Kauai Road — done!

This quilt began with a photograph of a road in Hanalei, Hawaii. If you’ve been there, you know the place. I used Photoshop to generate a drawing.

I made a placement overlay with the bones of the design. I didn’t use templates — I cut fabric by eye and built the quilt on my design wall.

Here it is, unquilted…

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The quilting brings all the elements together; the quilting finishes the quilt.

I love this quilt, but Steve loves it more. It is hanging in our dining room on the wall he can see from his spot on the sofa. I suspect it’s going to stay on that wall for a long time.

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When your ironing board needs a facelift…

I’ve had this ironing board from Reliable for many years and I love it, except for one minor thing. Well, two minor things. #1: The piece that slides onto the end of the board to square it up wants to come off when I fold it up and carry it to the closet (which rarely happens). I have trained myself not to grab it by it’s end. #2: The covers that go with the board do not want to stay on and they get dirty. (The getting dirty part is my fault.)

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Yesterday I decided that I would re-cover the board in the easiest way I could think of. I left the old cover in place and cut 2 yards of a more neutral fabric and trimmed it about 8-10″ bigger than the board on all sides. (I didn’t measure, sigh.) I pressed a 3″ hem on each side and ran a length of nylon cord inside the hem, thinking that it was easier to sew it in place than it would be to insert it later. I made a cut in the casing at one narrow end for the cord ends to go through.

Once sewn, I ran the ends of the cord through a toggle, placed the fabric right side up on the ironing board, and cinched it down. I stood the board up on it’s end for easier access. As I looked at the bottom of the board, it occurred to me that I could wire the two parts of the ironing board together. Why didn’t I think of this years ago?

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It turns out that I started with way too much fabric, but it works, but it did not fit the board tightly. The old cover has elastic bands that hold it tight and I borrowed that idea. I cut more elastic and used safety pins to hold it in place. Seriously, who besides me (and you) is going to know that I did it the easy way?

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I had not realized until I made this change how distracting the blue cover was. This quieter color is much, much better.

And, in case you are wondering, I have made serious progress on the Kauai Road quilt, seen on the wall in the first photo. Here’s a snippet, quilted. I love this quilt!

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Join me at Empty Spools…

I am teaching a 5-day Independent Study class, March 19-24, during Session III of the Empty Spools Seminar. Empty Spools Seminars are held at Asilomar, a wonderful facility on the Monterey Peninsula. There are a variety of classes taught during each session.

In my independent study class you are free to work on anything, not just appliqué. Your project can be art or traditional, hand or machine sewn, pieced or appliquéd. Draft a new quilt from scratch or work from a pattern. I am there to help you with any questions or problems you might have. Click here and here to see what students did in my 2016 and 2015 Independent Study classes.

This is one of my favorite classes. The room is always happy and full of energy. Asilomar is one of the prettiest places on the planet. There are still some openings in this year’s class and I encourage you to join me :-). Click here to go to Empty Spools.

Independent Study Class - 2016

Independent Study Class – 2016

Quilt Market 2016, update #1…

I spent one full day at Quilt Market in Houston. I spent a little more than an hour looking at all of the quilts (which was not nearly long enough), I signed books in the C&T booth, and then I walked all of the 26 aisles looking for wonderful new things for the web site. It was full but exciting day!

The quilts in the show, and in the special exhibits, were phenomenal. Honestly it was hard to take it all in in the short time I had. I did stop to take photos of a few of the quilts that spoke to me. I was drawn to quilts featuring portraits and people in particular.

I only took photos where permitted. The quilts below are followed by the information from the artists.

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Portrait Noir by Trish Morris-Plise (quilted by Sandra Bruce) and Chuck Close Two by Sandra Bruce

Portrait Noir by Trish Morris-Plise, quilt by Sandra Bruce

Portrait Noir by Trish Morris-Plise, quilt by Sandra Bruce

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Portrait Noir by Trish Morris-Plise, quilt by Sandra Bruce

Detail of Portrait Noir by Trish Morris-Plise, quilt by Sandra Bruce

Chuck Close Two by Sandra Bruce

Chuck Close Two by Sandra Bruce

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Chuck Close Two by Sandra Bruce

Detail of Chuck Close Two by Sandra Bruce

Claire, below, was hanging in the judged show.

Claire by Sandra Bruce

Claire by Sandra Bruce

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The Blood Remembers by Sandy Curran

The Blood Remembers by Sandy Curran

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I’ve seen the next quilt before and I still love it!

Detail of Rollin' Hell For Leather by Peggy Hanson

Detail of Rollin’ Hell For Leather by Peggy Hanson

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Winter Memories by Chieko Shiraishi

Winter Memories by Chieko Shiraishi

Detail of Winter Memories by Chieko Shiraishi

Detail of Winter Memories by Chieko Shiraishi

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I’ll post more images from the show tomorrow.

A quilter lives here!

Kim J. saw the “tea mailbox” in one of my recent posts and thought “maybe she would like to see mine”. Yes! I do want to see it and so do you!

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Kim says:

This was a collaboration with my husband.  He built the box, I drew the quilt blocks, painted/stenciled the roof and he did the painting.

Here’s the back:

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My own mailbox obviously needs an upgrade :-).

Kauai Road, off the wall…

Here it is, with the fabric cut and the overlay in place. The power lines are an important part of the design that will be added nearly at the end of the stitching.

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I’m going to sew all the shapes together by hand, mostly in an applique-ish sort of say. I took off all of the shapes that sit on top of the ‘background’.

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Next, I took it off of my design wall and almost had a disaster. Each shape had multiple pins sticking directly into the wall. I held the bottom of the muslin base layer and slowly pulled the whole thing off the wall. I’ve done this before and the pins held everything in place. This time, some pieces fell off or shifted. It happened so fast I couldn’t even swear at it :-).

I managed to get it on my dining room table, with all of the pieces back where I think they went. That took a little while. Next time I’ll pin much more securely before I take it off the wall.

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You might be wondering why I didn’t just glue the shapes in place. I don’t like glue, that’s why. I may change my mind at some point but for now, no glue for me.

Basting took a while but that’s OK. This project is not about speed, it’s more of a journey.

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Hand sewing this is going to take a while. I’ll post updates as it comes along.

In other news: Steve and I are with Celia and Jeff, in Munich! Watch Instragram and Facebook for news from our trip. I’ll share my best photos on the blog when I get home :-).

Kauai Road…

Having the line drawing of the palm trees and telephone poles helps a lot. All through this process, I could see how they would fill up the foreground. The sky, mountains, and bushes on the sides of the road are really background.

Once the mountains were in place, I went back to the road and began cutting fabric for the bushes and trees, but it was slow going. I then turned my attention to the sky, which is mostly cloudy. (It is, in fact, very often cloudy in this spot on Kauai.)

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Finding the right fabrics for the sky was hard!!!—so I went back to the greenery :-).

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There is a car in my photo, but it’s isn’t red. It needs to be red!

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After getting a lot of the foreground trees and poles cut, I went back to the sky. It was still hard, but I stuck with it. I did have to go buy some fat quarters which was a surprise. It’s getting closer to being ready to take off the wall!