Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Slice Of The Quilt

I signed up to participate in a group quilt. There are 16 slices in this quilt.
Each of us were sent a picture to interpret in our own way.

This is my finished quilt and the original photo.

It is not a phtographic style reproduction. It is my interpretation of the photo and I am hoping it will play well with the other 15 quilts.

Time will tell!

It is winging it's way south to the organizer of this slice quilt.

Friday, April 29, 2011

We Found Lena's In The Ocala Forest

I set out with friends today to find a restaurant we had heard good things about.

Everything we heard was true.

Between our party we sampled Clam Cakes, Clam Chowder, Fried Grouper, Fried Lobster,
French Fries and 2 different kinds of onion rings.
The opinion of our party - We'd all go back again. Everything was excellent - and that statement is coming from someone who generally doesn't like deep fried food!
Sorry there are no food photos. We all dove in as soon as the food appeared and we'd cleaned our plates before I remembered I should have taken pictures!

After we ate we decided to do a little exploring and took a road off the main road and found this lake. It was Church Lake and the big white building you see is the church.

We also found this boat launch site on the Ocklawaha River. I'd love to take a ride down the river some time. You can go quite a distance. I think it would be a great lazy Sunday boat ride - it I had a boat!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quilts Radiating From The Center

What is the reason behind this post?
I'm not sure whether it was Judi Yakab's Mandalas she snow dyed that made me thing radiating?
Or could it be that I think some of my most exciting quilts radiate from a center point?

I do find this interesting as I consider myself an asymmetrical designer and yet these are some of my favorite most successful quilts in my opinion.

It is amazing I ever finished piecing this quilt. I can't tell you how many times I lost/misplaced pieces of it and there was no more of the fabric available.
Yes, I am studying this quilt to decide how I would like to quilt it to enhance the design. That may take a while!

This could have been the entire quilt if I had not found all the pieces. It includes a lot of hand applique so it travelled with me to many different places.

It was my attempt to create this quilt in hand dyed fabric.

This is one of my most successful quilts and is a prize winning quilt. Everyone who sees it, quilter or not, stops, looks, studies it and comments.

Here is another work in progress. I am also waiting for it to tell me how to finish it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Slice Quilt Palette

I am part of a group that is making a slice quilt.
For those of you who don't recognize this term I'll explain it.

A group of quilters each make a part of a quilt from a picture that is provided to them. they use their own fabrics and techniques.
When the "slices" are put together they form the complete image.

This is the palette of fabrics I have selected to make my portion. It does not mean I will use each and every one, not does it mean I will not add others.

It is just the beginning.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Colorful PC Bracelets - My Other Passion

I have shared some of my polymer clay work on this blog. Most of it has been amulets and my bowls.

I have also used it for many items of jewelry, plaques and even on my quilts.

I'd like to share some of my bracelets today.

They are so much fun to make and so lightweight to wear. Like my quilts, they are all about color and creativity.

I have 3 basic styles I make -
1. Beads
2. Bands
3. Slinky style- my own invention

I have used a variety of different polymer clay beads on each of these bracelets. On each one I have alternated with small beads from my collection of vintage and antique beads to set off the polymer beads.

These band bracelets are made on an aluminum form. I wear one or more of these at a time, often combining them or adding other bracelets I own.

These are some of my slinky style bracelets.

Another view of some of the slinky style bracelets.

Most of these are in my own private collection.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Contemplating, Cogitating, Considering, Pondering - Crystal Clear

This is a work I started a few years ago.

This is a closeup which allows you to see the detail better. Click on the photo and it will become larger so you can see it more clearly. I left it larger than normal.

I painted the fabric in layers, not knowing what would happen to the lower layers.
I cut out and layered the serendipitous shapes and hand stitched them to a base.

The last hand stitch has been taken and now it is time to reflect on what has happened to this point and decide where to go from here with the quilting.

1. Hand or machine?

2. Maybe this doesn't even need quilting? Maybe it is done? Is that what it is telling me?

3. Should I stop now?

4. Should I finish it with a facing to give it a soft edge?

5. Will quilting take away from what is already there?

As I type away these thoughts come into my head. Thanks for being there so I can talk to you and think and ponder.

