Monday, August 31, 2009

BQL August Quilt


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         This is the calendar quilt for August for the  British Quilt List Challenge.  The challenge was to make a quilt based solely on half-square triangles.

Mine was made in red and black in honor of the University of Georgia football team who have their first game next Saturday. 


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Success is SWEET!!!

Click on the photo for a larger picture that shows the quilting better.

I am so excited to report that the blue lines all came out and that the quilt is now finished!!!!

After the first soaking in water, the lines were still showing in the outer border. This was because I didn’t just follow the lines when quilting that part, but did a “Greek Key” design using the lines as a placement guide, so many of the actual lines were not quilted on.

SO, I used an ENTIRE bottle of “Shout” and heavily sprayed the outside border and let it sit for about 2 hours. I then filled the bath up with water again, adding Oxi-Clean and clothes soap. The quilt soaked in this solution for about 18 hours.

Then yesterday, I put the quilt in the washer and rinsed it a few times and then dried it in a HOT dryer.

I am so pleased with how it turned out and also with the quilting. I will NEVER be afraid to quilt a big quilt on my sewing machine again!!!

Thanks for reading and for the well wishes that the lines would disappear.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nothing like a good soak in the tub!!


Well, I have finally finished quilting the Wholecloth piece that I have been working on for the last few weeks.  The final border took about 10 hours to quilt!!!  It has been squared up, binding applied, and now I am crossing my fingers that the blue lines will come out!!!

As I have mentioned previously, the first step is to soak the quilt in cold water. 


As I took this photo, I realized that the water was really blue, so I emptied the tub and started again.

At this point the blue has disappeared, but you can still see grey lines on the top, but I will continue to soak and see what happens……next step, Shout and Oxi-Clean!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I have run out of thread in the middle of a quilt and now have to order more and wait for it to come in……and I really don’t like WAITING!!!!

I have been working a lot on the whole cloth trapunto quilt that I have shown here before and I am really happy with how it is looking. However, it is now at a standstill until I receive the new thread. There is only the last border to complete, but it is a large border with a fill design in it so it may take a while to get it done.

I am getting prepared to teach a class in Machine Trapunto and want to use this as one of my examples, so I am anxious to get back to it.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am not sure that the blue lines are going to wash out since the piece is about 8 years old, but, with the help of friends, I am developing a strategy …..

First step will be to soak and wash it as suggested.

Second…..Spray with Shout and then add Oxy Clean to the water and soak/wash again.

Third…… Start fresh with new water and add Bleach

Fourth…..If the above have not worked, I am going to overdye the entire quilt with a blue/green mottled design.

If none of these work, I will simply say that it has been a wonderful way to practice my machine quilting stitch…..I will no longer be afraid to tackle a Queen Size quilt on my home machine!!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friendship Flowers


August is Sunflower month at my house and this is the quilt that hangs in the entryway….Friendship Flowers In 1988 I was active in a Quilting Bee that was part of my local guild.  We were called the “Friendly Starters”…..intimating that we started a lot but didn’t get much finished!!

After making several charity quilts as a group, we decided to make a Round-Robin quilt.  The rules were as follows……  each person would make one 12-inch  block in the style and theme that they wanted.  They would put it into a box, along with miscellaneous fabrics that fit with it.

The box then traveled to each person in the group and that person would make blocks that would fit with the desired theme.  These blocks had to be in multiples of 4-inches….ie 4 inch squares, 8 inch squares, 4 x 8 inch rectangles etc.  You could simply include a 4 inch piece of fabric.

When the box was returned, we each set out to make our quilt using the blocks that we had received, plus any others that we wanted to add.   We also included the rule that you didn’t have to use all of the received blocks and could even include them on the back if necessary.

FF Block 1



I started out with this block , and told my group that I wanted the theme to be “Sunflowers and Summer”.




FF Block 2



One of the blocks that I received was this sun




FF Block 3


I added it to the paper-pieced chickens and added a stem and 3-dimensional  leaves to make this section.




Block 8


These four patches were embellished with some bobbin threadwork


And I made these three dimensional flowers to fill in some spaces…..

FF Block 4 FF Block 5

FF Block 6

FF Block 9



The final part was to add this wonderful pieced flower garden




FF Back



The last of the fabric patches were added to the background and the label was made to dub this piece “Friendship Flowers”!! 


