8/15/2017

Word Quilts

This week's Tuesday Archives at Val's Quilting Studio has the theme of WORDS.

I have made quilts with WORDS on them. Below I have highlighted some of the quilts I have blogged about. The link to the blog post is above the photo if you would like have more details about a quilt.

Thank you for visiting.

This is a pattern that I designed. This quilt is 54" x 66".

This quilt I made as a guild challenge and it was one accepted into the 
2016 AQS Show in Grand Rapids. 
I have looked back at my blog and can't believe I didn't blog about this first time experience for me!

The online group I belong to, Four-in-Art, has a challenge theme every 3 months during the year. 
In 2014, I used words as the basis of my quilted piece for the theme of Urban Structures. 

Another Four-in-Art Challenge was in Literature. I made this small 12" square quilt based on the book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. 

Another pattern I designed was sold through Cut Loose Press. 
I designed it so that one or more words could be appliqued on it. 
And the circles could use a variety of fabrics, appliques or embroideries. 






8/11/2017

Wool Applique Trunk Show

Connie Spalding from Fife Lake, Michigan was the speaker at our Quilt Guild meeting last evening. She does wool applique and it is lovely. She began in 2007 when she decided she didn't like using cotton fabrics and needle turn applique. She belongs to a number of Facebook groups that work in wool and she takes classes in different places--one time on a cruise! I took a photos of some of her pieces, which you will see just a little way down the page. 

I have never been drawn to wool applique, but she had some good points to consider. The first was that wool is stitched down with a variety of fun and pretty embroidery stitches. No need for needle turn applique or raw edge stitching with a sewing machine. Wool doesn't ravel like cotton. While some quilting is portable, wool is easy to take with you (again with no turning seams to applique). 

I might try a few of the free patterns she shared with us. 
One is a candle mat with pumpkins around the edge

and the other is a hedgehog pincushion (shown here with her other pincushions).

I do have a few pieces of wool I picked up a few years ago thinking I would make a square pincushion.

I hope you enjoy the photos. 


A block of the month in process

This is a sewing pillow. Scissors are stored in the heart, 
the bird's wing lifts for needles and thread storage.

 
 The different shades in these hand dyed wools made all the flowers and leaves so appealing.
This tablemat was made in the style of a crazy quilt and it is no larger than 24" across!

A quilt in the process of being finished.

A fun and colorful star

A felted donut card sent by a friend.

This was a block of the WEEK quilt!

What a fun nature quilt.

Connie made this wool quilt using a pattern designed for cotton applique.

A spectacular bed-size quilt with 1000s of cotton half square triangles
and wool flower appliques!

Have you used wool in your quilting? Do you have any tips for a beginner?


8/08/2017

EQ7 Helps with Kitchen Design

My husband and I have a small cabin on an island in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We were there a few weeks ago for a late summer get-away and with plans to see how we could re-design the kitchen/dining/entry area. We want this to be use this as well as our children and their spouses, and future grandchildren. Having been built in 1985, as a fisherman's place, it is in need of some re-dos.
This is the width of our little piece of the island.
I took my laptop with intentions of designing some quilt tops. In the past, my husband and I have worked with graph paper on all our building-type projects. But as I began taping sheets together for the correct scale, I remembered reading how Beaquilter used her EQ7 program to help design the family's outside deck. I got the laptop out and opened the EQ7 program.


It is the kitchen area we want to re-do. It just doesn't work to our efficiency.We took measurements of the wall and room height. I set up a Custom Layout on the Quilt Worktable. The grid lines didn't help because we were working with 3" increments. So I clicked on View>Rulers.


I drew blocks in Blocks> Easy Draw that represented the cabinets, windows, refrigerator, stove and counter tops that we wanted. After much moving around (easy when using this program), this is what we came up with:

We won't be starting on this for another year or so, but it gives us an idea of what we can look for in cabinets, a 30" stove to replace the 27" one that is over 40 years old. We'd like a newer refrigerator and sink. We are not sure about the wall covering/finishing. We'd like something that is moisture-proof as the cabin can get damp on the island. But we are both happy with the clean lines that EQ7 helped us draw and the ease of use. It sure beat erasing or using more graph paper!

Have you ever used EQ for a non-quilting project?

8/01/2017

Four-in-Art Reveal!

I am happy to reveal, today, my finished challenge piece for the Four-in-Art group. For those of you who read my last blog, any good vibes you sent helped. Thank you.

Before I show the completed project, let me tell you what our challenge was for this quarter.

Each year we choose a theme on which our quilt creations will focus. Then each quarter there is a sub-theme chosen by one of the members. This year the main theme was Light/Illumination. Elizabeth chose "Stained Glass Shadows" as this quarter's sub-theme.

She said that the opposite of light can be shadow and not always total darkness. Transparency, overlay, jewel tones, pattern were some of the ways this concept could be executed.

With that introduction, here is my piece called, "Stained Glass Shadows."


It took me time getting started. I had the stained glass window idea in my mind two months ago and used Electric Quilt to draw the paper piecing pattern. I knew I wanted to use the batiks I had in my stash for the light and shadow pieces. I had a variety of grays, so that represented the stone or concrete of the window and the floor with the shadows.

I like how it turned out. One thing I wish I had done was to have included the bottom portion of the piece in EQ so all the seams and lines would have lined up better. The quilting would have been easier (a few lines are crooked).