6. Should I mount it on stretcher frames?

7. Should I finish the edge with a soft facing and then attach it to a painted stretcher frame by stitching it to the canvas?

8. Should I add a picture frame frame to the canvas?

Yes, there are a lot of options available and I believe that is why it is still a work in progress.

It needed this time and I needed this time to decide the best way to finish it.

While I still am not sure what I will do with it, I am beginning to get a clearer picture.

That picture seems to be ruling out quilting - both hand and machine and even irregular tacking stitches visible on the top.

It also is pointing in the direction of mounting on a painted canvas.

I am so hoping there is a canvas size available that this will create a perfect marriage with as far as proportion.

So there you have it - these are my current thoughts. This is how my mind works and the thought process I use to make decisions.

If you know me well, you also know tomorrow I may change my ideas and come up with a newer and hopefully better solution to this dilemma!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter! The Year I Wasn't Going To Decorate For Easter!

After my big production to decorate for the Garden Club Christmas tour I was burned out on decorating and made up my mind I wouldn't decorate for each and every holiday.

When I was having the class reunion here I decided I had to get out the marble eggs I bought the last time I got together with these girlfriends about 4 years ago.

Well one thing led to another and .............

and another..............

and another..............

and another.......................

and another....................


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sunrise - Sunset Quilt -Quilting Is Finished

I made some time today to finish quilting my Sunrise-Sunset Potato Chip quilt today.

There was a very good craft fair not far from here and I had planned to go. Then I said to myself "Kay, you certainly don't need to buy anything. Kay, you don't need any more inspiration for your art. Kay, you don't really want to fight the crowds after you spend too long looking for a place to park. Kay, you really don't enjoy being outside in 90 degree weather."

I think when I got to the 90 degrees I knew I'd be happier home in the AC!.

I alternated quilting with other activities that are not as enjoyable - laundry, loading the dishwasher, straightening the house, putting things away and working on my eBay auctions. OK - I admit I also spent a little time on the computer.

But, the quilting is done. I have left this photo super large so you can click on it and see the quilting up close and personal!

The only thing left to do is trim the edges to square it up, bind it, add a casing to the back and sign it.

I have been facing most of my quilts but binding is the best finish for this one. I do a great job binding a quilt, and it sure is quicker than facing!

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Ideas For Mandalas

I am going to use this post to add ideas as they come to me.

1. I think this would make a fantastic garment front lining. You could make a very conservative jacket. Then you could open it to show the lining and really WOW your friends.

2. Quilt idea: Start with a mandala for the center of your quilt. Add borders and blocks around it. Use Judy's snow dyed fabrics, another mandala which you cut up to use in the blocks and some of her regular hand dyed fabrics. It will be spectacular.

3. ??? What will I think of next?


Snow Dyed Mandalas - Paducah Quilt Show - FAIR WARNING

If you are going to the quilt show in Paducah make this your first stop. Judi does this as a one person operation, so while she has been dyeing like crazy to get ready for the show, she still will only have a limited number of these. When they are gone, they are gone.

I previously mentioned that my friend Judi Yakab would have these snow dyed Mandalas available for sale at the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, Kentucky.
She will be selling at the Finkle Building in downtown Paducah from April 26-30th.
That means you can go see her before the other vendors open on Wednesday, as she will be starting to sell on Tuesday.

I was fortunate to be able to purchase these mandalas from her.
No one else has mastered snow dyeing to the level she has. Look carefully at this piece and you can see the textures, shapes and water color effects she has achieved.
They are 36" x 42" and sell for $25. That is a great value for the money.

These make wonderful whole cloth quilts or wall hangings.
Any parent would be thrilled if you made their baby a quilt with one of these.

But that is NOT the only thing you can do with them.
The textures are so great that you can cut them up and use them for applique or piecing.

I have a great idea for you for using these if you are afraid to cut into them.

Take photos of the pieces you buy and then print them each out to fill a sheet of paper.

1. You can place tracing paper over them to trace shapes. You may want shapes to use in piecing or applique.

2. You can also cut up the paper and play with placement of the pieces you cut it into.
a. You could cut an entire mandala into horizontal strips. You could cut a second mandala into vertical strips. Then you could weave the two together. What an exciting quilt that would make.
b. Use one whole mandala for the center of a quilt. Cut a second in half vertically and put one half on each side of the whole mandala. Cut a third in half horizontally and place one half on top and the other half on the bottom of the whole mandala. Cut a fourth in quarters and fill in the corners with these quarters.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for ideas to use these.

