Thursday, May 29, 2014

Overlook bench

My last bench quilt was ok but it didn't have enough contrast between the bench and background for my taste. With the owl you at least have a focal point but the bench was meant to be "the star"

So this time I made the bench first, fusing it together on parchment paper. Did you know parchment paper works just as well as the appliqué pressing sheets they sell? Save your money and buy fabric with it.


Sorry this is sideways but you get the drift.


Then found in my stash something for the background. I tried to keep it simple and believe me simple is hard for me but I like how this came out..


Speaking of sailboats, I saw the first one of the season today on my walk at red rocks park on Lake Champlain - dare I say it? Summer is here!

And yes, this may be a quilt soon


And this

Aaaah, so many quilts, so little time :-)


Sunday, May 18, 2014

The lake

This is another post for the blogger festival at Amys creative side. One of the categories is original design which all of my quilts are these days but this one is one of my favorites because the inspiration came from a photo of a spot on Lake George in the Adirondacks near where I grew up.

Taken with my trusty iphone - one of the greatest tools for making art quilts there is.
I'm constantly taking pictures and you never know when an inspiration will appear.

This is the first quilt I made from the photo. If anyone knows me I am always with at least one of my dogs if possible so this is the fantasy - sitting at the end of a dock in the summer with my best friend.

When I make a pattern, basically I enlarge the photo, trace the elements I want keeping it as simple as possible getting a line drawing. That drawing is then reversed for the pattern templates.
SO while I had the pattern already made and heard this song on the radio (from the 70's)

We get it almost every night
When that moon is big and bright
It's a supernatural delight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight
Everybody here is out of sight
They don't bark and they don't bite
They keep things loose, they keep 'em tight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight
Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody's feeling warm and bright
It's such a fine and natural sight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight
We like our fun and we never fight
You can't dance and stay uptight
It's a supernatural delight
Everybody was dancing in the moonlight

well I just had to make another, this time with me dancin' in the moonlight.
The moonlight above in the purple one is made out of fabric softner dryer sheets.

And I liked it so much I decided to make a pattern to sell of it, so of course had to make another to test out the pattern which you can buy here if you like.
This post will be under original design at the blogger festival and again I encourage you to check out some of the very talented quilters that blog. We are a happy  bunch :-)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stone bench in the woods

I finished the stone bench today and will continue from my last post on the process.

This is where we left off, hoping that some quilting would help define the bench.
And it did! I think it stands out pretty good although next time I would make sure I do more contrast between the bench and the background. I used tan Invisafil thread to quilt the whole thing and it worked great. A small meander in all the foliage and leaves background. The Invisafil hardly showed but left that quilting texture. This is the first time I've used it and highly recommend. It seems to play better than the monofilament thread I normally would use and doesn't give you that "plastic shine" and doesn't show the needle holes like the the mono does. Yes! It looks much better quilted :-)

And much better trimmed.

But it still needs a little something, hmmm.........
Let me look in my novelty fabrics for a bird or something to fuse down.

Yes! Victory! This owl is looking at me like "this is my bench and how dare you enter my woods"
Check it out - lots of quilt blogs to read and explore.
I am entering this into the art quilt category .  There are some really wonderful quilts there.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bench in the woods

Ok, so this is the original inspiration photo for the quilt I'm working on - thank you Nina, yes I lifted it from your blog. It's the one your daughter took I think . I love it.

And yes, what I've ended up with is not that close but it's just the inspiration - ;-D

The bench was easy, just reverse, trace and fuse


But the background - a different story - I tried this - eh



Reversed it - nah



And this, to dark and busy


Let's try something other than batiks - what!!! Blasphemy!

(But it just might work)

Maybe if I add some trees - hmmmmm, yes

So I've added and moved and built. It is now fused down so like it or leave it at this point. I think the bench blends in to much but we will see what quilting does. If I use a dark green thread to outline the bench and do the rest in a lighter blend in tone?

Stay tuned :-)



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Inspiration photos

I can't take credit for taking most of these. People on twitter have posted them.

I agree wholeheartedly

Adirondacks somewhere


Lookout point on wrights peak


A wee stone houses Ireland somewhere


Alberta Canada


And yes, I want to make a quilt out of all of these :-)

So many ideas so little time

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fabric postcard with birchbark

I'm not one to give the standard Hallmark Mother's Day card. I like making things for the people I love. So I made my mom a fabric postcard with her and Dad's beloved canoe on it. I know it's not very Mother's Day- ish but I go for out of the box and so does my mom. I'm assuming you know how to make a fabric postcard. They are quick and easy when you use fusible web for your motifs or scene. I have a pattern with detailed tutorial for sale on craftsy for 2 bucks if you want directions. With this post I wanted to give you an idea of how I dealt with the birch bark.


First I made my little scene using bits of fusible. Believe me there is no shortage of scraps in my stash :-)

Their canoe has the words old town on the side - that is done with a pigma pen.

Usually I would put my scene on heavy weight interfacing before quilting but I used a double sided fusible interfacing and thought it might be to much glue and be to heavy to quilt. It might work but I just didn't want to chance it so just quilted the scene with no layers.(Of course technically it would not be quilting with out the layers so don't tell the quilt police).

As for the birch bark, you will need a piece at least the size of your card. The USPS size requirement are minimum 5"x3.5" so it will need to be at least that size after you trim it. I tried to shoot for4"x6" which is the maximum size because usually I end up trimming a lot off to get it even. So cut off all the crappy torn parts of your bark. Birch bark is made of layers. Peel off the top layer to reveal nice fresh clean underneath. If your back side of the bark is really thick, peel off that as well. You want something thin enough to work with but yet thick enough to hold up to stitching.


So since I am using a double sided fusible interfacing I simply iron or fuse both the bark and the fabric to the interfacing. Make sure you use parchment paper or a thin pressing cloth - no iron to bark surface. The iron will scorch and burn your bark. Ask me how I know :-)

Then trim to size. I then (sorry no pics of the finished card) zigzagged a close together stitch all the way around the outside edge of the postcard using a jeans needle.

Look at a regular postcard and draw the line down the middle and write postcard like they all have. Write your greeting, address and return address. You only need to put a regular forever stamp on it and pop it in the mailbox. I mailed mine on Monday and Mom got it by Wednsday - no problem.

If you live in an area that has birch bark, give it a go! Remember not to take birch bark off living trees though.

Happy Mothers Day to All!



Friday, May 2, 2014

Oops! Let it go

As I showed you yesterday, I didn't trim off enough on this art quilt of a girl on a mountain top.

See on the right side of the top mountains there is a big gap of nothingness. I didn't realize this until after I had double stitched the facing and I'll be damned if I was going to rip it out. So I auditioned a couple of solutions to cover.

Maybe she's up there with her dog? Nah, looks like it's hanging off the mountain, poor little thing.



A little barn! Why would a barn be on top of a mountain?


A fusible dog? Nah, to big


What the heck is she doing?


Aha! Victory at last! These fusible trees are perfect!

See there is always a way to fix a mistake, it may not come to you right away but it will.

What are you working on today?



Thursday, May 1, 2014

To rip or not to rip - that is the question

So when I trimmed off the side of this little art quilt - look what I did! Should have trimmed an inch more. But I have sewn on the facing and done the top stitching so there is two lines of stitching I would have to rip out.

I could rip or try to cover.

What would you do?