Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This is a small quilt about 11 1/2" x 17 1/2 ". It uses hand applique as well as fusible applique. I've used mostly my own hand-dyed fabrics in this one with commerical fabrics for the green border, the flowers and the basket weave fabric panel.
Valerie's book has a lot of inspiration in it and good instructions on using art supplies in your quilts. I took her suggestion for colored pencils and bought a couple of Prisma color pencils to use on the lighthouse in the seascape quilt. It's much easier than cutting out small pieces of fabric and fusing them in place. I cut out the entire lighthouse in a white on white fabric and colored in the stripes, light, and roof.
This afternoon I'm going to trim up the seascape quilt and cut the inner border for it. Hopefully I'll have time to stitch it on. And if time permits, I'll cut out the outer borders and apply them. We'll have to see how it goes.
Friday, April 25, 2008
I'm using a blanket stitch for all the appliques except the tiny pieces like the grasses and the handle on the beach umbrella. So far it looks really nice. I still have several more hours of work on the embroidery before it's done.
For the borders I'm planning on a 1 inch inner border using the darkest blue fabric used in the ocean. Then the outer border will be the sky fabric and the darkest sand fabric. If I can get it to work I think I'll use the sky fabric for the upper part of the quilt changing to the sand fabric at the point where the sand starts on the inner pannel. Otherwise I'll add 2 more borders - a border of sand and another of the sky fabric. I'm hoping to get the quilt on the quilting machine sometime next week.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The appliques are still just pinned on, but I ran out of time and couldn't get them fused on tonight. I decided to add the hills of sand in the foreground to anchor the palm trees. The large palm leaves on the upper right hand side are to further push the composition into the distance and to balance the design.
Once I get the appliques fused down, I'll machine applique around them then add the borders, quilt it, bind it, and it's ready!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Here is the latest on the Seascape quilt. This evening I worked on the the layout of the appliques and created the palm fronds for the palm trees. Everything is still pinned in placed waiting to be fused. The rest of the greenery is waiting to be created and applied.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Yesterday I played around with the fabrics for the Seascape quilt trying to decide how to line them up for the main part of the quilt - the sky, sea, and sand. The first photo shows the sand colors in reverse of what I decided to do in the end. The reason being is that the sand closest to the water line is usually darker because it is wet. So I reversed the fabrics this morning when I was stitching the colors together.
I'm not certain about the straight line at the junction between the sand and the water. I may change that since it won't be hard to do. I just need to live with it for a day or 2 before I decide - unless you want me to change it Barbara. The straightl line at the sea and sky junction is what you see in nature so I'll leave that.
I drew the design on freezer paper - long sheets 45 inches long and 18" wide taped together to make a sheed of paper approximately 54x45". I then drew lines for the horizon and the junction between the sand and sea. Then drew some wavey lines for the water and the sand. I labeled and cut them out one by one, ironing them onto the right side of the fabric. Then I turned under the edge that overlaps the previous fabric - such as the top edge of the bottom sand fabric is turned under then overlaps the 2nd sand fabric from the bottom. I glued the 2 pieces together using washable school glue and heat set the seam with an iron, then sewed them together topstitching them with a 3-step blanket stitch. It's hard to see on this photo but the topstitching gives the quilt top a little added dimension. After all the fabrics were topstitched together in sections - all sea together and all sand together, I stitched the sky to the sea and then the sea to the sand using a regular 1/4" seam and turning the seam allowance towards the darker fabric. Then I went back and topstitched over those 2 seams.
The top so far measures 42" wide by 62" long - or will once I trim the edges. I cropped the photo so you can't see the uneven edges-ha! But the top hangs straight so that will make the rest of the process a lot easier.
Next step is to make the appliques for the trees, leaves and greenery and perhaps a beach house and a beach umbrella - depending on how much room I have. Then I'll applique them on and put on the borders. All that will be left is the quilting :D
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Today I am off to the fabric store to purchase fabric for Barbara's "Seashore" quilt. I promised her a quilt for her 25th wedding anniversary which was 2 years ago. She just decided what she wanted last month when she saw Ginny's quilt. I'm going to used Ginny's inspiration to make a seashore quilt for Barbara. I already have a large piece of "sky" fabric so I've got a start. Now to pick out cloud, sea and sand fabrics.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
One thing though......batik fabrics need to be prewashed - MORE THAN ONCE! I always prewash my fabrics - always and every single piece I buy. The Wild Cat quilt has one piece of brown batik fabric in it and that's the sashing separating the cat blocks. I did prewash that fabric, but only once. When I took the quilt out of the machine to dry it, the batik had bled into the white fabric :( So I put the quilt back into the machine and tossed in a Color Catcher sheet and added a touch of detergent. Most of the bleeding dye came out, but not all. So back into the washer we go. A little more came out, but not all. It doesn't look too bad, but it's still there. I may try a bleach pen tomorrow to see if it will take out the residue of the bleeding fabric.
