Sunday, January 29, 2017

A new year, a fresh start

Happy New Year!

Just a few days until February, so you may think I'm late with these wishes but the lunar year 4715 just started yesterday. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Instead of giving you too much information about last year, though that might slip out, I'm concentrating on the here and now.

And now, I'm in the middle of a terrific online workshop called Photoshop Elements: Essentials 1 from the terrific Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki, aka the Pixel Ladies. Here's one result of the first week's lessons:  

It's a reduced image for posting on the web and it has a watermark. The piece was juried into Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016 at Visions Art Museum, San Diego. 

A much deserved shout-out goes to two machine quilting instructors: Sandra Palmer Ciolino, for setting me on the path of thinking critically about the quilting; and Jenny Lyon, for opening up and narrowing the quilting possibilities. Couldn't have gotten there without them! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Over the moon

One of my pieces has been juried into Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016! Yay, I am over the moon!

Last fall, after finishing Terra Verde for Color Improvisations II, I was on a roll and kept going by finishing others that had been hanging around the studio for years. Vernal Vortex, formerly nicknamed High Anxiety, will be in Visions.

Here's the top after piecing:
pieced but not trimmed
I blogged about developing the design and piecing it here and here. That was 2012. Had no idea how to quilt it. Later that same year, I focused on fmq and wondered if I will ever get to the stage when I could tackle this. Tucked it away.

Three years later, I had a plan and was ready to tackle it. Want to see how? Here's a detail in the midst of quilting:
small area for quilting redo
All that fmq practice and I'd used a walking foot.

I have a thing about posting the finished piece before it debuts at a show. So come see the whole thing at Visions Art Museum in San Diego. I'll be at the opening on October 15, 2016 and the show runs through January 8, 2017. Otherwise, you'll just have to watch for a post after the opening.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Terra Verde

Color Improvisations 2's opening reception happened on March 11, 2016 at the Tuch + Technik TextilMuseum in Neümunster, Germany. I was there but it came and went in a whoosh. 

Here are images of my contribution to the exhibition. 
Terra Verde

Terra Verde detail
Finally. Six weeks later. But I'll spare you the excuses this time.

The exhibit will travel in Europe. Robert Shaw is working on continuing its tour in the United States starting in 2018. Meanwhile, more information and more photos of the exhibition at Color Improvisations 2

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Quick burials

Here's a tute on burying your threads in your quilt without a self-threading needle.

All you need: one sewing needle and about 30" of thread. Fine threads don't work well. Use a grabby thread. I use glazed cotton hand quilting thread and a long thin needle with a big eye. 

1. Thread the needle with the thread doubled: fold the thread in half and put either the end loop or both cut ends through the eye. 

2. Pull the thread so the loop end hangs longer than the cut ends. 

3. Optional: on the quilt, pull the bobbin thread up to the top and tie it the top thread. You could bury each thread individually, but then you'll have twice as many to do.

4. Insert needle near these thread ends to be buried and come back out an inch or so away. For a smooth end, I bury it just about in the same place where the bobbin thread came up. Also if I direct my needle back toward the line of stitching, it seems less likely to pull out. 

5. Grab thread ends and pull through the loop. As you pull the needle out, keep threads end in the loop. 

6. Cut excess thread ends as needed. Voila!

After you get the hang of this, burying threads is easy and speedy. And you can make thread starts and stops just about disappear.

After composing this, Cindy Needham made a great You Tube video of this technique. So follow the link. Much better than any photos! 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

No more walking

After spending 120 hours quilting one large project, I kept the momentum going. When I ran out of bobbin thread on the bed quilt, I switched to another ufo.
quilting another ufo
Then this thread started running low. I diverted my attention to problem areas. Plenty of bad stitches to redo which slowed my progress while I await more thread.  Here's an area that developed tucks and creases:
unstitched quilting to smooth it out
Quilting lines run on the bias in this area. More basting. Will it behave now?
basted grid
Predicting problems elsewhere, I added more basting there too.  That's when the walking foot fell apart. Spring unsprung!
. . . couldn't put it back together again 
The dealer/repairman had reassembled one for someone else before, but it was fussy and fiddly work. This time they're ordering a new foot. No charge but no walking foot for at least a week. Fortunately threads arrived. Back to fmq on the bed quilt. Saved from housework.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Intense swirls & pebbles

It has been a nose-to-the-grindstone kind of month. Back to quilting the bed quilt. I want to finish and gift it before winter.
Swirls and pebbles à la Angela Walters
There's a reason for those gaps. Filling it completely with swirls and pebbles was so intense. Turning out lovely. But makes me want to tear out the quilting elsewhere.