Wednesday, January 31, 2007

WIP Wednesday

What have I been doing?I started out with a little fabric painting. I used Hoffman PFD cotton and Dharma Pigment Dye paint. This was my first time using this particular paint, and I found I liked the intensity better if I diluted it very little or not at all. It did tend to make the finished fabric a little stiff but not all that different from a batik.

I used my painted fabric to make the little piece below. I had a gorgeous cobalt blue leaf print in the stash, so I used that too. It added the just the right contrast and intensity I wanted.
Starting with the "ladder" structure of horizontals and verticals, I then sliced, repieced , and added until I was happy. I have started doing thread work but there will be a lot more before I am through. This is a little hard to needle by hand, so I may switch to bobbin work since I want to use the thick bold embroidery threads. It's kind of a pain to wind bobbins by hand, but I have had good results in the past doing it this way.

Oh, and I made a couple more pineapple blocks, so you can see what I mean about the secondary pattern. I am not sure how big this piece is going to be yet, and I am considering adding blue and cheddar blocks as well. We'll just have to wait and see.

Happy quilting everyone!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WIP Wednesday

Here is the piece I showed you on Monday. I am adding big bright stitches using the fabulous hand dyed embroidery thread from Art Fabrik. I flipped it upside down and like it better this way.

Here is one I started yesterday, but besides the quilting there will not be a lot more to it. I call it "Waiting for the Purple Moon." I think its kind of retro 70s. Something about that that fabric in the background reminds me of a lava lamp.

And here are the big bright blocks for the kids quilt I will be donating. I bought some great neon bright yellow thread at Superior Threads to use in quilting this, unless of course I hand it off to my longarm friend to do. I will still have it done it yellow thread, but it might not be as bright.

And, of course the red and cheddar pineapple blocks which I showed you Monday. I haven't worked on them again yet, but I will. Do you think I have enough things going at once? Maybe I should start something else.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Road To California

Well, I'm back. We had a great time at Road to California, lots of beautiful quilts to see and fun classes to take. I must really be getting to be an old lady because I am exhausted from not being able to sleep well away from home. I had to go right back to work today, too. Have to pay for these little junkets and shopping sprees somehow.

The little quilt above is something I made in Laura Wasilowski's class. It started with the Ladder motif I've been working with and morphed into a garden trellis when I started adding shapes. I call it "Pea Pods in the Garden". I'm thinking I may have been a little enthusiastic in using my new toy, the pinking edge rotary cutter. I have not decided whether I'll do a fused binding or just back and turn it with an "escape hatch" finish.

I enjoyed Laura's class a lot, she is a good teacher, easy to be around and has a great sense of humor. Not a bad singing voice either. I also had the good fortune to meet Melody Johnson of Fibermania fame. She told me I looked was from my little blog picture. I probably sounded like a stalker when I gushed about how much I admire her work.

Here is a little project I started using some of the new fabric I bought at Road. These are antique reproduction reds and cheddars, which I love. I always wanted to do a quilt in these colors. I think it's funny that they are actually old fashioned fabrics when they have so much zing. I will say one thing about making these blocks, they stretch like crazy if you aren't really careful. I think that's why it's so common to paper piece them (these are not). I only have two blocks done, but you can see that it will have a nice secondary pattern. It will be a small quilt or a table runner, haven't decided yet.

I love trips, but it's nice to be home.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Environmental sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy.
That ball of ice seemed appropriate, considering how unusually COLD it is here in California lately. At least we aren't buried in snow or crippled by ice storms, but I fear for the orange trees and the flowers.
I had a great weekend with the quilting friends but don't have a lot of pictures this time around. We worked out the details for the year, where to meet, who will make what quilt for whom etc. Not a lot of "sharing" of completed quilts yet. As the year goes on there will be more of those.
I worked on my "kid's quilt" and am almost finished . I like to take a simple project to sewing group because there is so much talking going on. I love the social aspect, but it is not a time for something requiring a lot of concentration, at least not for me. I didn't get a chance to take and download any pictures for WIP Wednesday.
I am not yet finished with my "ladder piece". I'm now thinking it might need to be part of something larger, in which case it will no longer qualify for the Quilt Studio 12 x 12 challenge. We'll see. I will post here on the blog whenever it is finished.
I will be away from blogging for a while, maybe a week? I'll try to post next week on Wed. Happy quilting everyone.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Photos At Last

Well, it's been a bit of a frustrating time, but I finally got to where I can post photos again with Blogger. I had to get rid of everything I had updated or installed before the glitch. This included Picasa, some Google stuff and an updated version of IE. From talking with others, I've learned that the new version of IE is a troublemaker and is to be avoided.
On top of that, as Jane Ann pointed out, Picasa does not play well with the new Blogger.
Ok, now to repost my WIP Wednesday.

