Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Red Fan #1

I have had a big bag of new silk tie scraps from Robert Talbot for several years. After seeing a beautiful fan quilt on CQMagOnline, I was inspired to start one. I adapted Allie Aller's Curved Appliqué pattern from her Craftsy class to make the fan blades a bit longer.

I have so much of this silk that this project will hardly put a dent in my stash!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

French Quilt Block #5 - Avril Girl

I have been reading  a lot about block construction, notably on Gerry's Block Talk.  She says to construct the blocks and do all lace and ribbon afterward. 

I have been debating about whether to include my silkies as a block piece or as an add-on after and I see that both ways are done.  Sharon B's block #28 accommodated this image pretty well, as I only has to slightly lengthen pieces 1 and 2. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

French Quilt - Block #4 - Pavé Sigaut

I wanted to do all curved blocks but I broke down and used this pattern with mostly straight. seams. 

This is my first time using silkies and I am still trying to figure out the best way to do it. I have been using the silkie as piece one and appliquéing over it.  Allie  suggested piecing the block normally and then appliquéing the silkie on top and covering the edges with trim or  ribbon. I will try that next!

French Quilt Block #3 - Lady in Corset

This is the first curved CQ pattern I designed myself.  I love the image, but I am not totally in love with the appliquéd pieces.  It was challenging to draft it so that each piece went on over the previous one, thus ensuring a seam only on one side.  Back to the drawing board!!   I will definitely use this one, however.

French Quilt Block #2 - Upholstery Girl

Friday, December 26, 2014

French Quilt Block # 1 - Eiffel Tower

For this project I decided to do a French themed quilt with vintage "silkies" in the center of each block. 

All the blocks will be curved, using the freezer paper method I learned from Allie Aller. I will use three or four different patterns for the blocks, two from Allie and so far one that I designed myself. I found it challenging to design curved blocks to accommodate the usually rectangular or square silkies,  but I'm getting there. 

I've printed out 16 images, using TAP Artist Paper, but I'll be making the blocks one at a time so I'll have time to pick and choose which silkies to use for each. block. The inaugural block is, of course, the Eiffel Tower!!

Here is the first naked block, appliquéd in a fine zigzag with invisible thread. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Benson's memorial quilt is finished!

Benson's memorial quilt is now finished and hanging on our living room wall. When the sun decides to come out I will take some better pictures of it. I really enjoyed making this wall hanging; it has helped me get through the grieving process. Rest in peace, faithful friend.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Progress on Benson's Memorial Quilt

The top is now completed. I added some alphabet beads that come from a keychain Cherie  made me with Benson's name on it and some dog bone beads that she also made. This is in lieu of embroidering his name on the quilt. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

More Progress on Benson's Memorial Quilt

I finally printed an image I liked, using TAP Transfer paper, and have embroidered it to the background, instead of using trim.   I am much happier with it this way.

In the photo below, Benson's image is appliqued to the background using a narrow zigzag stitch and invisible thread.  There is a layer of batting behind the image.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

More Progress on Benson's Memorial Quilt

The top is almost done.  Tonight I will be working on getting his photo in place, and some more embroidery, or some trim,  to frame the photo.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Progress on Benson's Memorial Quilt

I have finished the embroidery on the two side borders, and the first pass on the top and bottom borders.  Here are the side borders:

TAST Week #140 - Threaded Cable Chain Stitch

This was harder than it looked!   I really like the cable stitch, but for the threaded part I had to keep adjusting each loop. 

I redid the threaded part, with a thicker thread, that I only had in white.  It looks a little better but still needs lots of practice. Maybe my cable stitches are too big for the size of the weaving thread used?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Completed CQ Basic Class Block

I have finished Kathy's Shaw's Basic Crazy Quilt class project, and look forward to her upcoming classes.  I learned a lot and got to push the boundaries of my comfort zone.

