Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Santa's Elf Made me a Big Board!

Yep that's right, my very own special Elf made me a Big Board for Christmas!! I guess he took the bait .....

.... this summer when my son ironed a shirt it came complete with all my loose threads, (I had just finished some un-sewing). After picking them all off he said... 'Hey Mom you really need your own iron board.. so we can keep this one upstairs and it isn't always covered with your quilting stuff.' So I very simply replied... 'You know that's a good idea and they even have large boards specifically for quilters.... sounds like a great Christmas present!'

Well he stored that bit of information in his head and while combing the internet for a large ironing board he found instructions to make one! I should have known it.... he has always had a love of making things, so that is exactly what he did!!! He also gave me an IOU for the cover. He ordered the material, but it didn't come in before Christmas.

As soon as I get the cover I will post a picture.... but for now, I am happy that my son who is studying Structural Engineering in college, used some of his talent for ME... woohooo!

Thank you baby!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I know I haven't blogged in awhile, but the 4th quarter of the year is really busy in corporate sales, so I have been heads down... I have managed to find some time late at night to quilt. I need to get some XMas presents done... so much to do, so little time. But, I am making progress.

I have been working on a lap quilt for one of my nieces. I have two that requested a purple quilt to cuddle with. One is almost done, the other... well, let's just say.. I might have to give an IOU :-).

Here are some pics of the one that is almost done. As you can see, I am in the process of quilting the piece. Here are a few close ups of the front, showing the quilting. I am using purple Masterpiece by Superior in both top and bobbin.
I have been playing with different types of feathers. I'm playing with "molar" feathers that have loop-di-do's along the spine.
Here is a view of the back. As you can see, I am using my doodling method on this quilt. I just quilt one design until I am tired of it, then start something else. I know, I know... but as you can see from the front other than the sashing the blocks are kind of busy, so it is a good place to practice :-). The back is actually pieced in all the leftover fabrics from the front... although you can't really tell from the picture.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I've got pics!

So I posted a little earlier that our guild's round robin is really getting exciting. When I kicked it off at the beginning of the year, I asked the participants to step out of their comfort zones and do something they had always wanted to try and might have felt a little intimated by. Hey.. in a round robin, you never know what direction a piece will end up in... and you will probably not own the piece in the end... so why not go for it... right?

Well Donna Chambers just sent me the pics of our first center and how it is progressing, so I wanted to share them with you.

The center 'square' made by Cheryl Hoist

As you can see it is not a square so, when it came in last month, we all said... 'oooh I wonder how the next person is going to build on this. Look at all the curved piecing.....'

Well, tonight we found out! Here is the center with the next round added by Donna Chambers.

Donna took a class recently on 'Quilting out of the square'. Well I say she mastered the lesson perfectly. She made the background. Appliqued, they ladies on the background, and then appliqued Cheryl's center on top of the ladies. WOW!

And here is a close up of one of the ladies.
Notice the jewelry... both the earring and necklace is done with thread work... silver metallic thread. And no two ladies or their jewelry are the same. Isn't that clever!

Oh, I can't wait to see what Jeannie does with this piece and how our other 2 centers are being expanded. Such fun!

Monday, December 7, 2009

WOW... I am so excited!!

Just came from my local guild meeting and oh my!!! We are doing 3 round robin quilts and tonight one of the quilters brought in her progress for show and tell. She was a month early and a new quilter to our small guild, so we had no idea what to expect.

Well she blew our socks off! Yes, I will post a picture as soon as I get it, BUT... it was exquisite. She is an artist by trade and just quilting for a year, but she has gone way out of the block with her work. I just can't wait to see what the next quilter adds on. Feeling a little pressure Jeannie :-).

Donna, you have really raised the bar for the 8 quilters left to work on our pieces :-) !@!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thread, Thread, Thread...

Thread... I think just about every 'art' quilter or fiber artist or quilter or whatever we call ourselves have a love affair with thread. We have cotton thread, rayon thread, polyester thread, wool thread, metallic thread and silk thread. Thread with sheen, thread that is thick and thread that is thin. Thread made by Isacord or Sulky or Madiera or Gutterman or Aurifil or Superior or YLI or Coats & Clark, or... or... or....

