Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You never know what you will find here


It is always hard to take down my Christmas tree. It just fits in with the decor of the room so well. I decided with Easter fast approaching I'd take it down this week.


Since I was going to wrap the tree with plastic wrap as usual I decided it would be so much easier if I moved the whole table and tree away from the wall. NOT.
The tree started to fall way from me so there was no way I could catch it. Next year the tree will have far fewer ornaments. I guess I'll move those from the back of the tree to the front!

After cleaning up the mess I wrapped the tree. This year I didn't have enough purple Saran Wrap so I just used clear Cling Wrap. Here is the tree ready to take to the garage.


Last year I went on a Florida exploration trip with my friends Jan and Bill and found these Bunnies in Micanopy. The table seemed a perfect place for them to reside for the Easter season.

I'm sure some of you think it is odd to be talking about Christmas when it is almost Easter. When I check the visitors to my blog I am amazed at how many are looking at my christmas pages this week!

The bunnies are your puzzle.
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Easter countdown - 4 more days

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Best Is Yet To Come, and won't that be fine

You might call this WIP a "Pop" quilt. How many similar heart quilts were made when I started this one? It's going to be a bed size quilt and I have lost my enthusiasm for it.

I put this one away as I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt it. I also know that finishing those strips which I intend to leave extended at the bottom will not be the easiest thing I've every done.

I know there is a problem with the center of this quilt. I just haven't decided how I am going to resolve it.

This is another piece in the For Never Plaid series. I have decided this will be the final layout but I have not had time to finish it.

Help Humpty Dumpty put this egg together again!
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Easter countdown - 5 more days

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter countdown - 6 more days

The Best Is Yet to Come

Many quilters start projects and then don't finish them right away. They call them UFO's! (UnFinishedObjects)
I do not have even one UFO.

This quilt top has been sewn together, but I still want to add more to it and of course it needs quilting and finishing.

And now for the rest of the story!
I don't want all you quilters out there to hate me. I may not have any UFO's, but I have less than 100 WORKS IN PROGRESS!
If the number of works in progress threatens to go over 100 I move some to another list: Rework or abandon, Not real important or Questionable to finish. I do not have to count those lists because they are no longer a work in progress and I may never do anything else with them.

This was created with silk I painted. I hand appliqued the sections together.
I have not decided what I want to do next on this piece. To paraphrase the statement "When the student is ready the master will come" - I say "When the solution appears, it will be applied."

This was a mystery quilt I created at a quilt seminar. It is all sewn together, layered and ready for that solution to appear.

The colored backgrounds and squares on this are also fabrics I hand painted. I made and laid out each block. I found a piece of clothing at a ridiculously low price and cut it up to be the background for this piece.

When can you expect to see the finished works? Anytime soon? Maybe or maybe not.
Some solutions come quickly, others take a long long time.

Here's a very traditional cut for the puzzle.
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes - Show Them Off On Your Quilts!

Annie's Choice is a replication of an antique quilt. It is a wall quilt. It uses fabrics similar to what could have been used in the original. These fabrics are not from one of the reproduction groups of fabric available today. I spent several years searching for the fabrics to make this quilt and the kits I created so others could make it.

Santa Fe Rhythm has 16 points that come together in the center. I amazed myself when they all met and there was no hole in the center. The three dimensional effect comes from using both the right and wrong sides of the fabric to create this quilt.

Paisley Star Mandala was created years ago. I used a set of see thru templates and built it from the middle out.

This 4 patch star was designed to be taught at a quilt retreat. This quilt could never have been made if I had not been collecting fabric for over 30 years. It uses Austrian fabric, Japanese fabric, and American solid fabrics.

The star in the center of this quilt was a serendipitous happening. I was even more surprised when I read Susan Faeder's Japanese Folk Tale she wrote for the Hawks and Heroes Quilt Challenge. In the folk tale the warriors meet at a crossroads that form a star. This quilt was made for that challenge and was the first place winner.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It Seems To Me I've Heard That Song Before

Or shall I say "It Seems To Me I've Seen That Quilt Before!"