Following Kathy's instructions, I triple reinforced the stitching on all the beads I had previously sewn on and I added some silver beads to seam #7 with the Cretan and straight stitches near the center of the block. These beads ain't goin' nowhere! 

I added a silk ribbon dragonfly in the center as well as some dyed and beaded lace butterflies. The dragonfly was made with pale pink and white ribbon, as that's all I had, and then color was added with permanent markers. The wings are ribbon stitches, and the body and head are various sizes of French knots. My husband pointed out that my dragonfly is a little crooked, and he is.  That's what I get for stitching until midnight.  I followed one of Kate's wonderful tutorials over at for the dragonfly over at Crafty Attic

I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and am grateful to Kathy for all the knowledge she freely passes on!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Progress on Kathy Shaw's CQ Basic Class

I have added the ribbon irises and roses. 

Take a Stitch Tuesday - #138 Barbed Stitch

I added some curves and French knots.  This will be really fun on a CQ seam!  Thank you, Sharon. 

Here I have used it on Benson's Memorial quilt. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Benson's Quilt : Trapunto, "Aussie Fur" Inner Border, Auditioning Trims

This evening I cut out the image of Benson in a circle (thank you fancy dessert plate) and then backed it with knit fusible, a layer of batting cut a little smaller than the smaller and affixed it with spray adhesive, then another circle of knit fusible.  

I pinned a square of batting to the back of the background square, set up my machine for free motion, and outlined the leaves in brown polyester machine embroidery thread.  Then I carefully cut the batting away, on the outside of the shape.

I ironed and starched my "Aussie fur fabric", sewed the three sheets together lengthwise and then cut them in long strips.  I pieced the strips together and turned under the long edges.  I applied this around the perimeter of the background square, thus hiding the border of blue flowers, which I found distracting.  I made false miters at the corners by turning down the corners at 45 degree angles and holding them in place with fabric glue.  I pinned all of this in place.

Using clear thread (my new best friend!!)  I appliquéd my Fur Border.  It lays very flat and was pretty easy to do.

I then placed Benson's image on the background square to audition trims.  I plan to appliqué Benson in place raw edge, with a zig zag in clear thread, but I want to audition some trims to hide the raw edges.  I tried four trims, and like two of them.

Here we are, pinned and glued.

Here is the back of the background square with the batting trimmed away.

Below is my fake mitered corner.

Close up of free motion stitching around motifs to make them puff out a bit.

Fur border appliquéd on.  Benson is just sitting there for show.

The trim below might work if I dyed it with coffee.  Strong coffee.  

Below is my first pick for trim.  My only concern is how to connect the ends.

This one seems too bulky and ordinary.

 Below is my second pick for trim.

Benson's Quilt - Fur Photo Printed on Fabric!

I am happy with my quilt so far.  The four borders are pieced, although there is at least one area (near the top right) where I may add an additional piece (see third photo).

I feel that the frame print in the center has too much blue, so here is what I did.  I took a number of photo's of Lily's fur (same color as Benson's fur was) and arranged them on my photo software to print all 12 photos with no spaces in between. Then I printed it on white fabric using the freezer paper method.

The next step is to cut the fabric into strips and piece it together. Or maybe sew the three sheets together and then cut into strips.  Whatever is easiest.  

 I will then turn under the long edges and appliqué it over the square flowered border on the frame print.

This photo shows a mock up with the fur photos printed onto paper and temporarily glued to the frame.   Benson is still in the hoop, but I have printed a larger and more saturated image to use on the real project.  

This is one of my fur fabric sheets, printed onto fabric using freezer paper.  I used the same sheet of FP three times and it kept working!

Wow!  Printing one's own fabric has endless possibilities...  More will be revealed. 

Here is the finished pieced border.  I think I want to assemble the quilt before starting the embroidery.  I hope it won't be too unwieldy.  

I want to do two steps of trapunto: one behind the photo of Benson, and one on the back of the two sets of  "leaves" framing his photo.