Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Progress

 I'm thinking that all of my posts should be called In Progress.  I certainly don't seem to have many finishes!

The first photo is of the appliquéd oak reel quilt.  Most of the first oak leaf/acorn wreath has been hand quilted.  There are 3 more wreaths to quilt after this one and then I'm doing 1" diagonals in the background.  A long term project has been made even longer because I had one entire wreath quilted and then decided that I didn't like it and ripped it out.  I'm not sure that I like this one either, but I would like to get this quilt done so that I can actually start another one, so it gets left in and we'll see how it looks when it's done.

This photo is of the first 4 months of a really fun free appliqué BOM from Pearl Pereira's website.  I have the 5th block prepped and have started leaves...   I have really enjoyed making these tropical flowers in batiks.  Since these are more complex patterns than I've done before, I've been making some changes to make the blocks a bit easier to appliqué, but overall it's been a good project and I'm learning a lot.  I will use a bit of embroidery and maybe some beads on these blocks and put them together with some bright sashing.  They will be lovely when finished.   

Monday, June 18, 2012

Folk Art Fantasy finish

A finish!  It is about 24 x 36 and was started in a class with Karen Kay Buckley.  It is her pattern.  I finished the appliqué last week and hand quilted around the applique and the diamond pattern in the background.  I even labeled it and put a sleeve on the back.  It also reminded me how much I liked to hand quilt, so even though I did another appliquéd tropical flower yesterday, I have re-started hand quilting the full-size green/white appliqué quilt that I started last year.  Hopefully it will be done in time for the guild quilt show next April.  This was a fun project and easily do-able by anyone, so it was a great class project.    

Virginia's and April's Applique Quilts

 These gorgeous applique quilts are from Virginia and April's presentation on Friday at guild.  They are guild members who graciously allowed us a look at their collection.  There were many pieced quilts too, but I love the appliqué!  If I got it right, the first  broderie perse and the fifth baltimore were made by Virginia.  (I am looking for a spectacular fabric pattern to make my own Tree of Life broderie perse...)  The sixth was made by April and the others were purchased for their collection.  The last appliqued quilt is from the early 1800s and was brought by Chip to show off.  They were wonderful to see up close.

The hand quilting was spectacular.  Many of them were quilted so heavily that there was no more than 1/4" between the lines.  I really love the    simple diagonal lines in many of them.  It really sets off the appliqué.  Enjoy the Show!   

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Doings

 I have finished the appliqué for the Karen Kay Buckley project.  I put a narrow green batik border on the project, used wool batting, and have it safety pinned together, ready for hand quilting.  I have started hand quilting around the appliqué and have marked diagonal lines for the background.  I think it will look nice when it's done.  My fingers hurt though.
 These bowls of rocks are going to be bases for a series of baskets.  The rounded black and dark gray stones are from a Lake Superior beach near AuTrain.  I used Easy Cast, an acrylic 2 part casting epoxy type material to make the bases.  They are pretty thick so I suspect they will take 3 or 4 days to dry.  Then I will have the base drilled for #3 round reed and make some baskets.
And finally, a clean pond!  The green algae had gotten out of hand and I missed the sound of  running water on the deck.  I dragged the willow out and between the monstrous root mass, including a few bricks and some rocks entrained in them, and the green algae hanging everywhere, it bore a strong resemblance to the monster from the Black Lagoon.  It was also very heavy.  I had to prune it back and anchor it into place when it went back into the pond.  I'm still arranging the rocks too, but the otter is once again in place.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

An Opportunity for AAQI, Your Help is Needed!