I for one, have some of every type, every brand above, plus some. I think I love my thread as much as I love my fabric. Well almost :-)... But one thing that I have noticed as I started really using my Bernina 830, is that thread that was almost lint free on my old Viking throws off tons of lint on the Bernina. Some, so much so, that I have to clean the machine in between bobbin changes. On my Viking, using the same assortment of threads, I almost never saw a buildup of lint. In fact, I could go two full quilts before I realized... OOPS!, I haven't cleaned the machine since I worked on that other project.

I wonder why that is? I know many of you have multiple machines. Do you see a difference in the lint build-up on one type vs another? Or even on one model vs another?

Yes, those same inquiring minds want to know...... Oh, but wait, no one had a thought on the last question this inquiring blogger posted. Oh well... I guess I will just have to ponder this thought on my own for awhile.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dye Candy's having a give away...

Hi everyone... Candy over at Dye Candy is having a give away over on her blog. Her fabrics are to DYE for :-).

Hop on over and leave a comment for an opportunity to win.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Inquiring minds want to know....

As I am working on my DD's piece I am at the stage where I just want the thread play of the ribbons to be over (actually I only have 2 more to go...woohooo...). So my mind has started to wander on to the next stage.... what decorative accents should I use in the center... applique, thread applique, couching, etc... and what type of quilting will I do. Hmmmm...

My head is overflowing with ideas.... this is for a Miami apartment. Do I add circles to represent beach balls... do I add stars, for the movie stars Raven meets in her job (she's met Sienfield, Vanessa Williams, Bernadette Peters and a few others).... or what. And what about the quilting??? Normally I stay within the boundaries of each section... you know one design per wave. But I am thinking of going free and letting my stitching change as I feel it, vs as the quilt top is constructed. I think I like the freedom of that.... just go wherever it takes me. But even once I get that worked out, I still have to think about thread... variegated, one solid, or many different solids??? I do know that I don't want the quilting to take over the piece, it is bold enough on it's own.

So, I was wondering... do you design your quilting as you design your quilt top? Or do you finish your top and let it speak to you?

If you read this, please post a short comment and share your quilting design practices.

Inquiring minds want to know....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oh, I forgot....

Take a peak at some of the quilting doodles I played with while watching one of those baseball games. I did do something :-). Remember they say, practice, practice, practice...

Actually, I think I may take some of the new water color pencils I brought at retreat last month and color some of it in. It might make a nice piece to donate to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. Who knows.... we'll see....

I am still here...

I have been so busy lately, that I haven't had much time to blog. Between, work, the American Leaque Championship and the World Series, baseball and my YANKEES!! have kept me busy. That's right 27 World Series... WooHoo!!!

But I need to focus... After my Celestial Enlightenment piece, my dear daughter has asked for a Thread Play Triptych for her Miami apartment to hang over her 80" sofa. While I had creative block for awhile and then went into a real funk after traveling for almost 3 solid weeks, I finally got going.

Miami is so different than NY where we live or Phili where she went to school and it has definitely influenced her, because she sent me paint colors to match that I would never have expected my brown/blue/black loving daughter to pick.... Mexican Chili, Mint Majestry, Honeydew and Botanical Tint. This is a glimpse of the project as it has progressed...

It took almost a full weekend to create the wavy background. All curves were cut freehand using a rotary cutter. The trick was to keep them all on a 45 degree angle. I then used a zigzag stitch to sew it together. Once the top was complete the fun began.

Here I am transferring the ribbon design from freezer paper to the top using water soluble thread. It was a bit of a job, as the top is quite big for a wall hanging :-).

Here is a shot of the top with most of the paper removed. All except inside the ribbon....

Here I have completed the thread play on the ribbon and am adding the highlight in a darker color thread.
This is where I am as of today. The top is a bit wrinkled... all the stuffing and heaving under the arm of the machine. I still have two different colors to do the highlighting on. Each of the 30 ribbon sections take about 40 minutes of thread play to complete, so it is indeed very time consuming, but I think I am enjoying how it is coming out. Oh, did I say that all of the fabric came from my stash... maybe my love of brights is rubbing off on my daughter :-).

The next stage will be to decide what type of embellishment to do in the center of the piece. Remember the top will be cut into 3 after the quilting is done, so placement is critical. Hmphh???

