Sunday, February 27, 2011

Choices for February

As I have mentioned before, my “word” for the year is “Choices” and I wanted to report on how I have done for the month of February.  I have been able to keep up with my two special January choices (keeping my inbox empty and keeping the kitchen table cleaned off better).

For February, I wanted to be careful of my interactions with others as I knew that my stress level would rise as I struggled to accomplish my accounting/tax work AND acted as Co-Chair for our local guild quilt show.  For the most part, I have been able to respond in a civil manner, except for a few outbursts that involved my husband.  I guess that it is just too easy to take things out on those closest to us!!!!

The most exciting thing is that the show is only 5 days away and my co-chair, Deb and I are still great friends….gotta put that in the win column!!!!!


Friday, February 25, 2011

February’s Quilt

Every so often I like to show the quilt that is currently hanging in my entryway.   Most Februarys I use a quilt that my mother made many years ago, but this year I decided to dig a bit deeper and see what I could find, and this is what showed up…..


This quilt was a result of a color challenge for my guild in June of 2000.   We each picked an envelope that had a poem about one color and, as you can see my color was


At the time my son was really into op-art designs so this one just captured my imagination.  It was relatively easy to do as I followed a pattern.  My addition to the quilt was the outside border that used leftovers from my center piece.

When I got ready to make the back, I was out of time and didn’t have one piece of fabric that was big enough, so I started throwing together two  fabrics, sewing them together, cutting them apart again and then re-sewing.  _2221669

What I discovered is that this is not as easy as it appears!!!  Although I do like the way it turned out!!

My final step was picking a name……. “I’m Seeing Red” seemed appropriate.

This was one of the first quilts that was every judged in a show and I laughed  when I read her comment that “there was too much movement with no place for the eye to rest”.  What I wanted to shout was….”OF COURSE THERE IS MOVEMENT… is a Op-Art Quilt!!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Getting ready to create


Sometimes it seems that it takes me longer to get ready to create than it does to actually create.

For instance, on Saturday I wanted to do some work on a  project that I am working on.  Unfortunately, when I entered my studio it looked like this…..

_2211662 The first step was to clean things up again, so I…..

- picked up the bits of fused fabric, clips of paper and general trash

-  emptied the trash can

- moved the stray pins to the pincushion

- moved the scissors and rotary cutters into their proper drawer

- moved the rulers back onto the wall

- put all of the loose thread spools back into their boxes

- moved all of the fabric boxes back onto the shelf.


FINALLY…onto the creating (which I cant show right now), but here is a sneak peak


_2221667 _2221666

SO…..after 2 hours of working in here, this is what it looks like now……


This obviously begs the question of “why did I bother to clean it in the first place????”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It’s HERE!!!!


I LOVE spring time and always feel light hearted when the first of the Daffodils arrive!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Frances is doing handwork????

Say it isn’t so!!!!!

Yes, I have finally become tired of not having anything to do with my hands while Michael and I are watching TV at night.  Many times I sit with my computer in my lap but it is so easy to get so completely engrossed in what I am doing that I lose the time with my husband, not to mention that it is almost impossible to concentrate on whatever we are watching.

I was sitting at my local quilt shop and saw this cute pattern….

6102QZQauOL._SS500_ ……and simply couldn’t resist it!!!

I know the basics of doing applique but it is obvious that I need to refine my technique. 

For the first block, I cut the pieces out of freezer paper, used starch to fold the raw edges under and then hand-stitched them to the background.  So far this has worked fairly well, and hopefully I will get better at rounding the corners smoothly!!!!

Here is the first block……


I am thinking about making 4 or 9 of these, piecing them into a small wall hanging and then using my new found beading skill to add interest (and maybe hide a few flaws).

More to come!!!!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dye day with Deb

Back in January when there were inches of snow on the ground, my friend Deb H. and I got together to do some fabric dyeing.   We had a need for a certain type of background fabric and our goal for the day was to make this fabric.

