Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rainy Weekend = Lots of Quilting

Cool and and wet here in Nebraska this long holiday weekend. I have been in the sewing room alot. I finished the little vintage embroidery block (pattern from Liberty Homestead) doll quilt. I have not made prairie points in so long I almost did not remember how. It was a good oportunity to use Aunt Gracie conversation prints.

The rest of the weekend I worked on building Home Tweet Home blocks (McKenna Ryan)

Maybe it will keep raining tomorrow and I can work on the little four patches to go inbetween the applique blocks.

If not I will have to go outside and work on this...I don't care how we prep the pool in the fall, in the spring it is always green. The black spot is a group of leaves that we managed to drop in the pool while removing the cover. Lots of vacuuming, pool chemicals, more vacuuming, and cold wet clothes.

Happy Stitching,


Friday, May 27, 2011

Civil War Bride finished

With my Civil War Bride quilt completed the possibilities of a new hand applique quilt to start are a little overwhelming. There are so many great quilts out there. Until I worked on the bride I don't think I owned one piece of civil war reproduction fabric. Now I love them, can't get enough turkey reds and poison greens. So I am leaning towards a red and green quilt. Something will come up.

I have finished a couple more blocks on the McKenna Ryan quilt, Home Tweet Home.

There is a little bit of embellishing done on each of these blocks, a few beads, or hairy yarn for nesting material.

I also did a little machine quilting practice this week. I made up this little wonky flower using some of my Kaffe Fassett fabrics for a little practice piece. I quilted the CWBQ using a wool batting and had read somewhere that you can get a sort of "mock" trapunto look with applique by using a double thickness of wool batting and then machine quilting the background very densely. Well, I am not overly impressed with the mock trapunto look, I don't really think it looks any puffier than with just one layer of batting, but the background quilt doodling was fun.

Have a good weekend.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Building a McKenna Ryan Block

As a child I loved tracing, paper dolls, and Colorforms. Remember Colorforms? Vinyl shapes you could stick on the black page and restick over and over. I think of all these childhood activities when I am working on a McKenna Ryan quilt. The quilt I have just started working on is McKenna Ryan's Home Tweet Home.
I have done all the tracing and cutting out of the applique shapes and now I am ready to start building the block. I work with a light box and an applique pressing sheet, building the different components of the block on the presser sheet. McKenna Ryan art quilts are very detailed with many tiny shapes. The tweezers come in handy.

Once I have the individual components of the block assembled I can press them with a hot iron, fusing the applique parts together. Because it is still on the applique pressing sheet I can pick up the whole component, in this case the bird, and add it to the rest of the block.

The one notion that makes these quilts work is Steam A Seam 2. This applique paper is sticky on both sides and allows for repositioning the individual pieces, and from that the colorform memory.

A few glass beads for embellishment (which have a rather eerie glow in this photo) and this block is completed.

Happy Stitching,


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Quilt Festival for Bloggers

I have not ever entered the blogger's quilt festival, but this looked like fun. I made this moon over the mountain quilt a couple years ago. Itis a favorite of mine because I grew up in Colorado and I have always missed the mountains. The quilt was inspired by a pattern by Jean and Valerie Wells from the Stitchin Post who had done a quilt like it in batiks. It is the first quilt I ever made with batiks, which has also become a favorite fabric line of mine. The thing this quilt taught me is that I prefer applique, and if possible I will change a pieced pattern to applique. Piecing the curves seemed overwhelming to me so this entire quilt is appliqued. I also used a different technique to machine quilt the quilt. I bought a viney backing fabric which I seamed together so the pattern would be continuous (sort of like matching wall paper),

then I put a variegated sulky thread in the bobbin and invisible thread on top and quilted the quilt from the back - simply following the outline of the vines. It gave an all over quilt pattern on the front with the variegated thread.

Drop by Amy's blog to see links to all the quilt show participants at:

Thank you to Amy and her sponsor's for hosting the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival. Click on the link and see some of the other beautiful quilts and read their stories.

Happy Stitching,


Friday, May 13, 2011

and the quilting goes on and on and on

Are you sick of hearing about the quilting of the Civil War Bride Quilt? Well, I am too. I am, however, determined to finish it in the next week or so and it is basically the only thing I am allowing myself to work on (except for maybe a short blog post).

I am up to the borders, this straight line quilting with all the starts and stops is just a little TEDIOUS. It is also a huge thread waster.

But in the end I am very pleased with the results. I can not wait to get this quilt hanging on a wall in my home.

I have gotten a little gardening done around the house and splurged on this beautiful hanging basket for my front porch.

The tag says the plant is Super Bells, whatever, I just liked the little white flowers. Last night I had to bring it into the house due to a severe thunderstorm with hail that passed thru Omaha. This storm has cooled down our weather for the weekend, sort of grey and raining…stay in and quilt weather, so back to it I will go.

Happy Stitching all,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Quilting the Civil War Bride

The quilting continues on the Civil War Bride. I have all of the applique in the ditch quilting completed and I am working on the back ground quilting. I am using YLI invisible thread on the front and aurifil thread in the bobbin, the invisible thread is a little shiny from the flash in some of the pictures. The batting is wool. I am up to the fun part of the quilting. I draw motifs on a thin tissue paper (with a pigma pen - not a pencil - the needle would drag the lead onto the quilt)
and then lay it on the quilt, quilt thru it

and tear the paper away. The flowers in applique lend themselves to all sorts of little natural add on creatures:

A little hummingbird,

a spiderweb,



and my very favorite, a peacock feather (don't you just know the bird of paradise has been loosing feathers).

After I have added all of the motifs I want, I will stipple quilt around them and the remaining background of the applique blocks.

I have stressed a little bit about the background quilting. I know some think that stipple quilting is overused, but it is what I do well. I think interspersing the motifs gives it a little interest.

Other than the center top, I am not adding any motifs to the borders, and simply quilting diagonal lines. To stabilize the border I have already marked 45 degree lines with a herra marker

and quilted every two inches.

This is walking foot work, lots of starts and stops and bridging over appliques and then going back and trimming away the thread bridges. I will go back and fill in additional lines (about every 3/8 of an inch) after the center quilting is completed.

I wanted to get brave and add a little inking to my quilt, like you see in the classic album quilts. I sort of chickened out and did ink FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE, but then I put black thread in the machine and sort of quilted/embroidered over it. I also did my initials and the year in the header pictures of this post.

And now I should put the laptop computer away, turn off the sewing machine, and get outside in this beautiful spring day and help my DH with yard chores.

Happy Stitching All,