Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kite Flying

Though I wanted to play with the kite mug mat idea for my friend Toni's daughter Rachel since last weekend, I didn't get back to it until this morning. During the week I did some studying up on technique since paper-piecing is not my strong suit--you have to think upside-down and backward and sew from the blind side. Yikes!  Since Rachel picked the fabric for her sorority colors of yellow and black, I didn't want to take the chance of ruining what she sent, so I made a sample with scraps.

As the pattern instructions I'm using from the Uncommon Threads Guild  website detailed, I first drew a 6" square and then added the lines for the kite sections.  The first stitching line was a bit nerve wracking!  However, it went just fine so I proceeded on.

Doesn't look like much yet!  Although I did manage to sew on piece 4 before piece 3, it didn't matter since they were exactly the same and I'd cut identical background strips to cover the sections. 

Paper piecing uses up more fabric than you imagine, so it was a good thing I pulled larger scraps from my stash drawers.  The sample kite turned out just fine, and the paper came off pretty easily.  Next, I turned to the "tail" section, which I altered from the Uncommon Threads pattern from squares to bow shapes.

I cut the background pieces as instructed, two 3.5" squares and eight 2" squares, then pulled three matching pairs of 2" squares from my precut bins.  I folded these into triangles since I wanted a 3-D effect, and stitched them up. There was some bulkiness due to the three layers created by this method, but some pressing with the iron seemed to tame it pretty well.

 I think I'm ready to move on to the real fabric.  What do you think? 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend Bits and Bobs

It is hard to believe it is the middle of August.  Particularly since every morning for weeks has looked like this:

Nothing but a wall of white fog everywhere you look.  Some days it doesn't lift 'til the afternoon even inland where we live, and at the coast can linger all day long.  Boring and cold!

This is the view across the fields and hills in the late afternoon.  Maybe someday I'll see them in the morning again--in September!

A few months ago I gave a visiting old friend one of my heart mug mats--along with a couple of others to give to her mom and aunt.  Well, my friend's daughter Rachel loved it and so I was asked if I might be willing to make one specially for her.  Of course I would!  They provided the fabric--but there was a twist with the package I received.

Rachel is in a sorority at TCU and their colors are yellow-gold and black.  She also wanted the heart changed to a kite, as it is one of the sorority's emblems.  I searched and searched through my magazines and patterns but came up empty until I went online Saturday morning and found an old block of the month from that had a 6" paper pieced kite and four patches as a tail.  I decided to adapt the idea and use squares folded into triangles to make three 3D "bows" for the kite's tail.  I wanted to jump right into the idea but instead spent the day with DD Erica on a DIY job, making over her bathroom.

This beat up old oak cabinet was supposed to end up as a deep chocolatey brown with the stain we bought.  However, after three trips to the home center, a lot of breathing of fumes, sandpaper dust, and scraping of the doors that we started with, by Sunday night the doors turned out looking like something from the 60's that people have been tearing out for decades.  Back to square one on that project.  An opaque stain or paint is next, I guess.  

Sunday morning I did actually sew, since I needed a gift for a bridal shower and naturally waited until the last minute to decide what to make.  I put together a Snap Bag but didn't get a photo of it since I was so late to my future niece's event.

Here the lovely young lady is with the ribbons from all her gifts made into a bouquet.  Traditionally at showers, each ribbon that gets broken is supposed to mean how many babies there will be.  The bride-to-be was very careful not to break any until the end, when she broke two on purpose :)  Only 47 days to the wedding so I guess I better get cracking on their quilt! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

International Quilt Festival 2013-- Finale

And now for some of my absolute favorites from the show.  All photos taken at the International Quilt Festival 2013 in Long Beach. 

This very large quilt was hard to get a good photo of, and I can see that it is a little blurry, darnit!  But it was totally unique and wonderful.

The quilt artist did a great job of getting the hands right--good perspective and accurate anatomy.  There was a lot going on in the quilt and I could have gazed at it for a good half hour.  But there were other quilts to see!

 Artist credit.

Another of my favorites.  The colorway was so pleasing and the gradations of color sooo good.  Loved it!