We originally thought of snow dyeing, but decided that 1)….it would take too long, 2)…..we didn’t have the best paints for it, and 3)….there was such a heavy crust of ice on top of the snow that it would  take us forever to gather what we needed.

So….on to the next possibility…..

We taped the PFD fabric down to the plastic covered space and sprayed it with a good bit of water…..


We then went to the paints and started mixing colors, using mostly Setacolor and Dynaflow paints…..


Next step was to apply the paints to the fabrics…..

_1131335_1131329  We rolled the fabric…..


And then unrolled it to reveal the final surface…..


We put them outside to dry (or rather freeze), sprinkling some of them with salt to enhance the texture…..


I forgot to take a photo of the fabric after it had been washed and ironed, but suffice it to say that they will be perfect for our intended project……if we ever get around to it!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finished Charity Quilts

At our last guild meeting, the Charity Bee presented two quilts that are being donated to the local Relay For Life programs.

As I mentioned in this post, these started out as a way for me to use some scraps and fondle some fabric back during the Christmas rush.

I finished the inside parts and handed them off to the bee.  They chose and added the borders and then two of our wonderful members completed the quilting.

_2091600 _2091598

They were handed off to the American Cancer Society last Wednesday and I am looking forward to hearing how much money was raised from them…..

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I’m in the Garden of Beading!!!

A couple of months ago I wrote about hearing a talk by Mary Stori and how I was encouraged by her use of beads.

Well, the very next day, I hit Hobby Lobby and Michael’s and found that their beads were on sale!!!!   I picked up a few small tubes at HL…….


but hit the Mother-Lode in Michaels…..


This wonderful caddy held THIRTY different colors of seed beads as well as other larger beads.

I could just see me opening these caddies and dumping all of the beads out so I moved them into individual small bags.  Pretty cool, huh…….


So the next questions was “what was I going to bead"?……

Well, it’s a surprise so I cant tell you!!!!

But, here is a sneak preview of my current project………………..


I am SO excited about how it is looking……stay tuned!!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Great Trunk Show from Regina Carter


At my local guild meeting we heard from a local quilter by the name of Regina Carter.  I knew of Regina from the Lake Oconee Guild and knew that she was a wonderful long-arm quilter, but I had NO idea just how deep her pool of talents ran!!!!

As she presented her trunk show, I was especially drawn to the way that she chooses her  fabric and then allows the fabric to do a lot of the work!!!  Here are a few of my favorites….

This was the first quilt that she showed….I love the simple applique and the FANTASTIC quilting!!!!!….._2091584 

This one was quilted first and then painted with Shiva Paintsticks….how cool!!!….


This one shows an excellent use of fabric.  Be sure to click on it to see it larger and look at the black and white inner border……


This one was a simple log cabin block paired with a WILD Kaffe fabric….._2091574 This was by and large my favorite quilt.  Once again the block is simple, but the layout makes it fantastic…….

_2091581 Believe it or not, this is a Double Wedding Ring!!!!  The gradations were absolutely perfect!!!!

_2091582  This piece reminded me of the little quilts that I have been making  (click here to see those), but I really like the setting here…..

_2091591 Regina’s sense of color is wonderful……


This is a shadow trapunto piece that really needs to be seen in person!!!_2091594 The final quilt that she showed is a beautifully pieced and quilted work of art…..


Thank you Regina for sharing your quilting life with us!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Magazine Overload


Magazine Overload

HELP….I am suffering from magazine overload!!!!   I used a bunch of  soon-to-expire airline miles to purchase ELEVEN subscriptions, and that doesn’t include the two quilt magazines that I receive, or the two magazines that my husband gets….or the Australian Geographic that is a gift from Aussie friends!!!

SO, I have had to give myself permission to NOT read all of them but to just scan, read selective parts and then pass them on!!!

If you want to know about ANYTHING that is going on in the world….just ask me!!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lake Oconee Quilter’s Show and Tell

As usual, the show and tell was wonderful…..

