QUILTING WITH EMBROIDERED LINENS

QUILTING WITH EMBROIDERED LINENS

Social separation offers time to do things I keep putting off…liking keeping up with my quilt documentation! I might even do some dusting…. My childhood friend, Marilyn, asked me if I could make a quilt using linens embroidered by her mom and her grandmother.  All I could say was…haven’t done that, but I can try! So she trusted me with these beautiful, vintage, sentimental linens.   I went through many different plans (and spent hours on Pinterest and Instagram) before deciding how to proceed. Ultimately, I chose to place them on top of a background and quilt away. The background is Kaufman Radiance, a delicious cotton/silk blend. Once I decided on a layout, I fused each linen to the background using small bits of Misty Fuse; just enough to keep them in place during the loading process and until I could stitch them down. It was all very precarious, and required a lot of kneeling on that cement floor. After it was loaded, and I do float my tops, I went from top to bottom, outlining each linen.  Once that was done, I could advance or rewind the quilt without worrying about things shifting. I used clear mono filament thread to stitch down the outer fringe of embroidery on each linen.  (I’m not even sure that’s called embroidery?)  Finally, I could just start quilting each one.  There are many identical pairs, which was helpful in that it cut down the number of ideas I had to come up with. So what follows it just a slew of pictures cuz I couldn’t stop…and because I know I’ll never see it again. I loved creating this, and knowing it is for Marilyn and how personal it is…it was just a real pleasure.  The first few pictures show how I drew the circle design, and then made up the rest as I went along.  I will say, there was very little ripping of stitches with this quilt!  I just held my breath that it would look good, and got lucky!         Once the linens were all done, I had a lot of empty negative space to deal with. I did not want to get fancy cuz the linens are fancy enough. Those diamonds with the swirls in the center were the best I could come up with.  Simple, and served the purpose of filling in the spaces.   The quilt is 86″ x 100″, queen size.  The linens fit on the top of the mattress.  This design covers the drop-off on the sides and bottom.   The top edge, above, has no drop off -just lays over pillows.   One plan I considered was to cut the linens up and frame them with flowery fabrics, sort of log cabin style.  I bought the fabrics – then changed my mind. So I pieced the fabrics for the backing.  This has safely arrived in North Carolina, to live happily ever after. Social separation may end up postponing play time with this doll face, but this too shall pass.  ...
MATTAPOISETT

MATTAPOISETT

While in Paducah last spring, a bought a looooottttt of fabric that I didn’t need, but couldn’t go home without.  I loved this Moda Homespun fabric, also called Boro Wovens.  I came home with 2 layer cakes of it (10″ squares).  I was so inspired by the overwhelming fabric choices, and now I’m trying to complete the many quilts that were exploding in my head as I was tossing all this fabric into my basket. So this is ‘Mattapoisett’ (a favorite place to visit with my homies from the great and distant past). The fabric has such pretty indigo and tan and neutral colors. This stuff shreds if you looks at it. So I chose to just sew them together without any cutting or piecing. Very simple quilting to keep it soft and subtle. Despite meticulous planning before I sewed anything, I managed to sew one row the wrong direction and ended up with two identical blocks next to each other. Of course.  So I added some hand stitching to minimize the error. It helps… The back consists of many different fabrics, similar colors.  My attempt at ‘destashing’.  These type of backings always turn out to be the most lovely, in my opinion! It measures 96″ x 96″, good for a queen or a king bed.  This is available in my Etsy shop.  Too pretty to store away… Twenty more days, Ruby Lou!! Thanks for looking!...
FOUR WALL QUILTS

