Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Skill Builder Sampler made it to the .....should I quilt more or not phase!

Ideas on what to do on the face and arms are welcome.

So far, believing I need to do fairly tight quilting in the direction of natural contours. Just hope I can figure that out!

I have done a bit more than these photos show, but forgot to take a picture. Got the 'left' arm quilted and it seems fine, especially since it is kind of in the shadow. But her 'right' arm is still a very exposed area. Can't decide vertical contours or horizontal contours.

Stitched some in her face in the 'shadowed' part, but not sure if I like it or not (not seen here).

btw...if you want to purchase the fabric with Rosie the Riveter, go to Spoonflower.

Lots going on in the studio. We decided to put in a completely new floor so that it would be level, so still working on that. Now down to the bare bones of the place (after evidence of 9 floors!).  Yes that is dirt! Appears that the original foundation was just stacked stones. Another foundation had been added outside of them some years ago, so seems it will be ok.

The new bamboo flooring has arrived! I'm excited about getting it put down once we have the underlayment leveled.

Ready to put the binding on my Irena Bluhm class sample. Got it washed and blocked yesterday. Debating on whether to cut the binding 2.25" or 2", since the batting is sooo thin.

And here is another Friendship Star made to go with the Block Lotto win from December at our LQG.

And I'm really excited to start this one. Have you ever made a QR code quilt?? The black and marroon seem to be close enough in color values (tested by creating a b/w photo ...I downloaded the free app Photo Editor, works great if you're in a store buying fabric and you want to test values!), so I'm excited to work on creating a secondary image within the QR code. What possible shape might I use? :-)

2013 Stats
Completed: 1
In Progress: 10

Monday, January 21, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Drying on my Design Wall is my Irena Bluhm class project from Spring 2012. Finally finished the coloring of the outer elements and applied the textile medium. Thank you to those who provided input last time I posted this, regarding coloring the hearts. Ended up with two styles, but am happy with the result.
Working still on discovering the bottom of the flooring in the new studio. Finally got to floor #9 today and this is the bottom! We cut a few pieces to be sure and saw the dirt in the crawl space (well, somewhat of a crawl space, not sure a baby could crawl under there in some spots). So...need to remove remaining 1/3 of #6 (hardwood) ....#7 and #8 there were signs of it, but not much remained, so we hope we won't find any more...and then #9 (hardwood) will need to be removed as well before we can start the leveling process. My DH is sincerely a DH!!
It is bloody cold here too!
But am very excited that the new flooring arrived today.

Signs of better things to come! Have a great week working on whatever you are inspired to create.
More Design Walls at Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Although most of my time is dealing with the renovations on the new studio (first coat of paint is basically done)

and house hunting (received signed contract from seller on Tuesday this week! WHOO HOOOO!!! sneak peak below, can I just say location, location, location! Look at the view!!)

Last week I was working on my Skill Builder Sampler quilting. Have it almost done. Still wanting to do some contouring on the flesh of Rosie in her face, neck and arms/hands. Researching until I get back into the long-arm space to finish it up. Suggestions or example links are welcomed.

This week I have used any spare minutes to make a little bit of progress on a small piece.

I took a class from Irena Bluhm last spring and decided near the end of 2012 that I would try to finish the piece I started in the class.

I had colored in the center 4 large feathered elements with green/purple/pink/yellow colored pencils and applied textile medium in the class.

I have now quilted the outer feathers and hearts and have used colored pencils to color in most of them (a few sets to go).

Debating on whether to make the hearts purple or leave them white. WDYT?

Then I need to apply textile medium to the new colored areas ....let it sit for a week, then block it and bind it in a beautiful purple batik that helps the purple pop.

2013 Stats:
Completed: 1
In Progress: 9

Monday, January 14, 2013

Design Wall / BOM's Away Monday

Spending most of my time focusing on the new studio renovations....but found some time on New Year's Eve ....right around midnight to almost finish this block. Finalized it up this weekend!

This is North Star Rising from the Great Alaska 2007 Shop Hop. This block was issued at Sylvia's Quilt Depot in Wasilla, AK. I'm not sure I followed the instructions correctly on how the light blue was trimmed, but it is close.

This is block #10 on this particular project.

This will be added to these:

Still have a couple of trees and stars to do before looking at how to assemble it. Two settings were provided with the shop hop instructions, so we'll see.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A block - two ways - with fussy cuts - great results!

The colorations of a block can make all the difference.

Do you remember this one? It was the January Jumble block from EQ's Block of the Month in 2011.

These are the same blocks, just colored differently. The second block also has some very fussy cut pieces in the flying geese and the center square.

If you take these two blocks and alternate them in a quilt, this is the result!

