Monday, November 5, 2007

Base car show and festival

It's been two weeks again since I last posted. So what have we been up to? Michelle for one had fun at a small fest here on the base. That's her doing flips in the picture. lol She waited almost 50 minutes in line for not even 5 minutes of jumping time, but she enjoyed it.

Then we also had a small car show going on here. Somebody even brought a Delorian!

And what do you thing of this car?

It was fun to look at, that's for sure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What I'm currently working on

These are some of the blocks I'm currently working on from a BOM I took at the Quilt Barn in Puyallup, WA. There are a total of 12 pieced and 12 appliqued blocks, but they didn't all fit up on my design wall. Of the pieced blocks, all but one are done and since I fused the first 4 months of the applique blocks I decided (instead of redoing those by hand) to fuse the remaining eight blocks as well, which means they all need satin stitching now.
For the satin stitching I had to change my usual machine set-up from my Juki, which is a pure straight stitch machine, back to my Pfaff Quilt Style. Once everything was set up I used a 2.0/.3 zig-zag setting for the satin stitching and tear-away stabilizer. It's quite time consuming (about an hour per block), but it just makes some of the lighter fabrics "pop".
I think the top will be large enough without the use of sashing, but I haven't made a final decision on that yet. Since I have to buy fabric for the border and backing anyway and the blocks are not all done yet, I will let inspiration hit me whenever it comes. lol

Two quilts done

Looks like I totally forgot to update my blog with my two latest finished quilt tops. Both of these tops have been sitting in my UFO pile for quite some time, so it feels good to have them done.

The first top is my comfort quilt for my mother's passing from cancer February 13th 2005. Members from WASIQ had sent me the heart and flower blocks for this top. To make it large enough to really snuggle under it I added two of my own blocks and then alternated the blocks with wow (white on white) plain blocks that provided a great quilting surface. Each of the plain areas has a different design on it, using Pam Clarke's method.

On the back I used "Quilt for the Cure" fabric.

The second quilt below (African Queen) was made from a BOM at the Shibori Dragon in Washington state. After the blocks for 12 months were complete I used EQ5 to design the final layout. The quilting on this top was also done using Pam Clarke's method.

And how's this for the backing?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Time sure has been flying this last month, but stress seems to bring out the productive side in me. When I know I have a lot of appointments with waiting time coming up, I always try to have at least one project ready, that's portable, so I don't just sit around, wasting time. So if you should have wondered about how I get a lot of quilty things done, that answers the question. lol
First off I wanted to share a picture of the finished table runner I was working on in the Quilt University class by Nancy Chong. It's on our dining table right now.

Since I had dabbled into drawing my own Celtic design and still had oodles of self made bias strips, I prepared my fabric for the next project:

If you remember, this is the doodle that I created. The left side shows my drawing with highlighters, because I wanted to see how many fabrics I'd be able to use for the bias and the black line drawing to the right eliminates the "stop marks" I used for the designing process. It gives a better overall impression of the design without distractions.

I then created the real size drawing using a 2" grid that I drew on some drafting paper. This step is more time consuming, because it involved quite a few more steps than just redrawing the original line drawing at a larger scale. When you click on the picture to get the larger view you can see that I had to draw the lines to the left and right side of the design line, then I had to create the over/under effect and finally to make the tracing on fabric easier for myself I traced over all of the lines with a Sharpie.
After this step the pattern is ready to be traced onto fabric and the appliqueing can begin.

After several days of appliqueing all of the required bias strips down by hand, this is the top I've created:

At this point it's "aging" on my design wall as I am working on other UFO's. I've decided I want to completely finish at least three more projects before the year is over and I think I'll be able to finish more than that, but three is my minimum goal, but I'll share more of that in my next posts.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Today's progress

So this is how the Celtic applique looks finished. The third and last lesson was loaded today about how to finish the table runner. Instead on working on finishing this I spent this morning with redrafting my doodle from the other day into a workable pattern.

The final size of this comes out to be about 18 1/2" for the design itself. At first I thought I could work it to be a 40" wall hanging, but the proportions of the bias would be off. One option I'd have to bring it up to 40" is to use double lines and fill the areas between them with different colored fabric from the main background to give it a stained glass effect. Definitely something worth looking into. ;o)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sometimes you just don't know ...

how things will turn out. lol Take the picture above for example. This is how I start my Celtic doodles - set up a frame and then add "stop" lines. At this point I have no idea where the design is going.