In the years that I have been quilting and teaching quilting there have been some quilts that everyone seems to be making.
This bulls eye quilt was one of those. I always look for a better and/or easier way to do things and the easy thing I added to help my students make this was the magic circle stitcher. This allowed you to make perfectly round circles with little effort. This uses raw edge applique.
I added one of Jinny Beyer's Millennium borders to mine.
My quilt you see here has yet to be quilted!

This Pine Tree quilt is a quick cutting, quick piecing quilt designed originally by Mary Ellen Hopkins. If I remember right she had you applique the tree trunk onto the block. Not being a big fan of hand work unless there is no other way to achieve the results I figured out how to piece the stems, production line style.

I call these quilts "Pop" quilts. They are so popular for a period of time, somewhat like fashions, food and decorating styles and colors.

I have tried to concentrate on teaching original work and techniques I have developed in my classes, whether they were in my home studio or as travel teaching classes.

My specialties when teaching quilting were color, efficient methods and design.

I used a circular puzzlecut for the round bullseyes. Enjoy.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Amish quilts make my heart sing! Rerun

I showed you a companion quilt to this one a while back. I finally was able to take a photo of this one for you.
The difference between them is I took everything that included gold and fall colors and used them in this one. The other quilt uses blues, purples, reds etc.
This quilt is just slightly smaller than the other. This one is called Amish Shadows 2. It is 46 x 56 inches. It is impressive hung on a wall. By using so many different colors in a quilt it makes it adaptable to any decor, much like a fine painting.

In case you missed Amish Shadows 1 I'm sharing it again. It is 49 x 79 inches. The blocks in each quilt are exactly the same size. It also is spectacular hung in any decor. These quilts are also very appropriate in dimly lit areas as they glow from within. My color choices are what makes this work, much like antique Amish quilts.

I LOVE this design and you will see more of them soon.

I'm also sharing Amish Shadows 2 as my puzzle tonight. I haven't posted a puzzle with each and every quilt recently. I miss doing the puzzles and hope to incude one with each post.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch and then quilt some more! Rerun

Almost one year ago to the day my friend Judy and I enjoyed lunch at the Cotillion Southern Cafe. It has to be my favorite Restaurant in this part of Florida.

This is the view of the outside of the Cotillion. The building was originally a bank.

Kay and Judy did lunch today at the Cotillion Southern Cafe.

Judy enjoyed the Texas country fried chicken. She said it was excellent and brought back memories of home cooking.

Kay had the tomato bisque soup (not shown) and the catfish with cheese grits, coleslaw and a special tartar sauce. MMMM mmmm - delicious.

After lunch a little aerobic exercise was in order so off to The Villages to visit the shops at Spanish Springs. The shopping expedition was successful.

In the evening both Judy and Kay made a fused quilt.

Judy was able to get "out of the box" and create this very artistic quilt. The timer was set and she had one hour to create this. She will quilt it when she returns to Wisconsin. I am quite sure she surprised herself with her accomplishment. I LOVE this quilt. It is so original and appealing. Can you believe this was her very first fused quilt?

This was also a challenge for me to create a fused quilt with commercial fabrics. I usually work with hand dyed fabrics when I make my fused quilts. I'm also pleased with it.

Judy's quilt is tonight's puzzle. I'm sure you'll enjoy it and I know her grandchidren will have fun doing it.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another chance to see Quilts: Another Dimension - The June Series Quilts Part 3

This is another quilt that mixes some recently created fabrics with some that were in my collection. There were a few places that created a challenge when I pieced this.

This quilt is fused rather than pieced. If you study this carefully you may be able to see where I cut a shape from one fabric and find the other part of the cut out in another location.

The multicolored design area of this quilt was first painted with thickened dye and then overpainted with fabric paint. The border is a hand dyed fabric.

The white background fabric that makes up the center diamond and border of this quilt came from one of my dye clean up rags. These can make some of the best fabrics.
I added shibori dying to the part I used for the center diamond. I struggled to find a fabric for the borders of this quilt. It was only after I finished it and I sent a photo to a friend that she asked me about using the same fabric in the border and the center section. I didn't even realize they were BOTH from that same dye rag. All of these fabrics were from my collection.

