Tag Archives: Quilting

Basted and ready to go

This is what I do when I don’t know what to do next. I looked over my pile of partially completed pieces and rather than work on any of them, I basted a few more to get started on!

Gingko prep

This gingko has been around for quite a while now. So long, in fact, that I can’t remember my original plan for it! No fusing on this one; simple basting on to batting.

I did fuse this one onto a heavier backing.

Painting basted

I may be sorry, but I think it will get a lot of stitching and beading. I want it flatter than it would typically be if I only used batting before the stitching.

This piece got machine quilted. Not sure what else is going to happen to it, but if it gets beads it’s better to have it quilted first.

Silk strips basted

Not sure which orientation it will end up with either. This is sideways to my first thought…I think I like it.

The pile of UFO’s is growing. I have at least a dozen partially finished pieces sitting in a pile and am not motivated to go further on any one of them. Perhaps it’s just summertime laziness. Sometimes it’s a lack of decisiveness on what the ‘next step’ will be. In any case, I will need to take something with me to work on while I’m at Blue Lake. Or perhaps I’ll bring a stack of books and no handwork! Hmmmm…sounds like a big bunch of indecisive to me!!!


Filed under Art Quilts, Handwork, Life

Same series, different fabric

The fabric really does make a difference! Those wonderfully soft, vintage damask napkins let my needles and threads slide through like a hot knife through butter. I’m starting my last one of those now.

Handwork and stencils 25

The softness and the looser weave are perfect for either the perle cotton or embroidery floss I’m using.

Handwork and stencils 26

At the same time, I’m trying to work on this larger compatible piece and it is much more difficult. The fabric is a much more tightly woven cotton, like a batik, which I love for dyeing. In addition, it’s fused to the batting with Wonder Under. There will be more experiments with the various fusibles out there, but this one is what it is!

Handwork and stencils 27

I used a backstitch for the outlining, rather than a stem stitch and by the time I decided I didn’t like it that much, my fingers were way too sore to rip it out and start all over! It is best to use a large needle for this fabric/fusible combo, but even that doesn’t make the stitching easy!

I have decided to add a strand of the same color perle cotton and make it into a threaded back stitch. It’s not a major difference, but it’s enough to make the outline a bit bolder and smoother looking.

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Most of the feathers on the bottom of the spine are threaded and those on top are not. I like it quite a bit better, and I think the single color will work fine with future beading…multi-color thread would be too much.

And judging by the dificulty of getting my needle through this fabric, I’m pretty sure the background stitching will be done on the machine! Nope–simply not worth the struggle of hand stitching through this tight fabric.

However, I have decided that my thrift shop visits in the future will include looking for more of those lovely vintage napkins…maybe layered with some lovely vintage hankies and lovely vintage lace…


Filed under Color, Fabric, Handwork, Quilting

Mixed dye results

My fabric folding for dyeing is in the beginning stages of experimenting. I’ve mostly done some loose pleating and some accordion folds for tray dyeing. This time I tried some pressed and folded hunks of fabric with mixed results.

Ready for dyeing 3

The loosely tied fabric on the top gave me predictable results, with soft blending of the colors.

Dye day folds 4

Accordion folds were also kind of predictable, but I like this result with these colors.

Dye day folds 5

I simply rolled up a 1/2 yard piece to see if it would give me a gradation. Well, it did, but too pale to be useful to me by the innermost part of the roll. If I had used a fat quarter, it would have been fine.

Dye day folds 7

Triangles gave mixed results. I like the design of this piece but I absolutely detest the color!

Dye day folds 2

This little piece says ‘daisy’ or ‘sunshine’ to me!

Dye day folds 1

And this one I’m not too sure if I like or not!

Dye day folds 6

Crumpled up and crunched tightly together worked to give me some fun fireworks or flower shapes and I really like the way the colors blended.

Dye day folds 3

I used mostly the same colors on this next one, plus blue, but it was a large piece of fabric and very tightly packed.

Dye day folds 8

Many dyers would call this a failure because of all the white space, but I like it this way! Perhaps it will get another fold up and dip, simply to add more lines of color to the design. That could be lots of fun, but I don’t dye that often so it will wait for another time.

(Okay, I couldn’t wait! The detested green piece and this piece are folded differently and are soaking in darker blue dyes right now. I absolutely could not make the green piece worse, but I may be sorry on the other one!)

Mostly now I need to use up a bunch of fabric, both hand-dyed and commercial. I usually resist piecing the backs of bed quilts, but in order to use up what I have, that is exactly what I will have to do. I’m trying very hard to start using only the fabrics I’ve created in my art pieces. That is so, so hard, because I love so many commercial fabrics–and they keep on making more every day! Obviously I need to spend more time at the sewing machine and less time on the computer, so I am on my way down to the studio. There is work to be done!



Filed under Color, Dyeing Fabric, Fabric, Quilting, surface design

Setting up new projects, part 4

Continuing the new, hand-sewing project saga…this is so much fun. Very simple outline stitch of the main design and then filling in the background with running stitch. Hypnotic and I don’t want to set it down! The first piece is finished and I love the texture.

