Monday, May 18, 2015

Designing Monday

This week I took a class from Laurie Ceesay.  Laurie is a Wisconsin quilt artist who is also a hair dresser.  She specializes in portrait quilts and has appeared on the Quilting Arts TV show.  Our class project was one of her patterns called Bella.  Prior to class we purchased the pattern and each stitched up our backgrounds which were 25 charm squares.

Then during class we copied the appliqué design onto Wonder Under, ironed it to a fabric that we chose for hair and features and then followed a grid to apply the appliqué.  Laurie helped several of us cut out our appliqué pieces so we could get going on our projects right away.  I was able to get some of mine ironed down before lunch and by the time I went home, I had stitched down almost the whole thing.  We just stitched using a straight stitch along the edges with a walking foot.  The neat part is before we stitched we layered the whole thing -- backing, batting, and quilt -- so it became a quilt as you go using the applique.  Very quick.

Since the class I have added quilting around the sides and added some quilting between the appliqué strips to look like hair.  Much more to go and Laurie's special touch is to add embellishments.  Can't wait to get to that step.

Laurie taught a class in color theory to our guild on Tuesday night and brought lots of samples.  When she taught our class she had about 10 different Bella quilts in many different color schemes.  Great inspiration.  Each was embellished and quilted differently too.  What a fun class!  When you get a minute, click on the link at the top of this blog entry and check out Laurie's work.

Hop on over to Judy's blog  to see more great designs,

Monday, May 11, 2015

Designing Monday

My main sewing has been working on the binding of an antique quilt that a friend gave me.  She first asked me to bind it for her and  I told her I would have think about it as I didn't want to ruin it.  I thought about it for awhile and told her I would try and bind it for her and she said to keep it.  You might think binding a quilt is not such a big deal and neither do I normally.  In fact I always enjoy putting the binding on and doing all the hand stitching on the back as the big finale to my work.  However here is the quilt she handed over to me.

As you can see it is a 1930's Grandmother's Flower Garden and all the edges are hexagons.  It is quilted and the excess backing and batting are still in place.  She had planned to use some store bought bias tape and hand sew it on.  She is in her 80's and decided her hands just could not take that.  I am not a big fan of bias tape and bought unbleached muslin to make bias binding.  The more I thought about hand sewing around all those little hexagons and trying to make the binding secure, I panicked.

Since the backing is still in place, I contemplated just cutting it 1/4" larger than the quilt top and then folding it under to match the edge and whip stitch it in place.  But I couldn't figure out how to deal with the inside corners of the hexagons.  And as I examined the quilt closer, there were places where the backing was actually smaller than the quilt top.  Can you see the pink quilt top peeking through the batting below?

I thought about packing it all up and giving it back to my friend, but I just couldn't disappoint her.  I looked at lots of photos on the Internet and saw that lots of people just whacked off the edges and made straight lines, but I just couldn't do that either.  It sort of spoiled the look of the quilt for me.

Then one day after agonizing over this quilt for weeks and months, I saw a brilliant idea on the Internet.  It was for a small (placemat or wall hanging size) quilt made of hexagons.  The maker constructed a binding of hexagons. Using the hexie papers, she sewed them in a chain and then attached them to the edge like a binding.  So smart and easy. Why didn't I think of this?!  Once all the hexagons are attached to the edge, pull out the papers, trim off all the excess backing and batting and turn the edge.  All the little points at the edge will have to poked to make them pointy and then the whole binding edge will have to be sewn down on the back.

I started on the process a couple of months ago and I try to remind myself to pick it up and work on it in the evening while I am watching TV.  At a minimum I would like to sew on at least 10 hexagons per day.  I am not quite that disciplined.  But it is coming along.  I have one end done and am half way along the second edge.  I was fortunate to have quite a bit of 1930's reproduction fabric in my stash.  None is as fun as seeing the original fabrics on the quilt top.

I will keep you posted on my progress.  Hop on over to Judy's blog to see some beautiful designs.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Designing Monday

I finished this cute little quilt for the monthly challenge on the Sentimental Quilter's Yahoo group.  It was a fun one to make and I had most of the little squares already leftover from other projects.  I found a stencil for the quilting that is called Twisted Ribbon.  It worked great on the straight sides, but I had a bit of a quandary when I got to the corners.  I just had to draw some creative lines that eventually met up with the other side.  Every corner is different.  Not sure how that happened.

I'm getting prepped for a class in May through the guild.  The teacher is Laurie Ceesay who lives north of here in the UP.  She makes art quilts and is teaching a portrait class using her pattern.  We are supposed to make the background ahead of time so we can focus on the appliqué in class.  It should go pretty quick.  Laurie appeared on Quilting Arts TV this season.  I missed the episode and I don't know if they can be accessed via the internet or not.  This type of quilting will be a stretch for me, but looks like fun.
Background for Laurie Ceesay quilt

It is a cold dreary day in Northeast Wisconsin.  Hope you are having a better day in your neck of the woods.

Be sure to hop over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful quilts.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Around and Around we go

I had a fun afternoon yesterday with my friend, Joyce.  We took a class in woodturning and each made a bowl.  I had never used a lathe before and was a bit intimidated by the whole thing.  The teacher spent an hour and a half going thru safety and demonstrating how to get started on making the bowl.  The class started at 1:00 and went until 5:00, but we were still there at 6:00 sweeping the floor.

