Friday, January 27, 2017

Winter blues at the beach

Another non winter like year for us in Burlington Vermont with dark, dank rain, sleet and mush has got me dreaming of the beach. So yesterday I printed out my easy beach quilt pattern and started to play with fabric. I put on the new episode of PBS's Sherlock and thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of fantasy.


This is as far as I got yesterday. The pattern as printed makes an 8" by 10" making it easy to print but I like to enlarge 150% making it 11" by 13". It's still small so goes pretty quick.

Quilting is done. Next binding.

Auditioning binding here this morning. I always take a photo when undecided. Values stand out so much better. Now I can see that the one on the left looks best ( to me at least and its my fantasy, right?)

Some would call it done but I consider this now a blank canvas.

Let the embellishments begin!!

Stay tuned next week for the finish




Monday, January 23, 2017

tree hugger - with no fresh snow

There is a blog hop today hosted by seams to be sewn. The challenge was to do something about winter and to use at least one fabric that is not cotton. I live in Vermont and this is the 2nd winter in a row that we have gotten little to no snow. It is grey and brown around here. So I made this:

Tree hugger - 13"x18"
I love snow - it seems to insulate trees and wildlife from the cold temps.
This year it's so cold the trees have to hug themselves and are shivering to keep warm!

I realize this is an unusual quilt but I had so much fun making it. The only cotton used was the muted background and the hands and face. For batting I used felt (not cotton)
What got me going on this was burning or melting polyester sheer fabrics.
You CAREFULLY take your fabric, in my case strips of brown sheer and hold it over (not in) a candle flame. Hover over the flame until it starts to melt and curl. Keep a bowl of water handy because it probablly will catch on fire but just blow it out or dunk it. Not all fabrics will melt - some will just catch on fire but the ones that do curl and or get this beatiful torn edge effect. It must be polyester and I seem to have the best luck with sheer fabrics so keep that in mind if you try this.
Perfect for tree bark!

So to make my tree I first cut a tree like trunk and laid out some velvety strips down first and then kept adding more and more, using the melted and burnt strips, sewing them down as I went. First I tried glueing them down but the poly sheers do not stick well so, sew it down I did. I found a background that was muted and no snow winter looking and laid that out.
The hands were first sketched out with pencil and then a fine black sharpie. Fusible pressed to the back, paper taken off and then pressed to a wool felt. In hindsight I should not have used the felt. It made the hands to thick and the dark felt shows to much if you look closely at the hands.

The face is a purchased fabric that has faces already painted on so I traced around the head to get the size for the hole and cut it out. Then placed the hands and pinned down for quilting.
The hole ended up being to big - mistake? Hell no! Not in art quilting land!
A design opportunity!
I then proceeded to add to that face area that was to big - all kinds of funky yarns and wool fibers that I have in my stash. 
All of this was sewn down on my sewing machine and the hands were sewn down as well.
The background was free motion quilted and a facing was added to finish.
I love how he came out and thank you to Marian at Seams to be Sewn for having the blog hop or this tree hugger may never have been born.

Click on the button on the top right of this blog to go see the other bloggers for today.
and there is a giveaway!
a cute kit to make this felted wool block
this may be the only way to see snow this year is to make it - lol!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 20, 2017

A fresh snow blog hop

On Monday 1/23 I will be participating in a blog hop hosted by seams to be sewn. We are free to do whatever we want as long as one of the fabrics is not cotton. I decided to use some sheer like polyester and some velvety like scraps.

I am still working on my project so will just give you a sneak peek today.

The velvety scraps


Sheer poly strips after being melted / burned - gives a texture like tree bark.


If I want to finish by Monday I will need an extra hand so I made two - lol!

Stop by on Monday to see the finish and a more detailed explanation.

The blog hop starts today ( Friday the 20th) then commences again on Monday.

Go here for a list of the blogs today. She also had a giveaway for a wool block kit and a free pattern for the cutest groundhog applique block.