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Quilt Festival

Many of my regular followers will have seen this quilt. But it is the entry I have chosen for Amy's (Park City Girl) Online Fall Quilt Festival. I enjoyed making this quilt for many reasons. First, the background was a piece I had discarded because it was wonky. I later realized two of the pink squares were 1/2" larger on one side. Second, it helped me learn some new techniques I had seen at Ricky Tim's Super Seminar. Both by Ricky himself and by Libby Lehman. Third, I pulled it our of the scrap pile, because I thought it was a good piece to use to get to know my new Bernina 830, which I have fallen in love with. Lastly, I love the way it came out.. and it is no longer Wonky!

So here is my entry. Hope you enjoy it. I have called it Celestial Enlightenment!

Here are some close-ups....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cotton Cocktails Give-a-way

Hi.. it has been awhile and yes I will post soon to show what I have been working on, but wanted to share with you a Give-a-way by Quilthaze to celebrate her 3 months of blogging regularly. Just go to Cotton Cocktails blog and follow the instructions to win one of her cute bags filled with quilty goodies!

Good luck.. but really, I want to win :-)...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Heading to Brookfiled, Wisconsin

Hey, I am heading to Brookfield outside of Milwaukee this evening. I should have a moment before heading back to the airport tomorrow to check out a quilt shop. Anybody ever been to Patched Works in Brookfield? Or any other shop in the area?

Any recommendations?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Traditional, Contemporary, Traditional or Contemporary.... that is the question??

Most of you who have been to my blog know that I am mostly a contemporary quilter. But the person who first introduced me to quilting when I was just a teenager, was a traditional hand quilter. I didn't learn to quilt then, or from her. She passed away before I took the plunge. But when she did, her daughter, my best friend, gave me a box with some of her quilting stuff.... fabrics, books, tools, etc....

I have been quilting since 1999 and have made many a quilting present for friends and family. Well, about a month ago while on a weekend getaway with my friend, she commented twice that she didn't own a 'Renee' quilt. OH MY, how did I let that happen. My first thought was, I have to remedy that. But, for the last month I have been in a tizzy.

Just like her mother, my friend loves traditional things. Her home, her decorating, her style of dress is entirely traditional. She has purchased quilts over the years from various quilt shows, including the Kutztown, Pa. Fair... all traditionally made hand quilts in blues, burgundy, greens and creamy beige. Not my style at all!

So what to do?? Do I make her something that fits her style and home ---- OR ---- do I make her a 'Renee' quilt. An artsy, contemporary piece full of color, done all by machine???

I am definitely at a loss....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jeux d'aiguilles, Geneve, Switzerland

So, I google Quilt Shops in Geneve, Switzerland, before I left my hotel room this morning and what did you think I found? A directory of patchwork shops in Switzerland.... ok, ok, I know that is what google is for. Well, I found one entry for Geneve, so I looked it up on the city map and what do you know... it is less than a 10 minute walk from my hotel.... Oh, no... it is only open to 1pm on Saturdays... better hustle.... yes I slept in this morning :0).

So off I went to Jeux d'aiguilles. Nice looking front window...
So I go inside.... thru the window, I can see a group of women sitting at a table in the back. Did I catch a class in session? Wouldn't that be a treat! Alas, no. Instead it was a cross stitch group, sitting around working on projects. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, but wouldn't let me take a picture. So I grabbed a close-up of the window on my way out, so you can see the type of work they do. As you can see, there is both cross-stitch and quilting projects in the window. Hey there is always, more than one way to skin a cat :-). (No animals affected.)

The shop had more cross stitch than quilting supplies, in fact, it only had one little display of Mettler thread and about (3) floor to ceiling shelves of fabric. Everything else was cross stitch. But of course, I found something to bring home from Geneve. Don't know why... these (2) 1-meter peices cost me $54!!!! and one was a Moda Marble. Guess I will ask about prices next time, I don't see them marked on the bolt! But, I think they will go nice as pillow covers for Raven's sofa. The pillows that came with her sofa really are not her style.

