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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Project Quilting 7 All About That Thread


I wasn't sure if I was going to enter this weeks challenge.  I've been working on a couple of gifts for people, and a mystery quilt as well as a block of the month.  I really like these challenges though they are getting me back into the creative aspect of quilting.  It's fun just to be a part of something with so many creative people, hopefully a little will rub off on me.  I really enjoy making traditional quilts too but the design of an art quilt is somehow rejuvenating.  So, when Friday arrived I just had to make a quilt for the Thread challenge on Project Quilting.


This is a photo of a postcard I made several years ago.  It was donated to a guild in Ireland to be used as part of a fundraiser for breast cancer research.  I made two others at the time but this was my favorite.  Here is a link to that post.


I severely underestimated my sewing time for this but was able to finish all in one day.  I used a hand dyed velvet because that just seemed to go with roses and Valentine's Day.  I plan to use this for a Valentine's Day gift.


I drew the pattern on some water soluble solvy and pinned it to my fabric.  First I outline an area with a straight stitch.  It is easy to get confused as you are sewing so having the stitch guidelines helps keep me in the right area with the right color.  I fill in the area with a small free motion zig zag stitch.  This photo is from the postcard I made but I did them the same way just on a different scale.  Postcards are about 6" by 4".  This is about 10.5" by 8" without the border.


Once it is complete I soak it in water to dissolve the solvy pattern.  So it was dry this morning (Saturday) but I could tell I hadn't rinsed it very well, it was still tacky in spots.  So back in the water it went, which of course meant no sewing for awhile.  But, that was ok since I didn't have a fabric picked for the border yet anyway.


I had an awful time figuring out what to use for the border.  Every thing I tried seemed to clash.  I dragged my husband (he is really a very good sport and has a good eye for these things) to the store so I could get a second opinion.  We found a couple of choices that were ok but not very exciting.  I happened to run into an old friend, Mary Jo, who suggested green.  I hadn't even considered green but guess what, it was just what I needed.  My husband found this fabric and with just a touch of pink in it seemed like the perfect choice.  kind of gives the impression of leaves.


I just wanted it to look a little like a picture frame, so I hope you like it.  Don't forget to click the Project Quilting link at the top of my post.  You can see all the amazing entries and vote for your favorites.  You click the heart to vote and/or click the photo to be transported to their blog to see more about the entry.  Enjoy!


Have a creative day
Janet 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

My favorite book -Confessions of a Bibliophile


The challenge for Art Quilts Around the World this period was Favorite Book.  Yikes!  I love this challenge but, oh my gosh, my brain traveled in so many directions.  The most difficult part was not breaking copyright laws.  I so wanted to do an image from Harry Potter.  I'll explain more about that later but I couldn't figure out how to do it justice without using an actual image.

I started thinking about all the books in my life that really stood out and the why behind my enjoyment. What I realized is the books I shared with others, read to, talked about, laughed and cried
over and yes even argued about who got to read it first were my favorites.

The first stand out for me is Dr Suess as read by my dad.  He had the most amazing character voices and I loved hearing him read.  My mom was always reading and throwing out lines from different books.  Our home had many reading opportunities.  So I started with a photo of my parents.

The next photo I used is the library in my home town.  The children's library was a magical place for me.  There was a comfy couch in front of a huge stone fireplace.  It just called to you to curl up in a corner of the couch with one of your favorite books.  Helen Stevens was the librarian at the time and she was so sweet.  As I got older she would challenge me and gave me a list of books to look for that she thought I would like reading.  (She probably gave the same list to many others, but it sure made me feel special). It was a very bittersweet day when I had to go upstairs to the 'adult' section.

The third photo is my sister Judy (she is holding me in the photo). She was a little like a second mom to me and I remember her taking me to the library.  She encouraged me in my love of reading.  Thanks Judy!

The next photo is my husband Lloyd.  We discovered a shared love of Science Fiction stories.  This is where the arguing over who got to read a book first began.


The last two photos are my husband reading with our son and myself reading to our daughter.  We always read at night before they went to sleep.  This was one of my favorite parts of the day.  Re-reading old favorites through fresh eyes is so fun.  Harry Potter was I think one of the first books we all discussed together.  What was going to happen next, what did you think of this character, how long before the next book were all dinner time topics.  My husband and I actually argued over who got to read to the kids and who would have to catch up for the next night.  We ended up all four listening together for parts of the early books.


Since it was all about books I went with a book shape and used a facing instead of binding for this quilt in order to create the actual book shape.  The photos are printed on extravorganza (it's third on the page) which I placed over muslin.  I wanted it to have the look of an old book so I went with black and white photos.  I pieced the book from the pattern I created.  Quilted with hearts to show the book love.  I learned how to do a facing like this from Vicki Pignatelli. I went into more detail on the creation of this quilt on the Art Quilts Around the World blog.  Click the link to read more and see the other fabulous quilts created for this challenge.  If you click the photo of my quilt it takes you to the post I wrote describing my process.

