My Lovelies

My Lovelies

This post has a lot of photos.  Even I am still entranced with the process.  And I know that in 6 months, I won’t remember how I did it. So it’s here for future reference, as well as to share it. I started this back in January, getting photos of the hands of my mom, my daughter, and my two granddaughters. And me.  (Side note:Getting a photo of a 7 month old’s hand is not a feat to be underestimated.)   I had the photos enlarged in black and white. Using my light box, I traced each hand onto a piece of clear, plastic template.    (Side note #2: That light box was pricey, but I have used it dozens of time.  Very worth it.)   Again using the light box and the templates, I traced the hands onto white cotton. Next comes filling the hands with small pieces of fabrics in different tones of  ‘skin color’. This is all done with glue appliqué, raw edge. My mom’s hand in the center, above, had to be totally removed and redone. The colors were a mess. Everybody got fingernail polish. Ruby Lou had blue initially.  But upon consultation, she stated, “Actually, Grammie, I don’t like blue. I like pink and purple.”  So the blue came off, and the purple went on.   Once the hands were finished, I filled in the background with the red batik. It stayed at this stage for quite a while as I pondered what to do next.   I decided to add wavy pieces of turquoise with hopes to have a swirling, water effect, a sense of life flowing amongst us. (Note the purple fingernails and mom’s new hand.)   Things went pretty fast after that. I added the Tree of Life, with bright, new spring leaves.  Still going with the ‘life theme’.   Next came the seed stitches.  For me, they represent the idea that, like seeds, we are just blowing and flowing through this space. Here for a minute, but for a lifetime.   And lastly, using my longarm, I stitched some floral designs in the corners.  Just because they’re pretty. And filled with life. And pink for Ruby. I was very heavy handed on the layers of stitching so they’d stand out. I knew I would be covering this piece with black tulle, and they had to come through that.   Now I was on the home stretch. I covered it with the tulle, and quilted the fire out of it.  All those raw edges had to be secured down. The back is pretty cool, too! It’s about 28″ x 20″ My Lovelies Thanks for checking in! Debbie...
STUDIO UPDATE

STUDIO UPDATE

Since it’s been so long since I updated this, I reviewed my last post.  I just want to repeat the first sentence of that post, again:  Thank you, Georgia. I’ve been very busy doing customer quilts, (which can be seen here) it’s hard to get to my own stuff sometimes.  Quilters have had lots of time to make quilt tops this year! Nonetheless, I have added a bunch of small art quilts to my repetoire. I’ve been taking an 8 week, online class with Katie Pasquini Masopust; one assignment every 2 weeks.  They’re hard. I skipped one when I realized I was about to cry with frustration. Three more to go.  Definitely learning a few tricks. Here are the 1st 4: These are still painful to look at. That 1st one is now a dog bed. Moving on…. Another class I took online was with Susan Carlson.  This, I loved. Other than the longarm business at the end, there is no sewing. It’s all glue appliqué.  It starts with drawing on a piece of white cotton: The swirl is filled in with hundreds of small fussy cut pieces of whatever color you choose.  Once it’s filled in, you do the same with the background with a different color.   After the quilting is done, even the binding is glued on.  SO much fun.   I can’t wait to do another one.  You can draw anything and fill in.  Her work is spectacular.       The last one I’ll write about is called Tangerine Dream. It has a long story. Plan A: make a bunch of 3″ squares using strips of scraps. (say that 5 times). And then play with them. This was my original plan:   Somewhere along the way, I started to fall out of love with this layout, and put the squares on point:   This I liked. Once the diamond was complete, I had to come up with a plan for the 4 corners.  Which required designing a paper piece pattern.  This took forever.  A math genius could have done it in an hour. I spent most of a day pretending to be a graphic designer.     But it worked!!  I auditioned a couple colors for those spaces: (went with left) Added the red  ‘spokes’. That was good, but a bit too uninteresting.  So I added tangerine half circles: (I just really like watching the process….) Better, but still lacking something.  So I added yellow bias appliqué.   I felt that was enough. I did experiment with some playful eyes….but decided that was a bit goofy.   Last steps: quilt it and bind it.  I draw my quilting options on clear plexiglass.   Add the magic…             I went with a facing, instead of a binding.  Very happy with that choice.  And best of all, the BACK.  An out of print, delicious design by my friend, Terri Mangat. It’s ok to be jealous. That is IT!  Obviously, I’m a bit enamored with Tangerine Dream.  It’s my design, and I love it. (Unlike the beginnings of this post.) Well, if you stuck with me to the end on this one, I’ll send you a dollar. The trick is to post more often.  However, if anyone tells you it’s quick and easy to post on your blog, they’re lying. I’ll be fully vaccinated in 6 days.  Shortly after that, I’m off to see these two lovelies again.  I can’t wait to...
2020: Bye Bye; Good Riddance.  HELLO DEMOCRATIC SENTATE