Of course, there is a quilt show starting 3 days after I head home... of well can't have everything. I did ask the owner if there were other patchwork shops in the area and she said no. So I asked where the local quilters get their fabric from... hey, this is home to Bernina. Guess what her answer was.... the internet!@!@! Even with the shipping charges, fabric is cheaper in the US, than in Switzerland, because it is almost all imported. Of well, quess we really do have it better in the good 'ole USA.

Off to Yvoire, France for the day tomorrow, since everything other than restaurants are closed on Sunday in Geneve... not even one museum is open. Hmm... wonder what I can find on google for Yvoire? I know I have found an interesting shop in Zurich.. just don't know if I will have any time. Hey, I am there for work :-)

Where in the world is Renee??

Hello, I know it has been awhile, but I am on the road again. Paris and London last week and I arrived in Geneva last night. In Geneva thru Tuesday, then on to Zurich. Home on Thursday. No quilting expeditions in Paris or London, I was too busy. But hopefully as I wander the streets of Geneva this weekend, I will find a shop or two.

Keep up the quilting end for me, I will have lots of posts to catch up on when I get home. That is, after retreat, because the Country Quilters Fall Retreat is next weekend... WOOHOOO!!

See you again in blogland after the 5th!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Quilting in Geneva, Switzerland and current project

OK, so I am heading to Switzerland in a week and of course there must be plenty of quilt stops that I HAVE to try to fit in. I am hoping somebody can recommend a nice shop or two I can visit. If you are reading my blog, you probably know that I am not a traditional quilter. I love brights and batiks and do a lot of art quilting. I will be in the downtown business section of Geneva. Of course if there is a shop open on Sunday, then that would be great. Otherwise, ones open after 5pm work best...

I will also be heading back to London, in the Paddington area, so shops there are also welcome.

Other than that, I have just designed a wall hanging for my daughters living room in Miami. What colors she has chosen! I had to go to Home Depot to get paint chips for the colors she wants to use. How about these names: Honeydew, Mexican Chili, Botanical Tint and Mint Majestry... they sound and look yummy.

Gotta go match fabric to paint chip... hope my stash is up to the task :-)

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Quickie...

My niece started her freshman year at Morgan State 2 weeks ago. She asked me to make her something for her room before she went away, but she never told me what colors. Lucky for me, my sister showed me a picture of her room all set up after dropping her off. At least now I knew what color and style. But I figured I had until Thanksgiving before I had to have something done.

Wrong! She showed up at home for the long weekend. So good ole auntie, got busy at her machine yesterday and pulled something together :-). I had an idea simmering for the last two weeks anyway. Hey, I had a new quilting motif I wanted to give a try.... Curly-que flowers. So here was my chance.The piece is 28" x 28" and should hang nicely on any wall in her dorm room. Her comforter is black with bright dots dancing across it. So the circles are a way to represent the dots, but instead I turned them into lolly pop flowers (her last name is Flowers).

I did a lot of quilting in the background. In fact I tried 3 different threads before deciding on this one ---- a Superior bright and two different YLI bright variegates. I ended up with a YLI pastel variegate. I hope it didn't take over, but my niece seems to love the pieces I do that are full of color and heavily quilted.

Notice, I also couched a fuzzy turquoise yarn as an inner boarder edge and instead of a binding. I didn't have the time for a conventional boarder and I thought this would look funky enough for a young college freshman.

I liked the effect of the yarn and she loved it. She said it was her favorite part. Although, this picture is pretty fuzzy, I really like my new motif. The curley-que flower. I will definite use it again.

My sister told me when she dropped her off at the bus-stop to head back to Maryland, that my niece told her, that now her half of the room would look better than her roommates. Glad I could be of assistance :-) !

98% Done....

Well, it is quilted, blocked (no more wonkiness :-)) and bound! My experiment has just three more steps: some crystals in the star centers, a label and maybe some crystals outlinging the center star (which is barely visible in the photos). Unfortunately, I really didn't want this piece to be a square. I thought Octagon or Hexagon... but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't to so without cutting off a ribbon and I wasn't about to do that. So here it is....

The ribbon effect moving around the top was fun to do. I learned not to use tear away stabilizer in these as it is now a permanent part of the quilt. Good thing it is Ricky Tims stabilizer, as it is soft and scrunchy.. you don't feel it inside of the quilt. Next time I will use a hoop and not worry about a stabilizer. I do like the highlighting done on the edge. The pink segment has two shades of pink. The green segments are highlighted in white as I couldn't get a light enough green to show enough of a difference.