I have lost track of several of the ladies that added to this quilt and I am afraid that one has since passed away, but I think of them each time that I look at this Sunny and fun quilt.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A new way to write a blog

While reading another blog, I saw someone mention “Microsoft Live Writer” as an easy method of writing a blog, so I downloaded it yesterday and tried it out on yesterday’s post. IT IS WONDERFUL!!!!!!!

You can easily insert photos and they go exactly where you want them to!!! You can move them to the right or left of the page and can wrap text with just the click of your mouse.

Go here to download the program.

When you first open the program, it asks information about your blog and then goes into it and pulls all of your settings, lists, etc.

After you write your post, you tell it to publish and the program posts it for you, along with all photos, special effects and labels.

I understand that there is a mobile version as well so that you can post from your phone….I will check that out soon too.

Have fun blogging the new and improved way!!!

Bye for now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making of A Covered Book


Today I had the opportunity to make another covered book….this time as a Birthday present for a friend who I was having lunch with.  As you can guess, I was in a bit of a hurry….

The first step was to pick a pattern.  For this, I went online and searched for  free Stained-glass patterns and was rewarded with a huge number of ideas.  These are great for simple applique designs.



So, I started with a pattern and a blank Composition Book.





Next step was to draw the pattern pieces onto the paper side of a sheet of “Wonder Under”.   I knew that the pattern would be reversed, but was actually happier with it that way.




I turned to my 2-1/2 strip drawer and picked out four yellow prints for the sunflower and ironed the Wonder-Under onto the back. 




Next step was to cut out the petals and remove the paper from the back.  This is easily done by taking a seam ripper and scoring the backing paper so that there is a tear in the paper ( but not in the fabric).  It is easy to peel off this way….much easier than trying to separate the fabric and paper at the edge of the piece.




I then put the pattern, right side  down onto a light  box and placed a Teflon pressing sheet over the pattern.  I proceeded to place the cut out flower petals over the pattern.





After all were in place, I carefully scooted the Teflon sheet off of the light box and onto the ironing  board, and gave the entire flower a good steam press.

This attaches the fabric to the pressing sheet, but it can easily be peeled off and the flower removed in one piece.



After selecting the front cover fabric, I placed all of the pieces on the background and pressed it in place.





Now for the fun part……  pulling out all of my threads, both normal and funky, and enjoy adding details, as well as securing the fabric edges to the base fabric.

11 12



After I had  measured the size of the book, I added almost 3 inches to the vertical and 1-1/2 inches to the horizontal measurements.  I cut out a piece of wonder-under that was this size and applied it to the reverse side of my front piece. 




14 After trimming it a bit, I removed the paper and placed the fabric over the top of the book, leaving an overlap on the top, bottom and edge of the book.  The left side of the fabric was placed just outside of the book binding.


I ironed the fabric to the front of the book….carefully, with steam.





The corners were cut out….remember doing this when you covered books back in school!!

The top, bottom and sides were pressed to the inside of the book.






These last few steps were repeated with the back fabric.




The final step was to cut a piece of Wonder-Under 2-1/2 inches 17wide and fuse it to a selected 2-1/2 fabric strip from my scrap strips.  I used the rotary cutter to make a slightly curved edge on both sides of the strip.





This strip was cut to the proper length and then carefully fused to the binding and onto each side of the book cover.







Voila…..a fun finished project….and in less that 2 hours!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Making Labels

Today I made the labels for the last two quilts that I have finished. I use my computer to print the labels which are made using Powerpoint.

The Sunflower photo was taken at a field a few miles from my house and then colored to a Sepia tone.

By the way, I found out on Tuesday that the Sunflower quilt was accepted into the Cobb County Quilt Guild show in Atlanta, Georgia in September. I am excited to see it hanging there!!

The Portugal photo was the actual photo that I used for my inspiration.

Today I have also been quilting on the Whole-Cloth piece that I am working on. It has been fun to have this project that I can come back to whenever I want to do some machine quilting.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Casa Amarela

A few weeks ago I ranted about a project that I was scared to start because I didn't know if I was capable of finishing it.

It was a quilt based on this photo that was taken when I was in Porto, Portugal back in May......

I knew that I wanted to replicate the stairs and houses, but was frightened to start it!!!!!

I started out by printing the photo in an 8x10 format, using Black and White printing, on regular computer paper. I then used a ruler and fine point Sharpie to draw the major lines on the drawing. If the Sharpie is fairly new, the ink will soak thru the paper so that you can see it easily from the back side. I re-traced those lines on the back, giving me a reverse pattern.

