Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Progress on King-Size

This quilt is partly on the design wall and partly on a craft table. So the view is somewhat foreshortened. It actually has as much beach as water.

I decide to baste the leaves in place because pins are not too much fun when sewing complex applique. I wanted to post this in case someone ever finds themselves in the same dilemma — trying to manage a huge project and keep it all square and straight. This has a few wrinkles, but nothing serious. Pressing and quilting will fix it.


There are more leaves to go on the left end (just out of sight) and palm trees and leaves up the sides. I will look good on the bed, but right now I'm tired just looking at the picture.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Applque a few dozen leaves

Since the last post, I've been making large leaves, at least 18-20" high. At first, I didn't know the best way to do these. Raw-edge is prone to get fuzzy when washed and these would be impossible to piece. Finally, I decided to applique them using the following steps:
  1. Trace the leaf shape on to the dull side of freezer paper, cut out on the lines.
  2. Press the shiny side of the pattern to the right side of selected fabric.
  3. Cut it out with a scan 1/4" seam allowance.
  4. Turn the leaf over to the back side and place it on a piece of colored paper (red works).
  5. Ciip inside curves and V-shapes almost to the edge of the leaf. 
  6. Using a glue stick, put 3-4" of glue along the seam allowance. 
  7. Using the smallest Apliquick rod, fold the seam allowance to the fabric (wrong side) and press it firmly in place.
  8. When the entire leaf is done, let it dry then peel off the freezer paper.
  9. Press from the right side with a dry iron.
  10. Pin in place on the quilt background and to the next leaf...
  11. Repeat.
  12. When done, applique around the edges and enhance with quilting.

 This isn't as time-consuming as it sounds. The Apliquick Rods (See right side of the link for these) are amazingly helpful and even fun to use. It is going to take many hockey and soccer games to hand applique them in their final positions though. I just hope my son is not an old man before he gets this quilt!

PS... He told me he didn't want to see it until it was done, but then changed his mind. We invited him here for pizza Sunday night, but he had plans so invited us to his house. So I took the sketches (link here), and his reaction was a positive boost to my procrastination. For this I am thankful!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Progress on Scott's beach scene

I've got this much sewn together (after lots of improvising). The bit of lower sky is just pinned, and the way I will quilt it will give it some distinction from those far-away islands. I also have the rest of the sky ready to piece and put on the upper half. 


Next, a jungle of leaves go around the bottom and lower sides, with palm trees up to the top. This one is a king-size and taking lots of hours. Also the driftwood is just pinned on because I'm not sure where it will go, and I might resize it.


Here is my sketch for the leaves and trees, but as you can see, it is only a guide. I'm hoping the leaves will be a lot easier to make that that water and sand!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Another happy customer

This week Céline from Quebec sent me a photo of her completed nativity quilt. She bought the pattern from my Etsy site a few months ago. What excites me about this finish is that she used solids! She made the smaller version and it looks like she has a great eye for color and value! (She also gave me permission to publish her photo.)


Way to go, Céline!

If anyone is interested in this pattern, it is still available, either in paper form or digital. The link to my Etsy site is to the upper right.

I also finished another baby panel for Basically Babies. This one took only a few hours and was fun to quilt and bind. Also, I quilted 'cow' on the white part of the cow's back after taking this photo. It is 35" x 41" backed with fabric that looks like faded denim.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Early August Progress Report

Here is the child's quilt. It is a panel-practice quilting piece, but cute. The binding has a built-in flange. I saw this technique on a YouTube video and tried it. Easy! This and others will go to "Basically Babies" for layettes they assemble for needy families.



Scott's king-size is finally looking the way I want it to look. I'll post a picture soon. Right now, I'm getting ready to go have my eyes fixed... not a big deal -- I can still thread a needle!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A gift comes back...

This fall, my sister who is my best friend is taking a giant step. She lost her hubby last year, and is having problems with some tasks. She decided it is time for simplicity, so is moving from her home of 40 plus years to a senior's facility, from a large split-level to just under 600 square feet. Her attitude about it is amazing. 

However, paring down is a big challenge. This week, I spent a couple days helping her clear out a bedroom and some other spaces. Years ago, I made her a wall quilt and she wanted me to take it, "I don't want anyone else to have it." So I brought it home yesterday. I'm looking at it with both joy and a big lump in my throat. Here is a photo. 


It is needle-turn applique with machine quilting and a few beads here and there. She had it on a dark blue wall in her dining room. 

I'm too emotional to write much else except that I'm nearly finished a baby quilt. Also, my sister took me to their town's local quilt shop and I found a fabric called "Sand in my Shoes" by Robert Kaufman that solves some of the perplexities of making Scott's king-size. I bought a hunk and will be un-sewing a hunk of what I've already done and replacing it with this beautiful piece! Yea!
 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

King-Size workout

Pressing on with Scott's king size and with the bottom half background, already feeling the stress of manipulating that much fabric. This is mostly improve with small mock-ups to follow and a bunch of fabrics in the right values and colors. I'm telling people who ask what I'm working on that it is working on me.



These mock-ups are a tip from an artist friend. The one on the left is an outline drawing with the most detail. The middle is a value sketch. The one on the right is a paste-up using fabrics that work with the values. I didn't finish the palm trees because that is not necessary (but it is a lot easier than making the large ones!) The tropical leaves will be on the sides that hang over the bed, with the beach on the top. He doesn't want a sneak peak so hope he likes it.


Here is a close-up of the right edge, which will be mostly hidden by large leaves, but shows how I'm keeping this monster on my work table - large paper clips - see one in the upper right corner!