I like the purple waves in the center square. I used the width of my open toe embroidery foot to help keep an even distance, but I learned that when free motion quilting on the 830, speed control is key! It was very easy to control the movement at the right speed, since you had plenty of room for the quilt and didn't have to stop and re-adjust constantly. Gotta love that large quilting area :-).

The swirly-ques were easy as I do these all the time, but you will notice I added starburst inside the stars since the last post. When the top was all quilted, I decided they 1) really needed something and 2) they were a little puffy, so they needed something to hold them down.

I liked the fact that I changed the quilting motif with every round of the square in a square. These loops are soo easy to do and provide a great motif for when you need to quilt around other design elements. I used a mix of Madiera, Isacord and Superior threads on this piece. All worked equally well, although I definitely needed to lower the tension setting on the 830.

Now... feathers... sorry the photos aren't very clear....

And here are my freeform feathers. Yes! I think I am finally starting to get in the groove with these. Although they are pretty basic, I was able to turn and twist them to fill in the space as needed. I really felt good making these.

I do think I will practice other type of feathers, but for now am ok with my progress. Oh another thing... if I made this a hexagon or an octagon I would have lost all of these... hmmpphhh... maybe there was a reason why those shapes didn't work.

So now, to add some pizzazz in those stars. Oh, by the way... I have named my experiment. Celestial Enlightenment. This practice piece taught me alot. As I said in an earlier post, funny how when you let yourself just go, what you can come up with :-).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yes, I am smiling...

How many times does something that you thought was ruined or a waste of your time turn out to be so much fun? Well, that is how I feel about my 'experiment'. You know the quilt where I didn't measure twice, cut once, so it is wonky, because two sides of a square are longer than the other two :-).

Anyway, I quilted the pink square (the wonky one) tonight and it went pleasantly well. I feel as if I have found my groove on my 830. I know the right speed, I can hear when I am going to fast or too slow, and my foot doesn't get tired. I quess all that playing and practicing has paid off. Here is a close up of the pink round.

Then looking at the black, I sat wondering what to do. The bobbin play going around the 'sphlat' began to look like the spine of a feather, so I decided that I was going to do feathers in the black. Hey, I have been practicing them quite a bit. Well, I must say, I am pretty pleased with the first go round.

I have gone all around the quilt, with one row of feathers. Now, I have to decide, if I continue adding feathers mirroring the first round, do free form feathers in the remaining black area, or if I echo quilt the first row of feathers, or ???? But as usual, I will go to bed and let the quilt talk to me in my sleep.

Good night all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I knew it would tell me what to do....

Last night I couldn't tell if I had completed my experiment. That is until I tried to go to sleep. But, as soon as I laid my head on my pillow and closed my eyes, I knew exactly what it needed. I knew the top wasn't finished. So today, after entertaining my patient, by playing Dominos for a few hours and prepping Sunday's dinner, I sat down and followed my vision.

Exactly what did I see, when I closed my eyes? Two pink stars floating in a sea of lime green. That's right. I had added lime green stars on the pink background, but there were no pink stars. The first six stars had been made from variegated purple, green and pink thread. Then I added the four green stars, but without the pink it wasn't balanced. As soon as I added the pink stars, it said OK, I am Done! Since I had already picked out my backing fabric the last time I thought the top was finished, it was easy to get it pin basted and ready to be quilted. I decided to pin baste it, instead of my usual spray basting, because I knew it needed the gently easing as I quilted it.Well, here it is with the purple and lime green section quilted.

I am definitely pleased with the way this piece is shaping up. Especially for an experimental piece :-).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fill the Space Freeform Feathers

I haven't quilted in a while. First my studio doesn't have A/C, second work has been crazy and lastly, my son had surgery. So, I have also been playing nurse. But tonight, he wanted to watch the pre-season football game on the big screen TV, so that meant helping him into the basement. So of course, I stayed down and sewed.

First, I played with my experimental piece. I added some small stars in lime green. Again, no applique, just satin stitching to create 'thread applique'. They looked nice and added a real punch. The only problem is the piece hasn't said it is finished yet, so I will hang it up for another day or two and see if it say's it is done. I still haven't figured out how to get the waves out of it, before quilting. I am hoping some of the 'easing' techniques I have read about on the APQS blog will help me out.

