Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winding Down...and preparing

The hustle and bustle of Christmas is now past, and 2011 is winding down.  I was given some inspiration over the holidays.  Here it is.

But it's also time to prepare for what 2012 will bring.  Looking into the wooden case in the hallway, I see some UFOs that need attention.

There is also the sketchbook I purchased back in October waiting to meet with pencils and crayons.  My friend Vicki has inspired me to use my sketchbook more frequently.

Then of course there is the quilt to finish for a member in my Guild.  You saw what I was working on here

2011 had some ups, some challenges, and some downs, but led us into 2012.  I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to what 2012 will have to offer.  So....let's get ready for some new adventures.

Thank you to all my followers for stopping in to visit.  I hope you visit often and wish you a a creative 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And the winner is...


Well it's time to draw the winner of the giveaway that I offered back here.  Hope everyone had fun visiting the over 200 blogs that participated.  Remember that I suggested that you leave a comment on each day's posts till the draw for a chance to win.  Posts were made December 9, 11 and 14.  There were a total of 144 comments, so without further fanfare, the winner is  (drum roll please) 

comment 71 - Peggy at Sew Rip Sew.  Congratulations Peggy! 

The package is on it's way.  Thank you to all of you that stopped in and left a comment.  Please do check in once in a while to see what I am up to and if I am finishing as much as I am starting.

In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends, and enjoy this video.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordly visits

are easy when viewing the blogs of other quilters.  How is everyone enjoying the Blog Hop?
Some of the stops I've made include located in Idaho, USA located in North Carolina USA located in Nova Scotia Canada in New Brunswick, Canada  in Australia

There are just a few days left before the giveaway is drawn.  Just leave a comment mentioning one other blog you have visited and your name will be entered.  I will be using a random number generator to make the draw and will complete the draw on December 17, 2011 at 12:00 noon PST.  Remember to ensure I can contact you. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Help for a friend

Thanks for stopping by on the Blog Hop.  In case you missed it, here is my giveaway.  Just leave a comment on here and I will randomly select a name.  Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you in case you win.

The postcards I showed you yesterday  have been sent.  So hopefully they will arrive on time.  Here's something else I have been working on.
I'm trying to help finish this for one of the ladies in our local Guild.  She has been undergoing treatment for cancer and has been unable to finish up some of her UFOs. The quilt is a memorial to her brother who was an avid supporter of fishing's "Catch and Release" program. She had used trapunto to give the fish more dimension and definition.  She also added trapunto to the log sticking out of the water. I know that it is a bit hard to see that...maybe this close up illustrates it a bit better.
She also used a loose raw edge applique technique to represent the water grasses. 
Now I'm attempting to do some additional FMQ to accent a few of the highlights like the sprays of water, the shimmering reflections on the water and the sunny clouds in the background.  I ran into a bit of FMQ difficulty and ended up with a bunch of "thread nests" on the back of the piece.  Hmmm....checked the bobbin thread...checked the top thread tension...still can't figure out where I'm going wrong.  Any tips?  Leave one in the form of a comment and you have a chance at winning the Blog Hop giveaway that I mentioned in yesterday's post.

In the meantime, visit some of the other blogs that are at the party!  Just click the link at the side bar to take you to a listing of attendees.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Hopping along

Thanks for visiting.  Are you enjoying the party thus far?

When you check out some of my other posts, you will see that I have a variety of quilting styles that interest me. Right now I'm playing with fabric postcards, getting them ready to send off to some special people. I've been meaning to try my hand at these and what better time than during the holiday season.  They still need a bit more work.
I have to get these out of here soon or I will miss the international deadline. One of them is off to my friend Helen McNaught in AUS. We swapped mug rugs way back through Michelle's Quilting Gallery and it's about time I got in touch with her again. The other is for Evelina in Italy who I also met through the Quilting Gallery. But there are several cards in the picture. Yes that's true, but I don't want to say who they are for, just in case the recipients pop in. I want it to be a surprise!

Oh yes before I forget, here is a giveaway.  A pattern that includes a printed panel and 6 FQs.  Just leave a comment on each day's post from now till December 17.  I'll randomly select from those of you that leave a comment. 

