Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays!!!

Thought I'd share one of the Christmas quilts I designed for Quilting Treasures a few years ago. LOVE the poinsettia fabric and just had to make up one for myself. The fabrics all have a glint of gold to them as well, even more festive. This is a free pattern too which can be found of the Quilting Treasures website. Enjoy!

Here's the block too. It was featured in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine, Volume 3.

Enjoy the day surrounded by family and friends.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Super Workshop with Jane Sassaman at Hudson River Valley

Just home yesterday from a fabulous week with an amazing group of women at the Hudson River Valley Inn in Greenville, NY with my quilting buddy Judy Chase.   With just 9 of us in the group, we had lots of one-on-one time with Jane as she walked us through the process of "Abstracting from Nature". I chose a scarab beetle as my "nature" and surrounded him with leaves, the design of which the delightful Stella allowed me to replicate. We won't go into what this adorable bug has at mealtime, couldn't bring myself to add his favorite meal to the quilt design...

Besides having the freedom to work all day at our projects we also were pampered each night with gourmet meals prepared by Chefs Mark and Kim LaPolla - delicious... and even had time to mosey up to the local Western store to try and wipe out their slipper stock.

Got a good start on putting my bug quilt together with some decorative stitches on my Pfaff. Spent one morning making a sample book of all the stitches - about time after having the machine for 10 years - LOL!

What a luxury to have time to create without the demands of regular day-to-day life!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks - Volume 10!!!!! That's 1000 Blocks - a lot of blocks!

Welcome to my blog!

Hope you'll have the time to visit and comment so I have a chance to give away some copies of the magazine. The magazine is chock full of amazing blocks - they get better with each issue!

Here's my block, Tulip Flurry(page 19, #904), inspired by my love of tulips and a trip to The Netherlands in 2013, took a while to percolate. I used raw edge applique with a collection of batiks and Misty Fuse for the fusible. Such a great product... love that it doesn't change the hand of the fabric yet holds all those little bits nice and secure while they're stitched down.

I design exclusively in EQ7, (even teach EQ7 all over the place and design for Quilting Treasures) such a great and powerful program.
So, besides the quilt on page 14 of the magazine (notice the little tulips in the corners), here's a glimpse of some other quilt designs I popped Tulip Flurry into. As there was a time crunch getting the quilt to QM, the applique vine went by the wayside but I do like the way it repeats the tulips and greenery out to the border.

This one is sans applique, but still very pretty. I would be fun to choose the strata fabrics for the corners - now, that could use up some scraps.And who doesn't love a scrap quilt - so much to explore and such vibrancy and movement!

And lastly, I create a label for the quilt using the quilt design in EQ, how much more custom can you get? - yes, I am a bit obsessive.
I did get so inspired seeing all the varieties of tulips at Keukenhof in The Netherlands, here are some pictures for you to enjoy!

Hope you've enjoyed visiting my blog, I'm always posting pictures of my customer quilts as well as what I'm up to in my own designs, so check back in again.
 Enjoy the Blog Tour!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blog Tour - This Tuesday!

Hope to see you all on the Blog Tour this week. My blog will be featured in Tuesday so have to get that post ready tomorrow to go live at 12:01 am Tuesday. Haven't managed to get it right on time yet - so maybe this time is the charm!

I'll be posting about my block, Tulip Flurry, which was inspired by a trip we took to The Netherlands in 2012. A beautiful trip topped off by a visit to the amazing gardens at Keukenhof - never seen so many varieties of tulips and orchids as well - mid boggling!

Keukenhof is only open a short time every year, they even rent their swans for the river. Could have spent a number of days here - just beautiful!

Previous to going to Keukenhof we had visited a tulip farm where they grow tulips  - but only sell the bulbs. So the tulip flower is chopped off and discarded. We kept insisting there must be some use, but no, they're compost. The tulips we buy in this country are raised in greenhouses, never in a field. The tulips in this next pix were being forced under plastic just for the tourists as the cooler weather had made the blooms about 2 weeks behind their usual schedule. It was incredibly windy that day and very cold - poor tulips!

So, in my block, which I'll be able to share with you on Tuesday on the tour, the tulips have lots of movement, just like these.

Hope to see you there! Just use the link at the bottom of the this poster and you'll be at the tour - Enjoy!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks - Volume 10 has arrived

Just home from a quick trip to upstate New York and found that a nice little pile of Quiltmaker 100 Blocks, Vol 10, had arrived for me. My block "Tulip Flurry" and my small quilt by the same name is also featured in this issue.

There's a Blog Tour coming up in a couple of weeks, hope you'll join the tour. I'll be giving away copies of the magazine as well as talking about my design process in both the block and the quilt.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More fabric dyeing - low water immersion variety this time

LOVE getting packages in the mail, like a little bit of the holidays all year round. Monday when we came home from spending the day with the members of the Shining Tides Quilt Guild in Mattapoisett, MA, a package full of fabrics was waiting on the porch. Couldn't wait to open them to see the results of the low immersion dyeing that Beverly and I completed last. I'd had to leave them with her as we ran out of time and I was just itching to see how they came out - GLORIOUS would be my word for them. Here they are... Enjoy!

