Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I'll be Tied She Says!

So many quilts, so little time. If you have been quilting for any length of time you have left overs, scraps, pieces. With the cost of fabric these days we all know it is prudent to find a use for those left overs. Kay has proven that seemingly disparate fabrics can be combined beautifully with only one unifying fabric. Just take a look. This service quilt is made from various fabrics. Each cut into a 5 inch square. Her cohesive fabric is the polka dot. How happy is that?
In a departure from the traditional front, back and batting combination she used a cuddly microfleece for backing. No batting is required. I have made a few of these and they make outstanding quilts for children. They can be used and washed and used and remain intact and warm. Kay has chosen to tie this one rather than quilt it. This is often a wise decision as the microfleece is stretchy and often distorts when stitching.  A walking foot helps me when quilting one of these but a good basting of the two fabrics also secures the layers.

  • Have you ever considered using a fleece fabric as a backing? It is so cuddly and warm. Try it, you might like it for casual utility quilts.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Quilting the Channels and Cross-Hatches

Fall signals the time of year when our quilt guild gathers the members service quilts. Mary Jane is a prolific scrap quilter. Using fabric from many sources, she makes little masterpieces one after the other. This little beauty was made from a large collection of greens that she has had for several years. The highlight of this quilt for me is the stitching in the borders.
A little close up for you dears. See what I mean? Using only the width of her walking foot as a guide Mary Jane has produced beautiful channel quilting all around the quilt. One of the distinct advantages of doing this is the 'weight' created by the stitching balances the quilt nicely.
The bonus on this quilt was the divine cross-hatching as a secondary pattern that formed in the corners. Bravo! I can't wait to do this on my next lap sized quilt. Great idea and thank you Mary Jane!!! 
  • I see a distinct change in the blogging world. Now mostly dominated by those with commercial interests, I lament the amateur blogger, the one who wants to advance the art of quilting without selling something. The one who is thrilled to learn new techniques without spending $100.00 for new templates and rulers. 
  • There are a large number who started as artists sharing their work or writers working on technique and developing their skill who lean so strongly to one political agenda or another that the work, the skill, the message is lost. And with it my readership.
  • While I do not object to strategically placed sidebar ads in many Lifestyle blogs, the constant and incessant pop-ups that block text or black out content is infuriating. I am sure that these generate more income but it will not be from me. Your pretty porch and pumpkin displays are not that interesting.  
  • My summary, and my opinion is the one expressed here, is really simple. I am culling my reading list.  My news feed is my first read and I try to keep diverse opinion in context. My entertainment news feed will be different and in some ways I am sad to delete some favorite blogs but there is a limit. And I have reached it. 39 pop up ads in one post? really? Goodbye and have a nice life.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Color and Contrast

A few years ago the introduction of black to the quilting world was considered a very progressive movement. Many of us caught the bug. I have a lovely collection of fabric to introduce the black option in my quilting. The fabric I chose was from the early days of pre-cuts and the pattern was adapted for the charm square. It is still waiting. Karen, however, has jumped right in to finish her project. I have always said that she has an amazing eye for color and contrast. I think it comes quite naturally for some. I tend to lean to collections where the fine points of this style are mostly decided for me.
In its unfinished state it is just lovely, when each of the fans has been appliqued it will have even more dimension. Karen plans to use a light weight tear away stabilizer under the stitched areas to assure even and well balanced stitches. Update will follow after quilting. Can't wait.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Quiltophile, an Opinion

Cooks Forest, near Clarion, Pa.
Hello there fellow quiltophiles! I don't think that is a real word, as in official, but I think it has great merit for inclusion in the next Websters review. As I define the term,  a quiltophile is one who really likes quilts, really appreciates the color, the artistry and the skill of a quilt maker. But many quiltophiles do not stitch or piece or cut, they just look for the quilts, hang the quilts or use them on their beds, or sofa's or chairs. They appreciate the quilt for what it is.
I know another quiltophile or two who have great intentions. They purchase a sewing machine, fabric, rotary cutters, even fancy rulers. They search the book stores and magazine racks in the grocery for just the right quilt to start.
 Product Details
In a recent conversation with a pending quiltophile  I sensed the enthusiasm and the imminent frustration in that person who wants to quilt, to jump in head first. The urge to be creative is a contagious emotion. My best advice to that person is head to your nearest quilt shop and take a class. Start at the beginning to avoid frustration, don't buy everything in sight. Ask for help.   
 Product Details
I am not a teacher, I am not a judge or critic but I am a quilter and I think that if each of us identifies a possible quilter it is our opportunity, no duty, to direct their interest appropriately so that each of us can have the satisfaction of keeping the quilting world alive.
Moda Joyeux Noel Pre-Cuts
available fatquartershop.com

How do you inspire a future quilter?  In the brief time since I wrote this post several more people have approached me wanting to learn how to quilt. Isn't that great? Down through history quilting has remained strong and steadfast as a utility craft as well as an art craft, I am hopeful and optimistic that those who want to explore the possibility will do just that. Welcome October.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Gift from Marly of the Santas and Samplers Blog

Cross Stitchers are busy on the blogs creating new Halloween needlework pieces. Some have incorporated nice wool applique to their designs. This little cutie is from Marly, the designer of the Perfectly Precious Pears. Here is a link to her blog and to the two free design she is sharing with us, October Moon 1 and 2. Thank You Marly.

Marly's Moons here! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tea Time Tuesday, My Studio Tea Table

The last of the Spring/Summer themed tea tables. It is really hard to say goodbye to the warm weather this year for some reason.  Small changes in tabletop decor signal the nesting spirit in me so the next one will have a Fall theme. I will try to welcome the season, embrace the color. It is nice to  have a nice little pot of tea at the ready just for you and maybe a stitching friend as well. A quilter needs a little mid-afternoon break and a cup of tea is just the right touch.

My studio tea table.
 As you enter my studio space there is a little table that I rescued from our Summer cottage before it sold. Sadly, there were other pieces that were promised to the buyer before I could retrieve them. Oh well. Anyway, this little setting is a little set I bought at least 25 years ago at a gift and antique shop, now closed.
Typical gift shop ware but it called to me. It was a little Victorian in spirit and I was really into fussy little things then.
Cute, quaint, sort of mumsie in an Arsenic and Old Lace sort of design.
lidded sugar and creamer
a little square dish, lemon? candy?
From the same era, this little three dimensional garden scene is one of a pair...I can't find the other one. The elements are some sort of clay/plastic/plaster that has been molded and painted. It is nicely framed and quite frankly I do not remember where I got it. While this one is a Spring/Summer scene, it still seemed to suit the current tea set offering.
  • Most of my tea ware is floral themed, I will need to stretch my wings for Fall.
  • I don't keep all of the items out all the time, many go to storage and are rotated regularly.
  • Dishes, tea ware, etc. are art to me. 
And yes, I still press my linen tea towels. Old habits die hard. Just so you know.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Masterpiece Heads Up! Indian Summers.

As the new Season of television programs emerges, I look for something beyond inane comedy or saturated with sex sitcoms. Enter Masterpiece Theatre. Starting today, Indian Summers premiers on PBS tonight on many stations. Check your local listings. It reminds me of the very popular 1980's series with a similar theme, The Jewel in the Crown. 

Interested? Just click the link for the introduction and trailers posted by Masterpiece. I will be on time with my tea and a cozy blanket!   Just click on this link. 

*ps, I receive no compensation if you click on ANY link in my blog posts. My choice.