Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Terrific Tutorial Tuesday

I've been working on some scrap quilts lately, so my focus this week (and maybe several more weeks) is on scrap quilts. As a scrap hoarder collector, I'm always looking for scrap projects that strike my fancy. If you, like me, have some scraps you'd like to put to good use, check out these posts.

Over at My Poppet blog, Cintia has a couple of projects I think you'll like. The first project is a hexagon table runner. It is a great "on-the-go" project--nice for the summer. She has a great way to finish the edges. (Finishing the edges has always been a problem for me, so I was very interested in this edge finish method. I think it might actually work for me.) Take a look at it here--Hexagon Table Runner Tutorial.

The second project is a project I love, because there is not really a pattern--just a suggestion. The "directions" really allow YOU to decide how the quilt will look. Cintia calls it The Haphazard Quilt. I'm definitely interested in making one of these.

The last quilt I'd like to share this week is basically a Chinese Coins quilt. I have made several of these; they are SO easy to make and look great. Another BIG plus is that there is no matching of points or seams. The Chinese Coins quilt I made for my daughter YEARS ago is still the one she snuggles under to watch TV. I believe this particular one is called a "Strippers" quilt and was made by Michelle Foster. This quilt uses lots of scrap strips, and you can use up some of those REALLY ugly fabrics--you know, those fabrics that you can't bear to part with but you don't know why you ever bought them. You won't even notice how ugly these fabrics are in this quilt. Now, I would probably sew my strips into sets and sub-cut them into the vertical rows; this pattern calls for cutting each strip to the row width as you go. I'm sure which method would be best depends on the number of scraps you have along with their length. Check out both of these posts--Strippers Post 1, Strippers Post 2.

Isn't scrap quilting fun!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Warning--Not Quilt or Art Related!

I have just gotten back from Arkansas where my son's first child was born. I have a precious new little granddaughter. I was honored to be able to see her take her first breath, and Ryan's wife (Tara) honored me further by naming the baby June Beth after me. I'm a shamelessly proud grandmother (Mimi), so I HAVE to share a picture with you.

My husband and I have been blessed beyond measure. This little girl may end up with more quilts than she knows what to do with!


Friday, July 19, 2013


My son and his wife will be having a baby girl any time now. My husband and I are SO excited. We are anxiously looking forward to this precious little one. Of course, I made a quilt; you can see the post about that here. I was looking through a "Special Issue! Modern Patchwork 2012," a digital magazine I bought on Zinio, and was surprised to find this pattern in the magazine. (The magazine doesn't only come in digital form. You can buy it at your local quilt shop.) This time I made a cute little door hanger. Of course, I had the fabrics in my stash.

I hope they like it.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Terrific Tutorial Tuesday--New Block Pattern

I am always on the lookout for interesting, different scrap blocks. This is one I really like. It is a "modern" quilt block. I'm not quite sure what that means; I just know I like the block and think I can use a lot of my scraps if I make a quilt using the block. Check out this tutorial; it is very well written.

Octagonal Orb Block Tutorial


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Batik Challenge Finished

I finally got something finished. Our guild has a batik challenge going on. A pattern was provided, but we were encouraged to do something different if we chose. Of course, I chose to do something different. I needed a spring/summer table runner, so that is what I made.

I used the quilt-as-you-go method from a tutorial on The Quilting Edge blog. I've mentioned it before; I really think it is the best quilt-as-you-go tutorial on the web. Be sure to check it out at The Quilting Edge on her "Tutorials" page.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Product Review--Clover Soft Touch Thread Pic

It's been awhile since I have reviewed any products, but I had to tell you about this one. The Clover Soft Touch Thread Pic is a GREAT tool. I know that because I just had to use it.

It is a long story, but the short of it is I had to clean something off of a table runner I was getting ready to bind. The background of the table runner is white. When it got wet, I saw a little dark blue thread that had gotten caught between the layers. I try to be careful and remove all the stray threads, but this one got by me. OH NO...WHAT SHOULD I DO? Then I remembered I had purchased a tool just for that purpose. The REAL question was, though, could I find it. YES!!!! I took the cap off, inserted the tool, and easily pulled out the stray thread. The tool didn't leave a puncture mark.

I was REALLY thankful to have this tool. If this type of thing EVER happens to you, this tool is WELL worth the price. The best price I found was on Etsy ($5 + $2.50 shipping), but you can find it a lot of other places.

Here is what it looks like...

