Background Experiments

treadlemusic:

In the spirit of sharing awesome gals who have totally inspiring artistic/quilty creativity AND give us ideas on how to not add to our stash but utilize all that’s waiting in the shadows of our personal fabric treasures!!! Enjoy!!! And, please, feel free to leave your thoughts on all that Debbie shares………………………………

Originally posted on debby quilts:

A few posts back, I showed you the pile of 3″ squares and the snowball quilt I was working on.

Here’s the finished snowball quilt. I put a simple wide black border on it, influenced by the great Amish quilts I saw at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. By the way, if you are ever in the area, I can’t recommend this museum highly enough. They have great exhibits, and it is so lovely to see quilts displayed in such a beautiful way.

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Well, it seems my figuring was a bit off, because I finished that snowball quilt top, and still had a huge pile of 3″ squares. When auditioning backgrounds for the snowball quilt, I came across a piece of dyed golden beige fabric. It was really pretty with the jewel tones of the squares, so I put it aside, thinking that I might…

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Engineer vs. Artist: Sneak Peeks

treadlemusic:

Continuing the FMQ love and feather frenzy, I share with you, my friends, a very important/primary influence in my quilting journey……Miss Wendy, one awesome stitcher and sweet friend………

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Originally posted on Ivory Spring:

Hello Friends, I meant to check in yesterday, but I had an Engineer vs. Artist moment (thus the name of the quilt for now), and the Artist won.  You see, when piecing is involved, I am all engineer because of the precision aspect of things.  Then, when it comes time to decide what to quilt, oftentimes the engineer within me takes over for the efficiency aspect of things, due to project deadlines, and I have to be efficient with what I quilt within the amount of time I have…. but yesterday, the Artist in me won!

I was already late because the piecing took longer – piecing ALWAYS takes longer for me because I am a snail-speed piecer. I knew I had a limited amount of time to quilt the quilt.  I could just quickly quilt an allover motif, and be efficient, or I could go all out and…

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FMQ is on the minds of many these days………..

Spiral Lollipop, Free Motion Quilting, LKennedy

And Lori, over at Inbox Jaunt, has done a TBT (ThrowBack Thursday) post that explains a bit of her beginnings in the art. Hop on over and check it out!!!! 

 

Spiral Lollipop, Free Motion Quilting, LKennedy

Now, let’s go stitch…….practice, practice, practice……..

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From tension testing to thread playtime……………….

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Superior Metallic thread (variegated) on muslin.

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Small (quilt) group recap………..

In between snowstorms, here in S.E. MN, we managed a very “Spring-like” gathering. Starting off with Carol’s perfectly April-themed wall quilt………001

Sheri is stash-busting with this one…………………….003

Hiding behind her latest finished “flimsy”, JoAnn has been busy…………………………004    I believe she said this was an older Connecting Threads kit.

Joan continues her original creation for her grandson……005

Marilyn’s chicken/rooster placemats echo her latest passion………..006

And Twyla, the ever busy one, has a stack of completed wall quilts to share. (Note: Her craft business/talents are huge and extensive!)………..007

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And today we woke up to another few inches on top of the somewhat melted 9” we got last Sunday/nite…………011

Think warm thoughts (this for all those in my little “boat”) and let’s go stitch…………………………

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A “Winter Texan” quilt group………

With a name I can really love……”Killer Bees”. Yup, that’s their moniker! Now that’s gotta ‘bee’ an assertive group…yes??? Their meeting this morning was fast paced, well organized and kept on track by Ms Jan, a wireless-hand-held mic wielding gal whose attention was difficult impossible to ignore. I’m liking this gal!!! In an hour, or so, all the necessary business had been discussed & dispatched and we were on to sharing time. Now, all this was imperative because immediately following was to be a workshop time on beginning fmq (free motion quilting) and there was no time to waste!

   The following photos are a quick recap of most of what these gals had been working on as a result of various outside workshops and events attended (sorry for the poor quality of the pics……..an “off” day for me for sure!!!!)……..(‘click’ on any photo to enlarge)

005 This is a view of just half of those in attendance! Yup, the group numbers approximately 150 but this is nearing the end of the winter season and many have left already.

