Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spring is Coming in...

"Two Shakes"
36" by 36"

It was sunny today,so I posed my lambs on a snow bank.

And a couple of detail shots.

I think I need to add a bit of ink or paint to the flower stems.  I quilted them in, but I think they would benefit from a little bit more color.  Or maybe not.  *smile*

Now that it's all finished, I think the legs on the left lamb look a bit awkward in the photo.  But then spring lambs are new at standing, aren't they?    

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring: it's coming again

Actually it came and went.  I wrote this post last April and just finished it.

Okay -- maybe not here in Wisconsin.  But for most of the northern hemisphere, it is.  My guild, Lodi Valley Quilters Guild, has a spring challenge each year that coincides with Quilt Academy.  A choice of three classes are offered from a long list of possibilities; it's a really big deal.  I'm on the committee (I redesigned the brochure this year) so I felt more than obligated to finish my challenge for the quilt display we did with it.

The challenge fabric was this floral.  
 Totally not my style.  But I had to use some of it.  On the front.  Hmmm...

So I got this idea of spring animals frolicking in the flowers. I ironed fusible web to the entire fat quarter.  Then I sat at a meeting and later in front of the TV and cut out individual flowers.  I made it easy on myself and used textile glue to fasten the sheep parts to the background for quilting.

I pinned a thin cotton batt to the back and stitched all the lambs' wool with Aurifil thread.  Here are the finished lambs before I cut away the batting and layered it with the final wool batting.

I will post a photo of the finished piece in a week or two after the show on April 5.  I might have some fun photos of the guild members then too.

Okay, this is not true.  I will post the finished project sometime this month.  OK.  I lied again.  It has been nearly a year and here it is!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Structure: How I did it

My list of things to do has long included seeing the colorful row houses that one sees in western Europe.    So for this challenge, I took the structure thing a bit literally and drew a row of fantasy buildings.  This was a piece of washed cotton that I ironed to a bit of freezer paper to stabilize it for the drawing.  

After I finished the drawing, I layered it with a wool batt and stabilizer on the back.  Then I stitched over it with my machine using white and dark grey cotton threads.

Then I rinsed it to get rid of the blue pen.  After it dried, I ironed it to flatten it.  

I used Derwent Inktense pencils to color in the buildings.  Those scissors were handy for snipping threads.  

 I used these three different textile mediums.  Why?  Because I felt like it.

This is a bit of a close up of the penciled piece before I used the mediums on it.

 The bright green building on the left and the partial one to the left of that have medium on them.  After I finished the penciling I brushed on the diluted medium.  I haven't done this in a while and forgot how much it spreads.

And a much better photograph of the finished piece.  Actually, it's not finished. I think it needs more quilting.   I'll post again after I quilt the sky.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Structure Challenge

"A Row by Any Other Name"

I created this for the "Structure Challenge" at Art Quilts Around the World.  Hopefully, I will get it together in the next few days and put together a couple of posts detailing how I did it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Leaf Warm-up

I used this wonderful tutorial for an oak leaf and acorn to warm up.

It's available at:

  And the finished motif with an additional line of quilting around the leaves.  I used a piece of my own hand-dyed cotton sateen, a wool batt, and a bit of decor-bond to stabilize the back. I think it would be nice as part of a bag.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monochromatic 2 Challenge - Construction

In the previous post I showed the finished piece.  Following is the sequence of construction.

I drew the outline, some of the spots, and the eye on this commercial batik with a washaway marker.

The inks I used are lined up and you can see a tiny sample of each color on the side of the fabric next to the bottles of inks.

Using temporary adhesive spray I attached a piece of wool batting to the wrong side and stitched around the outline with a medium orange thread.

After the initial stitching, I inked in the eye, spots, and shadow.

I arranged all the threads I might want to use in order of value.

This is a closer view of the inked portion before I added more thread. 

I used straight stitching on the eye with four different threads.  I used a couple of different weights because I wanted a lot of color and texture variation.  I used a free motion zig zag stitch to give the rest of the gecko the appearance of scales, using brown thread on the spots and orange for the rest. The blue ink was rinsed away after this.

The back before I cut away the excess batting.

Then it was layered with another piece of wool batt and DecorBond, then quilted.

This is my model in repose in another shot. She is actually more gold/yellow and black.  I used my artistic license to make her orange and brown for the challenge.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monochromatic 2 Challenge

16.5" by 11.75"

This is my work for the "Monochromatic 2" challenge at Art Quilts Around the World. There is terrific texture that doesn't show up in this photo because it is cloudy today.  I will replace the photo when the sun comes out.

A detail of the eye.

And the back side.