The class was offered to cancer survivors (which Joyce is) and their friends and family members.  She invited me to come along.  It was offered by her medical provider in conjunction with the Artisan Center.  The Artisan Center is run by the local technical college.  They offer classes in pottery, jewelry making, woodworking, quilting and sewing as well as open lab time where you can rent their   equipment for 3 hours at a time.  This class was only $5.00 which was a steal.  We were in class with 4 other women and we all had a great time.

Here are a couple of photos of us at work.

 Joyce with our teacher (left) and his helper

 Joyce is ready to work at her lathe.  She is all buttoned up to keep wood chips from falling down into her shirt.

 We used a wood gouge to cut and shape our bowls.  We also had to wear a face shield to avoid flying wood chips.  Mine was mostly covered with dust so we had to stop from time to time to run the windshield wipers. LOL
 Here's my bowl.  Waiting for sanding and finishing.
Once I got past my initial nervousness of using the lathe, I had a great time.  The teacher did a super job and he helped with all the details, like making it actually look like a bowl!!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Designing Monday

My design wall has not changed since last week.  No borders added yet to this top.

I found the latest small quilt challenge from Kathleen Tracy on A Sentimental Quilter and made a quick little quilt with leftovers from other projects.  I am thinking I may need to make one of these in R&W.
 Yikes!  I suddenly see mistakes in this photo.  No wonder it didn't look right when I finished it.  I guess I know what I will be doing today.  LOL

Backing fabric

This was a busy week for decorating at church.  I have photos of Lenten decor and Easter decor to share.  I am so in awe of the two women I work with on this as they have so many wonderful ideas.  I help with sewing and provide my husband who is just the right height to reach above the altar.

This is for Lent.  Mostly purple.
Let's look closer.
The altar looks very dramatic.
 I love this shiny purple fabric.

I sewed the purple banners and another person made the white paper banners on her Cricut cutter.

These banners hang on really tall chairs.  They are really uncomfortable to sit in but perfect for this.

 Altar closeup.  The vase laying on its side was a clear glass vase, now spray painted with faux rock finish.
 The purple stripe on the parament is a non woven similar to interfacing that comes in a bunch of colors.  I found it at Hobby Lobby and it is perfect for this as it is just a little stiff and hangs perfectly.
Here is our Easter Decor. Love all the flowers.
 The white behind the cross was a challenge for us, but makes a big statement.
The banners on the side now say He is Risen!  Unfortunately the yellow font is impossible to read from more than 10 feet away.  A learning for next year!
 More purple on the altar.  

Hope you had a blessed Easter day!

Hop over to Judy's 
blog to see more beautiful designs.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More Quilts to Share

I have a few more photos of quilts from the International Quilt Show in Chicago.  Always a fun day looking at quilts.

 Lovely threadworm on this one.

 This one is really special.  The applique is lovely and each block and border is bound separately.
 See the blue and white striped binding.  Each block is joined by yo-yos as sashing.  How clever.  There is no fabric behind the yo-yos.  It is amazing that it hangs so perfectly.

 This one is so funny!

 More beautiful appliqué and quilting.
 Clever approach to a group quilt.

 More beautiful appliqué and lovely green and pink colors.

Hope you enjoyed visiting the quilt show with me!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Designing Monday

My camera battery was dead this morning and now on the charger, so no photos of my design wall.  However, not much has changed since last week.

This past Friday I took the bus to Chicago for the International Quilt Show.  I took a few photos to share.  Hope you enjoy them.  The bus left an hour late because 3 of the passengers went to the wrong pick up location so the driver made a circuit of town hitting 3 different places looking for them.  None of them had cell phones!!  Finally found 2 of the 3 and off we went.  The Chicago show is no longer a judged show so there was no prize money or ribbons.   I still think any day spent looking at quilts to be a great day.  Just a shame there were no quilts that made me say, WOW!

The first quilts as you walk in were Red & White like the quilts that were displayed in NYC a couple of years ago.  These were hung in a large square from the ceiling.  There were very bright lights hung from the ceiling as well so it was a bit difficult to photograph, but hopefully you get the idea.  There were some R&W ones also mounted on the  poles like all the other quilts and there was a display of miniature R&W quilts too.  I am not sure if any of these quilts were actually on display in NYC or if this was a whole different bunch, but some were new and some very old.

R&W Dear Jane

 There were 4 or 5 of these circular patterned quilts.

There were 40 - 50 minis made by 2 sisters and a friend.
I love these tiny hexagons.

Karey Bresenham has compiled a book of 500 Traditional Quilts and there were quite of few of them on display.  One of them was made by a lady from our quilt guild, so that was an unexpected and exciting surprise.  Photos were not allowed of those quilts.

I took a few pictures of some of the quilts that I like best.  (These were part of other displays that we were allowed to photograph.)

 This is a close up of machine embroidery in white thread on a circle about 5 inches.
 Here is the same circle with successively smaller circles in the corner of a quilt.  Incredible thread work.
 Here is a shot of the whole quilt and you can see the circles in each corner.  There is machine embroidery all over this quilt.  Really fabulous!
 Here is one of the diamonds around the perimeter of the circle.  Each diamond was different.
 Some lovely appliquéd flowers
I heart irises.

More photos in another post.  Be sure to stop by Judy's blog to see some beautiful designs.