I would also suggest you think about buying some of her other snow dyed fabrics, as well as her regular dyed fabrics to use with these. You'll thank me later for suggesting you get some of her other fabrics to use with your mandalas.

My suggestion is buy 1-2 or more yards of her other fabrics to go with each mandala. The quality and texture of the fabric she dyes is wonderful to sew with.

What ideas do you think of when you see them?
Please share in the comments section.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch Return

I haven't been doing my job like I should recently.
In Florida it is the responsibility of ladies to lunch!
I'll start to try harder because it is one of the best jobs anyone could hope for.

I enjoyed the company of my neighbors Jane and Betty at B D Beans for lunch. I feel so lucky to have such great neighbors.

My salad was out of the world great.
The Summer Salad features mixed greens, marinated artichoke, sun dried tomato, fresh tomato, walnuts, coconut and blue cheese. It is topped off with their special mango vinaigrette. I had this once before and it was even better than I remembered.

Betty and Jane had avocado's stuffed with an assortment of salads and a cup of soup. They too were very pleased with their meals.

We sat at the large table in the last room. It looked like we could have been eating on a modern quilt.

As we were leaving I spotted this yellow lamp. I had to take a picture of it and it's surroundings. Let me tell you, this place makes my house look absolutely conservative!!!!!!

It is always fun to see how they have added to or changed the decor and the food is always excellent.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quilting - It's NOT All About Me

We have a quilting group in the community I live in.
Wednesday is our meeting day.

Today we had a special treat.

Nancy Burkholder gave us a presentation on the trip she took with Ricky Timms and Alex Anderson to Africa. She did a great job. I was very impressed with the things they saw.

After her slide presentation she showed us some fabrics and beads she brought back with her.

Would you believe these were my favorite two fabrics?

Even though today wasn't our official show and tell meeting Carol Walker brought along this purse she had just made and also the pieces from the second one she was working on. She thinks of everything and made so great innovations beyond the pattern.

A sub group of our quilt group enjoy doing new and innovative things. They try many different ideas. This is the April bulletin board showing their projects. I left the photo even larger than normal so you can get a better view of individual items when you click on it to enlarge it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Guess I Still Am Teaching Quilting!

I just got an email from a former student in Wisconsin along with a photo of the quilt she made with my Potato Chip Quilt tutorial.

This is the quilt Mary Koster made from the tutorial.
It is really lovely and I am sure the recipient will be thrilled with it.

This is what she had to say:
Here’s my go at making one of these. My daughter needed a “quick Quilt” for a gift and picked out the colors….I used a BALI POP pack “green tea” ... this worked out great as there are 40 strips in a pack and I only need 38! I would have used something bolder as the little inset pieces but she wanted it all to “blend” . And I added a 3.5 inch border of the same fabric to make it just a “tad bit” bigger. It was fun to watch the top change colors as you cut and sewed and cut sewed the strips. I will most definitely make this again…a great way to use up fabric orphans!!! Are you amazed who views your web site!!! Thanks for this great idea! Now to find the time to quilt it! Mary ( the colors are truly lovely…these photos do not do justice….but it’s a gray gloomy day in Wisconsin…so this is as good as it gets!! )

I did a little editing to make the photo a little brighter. The colors are as close as I could get to the Bali Pop I viewed on line. Since everyone's monitor sees color a little differently I hope this does the quilt justice.

I'm so glad when I see/saw the work my students do.

My eBay Auctions - April 17-24th, 2011

For those who asked this is a direct link to my eBay sales this week.

They are all clothing - Blue fish, Oh My Gauze and ME.

All in very good, excellent, like new, NWOT and New with Tag condition.

This post will only remain up through April 24th when the auctions close.

Let Your Quilts Rest To See Them In A New Light

It is so hard to evaluate your own work when you are so personally involved in it.
Yesterday I posted two older works, one finished and one still in progrss.

When I looked at the photos I thought "Gee those are really well designed, good balance, good mixture of colors and textures and a great overall layout."

