Tuesday, December 11, 2007

busy, busy, busy

Below are some postcards I made at a Handmade Holiday open house at the Franklin Mill. I was able to sit for 5 hours demonstrating how to make a quilted postcard. It was a good gig! The Christmas ones are going to be our Christmas card this year. I normally send out a picture but this year the kids weren't cooperating.....I had started a Christmas table cloth years ago in the braid pattern. I decided I would never finish it so I cut it up for postcards and a tote bag for a Christmas gift. The flag postcard is for service members in my area (I made 20 so far). The local newspaper has been listing service members addresses overseas so I will be sending them a quilted postcard.

I love this one, it came together very quickly and I am happy with results.

The fourth in a series of Journal Quilts my guild is doing for our show. This is my daughter Morgan who just turned 16 and is the oldest of four. Side note - one of the reasons I have not blogged in a while, We have 3 birthdays and Thanksgiving in a two week span in this house. Not much gets done with the shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, party throwing...... Morgan is an awesome kid....She plays field hockey and lacrosse, high honors student, works as a babysitter and at the Christmas tree farm across the street, student council member, impact team member......She is a terrific kid and I am so lucky to call her my daughter.

This is a baby quilt I made for a neighbor (also my daughters' math teacher) who had a baby boy a few weeks ago. I used the hand dyed fabrics I made a few months back. I made it spur of the moment but I got it done in about 3 hours.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Studio Redo

This is my studio/sewing room, in the basement, all cleaned and organized for the sewing room tour my guild had this past Sunday. The tour was great - eight of us opened our homes to members to come and see where we create. My husband (funny guy) called it an inspection all week. kept asking things like "what time is the inspection?"

Back to my new space......I love it! My husband, Kevin, was a huge help. He made: two large design walls using homosote, put tyvek on the ceiling (suspended ceiling to follow when money allows), made me a peg board for all of my scissors, rulers and stuff and he has been a great support in getting me an awesome space I can work in.

One of my favorite parts of is the two tables pushed together, one has an ironing mat on it and one has the cutting mat. Together they make a great space to work, especially when doing a fusible project.

I have taken shots from each corner so you can see the whole thing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

postcards with a purpose

I have been making postcards for lots of different reasons, some happy occasions, some sad. I love making them...they are like making a quick quilt.

I have been busy cleaning and organizing my sewing room for a sewing room tour this weekend with my quilt guild. I believe there are 30 people signed up for the tour. I will post that pictures when it is ready for the crowd.

I have been planning out lots of quilts but I am working on my last two blocks for the slice house quilt round robin I am in (see posts below). This last round has my house in it, I am very excited to see how it comes out! I am also excited to go away with my guild for the weekend in mid November. It is tricky because it starts on my husbands birthday but he didn't mind, he has never big on birthdays.

It has been 7 weeks since my kids have all been in school. I haven't been getting as much done as I thought. Partly because I started exercising and it takes a couple hours between driving to the gym, class, drive home, take a shower...... I feel great but I am losing about 8 hours of housework, sewing time.....

I have been tagged and I will work on that for my next post along with shots from the sewing room tour.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fun with Friends

Yesterday my friends Kathy, Sharon and Gail came over and we played like little kids on the front lawn. They are all friends I have made through quilting and I feel lucky to have them as freinds. We started with all *found* fabrics, meaning we didn't purchase any new fabric for this adventure. Kathy brought some old linens which came out really cool. We also dyed some white velvet, and a sweater that I ruined in the laundry.

We had good results with the dye for the most part.
We approached it very unscientifically.
We did use the zip lock bag method again which was great.
We used the squeeze bottles this time and that made for some funky pieces.
We learned that using more dye does improve the depth of the color.
We tried some folding and elastics with some cool results.
We mixed dyes to get variations of color with good results.
We learned to do a glove check first, one pair had a hole in each of the pointer fingers, the wearer looked like an Iraqi voter:)
We didn't have any lunch, next time I will be better prepaired to feed my friends:)

What fun it was to sit on the grass on such a beautiful day waiting for the sun to dry our new treasures. I can't wait to do it again!

