Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To Pin or Not to Pin

What do you do? I usually pin my quilts. I have friends that use spray adhesive and ones that pin. And I have friends that work small art quilts, so they don't have to do either. I've tried spray basting before, but the quilt still shifted and I didn't like the layer of adhesive going through my machine and gooping up my needle. I just grab my bowl of quilting pins and Kwip Klip and pin.

Oh, like my little bowl? It is very special to me. My step-son made one year in elementary school and gave it to me for Mother's Day. Sweet memories every time I see it and use it. I've been using it for over 20 years now!

My worktable was designed so the height is easy for me to pin on, really saves my back. I use binder clips on the edges to hold the layers in place and depending on the size, I may use blue painters tape too.

So, my quilting friends, what do you do? Let me hear from you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Borders On

Today started very early this morning, say around 2:30am. We had a tremendous hail storm that lasted around half an hour. We have neighbors with damage worse than ours, but my morning started off by walking our yard and taking pictures of the damage. There is so much damage in our area it is going to take the insurance adjuster a couple of weeks to get to us. Fortunately, only the outside panes of our double pane windows were broken. As I looked at the broken windows I thought, "Well, it goes with the quilt I'm working on!"

After things settled down I was able to get in the studio and sew the panels together and put the borders on. I fell in love with this quilt more and more with every border I stitched on. Tomorrow I am going to start practicing some of the stitches from The Free Motion Quilting Project for the quilt and start the quilting.

I decided to go ahead and put the borders on instead of quilting the panels and then putting it together. I'm glad I did, the visual of the entire quilt has energized me, and after the morning that I have had, I needed the energy.

Better run, Jeff is on his way home so we can clean the yard.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Favorite Website

When I finish a quilt top and am ready to start quilting, I get nervous. Trying to decide what to quilt where, making sure the quilt design will enhance and not ruin or take over the quilt. I look at quilts quilted by my favorite quilters, my friends, etc. I stay nervous and seem to fall back into the same motifs I always use. With this new quilt (here's a peek), I'm really nervous.

I expressed my frustration with my fiber arts buddy, Kathy Mayhew, she reminded me of the website of Leah Day, The Free Motion Quilting Project. Oh my goodness, I have gone to quilting heaven. I would have never thought of all theses quilting designs. With these at my disposal, I should never, ever, be scared again. Now I'll just have to make decisions, decisions, decisions.....
Thanks Leah for your time, talent and willingness to share!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cheesecloth Workshop

Well, I decided to start teaching. It’s part of my heritage, but I don’t want to teach school, I want to teach fiber arts techniques (play time) and projects. One of my fiber arts passions is painting cheesecloth and using it as a texture medium in my art quilts. So, I invited some of my fiber arts buddies over for a first run on my first workshop and we had a grand time! Here are some of the pictures I took during our day together.

Katina Hronas, Carol Reagan, and Barbara Kirksey talk about auditioning applique' fabrics and painting cheesecloth

Denise Spillane and Sherrie Tootle work on creating paint mixed media

Carolyn Skei works on her 12 x 12 art quilt

These are an awesome group of ladies and they gave me great feedback of what to add to my supply list and what to change in my pattern and procedures. They even gave me some great ideas for some other classes to develop and teach. I can’t say thank you enough to these artful women for spending the day with me getting messy and having fun. Here is a picture of my class sample.

If this workshop interests you, pass my name along to your workshop coordinator with your guild or art group. For my workshop I supply a project kit of a pattern, instructions for the project, cheesecloth to paint and a bonus of some of my hand dyed cheesecloth.

In my last post I mentioned that I would post pictures of my dyed fabric. Last week I was so busy getting ready for the Saturday workshop, I didn’t have time to take pictures. But their coming, I promise!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dye Day!

Today was great fun, I used my dye sink for the first time and oh how sweet it is! To be able to have a double sink and be able to mix several colors at once. I had an assembly line going! There are fabrics in the wash and these just came out of the dryer, I know it is hard tell by the picture, but the color combinations are awesome. I tried some new color combos and mixed some colors together (bright yellow and chartreuse) to see what would happen and boy, did the colors pop! In the fabric mix today I dyed my regular cotton, three different weights of linen, doilies, Aida cloth, trim, rick rack, lace, and my favorite mixed media technique item - cheesecloth.
Tomorrow is ironing day, so when the ironing is done - I'll post more pictures.
Just had to tease you a little bit today!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dye Sink and our Little Helper

I'm thrilled! My dye sink is installed in the garage, aka "Jeff's workshop". Yes, I have invaded his workshop. He has a sink, but I need a bigger sink and one that is easier for me to work in. His is built up 6 inches higher than it should be, due to the flooring he is going to install, someday. Anyway, our son and precious grandson came over to help. Isn't this the cutest face ever!

"Hudson the Helper" making sure that the pipes are not clogged before installation. And yes, he put these PVC pieces together all my himself! Smart boy!

I love my sink and the faucet I picked out is perfect. One handle to turn it on and off and I'm able to control the temp easier. The spray can either be a stream or spray, great for cleaning up!

Since I have my own "Dye Station", I had to purchase more PFD at United Notions/Moda last week. While I was walking the isles to see what was new I came across this great little stand by Simply Renee Clip It Up. I think their main market is for scrapbooking, but I thought this was perfect for Fat Quarters.