Tuesday, September 1, 2009

June and July Updates

Well, there wasn't much sewing in June because we had company most of the month, a great party on the 20th to celebrate our 20th anniversary and a re-dedication of our vows. We had company from all around Idaho, Los Angeles and New York. The weather was wonderful, not to hot and not to windy and a few sprinkles every now and then to cool it off. We started with wine and cheese at 6, the ceremony at 7 and then a summer buffet after the ceremony. Everyone had a wonderful time and so did we. I had an acquaintance acting as my hostess and she took care of absolutely everything. I was so glad we were able to have the party outside in our back yard, our original wedding was held in our back yard in Anchorage, and we had beautiful weather that day also. The last of the company left on June 30th. The only sewing I did was to make a wedding shirt for my DH, unfortunately I didn't get it done until the beginning of July. Oh well, he understood.

We rested the first two weeks in July and then we took off in our new Rouge for Tennessee to deliver the wedding quilt and visit for a few days. The we took off and drove to New York to visit my family for a week and then went into the city for two days. Took the train back to our car, drove to Port Jefferson and caught the ferry across Long Island Sound and started back to Tennessee. We tried to take the most scenic ways and we saw some beautiful areas in WV that we had never seen before. We spent about 5 more days in Tennessee and I go
t to play with the baby and take care of her for a few hours each day, what fun for me. At 8 months she loves to be in the pool in one of those floaty tubes and also if you hold her on her stomach, she kicks and laughs all the time. We also looked at a few houses with a realtor, both DH and I really feel the need to live back somewhere green. We can't move back to Alaska cause I don't think either of us can take the cold any more, we been gone for 19 years and we are 19 years older also.

We have never spent much time in the SE part of the US or even the Central US, so there is a whole world for us to explore and see. We can even have a garden we don't have to water every day and we can garden in the ground and not in pots! We will be putting our house in Albuquerque up for sale around the end of September and after it sells then we will buy an new house in Tennessee with a few acres of trees and land around us. It will be so nice to be somewhere quiet again. I can get up to Paducah for the quilt show also, Houston is closer, its easier to travel out of country (and cheaper) and our retirement will go further there. Property taxes are half of what we pay here and we will have 3 to 4 times more land. Can't wait.

So the sewing I did for August was another bumper pad for the crib.

I made a summer purse for myself, I know its a little late, but I can still use it for another month or two this year and then next summer. I used a pattern called "The tulip Bag by Susan Brubaker Knapp. I made it a little shorter than the pattern called for, but next time I will shorten it a little more and narrow the sides. Its a 14X14X6 pattern.

Well, that's all for today, comments are appreciated.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wow! Its been a long time.

Well, I'll fill you in with what has been going on in our lives since last we spoke!

I've FINISHED work on the Wedding Quilt I mentioned in my last post, its been quilted and bound and given the the newly (almost two years and one 8 month old baby). Without further ado here it is

The quilt is 100" x 100", machine pieced, machine appliqued and machine quilted. If you have followed my blog at all, you know that traditional quilting is not my forte' but I saw this quilt
made up and said, I can do that! Never made a feathered star before or delectable mountains. Sure was a lot of fun, not. It didn't help that the instructions were all over the place, the design is beautiful, and the different parts were written by different people. For
example, the feathered star used templates which make me tear my hair out, but the outside border feathered star portion used 1/2 square triangles, paper pieced, much easier and I'm sure they look better, and I finished them much faster. The border around the feathered star has quilted writing with the couples name and date of the wedding, and who it is from. The applique corners were half square triangles that started from a 36 inch square. I didn't mind that part as much, but it does get boring dong the same thing 4 times.

The machine quilting was done by Betty at Kokopeli Quilting which is affiliated with Southwest Decoratives. I buy a lot of fabric there, take a trip to their website, I think you will enjoy it. Betty did everything I asked her to do, feathers, custom designs in the applique portion. She put in doves, hummingbirds, swans, butterflies and anything that represented a wedding. Most of the quilting was done in white, front and back. The back is a dark green hand dye so the white thread really shows off the quilting. You can't tell by the pictures here because they were done in the evening and the holders were not experienced in holding quilts up, out and tight and still, but you can see a little of it.

June, July were very busy months and I'll fill you in on this in the next post. In a few days, I promise.

Friday, April 24, 2009

End of March Doings

I can't believe that it is the end of April already, time flys when you are having fun!I had a busy month in March. 

I belong to the Unlimited Textiles group and the theme for March was Gothic. I love stained glass and especially the wonderful Rose Windows. Here is what the one in Strasbourg looks like. 

Hard to get that much detail in a 5" quiltie (Small quilts) but I did try, unsuccessfully. 

Then I started going through my stash  and found this great fabric, and put a black fabric mask on it to make the leading for the stained glass look and 
the quiltie turned out pretty good. I did some
 beading in the center and at the end of the spokes.

I was surprised that when  I chose smaller beads they got lost in the whole quiltie, but when I went up to a larger bead it looked so much better.

The other exchange I was in was the Fiber Beads trade and I had lots of fun with that. I decided to make my beads with a hard shell, rather than 
the  soft fabric outside. The one problem I had was trying to Photograph the beads so that the fabric itself showed. The darker beads are a beautiful batik of blues and greens and 
purples. The beads are too dark or shiny in any of the pictures to do  them justice.

I wrapped some of them with Razzle Dazzle thread in different colors, and some I wrapped in Angelina fibers. I left the tails long on the beads so that the tails could be could be cut to any length she wanted. I also used some wire and some of the micro beads in the hard shell of the lighter colors. I didn't want to do a matched set of beads, so I did a variety of colors and styles.