Once again thanks for stopping by and don't forget to make sure that you leave a way for me to contact you in case you are the winner.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's a birthday party!

Michelle over at Quilting Gallery is celebrating a 4th birthday, and in honour of that she's having a

So I've decided to join in the celebration.  I've never been part of a Blog Hop before, but I couldn't turn Michelle down.  Stop by often to see what I'm up to and to get in on the give away that I'll be offering tomorrow.  I see that my friend Upstate Lisa has joined the fun too!  Woo Hoo!  Why don't you come along and bring your holiday cheer with you.  It's gonna be a wild ride!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm still here...

but I've been busy with several things.  First I had to finish a hand quilting project that has been sitting around since 2007.  Yes, yes I know, but don't we all have projects that have been around for a while.  This one was started while at a retreat.  The theme was "heritage quilts".  I thought I knew what fabrics were considered reproduction, but I soon discovered that I had a lot to learn. 

The style of this quilt however is heritage.  It is what was often called a "strip quilt".  Each of the blocks were signed by attendees at the retreat.

I also had to put the binding on a quilt that I started in a Seminole workshop.  I call it "A Seminole Christmas"  The fabric is from the Robyn Pandolf Christmas Collection from a couple of years ago.  This will add a festive feel to my bedroom.
and here are some close ups of some of the rows.

Now I just have to finish off the African Collage that I started piecing the last time.  I should be finished before Christmas and will post the end result next time.  I'm also adding to a Round Robin. but that is for another post.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A collage

is a great way to try what I call "designing on the fly".  This is what I learned over the last two days of taking a class with Pippa Moore.  Our guild hosted the class and it was quite an adventure.  I used fabrics that were unfamilar to me, but the vibrancy of them had a certain appeal.  Here is what I had to work with.
Yes, the kit supplied by Pippa for the class was a cornucopia of African fabrics and batiks.  Initially I was uncertain that I was going to be able to put all of these together.  My western sense of order was going to be put to the test.  However it was Pippa to the rescue with her encouragement and a few consultations.  I grasped my rotary cutter and made a start.  Here is what I have so far.
A special thank you to Pippa.   Her easy going manner and ability to draw me into a playful frame of mind kept me enthralled.  These two days went by all too quickly despite the extra hour we gained by setting the clock back.  The pieces are now on my design wall and I continue to play. Stay tuned for the final result.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tools revealed

Yesterday everyone was revealing their "Tools" challenge over at the Tangled Textiles.  Here's mine.

It took me a while to figure out what exactly I wanted to do, but two folks in a coffee shop were the trigger for my idea.  Two tools used for silent conversation are your hands and eyes.

This piece was quite out of my regular style of quilt.  I used Lutradur, pigma pens, and thread sketching, a technique that I never used before, but thought I would try.  I found pictures of the hand signs on the web and printed them to Lutradur.  The first attempt was too grainy...
and did not give enough detail.  The Lutradur was also a lighter weight (70ml).  Plus it left behind too much ink on the carrier sheet.  Here you can see the residue.

I had read that if you apply a gel medium this would improve the print.  I went to the local artist shop and purchased a sample of products.  Digital Ground by Golden was supposed to work, so I tried it.  I painted the 70ml Lutrador and tried again.  You can see a definite difference.  The treated Lutradur is on the left, the untreated on the right.

This came out better, but still needed detail.  I purchased a heavier weight of Lutradur (100 ml) and tried again.  This one came out the best of all but I still wanted to emphasize the detail a bit more.
 Pigma pens with a brush tip helped provide that little bit of extra detail.  Here is a close up of one of the hands.
Now I just had to stitch them to the background.  I used black thread and arranged them so that they might appear to be in a flurry somewhat like what happens during a conversation.  Of course you need to be able to see the hands during a converstation, so I added the thread sketched eyes.  I connected all the items with stitching to portray the conversation.

Well there you have it!  It was quite a challenge!  Now I think I will go and have a conversation with my other tools.  Till the next time, pieceful sewing...

Monday, October 17, 2011

The next round

Well, here is the next block that I need to work on for our Guild's Round Robin.
This block was made by Louise M. and I need to add a 3 inch finished boarder to it comprised of squares.  Any suggestions?