Or Click the button on the right sidebar to get links to the participants. I am looking forward to seeing what others are doing. Remember to stop back in on Monday!

There will be another wooly block kit giveaway then as well.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

pink pussy hat tutorial

There is woman's march in Washington DC the week end of the new president's election. Someone came up with the idea of wearing pink knitted or sewn pink hats with ears to silently protest the new president's disregard of a woman's dignity. (Remember the famous ET tape where he got caught talking about a woman's body part in a sneering manner?) do you think if millions of women wore pink pussy hats on election day he will get the message? probably not but we can have fun trying!
It's a revolution!
here is a tutorial on how I made my fleece one - without the embroidery it took about an hour

Cut your pink fleece 28 inches by 14 inches. If you have a small head do 13 inches. Very important: pull the fleece to see which way of the grain is the most stretchy. you want the most stretch on the 14" width.

Fold in half to make 14" by 14" with right sides out.

Sew up each side with a quarter inch seam or as close to the edge as you are comfortable with.

 Trim of the sewn edge and save the trimmimgs for a tail later on (optional)
 Turn inside out so the wrong sides are out. you should now have something that looks like a bag. Sew about a half inch seam allowance along the sides, making sure the seams from before are enclosed in this one.

Voila! You have just sewn a french seam!
Roll up the bottom for a cuff. You are still inside out (wrong sides out) at this point.Make it about 3 inches, fold under 1/4" and pin all the way around and sew.

Now turn inside out so right sides are out.

For the ears. measure 3 inches in from each top corner and mark a line diagonally.

Sew along that line for kitty ears.

Now try on your pussy hat! You can roll the brim to fit your head. Hiss and scratch a little to practice for inauguration day.

Now you could stop here and call it done but if you are the type that likes to embellish ......

Embroider some whiskers and a nose.

Knot those leftover seam strings and sew to the back for a tail.

Add your own special bling.

Join millions of other women wearing their pink pussy hats next week end! Its a pink pussy hat movement!


Friday, January 13, 2017

Snow goose


Snow Goose


For sale in my etsy shop here

Snow geese visit Vermont in the late fall on their way south. If you have ever seen and heard a flock lifting off, you will never forget it. The word cacophony and awe inspiring comes to mind.

Here is a link to the sounds on a video but is one of those things you really have to be there.

I won't take you through the whole process of making the goose but I just want to point out how much any portrait comes alive with just adding a dab of white paint to the eye.


Such a difference!


Friday, January 6, 2017

If it's not fun,what's the point?

If it's not fun what's the point?

Regarding my creative/quilting life this will be my motto in 2017 and I wanted to make a sign to remind me to only make things that I enjoy and have fun with

I'm sorry the lighting in the place this hangs is horrible but you get the idea.

It's a huge needle! How fun is that!

The quilted words didn't show up very well so I highlighted with a yellow marker.
Made it look gold (as in the golden rule, don't cha know)


I drew out the needle on a big sheet of freezer paper and then ironed it ( using parchment paper as a pressing shield) to some weird shiny silver polyester fabric that someone gave me. Did they not know that quilters only use cotton? Well, not this quilter. Guess that's why I got it :-)

There is 3 needles here since I figured I might screw up at least one. (Which is good since I spelled point wrong on the first one) I then sewed around the edges of the pattern after layering with batting and more weird siver stuff on the back. Next I did the words with free motion. I did the FMQ before cutting out the needle so I would have something to hold on to.



Then the needle was cut out and I sewed all the way around again with a short close together zig zag.

I must say this metallic silver stuff is horrible to work with. It frays very easily. I had to give it a haircut after and it still kept fraying. But it does look needle like.

The last thing was to add weight to the bottom other wise it would not lay on the wall flat. Took a small magnet, made a bag and then hand sewed to the back. Lastly sewed a small metal loop on the back to hang right next to my sewing machine.

Do you have a word or phrase to try and live by in 2017?