I tell my students if they don't like something, put it away for 6 months (or more) and when you take it out you'll see it with fresh eyes.

I guess I have to listen to my own advice more often.

I can't say that each and everything I do looks great when I go back to them, but for the most part they do.

My years of working with design in various mediums and making quilts came together at different times to make the work I never thought I'd be doing.

If you are a beginning quilter and sometimes become discouraged, there is hope for all of you.

Take classes from the best, visit art shows even if you have no desire to make art quilts, and most importantly - DO THE WORK.

If you still aren't happy with your work even after you've adhered to the 6 month quilt vacation rule, find someone you respect to critique it.

The quilts I've shown you on this post are some of the ones I have appreciated more after the time away from them. They vary in size from small to very large.

They are shown in no particular order.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Potato Chip Quilt - My Friend's Adventure

Kay Webb, a friend of mine is making a bed size Potato Chip Quilt.

She had a collection of strips a friend had given her.
She figured out how to get a quilt the size she wanted.

Then she checked the size of her strips and found out that instead of 2 1/2" they were only 2".

That didn't stop her.

This is the beginning of her quilt. The blue dot fabric is her spacers.
She started by sewing a spacer to the end of each strip of fabric.

When I last heard from her earlier today she had a strip 2346 inches and that was early afternoon. She intends to keep going until she runs out of spacer strips. She is making a bed size quilt and may have enough to also make shams!

Way to go Kay. We'll stay tuned.

She is going to have so much fun sewing this together from her long, long long starter strip!!!!!!!!!!

Peacock Fan Quilt

Although I constructed this quilt some time ago, it is on my design wall now so I can study it and decide how I am going to quilt it.

I have been leaning towards simple quilting lately, but I know this one will need a lot more detail and variety in the quilting design.

This is another version of the same quilt.
The fans are not in the same position on each quilt.
I chose an arrangement that is balanced by the colors and designs of the blocks.

I taught this as a sampler fan class. I designed and drafted all the patterns.
This one was quilted by hand. I will NOT be doing that with the new one!
The quilts even include some hand applique.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Potato Chip Quilt - Quilting In Progress

I started quilting the Potato Chip quilt yesterday.
I alternated working on it with other things I wanted to accomplish.
The quilting is two thirds done.
I am totally enjoying doing the quilting.

I think you can see the quilting pattern better in this photo. If you click on the photo it will show you a much larger version of the quilt and you will be able to see the quilting even better.
I am using irregular wavy lines to quilt it.
I have quilted part of it from one side and part from the other side. I will now alternate directions until I meet in the middle.
I'll keep careful watch so the quilting does meet in the middle.

Those curvy lines are so relaxing to do.
I use the even feed foot on my machine and it feeds all the layers through at the same rate without any effort on my part.

I have a feeling that even though today is a very busy day I may complete the quilting on it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Layering A Quilt - Tutorial - I Do It My Way!

There are as many ways to layer a quilt as there are ways to raise a child!

I only have a limited amount of space to layer quilts here so I came up with what I think is a unique way to layer my quilts that are over 42 inches.

I use the peninsula on my kitchen counter and I pull my cutting table up to it.

They are not the same height but the inch difference has not been a problem.

I cut the backing for a quilt about 2" larger than the quilt top on each side.

I start by putting the backing wrong side up on the counter and table.
I tape it down with blue painters tape stretching it so it is flat and there are no tucks. I try to use the edge of the counter and table to keep it straight. I have found with this method I don't get tucks in my backing when I quilt it.

On top of this I put the batting. To get wrinkles out of the batting I either iron it or let it tumble in the dryer on warm for about a half hour.
If I iron it I keep the iron slightly above the batting and let the steam do the work.
On the rare occasion I use polyester batting I do not iron it. I tumble it in the dryer.

I smooth the batting over the backing. I tape only the corners of the batting down.

On top of this I put the quilt top, right side up.
I pin all the layers together with either brass safety pins or straight pins with the flower heads.

When I finish pinning the layers together I am ready to take off the tape and take it to my sewing machine to quilt it.

This method can be done in a minimum amount of time.
Then I can get on with the quilting which is one of the things I love to do on the sewing machine.
It gives the quilt depth, and complements the piecing I have done.