Thursday, December 18, 2014

Curvalicious Pillows


Pillows made using Curvalicious, was on my To Do list.  I have made pillows before and I am always unhappy.  I end up with those empty bunny ears in each of the corners and this time I wanted a nice fit.  I also did not want to use the lapped back closure that I usually use. It is easy to do, but I wanted my pillows to be more professional.  So I headed to the Internet.  The best place to find the How To's? YouTube.  It's the perfect resource for me, because I am definitely a visual learner.
This is the neutral fabric pillow. The light colored background is pieced.  
 I used a 20"x20" pillow form.
I quilted it the way that I traditionally quilt my Curvalicious designs. There are swirls in the circles and parallel lines in the light fabric.
The second pillow has a modern aesthetic to it.
The background is one solid piece of orange polka dot fabric. 
I quilted the grey curved strip with swirls in the turquoise circles, but to accentuate the more modern flavor, I zig-zagged down through the light curves.
Using the tips I picked up on YouTube, I am very happy with how the pillows turned out.  The inserts fit the quilted pillow cover nice and snuggly.  I will share the amalgamation of the methods that I used in my next blog post.  So if you have had issues making pillow covers and need a few tips, make sure you come back - or sign up with Bloglovin' to receive notifications.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

I'm Sewing Again - With A Free Pattern Option



It feels so good to be back at the sewing machine.  I have been working on a few projects.  Today I wanted to share a  project that was my table runner that i made as a test for a mystery quilt get together.  I did it twice, once for my guild and the other was for a  group that I am a member of on-line. The unfinished top has been sitting on my shelf for 8 months.  Since I didn't want to start a new project, this was a good choice for quick!

This is my quilted table runner:

In the body of it, I ignored the seams and did swirly quilting along the diagonal sections.

When I looked at the borders on the sides, I decided that a more geometric design was needed for balance, so I quilted a continuous line triangle inside of the triangles.

I put the binding on by machine.  This is my new favorite method.  Besides being quicker, I think it is sturdier than stitching it on by hand, especially if it is going to be used and washed.  It is a different look - a bit flatter. I do make sure I stitch into the corner - and then back out again.

Here's a LINK for the table runners that were made with my on-line group.  I was very proud of this Mystery project.  I think everyone's top looked so different but very pleasing to the eye.

If you would like a copy of the Mystery Project , e-mail me.  


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Favorite Things

Not a lot of sewing has been going on around here.  I have been getting my projects (aka bins of fabric) ready for our trip to Key West, as well as getting the house ready.  Oh, and I forgot, shopping for gifts.

Most of you know that I love riding my bike, especially with Bailey.  My friends have picked up on this and I have received lots of great gifts with a bicycling theme recently. Some are handmade and others are bought.  No matter which, I love them all.
Thanks Dina.
 Alex and ANi bracelet
 and a gorgeous silk dupioni pouch for the bracelet. Thanks Terry.
Thanks Debbi.
Notecards
A handstitched needleholder
with hand dyed wool.  Thanks Kelly.
One of my readers found this flannel for me. (Thanks Patty.) It was maybe 2 years ago.  I finally got around to making it into a nightshirt.......for me.
And inline with the upcoming start of Chanukah, check out this menorah
Shhhhhh.  It's a gift.

Is there a gift that makes your heart sing?






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Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Taste of Bali


I am so excited to be able to share my trip to Bali.  I am offering this as an auction item at Calico Cutter Quilt Guild's fundraiser at their December meeting on Wednesday, the 10th
for a limited number of people. 
I have lots of photos and stories to share, plus my amazing husband is offering his services as a chef! He took a cooking class one day while I was at the spa. Maybe he'll even share his recipes.

I bought lots of fabric and he bought spices at the market.

March 20, 2015 is the date.  It's a Friday. 
 I hope that lots of my guild members are interested, although we can only accommodate 8.
 
Let's raise some money for a really terrific guild and group of quilters  
who do lots of charitable deeds and open the doorway to inspiration.


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

License PLate Quilt



I was so excited when my friend, Sujata sent me this photo. It was hanging at the Houston International Quilt Show this past October. The blocks were made by quilting bloggers from each of the 50 states using only American Made Brand's cotton solids that are manufactured in the U.S. I can see my block all the way on the left, second row up from the bottom.

The blog tour featuring each of the fabric license plates took place last May.  This was my block, representing Pennsylvania.
AMB put the license plate style blocks together and it was on exhibit in Houston.  It truly is a great representation of quilting in America and what each of our states has to offer.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Another Fun Day

I really enjoy visiting guilds and sharing what I have learned about quilting.  Often, I learn something too.  This past week I was at Warwick Valley Quilt Guild. It was my third visit and it's always nice to see familiar faces.  This visit was for my Curvalicious workshop.

This is a very experienced group of quilters and they are very creative.  Many of them have silk in their stashes that they are hesitant to use.  Learning the tools to work with silk during this workshop should give them the courage to use that silk. 



Here's Judy's skinny quilt that mixes black and white cotton with colorful dupioni circles. It's so dramatic.

Another quilter was making silk leaves to sprinkle on the curvalicious background.
Laura was using Radiance (silk and cotton) that she hand dyed. 
And this was going to be a larger wallhanging designed with cotton.

To me, the purpose of taking a workshop is to learn a new technique and experiment.  Students sometimes think that they will upset a teacher by changing their technique, not exactly reproducing the project.  That's not the purpose of my workshops.  I find it so exciting when someone takes my technique, changes it and puts their spin on it. 




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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Twins

I shared my twins a couple of weeks ago.


I created two identical "Elegantly Amish" quilts (39"x39") to determine if silk dupioni quilts can be washed.  Up to this point I was telling my students that silk quilts needed to be dry cleaned.  Washing would ruin them.  Once a scientist, always a scientist, so I needed to do an experiment.  What would happen if I washed a silk quilt?  Would it lose its sheen? Would it get distorted?  Would it shrink?  Would it bleed?

But before I share the results of my experiment, I want to introduce Midnight Quilter aka Ashley Malinowski.  She quilted "The Twins".
Ashley is a young woman who recently graduated from college. She purchased a long arm at the end of her senior year of high school.  She put herself through college by quilting for others.  Although she graduated with a very employable degree, she decided she wanted to keep on longarming to keep in touch with her customers!  If you want to read more about her or get in touch to hire her, 
visit her website: www.MidnightQuilter.weebly.com

So what happened to The Twins when I gently washed one of the twins in a low suds detergent?

The quilt on the right was the one that was washed.  It shrunk 2.5%.  It did not lose its sheen, that is so important when sewing with silk dupioni.  It did not bleed.  What happened because of the shrinkage is that the colors became a bit more vibrant, which is hard to see in this photo.  I like the increase in vibrancy. Maybe I'll wash all of my silk quilts.  Maybe.

I have presented my newest lecture "Sensational Silk" a couple of times.  I am happy to share with other quilters my silk quilts and  my tips for  quilting with silk.  I can now tell them that the quilts can be washed. If you want to read my other tips, check out this LINK.

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