Tag Archives: Quilting

What’s New?

I’m working on a show for my friends and myself! We make art and we need to showcase what we make…sooooooooo, I’m having an Artisan Showcase.

Showcase Photo

I’m so looking forward to this even though it means I have to really buckle down and do some house cleaning! That’s the only drawback to this that I can think of, since I hate to clean!

This is something I have wanted to do for several years and just never pursued. It’s about time that it’s not just talk, talk, talk. I’m excited!


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Knitting and other fibers!, Life, surface design

A quilt for me!

It’s quite rare that I make a full size quilt anymore and even more rare that it would be for my own use! As I was making the second sample for my Improv With a Modern Slant class, (The Quilt Patch) I kept getting stopped because it wasn’t big enough. Finally realized that I want it for a throw on my couch! It needed to be big enough to snuggle under, not just a wall hanging size.

I had already made enough pieces with red, so as I assembled it, I just kept spreading them out and adding in more and more cream.

I’m finally happy with the size and look of it.

Red improv mod 1

Doesn’t all that blank cream space highlight the need for intense quilting? Can’t wait to get to that part of the job. I love free motion quilting!


Filed under Designing Quilts, Non-traditional Quilts, Quilting

Basic improv tips…

Improv piecing is totally fun to do and there are no rules. For me, using a design wall is an essential part of the process. You just play and make all kinds of crazy blocks and don’t get concerned about what might fit together and then throw them up on the design wall.

Red mod 2

However, at some point, you have to start putting the pieces together.

Sometimes you move blocks around to get a certain color arrangement. Sometimes you want to make crazy blocks look more uniform. On this piece I had the thought that I wanted several distinct areas with red, surrounded by large areas of the off-white fabrics.

It’s easiest to begin in one area and start making things fit together. Trim blocks if they are too big, add fabric if they are too small…pretty much give yourself some straight edges to sew together.

Red mod 4

When I work with curves, there are usually a couple of places where my priority is to match the curve and add fabrics around that match point to make the blocks fit together.

Red mod 3

I try to avoid having partial seams, but sometimes it helps to get some of the pieces trimmed and lined up before you decide on the next section. In this piece, I also would rather have a connecting piece be too large and trim it than to keep trimming my blocks.

Eventually your plan starts to come together. You think you know exactly how you are going to assemble your sections. Then you step back and take a look and throw your hands up in disgust. There is usually a point where you hate everything you have done and think you’ve just wasted half a day!

Red mod 5

That’s when it’s time to take a break–walk away–do something decadent, like a nap! Come back to it later…….you’ll be very surprised at how much better it looks than when you walked away!

Finish it up. The piecing and the designing are fun, but the most enjoyable part for me is the quilting! Can’t wait to get to that part of the job!

Linking this to Off the Wall Friday!


Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Quilting

Beads–my funtime!

I’ve started adding beads to my wool project. It still hasn’t given me it’s name, but that doesn’t matter so much. I’m just enjoying the process!

Wool:cotton 8

You need the dark  so that the light shows better, I think.

Wool:cotton 9

Happy to be beginning the beading part…


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

As planned? Hardly…!

Thought I’d be getting a lot more done than I have, but life does have a way of changing the plan on you!

I’ve been slowly stitching away on my brown wool/scrunched cotton project. It hasn’t told me it’s name yet, so I guess I  haven’t established a good enough rapport with it.

Stitch, stitch, stitch…the more I did, the more I thought it needed. And I wanted to get all the hand stitching done before I put the beads on and of course I had to do the machine stitching before beads. I’ve been working on it for so long that I don’t even know anymore if I think it’ll be good.

So, right now I think all the hand stitching I’m going to do is done. I added a layer of batting and did my machine quilting. I’m pretty sure I’m ready to start beading.

Brown wool 14

When I look at this picture, I think I’m achieving what I set out to do. But I leave interpretation to the viewer…and the beading will help to tell the story.

The detail work makes this one of the most intense pieces I’ve done, and I’m not done yet!

Brown wool 13

Can’t wait to see if my beading ideas will finish this story. I hope so. But, remember–this is a slow stitching project. Don’t expect results overnight!


Linking up to Off the Wall Friday.


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

Class samples

The sample for Night Village is up at the shop and I’m ready to make a second sample for Improv Quilting With a Modern Slant.

Designing Summer 3

I actually started this one with scraps for my Curvy Improv class and liked it so much that now I want to make it into a full size quilt. And I think I have enough scraps for that, even though it’s a two color quilt, red and ecru.

As always, I just start making pieces and throwing them up on the design wall, without doing any arranging. I’ve got quite a few done already and I’ve started to think about my 40% theory on modern quilts…I’ll explain that in a minute.

Mod sample 1

I try to have a combination of super quick stack/slash/switch blocks and more complicated blocks. The stacked ones can fill a design wall in a very short time, but don’t give you enough variety.

Mod sample 3

The more complicated looking ones are not necesarily harder to do. They just take longer.

Mod sample 2

And either way, you need a lot of blocks for a full size quilt.

Now, about that 40% theory. Modern quilts have a huge following right now but many ‘moderns’ have a hard time with a definition of what’s different about modern from the traditional. Okay-usually more graphic, more solid colors, alternative grids. But there are a lot of modern quilts out there using traditional block designs, too.

In an effort to simplify things in my own mind, I just think anything that has more than 40% background is a modern quilt. Maybe a bit too simplistic, but it works for me.

This sample is much closer to 50/50 right now. It needs more background ecru, so as it continues to grow and as I assemble it, I know that I have to keep adding background, NOT more red. It’s tempting to use up all those red scraps, just because I have them, but I have to keep the end goal in mind here. I’m trying to illustrate improv with a modern slant, not just my usual crazy improv!

Let’s just see if I can get there…



Filed under Color, Contemporary, Designing Quilts, Teaching

Night Village

My sample for a Night Village is finished and waiting for quilting.

Night village 4

I decided that I would not be putting streets in and I think the quilting is going to be simple squares over each building.

I learned a few things from this one that I hadn’t remembered from the first one. I don’t like working with very small squares. The smallest ones here ended up at 3.5″ and that’s just plain too small for me. So when I teach it, I’ll suggest larger size squares.

And if someone has a full size quilt in mind, we’ll forget the little ones and go right for the larger sizes. No point making this a lifetime project!

I was also suprised to find this was almost square when done. I thought it would be quite a bit longer than wide and it just didn’t end up that way. How often does a piece tell ME what it wants—ALL the time!!!

Added a narrow border to contain the village and decided that a second border could only be that background fabric. Nothing else worked at all.

Night village 5

Now all I need to do is get the quilting done and sample #2 will be done.

And I have a start on sample #2 for Improv With a Modern Slant, which I will be teaching on Sept. 27, also at The Quilt Patch. It’s easy when all my work is improvisational and I can just pick up a couple pieces of fabric and start cutting and sewing! I’ll show you that as it gets a bit further along, of course.

Now for some quilting—hooray!


Filed under Designing Quilts, Quilting, Teaching