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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Runners and Wall Hangings make scraps that become Table Tops

A few new runners, the top one is a disappearing nine patch. The bottom one come from a block I saw in the tutorials at Missouri Star Quilting. Runners are a versatile term I use for something that could be a smaller bed runner, a wall hanging or a larger table runner.

If you have read my earlier blogs, you know that very few things are considered scraps in my world. So, the corners from the runner on the bottom were used to create the smaller table tops seen in the middle photo.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Eight Become Great

Hanging with my Brother
The year 2017 has begun and today as I entered the sewing room I noticed 8 pieces of fabric that seemed rather sad. “Why so blue?” I said, well besides the fact that you are blue in color. They explained that their life began as happy members of the Northcott family and went to live in a wonderful warehouse in Missouri that even had a star on it. They were shipped here to Webster, NY and felt like they were being born as they burst happily from the shipping bag. They enjoyed life on a shelf watching the comings and goings of projects throughout 2016. They got very hopeful when their stack of 40 went to the sewing room. They were to join the pictures that Prince Parker had made and become a lap quilt for his Oma. They watched as others were lifted off the pile and were sewn together with the beautiful crayon drawings. But all of the sudden the quilt was finished and they were left behind. They were not needed in this project. They got pushed to the back of the table as Christmas projects came and went. They heard that they may be taken to “the stash” and they did not know what or where this was. They had not seen it but were afraid that it may be a cult. They heard of many fabrics going there years ago that had never returned to see daylight.

Eight squares face to face
Cut corner to corner
As I saw these eight pieces of fabric, I had an idea. I had just read about a fabric challenge based on the number eight. I told the fabric squares that if they trusted me they may still have a chance to become something great. I told them they must go two by two to see the Brother, but must face each other and not look upon the Brother. Wait they said,  “are you the Brother’s keeper?” “Yes, I am my Brother’s keeper,” I said. This was an honor entrusted to me when I visited the great Jackie Lynn at the meeting of elders in Syracuse, NY this past year (the AQS show).

HST Half Square Triangles
Time to spin
The squares of fabric went to the Brother, two by two, right sides together and were sewn on all four sides. “Wait, how will we see the light of day this way?” said the squares. After a quick encounter with Ironman, the squares received two cuts from the Brother’s keeper, running corner to corner. They flopped open and suddenly realized they had become half square triangles. Again they were sad, because they were just half square triangles and looked much the same as each other. But the keeper told them to spin into different patterns and the Brother would make them into beautiful blocks. The blocks were afraid again since they were told they could not look upon the Brother. The keeper reassured them it was OK to look at the Brother, he was just joking before.

Auditioning Fabric
As the keeper auditioned beautiful fabrics to join the blocks, they were concerned that they should not be joined to other fabrics that did not come from the Northcott family. The keeper told them that many fabrics could live together in harmony if they were just given a chance. As the project came together, there was just one more request the blocks wanted to come together in the shape of an eight to remember where they came from. 

Throughout this journey with these pieces of fabric, the keeper was reminded of a lovely, local quilter named Zelpha. They had crossed paths many years earlier and she told the keeper of her story quilts. She had told stories, like Little Red Riding Hood, in quilts with textures for children to touch as she told the story. This is not to the extent of Zelpha’s quilts but it has become a fun story based on the making of a little quilt. The finished wall hanging is 15 1/2 inches wide by 20 inches tall. Eight blue squares turned into four blocks with eight triangles in each block surrounded by a big 8. This project started a 8 am this morning and I started writing the blog at 8 pm tonight.