Have a creative day
Janet

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bird Watching Season Project Quilting

I did better this time making my quilt for the challenge.  The first one I finished at 2:30 in the morning!  I am too old for late night quilting!  This one I finished by 9:30.  Yeah. I got to bed on time. 
Had to wait for morning to try to get a better photo, the light helps.




I also started earlier in the week this time. I thought about it for 3 
days. Gathered materials for a day and a half, and then I started to 
sew.  They are each only 11.25" X 9.25". I made four so didn't want to go big.

I love watching birds in my yard or at the local parks or the zoo.  I 
am always snapping photos.  One of these days I may even be 
quick enough to get a photo of those few hummingbirds I 
occasionally see.  The bright colored cardinals are one of my 
favorites, along with the Orioles and chickadees.

I pieced in the rays of the sun to try to show the heat of a hot 
summer day.


I cut up a sample piece of fabric I bought at JoAnn Fabrics a long 
time ago.  Every now and then you can find samples from their 
home dec department on sale.  I knew it would come in handy 
some day.  It made perfect raindrops for my spring day.  I also added a female cardinal.


I added snow and icicles to the bare winter branches.  We have very defined seasons in "Minnesnowda".  I tried to show how the birds hunker down and puff up their feathers when it is cold.  It really does help them stay warm


For fall I have the leaves being blown right off the tree.  Love the 
autumn colors, red, yellow and orange.  Wish they stayed on the 
trees longer.

On to the stitching, winter



Spring,



Summer



And fall (anyone else feel a song coming on?)



Now for the binding, winter


Spring


Summer


Fall


And all four together!  I used beads to attach them to each other, may have to tighten them up in a couple of spots or add another in the middle, but I kind of like this look.

Have a creative day
Janet

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Project Quilting Seven "Confetti"


I jumped into Project Quilting in it's seventh season!  I just happened on a post for this project a few days ago.  I didn't commit until yesterday and it was due today by noon, so a very quick quilt from start to finish.  It was started from a love of project runway and wanting to interpret it through quilting.  I love project runway although I could do with less of the drama and a little more of the sewing.  So, this seemed like a good fit for me and I need a few challenges in my life.
I pulled these from my stash.  The little green bag was a gift from my sister, I just received it yesterday great timing Jo!  The butterfly was a card I sent to my mom for Mother's Day years ago.  It flew back to me a few years ago and this seemed like a good place for it to rest.  The fabric is mostly leftover from a table runner I made to use for birthday celebrations.  I bought the fabrics because they made me think of confetti and parties.

I machine appliquéd the foreground and hand appliquéd the flower.  

The funky little leaf is some hand dyed velvet I began to piece years ago but didn't like it for what I was making at the time.  I think it makes a perfect leaf.  The stem is a little remnant of silk sari ribbon.

This feels to me more like a folk art piece so hand embroidery felt right.  I recently took a class taught by Laura Wasilowski on Craftsy and this gave me a chance to practice some of her techniques.

I decided the butterfly didn't stand out enough on it's own so added some stitching to it as well.  

The name is "Confetti in the Wild". Hope you like it.


Have a creative day
Janet

Monday, December 14, 2015

Vintage Vogue Christmas

This post began over 30 some years ago, before kids even!  Wow! I'm getting old!  It all began with a vintage vogue pattern.  Well, it was a new pattern at the time but from what I see on eBay selling as vintage...  My husband and I had just moved to a new state, I wasn't working and didn't know a soul.  It was getting close to Christmas so to fill up my days I bought some patterns.

I made the tree skirt and the wreath.  Somewhere over the years I lost the wreath but we still use the tree skirt.  It is a little bit loved on the edges but lots of fond memories are sewn into those seams.

It is very soft and became a natural attraction for my children over the years.  Finding one or the other with their head snuggling against the soft fabric, gazing up into the tree, lying down with them and enjoying a moment in time is one of many fond memories.  It was often pulled out from under the tree, worn as a skirt, snuggled with on the couch, covered up a pet or used as a super person cape.  I actually used some of the leftover fabric to make a cape in a lame attempt to keep the tree skirt in it's place.  So, when my daughter asked me to make her a tree skirt just like the one we had, I felt so blessed.  Hopefully this means she has some of the same fond memories or even more of her own.  What a compliment!

It took me a little while to find the pattern, but I still had it.  I couldn't find the same green but I like the rich hunter green.  I cut out the six wedges, the six strips for the ruffle, the flap for the Velcro closure, lining and batting.  The bright red and green ribbon were all sold out by the time I went to buy my lace beading and ribbon.  I had this trim at home already and it looks pretty good, adds a little more dimension to the whole skirt.  So, I spent a little time threading the trim into the lace beading.

After sewing the wedges together added the trim.

The next step was sewing the pieces together for the ruffle and adding a small hem before gathering the edge and attaching to the skirt.

Finally the Velcro closure, batting and lining.
I think she liked it.
Here is the other vintage vogue pattern I made over 30 years ago.  It needs a few repairs but still looks good.  She would like this too.  So, that will be for next year.  Always something fun to create here.

Have a creative day,
Janet