There might even be some other uses for this product. The Etsy site says that in addition to what I used it for you can hide broken threads, pull threads to the inside of a project, correct mistakes in corners, use it to hold your project in place while stitching, and push edges for quick turn applique projects.

Give this one a try.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Terrific Tutorial Tuesday-Sun Printing

When I decided to try some marbling, I purchased some Dye-na-Flow paints to try. I wondered what else I might do with those paints and found this tutorial on sun printing with Dye-na-Flow on Lynda's "Boom Bake & Create" blog.

If your weather has been like ours lately, a sunny day will be hit or miss. I'm sure, though, we will be seeing more sunny days in the near future. If you give this a try, let me know. I'll post a link to your blog.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Last Pictures of My Marbling Play Date

After trying just "regular" marbling (see here and here), Pat (my play date friend) and I decided to try some different techniques. This is my favorite piece of the bunch. I imagine part of the reason is that it is my favorite color scheme. I love the way the black is so graphic and bold against the yellow and orange. I like the pop the red gives it. I used a long-handled brush I purchased at Dick Blick to pull the shapes from round to pointy.

I tried a stencil cut from fun foam. I cut ovals into the stencil I used for this next piece of fabric. The stencil lays on the "size" (as Dharma calls the liquid on which the paints float). The designs on the fabric are made by dropping the paint into the holes in the stencil. I think I'll do some stitching on this one. These look like little flowers or trees to me, so I'll be stitching some stems/trunks.

See where I got the idea about little flowers or trees? This is what it looked like when it was wet. I like the parts that look like stems/trunks.
I have to say I really HATE this pastel color scheme, but I did an experiment with this one. I liked the effect I got when the thread served as a resist on one of the other fabrics. I wanted to repeat that, so I laid a thin yarn-type thread out in circles onto the "size." What I found was that this thread sunk a bit too deep into the water to serve as a total resist, but it did sort of keep the paints confined into those circles. The teal colored thin circle shapes came about as a result of that color breaking through the thread circle. I think this piece might have some potential when overdyed.
This piece reminds me of a comic; I guess it is the colors. I used a thin cotton thread as a resist on this one. I also pulled the thread through the "size" once color had been laid down. I think an overdye job would be nice on this piece too.

Here are the two iridescent pieces I did. Pat and I got so excited about washing them out that we didn't wait the time Jo suggests on the DVD. She suggests waiting 48 hours before washing out fabrics with iridescent paints. We didn't wait a full 24 hours. What can I say? As you can see, some of the paint came off (although, I do like that effect too). Again I have NO idea what caused the spots on the right side of the top piece and on the left side of the bottom piece. My friend says, "That is just the nature of the beast."

All in all, I learned a lot and found out I LOVE marbling. I definitely will be doing it some more. I have purchased more paints and a larger tray. Now, I just have to figure out how I will use it in the work I'm currently doing. I have some ideas already...


Saturday, July 6, 2013

I'm In--I'm Excited!

In the past week, I have been informed that two of my pieces have been juried into upcoming exhibits. It is a really scary thing to put your "babies" out there for scrutiny, so I'M EXCITED!

Head on over to the Infinity On-Line Gallery to see which of my quilts made into their new exhibit, "Art Quilts 2013." My quilt is shown at the bottom left corner. I'm really thrilled, because my piece was juried into an exhibit that includes some fiber artists I really admire--Elaine Quehl and Wen Redmond (to name a couple). Wen won an Honorable Mention. Here is part of the email the Infinity Gallery sent me.

Art Quilts 2013 ~ Finalists and Awards

Jurors, Nancy Dobson and MarDee Hansen, selected 36 outstanding art quilts from artists located all around the world. This exhibit showcases artwork form thirteen US states: Florida, Colorado, Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Indiana, Montana, New Jersey, Maryland, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and North Carolina; and nine countries: Canada, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, Italy and Australia.

Please take a moment and visit the gallery and view this year's exhibit finalists and award winners. Enjoy the Show!