As to the quilting, I used straight lines because I wanted to use the multi-colored Guttermann metallic to put a bit of sparkle in the quilt. I know from experience that some metallics break when free motion quilting curves. In the shadows of a room, the quilting makes the triangles look much more like they are filtered light coming from the stained glass window.



I may add more quilting to follow the diagonal lines of the triangles at a later date. But I am happy to have finished on time.

Be sure to check out the other members of the Four-in-Art group and see what they revealed today. 







Nancy (That's me, you are here!)



Comments are always welcome and I respond to those that have a way from me to email them.
Make your day creative!

7/29/2017

Will I Get It Done?

August 1 is the reveal of the Four-in-Art group challenge quilts. I am down to the wire with finishing it. I am ready to begin to quilt the layers. I plan on using metallic thread and just cross my fingers for luck that it cooperates. I am going to sew straight lines and it might work without me trying to free-motion stitch with it.

I will give you a peek at what what I've been doing.

I have been working on three different projects, which hasn't helped with my organization. So I have a mess.

The Four-in-Art reveal involves some paper piecing.


And pieces cut with this 60 degree ruler:

So I end this post to go off to begin quilting.
If you have any good quilting vibes to send out to me, I would appreciate them.
I hope on August 1, you'll come see if I succeeded.
Happy quilting!

7/21/2017

A Stop at Quilt Shop

This past Wednesday I went with a group of friends to four quilt shops. The last shop we stopped at was Luv 2 Quilt, in Rockford, Michigan.

Maryevelyn, who owns the shop, is very friendly and was happy to let me take some photos of the shop in its new location. I was delighted with the fabrics she had for quilters to purchase. There was something for everyone--primitives, batiks, solids, modern, 30's, novelties. She made good choices in her stock.

Walking into the shop we liked the spaciousness.


There are many sewing notions and patterns along one wall. 


Books were located further into the store along with rulers and templates.

She has a huge sewing/classroom area.

You can see that the lighting is great; and, there is plenty of room for shoppers to move around.




There is a large rack of fat quarters, but other fat quarters can be found around the shop.



We all agreed it was a great place to shop and we would return. 

Thank you for visiting my blog.



7/20/2017

Quilting and Socializing with Friends

In the past 2 weeks, I have had opportunities to spend time with quilting friends. I've enjoyed having this time to socialize. I didn't work intensely on projects as chit-chatting and laughter filled much of the time.

One friend has invited me and two other friends to her house on a twice-a-month schedule to sew, chat and share lunch. The other day I took hand sewing--an apple core  project I began 2 years ago in a class at AQS Grand Rapids. It wasn't suppose to be hand sewn, but it became my traveling project. I took it with me to Florida in February and on weekend trips away from home. Sometimes I got many pieces sewn together, while other times nothing got done. When I attach the last of the apple cores I have cut, it will be done.
I am not sure what it will become, but it is colorful.


Yesterday we four took a road trip stopping first at a primitive antiques shop. I bought a "rug beater" which I always wished I had and a small decorative bees skep (never actually used for bees).



We ate lunch at Turk Lake Restaurant, where I enjoyed a very delicious house-smoked brisket sandwich. On the way home we stopped at four quilt shops. The last shop was Luv 2 Quilt. Maryevelyn had recently moved to this new and larger location. Tomorrow I will have a blog post with photos. Our trip was filled with laughs, enjoyable chats, and a few wrong turns!

Tuesday I was able to attend the once-a-month open sewing held at the church. Three other women were sewing with me; and, we shared fun and pleasant conversations about many topics, including some memories of childhood adventures, travels and, of course, quilting projects. I took my machine and worked on these items.
4 baby burp cloths for a friend


Pillow from one of hubby's shirts

Quilt-as-you-sew table runner that needs binding
I added the stars to the Wavy Banner from a pattern I designed.
I was reminded of how enjoyable it is to sew with friends, old and new. I look forward to this next month as I attend the AQS Show in Grand Rapids where I will be taking some classes--and meeting quilters from many places.

Do you sew with a group? Is it large or small? What kinds of projects do you sew? I enjoy reading your comments and try to respond to all replying here or via email.

Thanks for stopping and letting me share with you.




7/02/2017

Storage Solution Found

I was cleaning out a closet in the guest room. I found some banners and small quilted wallhangings folded on one of the shelves. We all know that folding quilted items can cause a crease and wear and tear on the fabric threads. I have large quilts stored in a few dresser drawers and one hall closet (yes, I have many quilts).

What could I do to store these items without folding them? I may have seen this somewhere in the past, but a light bulb went on when I saw all the plastic hangers that came out of the closet! I could easily cut the bar across the bottom in half and slip the sleeve of each item on a hanger. (My husband let me use his mega-type dremel saw because he thought a small craft saw would take too long.) They could hang in the back of the closet and ready when needed.





Have you come up with a clever or easy way to store your quilted items? I'm always interested in a helpful suggestion on how to store my quilts. 

RECAPS

  • I visited a new quilt shop called 2nd Street Quilt Shop: Read more here.
  • My Fourth of July quilting projects can be seen HERE.
A BLOG I ENJOYED READING:


Val discussed appreciating where we are in our creative journey in life HERE. Maybe my cleaning and purging made me appreciate this post.