Friday, March 30, 2012

Something Bothered Me About Yesterday's Quilt

I took out a few seams and fixed it.

Do you see what I changed?

I wasn't bothered with the problem area when I looked at the quilt itself.

When I photographed it and put in on the blog I could really see where there was a problem.

One of my best tools when designing is my digital camera.

This quilt is about 21" wide and 18" high.

I will quilt it and finish it with a facing, rather than a binding.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Newest Hand Dyed Quilt

This is the 5th quilt I have pieced from the fabrics I have dyed this season.

I am finding the fabrics all play well together, but they aren't matchy matchy.

As I worked with the fabrics, some left from previous work, it developed into a piece I am quite pleased with.

This image reminded me of an Umbrella tree so I cut it to isolate it from the larger piece of fabric. The larger piece was originally a dye rag.

You might think I started with this image, but I actually started composing this from the lower edge. Many parts of it were dictated by the size of the pieces of each fabric I had. Of course I had to make it into a cohesive and attractive creation.
This piece just seems to be made for a puzzle!Click to Mix and Solve

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Potato Chip Quilt - Jewel Of The Night

Although this is not the official name from the creator, it is what the quilt suggested to me when I first saw it.

This is the third (yes I said 3rd) bed size Potato Chip quilt made by Cassandra Philpot.

One thing I think we can learn as we view this quilt is the fact that creating this quilt is another tool to add to our arsenal of designing quilts.

We do NOT need a specific number or quantity of fabrics.

We only need to make a very very very long strip by sewing a lot of different fabric together. Then we can follow the directions and start sewing the ends together as my tutorial explains.

It is also interesting that she has used quite a variety of types of fabrics - solids, stripes, florals, geometrics, etc. She has also used a wide variety of colors. I think this is what gives it the jewel like quality.

After I came up with this name, I went to her blog. I found out she is a glass blower who creates gorgeous colorful beads. That explains a lot.

She also has added borders to get the size she wants from these quilts. Clever lady!

I hope you can't stop at just one when you create your first Potato Chip Quilt.

This is what she had to say when she sent me the picture of the quilt:
It was late, the night was dark, everybody else has gone to bed, but the quilt had to be photographed just the same! Another top ready to quilt. The local quilt group I belong to, Queanbeyan Quilters Inc, has a Members' Exhibition at the end of April so this may be one of the quilts I show there. By this point, I was indiscriminately cutting into all my trimmings from quilt edges post quilting to match/complement a bundle of 3" strips a friend had given away. I like the effect of a larger colour block with the 3" cut strips. Less narrow stripe, more of a good view.
( )
Cassandra lives in Australia.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Snazzy Jazzy Colored Quilt

When life gives you scraps, make quilts.
When life gives you "many" scraps, make huge quilts.

By the time I get the borders on this quilt it will be a generous king size.

I did not set out to make a king size quilt.
I only wanted to use up some scraps in a basket. It's amazing how far the scraps will go sometimes. This is a great way to use up all those scraps from a variety of different fabrics. The 4 black and white prints pull the whole thing together.

I made wonky log cabin blocks and then cut them in 4 pieces. I sewed 4 different quarters together to create blocks. I added black and white prints to each edge to unify them further.

I DO love this quilt.

When I finished this quilt the scrap bin was still almost as full as when I started.
That is the great mystery that only a quilter can understand.

I have a pretty good idea what I am going to do for the borders. I expect to use a black and white border, a border pieced from more of my scraps and a final wider black and white border.

I've added a puzzle to this post for all of you who love to do the puzzles.
Click to Mix and Solve

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Red Sea Returns!

Yesterday was our annual Wisconsin Picnic. My camera never made it out of my purse so I do not have photos to show you from this year.
Of course I would never do a blog post without a picture.

My contribution to The Sea Of Red was to wear a red shirt and a red bracelet and carry this red purse!

It is always good to catch up with Wisconsin friends I may not have seen here all year. Of course each year I also meet some new people from Wisconsin.

Although the attendance was down this year, I still enjoyed seeing the pepole who did make it.

Bratwurst is served and the meal is complete with a pot luck of dishes prepared by those of us from Wiscosin. Wisconsin people know how to cook!

I'm using the classic puzzle cut for a true American (and Wisconsin) classic!
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Color, Colour, COLOR!!! Lucious Gorgeous Yarn

I think my car has been reading the email messages on my computer.
I got in the car this morning and it took me right to The Yarn Lady to shop her March Madness 1 day sale!

I headed right for the Malabrigo Rasta and found these 4 skeins of some more of their luscious colors.

Then I headed to the Malabrigo Arroyo sport weight yarn. This will make great socks or other items. I just can't get enough of these colors.

Next I headed to the back of the store where the odd balls and closeouts are further reduced. I found these 6 skeins of Paintbox. They are all different. I find using odd balls is a great way for to make my creative juices flow to create unique projects.

I also found 4 odd balls of Noro Kureyon, one of my favorite yarns.

