Painted Fibers, AP # 86


I have truly been blessed to attend numerous classes at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. If it were not for the continued employment of my husband the opportunities would never have occurred. Today’s story is about another one of my excursions.

Last summer I participated in the Judy Coates Perez, Paint and Print Palooza. I had a wonderful time learning how to dye, print and silk screen fabric.

I Had A Handful

Watching the applications go from start to finish was entertaining.

Folded Fabric Waiting to Dry
All Dried and Opened Up

I even designed and cut out my own foam stamp.

My Own Foam Stamp
The First Print Using My Foam Stamp

I created a minimum of 12 new blocks of fabric. These are two of my favorites.

Rather than point out all of the quilt’s wonderful features I’m going to share them with you through photos. Enjoy!

My First Block Arrangement

Eight of my favorite blocks. Click on any photo to watch a slide show of the gallery.

Last but not least, here is the finished art quilt.

Art Piece # 86: Painted Fibers

I am so pleased with the final version of my art piece. My finished art quilt measures 64 x 47”. Hidden inside this family of blocks are oodles of special features. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see the many details.

Thank You for stopping by!

Regatta Quilt is Finished


Roseanne over at Home Sewn By Us has been hosting a QAL that began on January 1, 2018. The pattern called Regatta was designed by Daniela at Block M Quilts. Instructions for the quilt are provided at the above link. This is how the author’s quilt looked when she was finished.

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I decided to join  the QAL when Roseanne first started talking about it late in 2017. Being the rebel that I am I chose to modify the instructions by changing the dimensions as well as the colors of the fabrics.

Updates on my progress were shared via these two posts:

Regatta Quilt Update

Regatta Quilt Progress.

These were the fabrics I chose.

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Regatta Quilt Fabrics Selected

Now that my quilt is finished I can share photos. My version of the Regatta quilt measures 28 1/2” x 73”. Inside the quilt sandwich is a layer of Warm & Natural batting. The backing is a leftover piece of batik from another quilt. Attached to the back is a sleeve for hanging and a label. I bound the raw edges with a black cotton binding. When deciding how to quilt my item, I looked to the black squares for my inspiration. Seeing them zigzag across the quilt gave me the idea to repeat the squares horizontally by quilting a square swirl across the rows.

Regatta Quilt
Regatta Quilt

Regatta Quilting Closeup
Closeup of Regatta Quilting

Regatta Quilt Slice
A Slice of Regatta

My next photo provides a closeup of the backing as well as the quilting.

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A View Of The Regatta From The Back

The final photo of my Regatta quilt is one of my favorites because it shows the texture of the quilting. The shadows created by the stitches make the quilting appear three-dimensional.

Regatta, Back 2
Regatta Quilt Texture

My Regatta quilt is now officially DONE! This quilt was a fun and easy project to make. I’m so glad that I decided to participate. The finished quilt will make an awesome addition to my quilt stash.

Thank You so much for visiting today! 😊

Talk with you soon!

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My Teacup


Block Magazine

I was once a subscriber to Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Block magazine. The magazines I received are still resting on the reclaimed cabinet in my office. Shown below are some of them.

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Some of the Block magazines that I own

I’ve spent many hours browsing the pages of each one of those books. On the back covers I wrote the names of the quilts I might oneway like to make.

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Back of Block Magazine

One of the many quilts I fell in love with was the Teacup quilt, published in the Fall Vol 1 Issue 5 magazine. As you can see by the above photo it was one of the projects I listed on the back cover.

Teacup Quilt Pattern
The Block magazine that has the Teacup pattern

Let’s Make It!

Having fallen in love with the Teacup pattern I set-out to make one for myself. After browsing the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s website I chose a grouping of fabrics to purchase for my project. Buying the fabric, for me, is always the easy part. Finding the time to make it is what’s hard.

I had the fabrics for the quilt sitting in a tub for more than a year. Last summer, on one of my sewing retreats, I finally was able to get started. The quilt was a fun and easy quilt to assemble. Unfortunately the pattern has an error. It wasn’t until I had all of the blocks made that I discovered it.

A Pattern Error!

As I laid out the blocks to decide on their placement I realized I only had half of the blocks the quilt pattern called for. Being puzzled by this revelation I went back to the book to figure out where I went wrong. As I studied the pattern I realized that the quantity of fabric called for in the pattern was incorrect. The pattern listed only one package of 10 1/2″ squares (aka layer cake). In order to make the correct number of blocks I should have purchased two packages.

