This question may benefit many of you readers. Some of my cutting rulers need replacing. I get inaccurate cuts because I can not seem to hang onto them while cutting. Slipping is such an issue, despite working on a cutting mat.
I see ads from time to time about non-slip rulers. Can anyone offer their results if you have one that works well.....perhaps also which ones NOT to buy. I don't want to use those annoying stick on pads.....been there done that....they are a nuisance.
Friday, March 23, 2018
The Professional Textile Artists (PTA), a group of 14 quilters, just celebrated our 10th annual 3 day retreat. It's a time we all eagerly look forward to each year. With all the chatting, ogling everyone's projects, eating, and beverage consumption....it's a wonder we get anything done!
I learned early on to come with my project planned out AND cut out....with copious notes.Given that I still have a huge stash of Japanese style fabrics I dug some out and selected 25 prints and cut 8" squares. They were arranged and rows labeled on my home design wall.
All the setting patches were cut at home as well. This made for fairly carefree sewing at retreat....I'm NOT a fast sewer so this view on a member's portable design walls was after day 2!!
Despite ALL my planning.....somehow I was short on the red strips, so I came home with it pieced with the exception of the top and bottom outside rows. I had brought extra fabric.....but given how poor my math was....it wasn't enough.
So, now at home it's all pieced and ready to be sandwiched. It's 60" sq....and due to the size, not one I'm looking forward to quilting. I've now made quite a few similar quilts....each time trying out a new setting designs. It's become apparent that simple straight line quilting (vertical/horizontal/or diagonal) provides enough texture and interest without detracting from the beautiful feature blocks.
Do check back to see how that works out for this quilt!
In the meantime, visit these links to see what other quilters have been working on this week: Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and Crazy Mom Quilts.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
I must destash.....8 - 1 yard pieces & 1 1/2 yard cut high quality Fabric Freedom collection. Selling for less than 50% off retail..... $60 - includes free shipping in US via priority mail. Interested?? email me....use link on right side bar.
Monday, March 19, 2018
What could be better than a nice warm spring day and finishing this garden blossomed wall art quilt?!?
ORIENTAL GARDENS IN BLOOM 39" X 34"
Cotton fabrics, machine pieced and quilted.
Despite the sunny day, my studio is so difficult to get good photos of my work. Hopefully with a different light pattern later in the day I'll be more successful. In the meantime...please enjoy this latest piece from my large Japanese fabric stash!
Friday, March 16, 2018
After considerable trial and error tests on spare fabric, it seemed best to keep it simple and allow the fabrics to speak for themselves. Once the quilting reached the borders I was stumped. Eventually I decided to follow the theme of the uneven patchwork segments. The design was worked out on tissue paper, pinned in place, and quilted along the lines using my walking foot. One negative of course is having to remove the paper and all the tiny bits that remain between the stitches!
Because of the simplicity of the outline quilting of every section, for a better impact I chose to work with an antique brass thread. I'm happy with the look but oh my, I probably spent more time tying off each of the thread ends as it took to quilt the entire piece.
In general, I don't like the look of the tie off function of my machine, nor stitching in place at the beginning and end of each line. So I always tie off and bury the threads by hand. This metallic thread had a nylon core that made it impossible to use a self-threading needle as the thread shredded. So it became necessary to thread a needle with the ends in order to bury them between the layers. It's interesting, I never broke a single thread while quilting but the finishing part was very time consuming.
Stay tuned for a photo of the finished piece. In the meantime check out what other creative stitchers have been up to this week: Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday, and Crazy Mom Quilts.
Monday, March 12, 2018
As mentioned previously, my studio time would be limited for awhile, but that should never stop the creative process. Little bits of time add up.
I had this setting idea for awhile but the math involved in cutting and piecing the strips was more than I was capable of. It finally dawned on me I could do it by paper piecing since I wanted random shapes rather than symmetrical anyway.
My vision didn't include borders but as so many of us know....the quilt will tell you what to do if you listen. Next up will be making the quilt sandwich and machine quilting. Right now I have no clue what direction the quilting will take....but I'll be listening very hard!!
Check back to see won't you?
Monday, March 5, 2018
I'm still playing part-time nurse during 'the husband's' surgery recovery period, obviously there's not much creating going on here.
