Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fun With Textile Postcards

Can you believe that it's Saturday already? Wow, where did this week go? A couple of weeks ago I signed up to participate in another fabric postcard swap sponsored by Sheila (thanks, Sheila!). This one had a fall theme which motivated me to start dreaming/thinking about what I wanted to create. It's funny how you can be out doing something mindless like pedaling a bike, and if you let your mind wander over color or design the ideas just start to flow.

I started with some sky fabric that I had previously painted using textile paints, then I added some brown batiks to the bottom and I was on my way. I had on hand some white fabric with black streaks that I thought would make great birch trees that I cut out and used a short zig-zag to sew down. Then I was stuck-how to do the leaves the way I wanted them to look? I thought about that one for days-more cycling-and then it came to me that I have a wonderful stash of wool and alpaca that would make the tops of the trees look just how I wanted them to. So I pulled off some Cormo wool and alpaca wool, added bits of cut up orange batik fabric and then sewed that down using monofilament thread. Ah, sweet success.

A couple of weeks ago I was playing with bright color strips, making a small quilt when I stopped to make a couple of postcards. One just flew over to England to visit Cathy who creates unique ceramic creations with quilters in mind.

I think that it would be fun to do a series of small quilts exploring this technique. I need to add that to the list on my whiteboard.

I realized the other day that the closet where I store fabric/vintage sheets for donation baby quilts was stuffed to overflowing. Hmmm. Well, I pulled out everything, sorted it by fabric type/color, and then neatly stacked it back in the closet. And I thought that I'd better sew more donation baby quilts to ease the pressure on those closet doors!

Aren't those large polka dots just fun??
My flower garden is putting on an awesome last show of the season and I thought that I'd share some photos with you. I so enjoy looking out my sewing room window and seeing the flowers.

If you want to learn a unique way of painting fabric, head over to
Egléa Senna's blog where she graciously shares how she creates her special fabric that she uses to make postcards. Thanks, Egléa, for taking the time to write that post!!

It's supposed to rain here all weekend, so I think that it's going to be a GREAT sewing/fiber weekend (plus football watching).
Happy sewing to you,


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Liberated Log Cabin Placemats

I was browsing in a local craft store the other day, looking at the jelly rolls of quilting fabric that they had for sale. I came across a jelly roll made up of bright and whimsical Moda prints called One For You, One For Me by Pat Sloan. They were just what I wanted for my colorful, liberated log cabin placemats! And they were on sale :-) The log cabin assembly was fast and fun and I threw in a few prints that I had on hand.

I hand quilted these using a large running stitch with perle cotton thread in bright colors. I love the texture that appears after a quilted piece is washed.

I made some cotton napkins to go with them from solid cotton fabrics that were cut into squares and then finished with a simple hem. The walnut napkin ring was created by my husband, Marshall, who turned it on his lathe.

That made me think of making some new potholders with the leftover scraps of fabric. I filled the center with one layer of Insul-Fleece and another of batting.

And I knit up some felted wool oven mitts which are so easy to make. I forgot to take photos of the mitts prior to felting, but they were huge. The yellow mitt had to be washed twice in my washing machine before I was happy with the thickness of the fabric, but the orange felted much faster. If you're felting something, don't forget to check on it, more often than not (please don't ask me why I know that ;-)

Here's hoping that you have time for fabric/fiber today,

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Quilt Finishes

In the evenings I've been hand quilting my groovy grape quilt with bright yellow perle cotton thread and it's been so relaxing to be stitching once again. This will be hanging in my studio above my small looms:

I wanted to make my son, Seb, a new quilt for his bathroom and he had requested one in Boise State colors. I decided to go with a modern Dresden plate quilt which would give me a chance to play with improv piecing once again. I machine quilted this in a spiral pattern.

The other weekend my family and I headed to the mountains to have a picnic lunch and to do some motorcycle riding on the back roads. We decided to retrace the route up to the Thorn Creek Butte fire lookout, which was a blast on our dual sport motorcycles. The views were fantastic and it was just a perfect afternoon to be in the mountains having fun.

I have to admit after four hours of riding, I was so tired I could barely climb in my vehicle. I guess it must be from rolling through the sand and rocks, then climbing up some steep hills.
I'm off to sew some liberated log cabin placemats today.
Enjoy your day,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Short Rant and Sewing Baby Quilts

I've been thinking of upgrading my sewing machine as I'm sewing on a 20 year old Bernina. I did some research on new Berninas and just about fell over. Oh, my gosh. When did sewing machine companies start asking $13,000 for their machines?? So I did some research online, and the funny thing is, those super expensive sewing machines get bad reviews for awful stitch quality, not just once, but over and over. So I went down a level to the 7 series and it's the same story. That's rather ironic don't you think given the steep price tag of the machines? And there are quite a few of the 8 series for sale on eBay-people trying hard to get most of their money back. What a heartache that would be! Anyhoo, that's my rant for the day ;-)

I've been sewing baby quilts to donate to the women's shelter in town. I love making baby quilts and these were created using large tumbler blocks and soft cotton flannel fabric.

I finished a small liberated medallion quilt for my studio in various purples, pinks, and just a touch of orange. I'm not sure what happened to the person who mainly worked with neutrals. If you find her, let me know!

Myrtle likes to follow me around the garden as I move from place to place. I'm thankful that she's too fat and slow to catch any of the birds that come to our feeders. Luckily she just yawns and stares at them.

Speaking of gardens, we have some flowers that are putting on a nice show. I thought that I'd share a few photos with you-
Don't you just love the vibrant colors?

I'm off to sew a liberated Dresden quilt for my son's bathroom in his college (Boise State) colors, bright blue and orange. They have their first football game this week. Yay, football is back!!

Here's hoping that you have time for fabric/fiber today,

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Lovely Unique Postcard from Lin and Other News

The other day I opened my mailbox and in it there was a lovely postcard from Lin. It had traveled all the way from France, which is so, so cool! Swapping textile postcards is like having a penpal, only a lot more fun as you get to display the neat postcards. Lin's postcard is made from fabric that she created herself and she talks about her work here

Lin created this multi-layer fabric that is quite interesting to look at. Thanks so much for swapping with me, Lin!

I've been working on a small, 10 x 15 inch (25 x 38 cm) improv quilt in greens. Yesterday while working on this quilt I took a photo of my studio which is how it usually looks when I'm working with fabric stacked on every available surface, including my looms. So now I feel better sharing this as this is really how my workspace looks ;-)

My green improv quilt is ready to be hand quilted and for some reason the color on the border is off in my photo. The color is actually a medium spring green, not an olive like it's showing here. Sorry.

I was looking around my studio and noticed the vibrant cones of 10/2 mercerized cotton yarn from Lunatic Fringe (they call it their Tubular Spectrum Gamp Kit) that I had purchased to weave bookmarks on my inkle loom. The colors are intense and the yarn has a nice sheen to it, so I'm using these yarns to quilt my improv quilt.

I'm exploring the liberated method of creating quilt blocks after reading a couple of books by Gwen Marston. Thanks, Gwen, for introducing me to a different way to look at quilting. I love it. I just finished a liberated log cabin block valance for my kitchen in bright colors. 

I'm off to go hiking with my dogs, Max and Sam.

Have a great weekend,