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!...
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!...
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!...