Archives for February 2016

Full house!

I wrote a post about a month ago called “Clearing the Wall.” Well, this week I ran out of room on that cleared wall as I played with new projects. 🙂

While I sketched and perused photos for another art quilt, I looked through all the fabric that I moved out here from New York. Many of the pieces were purchased for I thought I saw the potential for either an art or bed quilt. One possible project revolved around a center piece I picked up at one of the Rochester guild sales..and some border fabric I then purchased to accompany it. Last week I pinned both on my wall and then looked through my stash for other complementary fabrics. It became quite an exploration!


After a bit of measuring, drafting a design, and weeding through fabrics, I was closer to a workable project.


It also was becoming clearer to me that the borders on the center piece were going to have to exit. The blue lines simply did not coordinate well enough with my turquoise fabrics or the turquoise line in the outer border. A little cropping of my jpg gave me a better idea of the workability of my idea.


With borders trimmed, I started piecing to create a new border around the centerpiece. Those mitered corners turned out to be much than easier than anticipated. I pieced all the turquoise strips into a 8 1/2″ wide strip and then attached that to the center. I found that tracing a 45 degree angle on the wrong side of one border and then matching the adjoining border to that line created clean corners.


And, so this quilt occupies space on my wall. Another area currently has some fabrics laid out as I make a decision on the color way I want for my next art quilt. My ‘Wildlife’ quilt kept nudging other projects to make room as I patiently waited for my choice of fabric for its back to arrive. It did and the quilt sandwich is now assembled and awaiting quilting.

But, quilting projects are now on hold. I have been quietly hand stitching away in the background these past weeks.  As I finished up one small project, I got an idea for a new ‘pocket’ or pouch. I started on it last night and spent any free time today stitching on it. Perhaps by next week’s post, I will have it ready to share it and the other pieces I have been making!

Linking, as always, to NinaMarie’s Off the Wall Friday blog.


Always Something to Learn……

It’s all in the journey,
not the destination.

Among my projects this week were more dye work and piecing a quilt. Both reminded me of the never-ending voyage of learning that we are on through life.

In the piecing of my quilt from Sandy Turner’s workshop, I learned something about one of Bernina’s feet that I never quite grasped before…..I have had the 34D as long as I have owned my machine but it was in piecing my “Wildlife” quilt that I really ‘discovered’ those tiny red lines.


Piecing the Birds in the Air blocks required a certain amount of precision and I was delighted to learn that if I began with horizontal lines in line with the top of the fabric and the edge indented to the inside of the right horizontal line, I was usually in a perfect starting position. Further, I could simply keep the edge of the fabric in line with that inside right horizontal line and have a great 1/4″ seam. Previously, I had been focusing on keeping my fabric lined up with the 1/4″ line on my foot plate. This simple discovery on my part increased my precision dramatically and also my speed. Yay! As a result, ‘Wildlife” is now pieced and awaiting a decision on a backing.


I am nearing completion of the Basic Dyeing for Quilters class of Elizabeth Barton. I have gotten a tremendous amount out of the class and am truly appreciative of Elizabeth’s efforts to create a user-friendly guide for those wishing to learn more about dyeing fabrics. I continued to explore over-Dyeing this week with two objectives. To explore the range of changes when one over-dyed with different colors, and to create some less intense lighter fabrics. I chose to work from a base of Basic Blue and overdye with a number of other dyes we used in the class. Much to my delight, my results achieved my goals!


Left to right: Basic blue, overdyes of turquoise,fuchsia,orange,black, yellow.

It has been a good week…more to look forward to next week. I am very aware that I have the entire issue of photography to address. Next week? We will see.

Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday blog, as always.

The Satisfaction of Completion

Nothing nicer than crossing something off a list .

The longer I work on a project, the more clutter becomes associated with it. I do try to ‘put things back where they came from’ as I work through phases but it always seems that there are pieces of fabric, notes, sewing tools that remain out for easy access. So, the day when I can finally clear an area of all that has accumulated always bring a certain air of accomplishment.

This week two projects reached that point:

  • A wall hanging for my soon-to-be born granddaughter. It began as a ‘sketch’ created by my already born granddaughter on my design wall. She assembled pieces of fabric into a design of her choosing. (She had just watched a Harry Potter movie the day before and sounded like she was drawing some inspiration from it.)
    I then fused the pieces to a background and embellished on her theme. The colors came from the quilt already completed for the new baby. The photo below lacks the binding but you get the general idea.
  • My other completion I am particularly pleased with – my SAQA auction  quilt. Last year I was unable to contribute a donation due to our house construction and so I was determined to have something prepared for this year. The opening date for submissions is weeks away so I am really ahead of the game.


I also returned to work on my dyeing class this week. I did a series to learn about creating shades from a base color by varying the amount of black dye. I worked from a turquoise base.


I also played with creating neutrals and browns.


And compared the results of overdyeing some yellow fabric alternatively with fuchsia and turquoise.


With so much accomplished this week, I hope next week will be as productive!

Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.


“Birds in the Air” Adventure

Last week I participated in a one-day workshop by Sandy Turner Woods in Spokane, WA on “Birds in the Air.” I wanted an opportunity to meet some quilters in the area and thought a small workshop would be a better venue than the larger quilt club meeting. It turned out to be a perfectly wonderful day.

I come from a varied fiber arts background rather than a focus on traditional quilting. So, the title of the workshop, “Birds in the Air,” sounded interesting as did the description but I never really appreciated that “Birds in the Air” is a traditional quilt block. That wasn’t really a problem as I had used the block in some quilts I made a number of years ago and liked it quite a bit – just never associated the name.

Sandy was a great teacher. She explained early on that her objective was to teach a technique for creating the blocks and had no expectations that we would complete a quilt top by the end of the day. That certainly took a lot of pressure off of us.


Sandy Turner

We spent a good deal of time in the morning discussing each other’s choice of fabrics and then cutting our own fabrics. In the afternoon we stitched some blocks and played with arrangements.


Playing with block arrangements

Finally, Sandy went through some of quilts that she has made over the years. We had been asked to bring a large to medium pictorial fabric along with an accent fabric. Sandy used her own quilts to demonstrate the wide range of possible ways to design a quilt using pictorial fabric and “Birds in the Air” blocks. She has really perfected her method over the years.



All in all it was a fun day and I came away with the start of a quilt, a higher comfort level with the “Birds in the Air” block, and an enjoyable day with some friendly Spokane quilters.


Blocks from the class on my design wall waiting for me to sew more.

If you have the opportunity to take a class with Sandy, I would highly recommend it. You can find more info on her work on her website. She is teaching a number of upcoming workshops in C’oeur D’Alene at Bear Paw Quilting.

Linking to NinaMarie’s Off the Wall Friday.