2020: Bye Bye; Good Riddance. HELLO DEMOCRATIC SENTATE...

I just have to say….Thank you, Georgia.  Time to catch up on things going on in JQ studio over the past few months! I guess being too busy to keep my website up to date isn’t a bad thing.  Being a member of the Las Comadres Gallery, a woman run co-op here in Taos, has made me put more focus on smaller projects.  It’s been fun, and always a challenge. This one didn’t last long in the gallery. I’ll definitely be making another one soon. This is a special quilt for little Ruby Lou. I’ve had these blocks for years.  I’ve had to wait until I was sure she could identify who they all are!  And she sure can. ( and yes, I have another set for Millie Rose as she comes of age!)     This is an improv art quilt, one which I chose to attempt in order to master sewing these small curves into something pleasing.  I didn’t master anything, but it is more pleasing than unpleasing. Those overlapping curves are hard.    That fly on Mike Sycophant Pence’s head during the debate with Kamala was the inspiration for these gifts:     I’ve never done a quilt with all low volume, neutral colors.  So….I made one! It’s called Cape Cod.   This is a memorial baby quilt.  Meaning, it was made for a baby using her Grandpa’s jeans. It was very simple yet sweet.   If this piece reminds you of a calm and peaceful afternoon at the beach, I’ll send you 10 bucks. These rice bags! I’m not sure what a rice bag is, but that’s what they’re called. The pattern can be found here.  I made one, loved it, so true to form – made 10 more.  I can’t help it. They were all Christmas gifts.   And then there were a few other little treats for Ruby. I like to bring her something each time I visit. Aardvark pattern by Funky Friends Factory. Always with the one glove…picking up treasures. Simple drawstring bag.   Fish pattern by Svetlana Sotak The last thing I’ll share for 2020 is this quilt storage rack. I saw it in a video talk that Joe Cunningham did. I emailed him for some specs, and Rick & I (mostly Rick) put it together.  It can store 24 quilts.  And it rolls around on casters.  It’s a game changer when it comes to storing these things.  At all times, I am grateful to have a hobby I love and a beautiful space to do it in. But even more so in a pandemic. 30 quilts, 12 other projects – a good year.  Especially great after being able to be with Hannah and Adam and Ruby and Millie for Christmas.  We all tested negative prior to Rick & I (and the dogs) driving 930 miles straight through.  SO worth it.      Sincere wishes for a good year for all!  Thanks for checking in. Debbie...
WHO’S OUT THERE?

WHO’S OUT THERE?

