Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Workshop Project

A few months ago, I went to an Empty Spools workshop with Philippa Naylor entitled Applique Mastery.  One of the things to do to get ready for the workshop was to choose an inspiration for a design I would work on during the workshop. I often feel like this can be an impossible task, but I managed to let myself be inspired to find my inspiration.  I found lots of images on the net and selected a dozen or so for the short list.  Over a few days I kept reviewing the images and finally the one.   I was very excited to have an inspiration to work with because I find this "inspiration" step to be very difficult.

I had the inspiration so I could choose a bunch of fabric to take that might be used in my soon to be designed applique quilt. This was a very good start for the workshop.

The first couple of days at the workshop were filled with seeing demos of how to do various applique techniques.  After each demo we were given time to try the technique.  The pacing for the first couple of days was intense and I found it difficult to keep up with, but it was tiring for me not frustrating. 

During my first evening at Asilomar, I started sketching using my inspiration image and came up with the concept for my project. This was a first for me, using an image and then developing a concept from it. 

During the workshop I was trying to use some of the techniques we learned to make flower blossoms and circles to add to my quilt top.  I spent the last 3 days of the workshop making little flower blossoms, circles, stems, and mirror images of "apostrophe marks" in different sizes.  I kept sticking all of this stuff up on the design board and trying to use it in my design.  In the final piece I only used the apostrophe marks, all the other things were techniques to try in a future piece.

I call this piece "Celebration", I think the piece communicates happiness.  The piece measures about 24x30 inches.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Flower Garden Competed

The Flower Garden class project is finished.  I modified the quilting designs in the outer border and all the corner stones meaning I did not use the designs taught in the class; I can't resist adding my own creativity to a project.

I enjoyed this class it pushed me to try a different form of free motion quilting.  I learned I could draw some designs and actually FMQ on the drawn lines,  I had failed at this a few years ago and decided it must be impossible to do.  I learned I can free form shapes like feathers and leaves and then add lots of interesting quilting detail to enhance these shapes.

And the final thing I learned in this class is to block quilts that I want to hang on the wall.  The blocking really increases the texture of the quilting and gets rid of ruffly edges and other folds that appear when a quilt is hung up.  I had read about blocking many times but was skeptical of the results, now I am a firm believer in blocking them to get quilts that hang properly and show off their texture.  I should have been doing this all along!

The class was from Craftsy, Beyond Basic Macing Quilting by Ann Petersen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Flower Garden continued

I have gotten more done on the flower garden project.  I have learned the importance of scale in the background filler.  If the scale is correct, the designs in the fore ground will really pop out.  I got my scale a little too large in this project.

I spent quite a bit of time sketching a dragon fly with pencil and paper before actually stitching one.

Here's the final stitched result.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Free Motion Quilting a flower garden

I've been taking a Craftsy class with Ann Petersen called Beyond Basic Machine Quilting.  It's a very good class and I'm kicking my FMQ up a notch.  The class project is called The Flower Garden and its a simple pieced top with lots of free motion quilting of flower and leaf shapes.  Some of the quilted shapes are drawn first with a marker of some kind before stitching and others are totally free form. I am about half way done with the FMQ.

The flower shapes were drawn then stitched in the first picture.  All the leaves and feathers were free hand, meaning stitched without drawing the shape first.  In the second picture more detail stitching has been done to add more interest. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Challenge quilts

Several months ago I participated in a guild challenge to create modern "Amish inspired" quilts.  I created two small wall hangings. I used medallion quilts as my inspiration.   Neither one was chosen for the curated show at the San Jose textile museum.

The quilt top for the first one, started as a simple medallion design.  I cut it into 4 pieces and rearranged them, then added borders.

Below is a close up of some of the free motion quilting.

The second quilt was also inspired by a medallion design.

Here is a close up of some of the FMQ.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tula Pink Sampler in Progress

I've been working on a Tula Pink sampler using blocks from her book, One Hundred Modern Quilt Blocks. This book has really pretty art work.  I've had fun watching how the fabric choices work in a block and didn't like some of my choices. Instead of trashing the blocks I didn't like, I worked at incorporating them into the quilt.

I ended up using Autumn colors.  I've made 36 blocks and I'm running out of sashing fabric. I am thinking about adding some wide borders to showcase the blocks.

Then its putting a backing together using up some of the leftovers from this quilt top.  I'll use Hobb's fusible batting when its time to layer this for quilting.  I have been having success lately with this batting.  It's easier for me to "baste" using the iron instead of spray basting which requires trips outside on a non-windy day.

The top so far:

Monday, July 14, 2014

New art quilt

 Sometime last year I free motion quilted a dark blue piece of fabric.  I was going to  use it as a background quilt to display three smaller art quilts in a triptych layout.  But it didn't work out because I got the color wrong.

A couple of months ago I started to experiment with this large UFO and it became an art quilt called Night Trails.  I couched yarn, used lots of different threads and many decorative stitches to create trails.  I also did a little hand stitching to add more "marks".  It was a fun experiment.  I like creating without a plan and freedom of just playing.

 Here is a close up of some of the detail.