Next, I took out a quilt sandwich and played with my free form - fill the space feathers. I watched a video on YouTube this week and it looked sooooo easy, so I thought why not? Well, of course, it wasn't as easy as it looked@!@!@!.I have to practice making the feathers uniform throughout the piece and a little more curvey. The only thing is if it is freeform.... how do you make it uniform? I guess that is why they call it practice!@!@!@!

Well, that is it. Have a good weekend and I will talk to you next week.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

On with the experiment...

So, I did get in a little bit of quilting while home on vacation. Not as much as I had hoped for, but unfortunately, the night we returned from Aruba, my son injured his knee while working with his football trainer. We have had x-ray's and know that there is no broken bones, but the Orthopedic said it is definitely NOT nothing. We are going for a MRI, but at this point, he says it could be anything from a severe sprain to a torn ACL. As you can imagine, we are praying for the former.

Anyway, with the hiccups of life, I did get some quilting in. I added stars to my experimental piece, using a variegated Superior Rainbows thread. I had to play quite a bit with the tension, to keep the bottom thread from showing through (got to go buy some extra bobbins for the 830... I am wasting much too much thread as I move from color to color). I have the tension set to 1, which seems to be my standard, whenever working with the Superior Rainbows thread on the 830. I think I when I quilt this piece, I will quilt stars inside of the thread appliqued stars. We'll see....
Next, I finished adding the highlights to the green ribbon segments. I got impatient and didn't wait until I picked up the light green Madeira. Instead, I just used white. I think it works fine.

Then I decided to figure out how to loosen the bobbin tension on the 830, so I could try Bobbin Play. Hey, this is an experimental piece.. right? Much to my surprise, after actually doing it, it is much easier than I thought it would be... the directions gave me a little scare. First, in the USA, not sure many of us know what a 'lug' is, screw, nut, bolt... yes, but a lug? So it took me a second to figure out what they were talking about. Once I did, I used the universal tool, moved the bobbin lug 2 spaces to the left and away I went.

I am not sure I like the look. It is a Superior Razzle Dazzle. While I like the Razzle Dazzle and the effect, I think this particular color may be too dark for this piece. But I will wait a day or two to decided before ripping it out.

What do you think?

Now remember this piece is wonky, because the pink piece was cut the wrong size. (If you missed the earlier post... I couldn't get the top squared to save my life. After ripping it out more than a couple of times, I realized that the pink piece is actually 1/2" larger than it should be. Of course, since the black was on, I decided to leave it.) The piece was not being made for any particular purpose, so instead, it became a learning or experimental piece. None of the thread play techniques had I done before. When it is finished, I will do a 'lessons learned' post, as I have learned quite a bit on this piece.

I am going to try to block it tomorrow. First to try and get it to behave a little and second to give me some time to think about how I will quilt it. I have been thinking about trying a square feather inside the center square. But who knows..... I know I am thinking about not making this a square piece... if I can at least get it to lay flat, I don't care it is a square, rectangle or ??????

OK... Good Night... it is back to work tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back from Aruba!

Hey everyone... I am back from a week in Aruba. It was wonderful! Didn't manage to do a bit of quilting... something about sand, salt water, pools, chlorine and fabric that doesn't work too well together. Anyway, heading out fishing tomorrow, so hoping to get back to quilting by the weekend.

Now it is time to check out all of your posts from while I was away....... Wonder what everyone's been working on... hmmmmmm ????

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I got a chance to the highlighting on the pink ribbon sections tonight. They are coming out pretty good.

I decided that after doing the scribble (my term) that you need to outline the inner curve again so that it is smooth. But other than that I like the look.
They no longer look flat, it really does give them a feeling of being on their edge. Unfortunately, highlighting the green sections will have to wait until I order some thread, because I don't have any Madeira Rayon that is lighter and the LQS around me don't carry Madeira thread (the one that did closed in March)... ughhh.

That's ok, I will just have to work on another part of this project... like adding some satin stitch designs or something. Will have to get out the sketch pad and doodle on it for a few days :-).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back to my experiement...