SIDE NOTE: It’s December 17, 2020.  I’m working on a new post – the first since August. And I come across this other post that I wrote…who knows when….and never posted.  Covid brain is very real. So was probably written in September: I’ve had my fill of appliqué for a while. This is another raven, using the pattern called Raven Magic, by BJ Designs & Patterns.  My neighbor asked me to quilt his, then I had to make one (see previous post if you want to).  I thought another one, with a larger background, was in order. So here is the thought process….. Pattern:   My raven on the aforementioned larger background:   My vision, using the Procreate app (this is where I really wish I could draw):   Andddd…how it turned out: Pretty close.  51″ x 41″.  I believe the bottom half could have more detail, but I didn’t trust myself to not ruin it.  “Stop While You’re Ahead”, Less Is More”, and all that stuff. My version: ” Don’t F*** It Up”. A few detail shots: These ravens have been great skill builders. Always learn some new tricks. Thanks for checking in!...
TIME OFF FROM BIG QUILTS

TIME OFF FROM BIG QUILTS

Mid pandemic (although I do think ‘mid’ is generous. Probably more like one third into a pandemic…), is not an ideal time to become a paying member of local art gallery, but that’s what I’ve gone and done. Las Comadres is located in the John Dunn Shops, and has re-opened with Covid guidelines.  Taos is a tourist town. The lack of tourists this summer has had devastating effects on each and every business, and thus the town. It’s so surreal.  Fortunately, there’s been just enough traffic to keep the gallery doors open, and we are grateful. It’s a small space, no room for big quilts.  So I’ve turned my focus away from big quilts to wall hangings and a few travel friendly items, like key rings and yoga bags and caddys to control your remote controls. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to do work on small projects. Time wise, the rate of return is great!  And there are always customer quilts in the que to be done as well.  (Photos of these are always on my Flickr link ) My neighbor, David, created a pretty piece using a pattern by BJDesigns & Patterns,  and I got to quilt it! I really liked the raven, so I made one myself.   This is David’s: So different, but both pretty (IMHO).  I liked his larger background, better for scale. So I’m actually in the middle of my second raven….next post! I do love color and lots of it. So I tried to create something that still has my favorite colors, but less of them and more off white. I do love this. After it was finished, I struggled with which end was up.  The photo shows the way it was created, but if you turn it upside down, that looks pretty cool, too! The next one is a small piece – about 12 x 17.  I saw a photo on instagram and loved the rich color, and the lines, and the dimensions. So I tried to make something like it!  Surprise: My rendition: All so interesting.  When I saw the first picture, I had no idea it was actually huge! I’m a totally idiot when it comes to using the EQ7 software program.  But I do use it for the MOST basic applications. I was able to come up with templates for this design using the program.  I’m sure it took 4 times longer than a smarter person could do it.  I’m talking to you, Jenn H.  The last one was also inspired by an artist on Instagram, Arianna Caggiano. quiltqueenstudio is her IG name.  I love everything she makes.  This piece is 20″ x 24″. Here are a few shots inside the co-op gallery.  This is the work of 8 women, all Taos locals. That wraps it up! Couple more weeks till I get to see my grandgirls!!   VOTE EARLY.  Send it back as soon as you get it. Don’t wait.  Thanks for checking in! Debbie   ...
JUST KEEP MAKING STUFF

JUST KEEP MAKING STUFF

First, a little fun block I made for a local COVID 19 quilt happening here in Taos. This was so enjoyable, I fully intend to make another one. Moving on….I made a couple sheer window panels using Ruby Red Oakshott Cottons.  These are hand stitched using a Korean art called Pojagi.  No raw edges on the seams. Doesn’t look like much until you get some beautiful backlighting in the picture: So sheer, and so elegant.  I wish I had a place for them in my house! These are available in my Etsy shop, link on the menu bar. And, I finally got the binding on my selvage quilt. This was sooo enjoyable to make.  After years of saving selvages, it was fun to pull them out, read them, and recall the fabrics and how they were used. I had to have some kind of order to work from, so I grouped them into similar color groups.     Selvages need some kind of foundation.  Muslin and dryer sheets are what I’ve seen most often used. Even fine paper – but I did NOT want to rip all that paper out after sewing. I decided to try a water soluble stabilizer:     This worked so very well.  I cut squares of the stabilizer and topstitched the selvages onto each square. Once I had all the squares I wanted, I sewed those together as well. THEN I soaked the top in a tub of water. The stabilizer dissolved in ten seconds.  I dried the top flat on the ground and that was it!  I was able to avoid the weight and bulk of the added muslin.         I will say that most of my selvages were too narrow.  I’ve learned to give myself at least 1/2″ above the wording when cutting them.       I could show you ALL 30 blocks, but I’ll be nice.         Front and back:   When I was done, most of the good selvages were gone, but not all.  So I went on a little zip crush..     Back to the longarm.  Thanks for checking in! Debbie...
SUMMER OF 2020