I also am making some more log cabin blocks that I started.  The blocks are a little unusual in that the logs are all bias strips.  Fortunately, they are paper pieced, so I am getting a good result.  It gives a bit of a wave to the block.  Here is what one of the blocks looks like.
The pins are still in it until I sew it to the other blocks and remove the paper backing.  This particular method of paper piecing was a snap.  Instead of piecing the fabric to the back of the printed pattern, you piece to the front.  Kinda hard to explain, until you see it done.

I know I got side tracked, but I'm still having difficulty with my "tools" challenge piece for my fibre art group, so I am letting it sit for a moment....Oh....yes....that's what I'll try....a bit of thread sketching should do the trick....gotta run while the thought is still fresh.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No pictures just some diversions...

In order to get a bit more organized with my posts, I am offering some diversions for a bit.  I had a scare last month and it took a bit of the wind out of my sails, but I'm back now and just about ready to post a few more tantalizing tidbits. 

In the meantime, if you are looking for an interesting site with plenty of ideas that delve into the "What if..." realm and you are ready to take a step outside the traditional, visit my friend Vicki's site and look around.  She does a wonderful job explaining her techniques and showing the results of her experiments.  She was away for a bit, but is back now.  

You could also pop by my friend Upstatelisa.  A source of creative ideas, she is being featured as a special guest on 3 Creative Studios

You could even cross the Atlantic and visit with Nicolette to see what she is up to.  My goodness she is already thinking about Christmas.   Yes, yes I know it is only two and a half months away.

As for me, I'm busy trying to make sense of the bits and pieces that I have on my worktable for the Tangled Textiles challenge that is due this Friday.  I'd best be off so I can get it done.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some robins are round

My Guild had its first meeting of the year earlier this month (we break during the summer) and I've volunteered to organize a Round Robin.  Okay I hear some of you out there saying what the heck is a Round Robin.  Read on...

Gather a group of quilting friends together.  Four to Six makes a nice size group.  Each person starts out by making a block; in our case a 12-1/2 inch unfinished block.  Here is the one that I'm going to use.  Let's see what becomes of it.

One of our members, Janet, has her block ready to go too.  You can see it on her blog.   

When your block is done, it's passed to the next person in the group, you receive someone else's block and each person now adds a border to the block that they received.  Instructions for the kind of border to be added are predetermined.  You usually allow a month for the construction of a border, before it's passed on to the next person.   This continues till each person in the group has added a border.  The owner now gets their block back, except it's no longer a block but rather a quilt top. 

A good resource for borders is Pieced Borders:  The Complete Resource, by Judy Martin and Marsha McCloskey.

I'm adding some additional fabric to the box that it's going into, along with some chocolate (read that as motivation) and a disposable camera so that the members in my group can take pictures of the progression.

We'll see what borders, I can come up with and will post "sneak peeks" at the ones that I'm working on.

Till the next post, keep stitching!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some finishes and beginnings

In my last post, I was off to a retreat.  Now I'm back and although it's been a few days, I thought I'd better show you some of the things that I finished before I ship them off. 

First there were five Christmas table runners that I started last September but didn't quite get finished in time for Christmas 2010.  We've all been there, right?  They were made with a Jelly Roll from a pattern by Tivoli Quilt Creations.

Then I made some little bags using up some Moda charm squares. 

The pattern is from the Moda Bake Shop and can be found here.  I used four different charm packs; Oasis, Summer Breeze, Antique Fair, and Collections for a Cause - Faith.  The pouches took so few charms that I have plenty left over to make other items.

Oh and then there was the retreat block.  When four of the blocks were put together and placed on point, they looked like this.

However, when several were placed on a design wall, look what happened.

Some said it looks like propellors and others like rooster tails.  I was not the fortunate one to win the blocks.
The balance of the time was spent visiting and cajoling with fellow retreatees (is there such a word?).  The retreat ended just in time to get organized for our Guild's first meeting of the 2011/2012 year.

Till the next time remember, Creative minds are rarely tidy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What to take to a retreat or "collecting WIPs and UFOs"

Well it's off to a quilting retreat this weekend with members of my Quilt Guild.  So I've been busy packing the things that I think I will need. 
There are works in progress....
and some fabric...
and , oh yes...some batting, and let's not forget the rotary cutter.
There we go...all packed including the toothbrush! 
and we're off for some fun stitching, laughing, eating and kibitzing with like minded individuals to see what magical fibre creations we can put together.