006  This is the group on the opposite side, ready to roll with the workshop that followed.

007 There will be a workshop coming up and this gal was doing a preliminary  explanation of what can be expected.

008 Everyone’s attention was peaked by this top. The pattern was spotted in a recent Keepsake Quilting catalog and, of course, that gal was convinced that she could duplicate it w/o benefit of the purchased pattern……….totally successful!!!!!!

009  011  012 This is Ms Jan and her piece from a recent workshop led by Chicagoan Laura Wasilowski (Artfabrik). She did a great post about the Rio Grande Valley Guild (which is definitely in my future!!!) here.

016  017 018 This top was so beautifully pieced and hand embroidered! Close-up viewing was requested.

021  023 025 A bit of needle-punch (tiger).

027 This top was the result of a photo the gal on the right took, purchased the fabric and just did a “wing-it” approach (with much planning, I’m sure!!!!).

032  It’s difficult to see but these were designs that were colored with crayons, set, then outlined/embroidered & pieced. I believe there were cries of “workshop….workshop” heard at this point!!!!!!

033  035  The giraffes were a ‘hit’ and, also required some scrutiny close-up! Beautifully done applique, all!

037                     More beautiful applique!!!!

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048 046 A “quilt as you go” in progress (front, on left, and back, on right).

 

And on to the fmq workshop and those who were taking part became very focused!!!!!

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At this time, I quietly took my leave. But I will be back…………next January to join with the rest of the Winter Texans.

One more day and then we’re northward bound. Til next time…….

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Wordless Wednesday…….Not!…………

Hi! I’m back to show you client’s quilt #2………………..010 

Such an interesting pattern, don’t you think????? The color/pattern combos certainly “play” well together and ya just gotta love all the secondary patterns that emerge. Here’s a peak at the back……………..012  The fabric seems to be a light-weight denim and works well with the shirting weight fabrics in the top. It’s got some ‘heft’ to it for being a smaller quilt.

Thread: Aurifil Mako 50wt (top) and Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly 70wt (bobbin).

Batting: Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly

Stitching motif: all over swirls.

I do hope that your week is progressing nicely and you’re able to get some stitching done!!! Til next time………………..

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Good Monday morning!!!…….

My design wall is empty but I did finish off a small client’s lap top quilt to show. It’s made using the pattern “Twist and Shout” found here. You’ll notice that there aren’t any triangle pieces cut to set in. It’s only after the top is pieced that there is some clever “slicing” and rearranging  that creates those setting triangles. More examples of this pattern may be found here and here.

The current quilt……..005 

A close-up and the back………..

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Thread: Aurifil Mako 50wt (top) and Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly 70wt (bobbin).

Batting: Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly

Stitching motif: “Loopy Paisley”                                       Not a large project but a pleasant one.

 

Next up….another lap quilt for the same client…….

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Enjoy your week and, please, stop back when you are able!

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And the winner is……………..

Scan0007 Commenter Number 28!!!!!! Yes, that’s you “bluedove2014d”. I’ve sent you an e-mail requesting your name and address. Update: Congratulations, Diane of Pearce,AZ!!!!!!!!!!

00 RAQCover I am so appreciative of all who took a few moments to stop by, say ‘hello’ and share just what inspires you on your colorful quilt journey. There are many of us at different places on this exciting path! I do hope that I will see many of you again as you share your experiences with us all so that we might be inspired by you!

Thanks again! I treasure each and every one of your sweet words. Until we meet again, I send you hugs and a gentle reminder to………practice, practice, practice!!!!!!

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Mini-Shop-Hop report……………..

My “list” contained just 1 item for this trek!!! Yup, just 1 and it was this…….008an additional Aurifil thread in this color. How hard could that be??? Well, in the shops we were to visit, only 1 had this brand and it was not the first shop, or the second!!!! Anyhow………….

I’ll give you the quick(?) retail account. First up was Quilt Basket & Creations, located in Viroqua, Wisconsin. We’ve been there on many previous occasions and always find a little something to take home. See my post here for earlier visit info. Just a few items made it to the car……..005 A couple of $1 fat quarters….always needed!!!! And that piece by Kate Spain—-glorious! A small bag of jingle bells…..just because!!! AND this panel004 Isn’t that the most perfect candidate for this motif?????? Stay tuned on this one!! I know it’s a winter theme and I’m so ready to move on to warmth BUT 50% off and the opportunity to use “Feather Galaxy”====perfect!!!!

