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    ...
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!...