I then printed out the reversed version of the line drawing using the poster function which allows the one page to be printed out onto 4 pages....2 across and 2 down. Finally, I printed the photo itself out onto four pages as well....of course I ran out of toner mid photo!!!

I began working with the fabrics by dividing the picture into straight-line sections and tracing them onto Golden Threads paper. I paper pieced each section and then sewed them all together. A couple of the seams were hand sewn to help me get the parts lined up properly.

At this point, I decided that I wasn't happy with the piece, but couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. So, I took it to my Charity Bee the next week and asked for their suggestions.

They immediately said......add the details from the photo and add some shading to the stairs!!! Simple little changes, but they definitely did the trick!!!!

I was nervous about using gray markers on the piece to shade it, but once I finally got my courage up, it made a HUGE difference. I ended up adding shading to almost every part of the picture.

The quilting was fun, although I had to take several lines out and re-do them because they didn't match with the perspective of the quilt.

Here is the final version, named "Casa Amarela", which stands for "Yellow House" in Portuguese.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I've Won, I've Won A Major Prize

Well, it is not exactly a MAJOR prize, but I couldn't help quoting a favorite line from the movie "A Christmas Story"!!!!

Many of you will remember the quilt that my Mom and I made together earlier this year. Here is a picture of the quilt......

My Mom did the hand applique and I set it together and quilted it.

My Mom is a member of the Abilene Quilters Guild in Abilene, Texas and she entered it into her show this past month. It won First Place in the Collaborative division!!!!!

Mom was very excited and is now getting ready to enter it into the West Texas Fair. Over the years, she has won a lot of ribbons from the fair, so I am hoping that this quilt wont let her down!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Covered Book Project

Today, I wanted to play a little bit and was thinking about using paper to cover a composition book. However, as I thought about it, I decided that fabric would be easier because I could fuse it to the book.

I started by looking for a design with a dragonfly and came across an online stained glass pattern. I pulled out my 3-1/2 inch and 2-1/2 inch strips and started using them to fill in the areas of the pattern.

Next step was to fuse it to the backing fabric and get out the threads and have FUN!!!! I enjoyed using some of my funkier threads, including one from India that I bought at a quilt show in England. Finally, I couched some yarns around the circle and started to cut off the tails, but decided that the looked good hanging off of the side.

After I fused the front and back fabrics, I added the strip over the spine of the book.

Here is the finished product.......

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and a great quick project for a Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bonnie Hunter was amazing!!!

Yesterday, I visited the Hall County Quilt Guild in Gainesville, Georgia where Bonnie Hunter was speaking. I have followed her blog for almost a year and am also a big fan of her website.

As far as I am concerned, she is the QUEEN of scrap quilting and has a wonderful "scrap saver system" where you cut your scraps into specific sizes of strips, squares and bricks. Then, you can use those scraps to make wonderful quilts....she even gives the FREE patterns on her website!!!

Early in the year, I became interested in trying to clean up my scraps and then make use of them and I have been working on my scraps for about the last 6 months. My basket started out looking like this......

but is now down to this.......

and my storage drawers are full of wonderful pieces already cut and ready to go into beautiful scrap quilts!!!

Bonnie was a vivacious speaker and I came away truly encouraged by her words!!! Please dont miss a chance to see her in person!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

BQL July Challenge

This is the quilt that I made for the British Quilt List calendar challenge for July. The design was for a bargello quilt and I originally had a hard time thinking of what colors to use. Then I started reflecting that it was a quilt for July and, since I live in the US, maybe I should do red, white and blue!!! So, I pulled out all of my Americana fabrics that have been sitting around for years and started to play.

I was careful to keep all of the stripes running the same direction and especially made sure that the hearts were vertical and not horizontal!!! What I didn't remember, was that when you do bargello, you sew the strips together and cut across the strip set and re-sew the new strips together. I am sure that you can see where I am headed......I still managed to get the hearts going sideways and the stripes running the wrong direction!!!!

Oh well, I actually liked how the big red, white and blue stripe looks like a firecracker with the firework fabric being the "pop" at the end.

So, as with most things, it all worked out for the best!!!!

I have to add a cute comment our charity bee, we often take dull-ish fabrics and sew them into large strips and then cross-cut them into 5 strips and "bargello" them to give the quilt a bit more interest. One of our members had never heard the term "bargello" and she thought that we said "Bordello". So, after a good laugh, we now "bordello" striped quilts that need a pick-me-up!! I guess in that context, the word still works!!!!

Bye for now.
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