My Ode to Florida

 

Florida has been on my mind lately, as I am sure that it has been with everyone.

Connie is from Florida and sent me her quilt, called “Rowdy Library” quilt

this past spring.

It was completed and sent home to Florida but Connie didn’t see it until this

past week. With all the weather tantrums occurring, she was concerned, and so

was I, about the condition of it when she got home.

I know and understand how important people are and I constantly have

Florida in my prayers;  yet I was also thinking about this quilt. Wondering

if it had made it through the Hurricane as well.

Connie contacted me this past week and let me know that it was ok. A huge

sigh of relief on both of our parts. I also want to mention that Connie is

a nurse and has been out helping people who are needing help in

areas around her home. Thanks for being so kind and helpful Connie.

As you can see by Connie’s quilt, there is alot of detail in this quilt. And the

colors, fabrics and applique are outstanding. I so enjoyed just looking at this

quilt while I was working on it.

When I begin a quilt like this, I use a monofilament thread and SID around all

the applique shapes. Yes, it does take a long time but it is well worth the effort

in that it helps to hold everything down and nothing shifts, most of the time.

I also used 2 layers of batting:  Hobb’s wool batting on the top, next to the

quilt top and a 80/20 cotton batting under that. This combination gives

tons of loft and makes all the applique and quilting ‘puff” up even more.

There is some shifting sometimes, but most times, if you do stabilize the

quilt, it works out in the end.

After all the SID is done, then the fun begins. Even before I begin stitching,

I like to have a road map of what I am going to quilt  on the top. This

can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on what

type, size,and budget that I have. This is both fun and mind boggling sometimes.

When the design is done, I can begin the stitching. If I am unsure of an area, I

usually work on what I know I want to do. In this case. lots of straight lines and

swirls.

The back of the quilt. Here you can see the stitching more. I also used

cream Bottom LIne thread for the background fills, on both the front of

the quilt and on the backing as well. It helps using the same thread

color so you don’t have to worry so much about tension issues.

A thin thread such as Bottom LIne gives a lot of texture without the

thread build up.

I had a lot of fun adding texture to this quilt. As I mentioned

before, this is my Ode to Florida, after all that they have been

through. I also wanted to show this quilt all on its own, as you

have been getting bits and pieces along this quilt’s completion.

Now, you can enjoy the full show in one blog post.

More texture and sunlight.

I had alot of fun with this quilt. Thanks Connie for

your quilt and all the help you are giving to people at

home. We are  praying for you all.

 

 

Classes with Al Cote

As you know, my big birthday came and went a few weeks ago. In honor

of this birthday, I had the privilege of taking 2 classes with Fibre Artist and

Art Quilter, Al Cote. He is Canadian and lives in Niagara Falls. You can check

out his website here.

Al Cote’s work

I did ask Al if I could take photos of his quilts and he did agree.. I also

asked for permission to post these on my blog. Again, he was gracious

enough to allow me to do this. So, enjoy his work, he is very talented,

creative, and funny.

The purple Wallhanging

It is remarkable how creative Al is. He has the ability to make you

believe that you can make something creative as well. He simplifies

the process and helps you takes creative risks.

Another quilt.

I was hoping  to pick Al’s brain during class. I asked lots of questions and Al

was very patient in answering all my questions. I really love the fact that

he is constantly learning and growing as an artist. What a great challenge!

I think that I would love to follow in his footsteps, in this regard.

My favorite

I am beginning to think that I can create my own art quilts but instead of

pressuring myself to create pieces, I can just “play.” This takes all the

pressure off of myself and allows me to relax and just enjoy the process.

Maybe, just maybe I will create something that evokes beauty of some kind.

The purple wallhanging

Al creates a lot of painted fabrics for his art quilts.

One of the classes that I took with Al was called “Panels, Panels, Panels.”

As you can tell by the title, you buy multiple panels, cut one up, sew it back

together and create your layout.

This is the art quilt I created with one of my panels. I really

struggled with the layout but eventually I pushed through and

realized that I was trying to add too many colors. I tried a

more simple route and I think it works. I am so glad that

I figured the layout out because it makes me feel confident

enough to try it again.

I really like the orange fabric in this picture and I love the 3 pieces

of fabric laid onto it. I have yet to quilt it so I am sure that it will

look entirely different when it is totally finished as well.

