Tag Archives: Quilting

Boring, boring, boring…

The background pieces for my damask pieces will be all the same. However, it will NOT be the lovely plaid of my original idea. Nope–the background needed to be a solid color and I happened to have the perfect color of teal……………….lots of teal!

Boring background 1

And I’ve already used yards and yards of it in a drapery project for an office! Don’t know for sure what the fabric content is, but it doesn’t wrinkle. I layered it with the light turquoise wool, of which I also have lots and lots! No batting–a simple straight stitched thin and drapey ground on which to put each beaded napkin. Hope to actually do that this weekend.

But I have to tell you, this was the most boring stitching I have ever done in my life! Four large squares of simple, straight-ish lines, up and down, up and down, up and do…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Boring bakcground 2

I really don’t ever want to do that again! But I know that I’ll be happy with the finished product because the color really is perfect–and I’m all about color!

And today was dye day! I will have things rinsed out tomorrow or Saturday and I’ll let you know if anything exciting comes out of the buckets.

BUT I couldn’t wait to see how my wine-bottle shibori turned out. Yes, that’s right–wine-bottle shibori! I had a piece of fabric that I wanted to wrap with string but the only pipes I have are very long and buried in a storage hole that I didn’t have time to crawl around and get. So, improv is my life! I used an empty wine bottle and wrapped the fabric and squished it down and it looked just the same as using the PVC pipes. I filled the bottle with water to make sure it wouldn’t float in the dye bath and used a coffee container for the bucket. Easy and it worked!!!!


This isn’t rinsed out yet, so it will most likely end up lighter, but being able to do this on a small scale is great.

Always good to end the day on a high note!


Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Dyeing Fabric, Quilting

Next in the series

Continuing on with the damask napkins, I’m at a point where input would be appreciated! I need to remember that the point of this was to combine traditional quilting designs, non-traditional colors on the luscious damask, hand stitching and beads.

Damask scroll 1

Notice how the thread on the edge has picked up the turquoise color? That will be finished off with a much darker color, no matter what else I do with this.

Now, what do you think —does this area need more beading?

Damask scroll 2

And there’s overall too much empty green space. Here’s what I’m thinking–cut a square out of the top right area, which I’ll mark with the little glow sticks before I actually cut! Add more beads in one of the following configurations, dark stitched border around each piece, mounted on a dark teal background. Ready for your opinions and comments–go!!!

Damask scroll 3 #1

Damask scroll 4 #2

Damask scroll 5 #3

I have done a lot of self-talking on this one and I have reasons and opinions on each configuration. I’m very interested in how others feel about them.

In the meantime, I have one more of the smaller ones to bead and then one larger piece, same colors, different fabric, to bead before I move on the final finishing decisions. I feel like I’m making slow but steady progress and that feels good!!!



Filed under Beading, Color, Designing Quilts, Non-traditional Quilts

Dithering decision dilemna…as usual

There is always a point in a project when I can’t easily make a decision on what to do next. Well, truth be told, usually there are several points like that! I’m trying to work down a pile of almost finished projects and I keep hitting that decision wall. Aaargh!

I did manage to get the labels and sleeves put on this pair of pieces.

CS sewing day final

Still not sure if I made the right decision to not put beads on them, but I think that was the best look.

I also got the Blue Lake art/music project finished and mounted. Ready to get it delivered to Ron, the art director, so that it can go back to camp.

BL art project final

And the beading is done on this next piece. My original plan was to mount these on 16 x 20 canvases with the plaid fabric wrapped and as background.

Damask projects 3

The damask is actually bigger than 16″ across, so do I go bigger with the piece? Not mount it on the canvas and just make a tapestry of it? Trim the damask and show more of the plaid?

Damask projects 4

See—decisions! And I have 4 of those napkins, planning to mount them all the same way….hmmmmm!

And then I started beading the second napkin

Damask projects 1

with this pile of mixed beads

Damask projects 2

and I’m dithering on how much beading to fill it in with! And the design for this one doesn’t lend itself to cutting down the size of the napkin to fit better on the canvas.

And THAT’S why I have a big pile of unfinished pieces waiting for me!



Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Designing Quilts, Handwork

AQS Grand Rapids

Quilt shows are always inspirational for me. I may be an art quilter now, but I started out in the traditional way and I love all quilts! However, I don’t try to take pictures of every single quilt or even of all the winning quilts. I only take a few pictures of quilts that really appeal to me and I’ll share those with you.

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One of my personal inspirational quilters, Diane Hire, had this quilt in the show.

AQS GR16 4

There is an incredible amount of detail and embellishment that you would need a year to study!

AQS GR16 6 AQS GR16 7

And there were a lot of crystals still shining brightly, but the sparkle of the beads on this piece just drew me like a moth to the flame!

AQS GR16 15

AQS GR16 16

I want to make one like this!

My pocketbook didn’t suffer too much damage at the show, though there were lots of good vendors. They won’t survive on what I spend, but I tried to help a bit!

Playtime and goofing off are now officially done. It’s time to finish up my stack of partials that I’d like to have done for my show/sale in October.

But, really, how can I call it work when I enjoy doing it so much?


Filed under Art Quilts, Modern Quilts, Non-traditional Quilts, Quilting, Shows

Blue Lake reports 1

There may only be one report, but I’ll probably manage to get a few in here and there. I love to show what the kids do. Creativity bubbles right out of them!

First things first…I dropped some stuff off at the classroom and judged that it will undoubtedly be very hot working there until this heat wave leaves us! Maybe only 1 more day of it…I hope!

Then I got checked in at the hotel. Yes, I’m staying in the hotel, and not in a cabin. I feel so lucky! What I can’t remember, though, is if this is different carpet or the same. In any event, with my usual fondness for unusual carpet design, I had to take these pics before I even brought my suitcase to the room!

Hotel carpet Whitehall Hotel Carpet Whitehall 3 Hotel Carpet Whitehall 2

The first picture is the truest color, taken by a window. I could not get the others adjusted correctly, but they were inside the corridor, in less than bright light. I really love this design set.

Next in importance was getting something to eat, ’cause I was starving. And they have a Dog ‘n Suds just down the road….a REAL Dog ‘n Suds, with car hops and everything! It was perfect…except that I dripped coney sauce on both my shirt and pants. What a slob but it was just soooooo good!

My last stop (before my staff meeting–yes, I am here to work!) was to a quilt store. I did not know until recently that there was a complete quilt store in the area. After all, this is only my third year here (and I am here to work!) and the store has been here 13 years…I asked! And since I need absolutely nothing, how could I resist this marvelous fabric?

Quilted Memories Montague

This affirms my decision not to explore natural dyeing. Why would I, when I can buy these beauties already made? And even though I love, love, love the natural dyeing results I’ve seen from my buddies, I simply cannot get into loving the doing of it. Not my thing!

Meeting tonight, meeting tomorrow, class and classroom prep, meet the kids, start teaching…the fun begins!


Filed under Learning New Things!, Life, Quilting, Teaching

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.

Handwork and stencils 28

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