Welcome to my journey

I design art quilts, table runners, table toppers, mug rugs, place mats, wall hangings, and quilts and sell them on Etsy. I sew from chosen patterns and well as create unique patterns for custom and commission work.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Commission Quilt Banner

I've been hired to make a quilted banner representing the state of Texas.  The vertical banner will include the Texas star, a blue bonnet and a pecan tree.  I will use raw edge applique, thread painting, and FMQ.  The blue bonnet will be similar to this one (perhaps two), but with a darker background.

The trick will be that the person I'm doing the commission for wants a dark blue background.  I need to be sure to provide enough contrast between the flower and the background.  At the moment, I am trying to decide between two Kona Bay solids Razz-05 and Pass 05 as the background.  The rest of the blue bonnet will come from my many batik scraps, some the same colors shown here. 

The pecan tree will have an outline of the tree made by thread painting and a close up of the leaves and husks from clip art similar to this.  I'll draw the outline of the tree on wash away stabilizer.  This worked very well on another commission I did.

Again thread will create the detail and batiks will provide the shading.
The third element in the quilt comes from the client.  She sent me this picture of a TX star.
Round Emperador Texas Star Mosaic
The trick will be to get the shadowing just right so that the star still has the mosaic pattern and dimension.  The outer stones have some crackling in it.  A very fine, maybe grey, thread for that.  I am going to add a little extra batting under the star because I want the quilting to create some depth.
I'm going to make each of the three parts separately as they are all quite different in the way they will be quilted.  I'll probably do "quilt as you go" and then join the three pieces with a narrow sashing.  The quilt as you go will work well for the three panels, but I'll have to decide how to create the outer border.  At this point, I think it will be a very narrow border.
Back to looking at fabrics.........  This project is due to the client in three weeks and at the moment I work from  7:30 to 3:30, so I will be a busy bee in the evenings.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Measurement Chart for Setting and Corner Triangles

If I add this to my blog, I'll know where it is when I need it.  Quiltsy Team just put it up on Facebook. I love the look of blocks set on point, but I've been too lazy to look for this chart and end up with straight square sets.  By posting this where I can find it I created more potential to design on point.

Here's a little cutting chart that may be helpful.

Leah Day's Idea for Hanging Small Quilts

I took this directly from Leah's blog, so where it says I, it's Leah talking.  I like it because it's economical and it temporary. Great for apartments.

Original Post Date was October 14, 2011  leahday.com
Recently I looked at my walls in my kitchen, bathroom, kid's room, and studio and thought - I need more quilts on the walls.

Keep in mind these are not huge walls - they're small spaces that will hold very small quilts (max around 15 inches wide).

But small quilts are very...well...small and lightweight. It seems like such a ridiculous amount of effort to install a curtain rod system and stitch a sleeve to these quilts when the space is so small and the quilt weights almost nothing.

So I started searching, and searching, and searching...and eventually found this!

This is wall clip created by Command 3M. Unfortunately it's not a very common item so I couldn't find it in any local stores and had to order it from Amazon.com.

So I ordered several packs and they came yesterday and, to my absolute delight, they work perfectly to hold lightweight quilts on the wall securely!

Unfortunately they are quite ugly. As Josh said: "Nothing looks cheaper than that white plastic." so I pulled out my acrylic paint and painted a set black, which looked much better.

Then I remembered my Jacquard metallic paints and painted Pewter over the dried black acrylic to create a clip that almost looks metal!

The best thing about these is the fact that they put no holes in the wall. They stick nicely with the adhesive strip, which can last for years if my other hooks in the house are any judge.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Thread Painting Flowers

I had so much fun doing the first mug rug that I decided to do two more.  What I really wanted were more opportunities to thread paint and I might as well make something useful at the same time.  So I'll show you a picture of the next one I made, but won't take you through the process.

Then I started working on a fabric with purple and pink orchids. Fun!

First, I started the negative space, the area between the flowers.  I practiced doing miniature free motion designs with black piecing thread.

It made this fun spider web look on the back.  Something I'm going to think about in a future design.
Then I began to paint the flowers.  I wanted to take advantage of the shading that already existed in the fabric. I used thread that was similar in color but would help make the shading pop. 
I also wanted to take advantage of the change in texture created by the threads through the batting  (80/20 cotton polyester). 

And here is the finished project.