The second class was called “Curve Piecing.” You had to pick

3 of your favorite fabrics plus a few others.

I have been wanting to make a blue and white art quilt for a while.

I was originally thinking that it would look like a wave but I

really like this art quilt as well.

This is what the orange section looks like; Al was gracious

enough to help me with the color choices and the layout.

And to make my birthday even more memorable, at the

Quilt Guild last week, I won this book. Isn’t that crazy?

I was so excited to win it. It has lots of colorful quilts, it seems

like this is the route I am taking right now.

Have a good week and check out Needle and Thread Network.

Fast piecing

Here are a some of the quilts that I worked on before Christmas

arrived.

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It always amazes me how fast some people are in getting quilt

tops completed. Dorothy is such a person.

The fabric  looks like cotton but is actually flannel. It should be

really warm and cuddly for whoever is getting it.

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The blocks seem fairly simple and the fabric is really nice. Lots of

trees, boughs, pinecones,  and pine needles.  Perfect for this time of the

year. If I remember correctly, Dorothy chose a rusty brown polyester

thread for the top and the backing.  My apologies for not having

pictures of the backing.

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How can you not love the bright colors in this quilt? It is for one

of her grandsons. I think that he will absolutely love it.

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It has so much great fabrics in it: Thor, Iron Man, and other

comic heroes.

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I  had lots of fun just looking at the fabric and picking out

all the superheroes.

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Dorothy chose blue polyester thread for the top and the backing. The

stitching pattern is called “Swirls” and adds lots of movement to the

straight piecing in the blocks.

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A great “I Spy” quilt.  Once again, the prints and fabrics are fabulous.

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I Spy Quilt

Dorothy mentioned trading scraps and fabrics with some of her friends.

That”s a great way to get some new fabric at a great  price.

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The backing is pretty cool too. A blue polyester thread was used on the

top and the backing. And a “Circus” panto was stitched onto the top.

Lots of swirls and curls to help add some movement to the quilt top.

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A modern Quilt

I really like this quilt.  Dorothy wanted  square boxes all over the

quilt top. I felt really brave that day so I decided to freehand squares

all over the quilt. It was quite liberating and fun! I didn’t have to mark

any lines at all and could just focus on stitching. Quite a feat in and of

itself. Sometimes, I am a bit of a perfectionist and  slight wiggles bug me.

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The different sizes and shapes of the squares were fun to stitch in. The only

concern I had was to make sure that I didn’t stitch over any boxes in

previously stitched areas.  A grey polyester thread was used for the top and

a cream for the backing. The backing fabric was comprised of the a solid light

cream color.

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What a great design! I love the little squares running through all the blocks.

Dorothy chose a white polyester thread for the top and the backing.

“Happy Times” was the panto used for the quilting design and it adds

movement to the straight blocks too.

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A great border for this particular quilt.

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The backing

The backing is pretty funky and definitely gives a different look when the

quilt is turned over.

As for my resolution to work on my own stuff, I have added anther project

to the list. This year I want  to complete several of the BOM’s that I have

hanging around from last year.

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My design wall

This is what my design wall looks like right now.  Quilt ARt Designs had an

“Oceans” BOM last year. It was comprised of  9 paper  pieced blocks in total.

I am missing 2 in this picture but they are on the bottom of the design wall.

I have an idea in my head of what I would like the finished quilt to look like but

I wonder if the finished quilt will look that good. You will have to stay tuned

for that one. It might be a while.

Have a great week and find some time for yourself.

 

 

A Barrel of Monkeys…

Last week seemed like a barrel of monkeys with all the activities

that were going on but I am back on track this week.

Lynn created this adorable Sock Monkey quilt.

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The fabrics in this quilt are so much fun; Lynn always has really

cool fabric.  These sock monkeys are no exception.

Lynn decided that she wanted an all over design so we went with

“Quirky.” What a great name for a  design and it fits the monkeys perfectly.

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How can you not love these critters? Even the backing shouts monkeys.

When I loaded this quilt on the frame, I mistakenly put the backing on

the front. I had to take it off and reload it once again. Whose acting like

a monkey now?

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It is a pieced backing so it will seem as if the receipent is getting 2 quilts in one.