The fabric we started with.....

Waiting for the sun to do her part......

The finished products.....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jillian's Journal Quilt

This is my third journal quilt (for my quilt guilds show as a special exhibit - only guild members are participating) and it is my daughter Jillian, she will be 14 tomorrow 8/29! She is an awesome kid. Not only is she tall (5'8") and beautiful but she is a great student and athlete. She is currently trying out for JV soccer and she will no doubt make the team:) She is into fashion and photography and I am totally supporting her dream to become a stylist, I would love that job.

There were challenges to this little quilt, mainly that when I did some stitching on the hair it made the face fabric pucker. I used stabilizer but maybe not the right kind? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I put a couple of layers of batting under just the face and then a whole layer for the quilt, almost like trapunto.
The nose was a challenge, I ended up drawing it on. It has some stitching holes from a nose I tried on, but they actually accentuate the line so they can stay. I made the eyes and mouth. I will add a necklace with beads or crystals.

My goal is to make each of my kids and my husband and myself (during the month of that family members birthday - so far, so good.

Monday, August 27, 2007

new bag for me

I made a bag with my pattern from Robbi Joy Eklow's class in Lowell, MA ~ LOVE her quilts and her book! I used my hand dyed fabrics for the spirals and gears. It sure is hard to take the first cut into those pieces of fabric. I would have made it into a wall hanging but I thought it would be a fun bag. Isn't it happy looking? I was thinking about making it for someone else but I am going to keep it for me, I like it.

The end of the bag is funky - adds some curiosity :)

I did a lot of experimental quilting on this bag. There are tiny little circles to quilt. I am still practicing on my Aurora 440 using the BSR. I have been free motion quilting for 10 years so it is a little tricky to get used to, but I do love the even stitches. I prettied it up with crystals of course. This pattern lends it self very well to adding crystals, but I didn't want to be tacky :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

A class I am teaching at the Franklin Mill Store

This is a quilt I made for a class I am teaching this fall at the Franklin Mill Store in Franklin MA. The class will show you how to make a quilt from a photo using fusible fabric and machine quilting. I did all of the thread painting when I was quilting ~ in the past I have done some of the applique first but this time I did it all in one step. I practiced doing lots of different machine quilting and only stippled in one small spot. I love stippling and think it has it's place but I do think that using other stitches is fun and the possibilities are endless. I had permission from the photographer to use his photo.

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Tote Bag

Here is the tote bag I made for the fall/winter. I wear a lot of black in the winter and my new down jacket is plum. I made a summer version, too. I love this pattern http://www.quiltsillustrated.com/servlet/Detail?no=13 and I am teaching this class at the Franklin Mill in Franklin MA this fall. http://www.franklinmillstore.com/craft_classes.html

The photo below demonstrates the problem I had with the variegated thread I used (mentioned in a previous posting). The top half of the bag is before the alteration and the bottom is after. The fix is subtle but I am much happier now. I should have laid the thread out over the plum fabric so I could have seen that the light was too light. I fixed it by using a permanent fuchsia marker over the lightest areas of the thread. I don't like this solution but it was better than ripping out the stippling. I wanted the sample to be simple for people who want to make this bag but haven't done a lot of quilting. I put some jewels on it, of course, and I bought a hand made button at a quilt show.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

dyeing to do it again

I dyed fabric yesterday with my friend Kathy. We had too much fun. We plan to do it again soon. We want to try painting the fabric and some dischargeing. We both said how we didn't think we would like to dye, it seemed like too much work, not anymore. We used zip lock bags, very easy and managable. I do think the PFD fabric was worth the price but next time I dye I will buy more than 10 yards ~ it wasn't enough!