Exhibit Finalists

Elizabeth Bamberger, Nancy Bardach, Catherine Beard, Alice Beasley, Marianne Bender-Chevalley, Jette Clover ,Sharon Collins, Yael David-Cohen, Müşerref Dede, Maggie Dillon, Jayne Gaskins, Andrea Huffman, Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, Liz Kuny, Gay Lasher, Marisa Marquez, Barbara McKie, Sylvia Naylor, Terry O'Brien, Wil Opio Oguta, Heather Pregger, Elaine Quehl, Wen Redmond,
Jan Rickman, Linda Robertus, Beth Schnellenberger, Tiziana Tateo, Suze Termaat,
Dirkje Van der Horst-Beetsma, Veronica Von Zwehl, Roseline Young, Heidi Zielinski

One of the jurors is Nancy Dobson. Nancy is a member of Surface Design Association, Association of Pacific West Quilters, Studio Art Quilt Associates and The Art Quilt Association. You can see the kind of work she creates at her website (click on her name). The other juror is MarDee Hanson. She has been an artist all her life and has worked in several mediums including oils, watercolor, clay, bronze sculpture, and fiber.

As many of you know, I am a member of LAFTA. Each year, LAFTA (Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists) has a juried exhibit, and one of my pieces got juried in. This year the exhibit will be held at the Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, IN. (This is the place that is currently housing the Form Not Function exhibit.) The details of the LAFTA exhibit (and the Form Not Function exihibit) are listed on the right-hand side of this blog post under "Upcoming Quilting/Fiber Arts Events." If you get a chance, be sure to check out both exhibits.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Marbling Play Date Continued

As I said in my last post, I purchased a Quilting Arts DVD on marbling by Jo Fitsell (you can find the DVD here) and just recently had a chance to try some marbling. A friend and I spent a day and a half trying out different techniques from the DVD.

I took pictures of some of the fabrics I made. My friend who does marbling all the time says that the "magic" really happens when the next layer is done. She says another layer of marbling or dying the fabric after marbling makes the fabric even more luscious. I'm planning on adding another layer of marbling to many of these pieces. I might even try dying some of them.

The top piece here has the colors I love to work with--oranges, reds, yellows. I was surprised at how much I liked the bottom piece even though it is pretty subdued.

The next picture shows a close up of the top piece. I realized that when I tore the fabric some of the threads remained on the piece as I dipped it into the paints. I love how the threads served as a resist. You can see that pretty clearly in the black circle at the top of the piece.
Now, here are two pieces that were not so successful. I really like the colors and designs on both pieces, but as you can see the paint didn't adhere to the first piece as it should have. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe it didn't get completely saturated by the alum when I soaked it. I just don't know. It isn't a complete loss for me, though. I'm planning on marbling over it again.
The bottom piece is a piece of polished cotton. I think the paints I used just didn't show up well on the fabric. If/when I do it over, I will use more opaque paints.

Here is another piece with those colors I like so much. The "swirlies" at the top, left middle, and bottom left/right are paints that were left over from a previous dipping. I like that effect too.

The grid was already on the top piece of fabric (below). The marbling just didn't show up much on this piece at all. The green blobs are all that showed. I'll be doing this one over again too. The bottom piece is another piece of polished cotton. The colors showed up much better on this one.
Here are the last of the "regular" fabrics...

This last piece is polyester organza--I'm not crazy about it. It seems pretty boring to me. I'm hoping another layer will enhance it A LOT.

Stay tuned for my next post. I have the results of some experiments we tried, and I'll show you some pieces using iridescent paints. (They are lovely.)


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Marbling Play Date

I purchased a Quilting Arts DVD on marbling by Jo Fitsell (you can get it here) several weeks back and just had a chance to try some marbling this past weekend. A friend of mine came over for a couple of days of play. We spent a day and a half trying out different techniques from the DVD. What fun! Pat is busy hanging up our newly marbled and rinsed fabric. Look at these beautiful colors.

Pat and I had both soaked our fabrics in alum before we got together. When she got to my house, we started by setting up our carrageenan solution ("size" as Dharma calls the liquid on which the paints float) in photo trays and arranging our tables to accommodate all our supplies. We waited about four hours before we used the "size."

The way the paints spread over the surface of the "size" is magical. (We used Golden Fluid Acrylics mixed half and half with water.) Here is a picture of what the paints look like on the surface.
Here Pat is placing a piece of fabric into the photo tray. When this piece came out, the dark areas of paint resembled leaves.

I took pictures of the fabrics I marbled. I'll post those next time. Stay tuned...


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Terrific Tutorial Tuesday--Quilt Patterns & Machine Quilting Patterns

If you ever looking to find a cute quilt pattern to use, here is a great site. Sarah and Anna have done the work required to find 25 nice quilt pattern tutorials for us. Check out their "Quackadoodle Quilt" blog post.

Now, when you are ready to quilt those quilts, you might find a machine quilting tutorial handy. Well...they have also done a post on 12 machine quilting tutorials here.

Thanks Anna and Sarah!