Here is the backing. We used a light yellow polyester thread for the

front and the back of this quilt. There are alot of different colors so the

yellow blends well with all of them.

Here is  another quilt that Lynn created. She is quite the creative

quilting force.

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Lynn chose “Happy Times.” It adds nice texture and movement

to the rectangular shapes of the quilt top.

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The backing consisted of a blue fabric and the stitching shows up nicely.

Can you see the string of pearls on the fabric?

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Karen made this quilt at a local quilt shop. It was a BOM Quilt

with lots of piecing in it. The colors are really soft and beautiful.

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This section of the outer border shows up the quilting nicely. Karen chose

“Celtic Vine” as her all over pattern; a taupe polyester thread was used as well.

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The taupe blends with all the colors yet isn’t too loud for the quilt.

Here is the backing fabric, although a little dark.

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A close up of the panto on the back of the quilt. This is a really

classy design  that works well with alot of designs.

Have a great week!

Stitching along…

Spring is taking a long time in showing up but that has not

slowed me down at all;  I am happily stitching along.

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Kathy brought me this quilt and wanted an overall design.

We used a light green polyester thread on the top and a darker

green polyester thread for the backing.

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I think she did a great job. If I remember correctly, it was

her first quilt.

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The backing is a nice shade of green. And the quilting

does show up nicely on the backing.

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“Flirtatous” is the name of the pantograph we used. It

has a whimsical feel to it.

This next quilt belongs to Lynn. She is a quick quilter and

has the most colorful fabrics around.

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Isn’t this a cool pattern?  I love the bright colors.

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Is is so much fun to see how color, shape, and pattern

all work together. For instance, this is the same block but

the fabrics and colors have been reversed or placed in

a different position.

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We used a light blue polyester thread for the top and

the backing.  “Happy Times” was the panto of choice

because it resembles waves.

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Don’t  you just love the backing too?  Pieced backings

are one of my most favorite things  and it enables you

to use up more of the fabrics from the front.

I hope that you are happily stitching along. Doesn’t

your day just get better when you get some stitching

time in?

How do you manage to sneak in some stitching

during your day?

Have a sneaky stitching week.

 

Save the selvages…

A good friend of mine has come up with a great idea for saving and

using the selvage edge of the cotton fabrics that we use.

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Here are  a few samples of what she has come up with.  The selvages

have been collected and sewn together onto a piece of batting.  Once

the batting piece is  totally covered, a freezer paper template is ironed

on and the shape (ie. tree, star etc) is cut out with pinking shears or

scissors. The outside edge is straight stitched and then a button and

cording or thread are added.  What a great recycling idea!  These can be

used as a tree ornament or as a gift tag.  I wonder what else you can do

with them? Any ideas?  This next quilt was made by Isabel and she did

a great job!  I can’t imagine all the hours it took to piece this baby.  Wow!!

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I think the name of this quilt is The Washington Star?  If I am wrong,  please

let me know. Isabel’s only request was to have feathers in the brown center

around the star.

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Of course, I had to add more feathers in the light and dark borders too.  I like the

gentle curve that is in the outside border area too. I used polyester thread for

the top and backing.

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I was running out of time for this post so I will show more pictures next week.

In the border area, there were 10-20 different star blocks too. Each one was

different so I tried to use the same motifs throughout the quilt so that it would

tie together.

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Alot of straight stitching and ruler work but I think it works well with the

feathers and swirls.

This week was the big Quilt Show in Houston.  Any word yet on the winners?

Let me know if you hear anything.  And don’t eat too much candy on the

weekend.

Have a great weekend.

 

A Short Post..

These past few weeks have been a little crazy around here.  The upcoming

Quilt Show in Houston, Texas is reaching even into my little corner of the world.

Patti Carey, of Northcott, in Toronto has contacted me to quilt a few more

pieces for her. What a great opportunity.  Because of how busy I am, this will

be a short  post. This is just a teaser-there will be more eye candy when

the deadlines are past.

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This piece was designed by Daphne Grieg of Patchworks Studio.

I love the colors on this runner and felt it was a little formal so I used alot

of straight lines.

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Feathers were also incorporated.  I love feathers and they dress up

any quilt.

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What a great shot of the runner. It fits the season to a tee.

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I had to show you the quilting around the block.  I love, love, love

straight lines and the texture they produce.

Have a great week.