SUMMER OF 2020

Still quarantine quilting.  We did brave a DRIVE to LA in order to be present for the introduction of our new baby girl, Millie Rose. We were committed to avoiding any contacts along the way (940 miles) …roadside peeing was therefore required. Just like camping! This pattern is called The Watcher, designed by Libs Elliott. I couldn’t come up with a better name, so mine is called The Watcher! I added the mirror shades to make it seem like he’s ‘watching’ a young Frida! The border is also something I came up with ad-lib. I originally planned to have the face on a brown ombre fabric, but changed my mind… Lite Seam a Seam2 was the fusible product of choice to attach all the pieces. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see small slivers of background fabric between MANY of the small pieces. For me, this was unavoidable no matter how many times I repositioned the pieces before fusing. It bothered me enough to suck it up and embroider between EVERY SINGLE PIECE. Nuts, I know, but I love it now that it’s done. See! Not more slivers of background fabric showing. I was watching a longarm class, online, with Christine Perrigo as I was quilting this. I decided to integrate her ghost quilting into this quilt on the background, with contrasting threads.  It was so very fun to do!! The final size is 47″ x 51″.  Another favorite treasure!   Stay healthy. Social Distance. Wear a mask.  Please. We need to get out of this misery. Thanks for checking in!...
QUARANTINE QUILTING, the SPRING of 2020

QUARANTINE QUILTING, the SPRING of 2020

“What were you doing during the 2020 Quarantine?”  Everyone will have an answer. Mine will be “Sewing masks, missing my LA family, and making all the quilts I’ve never been able to get to”. And I have to admit, there’s been a couple days where I actually felt that I was sick of sewing.  But it passed, fortunately, cuz if I didn’t have this hobby….I have no idea what I’d be doing. So, a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to. This is 17″ x 17″.  I saw ‘something similar’ in a shop a long time ago.  The one I saw is better. This is ‘Bejeweled’.  It’s a twisted pineapple pattern.  The hours put into this…well, it would be a very powerful, very strong, tremendous number. Huge. I used a block in EQ8, which is NOT easy for me to work with. I’m just not that much of a techie. Then I had to figure out the color pattern. I paper pieced it – and each 9″ block has 27 pieces. It was just a lot of work. I was kinda over it after the first block. But there you go – a whole quilt. This little sweet quilt was a commission for a baby girl. Pink, grey and unicorns.  Those were the instructions. The unicorn pattern is one of Shannon Brinkley’s scrappy appliqué patterns.  This was a really fun one to make. I used clear monofilament to quilt down the unicorns.   This next one is a pattern by Taralee Quiltery, called Aztec Tapestry. But I named it Rocky Ground.  As usual, the best part was choosing the fabrics. I love this quilt. It’s a 72″ square.   I tried to use up all the extra pieces on the back.   Finally….I finished another Siddi quilt, a table runner.  I love having a project like this to do – fits on my lap, small scraps of fabric, hand sewing, looks cool. And that’s it for quarantine fun. Here’s someone who is finding it harder to stay home: Five weeks to go until little sis arrives! I really miss these guys. And finally (for the second time), I will share my new most favorite of all time videos, aside from every Randy Rainbow video that has ever been made, is this, from comedian Sarah Cooper If you read this until the very end – good on you!! And thanks! Wash, wear your mask, & keep 6 feet away from me! Debbie    ...