Letter to the Company

I contacted the company to point out the error.  They thanked me for the information and credited my account for $5. I guess the $5.00 was supposed to make me feel better. $5.00 was not going to make it possible for my quilt to ever be the size I was anticipating.

No Longer Available!!!

Since I waited so long to actually start making the quilt the fabrics had since gone out of print and were no longer available. On top of that I had purchased enough fabric to make the quilt backing to the correct size. Obviously I can use the extra fabric on another project, but that’s not the point. Had I known that my quilt would be much smaller I obviously wouldn’t have purchased as much. Thus, their $5.00 compensation paled in comparison to my level of disappointment and the amount of money spent on this quilt.

MSQC’s Pattern Corrections

Missouri Star Quilt Company publishes a list of pattern corrections for its subscriber to refer to. As of today the error that I found is not listed on that Missouri Star Quilt Company’s pattern correction list. I’m disappointed that my revelation has not been shared on their website. If you decide to make the quilt yourself make sure to adjust the amount of fabric that you purchase. Otherwise you too will be disappointed.

Ok, enough about my disappointment! Let’s get back to my very pretty quilt.

Moving On

In December of 2017 I was able to finally find time to finish my Teacup quilt. Using a straight-line geometric pattern, swirls, a paisley design and white thread I quilted my Teacup project on my longarm machine. Here’s how my sweet little quilt looks now.

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My Teacup Quilt Top

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A closeup of the geometric meandering

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A closeup of the binding, and border quilting

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The back of my Teacup Quilt

Conclusion

Throwing aside the disappointments associated with my experience, I must say that this darling little project sits very high on my list of favorite quilts. I am so pleased to have it in my arsenal of finished quilts. 🙂

Thank You so much for visiting with me today. I look forward to our next encounter.

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Note: At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I was once a subscriber to the Block magazine. My experience with one of their patterns and the company’s failure to correct the issue had nothing to do with cancelling my subscription. I made the decision to stop receiving the magazine because I felt I had more than enough ideas for possible quilts to make in the future; let alone finding the time to make them all. I’ve also found improv quilting to be my preferred avenue to follow. I’m not saying I would never make a pattern quilt again; it’s just not as likely as it once was.

Pam’s Nine Patch Garden


Pam’s Nine Patch Garden is one of the quilts I inherited from my Mom. I first introduced my readers to this quilt eons ago. Way back in March of 2017 I had the pleasure of spending a number of days at the Woodland Ridge Retreat Center in Menomonie, Wisconsin. While there, aside from many excursions, my attention was focused on five quilts passed on to me by my Mom. All of them were in various stages of completion. If you would like to read about my adventures at the Center you will find them here. My original story about this quilt can be found here.

This quilt is extra special to me for two reasons. First, my Mom is a big fan of flowers. My Mom is well-known for turning the majority of her lawn into garden space. Those gardens were always overflowing with flowers. Her love for gardening and for flowers was passed on to me.

The second reason is because my Mother is also an avid cross-stitcher as well as a seasoned embroiderer. This quilt has twelve blocks that have been hand embroidered by my Mom. All of them are of various flowers, many of which she has grown in her own gardens. Her love for flowers along with her talent for stitchery are why this quilt is dear to my heart.

When I received the quilt, in it’s plastic package, the twelve embroidered blocks were all that were finished. Not yet assembled were the twelve nine-patch blocks. Included with these items were several lengths of multiple fabrics. Whether or not they were meant to be used for the 12 remaining blocks was unclear. My Mom’s recollections on the status of her quilts is sketchy.

Since I wasn’t really fond of the enclosed fabrics I decided to go out on my own to select options I felt seemed more appropriate. I pulled specimen after specimen from my fabric stash to audition as candidates. By the time I had finished I had accumulated enough fabric to complete all twelve blocks with fabric to spare.

I chose a variety of fabrics from the green, yellow, orange, white and blue families. The fabrics were adorned with flowers, birds as well as catchy phrases that seemed to match well with the quilt’s theme. Among the phrases or words of encouragement were:

  • find true love
  • have more fun
  • love
  • make a quilt for my children
  • peace
  • smile more

One even has a mini bucket list printed on it.