I also got a lot of work done on that wedding quilt I keep talking about. My goal is to have it at the quilters by the end of April. I can't wait to post a picture of the completed top. As soon as I can get my card from my camera to work, I'll post some pictures of that I received in the exchange.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March Doings

I finished two trades the beginning of this month. One was an abstract 5" quilt and the other was an 8 x 10 inch quilt on the Wives of Henry VIII. Each was different and challenging in its own way.

I wanted to tell you a little more about the class with Katie PM that I took. One of the techniques we learned was to take shapes and super impose them in a pleasing arrangement, erase some lines, crop the piece and then color in the cropped picture with watercolors. What fun I had with that exercise. This picture is the result of that exercise.

When I got home I had the 5" quilt to make for my trade so I used this picture as a starting place. I made a copy of the portion that I wanted be my 5" quilt on tracing paper and then colored it in with colored pencils, you can see that picture below.  I didn't 
use the water colored copy to make the tracing , but I used the tracing I made the water color from (I hope that makes sense).

I made another copy of this colored tracing to use as a pattern that I cut out of freezer paper and then  position it  on the fabric I had chosen. After I had cut out the pieces and laid it out on a piece of muslin, I made some changes in the fabric I used until I liked the way the colors and values worked with each other.

I sewed, quilted and beaded the piece and I've posted a picture of it below.

I thought it turned out pretty well and it is on its way to England to its final home.

We had many more exercises, but this was the first and the longest and for me, one of the most enjoyable. 

I've got some more pictures and at least one more quilt coming out of the exercises from this class, but you will have to wait for the next post on this subject.

February Doings

This has been a very busy month for me, I finished taking Dena Crains Darned Quilt Class, I haven't quite finished the project but here is picture of it with all the circles cut out and darned in. I need to do the decorative stitching and also the quilting , but I enjoyed doing this so much that I know I will finish it. I've also put a close picture of one of the circle area's so you can get a closer look. Great technique and I think that there are many variations of this technique in my future!

As soon as I finished this class, I had another class the I took up in Santa Fe through the local quilt shop up there. It is a beautiful shop and if you like fabric batiks, hand dyed, everything you will love this store. If you are more into the folkart, homespun, reproduction, Aunt Grace look, you won't find much, but if you want the good variety, interesting techniques, art quilt supplies you will find a little of everything there, even a couch and reading area for the non-fabricholics that might be with you. I have no affiliation with them just a happy customer, glad I don't live next door or I would be a bankrupt customer.

Anyway I took a two day class on design with Katie Pasquini Masopust and it was wonderful. The class was very intense and full of exercises and art and design. We got to see many of her quilts first hand. She is so precise in everything that she does, and she shares so much in her classes. The class is based on her book Design Explorations for the Creative Quilter and if you ever get a chance to take a class from her, get to the head of the line.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A New Year

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday this past year, we had a very restful holiday and enjoyed it very much.

I've been in my studio working very hard this year, so far, I finished a couple of baby blankets, burp cloths, bibs etc.

I've been working more on the wedding quilt and I'm going to take a few pictures next week and post them so you can see what I've been doing. I'm also making a kids quilt for a birthday next month, its from the animals around the world series, and incorporates one of the soft book panels. Its looking nice and I enjoy doing something simple for a change, I'll post that also when I'm done.

I have been taking two classes from Quilt U. One is on fabric painting for landscapes. I've been following the discussions and reading the lessons, but I haven't been able to set aside room in the studio to paint right now. The other class I'm taking is Dena Crain's "Darned Quilt Class" and I'm having a lot of fun with that. See some pictures below.

We need to have gradated range of fabrics that mostly read as solids.
 These are the colors I chose.

Next we sewed them together and this was the end of lesson 1

Lesson 2 was to embellish the quilt, and I'm not quite finished with that yet, but i will try and finish this week...

What fun the class is, I would highly recommend anyone who wants a fun class and just wants to enjoy the process to take this class.

Click on Dena Crain to read more about the Darned Quilts and see some examples.  I'll show you more as the quilt progresses. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I was catching up on my blog reading this morning, mind you, after I returned from exercising - getting back into my routines, and the first one I read was My Croft and Melanie issued a general "tag" to her readers. The tag was to pick up the book nearest to you, turn to page 56 and count down 5 lines and transcribe a sentence or two into your blog.

With all those endorphins running around in my body this morning I decided to play tag and be it. The book nearest me is "Digital Essentials" by Gloria Hansen. It is the quilt makers must have guide to images, files and more! It is an early Christmas present and I am really enjoying it, Gloria is a dynamite quilt maker, if you are interested in looking at her work click here.

On page 56 (this page is talking about how to do this in Paint Shop Pro) line 5 is a question:

Q: How can I know how large (in inches) I can print my image before it starts to degrade (get dotty)?
A: 1. Turn off the Resample image option. 
      2. Type in the desire Width and Height in the Document Size box (e.g. 8" x 10"). Look at the resolution. If it is too low, make your image dimensions smaller.

Now this probabally doesn't make a sense to many of you, but remember by the time you get to this page, you already know a lot of digital terminalogy. Given how fast things progress these days, this is an excellent book for anyone that is working on designing or printing any type of art work.

I am reading another book, one of my vices is reading mystery books, however it was under the book I used. Of course I have another book under that one and a few magazines.....

So now does anyone want to play tag with me? If you do, please leave me a comment, so I can ready about your turn as "It".

I don't have any art work to share today, but I will be getting back into the studio, hopefully this afternoon, and have something to share next week.