Tag Archives: Quilting

Shiny or less shiny?

Seems like I stop what I’m doing and write a blog post every time I need to make a decision. Must be my new way of processing my work ’cause I know I haven’t always worked this way. Usually I just plow ahead and hope for the best…which wasn’t always the best, ya know?

Continuing my love affair with small work, my eye was caught by a piece falling out of the scrap box, so that’s where I started! Added some skinny strips, some coral around the outside for a border and now I’m ready to add some beads.

Stones and greens

I sure have a lot of green beads to choose from, don’t I? There are some pinky/coral ones, too, but not nearly as many!

Decision dilemna—more opaque stones?

Opaque stones

or the more shiny, glassy stones?

Shiny stones

It’s not a major problem because I have more of the little scrap squares and I can add some other color that will still go with the beads I don’t use! I’m just not too clear on what I want with the coral…more or less shiny?

I’ve said many times that marketing is something I totally stink at, but I keep thinking that I’m making these for a selling opportunity. Don’t know how, when, where…nothing really lurking…it’s just a feeling. Maybe I can do some positive self-talk and figure it out! If not, I’ll enjoy making them and it’ll just be more junk that my kids will have to take care of when I’m gone. They are going to have to have a biiiiiiiig dumpster!!!!



Filed under Beading, Designing Quilts, surface design

My own rules—not!

A few years ago I wrote a couple of patterns. Most of them ended up in my book, but not this very simple one. I needed a baby quilt, so I used it and put a quilt together yesterday.


I glanced through the pattern to refresh my memory on sizes and number of pieces for cornerstones and sashing. I obviously didn’t pay close attention because I didn’t make as many blocks as I did for the pattern. It’s fine for what I wanted…

Schland quilt

…but I ended up with enough extra cornerstones and sashing for about 3 more rows!

Extra pieces

I’ll use up these leftovers somewhere, I’m sure, but it’s pretty silly of me to not even follow my own pattern directions!

My orange and blue beaded piece is all done except for mounting on the canvas. I’m waiting for the paint on the canvas to dry. I went with a third border around the diamond AND fringe! I thought it needed that much beading to balance all the blue fabric…and it was easier to add more beads than cut down the quilted blue part, because of the way I finish these.

Small--orange beads

I stocked up on canvas, too. Got lots of 6 x 6, a few 12 x 12 and a couple odd size 4 x 12. I didn’t get any more 4 x 4 this time. I’ll wait until I use up some of the new ones now! But I’m still loving these little pieces. They fit my short attention span these days.

I’ve been having intermittent internet problems again, too, so if I don’t post for a few days, it could be for that…just so you know! This will be linking to Off the Wall Friday, if everything keeps working!


Filed under Beading, Non-traditional Quilts, Quilting

My 4 x 4′s

I got started on my 4 x 4 pieces a couple of days ago and then I got sidetracked…life does happen!

These 3 are the first ones I’ve finished. The pictures don’t show that they are mounted on those 4 x 4 canvases, which gives them quite a bit of presence. I’m liking them quite a bit, though it’s hard for me to work this small!

This contains bits of wool, hand stitching with embroidery floss and beads.

4 x 4 4


Plain black wool, hand stitching with variegated floss and beads.


4 x 4 2

Hand dyed cotton and floss, beads.

4 x 4 1

I have four more partially completed that will all have a similar look and could be shown grouped together.

4 x 4 5

Simple cotton backgrounds, with some stitching and beads. Here’s a close up of the most colorful.

4 x 4 6

Conclusion: for me, 4 x 4 is too small, but I’m so happy I got to use up the supply of canvases. I like the smaller, square format, but I think 6 x 6 is the smallest I will do in the future. I’ve done 12 x 12 and that’s great, but I believe I need to try 8 and 10″ sizes also. This is a great way to play with some of those unique beads that I’ve collected. All told–keep doing what I’m doing. Not tired of it, by a long shot!

