Showing posts from 2011

Feathers Everywhere!

This is a customer quilt that is a popular pattern coming out through the quilt shops in my area.

Once again I decided to quilt feathers. They are in the background and outer border.

I chose swirls for the 4 patches and middle border, with straight-line quilting for the logs in the blocks.

A view of the flip side.

Log Cabin

I don't know the title of this quilt, but it is a Log Cabin Variation that I just completed for a customer. I love the soft blues and browns in this quilt. 

It just begged for feathers.

See what I mean?

I did add a few leaves in the small border, though.

Fluffy Puppy

I haven't been blogging much the past 6 months or so due to a lot of "life" events going on. We've had a lot of losses this year from beloved pets, friends, parents of friends and my lovely niece, Heather, who passed just a month ago. I'm still healing from her death especially.

Quilting for myself has gone on the back burner this year and quilting time is spent catching up with customer quilts. I'm working hard to get customer Christmas quilts finished in time for gift-giving.

The year hasn't been all sad, though. Who could be sad with a happy, fluffy puppy running around the house. :D Molly is our new puppy. She's 6 months old now and lots of fun. She keeps us all on our toes and brings a lot of joy into our lives.

Squash Books

Our "Fancy Threads" art quilt group has been using scrapbook supplies in art quilts lately and now I have the scrapbooking bug. Last night I saw a video on making squash books and tried it out. You can find it here. Be sure to watch the second video in the series. 
My book is on the right. My daughter, Hannah, liked it so much that she had me show her how to make one for herself. Her book is the one on the left with the bees and honeycomb.

This is the inside of my squash book. This was a very fun project and I'll be making more of these in the future.

In Memory of Heather

My niece Heather passed away suddenly at the age of 22 from a massive stroke. Her doctors were not able to determine the cause. However, Heather left a legacy behind in her gift of organ donation. Within hours of her death, she had saved the lives of 7 people. Many more lives will be touched in the weeks to come.

Heather was completing her externship as a medical assistant. It was a career she was passionate about. Heather was a bubbly, animated person and found fun in many things in life.

Rock climing in Arizona with cousins.

Dressing up like her Uncle Paul in Texas.

Playing in the surf in Galveston.

Carving pumpkins for Halloween.
Heather, we miss you more than we can say. You left this world much too soon, but you left behind lots of happy memories, love, and joy. One day we will see you again when it is our turn to leave this world and join you  in heaven.
Love you bunches, Aunt Susan

Quick Applique

I took time the other day to sort through a tub full of craft supplies that I was given by the daughter of a friend who passed away a few years ago. I had received several tubs of craft supplies and had sorted through all but one.

In this last tub I found several packages of  applique kits by "Country Borders". I took time yesterday to fuse them. I still have the hand or machine stitching to do - I haven't decided which I want to do just yet.

Here are a few photos of how these kits turned out.

The first set came with the burlap, hanging rod, and twine.

 The remaining kits I fused on tea towels that were also in the tub of craft supplies

Paint Stick Art

It's amazing what you can do with a paint stick and freezer paper!
Thanks Gere for teaching this class.

Prairie Home

The art quilter's group I belong to, "Fancy Threads", had a challenge this spring. We each contributed a 12x12" square of fabric and an embellishment to be included in a quilt. That made 6 different fabrics and 6 different embellishments to use.
"Prairie Home" is my challenge quilt. Two quilters contributed cheesecloth, so I included them both. It was a very fun project.

Grandmother's Flower Garden

My mother-in-law is a quilter and she gifted me with this beautiful Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt a few weeks ago. The blocks are made from fabric she inherited from her mother and grandmother. Betty hand stitched the blocks over several months and hired someone to hand quilt the top for her.

I love how the cheddar yellow makes the flowers pop. It is truely a family heirloom.

Quilting Vintage Tops

I always hesitate when considering quilting a vintage top. Will it detract from the value of the top?When it is a customer quilt, I always follow their wishes. For my own tops, I tend to procrastinate. However, this vintage bowtie quilt top needed to be quilted before it was cleaned or it would fall apart. I decided that quilting would give it a longer life and possibly add value - if not monetarily, at least in the enjoyment that my family and I would receive from it. What good is a quilt if it is stacked away in a dark closet and not appreciated?
This top isn't a historically significant quilt. I purchased it at a flea market for very little money. So I bit the bullet and quilted it.

The end result was worth it I think. I really love the feel of the quilt - just like an old quilt that has been well loved. It's soft and cuddly. The quilting is traditional to fit with the age of the top. Next to clean it to take care of some of the dark spots.
I'm so please with the results…

New Addition

Meet Molly! She's my new puppy and is about 11 weeks old. She's a Paptese - Papillon and Maltese mix. We are all having soooo much fun with her! She is supposed to be my puppy, but my youngest daughter doesn't like to share the puppy with me. Sarah is a great help with walking her and taking care of her, so I guess I can share.

Another Vintage Top

I didn't get a very good shot of this top, but here it is. I found this one in Mountain Home, AR. It is hand pieced. The green sashing is faded in a few spots and the fabric is thin like it came from a piece of worn clothing.

Vintage Quilt Top

This is a close-up shot of a quilt that I purchased at an antique store in south central Missouri. It came tied to a muslin backing with cotton batting. It also had a tiny bit of hand quilting as well as machine quilting, but it wasn't bound. Binding these types of quilts can be a challenge!
I pulled out the ties and quilting because the backing was mildewed in a couple of places. The shop I found it in had the quilt laying outside on an old wooden bench. I decided that taking the backing and batting off was a priority to save this top from damage. Luckily, the mildew hadn't reached the pieced top.
It's all hand-pieced and the fabrics look to be in really good shape.