Here I fill in my turn points, but it still doesn't give me too many clues.

And I keep going till the design is filled. Sometimes (with this many lines) I can't tell if a design consists of one uninterrupted line of if there is the possibility of a multi color application.

Once I follow the line with a highlighter I can tell at once - one color application. To see how the design would look like without the background grid and stop lines I trace it on an overhead projector sheet. The design has symmetry on the diagonal and as I said above, you don't know what you get till it's done - this design isn't my favorite, but it was good practice.

Here is another example of an unexpected outcome, but I like this one. :o)

And below is a design, I am planing on turning into a wall hanging in the near future.

Then I was also playing around with some practice pieces with rectangular grids. Can you envision the top one as a table runner?

OK, now back to some applique!
I got to work a little more on the table runner last night and the picture shows how much I've gotten done so far. Plan is to have all of the applique finished this weekend, because I have quite a few other projects waiting for me to work on.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Celtic knotwork class project

This picture was taken at an earlier stage of the knotwork. I'm almost done with all of the applique and I really like how it's coming along. I made one change to the instructions - I'll be using two different fabrics, instead of a one color application, but other than that the design will be the same.
I've met Nancy Chong (who is teaching this class) in person, while we were still living in Washington state, but living in AZ now, it's nice to take classes from her long distance at Quilt University. Her classes there are great, because her material is very detailed and you work at your own pace, while still having the benefit of classroom discussion/input.

I don't know if I'll finish the applique over the weekend (DD is having little guest over), but if I do, I'll take a picture of the finished top to post here.

Sewing machine caddy-mat

This is a sewing machine mat I made as a gift, using 3 Fat Quarters. The nice thing about these mats is that you can put some supplies you need, while using your sewing machine, right in front of you in the pockets and it seems to muffle the sound of your machine a bit.
I wrote up instructions, as I went through the steps of making this mat, and I'm thinking of possibly teaching this as a class. What do you think?

Celtic Knotwork doodles

After having signed up with Nancy Chong's Celtic knotwork class at Quilt University, I've ordered a few books, how to "draw your own Celtic designs". Last evening I started experimenting with some practice designs of my own and I wanted to share the process with you.

Here I'm working with a 7x7 block grid. The red marks tell me where the grid will be interrupted and the light pencil markings are the beginning of the knotwork. (You'll see an oops in the picture here, where I didn't highlight one of my "stop marks")In the next pictures you see how I'm working my way out of the center.With some lines I stop to take a moment to see where the lines will lead me.And then I can continue to close the lines. By now this looks pretty confusing, don't you think? To make the visualization easier on me I decided to use different color highlighters. Later on, if I decide to turn this into an actual project I can use different colors of fabric in place of the different colors of highlighter that I used, or make the design all in one color, but I think different colors make the projects more interesting.Here you see more clearly that some parts of the design are continuous and others (although continuous in themselves) are not continuous throughout the entire design.

Now it's time to fill some of the empty spaces, shown with the orange highlighter - and you probably can see that something's still missing.So to balance the design out, I mirror image the orange line and fill the rest of the design in with the yellow highlighter.
Voila! This is the finished design doodle. I think this design, once worked out in a larger scale would make a nice table topper or wallhanging. Maybe you'll see this as a finished project in the future on my blog. ;o)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

American Hero top

Browsing through some old posts of mine I realized I never shared a picture of the finished top I made with blocks that I received from Robin M. (+ two of my blocks) to use for this American Hero top. I have some more blocks left for another quilt top, but I need to bring most of the blocks up to size first, before I can piece the top together, but that will have to wait for another post.

Selecting fabrics for the Northern Lights quilt

Boy, it is work to find a decent focus fabric from which you can pull the rest of the colors that need to go in the quilt. Just about all focus fabrics with a dark background that I've found were either way to pink or had too few colors to pick the other required fabrics from. So the above is what I'm working with now. I'll need to make a quick trip to the quilt shop later to find some more of the light fusions fabric, to have enough to use throughout the entire top. The blocks above are just laid out, so if I can't find enough of the fabric I'm looking for it'll be easy to switch a few pieces out, before sewing the blocks together.
I was hoping to find a focus fabric with a dark blue background to build my quilt around that color scheme, but didn't have any luck with that, so this fabric has a black background.