The next shop was a bit further down the road in Richland Center, WI. The Thimble and Thread is located in a building once used as a motel and now each room has been changed to create shop space, an office, longarm room, workshop area and storage! Only picked up some pre-printed fabric labels!!! Pretty good so far………….. 006 

Moving on to Waunakee(WI) and Mill House Quilts, which was a grain mill (built in 1875) in its “former life”!! (more on this shop and a previous visit here) IMG_0876

This gorgeous shop is my “Radiance” fabric source!!!!!! IMG_0874   Is that not the most fabulous array you’ve ever laid eyes on??? (drooling………….) Nope……I’m good in that department, thank you very much but the thread!!! Yup……they had it, along with the “InsulBrite” that I use when making hot pads/pot holders. 007 That last item really was one of those……..”I see it/I remember I’m down to my last bit of it”-type purchases…..saves future frustration when trying to construct that ‘perfect’/last minute gift!!!!

Moving onward……to our last stop.  Village Creek Quilts was actually (kinda, sorta) the reason we went this direction in the first place. Their specialty is pre-cuts and the owner has made a fab business of utilizing those in creative new ways. IMG_0880

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IMG_0890I am here to tell you that her techniques are so simple and so easy that the temptation is to tell yourself “I’ll remember that!”……guess again!!! Her ability to turn 10” and 5” squares into fab new piecings is quite amazing. Moral of the story…..buy her books!!!!! 012 011 

Just 2 little packages of precuts followed me home (I was quite pleased with myself!!! Remember….I only needed thread!!!!!)

Across the street, from the above shop, is one of those most sweet primitives shops……..IMG_0893 We just couldn’t resist a peak inside………………………..IMG_0895IMG_0896IMG_0897 (1)

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So the day ended. Oh yes, we did stop for a quick bite to eat…..nothing spectacular, though cuz fabric was our “mission”!!!!!!!

 

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A Finish……………..

Just a quick post to show the “big picture” (of what was started in this post)……..009

Threads used (top and bobbin): Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly, 70 wt. Hobbs 80/20 (cotton/poly) batting.

See you next time!!!! I’m off on a mini shop-hop with Carol and JoAnn today (Wednesday) and who knows what treasures I’ll be reporting on!!!!????

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What’s in a name????……..

Well, as the Bard said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” and this latest fmq motif that has taken over my life I’ve fallen in love with has taken on the name “Feather Galaxy” (thank you Karen!). Yup, when I should have been stitching on………..well, anything else(!), I was doing this………………….010

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I ‘spose I could repeat that I was doing a thread tension test but………..I’m really not using this thread on a project currently!

OK, playtime done and on to……………………….

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Progress = Texture!!!!………………

Moving along nicely on this one. A project such as this takes a bit of time but the reward/outcome is definitely worth it!!!!! A couple of “back shots”….love these!!!!!007

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Onward to the finish!!!!…………………..

(Note: you may ‘click’ on any photo to enlarge!)

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Continuing the fmq fun from yesterday……….

But, first, to remind you of what that fun was, see here and here’s a photo refresh…….. 009

A few photos of my sketch book jottings giving the step by step directions………..

 

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As I pointed out in the above link, Karen is a step ahead on                this one and has posted a video of this motif as she stitches               it…found here.

It’s early in the day and plenty of time for “thread play”, so            let’s do it!!!!

Til next time…………………

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Checking machine tension resulted in…………

Finding a fun fmq motif that will probably get used real soon! Over on Fb, in the group “Free Motion Quilting Frenzy”, Karen Miller of “Redbird Quilt Co.” and the blog “Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals” I saw a really nice stitching design on Mary Landin #addictedtofabric. image            Karen has been sketching it and posting on Fb. OK, it stuck in my mind and…..well, I just had to try it. Note: I do have a sketch/doodle book but I have a tendency to jump right to the thread and here’s the result………………040                  It takes a bit of concentration right now but it will get better!!!!!

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Feather Fun on a Saturday afternoon…………

Because that’s what the client desired and far be it for me to deny her!!!!! 001

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The “big picture” coming soon……………….

Springtime is finally peeking at us. The sun is shining and the 40’s and 50’s are forecast!!!! Yay!!!!

 

And don’t be caught napping……….. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 a.m. TONIGHT!!!!   

