Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Update on Visions of Paisley

I can finally say I am on the home stretch!  Visions of Paisley is all quilted and I have added a double piping.  This was my first time doing a double piping, so I had to do my research first.  I took out my Ricky Tims Grand Finale DVD, to review his method, then of course I went to Susan Cleaveland's YouTube page, because I use her Piping Hot Tool, so I wanted to see if she had any hints and techniques I could learn from.  I ended up watching a few other videos, before I jumped in.

I used my Bernina #32 Pintucking foot, because the grooves were a perfect size for my piping to slide through and it made it easy to keep the stitching tight.  I did use Ricky's technique of creating the piping with water soluble thread, so that if some of the stitching peaked out, I could just spritz it with some water.  Luckily for me, I don't see any yet :-).   I am pleased with the way it turned out.  Even with the binding sewn on the front, it is still nice and tight.

As always my pics taken in the studio are with my Blackberry phone, so the shot is a little fuzzy, but I hope you can see how tight the piping is.  I was worried, as I used the same Dupioni silk as the applique in the center of the quilt and you know Dupioni has those nubs on it, so I wasn't sure it it would behave.  But I think it did :-)

Once I got the binding on, (no it isn't stitched down in the back yet), I was anxious to get some of the swarovski cyrstals on.  I lost track of time, it was addictive, I just wanted to see the next shape outlined and the next.  In this picture I have about 600 crystals down and I still have quite a bit to go.

The problem???  If you look at the swirl of the large paisley shape.  it is a deep purple (although you probably can't tell that from this picture..  Blackberry...ugh), but I accidentally used the Cobalt Blue crystals vs the Purple Violet ones, so that means the next step is heating them each back up and taking all 50+ crystals off one at a time.  Sort of like un-sewing....  takes about 3x the time it took to get it on.  Oh well, it is what it is.

I am traveling on business now, so it will have to wait until I return, from Costa Rica.  Oh yeah, I know why they call it a rain forest!!

Until next time :-),

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I got pictures this time!

So I finally made it to NYC to the Art Quilt Gallery to see the Kimono Inspirations exhibit.  You have heard me talk about the exhibit and the kimonos that we made, so I won't go on and on.  But I had promised pics that I never got, so here they are....

Hope you enjoy the look see:

The gallery hung them all as designed, draped over a pole, except one.  I thought it gave it a really interesting perspective.  It really does look like a kimono :-)

 It's position really allowed me to get up close to take close up pictures....

They did display a few of them on the stands as originally designed.  This is how they were exhibited at the original show in Somers.

Of course, I had to take a pic of me with my kimono, Pathways, hanging in the gallery...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More press for the Kimono Inspirations exhibit by FANE at Art Quilt Gallery, NYC

My fibert art group, FiberArt NorthEast, had a challenge to create pieces of work inspired by Kimonos.  The only rules was size 19"x50" for the body and (2) 19"x22" for the sleeves.  By design the Kimonos were to hang over poles, so they would be two sided.  The original exhibit ran at a local quilt show in May, where it had it's own room and the Kimonos floated, scattered around the room.  It was really breathtaking.  You can see my original post here. It was really interesting to see how everyone interpreted the theme.  Some like mine are quilted pieces, some are done in silk, others use all types of fiber, including paper, some are hand and iced dyed, and on and on.  Not one is alike in concept or end result!

The great thing about it, is that two galleries expressed interest and as a result all 25 Kimonos are hanging for the month of August in NYC, at The Art Quilt Gallery on 25th St.  This exhibit has received a bit of press and has now been invited to be part of an exhibit in Germany, next year!

It was featured in the Chelsea News earlier in the month and the latest news source to pick it up is the Examiner.

This is all so exciting!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Paisley project progress....

Say, that three times fast :-)....  Well dispute all the time this takes, I am thinking it is moving pretty quickly!

I got my 2 Magnifico threads by Superior in the mail on Monday (white and a purple velvet) and later that night jumped right into my micro-stippling of the background on my paisley project. If you remember, my hope was to 'raise' the paisley designs up, by stitching closely all around them...almost like trapunto.

Well after 5 1/2 hours of stippling and one hour of frogging, last night I finished the white background. I love the effect, but can't understand why no matter what size needle I used, the stitch holes seem to stay.  Guess I will have to wet it when I block the piece and try to get rid of the stitching holes.  

Tonight, I sat down to work on the background for the purple Radiance fabric.  The effect here is just as I had hoped.  Truly loving the paisley design that now pops!

I got one corner done in about 3 1/2 hours....  3 more corners to micro-stipple, hopefully each done in one sitting :-). 

I can't wait until the stippling is done, so I can move on to the next step on this piece.  It is definitely singing to me :-)....WooHoo!!

Night all,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pelham Quilters Round Robin 2013 - Here is Cheryl's piece

So in June we brought in our completed round robins for the year to guild meeting.  You can see some of the progress on this years top here.  This is the top after I added my round...

I can't seem to find my picture of it with the last round on it, but you will see it in the picture of the quilted piece. This top was worked on by Cheryl, Donna, myself and Doris, in that order, all from the Pelham Quilters.