Handwork and stencils 18

I should say that the first level of stitching is finished. I know that I want to add more to it with beads and perhaps more embroidery inside of the feathers. The colors I’m using give a pretty cool result, too. These next pictures are true to color, but on different parts of the piece. Lots of variation.

Handwork and stencils 19 Handwork and stencils 20

But there are some negative aspects to some of my planning, and I always try to make all the mistakes so that you don’t have to!

On the first piece, I used the tissue paper/stitching method of getting the design on the fabric.

Handwork and stencils 7

In theory, this should work just fine. In real life actuality—don’t do it!!!! The only way this works is if your thread basting gives you the exact design that you want–don’t wander away–AND if you then embroider exactly on top of those stitched basting lines. In this case, I did not follow the drawn lines when I did the initial stitching and so did not have a perfect line to follow. I also used navy thread and ended up using a chartreuse embroidery floss, which was a bad combination! I had to spend a lot of time picking out the navy thread after I did the embroidery.

I set up my second piece differently so that I could compare the two. I do not like marking on my fabrics and I’m not crazy about embroidering through fusible, but I used both. Turns out that this is the way to go on these projects.

Clear design, easy to stitch following the line and no basting thread or paper to remove. And sewing through the fusible is not a problem, either.

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I use a hoop when doing the embroidery with the thicker thread, but it’s not needed when doing the running stitch on the rest of the piece.

I love seeing the play of light on the texture that is created this way.

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And you can easily create a design within a design.

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There are two or three more of these damask napkins in my stash, plus some regular cotton fabric dyed with these same colors. I think I must have dyed all of these AND tons of floss at the same time, because I haven’t even made a dent in the pile of compatible thread that I have!

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This should keep me going for quite a while. When I have some totally finished, I’ll bring them back to show you. For the time being, I’m going to have them available for take-along, hand stitching projects. Love this project!




Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Handwork

Lots of posts…

Guess what? I’ve published more than

1000 posts!!!

That’s a LOT of words and photos!


I don’t think I have as much to say and show as I did when I started this blog, but it’s become a way of life for me now.

This guy was such a little bundle of fun…HPIM0727

Lots of textile work has run throught my studio since then, but now I can’t seem to complete a project if I don’t document things as I go along. And it’s very nice to be able to go back and look at what I have accomplished over the last few years!

I will be off the grid again for a few days, though. I’m going to take some hand sewing with me, so I’ll show you some stitches when I get home! I’m thinking about simple running stitches with perle cotton through some wool…hmmmm!

See ya soon!


Filed under Handwork, Quilting

Right turn again!

My poor sewing machines have been sitting unused for entirely too long. They were screaming at me to come do some sewing…so I did!

My niece is having a baby this fall so I thought I’d make her a quilt today. I gathered up all my bright “baby quilt” fabric scraps.

Leah's baby quilt 1

Turns out I have a ton of them. Didn’t know what I was going to do but I thought strips would make it easy. I spent much longer than I thought I would have to on that task.

Leah's baby quilt 2

Also turns out that a ton of scraps makes a ton of strips! I probably have enough for a full size quilt, AFTER making the baby quilt. Sigh…there will never be an end to scraps, will there?

Sewed the various widths into strips with blue spacers and sashing and threw it up on the design wall to see if I liked it!

Leah's baby quilt 3

Yep! This will work just fine. Spent a surprisingly short time sewing it up–and the machine was humming, so it was happy, too.

Hooray! Baby quilt top done!

Leah's baby quilt 4

I see some things in the picture that I could have done better, but once that baby is cuddled up in it, design doesn’t matter!

I’m going to plan on getting it quilted right away, rather than procrastinate. That will also make my machine happy and I’ll be humming along, too!


Filed under Designing Quilts, Fabric, Quilting, Use Up the Stash

Little steps and decisions

Over the weekend, I worked on two things. Saturday was a sewing day with some of my friends from my Creative Seasons art group. Our challenge was to make something using only solids. I have a large tub of silk in solid colors along with a collection of solid cottons from a month-by-month club, so this was a perfect opportunity to use them.

I started with two pieces of the silk that spoke to me and started cutting and piecing. Then I added a couple of colors of the cotton and continued cutting and piecing…this is where I ended.

CS sewing day solids 1

It needs quilting and embellishment, of course…I can see big globs of beads on the royal blue bits. However, before I start that, I need to decide which direction I want it to go, vertical or horizontal.

CS sewing day solids 2

And Sunday I finished the quilting on this piece and now just want to add some beads and get it mounted.

Shredded leaves unbeaded

I’m not happy with my facing with the fusible interfacing, either for the backing of the silk or the backing of the whole piece. I think this silk needs something a bit lighter than what I have. Or maybe something a bit heavier for the batting, to get the effect I want. Next time…


Filed under Beading, Color, Designing Quilts, Fabric, Learning New Things!, Quilting