For lack of current project news, I decided to share my recent disappointing failure. The picture doesn't show the eyesores of the creases, wrinkles and bubbled fabric and paper map....what a mess.
It's extremely rare for me to give up on a project. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but I can honestly say there have been less than a half-dozen projects I've given up on and trashed. I usually do not surrender and somehow find a way to make it work....but this is beyond repair.
I didn't just jump into it.....a lot of testing went on before I stabilized the paper map and applied the fabric bike.....clearly NOT enough testing!! Small sample tests don't always translate to larger scale projects.
It's human nature to show our successes and avoid mentioning ones that don't work. But, the instructor in me still likes to share process dilemmas. We can all learn from each other. Unfortunately, this one has no solution. I have a couple of ideas how to begin again, one being a Spoonflower fabric map.....but I may be 'over it'. One-of-a-kind fiber art takes work.....and I love waking up each day to more challenges.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Hooray.....it's finished and better yet, it's already sold! I've been very inspired by the sunset photos posted on Facebook by my SIL, nephew, and high school pal Doris Kramer Sager. Using a compliation of their stunning photos, here's my stylized version.
THE SETTING SUN - 41" X 25"
Hand & ice-dyed cotton fabrics, commercial cottons, machine appliqued, hand and machine embroidered, oil stick highlights, thread painted & machine quilted.
Monday, February 26, 2018
I'm slowly finishing the sunset/ocean/beach theme wall quilt that has consumed me for nearly 2 months. Actually that's not for lack of effort on my part.....several areas of the design perspective details were challenging to overcome for this artist who doesn't draw. These beach chairs are an example. After scouring the internet for samples that might be suitable, many more hours were spent redrawing to achieve the correct size/shape and then recreating in fabric. Realistic landscape isn't my strength, however stylized designs have provided a new path to explore and enjoy.
With that said, I'll go ahead and reveal some personal stuff.....thank heavens it's nothing life threatening, but definitely life altering for awhile. 'The husband' had a 6 disc cervical fusion a year ago, which failed. That resulted in the development of several deformed vertebra, deep hollow sections in the skin, a broken screw still in his body, and constant pain. Additional surgery to remove the titanium device and screw is very dangerous with a high failure rate so after getting additional opinions, he's decided not to risk it. However, addressing the bulging vertebra, which sadly won't eliminate the pain, is still necessary. He'll be undergoing surgery this week and I will be a 'care-taker' again until he recovers enough to get up and about.
On top of that.....I'm facing some nasty oral surgery.....I'd rather take a greyhound bus across country - last seat by the toilet - than going to the dentist. I'm already working myself into quite the tizzy! I've been taking medication for osteoporosis for over 20 years and have been aware of the correlation between these meds. and jaw bone loss.....it's not common but it looks like it struck me.
So, if my posts are a tad sparse in the next couple of weeks you'll know why. We are moving forward with positive attitudes and feeling fortunate there are solutions to our issues and as I said, these are not life threatening....just annoyances that take me away from my studio!!
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
I've had way too little time to sew lately and will have even less with a full schedule ahead. The 10th annual PTA retreat is at the very beginning of March and given my other commitments I was stressing over what project I'll be working on.
I'm one of those who needs to be organized and prepared....no last minute rushing about for me.......I need order and until I achieve it....I'm not fit to live with!
So, due to the successful sales of several of my Japanese theme quilts at Woolworth Walk (amazing to me since this is definitely NOT my normal style), it makes sense to create another one. Retreat is CRAZY.....non-stop silliness, food, beverages, and of course sewing. Selecting a no brainer piecing project is about all I'm capable of accomplishing in this setting. Pre-cutting everything ahead is mandatory.
After a couple of false starts I now have a plan. One would never guess it's taken me nearly two full days to select, cut, and arrange these focal squares. I have tons of Japanese fabrics, yet it's amazing how often they don't play well with each other. The blocks will not be set with white as shown here on my design wall.......but had I thought of it.....I would have. (Next time!!) However, the two different colors of setting strips are now cut and ready to be pieced. Stay tuned for 'after PTA retreat report'.....though honestly so much of what happens there.....as they say "stays there'!!!