Monday, March 4, 2013

Design Wall Monday 3-4-13

Very similar to last week's photo only I've started adding some details. See the little puppy nose in the top of the photo? He's my buddy and critic. I'm trying to get a good photo of him to print on fabric and add to this piece. So far, though, my little guy isn't being especially cooperative about having his photo taken.

Jump over to Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Design Wall Monday 2-25-13

After being away for a couple of weeks, I'm getting back into the swing of things with this art quilt piece. The Holiday House I made late last year (shown in an earlier Design Wall Monday posting) has inspired a possible "collection" of houses. This is my take on an Airstream travel trailer. Yet to come will be a beach shack, maybe a log cabin, certainly a haunted house. There are lots of possibilities noodling around in my brain cells. At this point, however, this piece is ready for embellishing, then quilting and finishing. I'm thinking of adding a lounge chair, a grill, a flower pot by the door step, some metal siding features, some tufts of grass. I absolutely love the background batik.

I've also begun playing with fabric painting inspired by a DVD and book by Mickey Lawler - Skyquilts. Both the DVD and book are fabulous. Mickey gives very detailed information about using the fabric paints, mixing colors, achieving certain effects and correcting boo-boo's. Here are my first two pieces. What I learned in the first piece is that the paint colors do, indeed, continue to move and blend and they tend to soften. I used tone-on-tone white fabric that I had in my scrap pile for my first two experimental pieces - once I get a little more time under my belt with fabric painting I'll use the recommended plain white tightly woven broadcloth.

This is try #2. Yep, I have a long way to go ... but it will be a fun journey. Take a few moments to visit Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times to see all the inspiring and awesome projects others are working on.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Design Wall Monday 1-28-13

I finished this mug rug last week and love it - have it on my desk at work. I have 1 more mug rug to finish with embroidery embellishments. Haven't started anything new. The mood to sew hasn't really been there so I'm not pushing it. I know when the mood strikes I'll be all over it like white on rice ...

Take a few moments to check at Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Design Wall Monday 1-21-13

Mug Rugs! I love making these little guys. They're super fast, and it's a great opportunity to explore new techniques and stitches without having to make a huge time commitment, and it's a great way to use up fabric scraps. And they keep me busy and out of trouble.

So, I have 4 mug rugs going right now. One is crayon dyed piece - it should be obvious to tell from the photo which one it is - I will be embellishing it a lot with stitching, both by machine and hand, to make the houses and the overall design show up better. The mushroom mug rug is similar to one I saw on Pinterest. The bird/birdhouse is a single McKenna Ryan block I made, just because. And the turquoise/black mug rug with the silver cardinals - well, I was just playing around with that one.

I use these mug rugs at home and at work and really enjoy them.

Take a few photos to visit Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Design Wall Monday 1-14-13

Am finally back at it after taking a sewing break over the holidays so I could spend most of my time with my family.

Please visit Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday. Even though I haven't been posting the last few Mondays, I have looked at all the lovely and inspiring photos of pieces other quilters are working on.

I actually have several things to report. The Block of the Month quilt is finished. I did not quilt it but instead had it machine quilted by Lilly Lucier in Vanceboro, NC.

This piece is called a "little canvas" that will be a donation to the local arts council. For a fundraiser they ask area artists to submit something, anything, on an 8x10 canvas. In March they hold a banquet that costs $35/person to attend. Each attendee will receive a "little canvas". This is mine. It was definitely inspired by the fabrics!

This is the almost finished grab bag challenge piece. Last March the ArtRageous Quilters group, of which I'm a member, issued a grab bag challenge. Each participant put things in a big zip lock baggy. The bags were handed out to other members. We don't know whose bag we received. We have to make a quilted piece around 20" square or so, and have to use 65% of the materials in the bag. The quilted piece we make will be given back to the person who assembled the grab bag. I have to tell you I was not especially happy with the baggy I received because it was mostly upholstery fabrics. They were very difficult to work with because they frayed so badly. Also included in the baggy were some funky yarns and some metallic threads. And to top it off, the color scheme is not my favorite - it was mostly browns and rusts. After listening to me whine about the baggy I received for several months, my friend Lori reminded me that it was, after all, A Challenge! So I worked up a design and here it is. What's left to do is use the metallic threads to accentuate the pupils and add some beads. It's not named yet - am still thinking about that.

I should finish up both challenge pieces this week and start something new for next week's Design Wall Monday.

Happy New Year to all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday House - how I made it

There was no pattern for this (photos in previous posting). It was totally from my imagination. I used the challenge fabrics to give me some direction as to how I would use them. The white/light fabrics would be snow. The greens would be trees or shrubs. The yellows would be windows. The reds would be curtains and the chimney. I drew in and used crayon and markers for the shingles and front door and steps. I cut out leaves and holly berries from challenge fabrics for the window boughs and door wreath. I also cut out motifs from some of the individual challenge fabrics for tree decorations. Two of the challenge fabrics had snowmen in them and I used one as a door decoration, and one beside the front door although the more I look at him he kinda looks like a "peeping snowman" ... . I used some of the brown-ish tone fabrics for awnings. I used the blue as gingerbread trim around the roof line. One fabric had these really strange Christmas mice on it so I cut out the white fur from the mice and made that snow on one of the trees. The individual components were appliqued and I used a clear thread to secure them to the house. I also used clear thread for the quilting - for the quilting I did a meander on the trees and shrubs and an outline stitch on the shingles and steps and mid-point of the house and the roof line. I added some embroidery trim (french knots, chain stitch for the garland, simple stitching for the candle flames). I added beads as "lights" in the trees and shrubs and the garland, and I also used bead fringe as "icicles". The shape of the piece is the house itself with the trees and steps, so instead of adding a typical binding I just satin stitched around the perimeter and trimmed it close. It's fraying a bit so I may use a very diluted glue around the edge to stop the fraying.

That's it. I have a gazillion ideas for other "houses" like a beach shack, a southern house, a camper, a mountain cabin ... this will be fun. I've been collecting fabrics like wood grains, boards, pebbles, stones, bricks, grass, water, etc. just because I suspected somewhere down the line I would do something like this. Just gotta find the time ...

Design Wall Monday 11-26-12

The guild holiday challenge project is finished ... and the deadline isn't even until Dec. 8th!  But here it is. I've decided to do some additional houses and cottages and bungalows using a similar technique and featuring different seasons of the year (hmm??? Maybe a haunted house??). So, this one is named The Village Collection - Holiday House. It's about 15" x 30" at its widest and longest points.

This was a lot of fun to do; once I started it I became totally absorbed in it. I'm looking forward to making more houses without the constraints of the challenge and being able to use some of the fun fabrics in my stash like the brick, stone, and wood fabrics, however this challenge certainly did make me look at the challenge fabrics differently. Here is a close-up of the bottom right corner. I think the beads add a lot of character to it.

BAM! is ready for the machine quilter (Lilly Lucier, Vanceboro, NC). Am very glad I decided to use black for the sashings and border because the blocks pop. So much of this quilt is comprised of very square patterns so I've chosen a curvy pattern for Lilly to use. And white thread.

Mug rugs seem to be quite popular these days. Here are 6 using motifs left over from a coffee print fabric. I still need to whipstitch the binding, but otherwise they're finished. The bindings are not all the same because I used fabric scraps. The smallest is about 7" square. The largest about 8.5" x 10".

At this point I'm not project-less, but I don't have any new projects actually started. Plenty of ideas, though. And plenty of projects ready to start but will try to wait until after Christmas.

Take a few minutes to visit Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday. It's amazing all the spectacular quilts and projects folks are working on.