Saturday, August 28, 2010

Duvall Art Walk Tonight

The art walk is from 5-9pm tonight in Duvall, WA. Diane, at The Quilter's Garden, invited me to take part with some of my quilts, so I'm bringing Janet's Influence, Water, and a few quits from my new book "Flower Show Quilts", which is coming out in October (just a little preview - I will have flyers for it).

This will be my first time at the event, so it is a new adventure! If you're in the area, be sure to come by and say hi, I'd love to meet you!

My book:

Janet's Influence:


What was I thinking?

Actually, I do know what I was thinking, although when I planned this project, I didn't stop to figure out all the litle details such as how I would support the cross of both the main, hand-dyed warp and the stripes that would be inserted when warping the loom. Up until now, I've put all the warps on this loom from the back, because it has a built-in raddle along the top, that makes spreading the warp quite easy.

Lucky for me, I was taught to warp a table loom from the front, in the beginning weaving class that I took, and I purchased a 4-shaft weaving video, and both used some different techniques. So.... I've combined them. The cross in the main warp was held by my lease sticks, which I suspended between the castle and front beam, and the striped warp was held in my hand. At first, I threaded the first stripe repeat in the reed, and then couldn't see how I could keep it in my hand, and at the same time, work with the threads that were on the lease sticks. In the end, I secured them and finished threading the main warp, leaving spaces for the striped portion. It helped to have threaded one stripe, because I was able to count the number of reed slots needed as a sanity check, which was really helpful with a 1, 2 threading sequence!

Once the hand-dyed yarn was threaded in the reed, I went back and filled in with the stripes. I think the most difficult part was separating the strands of yarn at the cross, so that I could see what I was doing, because it was a bit stuck together from the dyeing process. Behind the reed, the yarn is tied into large groups with slip knots, so that I can take a break as I try to decide if it would be best to count and move heddles to the other side of the loom (I'll be threading the heddles from the back of the loom, instead of the front, as I usually do), but from the back, the heddles are on the wrong side. I guess I really know they need to be moved, but most of them are quite tight, so it will take some time to get it done, so I'm just procrastinating on what I need to do, as it took so long to get this far. I probably could have had the whole warp beamed and most of the threading done by now, if I was warping from the back, although I wouldn't have been able to insert the second warp, since I only have one warp beam.

At any rate, this is what it looks like now:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hand Stamped mini-quilts

Before quilting the Madrona quilt, I needed to spend some time warming up on a few smaller quilts. These had been waiting for me, and now they're quilted! All of them have been stamped with Lumiere fabric paint, using stamps that I carved. As you can see I got a little carried away on the first, starting to machine embroider to add color. The next stop for these quilts is to be embellished with hand quilting, beads, sequins, hand embroidery, more paint..... and then they will have their edges finished and a sleeve added. (I'm trying the "save for web" choice in Photoshop, so I can see what, if any change it makes in the pictures on my blog.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Madrona - ready to quilt!

The madrona collage is finished, glue-basted, layers pin-basted, and now it's ready for me to start quilting. The quilt is really a bit larger than what you can see in this picture, but this was the best I cound do at taking pictures blindly, while standing on the coffee table and holding the camer above my head to try and get it's picture:-)
Since it's been a while since I quilted, I'll warm up on a practice sandwich, and then a bit of the old UFO - which is a Little Quilts design, before starting on it. I also have a quilt to quilt that belongs to my friend Becky, but I want to quilt on my own first, so that I'm back in sync with my machine before I touch hers, as I've never quilted any quilts but my own, and want to make sure to do a good job on it.

Book Review - Skinny Quilts & table runners

I love this book! With designs from traditional to very contemporary, there are projects for everyone. Just like her first book, Eleanor has 15 projects from a wide variety of famous quilt designers, and as I turn the page I see a quilt that would either look great in my house, or a gift for someone I know. I’ve been wanting to take a class with Sue Benner, and here I find one of her designs to make and learn from. I also love Melinda Bula’s designs, and of course, there is a beautiful wisteria design of her’s to make! Recently, I’ve been bitten by the wool bug, and lo and behold, I find a Sue Spargo design. Last year I started weaving, and yep, there’s even a woven table runner in here, designed by Eleanor! There are also many quick projects, including designs by Karla Alexander, Judy Hooworth, and Jane Davila, who’s quit also has unusual metal accents.
Leave a comment on THIS POST by Monday, September 6th, for a chance to win a copy of Skinny Quilts & table runners II.