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It’s “DST”……………………

“Ditch Stitchin’ Thursday”………………….001

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When is a feed sack not a feed sack????………..

When it’s a tote bag after following the directions found on this delightful site in this post!!!! Rebecca Nickols takes you step by step, with photos, through the assembly process. This may not be the best project for the novice sewer as her text directions/photos are a bit unclear on the “boxing the bottom” portion of the bag construction (but this confuses many who have not done such a process.). First, may I clearly point out that she uses a large 40# bag of feed (mine were 20#) so adjustments were needed when it came to the instruction to cut off 8& 1/2” from the bottom of the bag. I cut off only the handle width that she indicates and nothing more!!! Secondly, for the bottom “boxing” measurement she used a 9” measurement and I found 5” to 5& 1/2” to be a better choice. Thirdly, she doesn’t give the lengths of the strips she used for the handles. I wouldn’t go shorter than 18” and, because I had much smaller feed sacks, I cut strips of black denim for the backing/second strip for each of the handles.Here’s my photos……………

006007 008 An interior pic.. 009

This first tote was a test ‘run’ using a very low dollar sack. There were two laminated paper-type layers that, although they were nylon reinforced, did not hold up very well to all the manipulating that was necessary to construct the tote.

This second attempt was made using a better quality feed sack that was a single thickness, reinforced and more pliable.

002003004 Interior…. 001 

As you can see, the interior of the second is not the paper laminate that the first one is.

The biggest challenge was turning it inside out to do the first stitchings. I left it this way until the construction was complete. This second tote is water-proof (interior/exterior) so will probably work well for a beach tote or for any circumstance where wet/damp items would be carried.

The next time your errands take you to a farm/home supply store, check out all the feed sacks with the possibility of an “upcycle” or better yet……do you have any friends who purchase such feed for their pets??? The larger the bag, the stronger is! The horse feed sacks are awesome!!!!!!! (Of course, I no longer have my horse so that style won’t be in my future!)

So much for my small break from quilting……….til next time……………

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I simply MUST………………

Put all my readers on “high alert” for an upcoming webinar on fmq (free motion quilting) that will be hosted by my friend Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt!!!! For complete details on the link-up, please, see her post today. It’s on Wednesday, March 18 at 12:00 noon, CT. She does her fmq on a DSM (domestic sewing machine) and has on-going tutorialsOwl, Free Motion Quilting on accomplishing various motifs that are extremely do-able and aimed at moving us away from the “stippling/meander” that a lot of quilters seem to rely on by default! This “you can do it” approach truly results in a “I did it” finish!!!!!! So, mark your calendars and bookmark/follow her blog for updates and reminders of this fab opportunity!!!!!

    Now, let’s see what we can stitch today!!!!! Til next we visit……….

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THE REVEAL & A GIVE-AWAY……………………

The wait is over!!!!!! Yay!!!!! All the “players” are in place………………………….

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Take 1 fantastic quilt book, written by friend, Wendy Sheppard of “Ivory Spring”…. 00 RAQCover                                      (Photo compliments of Landauer Publishing and for a signed copy, please, see Wendy’s blog here)

Add an heirloom ………………………………….013

Add 1 huge dose of inspiration for me (from the above quilt located at the Daughters’ of the American Revolution Museum in Washington,DC) for Wendy’s recreation…………..…………RAQ-IvoryBaltimore                         (Photo compliments of Landauer Publishing)

And you have this…………………………………………..005      Yup, inspiration overload!!!!! The final dimensions are 14&1/2″x21″. The fabric panel on the right is “Radiance” by Robert Kaufman. It’s a silk/cotton that is amazing to sew/quilt with. The panel on the left is a silk home dec fabric I was gifted some time ago and was lurking quietly waiting in my stash for just that right moment……and this was certainly “it”!!!! The embroidery was already in place and it’s fairly obvious how this finish and Wendy’s piece have some similarities…..yes???? Some more quick pics……………………….002

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Thread: Isacord (top) & Connecting Threads Essential Pro Poly (bobbin). Batting: Hobbs Wool over Hobbs Silk (I am beyond thrilled at the dimension achieved with this combo!!!)