FOUR WALL QUILTS

I’ve started the year by taking advantage of the fact that I have zero customer quilts in my que!!  I love my side gig, but I love the rare breaks when they come. A couple panels that I purchased in Paducah… The Dream Big panel by Hoffman.  How fun was that. I already want to do the reddish-burgundy one.  Here are a few shots that definitely put me into the dreaded overkill category, but it’s my website…   I guess that’s enough.  The other panel was a silk batik panel, 21″ x 22″. This was my planning phase, using clear plexiglass and a dry erase marker: Then I tried a braiding technique that I learned from my quilty friend, Laure, on the east coast, and added a handprinted bunny that was a gift from a teacher – Pam Holland. Lastly, I finished this Siddi quilt.  This was the class I took with Pam Holland.  No machine sewing, nor piecing really.  The pieces are added one at a time as you hand quilt. So all these will hang in a show at the Trading Post restaurant, here in Taos for the next 3 or 4 months.  If you’re in Taos, stop in!  They like it if you eat there, but it’s not a requirement to just look at all the quilts our guild will hang there. Thanks for checking in! I miss my Ruby Lou soooo much.   Debbie...
LAST TWO QUILTS of 2019

LAST TWO QUILTS of 2019

Two last quilts to wrap up the year.  I sit here typing, listening to the House Debates, waiting for Impeachment, and I do hope we have a better year.  But I doubt it.  Just vote. Chimayo started as a set of 4 placemats! But after I finished the first 3 and put them on the wall, I thought…huh.  This might make a pretty cool quilt. So I kept going, made 9 more ‘placemats’, and ended up with a quilt I love!   I decided to practice my longarm grafitti skills.  I really love doing this, but I’ll admit that it fatigues my brain. It looks so random, and it is.  One would think it is easy to just keep whipping all the tools out of the toolbox.  But honestly, it takes some serious premeditation! But the end result is delicious.           Lastly….this little pretty, which I named Pilar.   Originally, I did the math wrong and the top looked like this: When I put this on a queen bed, the stripes took up the entire top of the mattress and it just looked dumb. I told myself it didn’t matter.  My son would never really care.  That lasted about a week.  Then I took the entire quilt apart.  As quilts go, this one doesn’t have a ton of seams.  I made the strips narrower and shorter, added another outer maroon border, and now I love it again.   I kept the quilting simple, just straight lines.  I did mark the quilt before I loaded it so I’d know where my start and stops needed to be: And now it’s back to LA for some Christmas fun with this little girl! Thanks for checking in!...
MORA

MORA

Mora is the only quilt I have hand pieced.  I started her in June, 2018.  She is 88″ wide x 92″ long, and has about 3000 diamonds pieces. There are 39 stars, each has 60 diamonds. Although the black & white fabric is busy, I love that fabric (Terrie Mangat design) and could not  resist using it to connect the stars. I tempered it a bit with solid black diamonds.  It was a long process, but not at all painful. It was nice to always have a small, lap-size project whenever I was sitting still, which I don’t do well. I started it prior to our 2 week Alaskan cruise because I thought I would be bored. I was NOT bored, but still glad to have a project.    I used a design board w/ stylus for the quilt design.  It’s very dense, and therefore holds the handpiecing together nicely.   It’s hard to get a nice photo of this.  But this is good enough! I’ll be starting another hand pieced project before too long.  It’s just nice to have one around.      Look out, Sports Illustrated! Thanks for checking in,...
WHITE SANDS

WHITE SANDS

Several years ago, at the Houston quilt show, I bought a stack of Yoshiko Jinzenji fabrics with the best of intentions.  So, here it is, 5 or 6 years later, and I pulled them out…now or never.  I decided to stop trying to be creative and just make some basic court house step blocks.  Her fabric is not big on ‘dark tones’, so making one half of each block light, and one half dark, requires some imagination. The little gold square is the center of each block.  If you squint, you can tell that the top and bottom of each 10.5″ block is ‘dark’, and the sides are ‘light’.  Subtle.  Maybe even creative! Initially, with regard to the border, I was going to piece black curves into the white fabric.  I wasn’t really looking forward to it – never comes out right until the 3rd or 4th time.  The thought of fusing curves onto the white fabric took the pressure off. It was easy and gave me much more flexibility.  I love the border!     I used 6 different thread colors on the longarm; just straight lines using a channel lock. It was pretty cool seeing it from afar the first time at the Taos County Fair. That’s it for this quilt. In keeping with my recent decision to name quilts after cities in New Mexico (and maybe a few in Colorado), this is White Sands.  Naming quilts got a whole lot easier.   ….weddings are stressful for everyone, Ruby Lou.  We all want to suck our thumb. Thanks for checking in!...
TAOS STUDIO TOUR 2019

