Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Coolest Little Tool I've Ever Made....

I was surfing around the 'net yesterday and I checked out Elizabeth Hartman's Oh, Fransson! site, which is one of my regular stops.  I found this Weighted Pincushion Organizer that Elizabeth shared out at "Sew, Mama, Sew" website.  Now I've been quilting just over a year, but have many a year general sewing experience behind me.  When I used to sew clothes, I always used a wrist pincushion, but since I've transitioned to quilting, I've purchased a couple of pincushions from some AZ quilt shows.  But I have to say, this is, by far, the coolest little tool I've made next to my three-scissor case from Angie Padilla.  (I purchased an annual membership to Angie's site and it's well worth every penny I paid!  I've gotten so many patterns from her site, I couldn't begin to show you all of them!)  Anyway, back to the weighted pincushion organizer.  It took about 1.5 hours total from start to finish and already I love, love, love this tool:

Here's the Weighted Pincushion Organizer with the scrap bag attached.

You can see I've already been using the little scrap bag.  I've relocated all my pins from my tiny pincushion that I constantly knocked off the side of my machine table into the rice-filled pin cushion.

The Organizer with the scrap back taken off - look how brilliantly my seam ripper, tweezers, thread snips and bodkin fit!!  This thing is de bom!!

So I made myself this little gift, but I also finally finished my little gifts for my favorite girls that I work with at church and from the Tea Board:

I made the Tipsy Snowman little wall hangers for Ginny, Rita, Sally and Sandra:
Cute, Cute Cute!!
And a cowboy style tea-towel for Candy (this will fit her decor phenomenally):
Adapted from Jill Finley's "Home Sweet Quilt" "Cherry Lemonade" pattern
A tall & skinny Christmas Tree for Misty:
She's only getting 1 of these.....
And lastly, a beautiful tea towel for Robin - I think this will go nicely in her kitchen!!  I've decided on the one with the cherries....

Cherry Lemonade pattern from Jill Finley
and check out the detail on those cherries:
A little piecing, a little embroidery and some machine applique - a complete gift!!
So, now all that's left is the wrapping and tagging.  Then it's off tomorrow night for a little Christmas Eve service at church and some gift favorite part!!

Merry Christmas!! (And most importantly, Happy Birthday, Jesus!)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

FMQ Holiday Pillow Design

I finished another pillow using Jill Finley's free pillow design that I found on her blog.  I was able to use "Starry Mess"on the night sky in this pillow.  It's a little difficult to see, but adds a starry subtlety to the night sky.  It's done in a blue metallic thread and while I thought breakage would be a huge issue, it was not!!!  An early Christmas gift.

 I also used some free motion quilting design on each of the little houses on the pillow......

Here's a swirly design......

And "Sticks" which has turned out to be one of my favorite designs for any project....

and "Circuit Board" which is also another of my favorites.

So here's the completed project:

Which sits nicely on the back of my couch.  It's a large pillow - 15" x 34" finished.  It was fun and something I'd definitely do year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where Have I Been?

It's been about 4 months since I posted to my blog; since then I've worked on someone else's business blogsite, website, pinterest, facebook, etc. in an effort to help launch her business.  Whew!  I'm back now though....I have a few recent articles to display.  , I found this free pillow pattern on Jill Findley's blogsite:

And I so loved this pillow, I bought her book, Home Sweet Quilt.  and i subsequently made these pillows.  These gave me a great opportunity to work on "standardizing" my free motion quilting (it/s the same design on both pillows).

I recreated the design in all 4 quadrants on both pillows:
 And then I did feather design around the outer border on the pillow.
And I've finished up a few wall hangings of this "Tipsy Snowman".  These are for my friends....

And lastly I am working on a "tumbling block" quilt that I took a class from Gail Shaw at our local quilt guild.  I think I'll use a coordinating fabric from the collection for the borders and binding on this quilt.  It's the first time I've made these star points and they actually came out!!!

So now I'm really looking forward to finishing this quilt

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What's New??

That Leah Day!  She's always got something very cool up her sleeve.  Painting on a quilt!  I wish I had that kind of hutzpah!  And congratulations on being published out on Craftsy - that's one of my very favorite sites.  I've actually signed up for a class painting a calla lilly on fabric, but haven't actually done the project.....the best part, I'll always have access to the online tutorial after I registered/paid for the class.  Congrats, Leah - 

I've had my nose buried recently in the latest issue of Quilting Arts mag checking out some of the techniques used on some of the art quilts inside the publication.