Since Cheryl has been ill, I decided to take hers home and quilt it for her.  I hope she likes it...

I tried a new quilting design, which I saw at the Kutztown Folk Festival and Quilt Show.  The quilt was amazing and the swirling design was an all over pattern on that piece, but I used in only in the white sections here.

 I also added some red Swarovski hot fix crystals from Cheri's Cyrstals over the points, to bring out more of the red.  Red is Cheryl's favorite color :-).

The rest of the piece is quilted with designs that just seemed to fit...  a meander in the mosaic, since it wouldn't be noticeable anyway: waves in the white points, swirls in the red points, half feathers in the light blue batik and an outline of the flowers in the darker blue outer border.

I used Aurifil 50 wt cotton in white and 2 different blues for the entire quilt.  Besides being practically lint free, it is nice and fine so it gave the quilt the right amount of texture, without trying to steel the show from the quilt itself :-).

All in all, I think it came out pretty good. 

Cheryl is now doing some light sewing, so I left the binding to be done by her. 

Now I hope she likes it :-).


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

El Coqui!

In Puerto Rico there is a small frog with a huge sound.  Found only in PR, the coqui, mates by finding another coqui with the perfect pitch.  The male goes 'co' and the female responds 'qui', but it sounds like one frog making one contiguous sound

My husband has a cousin, who along with his wife live in Trujillo Alto, PR.  Their backyard, or outdoor living space is a wonderful, live in garden, that is a natural continuation of their indoor entertaining space.  At night you can hear what seems like millions of coqui's chatting away in the garden.  They sound almost musical.

Well this cousin and his wife are wonderful hosts.  Whenever we are in PR, they take such good care of us, that I wanted to bring them something special when we went down last month.  Last year as I worked on my Jungle Paradise quilt featuring the parrott I would frequently post progress on Facebook and she fell in love with the quilt.  While they were in NY for the Thanksgiving holiday, she saw it in person and she made my heart sing with her praise of my work.  So, I decided to make them a nature scene featuring the coqui.  I thread painted a coqui and created a natural garden scene incorporating some of the plants from her garden that I had taken pictures of on our last visit, along with some other nature inspired greens.  I printed the plants on fabric and along with the coqui, I appliqued them into the garden scene.

I added butterflies in both an applique and 3D effect, as well as ladybugs.

As always, all of my quilting is done free motion and I used a wide variety of threads...  Aurifil 50 wt Cotton; Superior SewFine! and Nature Colors; Metler Twists (to be honest I have used this thread in yrs, but I only needed a little) and some Sulky.  As I have mentioned before, I have 2 favorite brands of thread.....Aurifil for the perfect lint free cotton and Superior for their non-cotton specialty threads,...... but sometimes, you need to pull out something that is hidden in your stash, for either the right color or the right texture.  It is called finding the right tool for the job :-).

This was the first time I tried doing circles in an inner border, where they all had to be the same size.  Remember, I don't mark my quilt tops.  I love the end result, but I must say, it took a while to get the swing of it :-).  There was a lot of 'frogging' going on in that border...  LOL!

This is the end result.

As you can see it looks like she loved it!  And, she immediately recognized the plants from her garden on the bottom right and left hand corners of the wallhanging.  She has told me it will hang over her TV in the family room, so she will look at it everyday!

Here's to family and El Coqui!


Monday, August 5, 2013

You really have to be ready, even when you know it in your heart.

As per my last post, I really enjoyed spending some time at Quilt Odyssey Hershey 2013 last weekend.  The quilts were inspiring individually, but collectively, they reinforced something I had already known....  I have to step up my game.  Create more complex quilts, improve my accuracy, step up the type of quilting designs I undertake and focus on every single detail, from design to finishing techniques.

Funny thing the week before the show I pulled out a UFO, that had sat for a couple of years.  You can see an image of it here from my initial stages.  While on vacation in July I had a vision of the next step, something that had left me blank for quite some time.  So I had pulled it out and completed the top, and began planning the quilting.  I had even decided to mark the entire quilt top first, something as per my earlier posts I have never even thought of before.  I have never marked a thing!  But I had already made the decision that this piece needed to go to the next step.  I held out, but believe me, by the time I was 1/4 of the way through I was itching to start stitching :-)

I brought a backing while in Hershey, and so with the inspiration of all the gorgeous quilts in Quilt Odyssey, I completed the first phase of the quilting.  I have since added even more plans for this piece.  Funny, this is a paisley design and one of the inspirational quilts was also paisley by Lorilynn King.  (You can see it in my post from the show.)  It is amazing, but Lorilynn's piece is in another dimension.  I am not quite there yet. :-)

So I am now focused on using exactly the right thread to punch back the fabric around the paisley quilted designs, so that they will come forward in a semi/faux trapunto feeling.  I have quite a pit of purples in my stash, but only one is the right color, but it doesn't have the sheen needed for my vision.  You see the purple fabric is Radiance, a silk/cotton, blend and it has a fairly significant sheen.  Using just any thread, would dampen the allure of the Radiance fabric.  Even the white background area needs to shine, so I have ordered some Superior Magnifico, that should come in shortly.