Prewashing fabrics has always been a hot topic for quilters. Do you prewash - yes or no? As I said, I ALWAYS do. Anytime I buy fabric it goes directly to the laundry room ready for it's turn in the laundry cycle. Some quilters do not prewash. Most fabric won't shrink since the dyeing process that manufacturers use already preshrinks the fabric. So preshrinking fabric is not the point. The finishes that manufacturers use on the fabric is an issue - at least for us machine quilters. Some of the finishes on the fabric is so heavy that it's very difficult to get good tension and good looking stitches when quilting. I result to using a larger needle to get good tension and that sometimes leaves holes in the quilt where the needle penetrates the fabric.
Batiks are another concern. There is soooo much dye in a batik fabric. If you think about the batiking process, the fabric goes through several dye baths in order to get the layers of color in the fabric. It's hard to get that out. So if you plan to get your quilt wet in the future or even think you may get your quilt wet (for blocking or cleaning the quilt) prewash your batiks a couple of times before stitching them into your quilt. I recommend at least 3 times, and that is based on the amount of dye that the Color Catcher attracted from the Wild Cat quilt.
Ah, blocking! That's another topic to be discussed in another blogging session :D
Monday, April 7, 2008
This one is called Wild Cats. It's a pattern I got out of a quilting magazine about 4 years ago. In fact I appliqued and pieced it 4 years ago while I was recovering from surgery. It's just now on the quilting machine.
Here it is on the machine. I had to make freezer paper templates of the quilting design for the end and setting triangle pieces. The fabric is so busy that I couldn't see my chalk markings.
But then the freezerpaper templates kept getting caught in the hopping foot. So I made a plastic template and am tracing around that with a water-soluble marker. That seems to do the trick. This quilting motif is called "Peacock" and is my original design.
Here is the "Bird" quilt I've mentioned before. I've named it "Flight at Sunrise" - appropriate, huh! It's supposed to be an impression of birds taking off at sunrise. I just finished piecing it this morning. It's been in the designing and piecing stages since this past fall. I have a humble block in here that I need to rip out and fix. It's in the upper right-hand corner with the lighter blue background fabric. I put the "wings" on the bird backwards - oops!
Friday, April 4, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Once I finish the Snail Trial, I'll be loading my Lily quilt. It's a very small wallhanging and shouldn't take long to quilt - famous last words!
Mot got her seeds planted the other day and yesterday we watered everything. So far she hasn't lost interest in them. I'm hoping that will continue while we're waiting for the plants to sprout. Everything we planted is supposed to sprout within a week.
I'm running out of ideas for social studies for Mot, so yesterday I went on-line and did some research. I've decided to do a unit on transportation since she has such a love for trains. I found some coloring pages for her that we'll work on for a few days. I still need to find some history on trains, though. What I would like to do is to take her on a train ride. Amtrak makes a stop in our town so perhaps we can make a trip to St. Louis or KC or even Sedalia one day. Or maybe the train at the zoo will be enough for her :)
After trains, we'll move on to airplanes. She doesn't like them much after her experience in traveling from Thailand to the U.S., but she does like seeing them in the sky. She just doesn't want to have to travel in one again. I thought that a history lesson on air travel would be fun. We could make model airplanes, too.
I'm off to do more research.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
We've started a plant unit in homeschool this week. Last night I went to Wally-world and bought a Rosemary plant and a Lavender plant along with a couple of Lithodora's and a Bellis (Galaxy Rose). I wanted to replace some dead perineals in the front yard with herbs - therefore the Rosemary and Lavender. Then Mot wanted flowers so I bought the others. The Lithodoras are a deep blue - almost a cobalt blue. I think they are a ground cover. The Galaxy Rose won't get very tall either, but it's a pretty pink/red flower with feathery petals and a yellow center. Right now they are all on the window sill and the top of one of the book cases until the weather warms up and the ground dries out enough to plant them outdoors.
Today we planted seeds. I had some thyme, basil, cilantro and miniature marigold seeds that Mot planted. Those are also on the window sill. I sure hope they sprout so we can plant them outside. Keeping her interested in the plants while they are germinating is going to be a challenge. She thinks they should sprout as soon as the seed hits the soil-ha! We are working through a plant coloring book that may help.
Since it isn't raining today, I'm going to get started on a quilt. I haven't decided which one yet, but I want a quick project so it will probably be either the Snails Trail, my Lily or Orbit tops. We have a meeting to go to tonight at church so I won't have time to quilt this evening.