Sunday, May 31, 2015

More Photos From France

Every time I visit a new town or even just turn a corner, there is another view that makes me love France even more.  I would love to spend a month here, or more, but then there's Bailey.  Oh well.

Petanque in the park

More tomorrow.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Vincent and Arles

After an entire day of travel, we arrived at our river boat.  The Rhone in the south of France is our "highway".  We spent today in Arles, where Vincent Van Gogh lived in the Yellow House, painted many paintings and was hospitalized for mental issues. Most of the locations that were part of his life here were destroyed during WW II, but his presence in this city is huge.

One of the stories that our guide recounted that stuck with me was his initial rejection as an artist.  He studied at an art school in Brussels and was told he had no talent  and that he should give up painting. His brother, Theo, had faith in him.  Vincent had no money, so Theo bankrolled him with a monthly stipend and then bought paintings from him and his friend Paul Gaugin. 

 I find the buildings in France to be so charming and picturesque, I envision lots and lots of quilts of the buildings and the doorways and the windows with their shutters and flowers and greenery.  Van Gogh did not paint any of  the buildings.  The focus of his paintings were the people and the landscape. 

And of course, a beautiful lunch

I'll save my texttile purchases for tomorrow!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Au Revoir Mes Amis

Good Bye?  Where am I going? Where have I been?

Let's start with where have I been.  I have been in my studio sewing my little heart out.  I'm working on a hush hush project, so I can't share.  I'm not even sure when I can share, but if you love Curvalicious , you will be very interested.  I promise to let you know as soon as I can. 

In the meantime, I have been getting ready for a trip to France.  Oh I can't wait.  It's to celebrate my 40th wedding anniversary.  I don't know how life rushes past, but it does somehow.  So I'm going with my best friend and my son and DIL on a river cruise. The first item in my carry on is my hand stitching and then I loaded a couple of books onto my ipad for the flight. I'm ready! 
I promise to post photos, lots of them.

In the meantime, I had an idea in my brain and some free time, while the clothes were in the washer, so this is what I made:
 It's a wine carrier that I used Curvalicious to create.  If  you live in the PA/NJ/DE area, the shore/beach is the place to be during Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer. 
So I chose this cool beachy print, called Barnegat Bay, that I bought last summer. 
The batting is insulated to keep drinks cold.

Here's a quick tutorial.
 To start with, you will need:
                    * Fabric for the applique (4"x 20") with fusible on the back
                    * Fabric for the background (6" x 20")
                    * Fabric for the lining (6" x 20")
                    * Fabric for the handle  (4" x 20")
                    * Fusible fleece (2" x 20")
                    * Insulbrite  (6" x 20")

The first step is to cut out the Curvalicious applique.  After applying the fusible web, remove the paper and fold the 4" strip in half, fusible web side out.
Place one edge of the ruler on the fold and cut out with a 28mm rotary cutter.
Center the applique on the background fabric. 
 Press in place, following the directions for the fusible web.
Stitch using a blanket stitch.
Add 3 fusible circles using the ruler for placement and stitch in place. 

Place the fabric on top of the Insulbrite(an insulated batting) and quilt.
Fold in half, right sides together and stitch each side from the fold up with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Form a gusset on each side by aligning the seam line with the center bottom line.
Stitch across 3/4" from the tip.
  Turn right side out.
Here you can see the gusset.
Create the lining from the 6" x 20" blue fabric.
Fold the lining in half, right sides together.
Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance and sew the gusset the same way as for the outside.

 Use the 4" x 20" piece of fabric and fusible fleece to make the handle.

Lay the fleece down the center of the wrong side of the fabric, fusible side down.
Using a hot iron and steam, iron the fabric over the fleece so that it meets in the middle.
Then fold it in half again. 

Stitch along the edges and down the middle.

Place one side of the handle over the seam on the right side.
Repeat for the other side.

Cut a slit 4" long along the bottom edge of the lining.
Slip the lining onto the wine carrier right sides together, matching the seams.

Stitch around the top edge with 1/4" seam allowance.  
You will need to use the free arm of your sewing machine and a walking foot.

Turn the bag right sides out using the slit in the lining.
Stitch the opening in the lining closed.
Push the lining into the bag and stitch along the top edge, a scant 1/4" from the edge, through both the bag and the lining.
And it's done!
Use it to transport wine to a party, 
or to carry and keep your water cold.
It's a keeper- and what a great hostess gift.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It's Square! ish

A Mid Summer's Night Dream (MSND)
After all the frustrating hours I have put in to fix this quilt, I decided to share it in it's finished state.  I love the shimmer of the silk and it's iridescence.  Folk Art is my favorite genre of art and to me this is the epitome of folk art. The design was influenced by Mexican and Jacobean art.  All of the fabric is silk dupioni and it was created using fusible applique and stitched with a machine blanket stitch. 
I quilted it with my home sewing machine.

Here are some close-ups:

Sequins were used for embellishment.

The innermost border is rick rack.  Sequins are in each hump, secured with a french knot.

 I used my Curvalicious tool to create the inner border.  I was very happy with the corners.

The coming out party for MSND will be Wednesday night. I will be giving my "Sensational Silk" presentation at the Moorestown Area Quilt Guild.  They meet at 7PM - Mount Laurel Fire House. 
 I hope to see you there.  You 'll be able to see it up close and personal.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Filled With Flowers

What could be better than a Mother's Day filled with Flowers?
Starting with 

and including refrigerator art made by my grandson and his father. 
 I haven't had something hanging on my refrigerator for a long time.

A trip to see the flowers at Longwood Gardens was the icing on the cake.  I could spend the rest of my life making quilts inspired by such beautiful flowers.

And who could ask for more? A son that wears my newly created Curvalicious convertible backpack!
This is my prototype.  I made it to use it for an upcoming trip to Europe.  I designed it to hold necessities plus a sketchbook, pencils, camera and iPad. (The pattern is on my 'to do' list.)
It can be worn as a backpack or converted to a cross body bag.
I am so grateful to my wonderful family for a day filled with flowers and love.
I hope your day was filled with love, as well.