Lastly some odd skeins with colors that attracted me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh, Pretty Dye Rags - No It's Art Fabrics

These two before fabrics created "walls" on the edges of a piece of fabric I was dyeing on a sheet of plastic. They prevented the dye from running off the edges of the fabric and plastic and all over the table and down to the floor. I also got some great dye rags from this process.



I am so pleased with this piece I am considering using it as a whole cloth quilt.
Much of the coloration and patterning from the dye rag is still evident.



On this piece I lost a lot of the definition from the dye rag. I believe it is because I shibori dyed it with a very strong black concentration. I am quite sure I will be cutting this up and using sections of it in some of my future compositions.

There is no way to really predict exactly what is going to happen when you work this way, so you have to be willing to go with the flow and possibly learn a little from it.

I do keep records of the amounts of dyes I use, but it can also be affected by what else is in the bucket with it and also the fabric you are using.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Faux Mobius Cowl

I had knit a similar cowl before with the same yarn.
This time I was able to make a few changes to make it SO much easier to knit.
I used a circular needle to knit this.

The yarn I used was Malabrigo Rasta, a Kettle Dyed Pure Merino wool.
I would consider it super bulky weight.
I absolutely LOVE this yarn and the colors it comes in.

It takes me more than twice as long to purl as it does to knit.
I figured out a way to do all the stitches with knitting.
I feel so smug and smart. Maybe you've already figured this out, but I've never seen any directions that do this.

I think I could knit this in 6-8 hours - start to finish - or maybe less. I do my knitting in bits and pieces of time. I started it last night after dinner and finished it at lunch time today knitting in small bits of time here and there.

It's a little late to wear something like this this year, but I have a head start on next winter!

It still needs blocking to stretch it both lengthwise and crosswise, but I was so anxious to share it with you I couldn't wait to show you.

It can be worn as a single wrap around the neck, a double wrap around the neck or worn wrapped around the head.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creating ART Fabric From Dye Rags

Using a dye rag to create art is quite different than intentionally underdying or underpainting cloth to create finished art.

When working with dyes even the most careful dyer has spill to wipe up. It you use fabric instead of wasting paper towels you will have the beginning of some wonderful finished art cloth.

I often soda soak the fabric to keep the spills from washing out and continue to use the cloth until I feel it is ripe for overdyeing, or possibly even use it as is.

I loved the serendipitous patterns created on this dye rag.

I trimmed this part to fit in a frame. When I started dyeing fabrics this year I decided to over dye it since it had not been treated with soda ash. I created three finished pieces from the original dye rag.

This section was my favorite. I knew I wouldn't be able to save it as it was, so I did a shibori overdye on it and while I lost something I also gained something.

It is not particularly evident which section of the original fabric this came from, but it is a wonderful piece of fabric that I will use in a composition.

Here we see more subtle background patterning. It will also make a great addition to something I create.

This is the most subtle shibori overdye, while keeping the strongest original image. I have already found the place I think I will use this.

Maybe if you study these further you will be able to determine which section of the original dye rag they came from.

I'm sharing a challenging puzzle with you today. I hope you enjoy it and get some brain exercise!
Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, March 19, 2012

Corel Draw and Photo Paint - Experimenting To Learn How To Do Something

For the most part I am self taught using Corel Draw and Corel Photo Paint.
I do NOT usually set out to make something specific happen.

The serendipitous things that happen when I "play" with it are often another kind of "seed" to create something.

Today I was trying to make something specific happen as I wanted to show a group of fabrics in a circular format after I arrange and photograph them.

I played with a photo I had in my files.

I was able to crop a circle from the center of the design with much experimenting.
I am not quite sure how I did this so it will be another experiment next time I want to do it. The advantage is I know I CAN do it!

I used both Draw and Paint to make this happen.

Now I will have to create this effect after photographing the fabrics I want to do this with before I totally forget everything I discovered!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Azaleas Are/Were Back!

The flowers barely last a week.
I know - I post photos of them every year....
They were at their peak about March 7th which is the earliest it has ever been.

I love them and they are the most colorful thing in the yard all year.

I just LOVE the color. I can't get enough of them.

It is interesting to compare when they bloom each year.
In 2011 I missed taking a picture as I was at Focus on Fiber, which means the peak was around St. Patricks Day.
In 2010 they were in full bloom on April 2.
In 2009 they were at their peak on March 16th, but the bushes were still relatively small.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Good Bye

I hated to see Joe and Sue leave this morning.

They were great company and it was SO good to see them after almost 4 years.

We kept busy quilting, cooking, eating out and working. The weather was beautiful while they were here.

They were both such a help and spoiled me rotten!

Joe did so many things around the house that needed doing. Most were things I wasn't even aware of. We went to Lowe's almost every day.

Sue kept the house neat (Joe did too) and even washed the outside of my kitchen cupboards and cleaned the inside of some of them.

I threatened to turn off their alarm clock this morning so they would miss their plane and have to stay!

You've already seen the great quilt top Sue made - her very first.

I just heard from them and they made it safely home to Minnesota.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Small "Quilts"

These may or may not qualify as "quilts".
They are pieced, hand quilted and have a purpose.
However, you could not cover up and keep warm under them!