Daniel J. Andoni, a Flint attorney, pledges 3% of his net profits to a local charity each month.  Instead of deciding which deserving nonprofit gets his donation, he uses crowd sourcing: visitors to his website cast their votes for one of 5 charities each month.  The one with the most votes at the end of the month wins the donation.  The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is one of the charities listed for June.  AAQI is off to a fabulous start, but it's the charity with the most votes at the end of the month that wins.  Every Vote Counts!  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Stuff Since March

Although I have not been blogging, that does not mean that I haven't been busy.   Spring is always an impossible time for me and this year has not been any exception.  The gardens are planted, we have been traveling, and I'm working, taking classes, and quilting.  H is baking bread.  The youngest is graduated and off on his Grand Adventure.  The others are working, going to school and in general, happy and healthy.  We are so fortunate.

The Lone Star is quilted and bound.  I freehanded it on the long arm and made many, many mistakes.   I frogged 1/2 of it twice, once for a tension problem and the other because I didn't have enough sense to not use white thread on red fabric...  I used masking
tape as a guide for the crosshatch and it is wobbly.  Next time, it will be a straight edge.  I did buy some oval templates and put a swag on the border with them, so it was a learning experience all the way around.  

Applique class with Karen Kay Buckley was yesterday.  I learned an alternative to needle turn and though I don't know if I will use starch and template plastic often, it is good to understand the technique.     I'm going to try and get this finished this next week.

The Crabapple Hill redwork birds are coming along.   It has taken 2 full skeins of perle cotton to finish these nine.  Nine down, three left to go, fortunately I have another 2 skeins of red cotton.  These will look much nicer when pressed.  They have been wadded up in my bag for most of the month.       
Isn't this just the coolest piece?  I saw photo of this nine block antique quilt in a book and decided I had to have one too.  The flowers are huge, 24" across, so it really makes a statement.  I made a paper template for the flower and freehand cut out some leaves and a center.   I had enough of the red to appliqué this one, but now can't find more of this red and I love it.  I've been looking for a month and it doesn't seem to be available anymore.  It is a Moda solid, though the color looks somewhat mottled, but not the Bella, so I will probably make this one a wall hanging and start over with a different red.  I'm considering taking it to guild and asking if anyone has any of this fabric...

Another class...this one on asymmetric blocks and all the ways that they can be arranged to make different patterns.   I'm not loving this and I'm not sure why, maybe just the pink and white color scheme...  The pattern is interesting though.  I'm not sure why I see a swirly pattern when they are just blocks and triangles.  I have more of the deep rose color for a border.  I'll quilt it on the long arm for practice and then it will be a donation or maybe given to the neighbor who admired it last week.
We went to Kansas City to the International Quilt Market in May!  I was totally overwhelmed.  We handed out business cards, checked prices for batting, ate barbecue, and I met the ladies behind the Blackbird Design label.  They were charming and gave me the tiny charm pack of their new fabric line that is sitting on the box.  It will make a great little doll quilt.  I thanked them  for writing all these books that I seem to have to have...LOL.  I bought some fun stuff...I loved the batiks.  They are from the Ivory Coast.  They will make fabulous medallion quilts.  The basket is handmade by a women's co-op in Ghana, the Valdani variegated perle cottons are beautiful, and the pattern is a pieced wallhanging of birds on a limb with the words..."Faith is the bird that feels the light, when dawn is still dark".  I know someone who will enjoy this piece when I get it made.   

This is a free BOM from Pearl Periera's website.  I am using really bright batiks to make her lovely tropical flowers.  These are fun to appliqué and I'll have enough for a real quilt by the end of the year.  The pieces on the right are cut out for hibiscus and for a bird of paradise on the left.  I'll probably use embroidery and beads on these.   I have another BOM coming from a shop in Baton Rouge too.  Those blocks are paper pieced flowers with black shadowing.  Though I have 4 months or so of patterns and fabric, they will have to wait until I have finished a couple other projects.  

This was my Memorial Day weekend project.  I have been wanting to make a liberated asterisk quilt for a while, and my ruler needed a break after the Lone Star, so it seemed like a good project.  The blocks are all batiks with a lime green solid.  I have to finish it up tonight and then it will be off to the long arm for more practice.

Looking back over this post makes me remember why I love this craft...I can, and often do, do completely different things every day and still be happily quilting...