Continuing to Deconstruct then Reconstruct

A few nights ago I had a dream.  I dreamed of this fabric
But in this color
So what to do?  How do I make my dream come true and put them together to make one fabric?
This way?
No! It's totally boring and way too busy, especially with today's colors going towards solids.  And it isn't true to my dream which was to see one fabric flower in the other color.
So I did this

and then this.
After rewatching some of Nancy Prince's videos about thread painting, I dug out my BSR, put away the walking foot and started to doodle. My goal was to make a mug rug.
First the little circles in the center.  Then I began to draw into the zinnia with a variegated purple
I wanted the center zinnia of the fabric to stand out from the others so I switched to navy blue thread and outlined the rest of the zinnias on the cloth.  Then I took out a solid purple thread and filled in the rays on the flower petals.
But now what should I do to finish the piece?  I went to my stash of batiks and found a very pretty deep purple.  I used some as backing and the rest as a binding.  I decided that the size was perfect for a mug rug and all the stitching will keep the mug rug laying flat.
 I like it.  It may not be one of those amazing pieces of artwork that leaves you gasping for breath, but it's pretty in its simplicity.  It's my first foray into thread painting after a long hiatus.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Modern Day Deconstruction Reconstruction

My husband was raised in a home in which everything was used, fixed, recycled, or upcycled until it could no longer be used. My taking a piece of cloth and cutting it into smaller pieces, then sewing the pieces together until they were once again the same size as the first piece of cloth makes little sense to him. Cloth was never purchased for making a quilt.  Quilts were made with pants, jeans, and shirts.

So what did I do today?  I took a fabric from my stash.  It has various Christmas/winter scenes of birds, plants, stars, and bells. This fabric was designed by Anita Phillips, called Random Thoughts and printed by Wilmington Prints.

I cut the individual pictures out and separated them into piles. 

I then raw edge appliqued the little pieces onto a 12" x 18" piece of cream fabric with pinecones. 

I added the 80 20 batting and a green plaid on cream backing fabric.  I then did a random square/rectangle meander with a variegated polyester thread and here is the result.
Each placemat is different.  I also had pieces that were not perfectly straight on the mat and thus added a folk art charm to it.

I made matching napkins that can be folded to show either the pinecones or the plaid.

Thus is my take on the practice of using something designed one way, deconstructing it, then reconstructing it to make something new.  All but the binding was from my stash. 

What can you deconstruct - reconstruct this week?  Feel free to post a picture.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Well, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

I have been working on a really fun project and haven't taken a single picture or mentioned a word of it.  I have also been staring at a quilt for over a month and still don't have a clue how I want to quilt it.  I hope to make it over to my friend Linda of a maiden hair fern to get some inspiration from her.  She has done some wonderful projects on her HQ 16.

9 Aug 2013

My visit with Linda proved fruitful.  We visited awhile about shapes and ideas and she pointed out a few of my ideas that wouldn't work with the quilt.  She lead me to her Free Motion Quilting Pinterest Board and from there I began to piece together my ideas.

I have a domestic machine the Bernina 440QE.  I am timid about quilting and often resort to my walking foot to finish a project.  That's fine in the modern quilt era of straight line quilting or if you want to spend a lot of time moving the quilt around. 

I did FMQ a table topper last week.  Now I am letting my right shoulder rest from the last table topper I did.  My tendons hurt in a particular position.  I have leaves in the white spaces and a narrow swirl meander in the print fabric.  I washed it once so that the puckers are visible.  It irons very smoothly so whoever buys it has the option of smooth or puckered.

But I have been watching Leah Day's FMQ project and I am determined to become better at it.  I have been brave on small projects and baby quilts.  You can see them for sale (or sold) at my Etsy page called GrammiesInspirations.

Tomorrow I will add some pictures to this post.

Here let me at least show you a few mug rugs I made and quilted with my walking foot.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Still thinking

   I'm still doodling and completely frustrated.  A waited a few days for a product to arrive that would solve all my problems.  It only solved one of them.  I need an outline of something, but in enough detail that I need stabilizer and the ability to thread paint.  It's all in white and that is proving to be a problem as any marking seems to show. 
  I would like to use water soluble stabilizer on top of the fabric, but what do I mark the design with?  I seem to be missing something very important and my perusal of the quilting world on the internet is proving unsuccessful thus far.
  I want to do something amazing and can't find the right process to amaze myself with.  Boy, when I find the right product and success, I will shout from the rooftops!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If I come back, will I stay?

I want to maintain a blog and write wonderful things that will inspire both of us.  But it's the last month before the school year begins.  I will then be trying to work at the school and quilt.  What chance does my blog have?

I have a journey that is starting.  I have an idea for a custom quilt that multiple buyers could request.  But there are snags.  Deciding the final quilt that will be put up for sale and serve as an example for custom orders.  Getting it just perfect.  Knowing which quilt will be the most attractive to the most potential buyers.  Having part of the quilt the same so that I can do some parts of the quilt ahead.

It will have words.  How do I make the words consistently beautiful and stay true to my favorite quilt method of applique?  My applique is always raw edge which lends a kind of casualness to my work.  From a distance though, it can be quite beautiful.

Well, these are today's dilemmas.  What will I ask tomorrow?