TAOS STUDIO TOUR 2019

The downside to being on the studio tour is that I don’t get to see anyone else’s work, except my neighbor, who is a fabulous potter.   Labor Day Weekend is when annual event occurs, with about 35 artists opening up their homes to strangers and throwing themselves out there. It’s a pretty vulnerable feeling. People select studios from all over town that they want to visit. I am the only quilter on the tour, so the odds are in my favor that if they are coming up the driveway, someone in that car likes quilts. It’s very hot, usually.  For Taos, anyway.  The sun bears down on my precious quilts…I worry about that. And then the wind whips up, as usual, around 2:30-3:00, so all the quilts have to come down.  And it ALWAYS rains at least one afternoon.  (two, this year).  You’ve never seen 15 quilts come down so fast….clothespins flying.   The first morning, it takes Rick & I about an hour and a half to get them all up.  Much less time the next 2 mornings as we know where everything is going. Some of these were repeats from last year.  I certainly don’t make enough quilts each year to provide all new ones.  But I love seeing my old quilts.   Look at Zoomer there…so sweet.  This will be his last studio tour, I’m afraid.   I did finally sell ol’ Georgia, The Giraffe.  I’m always happy when a quilt is in a good place and not rolled up on my spare couch.       On to the inside…This year, I sold way more quilts than little purses.  Opposite of last year.  Although both these wall hangings were for sale, neither sold.  I’m sort of glad. I can always make another one, but I really like these – not quite ready to let them go.   This was day 2.  Everything that was on the wall for day 1 sold before I even took pictures!   This was definitely NOT for sale.  My handpieced gem.  Can’t imagine letting that one go.     However, this DID sell and I am SO happy.  It’s a great quilt, but I made it for the challenge, and didn’t really want to hang onto it.  YEY!  So, although it’s a lot of work, it’s nice to be a part of the art community for a weekend.  This week, I am in Paducah, Kentucky at the AQS quilt show. I’ve put all the photos I took into my Flickr account.  I didn’t photograph every quilt, just the ones I really liked, or (parts of) ones that had some element of quilting that I’d like to try. I was lucky to get 3 quilts in the show.  Pretty wild.  You can view them by clicking here. We also visited North Carolina last weekend for a wedding.  It was so fun, but I miss these people…….so much…..     Thanks for checking in! Debbie...
TULAROSA & CIMARRON

TULAROSA & CIMARRON

I’ve taken to naming my quilts after towns in New Mexico.  The names of other people’s quilts always sound so clever. It’s a hard thing to do – naming a quilt. So I decided to just google ‘towns in New Mexico’, and pick one that fits. I received this top in 2012 as part of a barter for longarm services.  The woman had numerous unfinished tops to choose from, and I chose this one.   It’s been hanging in my closet(s), first in Texas, then came with me to NM.  It’s not really my type of quilt. I probably thought I’d practice on it…and never did.  I decided to cut it up and play around with the blocks, and ended up with this: So, this was better.  But no magic going on. I then chose to cut arcs and make a version of a double wedding ring. The pattern is by Sewing Party, called My Wedding Ring.     Progress…. Add a little color in there: Now I’m loving it.  Onto the longarm: And the big reveal~a very different quilt to be sure. TULAROSA   Cimarron is based on a Kaffe Fassett pattern called Haze Kilim. I went a little rogue on the border, but not much.  I used Patina Batiks by Hoffman – I love them.   I think there are 11 different shades in here. Adding the sashing in between blocks. CIMARRON It’ll be for sale, as soon as I end my procrastination that is called…’List your things in your Etsy store’. I miss this baby…. Thanks for checking in!...