I designed this for Country Woman magazine years ago. It was designed as an inset for a sweatshirt. I inset it into a heather gray sweatshirt. The sweatshirt wore out but the "quilt" is still in excellent shape. It is machine pieced and hand quilted.

This was also constructed to inset into a garment. It is also machine pieced and hand quilted. I have not set it into a garment yet.

You don't have to sew this together but you can put the pieces together in far less time than it took me to piece and quilt it!
Click to Mix and Solve

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sue's Potato Chip Quilt Top is Finished

Sue didn't let any grass grow under her feet.
Her quilt top is finished.

It looks great. It's hard to believe she has never made a quilt before.
It finished at about 54 by 64 inches.

She did a fantastic job of keeping the strips in line as she sewed and there was almost nothing to trim off the edges to be sure the top was squared off.

She will finish it when she leaves here and gets home.

You can appreciate Sue's quilt more as you put the puzzle together.
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sue's Potato Chip Quilt Fabrics

Sue has never made a quilt before. She is a quick learner and is competent on sewing on a machine.

She wanted to learn so I cut fabrics for her.

She learned how to make sure they would work together as you can see here.

She them mixed them up and is already at the machine sewing them together along with vibrant red spacer squares.

Stay tuned for more progress.

She is a very creative person and I'm thinking I may be turning her into a quilter!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Welcome To Florida!

Yesterday my long awaited guests arrived to visit.

It was so good to see my brother in law Joe and my sister in law Sue. It has been almost 4 years since we have seen each other.

We spent a lot of time yesterday trying to catch up on the last 4 years - a lot more to catch up on still.

Dinner last night was at the Margarita Republic right off the Spanish Springs Square at The Villages. We enjoyed the music from the square.

Today Joe is finding all kinds of things to do around the house that I never realize need doing! I think I'll keep them!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh! WOW! Beautiful Shibori Fabrics

Earlier this week I finished over 30 pieces of shibori fabrics of various sizes.

I am sharing some of the fabrics that you saw when I had just done the underpainting.

I think it is quite obvious that this one is a triangle fold.

I got some pleasant surprises when I opened it.
There was some delicate texture within the triangles.

This is another one of the pieces I showed a few days ago hanging on the line drying.

This also is one of the pieces you saw on the line the same day.

I will have more to show you on future posts.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

An Amazing Knitting Project - Knitting Finished

Yes, the knitting part is finished!

This is what it looks like right now.
It will be interesting to see if you can see the pattern once I cut it open and do some unravelling.

I rotated it a little and took another picture so you can see the design from a different side.

I know exactly what I am going to be doing with this to bind it off and cut it open. I did a small trial sample and have made the adjustments that have to be made.

Most likely I will not get this done right away. It is one of those activities that needs my full undivided attention. One mistake and all my work will be for naught.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mt. Dora Quilt Show

I had heard great things about the Mt. Dora Quilt Show for several years.

This quilt by Linda Green won Best Of Show.

The quilting on this quilt was amazing and complemented the design of the quilt. It certainly deserved Best Of show.

I asked several friends if they were going to be there.
I heard from almost all of them. I made plans to go to the show with Peggy Erlich and Jody Webb. I forgot to get a picture of the three of us at the show.

When I got there I knew I had to find the three friends who told me they would be there. With the help of some of the quilt guild hostesses I was able to find them all.

I found Linda Cole first. She was the easiest to find as she was giving a demo. I had someone take a picture of the two of us, but they must have hit the wrong button and there was no picture in the camera.

This is one of the quilts I was drawn to and took a picture of. It was a prize winner and deservedly so. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the name or the person who made it and it was my friend Linda Cole!

I asked the helpful quilt show hostess if she had seen Carol Gordhamer? She found her for me. Carol and I have been Facebook friends for quite some time but had never met in person. We have so many things in common, including growing up in the same city in Wisconsin. It was SO good to finally meet and we will get together soon for lunch and yarn shopping and whatever else we decide to do.

As soon as I met quilters in Florida they all asked me if I was related to Mary Sorensen. Of course we are related. We are "pretend" sisters. We met as members of Illinois Quilters about 30 years ago. It had been about 28 years since we had seen each other. The quilt show was VERY crowded and fortunately Mary had given me her cell phone number so I attempted to contact her that way. No answer, but she did get my message. Within a few minutes we found each other. We spent almost 30 minutes trying to catch up on the last 28 years. We will get together after snow bird season.

This Lone Star quilt was one I really liked. Each of the squares around the star was a different batik fabric. The quilting on the squares was done with a New York Beauty design.

The show was wonderful. It was so very crowded and that is why I don't have a lot of pictures. It is one I will attend again.

After the show we went to Historic Downtown Mt. Dora and had lunch at the Goblin Market. It is one of my very favorite places to eat. I had the Tempura Fried Artichoke Hearts - to die for!

It was a perfect thing to do on one of our perfect days weatherwise in Florida. We've had even more perfect warm days than usual this year and for that I am so thankful.