I originally posted about it here.
So, how do you work with those fussy cut pieces in EQ and get an irish chain effect with just two blocks?
First, lets talk about the irish chain effect. The colorations in each block create the illusion. Note that the darker green is only in the corner of the second block, and has two squares in each corner set in the first block. By choosing three different greens in these clusters between the two blocks, you will get the irish chain effect in the quilt.

Because of the darker purple on point squares in the first block, the white background in the flying geese becomes part of the block that it is next to. This allows the second block to have a cut ribbon effect or star.
The particular fabric chosen to 'fussy cut' creates a lace effect. This influenced the name I have given the quilt -- "Irish Violets and Lace"
There are a couple of important steps in working with fabric that you want to intentionally use within a quilt based on its pattern or motif.
The scale of the image must be true to the fabric print. I have found it easiest to use Adobe Photoshop to manipulate images. There are other programs out there as well.
If you find an image of the fabric online that includes a ruler next to it (shops often post fabric images this way), these are the easiest to use because the true measure/ruler/scale is already there.
Open the image in Photoshop, then choose the Image....Image Size (Alt-Ctrl-I). The resolution should be set at 72 pixels/inch. Based on the ruler in the image, set the height or width based on what the ruler shows of this entire image. 'OK'
Then using the crop bar, crop to the best repeat. Save the image as a .jpg
Within EQ, go to Libraries...Fabric Library....then select the 'Import'...'from Files'. Choose the file, from where ever you saved it on your computer. Then, 'Add to Sketchbook'.
Now the new fabric will show up in your Fabric Library.
Sizing the blocks you're working with may be necessary in order for the fussy cut fabric to work well within the design. Primarily it is important for you to consider the effect that you want the fussy cut fabric to give the design.
In the fussy cut fabric example shown above (Summer Soiree by Paula Prass from 2009) I wanted it to have a lacey effect. This particular fabric is out of print, but I've found a few recently that are more readily available. like this one, by Deb Strain for Moda, 'Tend the Earth'
or this one Black and White Black Linda Lace

To apply the fabric into the block and then move it around so that it creates the effect you desire, you have to use a couple of key tools.

Be sure that your Design Toolbar is visible. 'View' ..'Toolbars'...'Design Toolbar'.

Do you see these icons:
If you do not, you'll need to Add them to the tool bar. At the end of the Toolbar is an arrow that allows you to Add/Remove Buttons. Use that link to add or remove buttons as you wish.
Once they are on your Design Toolbar, you can then hover on each and see what they are intended to do. The red one allows you to move the fabric within the space you have placed it. The green icon allows you to rotate the fabric. There are options on how much it rotates on each click that you can set. It defaults to 90 degrees.

Hope this will inspire you to use some special fabrics and design with intentional use of the motif to effect the overall result.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


In the throws of logistics with moving, house hunting, etc. I'm working on my Skill Builder Sampler quilting.

Here are some progress photos. I've stitched out some silver metallic thread, all red (border now done!), black and some navy blue. Still have to finish the navy and do white and yellow.

A local quilt shop has asked for this to be presented as a BOM program. It will be called Rosie's BOMb! Follow along for details as they become available.

Stats for 2013:

Completed: 1  (Rose of Hope ....see the write up here). 

In Progress: 9

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First finish of 2013

My first finish of the year....thought I'd finish this a week ago (as in last year!), but didn't quite get it done.

This is 'Rose of Hope'. See below for proof the binding is done. There was sunshine on the day I was at this point in the process and there hasn't been since, so this is the 'full' photo that gives great detail on the quilting. The binding is out of the same outer most border fabric. I stitched it on the front by machine, and folded over to the back and stitched down by hand ...I know (not my norm)...but felt this one warranted the hand work.

Back in 2009 do you remember the Rose of Sharon EQ Block Design Contest? The original contest encouraged us to think outside the box in using a fixed set of shapes in a fixed set of sizes. Most blocks submitted were of more typical rose of sharon styled blocks. This bird one was definitely outside the box! I realize that the story of Noah talks about a bird and an olive branch, but this image still makes me think of that story. I chose to use a rainbow effect in the borders, because a rainbow was seen in that story to remind us of God's promise. The first and third border are mitered and have darker sides to try and present an illusion of perspective looking through a thick wall and out through a window where the bird is seen flying by. Kind of like the walls of the ark.

There are two layers of batting, cotton on the bottom and wool on top to provide loft in unquilted areas.

