Monday, August 22, 2016

Row By Row


My Own Little Shop Hop

I am home now, from a trip back to Iowa and Minnesota to visit my family.  I had a great time visiting with people, and I even got to work in a little more "quilt business" than I usually do.

My own LQS, The Loft, is participating in the Row By Row Experience.  This was the first I'd heard about this, but RxR has been around for several years.  The idea is to visit participating quilt shops and receive a free pattern from each one.  This year's theme is Home Sweet Home.  The patterns depict something about this theme, usually mixing in something about that particular quilt shop.  The shops also offer (for sale) special fabrics that have been chosen for this year's theme.  Also available are fabric personalized license plates.  

Now, back to my trip to the Midwest.  Before I left home I looked up participating quilt shops on the route I would be driving.  I ended up stopping at Calico Hutch in Hayward, Minnesota; Quilt Cove in Eagan, Minnesota; Quilting by the Hearth in Lonsdale, Minnesota; Michele's Quilting and Sewing Center in Blue Earth, Minnesota; Old Alley Quilt Shop LLP in Sherburn, MN, and Bear Patch Quilting Company in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.  One day we drove to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to visit my niece and her husband, and I was able to visit Quilters Headquarters there.

At each shop I picked up the free pattern, did some looking around, sometimes bought some fabric (like I need any more!!), and at most of the shops I also bought the fabric license plate.

Notice the cute license patch fabric under the patterns.

Before I left on my trip, I had also collected RxR patterns from The Loft in Gualala, California and Eddie's Quilting Bee in Sunnyvale, California.

It happened to be that the Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop was going on at the same time.  So there were many shoppers who were also participating in that.

Now I have my work cut out for me--to sew up all these cute rows into a happy quilt!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Art In The Redwoods 2016

I am so excited!  Art In The Redwoods is this weekend (Aug 13-14) and in the quilt division of the art exhibit, I won 1st place and 3rd place.  I can hardly believe it!

The first place winner was this Sunbonnet Sue, where she is standing on the bluff top, in a very blustery wind.  It is small, about 14" square, and you can read about it in this previous post.

I also entered my relatively new Poppy Quilt.  It won 3rd place!  I still can't believe it.  You can read about it here and here.

My third entry was this Sunbonnet Sue, where I've depicted a naked Sue jumping into the water, near the sign that says "No nude swimming." 

This small quilt didn't win a prize, but it won what is called the "Red Dot Award," which means that it sold.  (A red dot gets put on the identifying label on the wall next to the artwork.)  In fact, both Sunbonnet Sue quilts sold, and that makes me very happy too!

I feel extremely lucky to have won these awards and for selling the two quilts.  I remember many years ago hearing Alex Anderson speak about quilt shows and contests.  She said that sometimes it is just "your turn" to win an award, and other times it is someone else's turn to win.  I guess it was my turn this time.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Electric Poppies

This is Electric Poppies--finally finished.  I'm happy with how it looks.  I posted about the process of 

making this quilt previously, here.  It measures 29" wide by 36" tall.  Just in time for me to 

enter it into Art in the Redwoods, an annual art show held at Gualala Arts Center.  It has 147 

separate pieces in it--no fusing at all!

Friday, July 15, 2016

What Have I Been Doing?

Yes, I know it's the middle of summer, but I seem to find myself making Christmas ornaments almost all year long!  Partly because my guild has a fund-raising booth at a summertime art festival in August, so we need things like this to sell in the booth.

Here are some close-up samples.

Most of the designs are from patterns I have purchased.  But I made up some of the designs myself.

An easy way was to "print" a word having to do with Christmas.

I drew this Christmas tree pattern.

Here is another of my word ornaments.

I had an amusing conversation with MisterStitches recently about these ornaments.  I told him that I don't think I can ever stop making these ornaments.  If I find that I have some of the small muslin rectangles left over, then I have to cut some more colored strips to make borders.  If I have border strips left over, then I need to cut some more muslin rectangles.  MisterStitches said, "Why don't you just throw the leftover pieces away?"  Now, isn't that a silly thing to say!  And I told him so!!  "I can't just throw fabric away."

He just doesn't seem to get it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cord Wrappers

SisterStitches recently gave me this little cord wrapper.  Wow, is it ever handy!!

So I took the idea and made a few more of my own.  Think I got a little carried away!?!

They were fun to make.  I bought a special tool to attach the snaps, which took a bit to figure out, but then was fairly easy to use.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Stencil Painting on Fabric with April Sproule

We had a great workshop with April Sproule at our guild in April.  She does beautiful stenciling on fabric and clothes.  In this two-day workshop she taught us about choosing stencils, arranging them, about mixing paint, and applying it to fabric with stencil brushes.  Lots to learn.  

We learned this procedure on pieces of fabric that we brought in to play with.  On the second day April invited us to bring in clothing that we might want to paint.  Some of us went to second-hand stores to find clothes, some used our old clothing.  I looked through my closet for things that I haven't worn for a long time, or things that I wouldn't mind trying to paint (meaning that I wouldn't mind if I ruined that particular garment!).

April brought in many pieces of her own clothing that she has painted with her stencils (she designs her own).  On the knit top below she made a mask using freezer paper to paint the curved pink area in the middle.

Here is a detail of that shirt showing the precise painting and her beautiful hand-stitching and beading which she adds to almost everything.  

Another garment had a stitch I hadn't seen before.  A back stitch which then had blanket stitch done over it.  I love this look.

A beautiful knit shirt transformed by April's painting.

She also showed us samples of painting on a separate fabric, then cutting them out and raw-edge appliquéing them onto a garment.  

Now here are some samples that I stenciled.

Here I was trying to give the oak leaves a little golden touch on the ends.  I need a little work on my subtlety in painting!

I thought this design looked nice on printed fabric.

On the second day of this class we brought in some of our own clothes to stencil.  Looking through my closet, I noticed a short-sleeved white knit shirt that I have hardly worn at all.  I also found a light blue shirt dress.  I've had this dress for quite a few years.  Suffice it to say that at this age, I feel I should no longer wear dresses of this length (or lack of length)!  My idea was to stencil it, then cut it off to make  it a tunic instead of a dress.

The finished product!

Detail of upper shirt.

Detail of shirt tail.

Then I stenciled this white knit shirt, too.  With a variety of different designs.

Collar detail.

Lower front of shirt.

Back design.

I'm very happy with how both of these garments turned out.  And I've given new life to two items of clothing that were languishing in my closet.  Win-win!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Blue Jeans and Lace

Pinterest can either be a blessing or a curse, I guess, depending on how much time you spend waste there!  I use pinterest to keep track of patterns I find and ideas that I want to try.  They send me many emails of ideas that they think I will like.  While I often ignore those emails, sometimes I look at them.

And that's how I found this idea for decorating blue jeans with lace.  It was from a blog that you can visit here.

I have a bag full of lace pieces and trimmings, so I went to it and pulled out this piece.  First it needed to be ironed.  You can see that it is about 2 1/2 inches wide.

On the inside of the pants hem, I pinned, then sewed the edge of the lace onto the pants.

Then I folded the remaining part up onto the right side of the pant leg and sewed around the edge of it.

Very easy.  Hardly took any time at all!

And here is the finished product.

Now I'm thinking that I should add some lace edging to the pockets maybe, or somewhere else on the jeans.  Maybe on a different pair of jeans.  Who knows what I'll come up with!