This is the sketch I have chosen for my first new piece in the "ladder" series. More about that later.

Here is the start of the ladder piece, to be revealed when it is my turn at the Quilt Studio next week. If you haven't visited yet, go on over and see what people have been posting.

Here are the bright fabrics I have been auditioning for my kid's quilt donation for the 40 Quilt Service Project. I found some very cute "robot" fabric on the sale table at one of my favorite quilt shops and got enough for backing and some to use in the quilt. I have already "fussy cut" all the robot squares, and my happy little robots will be framed in a variety of bright fabrics.

I am delighted to be starting a three day weekend. Even better, I am going to a sewing marathon tonight with my quilting buddies. We have our meals and contributions all planned and some of us are taking along our aero beds to spend the night. We had a blast when we did this last summer, so I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sorry about the photos!(or lack of them)

Very early this morning when I tried to post, Blogger (new) would not let me load photos, so I tried with Picassa. At the time, when I viewed my blog I could see the photos. is a mystery to me why they don't show up now!
I am at work all day and having guests at home this evening, but I will try again to load the photos. Thanks for letting me know.

Valentines for Wounded Soldiers

I forgot to include this in my last post, but if you would like a quick way to show your support for wounded soldiers, here is a link for a project to send them valentines. This blog shows lots of great valentine examples, and both sites give some instructions for making the cards.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

WIP Wednesday

Wednesday already? Here is my WIP for this week, actually on the right day for once. This is a table runner I started after Christmas, and it will be a gift for one of my sister-in-laws. She is a techno-phobe and does not even read her email, much less my blog, so I am safe to post pictures here. I love her, but I wish she would join us in the twenty-first century.

I am still working out how to complete this. I thought about a circular vine, I want to leave room in the center for a vase or candle centerpiece. I even thought about including one in the gift, so if I bought it first I could design around it. As you can probably tell, this is machine applique.

On the "art" side, I have been sketching for my ladder series. The 12th will be here before you know it, and I hope I have something to show.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Dan Olfe, Stir It Up

Patty Hawkins, The Light of Day (Diptych)2005,
36" x 39", 48" x 39"Pieced and fused

It's been a busy few days since I last blogged, more family gatherings, a visit to my neice's new house, a surprise anniversary party (for someone else). House cleaning and projects still in progress. Party shopping at Costco, taking down Christmas decorations, a little time (not enough) spent sewing.

The very best day, though, was Saturday when I went up to the Oceanside Museum of Art with Diane and saw Quilt Visions 2006.
We were both just blown away by the wonderful art we saw. To name just a few: Katie Pasquini Masopust , Susan Shie, Joan Shulze, Pam RuBert, Patty Hawkins, Laura Fogg. Each piece was intense in its own way and totally amazing. The gallery space has wonderful light and they did a great job with the installation. I bought the catalog, which is beautifully done and worth owning. I had seen the work of some of the artists online, but the "in person" experience is just so much more. When you see such marvellous work, you are simultaneously inspired and humbled.

The day was sunny and cool with a brilliantly blue sky. We walked down to the pier and enjoyed the expansive view of the ocean while we waited to be seated for lunch at Ruby's. We sat where we still had a wonderful view, and happily chatted about art and life in general. Then we headed off for a little fabric shopping and finally ended our day back at her house to do a little sewing and enjoy some homemade chilli. It was a nearly perfect day.
Today is New Year's day and it's inevitable that we look back and take stock, and look forward and make plans. The goals I set for last year have seen some progress, although not as much as I would have liked.
They are the same ones I will set for next year: improve my fitness and health, develop my art, spend time with family and friends, and live in awareness and gratitude. That last part is most important, I think. This year, even more than most, made me very aware of how precious life is and how much I have to be grateful for.