This is the other quilt in this series tht was created with fusing, rather than piecing.

The fabrics I used in this quilt had been in my collection for an extended period of time. I really didn't care for these fabrics. It was only after I started cutting them and putting them on the design wall that a very pleasing arrangement appeared. It is a simple quilt, but simple can be quite attractive.

Once you have used your dye to dye a piece of fabric the dye that is left is usually not able to dye another piece. The light lavender fabric and the focal section with the fan like appearance were both done with leftover dyes. I have a hard time creating, making and using light fabrics and yet I absolutely loved these two fabrics and made it a point to use them in this quilt. Most of the other fabrics were from my collection.

This concludes the quilts in the June Series. It does not conclude the quilts I exhibited in Quilt: Another Dimension. Stay tuned and you will see the rest of them.

Here you go!
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this breaking news!

"And now, in accordance with tradition, I declare the XXI Olympic Winter Games closed."

If you read Emily Parson's blog you may be confused when I say this and you might have thought they were over already.

The official name of this quilt is "I'll See You In My Dreams".
I have been calling it the Olympic quilt as it has taken an Olympic effort to finish it. The quilting of the star was the biggest challenge. After I had that quilted I thought it would be smooth sailing from there on out.
It didn't work that way. As I quilted the rest I was doing fine and didn't have any problems - until the thread on my spool of Oliver Twist got down to the last 1/8th of the thread on the spool.
From that point on it just kept breaking, particularly when doing free motion quilting.
When that happened I came up with some presser foot down quilting options but it wasn't long before it started to break again. That's when I changed to a new spool of Oliver Twist in just a slightly different color. That solved my quilting problems.

The edges of the quilt are finished with facings, rather than a binding. To do this well it takes a lot more time than putting on a binding.

This is the back of the quilt. I didn't have enough of the backing fabric to back the quilt so I added a pieced star in the middle and that gave me enough for a backing. You can see the facings made from the batik fabric around the edges. At the top you can see the casing to hang it, also from the batik fabric I used on the front of the quilt.

Whether you call this "I'll See You In My Dreams" or my Olympic quilt I hope you enjoy putting it together.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Another chance to see Quilts: Another Dimension - The June Series Quilts Part 2

This is another piece that uses the fabrics I just created and those from my collection.
The fabric with the black background is another one of my discharged and dyed fabrics. When I opened it up I was not impressed. It's amazing what happens when cut up a piece of fabric and use it with other complementary fabrics.

The burgundy focal fabric reminds me of pine trees. About the only new fabric in this piece was the very small piece of the black background fabric you saw in the last quilt.

This also started with a discharged and dyed formerly black fabric. This was another one I didn't like before I cut it up. This piece was created "on the fly"! I didn't do any preplanning. I overlapped two pieces of fabric and just cut the curves with my rotary cutter. When a section had to be between two other sections it was a bit of a challenge. It is meant to hang at the same angle you see here.

This was one of the larger quilts in the series. This is another case of not being satisfied with a piece of fabric - the magenta and blue piece. By cutting off triangles on two opposite sides I had a starting point.
Once I have a starting point I place that on the design wall and pull out any and all fabrics I think will work with it. Again, most of these fabrics were from my collection. You can see how I used the triangles I cut off.
It was a challenge figuring out how to hang this quilt without adding an envelope back to it.

An Amish square within a square was my influence when I created this piece. The black and brown fabric was potato dextrin discharged. When my son saw it he said it was the ugliest piece of fabric he had ever seen. Cut up it really did a great job making this quilt sing. The center square is a fabric I have used in so many of the quilts in the series and a few others. I may still have a tiny piece left.

This is probably one of the smallest pieces in the series and yet it is a powerful piece. It was made using fabrics I didn't have a lot of. Originally it was larger, but the additional parts I added did nothing for it, so I removed them.

Another puzzle for you.
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