Eastern Washington Road Trip

Eastern Washington is so different than Western Washington! Here we have lots of water, from Puget Sound to a variety of lakes, and the Ocean isn't that far away either. Out there, some of it is desert-like, although once in a while there is a lake or river. We saw fields of windmills, and in one of the areas, they were in process of building more, but they were too far away for me to get a decent picture. These pictures were taken as my husband was driving along the freeway, so some are close to the road, and it's amazing to see how large they are!

It amazes me how dry it can be, even near the river, but I found the rocky landscape very interesting. In some areas there are huge boulders and rocky outcroppings all through the fields, going on for miles. Other areas are being cultivated with a variety of crops, many being grown in circular fields, because of their watering system, which rotates around the water source.
Here's a group of photos that make a partial panorama of the area near the Columbia river.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Giveaway Winner

The random number generator chose number 4, so the winner of Machine Quilting made Easy is Starquilter! Contact me with your snail mail information so I can get it on it's way to you.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Madrona progress, giveaway reminder

After lots of glue basting, pinning, peeling up previously glue basted pieces, unpinning, more collage, re-shaping some of the pieces..... I think I'm almost happy with the quilt. The peninsula in the lower left still needs some work, and then back to pinning lots of pinning, so I can pick it up off the floor and begin quilting. (Of course, I'll need to warm up on something else first.)

Don't forget about the giveaway! I'll be drawing a winner next week.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Madrona progress

Although there were lots of interruptions yesterday, I worked late to make up for it. The background is now approximately the size it needs to be, the trees are not only back in place, but they have been layered to show more of the color and texture of the bark. Because of the changes to my original background, I've had to resort to plan B for assembly techniques. Plan B has more collage in the background (instead of just free hand cutting and piecing) as well as the foreground, so I'm now busy with a washable glue stick, basting all the pieces together. This needs to be done before I can add any more pieces, because it's getting difficult to work with so many that are loose. Once the glue basting is finished, I may to some stitching, to hold the pieces, or may finish the collage first. If the whole collage will hold together with the basting, I'll be able to layer it and do all the stitching with the quilting. The only thing that would be added afterward might be 3-D leaves, but I'll just have to keep working and see how it goes...

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Last night I went to sleep with a feeling of accomplishment...

The rim is on the Goodness Gracious casserole basket,

and that's not all... The rim and stakes for this basket have been waiting for me, and I decided I'd better get it made before I cleaned up the basket supplies and switched the table to quilting. This one is called "Krista's Oval Basket", and is from the book "The Ultimate Basket Book" by Lyn Siler. I'm amazed how quickly it wove up, and even more amazed that the rim angle was a perfect fit for the handle! I was so afraid it wasn't pulling in enough as I started bringing the basket inward, that I started placing the handle inside for a test fit after every few rows. Amazingly, it came inward just enough, and I love the way it came out!

Usually, I sew in my studio, but the Madrona quilt isn't working out very well in there, as I don't have a design wall that is large enough (or a wall, where I can stand back to get a good look), so I've temporarily taken over the family room floor, and don't want to take the quilt up and down the stairs each time I need to sew a seam. The dining room is close, so it's my temporary sewing space - at least until it's ready to quilt.
The trees have been removed so I can work to widen the upper portion of the background, and add interest to the lower area. Originally, the panel was at least a foot larger than needed in height and width, however, they now wish to display it on a much larger wall, and I need to extend it to it's tallest and widest proportions. So... I'm back to working on the floor, and once the background panel is finished, I can return the tree designs. Here's a picture of where I'm at on this quilt now (sorry about the lousy picture, there's no space to get up higher to take a better one).

Friday, August 06, 2010

That Rayon Warp

has been on the loom since June! Why, might you ask? Well, due to threading errors and busy schedule, I hadn't had time to sort out the problem that I'd found AFTER weaving my color sample (at that time I thought everything was fine), and as I was getting ready to begin weaving the scarves. As soon as I inserted my paper fringe spacer, it was clear that I was not ready to weave, as I needed to fix errors first. As you can see, the thread pattern at the top is not the same all the way across:

I must have been distracted with choosing the weft color, because I tried four different colors and didn't notice there was a problem with my threaing. At any rate, here's the front of my sample:

And here's the sample back:

Now that I've corrected the errors, I'm weaving the scarf! Oh yeah, another little error was not noticing that I should be reversing the threading for my loom, so I'm weaving upside down, but that's ok, as I can just turn it over when it comes off the loom - it's better than changing the tie-ups at this point:-)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Machine Quilting Made Easy - Review and Giveaway!