The applique is stitched around, some are filled in more densely than others. The 'cloud' quilting is inspired from a fill sample by Gina Perkes in her newish book. The brown border with scrollwork I wanted to have a little pizzazz so incorporated the designs, echoed them once about 1/8" away and then did a woodgrain background fill around them. I hoped it would give the effect of carved wood. A woodgrain fill in the medium brown and light brown border. I tried, but could have been more intentional to stitch the 'further' away sides tighter and the 'nearer' sides less dense to help in the illusion of the perspective. They are only subtly different and could have had more exaggeration. The very outer border was sort of an experiment. A squiggly frame, echoed, and pebbles all around to fill in. The pieced rainbow borders are only ditched on the inner and outer edges (not at each pieced seam). They really pop up because of the wool batting and no quilting on them.

I blocked it by pinning it onto insulation board and then steaming it. The center block was done long before I became so aware of batik bleeding fabric and I think the lower right leaves would bleed if they got wet given my experience on a quilt recently that I am pretty sure used the same fabric. I think it was a hand-dye that I acquired sometime in the past and was just sitting in my stash. It is now laying fairly flat, so am happy with it to just be this way and just be a wallhanging. It finished at about 38" x 38".

The center block, blown up to 15" is originally one of my design entries to the Rose of Sharon EQ7 Block Design contest back in 2009. It was one selected to be included in Nine Patch Media's DVD. (Their website seems to be going through some construction at the time of posting or you'd see a link here).

My basket block was included in the book that they published as well.

The wallhanging I put together for that was auctioned off at our local festival and all proceeds went to the
Progress on the new studio is continuing. During the Christmas week, my husband and I created a scale model in gingerbread. Andies mints are the bricks, red hots and lips are on the door, a gingerbread tree and extra branches using guacmole chips. The other three trees are using tootsie rolls for trunks and guacmole chips for branches. The 'green' grass is made from sour green apple 'belts'. The shingles used special cuts from mocha covered waffle textured wafers. The same wafers were used (prior to being cut in thirds) for the walkway. The rock formation is made from Costco special almond toffee. Snow was made using a frosting made with meringue (I found it by looking up "frosting used as cement"). A fun time!


Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WIP 2012 Recap

From original 2012 list, here is what I finished

EQ 2011 BOM became 'Spinner' and won the layout contest hosted by Electric Quilt, also juried into Pacific Northwest Quilt Show and got a 2nd place ribbon at the Washington State Quilter's Show in Spokane, WA for Machine Quilted, Pieced, Solo; and is now juried into Road to California 2013!

Christmas MugRug
Charmed Network - 'Terrain' version ** NEW PATTERN **
Charmed Network - 'Eva' version ** NEW PATTERN **
BMCU Table Runner/Placemats/Mug Rugs
Irish Hand Block
McCall's Mystery Quilt - Spring Fling version (had to post a pic of the back too)
McCall's Mystery Quilt - RazzleDazzle version (had to post a pic of the back too)
Tulip wallhanging re-quilt (I did add this back on from 2011)

Added to the List and got finished
Linda Taylor's class project from fall MQX 2011
Hearts & Flowers Coordinating Mug Rug
Zoe -Summer School version
Zoe's raincoat
Sashiko potholder (class from Pepper Cory)
My Olympic Connection (in memory of my grandfather)
STEP on Life's Journey (donated to local women's shelter and made with our Fearless Design block swap)
Working with What You've Got (WWVQG 2009 co-chair blocks and wedding FQ basket)
WWCHS - Home Sweet Home
Kitchen door curtain

Still in progress
(from lower left counter clockwise)
-Rose of Sharon Bird Block (just binding to go)
-Skill Builder Sampler (on quilting table now)
-OWN (only 1 block this year)
-2007 Alaska Shop Hop
-Out of the Darkness

Added and in progress
  • Irena Bluhm Colored Pencil class project (finalize colorings and textile medium to be applied)
  • Valentine Jelly Roll Race (ready to quilt)
  • Honeymoon Storm at Sea
  • Fall Wallhanging
  • Christmas Friendship Star Block Lotto win in December

No progress --it just didn't happen!
Basket BOM (ready to quilt)
Peace Park
2007 Shop Hop the Blues
2009 Shop Hop the Blues

Although my new studio is prompting me to organize my time differently yet again, the 10 pieces above that are not finished yet are going to be what I want to work on in 2013 ...for myself, when I have the time. There were two from 2011 that are still sitting around and I really ought to pull them out and finish them up too (mini lonestar and colorwash heart duvet which will become a quilt). I'm thinking it might be better this year to have business goals that are my priority rather than my personal WIP being the driving factor. We shall see how it all pans out, but it will be an exciting year for sure!

On the business front I've got several designs in the works that I'd like to see materalize. Being in a new locale, my mind is swirling around ideas that will symbolize the beauty and happenings here.

Maybe this will be our Lucky 13!! Happy New Year!