Amy Marson, on embroidery…

My good friend, Amy, offered share more about her embroidery art. Yay!

Do you spend a lot of time commuting? passenger in a car? on an airplane? I do! And I am fidgety, always needing something in my hands to keep me busy.  Well last April I started embroidering when I travel and I am hooked. I have done two famous paintings, The Scream and Starry Night. My favorite part of both of these is the sky done in a big chain stitch.

Amy_StarryNight-2

I am fairly new to embroidery and I like it when my work looks a bit rough (I am a recovering perfectionist) and not precise.  I really enjoyed trying to figure out what colors to use where and how to make certain sections stand out. I made different choices than the artists just for fun and I am really happy with the results.  My Starry Night hangs next door at my neighbors house (a Christmas present) and I am not sure yet what to do with The Scream. I may keep it…

Amy_The_Scream

A few good things to note. To transfer the pattern I used C&T Publishing’s Wash-Away Stitch Stabilizer, a great surface that you can run through an ink jet printer and adhere to your fabric while you are stitching, and when you are done you swish it in water and it melts away!

I got some great needles from Becky (this is a good set) and used a variety of perle cottons (lots of choices here) for much of the designs. I love how the perle cotton sits on top of the fabric. Also, I did not stick with one weight of Perle Cotton, I used three different weights, my goal was to create a lot of texture and I think it worked.

I am a self taught stitcher using Judith Baker Montano’s Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Tool and I work very quickly with the goal of done is better than perfect. What am I working on now? I sketched a world encircled by houses, trees and a book. I started freehand stitching and it is coming along beautifully! If Becky let’s me guest post again I will show you my latest project. Until then, needles up!

Amy

PS from Becky: Amy, you can guest post any time!

Meet Lucy…

This is Lucy, who celebrated her 88th birthday on August 18 in my class at The Quilt Crossing in Boise. How cool is that!

PickUpSticks-Class-Lucy

The class worked on Pick-Up Sticks from The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color, learning how to make this improv block the easy way. Everyone had a great time, especially Lucy!

Some of Lucy’s Piece O’ Cake applique quilts were hanging in the classroom and it was so much fun to have them there. This is her version of Spectacular Spring from Applique Delights (still available as a downloadable ebook).

Lucy-AppliqueDelights

And this is Lucy’s version of Thru Grandmother’s Window, our first block of the month. The patterns are available as downloadable ePatterns.

Lucy-ThruGrandmotherWindow

Lucy and I agreed that it’s good to have a goal and we both want to be quilting into our 100s. That’s an excellent goal, don’t you think?!

This is what happens in my Independent Study class…

I spent 5 wonderful days with 23 wonderful women at Empty Spools. Some knew each other before they got to class, but everyone was a friend by the time the class was over. If you ever get a chance to come to an Empty Spools seminar, I’m pretty sure you’d love it!

We all headed home last Wednesday; I got home late Thursday. I meant to upload these photos then, but this was a very busy Easter weekend. (I hope your weekend was as nice as mine was.) Enjoy the slideshow!

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Wowie Zowie!

There’s a quilt in our new book, Piecing the Piece O’ Cake Way, that I called Wowie Zowie. I actually made it in 2 sizes: big bed-size and small baby-size. The bed quilt was designed to go on this bed, to replace that boring gray coverlet…

This is so much better. Wowie Zowie, right?!

This is a queen-size bed and the quilt covers the box spring and the bed rails, just as I intended it to. Angela Walters quilted this quilt for me and she did a terrific job, as always :-)!

Both this and smaller quilt are made solely from half-square triangles. Change the size of the half-square triangle and that changes the size of the finished quilt.

Show and tell… my Mom’s Welcome to the North Pole!

My mom began this quilt in May of 2012. The finished quilt went on her wall a couple of weeks ago…

MomsNorthPole-13

Mom chose some fabric from my stash and then I brought more fabric. I offered to give her ‘help’ but she was very happy do make this on her own. She did it her way and it’s perfect!

The top was finished in time for it to hang on her wall last year, un-embellished. I quilted it this summer and she spent the following weeks adding embellishments. Can you tell that my mom really likes sequins :-)?

MomsNorthPole-26

None of this was easy for her. She struggled with her glasses, arthritis and neuropathy in her fingers. Threading the needle and dealing with the little sequins and beads was a challenge—but she did it! Click the arrows on the slideshow, below, to see more of the blocks.

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Have I said that I’m proud of my mom for sticking with this? I am! It has a folk art vibe that just can’t be beat. Way to go, Mom!

 

A big (almost easy) quilt…

Lorna and Chris have a king size bed and Lorna needs a new cover for it. Not a pieced quilt, but still a quilt. She fell in love with two fabrics that I have (had) on the bolt—one is Tula Pink’s huge dot (printed on wide fabric) and the other is a floral print by Amy Butler  printed on sateen.

After much thinking, I decided that it would be best to make this a quilt without binding. Instead we would layer the top and back right sides together with the batting against the top, sew the edges, turn it inside out, and then quilt it. It was not nearly as easy as it sounds.

We cleared out my living room and vacuumed. Then we placed the batting on the floor. After a few false starts, we did manage to use basting spray to stick the the top to the batting. It took more than an hour and I did let slip a few choice words.

Lorna trimmed the batting even with the edges of the top fabric. Next we placed the backing right side down on the top. I then pulled out all of my mats and many rulers and we squared up the outer edges.

Lorna used Clover’s basting clips to hold all the edges together. I took it to my machine and sewed all the way around this monster, leaving an opening at the bottom to turn it through. This quilt is a lot heavier than I thought it would be.

The walking foot came in very handy.

Lorna had to leave so I trimmed the corners and then turned the whole thing inside out which was surprisingly satisfying.

I tidied and pressed the edges, finished the opening, and top stitched all the way around, 1/2″ from the finished edges.

It’s not done yet because it has to have some quilting. Otherwise the batting will fall apart with use and washing. Steve is going to do a little basting on it this weekend to help keep everything together during the quilting process.

Lorna wants to quilt it and it will be quite a job for a new sewer. We’re thinking of a diagonal grid, between the big dots. I may try to get some of the longest lines sewn for her if there’s time before my foot surgery on December 3. Otherwise I’ll be shouting encouragement from the other room while she sews :-).

Show and tell…

Lindsay Fulmer emailed with photos and a story of her Spring Wheels quilt. She wrote:

I came across the Spring Wheels pattern from the Once Upon a Season book many years ago when I was a beginner quilter. A few years ago when I felt as though I could take on the quilt, I decided to just pull up my big girl pants and do it. I used a white on white Lakehouse dot for the background and each wheel has a unique Kaffe Fassett fabric. I have been collecting his fabrics for years.

FG Kaffe Wheels Show

The quilt won first place for Large Contemporary and Viewers Choice at the Flying Geese Quilt Guild show called “Harvest of Quilts”. It’s also been shown at Road 2 California. I had Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts do the machine quilting – all done on a long arm however not computerized. The only requirement I had of her was to not quilt on the Kaffe fabric, just on the white. Otherwise, she had full reign over the quilt. Click here to see Judi’s blog post.

KaffeWheelsBack

Recently my husband found my quilt on Facebook….he had seen a post from his childhood art teacher. It’s amazing the power of social media! There are over 26k likes at this point. Click here to see that post.

Lindsay, let me add that I think you made a fantastic quilt! Congratulations on the acclaim you are getting for it. For those of you who haven’t made Spring Wheels, I think we would both say that it is too much fun to miss out on.