In the meantime, I added some detail to my paisley applique components...  it gave me another opportunity to raise the level of the piece a little.

 So, I will keep you posted on my progress.  For now, I am liking where this is going, but it has at least two more steps to it before I can think of finishing :-).

Have you challenged yourself lately?  It really feels good, give it a try!

P.S....  forgive the quality of the pictures, they were taken on my blackberry vs on my camera :-(


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Markings anyone?

So I have been working on a UFO this week. It is a mixture of cotton, Radiance ( a cotton and silk blend) and Dupioni silk. While on vacation I had a vision of it all finished.

The only problem, to make the vision a reality, I have to mark the quilt top and plan out my quilting. This is new for me. First I never mark anything and second, it will have tons of starts and stops. 

Also, since before sending my machine back to Bernina for service a couple of times, I couldn't use Rainbows thread by Superior in the 830, without constant breaking.  So I decided to do a test today. 

Here is my sample.....

I am loving the Rainbow thread on the Radiance fabric. I had no breakage, no tension issues.... Nada...just turned it on, threaded it and off I went!

One hitch, now I have to mark the whole top, 6" at a time. Good thing it is only 30" x 30" :-). 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Quilt Odyssey 2013, Hershey, Pa

I went to Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA this weekend.  My quilt, In the Spotlight, was juried in. :-)

Had a wonderful time and ran into good friend, Teri Lucas, and my FB friend McLisa Tangerine Starfish Snipes.  I love Lisa's work, but have never met her in person.  She is a fantastic quilter.  If you have never seen her work, check her out.

Both my husband and I were wowed by the special exhibit of Sharon Schamber's quilts.  Sharon is a Master Quilter.  I have heard her speak before at Empire Quilters, but this was the first time that she has shown a collection of her work, actually hanging together.  If you haven't had the pleasure of checking out her work, take a look here

Once moving into the actual show, it was a feast for the eyes.  Although, I forgot that it was as small as it was.  Don't know why I thought there were more quilts in previous years, maybe because there were so many large quilts this year.  Once again, my commentary that the vendor room was almost twice as large as the quilts and had better lighting :-(.  I go to these shows to see the quilts, I try to only buy things that I can't get at my LQS's, like Superior and Aurifil threads in large cones/spools.  I prefer to shop at LQS's to help support the LQS, who are getting undercut by the large stores and will one day be forced out of business.  Anyway...  I did enjoy the show.  Just wish there were more quilts.

Here are some of the quilts that caught my fancy...

Lorilynn King's A Pocket Full of Paisley's, which won First Place in Wall Quilt Category.  This piece really wowed me, especially since I am making a paisley quilt now myself.  She digitized all the paisley's on her embroidery machine and then appliqued them on top of the pieced/quilted background.

Mary Kay Price's All that Jazz.....

Missed grabbing the quilt maker's name on this piece that took Best Pictorial Quilt..

Melissa Sobotka's Chihuly's Gondola...  The colors are stunning!

Barbara Persing's Magnolia....  the color's here are muted. but so striking.  The magnolia and brown background are painted/shaded on white fabric and then the various commercial prints are pieced.  Since I have been thinking about playing with paints, this piece really spoke to me as it has a great balance.

I was so enthralled with this Mallard, that I don't know how I missed taking a shot of the signage, missing the quilters name and the name of the piece.  My sincere apologies, but it is stunning!  Her threadwork to highlight the head, using a thread with just enough sheen to make it catch the light is amazing!  I also love the way she quilted the water.  It really looks like the ripples are moving as you look at it.

My girlfriend, Donna Chambers, also had a quilt juried in...  Mermaid Mariah & Her Circle of Souls.  This piece gives homage to the African-American folk legend that a black mermaid traveled along side of the slave ships.  Her job was to save the souls of the dead slaves thrown over board in the middle passage during the slave trade period. She is said to have plenty of hair, which Donna shows flowing wildly as she cleanses herself in the bathtub.  The souls that she has saved are always on her mind and are represented in a circle surrounding her.

(If you follow my blog, you would have seen Donna's piece in previous posts about the African American Mermaid gallery exhibit in Charleston, South Carolina that Donna and I both had pieces in.)

Mary Jo Tatum's Noel....

Nancy S Brown's Penguins 

Lisa Calle's Red Velvet

The quilting in this piece is amazing as well!

Bethany Nemesh's The Shell Collector, is done all in Dupioni Silk (I love dupioni :-)) 

Sunset on Cayuga was pieced by Cathy Rice Messenger and quilted by Mandy Hares Applebee of Yellow House Quilts.  My shot of the full quilt was too blurry.  But here is a close up....

The amount of detail quilting in this piece is mind boggling.  You really need to check out Yellow House Quilts on Facebook to get a better feel of the amount of work that went into this piece!  Just look for an album called Sunset on Cayuga.

Another quilt that I a) didn't catch the name or the quilter's name (sorry) and b) the picture of the quilt is too blurry.  But here is a close-up.  I just love, love, love the quilting!

 Hope you enjoyed the virtual show.  As you can see I am really drawn the art quilts and detailed quilting, so I apologize to those fantastic quilters who had work in the show and are not pictured here.