Monday, July 23, 2007

summer post cards

Here are some post cards I made last week. I have gotten a lot of mileage out of that butterfly fabric! I need to send some thank you notes, farewell notes and I needed some samples. I have been practicing with my new machine and using the BSR (stitch regulator) feature. I love it, it is amazing to be able to machine quilt so easily. I am working on a few samples for classes I am teaching in the Fall at the Franklin Mill Store. They have a beautiful new artists studio! I am working on a Fall bag as a sample for a class and I used some variegated thread......I don't like it - I should have stopped right away but for some unknown reason I kept going. I solved the problem and when I have a chance to take some photos I will post the pictures.

My husband was on vacation last week and I had a lot of time to sew. He took the kids fishing and stuff and I was free to work (my interior design stuff) and quilting. I try to do my work first and then reward my self with time to quilt. He did put Homasote (good for the environment!) up on two of the wall in my "studio" so I have lots of design wall now. It is a paper like product that pins can easily penetrate. I need to paint it, it comes in an ugly gray color, but it looks great!
Maybe if I get it clean enough I will take some pictures :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Slice Houses

A friend moved to NC a couple of years ago and so as a gift to her 7 of us made the quilt below. I had the photo of her house here in Mendon blown up and separated into 8 sections, handed them out and said "have fun". We all did different techniques and as you can see the results were fabulous. I put the blocks together, put on the digitized border and quilted it. She loved it and it won a blue ribbon at our guilds show.

There was interest in my guild to do this type of quilt in a Round Robin so we are in the midst of doing two teams of eight houses each - 16 houses total. Below are photos of two of the houses. We have two blocks due every other month. Revealing the blocks to the owner is great fun. We began in January and we will be done with all of the blocks in October. The goal is for everyone to have them done for our next show in March of 2008.

I finished the block below last night with my brand new Bernina 440! I have been sewing on a Bernina 1130 for the last 11 years and love it, I kept it for work.

detail of the block

One thing that is important is to make the block a little larger than the photo to allow for seam allowance. The photo does have seam allowance in it but a little extra makes assembly easier.

my block and the photo used of my friends house

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My guild is doing a journal exhibit at our show in March of 2008. We are doing six each. I chose to do each member of my family - 4 kids, my husband and myself :)
This is my daughter Paige, she just turned eight. She is the third daughter and she is doll! I always say I would have "100 Paige's" She is sweet, easy going, smart and kind. This is a picture of her ski boarding at her cousin's house in NH. She was having a blast! I bejeweled it with iridescent jewels.

This is my son Griffin, he is six. He is the youngest of four and the only boy :). He is a great little kid - he loves to fish, play ball, swim and tease his sisters. He has a great sense of humor and adventure. He holds the record for ambulance rides and broken bones!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

This is my Guild Challenge for 2007. We picked a bag with a crayon and a popsicle stick with a word on it. I got a pink crayon and the word circle. The center circle's are machine appliqued and bejeweled. I also jeweled the border circle's. The fabric was tricky mathematically. I am making a quilt with my 8 year old daughter for her room with the fabric in the border, so this will hang in her room.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I made this quilt for my guilds show in 2006, it took a few years and I loved buying the fabrics! It is a Maggie Walker pattern - The Blue Collection. I named it "you must like blue" because I have a collection of blue and white plates on the dining room wall and that is the comment everyone makes when they see it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

This is the Bra I had in our last quilt show. We had an exhibit with 40+ Bras made by our members. My Bra was called "cups & lumps". The show was hugely successful, in part because of this exhibit. My Bra is on Display in the mamography room at a local medical center.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

year long class with Louisa Smith

This quilt was made in a year long (1999) gathering with Louisa Smith for a book she is writing on one patch design. The foundation is all hexagons. Some are solid and some are pieced - 6 triangles. I machine appliqued and quilted it. The colors look a bit muted in the photo, I need ot have my daughter take a better one. The photo I used for inspiration is photo transferred onto a label on the back, it came from a gardening magazine.