With my fabric choices conquered it was time to create the nine-patch blocks. Typically I would assemble strip sets to create them. In this case I wanted to be more strategic in the arrangement of these fabrics. I wanted to make certain I had a well-rounded distribution of color as well as printed phrases. To facilitate this outcome I individually cut squares and hand placed them in groupings of nine. Once I was satisfied I stitched them together.

The embroidered blocks and the nine-patch blocks were then laid out on a table and juggled around until I was satisfied with the appearance. They too were then stitched together into rows and finally into one piece.

To the 24 blocks I added first a small border of hand-dyed orange fabric. Next I added an over-dyed border of blue. With the last border in place it was time to load the quilt onto my longarm machine for quilting.

Since it is obviously impossible to pack up and take my machine along on trips, I think my husband would shoot me if I asked him to do that, the quilting had to wait until a later date.

Fast-forward to December of 2017. This was the first opportunity I had to even contemplate accomplishing this task. I chose a pretty floral batik from my inventory to serve as the quilt’s backing. After loading my carefully pressed top, batting and the batik on my machine I set to work adding a variety of stitches.

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Pam’s Nine Patch Garden Quilt

In the outermost border I stitched a swirly pattern using a color coordinated thread. The bright orange border was treated with a soft flowing line of cream colored stitches. In the nine-patch blocks I stitched a meander of angular lines. To polish off the remaining blocks I first added a row of stitching around the outer border. Next I echoed around each of the flowers giving them a dimensional appearance with the same cream colored thread.

Curious what the stitching looks like from the back?

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Back of Pam’s Nine Patch Garden Quilt

This last photo was included for three reasons:

  1. I wanted to give you a closeup of a flower block so that you could see both the embroidery as well as the longarm quilting
  2. I thought you might like to see one of the nine-patch squares with the phrase, “make a quilt for each of my children” and most of all because
  3. The sunflower is my all-time favorite flower. I was tickled pink to see that an embroidered sunflower was incorporated into the pattern.

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Combined together I believe all of my added touches created a magnificent quilt; one with which my Mom would be well pleased. I did have the chance to show it to her early in December of 2017. She was overjoyed to see the quilt and extremely thrilled with its outcome. I asked if she remembered doing the embroidery and she did.

I set myself a goal to finish all five of my Mom’s quilts before she is no longer with us. She’s getting on in years so I know the timeframe I have to work with is limited. Finishing this one meant I was one step closer to reaching my goal.

I am very happy to say that the other four, one of which was The American Flag Picnic Throw, have been completed as well. I will share their stories in the coming weeks.

American Flag Picnic Blanket (Quilting)
American Flag Picnic Throw Closeup

This wraps up the story of my Mom’s Nine-Patch quilt. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about its history as much as I have enjoyed sharing it. They say that behind every quilt is a story. This quilt is certainly no exception.

Thank you for spending time with me as I revealed this story. I’m so glad we had the opportunity! Be watching for the quilt number three of five.

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Karen M’s Bow Quilt


A while ago I had the pleasure of quilting Elisabeth B’s beautiful Christmas quilt. The quilt, with its unusual design, was a joy to work on. I had a blast creating an explosion of surprises from top to bottom and side to side.

Now fast-forward to November 2017 when I received a surprise email from Elizabeth’s Mom. I’m always thrilled when my customers share my information with friends. This gesture is the nicest compliment I could ever receive.

Karen had made a quilt top for her granddaughter. Her initial plan was to do the quilting on her own. She had even decided on and purchased the thread for stitching but then Karen had a change of heart and decided to entrust the quilting to me.

Karen and I spent a great deal of time exploring her project discussing the possible stitch designs as well as colors of thread. By the time Karen left we had created a carefully orchestrated, detailed outline. The number of stitch patterns as well as the volume of thread colors meant the quilting process would be slow. From start to finish I invested 28 hours in Karen’s project.

It wasn’t until the final stitch was applied and I was able to remove the quilt from my machine that I could finally absorb the quilt’s gorgeous appearance. Karen’s quilt top would have been magnificent even without my stitching but the plan we mapped out together complimented her project in a way that I never could have imagined. I was so in awe!

I’ve been patiently waiting to reveal Karen’s beautiful quilt until after Christmas since the quilt was meant to be a surprise. Now that the coast is clear I am so excited to share my photo’s.

Please enjoy!

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Karen M-Back of Bow Quilt.jpg

I can’t wait to hear how Karen’s granddaughter reacted!

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed seeing Karen’s quilt. Let’s do this again real soon!

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