Saturday, June 29, 2013

Free Motion Practice

I have seen examples of this type of thing done before, and the last time I saw it I said to myself, "I am just going to go ahead and do this.  Why not!?"

It is a medium for practicing free motion quilting designs.  Why this particular "gizmo" is really good is because I can lay it on my quilt top and get an idea of how a particular design will look on the quilt top.

So I went to the hardware store and bought about a half yard of this clear plastic.  It was with all the vinyl tablecloth "fabric" that they cut by the yard.

I cut my square of plastic/vinyl about 20" by 20."  (They were a little generous with the half-yard measurement!)

The next step was simply to put my artists tape around the edge of it.  Now I can draw with my dry erase markers on this over and over, erasing each time with a small scrap of batting.  

The reason for the tape on the edge is so that, when I place this over my quilt top to audition a quilting design, I don't accidentally go over the edge and onto my quilt.  That would Not. Be. Fun.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wonky Houses Wall Hanging

I recently embroidered a small wall hanging to give away.  It is a pattern that I bought from Jenny of Elefantz.  Jenny is a frequent blogger and a brilliant stitcher from Australia.

I had such fun embroidering these cute little houses.  Jenny had four houses in the pattern, but I opted to use three for this wall hanging.

Here is the first close-up.  Notice the little "home" sign and the cute bunny.

Next close-up with even a wonky mailbox!

A super close-up of the third house, showing wonky windows and curtains, and the cute yellow flowers. 

Jenny's patterns are nicely drawn and easy to follow.  I ironed a light stabilizer onto the back, and traced the lines with my Frixion pen.  Then I embroidered the designs without using a hoop.  I find that gives me more freedom, and that it is easier to reach all areas of the design.  But however you like to embroider, I recommend giving Jenny's patterns a try.  She has quite a few, and they are all cute.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stained Glass Window Quilt

I posted about this quilt a while ago.  It's a quilt for my guild's challenge.  The theme of the challenge was "Celebrate."

One day this idea came to my mind.  As an Episcopalian, the phrase "Celebrate the Eucharist" is something that I hear.  When I thought about how to represent celebrating the Eucharist, I thought about the beautiful stained glass windows in Christ Church (Los Altos, California).  When you click on the link you'll see the following photo.  This is one of those beautiful windows.  If you want to know more about the windows you can see that here.

Below is a close-up, pretty much what I based my quilt on.  

And below is the quilt that I made to represent this window.  I got to use very different fabrics than what I usually use for quilting.  I used satins, silks, and some polyesters.  Some of my "fun" fabrics.

I enlarged a photo, then made a pattern from it.  I traced the pattern pieces onto fusible web and transferred that to my satins, silks, or whatever I could find that was close to the original color of the windows.  I fused the pieces down to some black Moda Marble fabric.  Yes, I was crawling around the floor wearing my carpenters' knee pads(!), and using my small Clover craft iron.

 After I fused down the colored pieces, I did a lot of echo quilting all around the "glass" pieces.  It "flattened" the black fabric, and helped to accentuate the colored pieces. 

Another window at Christ Church Los Altos.