Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I really need Deadlines...

The only way I get anything done is with a deadline. My posts were much more frequent at the beginning of this year. That is thanks to the challenges were I applied myself to make a quilt or wall hanging and had to post about it in a limited time frame. Thanks to Kim and all involved in 2017 Project Quilting Season 8.

Well my wife told be about a donation request, but didn't commit me to anything. As usual it started things turning in my mind. I had seen some scraps of fabric with fire hydrants and hoses along with some baseball fabric. After a while, I couldn't get it out of my head. So I had to make a quilt. They wanted lap size and I usually stay with wall hangings, so another challenge. I started making blocks then had to improvise to make it bigger and here is the result.

As for quilting, I love my Brother Dream Machine. I have the walking foot on almost all the time and get straight lines with the aide of the built in laser. For those reasons I do mostly linear quilting. Out the door this morning, I hope this brings support for JACK Foundation. It was a labor of love. Find out more about Just Acts of Caring and Kindness at the JACK Foundation website.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Time Challenge - "Time to Know Your Neighbor"

Strips ready
Today was a snowy day in Webster, New York so I was able to finish the quilt challenge based on time. I started this last night planning on a small wall hanging this grew to a size of 27" by 41".   

Blocks Ready
Project Quilting #8 Challenge 6 is to be something inspired by time. So this was a great time to go back to some earlier inspirations. Last year I started a wall hanging called Tempus Fugit, which I haven't finished yet. But I did have some left over strips of clock and watch pattern fabric. My Dad used to fix watches and clocks so I got this fabric for a wall hanging to remember him by.

From the strips of watch and clock fabrics I made some four patch blocks and found some fabric with buildings in a similar color range. I arranged these in three columns and added some extra spacers for a little improv.

Border added

I had a few different titles in mind for this project and settled on "Time to Know Your Neighbor." This actually will allow it to compliment another wall hanging I made with some of the building fabric that I called, "Who is my Neighbor?" (See companion piece below.) So after I decided on a title I got is ready to go back to the Brother machine. The really cool feature of the Brother Dream Machine is the built in camera to take a picture of the fabric in the hoop and audition the placement of the text on the quilt. I used a gold thread for the embroidery and then added a drop shadow on the lettering with a permanent marker.

Embroidery in process
Update: Note that I forgot to mention regarding the TIME theme. I worked on this wall hanging while watching "Time Tunnel" on Hulu. A TV show from my childhood, click on the title for more information. My final time expression in this wall hanging was to use an old flannel shirt from my kids as the batting. The good news about kids moving out... You get to use their old bedroom as a sewing room and their old flannel sheets for thin batting. In this one I used two layers of the flannel sheet for a little more thickness.
Who Is My Neighbor
Embroidery with drop shadow added

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

All Dressed Up

The latest entry for 2017 Project Quilting Challenge 8.5 - "Well-Dressed Man"
All Dressed Up

This project was to be inspired by mens wear or inspired by a man. Since I am a man quilting, everything I do is inspired by a man.
Black and White Base

Batting and Backing
But back to the real inspiration, pin strips, I have alway loved a pin striped suite and may years ago, when I was in high school, I had a red shirt with blue stripes that I loved. I think my mom had to cut it up for rags to get me to stop wearing it.

So on Monday morning, I did a sketch. On Monday evening, I cut strips of black and white to create the base. On Tuesday, I added the batting and backing in a pillowcase manner. Once it was turned right side out I stitched around to close the bottom opening and quilted up and down the stripes. I created the pocket squares and the pocket along with a tie. These were attached to complete the project.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Look Up

"Look Up"
My entry for the third challenge is called "Look Up.' A study of texture is found wherever you are. I love to look up at buildings to see the beautiful ornamentation the used to be a standard part o buildings. The finished wall hanging measures 22" x 15" and was created in Webster, NY for the 3rd Challenge at Project Quilting. The description of the project is continued below. I also want to thank Kim and Trish for running the challenge. I was also a drawing winner for the last challenge and want to thank  Marcia’s Crafty Sewing & Quilting for the pattern that she donated.

Building Ornamentation, see below for building placement.
I wouldn't be a sewing husband if it weren't for my wonderful wife. She puts up with a lot. Some has been documented in previous posts. It wasn't until recently that I found out how nervous she was that I was organizing her sewing room while she was away on retreat. She wasn't thrilled to share her sewing room with me so life was better as the kids moved out and I got my own sewing room. Slowly I am getting tools of my own. She even bought me my own Martelli rotary cutter. It is my favorite cutting tool.

Button on campus at PENN
So another way my wife is wonderful, she started taking me to the Lancaster PA AQS Quilt Show. She also takes me along when she travels to Philadelphia each year for a meeting. While she is in her meeting I get to walk around the campus and streets surrounding the University of Pennsylvania. There are some interesting things on campus, like a giant button. I also like to look at all the textures and details on the buildings. I alway have great intentions of turning these things into quilts and wall hangings. So the current challenge gave me the push to get started.