Happy quilting till the next time....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Done and next up

Well I have managed to complete my challenge piece for the Tangled Textiles, and August 18th is reveal day.  Here's one more little peek.

You can hop over to the blog to see what everyone in the group has produced...excitement is building.

The next thing is to clear up my worktable so that I can put together the sample quilt to promote a workshop for my Guild.  I'll be using one of the Stonehenge fabrics from Northcott, called Mojave,
and several of the Shadowplay line from Maywood that compliment the colours in the Stonehenge piece.  My friend and I are going to help workshop participants practice using some of the specialty triangle rulers out on the market.  The sample will have to be ready for September 2nd.  Yikes! how time slips by.

Next weekend I'll be attending a quilting retreat and it will be an opportunity to work on it.  I just might take along a couple UFOs to complete too.  You never can tell how motivated you can get when surrounded by several sewing machines whirring away into the wee hours of the night, mountains of fabric and the laughter of other fibre manipulators.

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's been a while

Yes, yes I know...I haven't posted in a while.  Earning a living has a way of sometimes getting in the way of creating.  However, as busy as it has been, I have had a chance to play a bit.  I thought I would start doing samples for techniques similar to what my friend Vicki has been doing on her blog.  I've been trying some things with Angelina fibres and film.  I wanted to see if I would be able to incorporate it in the challenge piece I am completing for my Tangled Textiles group. 

Here I just grabbed a clump of Angelina fibre and pressed it between two sheets of parchment paper.  I wanted it to look like water flowing down the side of an object, so I cut an edge to give it sufficient contour.  It was close to what I wanted.  If I used less fibre what would it give me?  A representation of spray?

This time I used a very small amount of Angelina and pulled it thinly apart.  This was not quite what I had in mind, but maybe if I add some beading for water droplets, it might help.

What if I used Angelina Film instead to represent water? 

I loosely crinkled the film, pressed it between two sheets of parchment paper, cut a shape and decided that this was not what I was looking for.  What if I really mashed the film?

A bit better, but still not what I was looking for.  This might look good for creating an ice cube or iceberg. Oh well back to the drawing board.  I need to hurry up and narrow this down.  The challenge reveal is in 6 days and counting.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A road travelled

I visited a friend this past weekend with the goal being to finish up some UFOs and generally chit chat.  When I arrived it was close to lunch time so a little side trip to a quaint general store and tea shop was in order.  It was located in the village of Clayburn. Here are some shots of the inside of the store.

From there we decided to travel further down the road to Hamel's Quilt Shop to see if there was anything new.  On the front porch sat a flower pot with the most unusual petunias we had ever seen.

After purchasing some batiks to add to our stash and a jelly roll or two, we headed back to the house to get down to some serious piecing.  Did we complete anything?  Yes but that's for another post.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Practice, practice, and

more practice.  I was playing and practicing my FMQ.  Here is the result of the practicing, playing, and practicing some more.
This was the first attempt

A closer look.  My hand still not quite steady.

Getting there.

Why all the practicing?  I entered a quilt into a judged show.  The registration form stated that a picture was needed not for judging purposes but rather for planning where the quilt was to hang.  Terrific!  I could send them a picture of the quilt at the basted stage.

As the deadline for sending the quilt grew near, I knew it was definitely time to get the FMQ going.  So here is the quilt, completed and shipped off today.

Midnight At The Arroyo
This piece was done in a class presented at our Guild by Judy Farrow.  I had wanted to create a fantasy image of what a dry riverbend might look like if, by some magic, it sprang to life for a moment at midnight.  I was not initially happy with the piece. 

I quilted around the appliqued flowers and leaves trying to make it look like they had just fallen into the flow of the river.  Then I quilted wavey lines from top right to lower left for the flow.  The quilting was done with Sulky Invisible thread in the top and YLI 100wt thread in the bobbin.

You may notice that the appliqued flowers and leaves were enlarged from the floral print.  It took me some time to really enjoy the piece and now that it's completed, I guess it turned out alright.