, my husband and I auditioned three different center possibilities.  At first, I was sure I was going to like the one in the center first.  Then Tom pulled the fabric on the left, and I liked it better, but it still wasn't what I wanted.  I dug through the scrap basket when Tom saw a tiny piece of the third fabric, and I found one just the right size with the spiral on it.  That is the one I selected.

Now, everything is fused down and ready for the next step.  I am trying to decide whether or not to stitch this down by hand or machine.  I was thinking about adding some decorative embroidery stitches.  At the garage sale, the seller gave me a huge bag of embroidery thread, and I want to get started doing some embroidery again.  Maybe this will be the right project to get started.
I also finished stitching En Vino Veritas together and moved it from the design wall to the quilting rack. I even found backing fabric for it. I want to get it quilted soon, along with the six other quilts waiting on the quilt rack.  All together there is one gift, four charity quilts, and two I want to enter into my guild's show in July.  I better get busy.

Joyful quilting, everyone.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Back in the studio again!

I went to a garage sale with Bella the other day.
The seller was once a quilter, but had to quit because of an injury.
She had many fat quarters, and I bought as many as I thought I could use.

There was a two yard piece of the red in the back.
The pastel in front has cottages all over it that I didn't see when it was rolled up.

I decided to use the golds and the greens to the left for
the mystery guilt for my guild.  Today, I made
100 two and a half inch HSTs.

I also made more of the teal/turquoise fabric to make a new AAQI.
I drew up a Dresden oval and will make the wedges with the
orange and yellow as well as the made fabric.
I will be with Bella again tomorrow, but I will work more on this on Thursday.
Then I will have five days to play in the studio!
Joyful quilting, everyone.