I have collected a variety of photos over time. Textures from brick and tile along with building materials and perspective pictures. So many things are hiding in plain sight if you just look up. So for this challenge I looked above a doorway on the streets of Philadelphia. I cropped the photo and printed it a few different sizes. I created a freezer paper template from the printed copy. I ironed the freezer paper onto some starched fabric. Of course, what better fabric to use for the building ornamentation than my favorite Stonehenge by Northcott. The appliqué was added with 505 spray adhesive and secured with blanket stitch. Another advantage of the kids moving out is the single bed flannel sheets from their youth have become a layer filling to use as something thinner than batting. For this wall hanging I used one layer of flannel underneath the appliqué layer and then added some batting between the appliqué layer and the back.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hearts and Flowers for the front door.

Hearts and Flowers -  20" x 32 1/2"
Last week, I watched a tutorial with Jenny Doan from the Missouri Star Quilt Company on making a heart block quilt. Of course I did things differently, I didn't use any precuts and I did them a in a different size. I was going to make some smaller heart for the offset panels, but I like the idea of adding some flowers.

So here is my wall hanging ready for the front door in February. I call it "Hearts and Flowers." I made two of the blocks, a litter larger than the tutorial, put them together with a little offset, did some free motion quilting around and added the hanging sleeve last night. I went for high contrast around the hearts to show best from the road. I really hope the all the quilters out there share their artwork on the front door of the living space. It is a way to share what you do and tell who you are.

Hearts and Flowers, close up

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Into each life some rain must fall, Carolina Lilies

The spring fabric burst from the shipping bag with excitement. They joined other fabrics on the work table. The brown tones had been pushed to the back of the table when the Christmas projects began. They were afraid that they would now be sent to 'the stash' never to be seen again. The blue tones on the table were happy to hear the next challenge was for flowers that needed a 'Carolina Blue' sky. Two shades of blue batiks were cut into strips and brought to "the Brother" machine. The strips were cut and staggered like rain in the sky. The challenge was to create a quilt with Carolina Lilies. The lilies were appliquéd on the Carolina Blue sky.

The finished size of this wall hanging is 23" wide x 21" tall and was made in Webster, NY by Ed the Sewing Husband. Since Ed lived in NC for a few years he knew there had to be a Carolina Blue sky. The green stems were added to the sky. A blanket stitch on either side of the stem added texture. The leaves on the lilies are snippets from the Sulky project blogged about earlier. Orange flower pedals were appliquéd and fabric paint added the spots on the flowers. Free motion quilting was added to look like rain falling on the lilies. Into each life some rain must fall. From this rain springs beautiful flowers. In this case the flowers are Carolina Lilies.

 The exciting thing about doing this challenge is that it brings me back to my original goals in quilting. I have spent the last year on my skill set. I am excited to get back to art quilts. With the Brother Dream machine I can add embroidery and many other details. This is the beginning of a new chapter in my quilting journey. Thanks to Kim for this push in the right direction.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Sulky Online Teacher Certification

These are the projects that I completed for my Sulky Online Teacher Certification Continuing Education Course in November of 2016. I am now certified by Sulky to use the materials and teach the classed connected with these two projects.

This online class was offered by Sulky through craft online university. I learned many new techniques and it gave me confidence to try new things. It also taught me a lot about the Sulky products. I do like the KK2000 temporary adhesive spray. It loots like a small can but it is really concentrated and goes a long way. They say it is even save to use inside. Thank you to Sulky for providing this opportunity.

The vase of flowers started with a blank piece of white fabric. The base image was created with regular crayons. I have already played with this technique further with my 3 year old grandson. It provides many possibilities and the problem I have with taking a course like this is seeing so many new ways to do things with the techniques. This piece is also an exercise in letting go. The snips of cloth are supposed to land randomly but I did help them fall in the right places. It was fun to build the image on top of the crayon drawing.

I do like the way this piece turned out. I don't know if I will ever teach a class on this project but I know I will use the techniques and I am also glad to know more about the Sulky products that I used to complete it. I have a couple of my own photos that I plan to use for similar projects once we get past the fast approaching holidays.

The second project is one of four panels to be used to hang your own calendar. It is the orange flower to the right. When finished for a calendar holder it would have button holes at the bottom to use for attaching the calendar. Later this year I plan on during a blog or video on ways to mount or hang a small quilted piece. I have some idea for this one. The piece added to my appliqué skills, taught me to do a thread weaving and added couching to my repertoire. I was surprised how easy the couching was and it made me try out some additional features on my new Brother machine.

For my birthday in December, my daughter gave me the "Welcome" hanger shown below. It has given this wall hanging a permanent place by our front door. This is the last blog draft that was waiting to finish from 2016 onto the blogs of 2017.