I’ll be linking this to Off the Wall Friday—lots to check out at that site!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading

Taking Advantage

My guild, the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild, makes quilts for Safehouse, a domestic violence shelter. We also have a quilt “raffle” to raise funds for donation. “Raffle” is a whole other story due to some strange rules and regulations here in MI–so we don’t sell tickets, we just accept donations and draw names. Anyway….

We received a lovely donation quilt that was unfinished…already had batting, backing, was basted and the quilting was started. Anonymous. Just needs to be finished and we thought it was perfect for one of our raffle quilts. I volunteered to finish it and I’m enjoying it immensely.

Guild raffle3

This much quilting was already done–4 or 5 flowers. Very easy to continue in the same style.

Guild raffle2

And the overall design is just so lovely. Perfect antidote to this lingering winter weather. However

One of my idiosyncracies is that I’m not crazy about purple. There are several colors of purple flowers in this piece and I just didn’t have the right color thread! The border is even a very dark blue-purple. So time out to buy thread and then I’ll be back at it. It is a very pretty little quilt and I’m so pleased that someone fell out of love with it. Our charity will greatly benefit from it!

Guild raffle 1

It’s fun to quilt and I’ll post a picture again when I get it finished. There is another delay today, though, as we have more sick time with the grandson. Poor little guy does not feel at all well.

More soon!

It never ocurred to me that non-local people might want a chance at this–until someone did!!! If you seriously want a chance at it, checks should be made to Safehouse and mailed to
Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild (GAAQG)
P.O. Box 131272
Ann Arbor, MI   48113-1272

And it’s only one of three available. Thanks!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday. Love all the blogs that link in–lots of good stuff to see!


Filed under Quilting, surface design

Time out, please!

It’s been a few days since I posted and I think it will be a few more yet.

I taught two classes and gave a lecture in the past week, with an extra day of having my grandson who was ill.

Studio shambles1

My studio is a shambles and my grandson generously shared his cold with both my husband and myself!

Studio shambles2

I can’t wait to get back to our regular life programming!


Filed under Life, Thinking About Quilting!

Wool is done…

This project is done, for good or bad. I’m not as in love with it as I was a week ago, but I’m still pretty happy with it. If there is somewhere else to go with it, I haven’t found it. This fringe is what I ended up with.

Wool fringe 3

A couple of details:

Wool squares fringe 2

Wool squares fringe 1

And the finished piece:

Wool squares done

My original title for this was Full Moon, High Tide. Don’t know if that will stick or not, but I enjoyed working with the wool and I’ll be trying something else with it soon.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, and you can look back over the last few posts to see how this was created if you are interested in how people process ideas!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Big Wool Adventure!, Designing Quilts, Quilting, surface design

Flip it, turn it, twist it!

A comment from Nadia yesterday turned my head in a new direction. I almost always look at each of my projects from every direction before I decide on an orientation for the work. On this latest project, I put on the blinders because I had decided from the beginning which way was up. Duh! It’s an abstract…that could change at the drop of a…a…bead!

This piece took a little spin on the orientation dial and I’m thinking down might now be up!

Wool squares 21

Wool squares 24

It still needs a bit in the upper right (now), and it can still have beaded fringe if I want. My shreds have some unsecured ends that were hanging down and that would now need to be stitched, but that’s easy. I’m really liking this better now.

Thanks, Nadia, for reminding me to take the blinders off and look at everything from every direction!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Big Wool Adventure!, Designing Quilts, Quilting

Design details

Where do you stop? How far over the top do you go? IS there a perfect balance? Those are the questions that accompany the last stages of any project, and especially this one. My work is always heavily embellished in some way. It could be with stitch, with beads, with couching…and it’s always a struggle to know where to draw the line and call it done!

I think this one is done, but I have questions about a couple of areas. Here it is with the edges pinned under so I can really tell the finished size.

Wool squares 21

My areas of concern are the left edge and the bottom. Do I need more ‘stuff’ on the bottom left and do I need to crop it just a touch closer on the left edge?

Wool squares 22

Should I perhaps have some more shreds along the bottom? Or have a couple of spots of beaded fringe hanging off the edge?

