Monday, June 29, 2009

Flower Basket Cushion

When my mother died, she left a lot of fabric and partly finished projects. One of the bits was a panel with some plain print to match. I decided to make this one into a cushion. I used light batting and quilted it, then sewed on a few beads. The inner cushion form is a bit too small, but I have a strong feeling that the fabric will shrink.

Anyway, this will likely go into our next sale as I didn't see Mom working on it and it has no sentimental value. My BH liked it, which kind of surprised me. He said it had an old-fashioned appeal. I like it because it is one more UFO item out of my large shelf of PIGs and PHDs!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sashiko Table Runner

Yesterday I finished another UFO. This small table runner began in a class by Sharon Pederson June 23, 2006, in Parksville, BC. This technique is not difficult, but for some reason I had a mental block about finishing the project. It also used 'quilt-as-you-go' for the side triangles and assembly. I'd not tried that yet, but wondered at the procrastination after finding out how easy it is. I had two blocks left and made a small hot mat out of them.

I don't have Sharon's excellent book on this method, but do have the one by Mary Parker, which is also excellent. It is out of print, but Alibris has used copies.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Le Boutis

The quilt shop where I took most of the classes I've taken, Earthly Goods, has a monthly "Grad Club" for those who complete their certificate set of courses. This time we had two women who presented quilting from classes they had taken in France. They explained La Pique Marseillais (three layers), La Pique Cordé, Broderie Perse done with tiny hand blanket stitches, and Le Boutis. They had examples, particularly of boutis, one was a show winner and the woman who brought it is ninety years old!

This style of quilting was forgotten for 200 years and has been revived by fabric artists who were inspired by museum pieces. The work is fascinating. It is two layers of not too densely woven fabric sewn together on the lines of lightly marked patterns, using a dull needles so as not to split the threads. The stitches are unbelievably tiny. Then a cord is pulled into parts of the design to give it a trapunto-like look, but no cutting. You cannot tell how they got the cord between the layers. You also cannot tell the front from the back.

When held up to light, the fabric is transparent except for the parts with cord in them. Utterly amazing. I didn't take pictures, but did get this one from another source (mostly featuring hand-made lace, so you can see samples of that as well).
Try Googling images of boutis!

The real thing is most beautiful. By traditional definition, this likely is not a quilt, but if someone wanted to give me one for my bed, I'd take it. The technique is also used in cushions, drapery, wedding dresses, eye glass cases, you name it. Very lovely.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Giveaway and summer quilting plan

Quilt Qua is having a "Tell a Friend" Giveaway. Click the link to put in your name. These are the lovely fabrics in the prize!

I'm hitting into my UFO pile with great determination. Lord willing, this is the summer to catch up!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This one was called Floral Friendship Stars, but since I used two darks instead of a dark and a medium, the stars are pretty much hiding in it. To me, it looks more like lattice, so I changed the name to Overgrowth. This title also fits the stage my stash was in when I started this one -- way too many florals that I was afraid may never get used. It will be a lap quilt for someone, perhaps a senior or a person who just loves these colors.

I quilted it all over with leaves, which seemed to be the right thing to do. Now to the next UFO...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cool Gadget

I loved the cool gadget showing my 2009 completions, even though there are not as many of them as I'd hoped. However, one more is on the long-arm, another on the wall and ready to quilt, and several more nearly to the completed top stage. This post is short because I need to get to work!

PS.. This is so odd. That slide show appeared when I was signed in, but not when I was signed out. I couldn't get it to work, so another burr under my blanket (quilt?) in technology. I took the thing off and replaced it with the latest finished quilt.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Show stoppers and a practice piece

The Edmonton & District Quilt Guild has about 300 members. This year is our 30th Anniversary, so the show was larger than usual. I didn't take many photos, but thought I'd share a few with you.

This first one is a Chinese mask, three-dimensional and heavily embellished. It is about 16" across, made by Wanda Cracknell. If I had an idol in the quilting world, it would be this highly imaginative woman.

The other one is about 24 - 30" square, quilted by domestic machine. The crosshatch in the middle has lines about 1/4" apart. There are no flaws in this quilt. It is perfect... and totally intimidating. I had the quiltmaker's name but cannot find it. Be sure to examine her feathers... she has holly leaves in them!

And this is what I'm working on today. I made this as one of those mystery quilts that required using up stash, so combined a couple of unlikely fabrics. In case you cannot see them, I am quilting leaves all over it, from 1/2" to about 1 1/2" long. This is my "practice controlling that machine" quilt because the next one is more important to me, and my chosen design will take some control.

It is hot and dry here. We need rain! I'm glad for AC this weekend, and cannot believe that we had snow last Saturday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Leftovers from Kelly's Stars

At last the weather is warmer here (still cool at nights, but we need rain badly. The farmers are worried about hay crops and some trees are barely budded out.

This quilt is about 38" square and a product of the leftover pieces from Kelly's Stars. I had to add one fat quarter, and fiddled around until this came out on the design wall. The colors are off. The lights are creamier and the darks are deeper.

I determined to use up as much as possible from those little pile of squares, so pieced the back too. Actually, I had to because the fabric I used for the 4" plain blocks in the top was not enough by itself to do the back. I'm trying to decide between the rust and the green for the binding (another added fat quarter) and laughing because no matter how many leftovers get used up in making anything, there are still more leftovers!

I'm not sure what to call this. I started with Super Nova, then Super Nova Leftovers, but I'm sure I will change it again. I'll also post a better picture when it is done. I'm not sure how I want to quilt it. I'm thinking 'heavily' with various designs in the different sections. I liked Kelly's quilt and hated to give it away, so maybe this one is mine. However, this much piecing takes forever, so I'm about ready for something really simple!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tall Mountains & some R&R in the Rockies

We had to leave home so I could get a quilt finished! Well, the past three weeks were not that bad, but almost. Anyway, we are in Canmore in the Canadian Rockies, near Banff. This is the entrance to the main floor condo where we are staying, courtesy of the owner who is a friend. Nice treat for us. It was 23 C. here on Thursday and snowed today. This is odd, even for Alberta.

We drove to Lake Louise yesterday and took lots of pictures. Here is one that I took on my little digital. It was late in the day, and into the sun, so turned out fairly well.

And here is the quilt that now has binding and label. I'm so glad that it is finished! It is about 12" x 48" and has lots of quilting and thread play.

It was inspired by a tiny clipping from who knows where, plus the colors and shapes in the Rockies. The photo was a bit blurry so I took another one, but my camera doesn't seem to like taking close-ups of "wide" subjects, so it is still blurry, but if you double-click on it, it is clear. Go figure.

This quilt is the first of many landscape ideas that are piling up in my mind, particularly after this weekend!