Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Quilting Blogs

Some exciting stuff in February! As I follow links from blog to blog, I come across some pretty cool stuff. My latest discovery is Sew,Mama,Sew! February is quilting month at Sew,Mama,Sew! and there will be lots of giveaways and interesting stuff to keep me entertained during the coldest month of the year. Go here to get all the details. There will also be a Quilt Block Sew-along each week with a photo group on Flickr. Well, that might be another good way to use up some of my stash. The first block will be posted on February 1st.

Over at Crazy Mom Quilts, you can participate in a Quilt-a-long. It is almost over now, but the block instructions you can look at the archives and find the instructions for the earlier blocks. Hmmm, maybe we could start a blog for the Guild's B.O.M. program. Something to bring up at the executive meeting, anyway.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Some people are so darn creative!

I, of course, am not one of them. This was painfully obvious to me at a workshop I attended on Saturday put on by my quilt guild. Oh, I have managed to dream up and execute some pieces when participating in various challenges put on by my quilt guild, but I can't think up things on the spot. Case in point: I purchased the fabric kit for the quilt challenge for our 2007 quilt show in January of 2006, I finally came up with an idea and a plan to execute it in October 2006 - 10 months! It wasn't even that complicated a design! But, back to the workshop...

It was called Painted Fusibles and the idea is once you have painted some type of fusible web in your choice of colours and design, let the paint dry and then fuse to a light coloured background fabric and then embellish with thread, yarn, buttons, beads, glitter, feathers, ribbon, netting, silk, etc., etc., etc. to create a small work of art. I used some of my daughter's acrylic paints that she left at home when she went off to University. I brought primary colours red, blue, yellow and white. I should have brought the black as well, but I was in a hurry when I was gathering my supplies for the workshop and didn't want to drag too much stuff with me.

I started blending colours and painting on my Heat 'n Bond not really sure what I was doing. I just kept adding rows of colour. The first piece ended up looking something like a brilliant sunset over a green meadow... hmmmm. After a couple of pieces painted in the same left to right stripes, I tried some on the diagonal, this time leaving some white space. Next, I started painting a piece of Stitch Witchery (a fusible without paper backing). Initially, I had the same straight lines and then decided to go wild with some 'S' curves... woohoo! Followed by some random blobs of paint. Then after watching a classmate who was applying paint to her Stitch Witchery with her hands, I broke loose and smeared the paint across the surface of the fusible. It ended up being my favourite piece. I was trying not to make too much of a mess, but dripping and splattering paint onto the fusible web was strangely gratifying.

Now all the painting was complete and dried, it was time to fuse to fabric and create our works of art. Total blank... well, that piece kind of looks like it might be underwater... I need some fish. Of course, I did not bring anywhere close to the amount of stuff needed for this art project but my classmates were generous and gave me some tropical fish fabric, some wool strips I could use for seaweed and some sequins which could serve as bubbles. I added some small buttons for bubbles as well and then the whole lot gets covered in netting and fused again to hold it all together. When all is said and done, it looks like a grade 3 art project. I thought it might look better in digital form... hhmmm... not so much.

At least I finished one piece. Well, it's not actually finished. It still need to be layered and quilting somehow. I think I will just skip it. I went through the process, I know how to create an art piece using this technique. I think I will just wait until inspiration strikes me to use one of the other painted fusible pieces. Or not.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Was that measure once?

So, the tote bag is sort of on hold, in that it was just a wee bit small to hold my 18" x 24" cutting mat like it was supposed to do. I started with a slightly narrower piece of fabric than the pattern called for and with the addition of batting and a lining, there just isn't as much space in the bag. I will have to figure out whether I need to add some fabric to the sides to serve as a seam allowance or if I can just take a narrow enough seam to give me the extra room needed to fit the cutting mat. I was annoyed, so it's on hold until I can decide what to do.
In the meantime, I was back working on the Shoppe Girls' Magic Tiles quilt. I am almost ready to add the last border. I have about 4 or 5 feet of hand stitching to complete on the grout line attaching the pieced border. That is on the schedule for this evening.

A little earlier today, I was tidying the sewing room and came across some Cross Stitch projects in a drawer. I pulled one out and can't believe that it is *this* close to being finished! Actually there is a couple more in the same drawer. I put them aside when we move six years ago and then completely forgot about them. My eyes aren't what they used to be, but maybe I can see well enough to finish these up.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tote bag for workshops

I have stack of drapery fabric samples sitting around and decided to use some to make a tote bag to carry my cutting mat and rulers to the next workshop I attend. I bought a pattern some time ago and I was able to find it! After reading the directions, I see I will have to make a few changes. The pattern suggests using denim or canvas, no quilting, no lining. The drapery fabric is lighter, so I'll use some light batting and add a lining.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My last completed project

This table runner is from a kit I purchased a couple of years ago. Once I started, it was finished in an afternoon except for the hand stitching on the binding.

Becoming a blogger

Here we are into a new year - 2008, a leap year! It has been just over a month since I quit my job. I haven't accomplished much. Within the first week of my self-imposed unemployment, my back spasmed and I was unable to sit, stand or walk for very long before having to do one of the others. The pain lasted in varying degrees for most of the month of December. It was so frustrating not to be able to do all the things that needed doing in the run-up to Christmas. Finally, I am starting to feel able to tackle finishing the quilt that I started with my satellite group, the Shoppe Girls. It won't take long if I can tear myself away from the computer.

I sat down to write my article for the Guild newsletter. Once that was finished, I wanted to send along a list of quilt-related links for members to visit just in case there was space to fill. The last few quilt magazines I have read have all had articles mentioning various blogs to visit and I dropped in to check out a few. Of course, one blog leads to another... Four hours later, I realize that I missed lunch and it is now time for dinner.

Some of the blogs out there are so inspiring. Some have grown into a virtual community of hundreds. I might get more use out of my new digital camera if there is someplace to put the photos. We'll see...