I did come up for air long enough to start some FMQ on my 4th of July Table Runner that hasn't quite made it to the "completed" side of the closet.
Overall FMQ designs

"Branches" in verigated thread

"Flourishes" (my own unique design)
Here are a couple of pics of Branches and a pattern I'd like to call "Flourishes".  I couldn't find anything exactly like it in Leah's "365 FMQ Guide", but this was my result after watching "Cucumber Vines", then moving to the sewing room to give it a try.  I did, however, pick up on the "Woven Lines" pattern from Day 252 in Leah's book.  About another 4-5 hours to finish this "Woven Lines" on the perimeter of the Table Runner.

I'm also in the midst of working on my "Challenge" quilt from the Kingman Quilter's Guild - for a cost of $2 we received almost a fat quarter of a blue batik.  Other than the fabric having to be present and identifiable in the quilt and overall size 20" per side or less,  there are no other limitations on techniques, etc. that can be used. 

The right side is not yet complete and the frog's missing 2 back feet, but let me share this new technique I was so focused on in the Quilting Arts mag - the large VOTE button on the bottom left was printed on fabric run through my printer, then color set.  So I cut it out, and filled it kind of trapunto style and appliqued it to my quilt!

I have another work in progress using the same photo on fabric technique.  The following picture is printed on 8.5 x 11 EQ photo fabric - it's a picture of hands, folded and waiting patiently.  These are the hands of Dr. Peter Magnus, a friend of mine who passed away in March of this year.  This photo was taken by his son only hours before he passed away.  I will be appliqueing this in the center of a whole cloth, then thread painting detail like fingernails, knuckles, wrinkles, etc. to give it depth and dimension.  Peter was an Oregon Ducks fan, so I'll be using OD Fan fabric to back the quilt.  I hope to have a lot more progress on this at next week's post.  It's a gift for his wife of 37 years, Anne Marie.

Lastly, I've been working on handwork in the afternoons as the monsoons roll through.  These are 8x8 squares of background fabric and each houses one of twelve hand appliqued "Asian Teapots" from Angie Padilla's online website.  I hope to have this completed by next post as well.

Quite a labor of love, these little tea pots, with all their detail and funny shaped handles and teacups!

I've been shown a couple of other methods of applique (like needle turn and some wet the toothpick and roll around the edge) but I still find Jennifer Bosworth's method of starch, iron and glue works best for me.

Of course, I'll give the other techniques a try again, but for now, it's all about my pressing board, bowl of starch, craft iron and stiletto tools.

I like the results.

Quilt on, Sistas -

Kingman Quilter

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wonky, Baby

I found this quilt on on Faith from Chicago's site, Fresh Lemons Quilts in spring and I just couldn't resist.  While I didn't have a pattern, I did use the links Faith provided on her site.

I also went a little nutty on the FMQ - I zippled the sashing areas and loopy-ed the white areas on the 12" blocks. 

Wonky block!

Wonky block with loopy filler design in the center

Liberated Churn Dash with loopy filler design

Wonky block in a block with loopy filler design
Wonky, Baby!
Wonky was a bit more challenging than I had originally anticipated, but I love the outcome.  It's bright, and will surely get the baby's attention.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Exercise in Circuit Board

Lyn Brown's Next Generation pattern - opportunity for plenty of circuit boarding.  This is a project I finished about 6 weeks ago, but it took over a week to complete the circuit board pattern in the center of the quilt. 

Next Generation

Circuit board in the center section

Outermost Border with Larger Circuit Board Design
Learning point on this project - keep the space at least 1/2" wide between "circuits" - otherwise the project becomes almost overwhelmin

Friday, June 1, 2012

Last Vacation Post

It's June 1st - forecast is 102 in Kingman today at 4PM......smokin'!

After last week's foil phenom, I went to the community quilters' guild the following day.  The ladies were excited about the foiling process, so I'm hosting June's guild at my house and we're going to foil things.....fabric, glass, wood, whatever the girls bring, we're gonna foil!  I'll post after the VV Quilters Guild meeting with techniques, projects, etc.

This week has been a plethora of holiday projects and some just plain fun stuff. I finished the Tall Trees.....