_2011489 This quilt looked really different up close, as you could see how the block was put together….


This was a beautiful applique…..


This quilt is from Bonnie Hunter and is called “Crab Apple”.  I need to look this pattern up……


This one was made in 1880 and was being restored by one of the members….


These were “H” blocks and I really liked the layout……

_2011483 For this one, the quilter took snowflake stencils, traced them onto fabric and then hand embroidered them….

_2011494 I will eventually learn all of the member’s names so that I can include those as well!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Quickie Teddy Bear Quilt

This past weekend I made a quick baby quilt for a friend of mine.  She was wanting something with a teddy bear and I thought that this little guy was perfect._1291467

As I got ready to add the borders, I simply could NOT find a fabric that I liked for the borders, although I was pretty sure that I wanted to use a light yellow inner border _1281456

I also knew that I wanted to make it a bit longer, so I planned to make the bottom borders a bit wider than the side ones.

After about an hour of going thru my fabrics and deciding that I simply DID NOT have the appropriate fabric, I made a quick trip to my local quilt shop (fortunately only 1 mile away) and, as usual, they had the perfect fabric!!!

Scan_Pic0038 Once I had added the yellow borders and then put this fabric on the outside, I felt that it needed something else so I ended up adding the 1 inch blue border.

_1291460 Here is a detail of one of the cute bees……


I had a wonderful time making this simple, sweet quilt!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Margie Engel


_2011533 On Tuesday morning, I went to the meeting of the Lake Oconee Quilter’s Guild and heard a wonderful talk and saw a fantastic trunk show by Margie Engel. …check out her website.

She is one of those lovely quilters who is willing to tell you everything she knows, show you everything that she has made (good and not-so-good) and encourages you to touch any of her quilts!!!!

She has written one book (a second will be out soon)  called “Bodacious Applique ala carte”


In this book she provides simple ways to do hand applique, with her basic premise being the appliqueing of large shapes and then using paints, colored pencils and inks to fill in the details.   She would also add some thread work details.  Here are two quilts that used this process ….



She also talked about things to do with a really large print or a pre-printed piece.  Her main points were to really look at the fabric before you cut it up and even suggested photographing or photocopying the fabric and printing out lots of copies to cut up first.  Here are a couple of examples……

_2011514 _2011511 In the above quilt, the turtle block toward the middle/left of the quilt was another fabric and was too bright for the quilt.  SO, Margie used colored pencils to shade areas and darken the overall fabric.    She also wanted to continue  the dolphin theme on the left side of the quilt, so she used a grey fabric and cut out another dolphin there.

She spoke about using Tsukiniko Inks, reminding us that they were completely washable until heat set.  SO, if you dont like what you have done, you can wash it out and start over!!!

She also showed  some work with Prisma Color Premier pencils where she used the pencil to emphasize a particular pattern in a fabric.  She commented on these pencils that they were not color fast, but that you could paint a thin film of thinned matte gel medium over the top and that it would then be permanent.

The final quilt that she showed was a wonderful example of mixed techniques as it included trapunto, yo-yo’s, and dimensional applique……


My favorite quilt was this one…..

_2011507 It was an excellent example of working with a piece with large designs and also, it was perfectly embellished, both with beads and threads…..

_2011538 _2011534 _2011536 

One tip that I liked was  a method of using Angelina fibers.  Margie said to spread out the fibers, iron them into a sheet, place on top of the fabric and then free-motion quilt over them.

The best tip that I found from the morning was for applique, particularly when you are adding beads or thread work.  Margie applique’s the piece to a piece of black felt, does all of the embellishment work, cuts out the shape leaving a tiny sliver of black felt and then appliques the whole piece to her top.  She says that this helps to stabilize the piece so that it will hold up to the extra weight from the embellishments.  PLUS, it provides a fantastic outline to the applique!!!!


Needless to say, I had a WONDERFUL morning!!!!!

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