Finding The Right Design

Have you ever had a task that you found to have a brain block on?  Maybe mine was temporarily away or just taking a break. My customer and quilt friend, Janice H. had brought me her quilt top to enhance with longarming the right design. She really liked her fabric with the crows and liked the folk feel, this top was giving her.

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I looked at many digital designs; okay hundreds.  Auditioned various designs including a leaf design, but didn’t want to make the finished quilt too seasonal. Found a design by Debra Geissler and Designs by Deb, that had a great design with a pear but adding a bird would be better for this quilt.

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Okay, so if we could just add a crow……hmmmmm. I contacted Deb , sent her a close up of what I was hoping to achieve and 2 days later, DONE.

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Deb was open, fast and right on the money with the design.

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Happy Quilter = Happy Customer!!!!

I must say, this is the second time I have asked for a tweak, or something special from Deb and she has been a pleasure to work with.

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Open Studio TAP At IQF

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During Open Studio, the audience was amazed with the options Lesley Riley’s Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) gives them. So often it is hard to come up with a label for your quilt, let alone write on one. This paper offers you a wide range of alternatives to add to your already finished work.

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My recent quilt that was in the IQF show had a label which I used this product on. Make a ho-hum label into eye-catching.

Open Studio Paper Piecing

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Paper Piecing!  Does that mention get you excited or did you just cringe?

If you want to try your hand at it or not sure what to do with an orphan block, here is a great option. You get a free pattern with every set of cards and envelopes and it is less than a purchase of store bought cards. Make a card, send a card and have the recipient be astonished that you made it and you share a part of your creativity, too.  Wonderful scrap buster and I known…..we have scraps.

Quiltcon 2015 – Lectures, Lectures and More Lectures

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Woohoo I got into all the lectures and my hotel room is booked. If you are planning to attend next February 2015 would love to meet you.

 

Open Studio at International Quilt Festival Chicago

Open Studio Binding Demo

Here are a few pictures taken over the weekend at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. Was wonderful to have questions asked and be able to teach something different. Thanks to Emily Lang for your cheering on and support. And thanks to Maureen Koepp, my new friend and assistant. It was a blast.

Open Studio Binding International Quilt Festival

I was very fortunate to be able to demo and show some people for the first time how to achieve a new look on bindings.

I chose 2 ideas which I often use myself on my own quilts to add interest or maybe because I ran short on fabric but really want to use it in the binding.

So first – Faux Flange Binding.

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Using a 2 ½ inch binding, Flange  cut 1 ¾ in. Outer Binding  cut 1 ¼ in.

Now if you choose to have more or less of a Flange you can vary your widths to achieve your look, just remember if you add to one, reduce the other so you still have a complete 2 ½ in binding when sewn.

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If you need to join multiple strips to get your length to complete your project, join each, flange strip and then outer binding strip to make two complete units.

When you have the length you need, join the two strips together with a ¼ in seam to form your 2 ½ in width.

Press to set your seams.

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Press seams going to the wider strip.

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Press in half making sure there is a nice crisp line between the two joined fabrics.

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Lay your strip down on the back of your quilt.  I like to use a basting stitch when I first start my binding and test to see where it will come over to on the front. I want enough over hang so when I ( SID) Stitch in the Ditch on the front it will hide in the backing not the binding. Test it; you will save yourself time and often a head ache.  I continue to sew in the same manner I do with regular bindings and also end them the same manner. Use your method of choice.

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Second technique –  2 Color or 2 Sided Binding.

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This makes a 2 ½ inch binding . Cut one strip 2 inches and the opposite strip  1 inch.

Join all your 2″ strips to give you enough length. Join all 1″ strips to give you enough length. * Do this in your method of choice. When you have the desired length for your project join the two strips together with a ¼ in seam.

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Press to set seam and then press this seam open being careful not to distort your fabric if it a long strip.

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Press in half.

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You will lay the narrow 1 ” strip against the quilt on whichever side you have chosen that fabric for.

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I do a test baste stitch to make sure the seam on the binding lays right on the edge of my quilt when I wrap it around.

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Continue to attach when you are happy with your seam and finish in your desired method.

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Hope you gives these a try. If you have any questions shoot me an email.

 

 

International Quilt Festival Challenge

The International Quilt Festival called for a challenge.

Always love a good challenge!  This one was between the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild.

We were given the theme “Modern in the City” and restriction of one side, any side must be 36 inches.

First thing that came to me was the Picasso sculpture in downtown Chicago.  Okay so how do I translate hard cold steel into fiber and make it exciting……

Here we go.

Started with a paper pattern that was enlarged.

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I did not want to use just one solid or print type fabric for the face.  I used the 15 Minutes of Play by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. The first day it was a bit rough letting go and just random piece, sew and cut.  The second day, was easier and became free and fun…. getting the hang of this.

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The eyes had to be a bit more centered so they were done with a paper piecing method.

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Getting several units to size and laying them out to get a sneak peek for myself.

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Needed to lay the blocks out and mix colors and make sure coverage is good.  Hmmm, a bit more here or there and then time to join.

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I decided I did not want raw edges on the face and tried to think of the best way to turn the edges under; especially with all the seams everywhere. I used to use dress-makers tracing and traced the face and then put it over my sewn units.

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Pinned and sewn.

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After stitching all the way around, I cut through the middle leaving 1/4 all around the edges to turn.  Just like in garment making, it is necessary to clip on curves to have everything lay flat.

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Had to audition the right colors for the background.  Some were dull and some too bright.  I really liked the way the Kona Tulip (purple) and Kona Peapod (green) played together as well as with the face pattern. I then hand appliquéd the face to the background.

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To continue with the sculpture and the rods that hold it up, bias tape was my answer.

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Put it on the long arm machine to do the background quilting that is similar to the piecing of the face.  Some of the quilting was also done on my domestic machine.

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I had been playing around with a product by Lesley Riley and C & T Publishing called TAP paper.  Using words an image in reverse on the computer, you print right onto the paper.  Iron on fabric and it is permanent.  I like this method because I always mess up or get nervous writing with fabric pens. You can even add as I did on top.  I had forgotten to include my phone number on the label so I just ran the paper through the printer again and ironed on top of the original TAP transfer.

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On the design wall and bound. Really wanted to use solid binding to give the sculpture a bit of suspension. May I present to you, Picasso in Piecing.

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