What can I say, I love this book! It’s the one I learned to machine quilt from, and one of the ones I always recommend to my students (along with quilting discs)! This book has all the information you need to start quilting your quilts, from adjusting the thread tension to step-by-step lessons. In the back of the book there are charts with detailed information on all kinds of threads you can quilt with as well as needles and threads that can be couched onto your quilt and all through the book are pictures showing the quilting on gorgeous quilts!

If you'd like to win a copy, just leave a comment on this post by August 18th for a chance to win. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Working with Wool

While I was in Oregon last month, a friend and I took a quick trip to Bend, after our Quilter's Affair classes. One of the shops we visited was Sew Many Quilts, where I fell in love with some of the wool projects in the back of the shop, and of course, a book and some kits followed me home. This one, called Red Geraniums, was a complete kit with pattern from Primitive Gatherings, but I changed some of the fabrics and added beads to the flowers (I guess I just needed a little bling). [The close-up is closer to the colors in the real candle mat.]

I found it was relaxing to work with the wool felt, and a bit like going back in time, since I made a lot of felt projects in the past. In fact, we all have a felt Christmas stocking that I made from kits that were easily available at the time.

Here's a view of the complete candle mat:

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Mukilteo Lighthouse

is on the Quilt Inspiration blog, along with other nautical quilts!

My tote has a rim

and is ready for use!!! It's taken me much longer to get back to it than I thought when I set it aside (looking back through my posts, the last time I worked on it was June), but it's done, and I love it! It's the perfect size for most trips and small class projects, and I can't wait to use it.

While I was taking it's picture, I thought you might like to see what has become of my "sewing basket". Yep, it turns out that the dowels that were intended for thread spools work great for holding the clips I use when making baskets, and I'll have to make another sewing basket when I get a chance. Of course, this first picture shows all the things that live in the basket:

And here you have a better view of the basket itself:

This past weekend, while waiting for loads and loads of laundry to wash and dry (and while taking a break from garden chores (weeding - yuk!), I started this Goodness Gracious basket (it's a free online pattern, but also available as a kit), which is intended to carry casseroles or other food items to pot-luck dinners, etc. You know, it may end up being a temporary sewing basket too:-)

Again, I made it all the way to the rim, and need to get back and finish it. I did make sure to set aside the directions and remaining supplies in the basket itself, so they can't go missing.

Monday, August 02, 2010

and the Winner is...

The random number generator at generated a number 12, and that means Life Looms Large is the winner! Email me your snail mail address and Skinny Quilts and Table Runners will be on it's way to you.

For everyone else, don't worry, you'll have another chance to win a book soon, as I work my way down through the stack of them from Martingale. I've noticed recently that I also have more than one copy of a couple books in my library, and others that I've got to thin out, so those will be coming soon as well.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Madrona, Oasis and gardening

Not much progress on Madrona, due to forces beyone my control - the company changed the location they planned to hang it, and I needed to go see how it would fit. Originally I had allowed about 8-12" extra for wrapping the quilt around stretcher bars so that it could be hung as "art" insead of the way I would hang a quilt. However, after visiting the shop this week, I've found I need to keep it as wide and tall as the largest areas, so the trees will be removed and the background can be made larger in the areas needed. After that is done, the trees can return and be collaged into shape. I'm thinking (at this time) that while most of the leaves will be placed flat on the quilt, some dimensional leaves might make it more interesting. I'll just have to see what the quilt tells me when I get that far. Hopefully, I'll be able to spend some quality time working on it this week.

One of the Quilter's Affair classes that I took when I was in Sisters, was Oasis, with Vivienne Moore, and chose to do teal / green with pink accent. The top is finished and waiting to be layered and quilted. (Sorry if these first two pictures aren't the most straight and clear, the only way I could take them at all was to stand on a stepstool and hold the camera over my head, while hopefully pointing it at the quilt at the floor. Not the best way, but the best I could do for a quick picture without a design wall, or a ladder.)

Most of the last two days was spent out in the garden. You know, those nasty green things that come up between the plants you want, well, this garden was almost totally green when I began, but now I can see the plants, and the weeds are gone! Unfortunately, I also had to remove some plants that have not survived where they were planted, and I'll have to see what I'm going to replace them with in the fall.

Don't forget the giveaway

Today's the last day to leave a comment on my Skinny Quilts and Table Runners review and giveaway post, as tomorrow is the day to pick a winner of the first book in the stack of books I've received to review from Martingale. All the books are new, not used and it's such a beautiful book, I'm sure the winner will love it, and if you're not a quilter, maybe you know someone who does and would love to receive it!

I've found a random number generator at RANDOM.ORG, and plan to use it for this and future giveaways, as it will make it much faster, and as fair as possible:-)