This first one is an ice dye.

These threewerepinched into pleats, then arranged in a tray in a serpentine shape, liquid dye squeezed onto them, then the fabric was gently pressed to distribute the dyes and increase the chances of some interesting color interaction.

Dyes were sprayed onto this one... think this is a very cool one...

These next two were made by twisting the fabric using a pencil eraser as the twister. Forming the circular shape took a little help when it got to be too much for the eraser. Once the circular shape was set,  liquid dyes were squeezed onto the fabric working from the center out, then the fabric was pressed to distribute the dyes and to create the color interplay.

Well, that's it for now. Busy designing quilts in my head that would make best use of these beauties. Will keep you posted.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fabric Dyeing 101 - for me anyway...

Spent 2 days with my dear friend and frequent mentor Beverly in her dye studio in VA. We created some beautiful fabrics and I learned so much about the process, the experimentation and the fun of it.
Here are some of my results. I used regular PFD and some sateen, not sure if you'll be able to tell but I'll describe how each one was created. We used ProChem's MX Fiber Reactive dyes on 100% cotton.

These two are folded, pressed between small wooden boards, then clamped to provide a mechanical resist...

These four are sewn to fit tightly on a PVC pipe, then crinkled onto the pipe and placed in a dye bath while squished on the pole, no over-wrapping was involved. The wider, non patterned area on the last ones provides some matching fabric.


These two are fat quarters that were wrapped diagonally on the PVC pipe, then squished down to create the ripples. The bottom one was also dyed the day before with non-soda ash prep so that the colors washed out a bit and are softer.

These three are fat quarters wrapped and squished onto thick marine rope. This is my favorite fabric result.

These fat quarters were bunched then wrapped in tulle and rubber banded before going in the dye bath.

These two long quarters were dyed without a soda ash dip, dried, then stitched and scrunched onto PVC pipes before they went into their second dye bath.

This last fat quarter surprised us with how well it came out. Whiffle balls were covered with fabric, then tightly rubber banded before going into the dye bath.

A lot of fun! What I hadn't realized was how much preparation of the fabric was needed before the fabric got near the dye bath.

We also did some ice, tray and coil dyeing. They're coming in the mail as we ran out of time - can't wait to see them.

Very pleased with the results and ready to tackle more dyeing as well as more fun techniques in my new dye studio in the basement. Have the used restaurant sink and the used washer all installed, ready to get going - such fun!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Amazing Exhibit of Quilts at Washington's DAR Museum

In MD visiting friends and made a trip into the city today to see the antique quilt exhibit at the DAR Museum, right near the White House. Titled "Eye on Elegance" the exhibit features amazing applique, Broderie Perse style and Album style quilts from Maryland and Virginia from the 1800's. The exhibit runs through September 2015, so you have plenty of time to visit! And, it's free...

Here are a few, many with extensive trapunto (boutis) and teeny tiny hand quilting stitches.

This delectable mountain one was hard to walk away from, just mind boggling.

Traveling to VA tomorrow to stay with a judge friend. We'll be spending some serious time dyeing fabric, including pole wrapping of all varieties. She's even asked me to bring some heavy chains which Bob kindly donated from his garage collection, he's still shaking his head. Can't wait to see what we're going to do to that!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tribute to Yoga - Rebecca's quilt

Just finished up quilting Rebecca's quilt, an original design, each block fun to explore. I need to ask her the meaning of each motif when she comes by to pick it up.

She selected the digital pattern "Mermaid Fingers" for the quilting, a great choice. It supports her modern quilt theme and gives her block motif format some visual movement as well as a bit of whimsy.

Some close-ups of the blocks... Enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sandy's Beautiful Applique Quilt - Complete

Just finished Sandy's big and beautiful applique quilt. Two weeks and two cones of Superior So Fine later, I'm very pleased with the way it came out.

When I design the quilting on a quilt this large and detailed, I take a full view picture of it, print it up in black and white in 8" x 11", then design the major design areas on an overlay of tissue paper .

SID around all the applique took about 2 days but is a step that I strong believe gives the applique the emphasis is deserves. I also stitch within the applique in matching thread ,as I'm not a fan of the shine of  monofilament, to give the applique further dimension.

Here's a close-up of "Sherry's Swirls", a fill pattern designed by Sherry Rogers Harrison before her Inklique days, that I remembered from years ago. She was kind enough of draw it out on her phone for me and send it along when I bugger her about it.

Added some  pearls to the McTavishing in this area for more variety for the quilt and for me.

All the background fills and feathers were stitched out freehand.

Hope you've enjoyed these pixs of Sandy's quilt. Can't wait for her to come see it .