Hi... well with the initial learning phase on my 830 behind me, I am back to the piece I was experimenting with as a result of the Super Seminar.... my Libby Lehman thread painting. I am making progress..... I used water soluble thread to transfer the 'splat' from the freezer paper to fabric.

I stabilized the segment first, then outlined it and began filling the segment with little circles.

It is coming along. Tonight I hope to finish the green splats and start on the pink ones. I am using Madeira Rayon's in Hot Pink and Lime Green. I found some Razzle Dazzle in the my draw in just the right colors (purple, pink and green) and I may echo the design using bobbin painting.

I have some purple/silver metallic that I might outline the rectangle with as well... Who knows, it is an idea.... :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You...

I had the ladies over this afternoon for my second annual quilting get together. Well we do more socializing than anything else, but we at least talk about quilting :-). What a wonderful afternoon it was! It is so nice to spend a day with quilting friends, with no outside interruptions... (my son and DH are off playing Paint Ball :-).

But I do want to share with you why I am Thankful. I am Thankful, because Anne, one of my friends who does quite a bit of sewing, looked at my problem with the Superior Rainbow thread on the Bernina 830 and suggested I try one of two things. Either I switch to a single whole plate or I move my needle over two positions to the left. Since the machine was all set up. I moved the needle. And what do you know.... NO MORE SKIPPED STITCHES and NO MORE SPIT UP ON THE BACK WITH THREAD BREAKAGE!!! I am so excited!!! Teri, my friend who teaches machine quilting sat down at my 'Baby' as she puts it, and gave it a spin.... it worked like a charm. Of course, I had to prove it for myself, and it ran smoothly.

So what was the difference... why the needle position? Anne says that sometimes it is just the way the thread comes down and makes contact with the bobbin. She has experienced the same thing on broadcloth, and needed to make the change.

So... time to clean up the kitchen and get to stitching. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Anne...

BTW, now I have to let Bob at Superior Thread and Alex Anderson know that the problem is fixed. Both tried suggestion, after suggestion and none of their ideas worked :-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mother Natures Inspiration

Last Saturday I walked out my front door and stopped... my perennial garden was just coming into mid bloom and I had to take a picture. I was too lazy to go back in the house to find my camera, so I grabbed my cell phone and took some shots. After a week of looking at the photo as my wallpaper on my cell phone it hit me... ah ha....
I had been working on this play piece. Something to play with while I got acquainted with my 830 and the Aurifil thread my friend Alex Veronelli (link for those of you one facebook) sent me last month. (If anyone knows of an Aurifil shop in southern NY... Please let me know.) Anyway... I had been working on this piece, making feathers around the center flower (I am just learning how to make feathers freehand), but couldn't decide what to do as the background quilting, or in the boarders. Well as I gazed at my flowers (all yellow and pink and green) it hit me. The play piece was of a large pink and yellow flower... why not applique daisy's in the boarder squares and use a freeform continuous line leaf pattern for the background.... sort of flowers and leaves and feathers... all from Mother Nature.

And so this week, that is what I did. I ripped out all the original background echo quilting that I wasn't happy with and used the same pink, yellow and orange variegated Aurifil Mako Cotton thread to make the daisy's and the leaves in the boarder. Then I used Sulky cotton in a brown to match the background and did the leaves all around the center flower and feathers I had previously done.While I am still learning what tension settings to use on what thread on the 830, I was happy with my play. I've decided I like the weight of the Aurifl Mako thread for quilting you want to show. Next I need to play with the lighter weight for quilting I want to sink into the top. Anyway, here are some more pics....

This last picture I took this morning, so the color is better. It was just so funny, that Alex had sent me a variegated, yellow and pink thread.... it worked really well with the fabrics I had already pulled together. The boarder fabric is a piece of Ricky Tims hand dyes... I love this particular piece so much I bought 3 yds when at his Super Seminar this past spring. Yummm...

Ok, so not perfect, but a play peice is just that... I learned alot about the stitch speed on the Bernina 830 and tension setting depending on the thread. I guess it is about time I went back to work on all those UFO's I started in the last 6 months. I think I have at least 3 :-)... definitely not my style. I feel guilty... but hey I had to play with my new machine. RIGHT!!!