Archive for January, 2010


Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Pretty good progress so far. I try not to sew too much together til I’m pretty sure it’s right, so things will look better when the seams are sewn and the piece is tightened up. Some of those fabrics could still be changed. I don’t worry about changing things, the pieces are small and the waste is negligible. The majority of the time is taken up with fabric selection and cutting.

I got side-tracked yesterday and spent too much time working on a jigsaw puzzle, but hey- it is the weekend!

Catching Up

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

I spent the morning catching up on-line and went to town in the afternoon, so yesterday I didn’t have much time to sew and made very little progress. Just this little bit of shoulder.

The gray/black shadows still seem harsh for a soft baby. I think I will probably change those to something blue-er.

Gwynette, I’m so glad you beat the storm! TV pictures make it look bad. I hope your husband doesn’t loose power. We only got flurries here yesterday, but it is super cold and great weather to stay inside and sew!

Sewing, Finally!

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Prep work finished, it’s finally time for the fun part! I think I’ll start with the kid in the center. I’ve pulled fabrics that I think will work for the kids and some of the surroundings. I found a neat brown for the eyes that already have some built in “sparkle”.

I’m not really liking the black/gray deep shadows on the kid but will leave it for now and see if it works better as more color gets added.

This foliage is too dark.

This may be too bright.

I like this one better, at least for now.

I make lots of changes as I go so try not to sew too much together until I’m pretty sure it’s OK. But still, I will un-sew if I need to! A little color is starting to bring it to life.

The neatly folded fabric that I started with didn’t stay that way for long!!

More Prep

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

After the lines are all traced each one needs to be marked. I like for the tic marks and seam intersection x’s to all be in a different color for each seam line. This helps enormously when it comes to sewing it all together! The highlighter lines define the edges of sections.

Disaster in the water garden pond! The water level dropped drastically and the pump was sucking air! Thank goodness we noticed in time to save it. And double thanks that the weather was decent yesterday, actually very good for January in the mid 40’s. But still cold to be messing around with rocks and water. And ice. Removing large rocks revealed that mice or something had chewed big holes in the rubber liner! We had to use a hair dryer to unfreeze enough to get the bottom rocks loose and free up the liner enough to pull it up over some cement blocks for a temporary fix. This caused the holes to be above the level required to run the pump so we were able to refill the pond to that level and save the fish. Traps are set for the mice or whatever, and we hope that everything holds til spring!!

The snowdrops are up!


Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

When the tracing is done, I use the printer setting of¬† “fill the page” to make a copy because I like to work in the 8.5 x 11 size. At this point, I adjust seam lines if needed with the understanding that more changes can and will be made during the sewing process. I may want to further divide sections or even eliminate some of the seams, depending on the fabrics chosen. I have some fabrics already in mind but final selections can not be made until I have the full size pattern and scale of the piece.

The printout is such a jumble of lines at this point that I sometimes use colored pencils to help sort things out.

A clear overhead projection sheet is taped in place over the printout and all of the lines are traced for the projection transparency. I use a fine marker for this as the projection will make them bigger.

I need to decide the size desired for the finished work and prepare the newsprint or freezer paper to project to. This time I’m skipping the newsprint and going straight to using freezer paper which is pinned up on the design wall paper side out. The prepared transparency is reversed and taped in place on the projector and adjusted to fill the paper. I want this piece to finish at about 40″ so I prepared my paper to be 43″ wide. The length of the piece will be whatever it turns out to be after the tracing is finished. the extra 3″ are for the shrinkage caused by the machine quilting later.

It took over an hour to trace all of the lines. Even with a step stool my arms are killing me!

Preparing The Pattern

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The first step after choosing the image is preparing the working pattern which will eventually be on freezer paper. I use a very transparent tracing paper available from an art supply store layered over the photo – in this case, the printout of the photo, and determine where the seam lines will go. My last piece “Spring Burning” was done with curved seams, but this time I have decided that I will use only straight seams.

I can see already that this will need some tweaking. The seams have to divide obvious images, colors, etc, but they also have to be in “sewable” sections, so I will do some revising as I know it can be made easier to sew. Good prep takes time, but it is worth it!

New Project

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I’ve been very busy tying up loose ends and dealing with the paperwork end of things. The books are caught up and the sales tax deadline met. I got my entry off in time for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. Actually so far I have made five entries for this year already!

So now I am ready to start the next project and I think that I will try to document it’s progress through daily step by step reports on this blog! Well that’s the plan anyway, we’ll see if I can actually keep up!

This new project is is for the Topeka Art Guild, for an exhibit called “Inspirations” in the fall. The concept is that the artists will pair up with a member who is a photographer and make an artwork inspired by a photograph. The photograph and the artwork will hang together in the exhibit. My photographer is Tammy Patterson and the photograph is of three Mountain Goat kids that she took in Colorado last year. Tammy has some wonderful animal photos that really appealed to me and made choosing hard! Of course her work is copyrighted so she signed a release for me so that I can legally use her work and show/sell the resulting piece.

Tammy calls this “Three’s Company”.¬† I’m leaning towards “Colorado Kids”. This photo is of the computer printout of Tammy’s photo, so being that it is several times removed from the original I think it is pretty good and gives you an idea of where I am going. I’m excited! More tomorrow!

Beauties Of Snow

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The last few days have been warmer and very overcast and foggy so a lot of the snow has melted, but not all. This picture was taken when it was still crisp and cold, the powdery snow was filled with diamond sparkles. The early morning light gives the snow a pinkish hue and casts wonderful long blue shadows.

In a few short months there will be green leaves and flowers where now it appears lifeless; hard to imagine that right now, but the catalogs are coming to tempt me with glossy promises. For the perennials already planted, this snow will offer protection from the killing cold and winds as well as nurturing moisture as it melts.

BooK- 500 Art Quilts

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

It’s been so long since I submitted to this book, that I forgot what I sent them, but my complimentary copy arrived yesterday and I am blown away by the quality of this book published by Lark Books.

There are over 400 pages with every sort of art quilt presented by many well known or emerging artists, juried by Karey Bresenhan. I was fortunate enough to have two of my quilts included!

The glossy pages are not the greatest for photographing, but you can also see my images on the website gallery of large quilts, where you can also read their stories. Click on Gallery on the left of your screen.

Watermelon Wine, 2006, 69.25 x 55″ page 231
This image is a little dark, but that is my fault as it was sent before I had my monitor calibrated.

Bittersweet Memories,2005, 62.5 x 49.5″ page 335
It’s neat how they coordinated the facing pages to compliment each other.


Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

We both enjoyed yesterday’s movie – “It’s Complicated”, with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Refreshing to see Martin in a non-comedic role. It was nice to just get out and away from it all for a bit — now it’s back to work!