Monday, February 28, 2011

Mosaics with Fabric Tiles

I've always loved mosaics, probably because they are sort like puzzles and you put them together with lots of tiny pieces. Don't know why I like working with tiny pieces, but I do!

Having finished my first goal of 2011 with the completion of the 5 traditional quilts for our inn guest rooms, I now have some time to get back to some art quilting!

As often happens when you are in that "in-between-projects" state, I'd walk into my studio with my mind spinning with hundreds of ideas, but not sure which one to start with, and would instead immediately consider some sort of procrastination project like cleaning or organizing my studio. Yikes!

So the best thing to do to avoid something as horrid as organizing my studio, is to jump right in with a small project that can be started right away and is quickly finished for that satisfying feeling of getting something done.

I decided to do a mosaic pear.


The pieces are about half an inch and are backed with Misty Fuse. I have used Steam-a-Seam II for the mosaics I've previous made, but as I had none handy, I reached for what was handy - the Misty Fuse. It was quite nice to use. After selecting the fabric I was going to use, I cut small sections, about 6" x 6", of each and fused the MF to the backs. I could then cut a batch of fabric tiles from these pieces as needed.

All the tiles are stitched/quilted with varigated rayon thread from Mettler or Sulky.

While finishing it, I was thinking that I'd have to find another image to work with for my next piece, but already I can see different ways of working with the same image - playing with different colors, different angles, different backgrounds.

I created this piece specifically to fit the frame. I have a couple boxes of these frames leftover from when I sold my work at art and craft festivals in California.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One More for Tradition

I've reached my goal of 5 new traditional quilts for our inn guest rooms! The final one is a Full sized quilt and it is a scrappy Ohio Star pattern.


The quilts still need to be quilted but, since I'm not doing that part, I can now get on to other projects! I have a full month before the workshop season begins and I plan to take advantage of every available minute that I can get in my studio.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Happy Accident

As I often discover in the midst of working with designs for quilts or art quilts, an accident, mistake, or total disaster can be turned into something that is just as good or even better than what you had in mind in the first place!

When I was creating the design layout for the quilt I posted the other day, I accidently clicked the wrong button in EQ7 (Electric Quilt) and every other row of the blocks shifted one column to the left. After I exclaimed in dismay at my mistake, I took a second look and said "Hmmmmm. Nice." So I saved that design for later before I went back to recreating the first design.

But that wasn't the only oops that resulted in my next quilt. While cutting out the white blocks, I forgot to account for the seam allowance in my measurement, and of course, I didn't think of this until I had already cut out all of the white blocks! So now I had this stack of blocks that were half an inch to short.

So when I returned to my accidental design, I just decreased the height of one of the strips of fabric that made up the colored blocks by half an inch. To then make it appear that this was my intention all along, instead of having purely a gradation of blues in the block, I decided to use at least one blue fabric with some yellow in it and then the smaller strip piece would be a yellow fabric.


This is another queen size quilt destined for a bed in one of our inn guest rooms.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Beauty of Simplicity

Last year while browsing through some quilt magazine I saw an ad for a book about "modern" quilts. On the cover it featured a quilt with a simple design of stripes composed of gradient colors of blue interspersed with stripes of white. First of all, blue is my favorite color, so that is what caught my eye in the first place, but I was further entranced with the elegant simplicity of the design and the knock-out contrast that the white fabric provided for the blues.

So being the normal red-blooded quilter, I said "wow, I've got to make one of those."

I used EQ7 to create the block (a narrow 12" x 3" block made of of six 2" x 3" pieces of fabric) and then design the layout and size.

The blue blocks were all strip-pieced (2.5" x 40" strips sewn together and then cut into the blocks).

Here is the resulting Queen size quilt.


This picture really doesn't it do it justice because of the lighting and the angle, but I'll get a better picture when it is totally quilted and finished.

But I loved the result so much, I immediately continued the process and made a matching Twin size quilt. (We have 5 guest rooms at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn that have 2 beds - a Queen and a Twin, so this will be a good set for one of these rooms.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pinwheel King Quilt

It's been a while since I've blogged, but I've been busy doing blog-worthly work so that I'd have something to blog about!

I finished the top for the second King Quilt. It is a scrappy pinwheel pattern. Using white fabrics for contrast really made those bright fabrics "pop."


This will go off to be quilted by Eileen Keane on Monday and she'll be bringing back the first King Quilt ready for binding and putting on a guest room bed at our inn, Greenville Arms 1889 Inn.

It has been a snowy winter with some impressive icicles forming on buildings all around town. Here is a shot of the ones outside my studio window.


They were quite beautiful when the sun shone through them.

In between quilts, of course, I'm knitting. Here are my latest pair of socks. These are the first lace patterned socks that I've made. They are knit in Summer Sox by Classic Elite - 100% cotton.