Two Tall Trees
One is FMQ'd with Leah Day's "train track" stipple patten
The other is FMQ'd in a loop pattern and foiled glue dots look like 3D ornaments

Learning point - just shoot me in the head rather than FMQ using metallic thread.  After my tension adjustment on the first tree, I had so many eyelashes on the backside, it looked like Christmas garland.  But, I picked it all out and re-adjusted my tension and re-FMQ'd it.

Next project was Just for Fun - it's Angie Padilla's 3-Pocket Scissor case.  It carries large, medium and small scissors and has a velcro closure it.  This was sweet, easy and fun to make - plus I now have a great little carrying case for my scissors!  No FMQ on here, but I will on the next one!

Angie Padilla's 3-Pocket Scissor case
My "Ol' Glory" rendition
Lastly, I credit Jen Bosworth Old Glory design from Shabby Fabrics for the inspiration for this table runner.  After I finish sewing ric-rac on the flags, I'll embroider the flagposts, add the backing & batting and FMQ.

I just can't get away from that foiling!  I really like that technique -
Foiling used on the firework and the drum

I also purchased and downloaded Leah Day's "365 Free Motion Quilting Designs" book this week.  I want to say every free motion quilter needs this fabulous book in her arsenal of FMQ tools!  While I've perused Leah's website on numerous occasions looking for filler designs, this book really opens up one's mind to many, many new designs.  This is, without a doubt, my best purchase of 2012!  Thank you Leah Day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Project #1

Since we completed the wholecloth quilt project, I've maintained an interest for that project.  While in northern California, my mom gave me some wholecloth quilt patterns that she'd had stashed  in her closet.  The artist is Jill Schumache rof

Anyway, I've also recently found the "foiling" technique and I really like the way foiling adheres to fabric!  It's soft, flexible and can even be washed on delicate cycle in the washing machine.  I actually dried two of these wholecloths in the drier (on low) and they came out just fine.

My attempt was to create four season wall hangings, but here's the catch.  I used the wholecloth patterns and embellished with a center pattern for 3 of the 4 quilts.  (More details about patterns/artists below.)  But, I tried some different techniques for my actual quilting also.  Each wholecloth has a different pattern used on it and two of the three have two layers of quilting; the first in white, the second (and sometimes third) in color.  Here's the results with a bit more detail:

Here's an overview of the 4 wholecloth quilts; they're about 25x25 each
"Spring" has a feather motif in each corner.  I used a Cindy Needham pattern for the basket of flowers in the center of the wholecloth.  The open areas are stippled in white, then stippled again with a purple border and green surrounding the basket
I used a rubber stamp for the dragonfly, painting it with adhesive and allowing it to dry then foiling the body and wings.  I really like the way the stitching shows under the foil.  Each of the petals and the basket were stitched prior to foiling.
"Summer" was embellished with a freehand sunflower in the center, then each of the "leaves" was veined using a green thread. 
The center of the flower was foiled, then I did some threadplay over the top of the foiling.  I outlined the flower and again outside the floral motif with more zippling that reminded me of sunflower petals.
"Fall" is this beautiful wholecloth with a sugar maple leaf motif done in the center.  I mixed foil colors and then used a leaf rubber stamp randomly on the outside of the motif.
Here's a closeup of the sugar maple leaf in the center with threadplay for the veins in the leaf.  I also stitched the wholecloth open hearts in green and closed hearts in a burgundy thread.
"Winter" was simply a symmetrical wholecloth pattern that I chose to foil the centers of each intersection.  I plan on going back and embellishing the wholecloth with a silver thread to pick up more of the quilting on this.  So, more to follow as soon as I finish it.

Then, each one needs to have binding added and I have a special place on a specific wall in my sewing room where each will be hung seasonally.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Springtime in the Valley (San Joaquin Valley Quilters' Guild)

Wow!  Over 300 quilts on display at this quilt show this weekend.  Here's a random sampling of just a few I saw....
Spiral Galaxies - Viewer's Choice Winner - Wall Hanging

Art Quilt - Grizzly - this piece was beautiful!

Another Great Wall Hanging

Whale's Tail - I wish you could see the crystal beading on this piece - it looks just like water dripping from the tail!

Just another exemplary example of quilting

Selvage Tree - how clever is this?

One of the Tribute Quilts in the Tina Cox Memorial area - she was a gorgeous quilter!

Another Beautiful Sample....

From SJVQG Applique Society - Stunning!

Another Memorial Display - Dee Beebe - this challenge quilt had 8 ladies participating - ya think they communicated or what?
Best quilt show I've ever seen, bar none!