Small Projects

I am working on 2 small projects at the moment inbetween customer quilts. The quilt above is the challenge quilt from our "Fancy Threads" group. We each contributed a 12" square piece of fabric and one embellishment to each participant. We had 6 people particapting, so we had a nice selection of fabrics and embellishments to work with. We each received the same materials and had just 3 rules to follow: We have to use a recognizable amount of each fabric and embellishment; the size could be from 4x6" to 30x30", and we could add any additional fabric and embellishments we wanted. The deadline is the 4th Sunday of June, so I need to get moving on this one.

I finally decided that I needed to make a quilt that reflected my business name "Sunrise Quilt Studio". So here is the work so far. It's fused and made from my hand-dyed fabrics. The quilt will become the logo of my business and appear on my business cards, letterhead, etc.

Teacher's Choice!

My quilts arrived back home safe and sound. To my delight, "Feathered Star" had a Teacher's Choice Award ribbon pinned to it!
Thank you, Irena Bluhm.
If you ever have the chance to take a class from Irena, I encourage you to do so. Not only does she teach her wonderful techniques for coloring quilts, but she also teaches balance, symmetry, repetition, design, etc. All the ingredients that make a quilt pleasing to the eye.


The past few weeks have been extremely busy leaving me little time to post. But tomorrow I'm heading to MQS with a quilting friend and am looking forward to - well - more busy-ness, but fun busy-ness. I've signed up for several classes, allowing plenty of time to shop, of course!
The quilt above is "Feathered Star". Such an uninspiring title my daughter tells me, but there you have it. It will be entered in the art/pictoral category. It is a mix of techniques and art media including colored pencils, inks, several different threads, and crystals.

"Coronet" is in the fabric challenge. Once again a mixture of techniques, fabrics, and threads with lots of hand beading. I designed it using Art 'n Stitch software. Lots of fun!
I hope to see you at MQS this week.

Vintage Quilt tops

I found these quilt tops in a small antiques & flea market in Southwest Missouri this past weekend.
They are both showing some ravages of time, but are still in pretty good shape.

Hand Beaded Quilt

I am working on a hand-beaded quilt for entry at MQS. This is a photo after 3 different beading patterns. It is slow going, but it is turning out well. I can see why many quilters use hot fixed crystals instead of hand-beading - it must be faster and easier on the hands. I am having so much trouble with pain in my hands the past 2 days that I know I'm beading too many hours per day. Deadline for shipping is going to come way too fast for me so I have to keep at it.

Feathered Start Progress

I've been working little-by-little on the Feathered Star quilt. I decided to color the feathers to match the circles, otherwise the entire quilt would look disconnected. From a distance, there are just blobs of color from the appliqued circles and the feathers didn't stand out. Coloring the feathers with gold ink would not have been cohesive in my opinion. I tried out the different color combinations on a scrap piece and came to that conclusion. So now the feathers will stand out and coordinate with the applique circles.
There is still a lot of work to do, and lots of hours to put into this quilt, so it won't be ready for MQS this year. I do have another quilt I'm working on that should be ready for entry. It will be in the "Fabric Challenge" section. I'm working on the appliques at this point, but almost done with that. I should have it on the machine to quilt later this week. Then I'll photograph it and send in the entry form. The March 18th deadline…

Autumn Afternoon

The latest project for "Fancy Threads", the art quilters group in my guild, was thread painting trees. Here is my completed project. The piece was machine quilted on the longarm without a backing - using only the top, batting, and a layer of Decor Bond for stabilizer. The trees were thread painted using my domestic sewing machine.
I decided to use some rayon threads to give a bit of shine, and I experimented with using the zigzag stitch on my machine to do the thread painting. After ripping out the 2nd tree I stitched, the quilt looked much better. I had made the tree on the far left too wide, and the quilt was puckering. So I spent 2 hours ripping it out and started over. I like it much better now.
Next month we will be making quilted postcards. This group is soooo much fun! I'm having a blast!

Golden Feathered Star

The quilting is complete on the applique whole cloth that I have named "Golden Feathered Star" at this point. The name may change as I continue to work on it. Yesterday, I washed out the blue soluble pen and blocked the quilt.
 Today I am considering how to color the quilt. Colored pencils, or inks, and what colors and where to place them. Hmmm.....

Blizzard of 2011

The snow has stopped, the sun is shining now, and the snow is sparkling to the point of being blinding. Quite a change from yesterday when there were white-out conditions most of the day. This is my front porch. The snow drifts covered the stairs and landing and piled up against the door.  
This is what I found at 6:30 this morning when I opened the door. Thats 30 inches of snow! There is 18" piled up against the back door, but luckily we can get out of the basement door and the garage door. My big dogs were up to their shoulders in the snow when I let them out this morning. 

Look how pretty the cedar grove is, though.

With temperatures due to drop below zero later today, the girls and I are going to start shoveling this morning. Hopefully we'll get some progress made. This is going to take days to clear out, though. At least the fridge is stocked and we have power!

Thread Painting Project

We had a good time at the thread painting workshop on Saturday. There were 7 quilt artists in attendance and we all learned something new. This is a great group of ladies. Everyone is generous in offerring their advice and expertise in quilting, art, and machine operation.
Below is the flower I worked on during our class. It is unfinished as of now.

The flower below is one I completed before class. I added some gold metallic thread to the edges of the petals to give it some sparkle.

This flower was also completed before class. I'm still debating on whether or not the leaves need something more. It's hard to know when to stop!

This is a shot of the fabrics I am auditioning for the finished project. My plan is to cut out the flowers and leaves and make a collage of them on a background piece. I'll probably use the cream batik for the background. The purple fabric is the challenge fabric for MQS 2011. I'd like to incorporate that fabric into the quilt also. It will probably b…