Wendy’s book is filled with side by side photos of the heirloom, museum held, quilts that were the inspiration for her recreations.014 My head is spinning with all the possibilities!!! Whether it’s piecing or more “whole cloth” quilting that “tickles your fancy”, there are as many directions each pattern idea can take as there are readers. The supply lists and piecing directions are clearly laid out for quick reference. Included are quilting suggestions for some of the projects………015 

My eyes went to this “Recreation” of Wendy’s…………………RAQ-OhHappyStars-Styled  ”Oh, Happy Stars! Quilt”

That little birdie with all those swirls……and stars!!! Hmmmmmm…………..

To see/read more about this fab book, visit here.

Well, by now, I’m sure you are just saying “I’ve got to have that book!!!!” and I’m here to tell you the rest of the story ….er, news. There’s a give away!!!!!!!! And here’s the details………………………..Just leave a comment on this post telling me what is your quilting inspiration? What patterns draw you in and why? or any other thoughts you may have. If you are one of my bloggy friends who find themselves in the “quilt appreciation” only category (writing or photography or……..is your ‘thing’), and would like to leave a note but bypass the ‘entry’, just let me know and I won’t count you in! And…..for those who would want to make some new friends…….there are 3 other gals on the “Blog Hop” who are sharing their ‘inspired’ projects from Wendy’s book, also. Here are their names and links………………………….  

Lisa at Love to Color My World

Kay at Kay Harmon’s Blog

Karen at Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals~~~~Redbird Quilt Company

*******Note: Comments are now closed.*******

There will be 1 winner chosen from each of the 4 blogs (4 book copies given).

Whew!!!!! Well, we can rest easy(?) and wait for the drawing. DH is limbering up those special “contestant winner picking” fingers!!!!!! I wish I could give each of you a copy, but know that you are all very special “winners” in my mind!!!!! Thank you so much for being such faithful readers of my random, and not so random jottings. Now………off to the machine………………………

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Bonus Feather!!! The Formal Feather..

treadlemusic:

Lisa’s “Bonus Feather” is the one that has “rocked my world”!!!! It is the style of Ivory Spring/Wendy Sheppard (who was my primary influence and was the subject of my post last Saturday–). I must say, again, since each of us have brains that are ‘wired’ differently, one of these techniques will be easier (or will ‘click’) for you than another. You will only discover the truth of this after times of………wait for it…..yup!….practice, practice, practice!!! I know this mantra may be getting old and a titch on your nerves possibly, but anything worthwhile is achieved through a pattern of repetition…..and I know you know that in your heart of hearts, dear Friends.
So let’s start our week flying high with this last feather tutorial!!!! Til tomorrow and the ———-yes!!!!——–Reveal!!!!

Originally posted on Lisa H Calle's Blog:

or hump and bump as it is also known as.

Enjoy!  let me know if you have any questions!!

Quilt on, My Friends!

Lisa

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Final “Feather Follow-up Friday” on Saturday……….

Yup, the month has flown by, has it not? And we’ve had some wonderful feather-learning opportunities, yes?? I do hope you are continuing on your feather journey, cuz I certainly am!!!! Lisa demonstrated a flower/leafy feather that is possibly a more “do-able” feather….less formal and allowing for more individual personality input.

Today I’m featuring Wendy Sheppard/Ivory Spring who has been the single most influential inspiration for my quilting over the passed 5 years.049 I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with her a couple of years ago when DH and I were on an East Coast trek.

Upon seeing her style, I just knew it would be a technique that would incorporate into my creative style seamlessly and it has! As I grew to know more about her as a person and blogger I found so many common interests we shared (sorry for the redundancy!). Sharing an intense interest in science, math,and music (classical piano) made it very clear why our approaches to the art of quilting would be so similar.

Her blog’s sidebar “Thread Talk” entries give numerous tutorials explaining how she achieves the beautiful graceful feather renderings. Please, see here, here, here, and here. That last link will become more obvious this coming Tuesday!!!!! Ah………that tease, again!!!!!

My feather versions are shown here: Leah's Christmas stocking 001

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Table runners-b'day gifts 001f

Carnation quilt 004

024 I’m sure by now you get the idea. And, yes, I took my own advice and practiced, practiced, practiced….and still do for there’s always more that may be learned. Precisely what’s so exciting about this art!!!!

In today’s post, Wendy gives a hint of an upcoming special event …….coming this Tuesday, March 3rd. Yes, I have a small part to play so, please, stop by her blog and mine on that day for the reveal.

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