 Closeup to show those pretty prints.

 Artist credit.
 This quilt was unlike any other I saw in the show.  Such a cute doggie and terrifically done.

 There are a lot of pieces to his sweet face.

Artist credit.

My favorite pictorial quilt.  I could just feel that wind rising as the storm clouds rolled in. 

 This was not a large quilt and the grassy stems were probably all 1/2" wide or smaller.

 Artist credit.  SOLD!  No need to wonder why!

 This equally lovely bird was a close second to the quilt above.  The 3D effect was marvelous.

 Lots of thread painting on top of photo transfer.  What a pretty bird.

 Artist credit.

I think this quilt won my heart for so many reasons--all the colors and prints, the jazzy diagonal layout, and of course the use of my favorite color of green throughout.  Loved it!

Closeup of some of the many flower prints this quilt contained.  I'm not sure how it was quilted because it doesn't show up in my photos.

Artist credit.

Another large quilt that had so much going for it as far as originality, choice of colors, imaginative layout, and sheer exuberance of theme.

 Each tree had a different set of leaves.  Sorry for the blurriness of the photo!

This orange one was my favorite.

Artist credit.

I hope you enjoyed some of the show!  I'm sorry it is moving to Portland but glad to have had the opportunity the last several years to see this kind of amazing workmanship and level of imagination and inspiration.  Don't miss the chance if you have a quilt show nearby--go and see quilts in person!

Design Wall Monday--Aug 12, 2013

On my design floor today are the sewalong blocks from Aunt Reen's Place that I stalled out on last month.  That happened because I started thinking too much.

The above (blurry!) shot is how I imagined the quilt was going to look, before Aunt Reen showed the layout she had designed, wherein she mixed all the blocks rather than lining them up in rows.  I clung to this single-weave idea, however, though it was obvious from the start that the number of blocks I made were not going to work in this alternate scheme, since I used a jelly roll and I didn't have any extra fabric for additional blocks.  Still, I laid out quite a number before abandoning the idea--though I do think it would work for a smaller version that was pre-planned in size!

Does this happen to you?  You start moving furniture and cleaning up to make a layout spot and then get distracted by something you see on the floor.  In my case this morning, I spotted some bugs on the floor by my pantry as I was sweeping the dining room.  This necessitated an interventional pantry cleanout due to evidence of a weevil infestation.  Yuck.  Anyway, I did finally get back to the 10x12 layout of these 6" finished blocks.  You can see I added a "heart" to the quilt top, a signature thing I often do.  In this case the block design actually looks like a heart!  Now there will be some a ton of piecing for this large throw I plan to give as a wedding gift.  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

International Quilt Festival 2013--continued

I have some more gorgeous works of quilters to share.  Hope you won't mind indulging me!  All photos were taken at the International Quilt Festival Long Beach 2013. 

 Incredible large hand appliqued and quilted quilt that must have taken hundreds of hours, if not thousands!

 Amazing and incredible detail everywhere. 

 The artists' comments are so fascinating at times!  What a way to start a challenge.

 Yet another large hand quilted and appliqued quilt with exquisite workmanship, along with some machine piecing. 

 Aren't the colors fun? 

 It wasn't until I got very close up that I realized the background fabric is a multicolored dot print.  Love it.

Artist credit. 

 This darling quilt was of a quilt show surrounding a quilt shop.  All the miniature quilts were amazing.

 Those Sunbonnet Sues were no more than a couple of inches tall.  The clothesline pole was about 1/4" wide and look at the tiny birdhouse on the top!  Astounding detail.

 The yo-yos were about 1/2 in diameter at the most.  See the bunny, too?

 This photo is just about life-sized.  I put my fingers in the shot so you can tell how tiny those hexies are.
 Artist credit.

 Detail first on this set of photos--I just loved the big-stitch quilting on these Kaleidoscope blocks all in solids.

 Artist credit.

Ta-da!  She sure did create an explosion of color on this very large quilt.  It was definitely one of my favorites at the show.  I have a few more to share in another post, with more favorites!

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...