Wool squares 23

Please let me know what you think! I often get caught in a “what if” loop at this point and can’t quite move forward. I think it’s because the decisions are really final and the project will be over!

Can you believe that this project came from this initial idea?

Wool play 13

Doesn’t quite look like that now, does it?


Filed under Beading, Big Wool Adventure!, Designing Quilts, Quilting, surface design

Okay–so I lied!

I did truly believe that my latest wool project would be a slow one, that I would pick up and work on in odd moments and finish in a few months. I was very wrong.

My quilt guild has a speaker and two workshops every other month and I’m the program chair. I couldn’t get a workshop volunteer this month so I had two days with the option of doing any number of things. I live just far enough away that I can’t run home, back to provide lunch to the teacher, home again and back to close up, so I stay all day. I was going to be good and do my taxes, but I picked up the wool project, the beads and sequins and took them along.

Carol Loessel was the teacher and her workshop generated this pile of little shreds, with some bright colors.

Wool squares 13

She took a walk over to look at my work and dropped a few shreds on it.

Wool squares 14

I really, really liked it. I had thought about using my silk shreds, but they were too much. Well, this is why…they were too big! The tiny pieces just added a lot of spark to the project.

Wool squares 15

I spread some more around and thought about it some more. I didn’t sew them down on Friday, but I thought about them until Sunday, day two of her workshops. I added some of my silk, cut smaller. Then I started sewing.

Wool squares 16

The majority of the initial beading was done on Friday and it was fun to start adding this detail.

Wool squares 17

Shreds and random beads…

Wool squares 18

And more shreds and random beads…

Wool squares 19

And more shreds and random beads…

It’s not done yet, but it is so much closer after all the sewing time I had this weekend. And without Carol casually dropping some bits of cotton color onto the wool, I wouldn’t have had nearly the contrast and depth I’m getting now. And if I decide that it’s still a bit too much or that I put it on a bit heavy, all I have to do is snip some of it away. I need to put it on the design wall and decide that kind of stuff–later!

Since I wasn’t good and didn’t do my tax stuff this weekend, I may have to hide the beads for a few days and get the necessary stuff done. But I’m so happy with the blend of materials–wool, cotton, silk, beads–that I can hardly wait to get back to it.

Hooray for happy accidents and teachers with a good eye!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Big Wool Adventure!, Designing Quilts, surface design

Wool has a mind of its own!

Working with wool is nice. It’s soft and cuddly, even when it’s felted wool. And a wool project is really a lot like any other project I work on…once I begin, it tells me what it wants to do!

I had square-in-a-square on my mind, with yarn couching and very much a grid. The squares started moving where they wanted to be right away. They did NOT want to be in straight lines.

Wool squares 4

Then circles started jumping up on to the design wall.

Wool squares 5

A bit chaotic, but those darn circles…they kept jumping up and sticking to the wall and even decided where they finally wanted to end up. A few little squares wanted in on the action, too.

Wool squares 7

I tried to go back to my original idea a bit and imposed a grid on all this chaos. I used rainbow thread and I felt a bit more in control of the project again!

Wool squares 9

It worked with all the colors–hooray!

Wool squares10

I thought about adding a bunch of other stuff, like cording or silk shreds. When I laid it on top, it was just way too much…and I very seldom think anything is way too much!

Beads were always going to be part of the project and I was afraid the misbehaving wool would not play well with my selected beads. But hooray again! The beads are still going to work and I even got a few added before it was time to quit for the day.

Wool squares11

Now I’m into the slow part of the project and will not bore you with daily progress reports. It may be weeks before you see this project again, but I think it will behave now!

One last bit about needlefelting…I took all the wool scraps and ran them through my machine. I have decided that the best I can do with the wool fabric I have is use the machine for basting. And that’s fine–now I know!

Wool squares12

Okay-back to the beads!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday–great blogs to check out!


Filed under Beading, Big Wool Adventure!, Designing Quilts, Fabric, Quilting, surface design