Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Finishing Just In Time For Spring

Finally, finally, finally! The largest quilt I've ever made is getting done.  I posted about this monster way back in 2009, I was ready to try quilting this king-size+ quilt that I'd made for our bed and was struggling with figuring out my Flynn Frame.  I did finally figure out the frame, but decided against quilting this giant quilt as my first try, so it got put away and I'd feel guilty about it every March (I wanted to give it to my husband as an anniversary present!).  But recently I was meeting my friend Jaye for lunch and she was taking a quilt in to be quilted by someone from BAMQG.  I said "hey maybe I oughta just give up on ever quilting this thing myself and have her do it."  And Jaye being the practical, encouraging, get-it-done sort of friend that she is said "Yes, bring it!"  So I did and here it is all quilted, voila'.  

I didn't know what to expect or if the quilter would take a look at this crazy, wonky, raw-edge quilt top and say "uh, no thanks."  But Marci at Lily Street Quilts was up for the challenge of quilting over all those raw edges and it turned out great.   Absolutely worth the cost!  (Thanks Marci!)
Just the binding and label need to be sewn on, and they're already made, I'm sewing them on today, just watch me.  And then I'll have my anniversary present ready in time (pshew!).   When the binding is finished I'll try pinning it up on my design wall and take an official picture which I'll post.

 The green background bullseye blocks in the middle came from a swap that I did waaaay back when with Quilting Arts Forum. The other bullseyes on the pink backgrounds I made myself.   All the rest is sashing and setting and random blocks that I came up with to make the quilt into something big enough for our bed.
There are two corners with a hand-dyed green background with the circles left over from trimming out the bullseye blocks.  Bullseyes are stacks of three circles and you cut out the centers so that the blocks aren't quadruple thick layered.  Lots of leftover circles, and I had to use them for something...
Also, you can see the swoopy, spirally pattern that I chose in this picture here pretty well.  It's quilted allover in this pattern in green thread.  I thought it suited the whole quilt pretty well.

On the whole this quilt is very chaotic and haphazard looking because it was made over the course of many years. Not as planned out or designed as I'd have chosen.  But you know, I like how it turned out, it has a lot of spring, happy energy and it's going to look great on our bed.
Finally a quilt big enough for our bed! This is a bigger deal than you'd imagine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lutradur For ATC's

 Here's my process of making a group of four ATC's for the CQFA exchange at our March meeting.  This time I decided to play with some Lutradur.  I used watercolor crayons rubbed over this wood tile that has holes drilled in it.  I've used this same wood tile before with regular cotton fabric and Shiva Paintstiks, that fabric also got turned into ATC's.
 I moved the Lutradur around a lot as I was coloring so that the circles wouldn't be too regularly spaced.  I like the random look a bit more.

 Here's how it looks after being brushed with water.
 A picture so you can see the translucence.
 Sometimes the dropcloth is even prettier than what you're working on.  Sigh.
 Layered the painted Lutradur with batting and some upholstery fabric for backing and machine embroidered back and forth in irregularly spaced rows.

Here's how the whole thing looks layered and stitched before I cut it into the regulation ATC size, 2.5 x 3.5"

I used one of the same embroidery stitches around the edges.  And then the whiteness of the batting bugged me so I used my grey tee-juice pen to solve that issue.

Here's how they all turned out.  I usually make 5 so I can keep one for myself, but the dimensions didn't work out that way unfortunately.  I might have to go back and make myself another one because I really really like how these turned out.
Some close-ups of each individual ATC.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Freezing Watercolors

The one and only watercolor I did on our recent trip to China.  This was done as I sat at the landing area for the tramway up the hill to the Mutianyu Great Wall , hanging out under cover because it was snowing.  The boys were running (!?!), no really they were running up the other way on the wall that we hadn't already climbed.  I wasn't up to it, so to kill time while I waited for them to come back I attempted to entertain myself with doing this little sketch and watercolor.  Which went pretty well until it suddenly got much much colder and the water was freezing in my watercolor brush.  And freezing on the paper before it could soak in, which is why the pigment looks kind of strange.  I couldn't get that effect again if I wanted to I bet.

As I was in the waiting/transit area lots of other tourists were passing through and many of them stopped ot look and see what I was doing.  I didn't speak their language, but by the faces they were making they either liked it or thought I was a crazy person for sitting there painting when it was below freezing.  For a long time I was the only person, no one else coming or going, which was maybe the only time I was alone the whole time we were in China, there are really a lot of people there.  So it was noticeable to be by myself.

By the way:  This is my 1,400th post! Wheee!

Friday, March 02, 2012

A Purple Gift

 For my birthday this year, friend Jaye made me this amazing journal.  It's completely unique, and more importantly *purple* and I love it so much.  The outside is pieced together fabrics.
 Here's the back so you can see more of the cool fabrics she used.
 A closeup of the button/ribbon closure.
 A view of all the pages.  The signatures of pages are all from recycled/reclaimed/re-used paper sewn together which makes it interesting to look at before you've written or drawn anything yourself!  Such a great variety of paper, some of which is hard to write on, so I'm sewing things on as I go.
 Here's how it looks when opened up.

The hand-dandy inside the front cover pocket, which is pieced also.

 Another closeup of the pages, see, how the page itself is sewn together?  This book makes me hungry every time I look at it, with the Rechiutti chocolate paper, a paper from Baskin Robbins,...yum.

Thanks Jaye! I love using this book so much.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Work In Progress

 A couple detail pictures of a quilt I'm working on, almost all done with the quilting.  No title for the quilt yet, which tells me it isn't done quite yet, usually those come right away...
 The two images are from stamps that I carved and printed on fabric.  The top one was printed on a cotton-polyester fabric and you can see how the ink pooled up and is splotchy compared to the bottom one printed on a 100% cotton fabric where it soaked right in more evenly.  It is fun to work on these things and figure out how to repeat these effects.
 This is the first time I've used zippers on the surface of a quilt and I really like how it looks, more texture, the addition of more design lines, a different weight to these lines added, and a mysterious possible functional purpose.  Do they unzip for a reason?
I decided to use zipppers so that I can incorporate something underneath that can be revealed when unzipped.  So I'm thinking up some cryptic words or messages having to do with eyes or being watchful or something.   I'm thinking that I might machine embroider them on a ribbon and then sew that in.