Archive for November, 2012

Boxer Progress

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Busy, busy with the sewing, this is the best part!

Just to make it more interesting, and also to make it say “Springtime” I added the tulips. The wonderful hand dyes for the tulips and some of the leaves was purchased in Houston this year at Festival from Friestyle Handdyed. Just perfect!

Boxer Background

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

I replaced the piece over the eye for one that was darker to make his eyebrow better and decided it was time to lay in some background. I was looking for something sort of abstract, painterly, but could not find it in my stash. I did find this nice floral that sort of fits the bill. This is a piece of fabric that has been in my stash for about 20 years! I originally bought it back when I was doing traditional quilts with the idea that it would make a nice baby quilt. I think it will do fine here and I am happy to have finally found a place for it!

Boxer Face

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Don’t eat too much–again!

Here is the next photo of the boxer in progress:


I thought this color would be easy but it’s not, really.  I even looked for new fabric in that golden reddish color but what I already have seems best.  Still, it is quite recognizable as Bosco.

Seasonal Palette exhibit at Houston

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

To see a video of the Seasonal Palette exhibit featuring Martha Seilman, executive director of SAQA being interviewed by Luana Rubin, click here.

New Work – Boxer

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

As promised, here is what I am working on now. The original photo was taken of my grandson’s dog when he was a puppy; this is Bosco. This is planned to be my entry for “Celebrate Spring” next year. With Pokey’s announcement that IQA will be featuring pet quilts in the coming years, I have planned several new works from pictures I have on hand, ones that I have had on the back burner as “someday” works.  This may well be the year of the dog!

Seasonal Palette 7

Monday, November 19th, 2012

As usual, I am putting a lot of quilting on the seasonal piece. I think it is looking good and I guess I need to think up a name for it and stop calling it “the seasonal piece!”

I finished the quilting last week; it took so long because it’s big (32 x 78” finished so I’m working at about 35 x 83”) and I was putting in a lot of stitches, but also because I used so many different threads, so was constantly changing colors and burying ends.

I blocked and trimmed it for the binding over the weekend. Trimming was tricky, as it is so long, and the size requirements are precise! Measure twice and cut once didn’t even feel safe. I measured at least four times. I was up in the air about the finishing – facing or binding? I decided on binding a little larger than usual at 3/8”. That was sewed on yesterday and since when I do the binding I always incorporate the sleeve and the documentation tag into the binding seam, I had to commit to a name for the tag. I settled on “December Dawn”. It is short and to the point.

Now all I have left to do is to finish the hand sewing on the back of the binding, the sides and bottom edges of the sleeve and two edges of the documentation tag, sign it, and it will be DONE!


Here you can see the machine stitched signature and a corner folded back to show part of the documentation tag.

Finished March 14, 2012.

Well, have you enjoyed the journey?  Do you want to see what’s next?

Seasonal Palette 6

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Last week (late Nov. 2011) on one of the quilting lists someone posted that she was being sued by a fabric designer for having used that person’s design in a piece that was published in a book. She wouldn’t elaborate or name the designer. Since what I do is all wrapped up in using commercial prints, this was pretty scary! Especially since this piece I am currently working on features so prominently the use of a printed panel cut up and rearranged.

One has to wonder why they would produce quilting fabric and then sue you for using it, but crazier things have happened. I didn’t even want to continue working! I wrote the designer and explained what I was doing and asked for written permission to proceed. It took a couple of days for the answer, during which time I imagined worse case scenarios, like “Now she knows what I’m doing and will be watching and waiting to sue me” But no. Michelle Mara was happy to grant permission. Monday I finished up the last of the seams and the top is finished. I think now it will be set aside since it has an April deadline and I’ll be concentrating on a new piece with a January deadline.  (Harrier Hunting)

Post from Feb. 28, 2012

Time to get back to Seasonal Palette. I’m using Matilda’s Own Wool for the batting and trimming it to a little larger all around than the top. This is the first time I have used wool but I have been hearing good things about it.

I prepared a back using another panel that I found online and purchased because I thought that it would be a good thing to show that I did not just use a printed panel as is, but how the panel looked before I cut it up and rearranged it.

In my stash, I found an old piece of fabric from the late 80’s when I first started quilting, that was the perfect blue to compliment this piece. You can see a bit of the top peeking out there at the bottom as I am trimming to size.

The three layers were pin basted and made ready for the machine quilting. I do free motion machine quilting on my Bernina 1260 with no stitch regulator.

I have spent the better part of three days now quilting on it and have about one third of it finished so I am in good shape to meet the deadline.  Today I will finish the foreground and hopefully get started on the sky.

Seasonal Palette 5

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

I’ve been putting it off, but it is time to finish the integration of the deer into the main piece. Since I altered it by removing some from the bottom and adding some to the top, the seams no longer line up. I have to make some templates to transition between the two areas. This is not easy! You can see the registration marks on the back that help with correct sewing and some proposed seam lines that I have not used. As last minute decisions are made, often seam lines are altered, eliminated or even added!

In order to piece the ear in, I would have had to redo part of the tree, so I decided to appliqué that little bit. I replaced some of the dark fabrics that I had in the foreground that I thought were distracting.

It’s time to actually cut some sky pieces. I need some nice strong color at the tree line to transition the tree line into the sky.

I thought I would like the cloud print fabric that I had ordered,

but I liked the striated batik better.

The past week was spent tweaking the Seasonal piece, changing and adding fabrics. It is still in two pieces but bulky and awkward to work on. I think that I have at least one more change to make and then I will just live with it for awhile and see if anything else demands attention. At this point every change requires that I rip something apart and add in new, sort of like mending, which I hate.

That little place on the left will need to be fixed. The fabric that I was using there was not big enough and I was hoping that it would be in the “waste” area and to be cut away when I trim it to size, but I’m afraid it will be too much.

Last evening, I folded and put away all of the fabrics I was working with and swept up the bits on the floor, the studio will not look too bad for company on Thanksgiving!

Seasonal Palette 4

Friday, November 16th, 2012

The fabric came last week, ( late Oct) I had ordered these sunrise / sunset fabrics for consideration for the sky. I do think they will work. Now I can be more confident in the selection of other fabrics for the scene.

I have chosen some orangey prints to give reflected highlights to the tree trunks. An old batik with both blue and orange will make nice reflections on the pond ice.

The distant tree line is the backside of another batik. It will look more like trees when the quilting is added.

I have integrated several other fabrics into the foreground to further fracture the panel, give added interest and tie into the piecing of the other prints.

Some peachy reflections on the snow have been laid in.

Sewing some seams tightens things up. That brush against snow fabric with the peachy background was a lucky find from my stash. The rusty batik will help the background trees blend into the sky.

Well, there has been a lot going on, it is now mid November, and I have been busy . Some days there is not time to sew at all, and some days time to manage only a few seams.

This week has been better and I have had a few days to really work at it. I am starting to lay in some sky color.

As I work at it, I am constantly tweaking and changing things so I try to avoid sewing all of the seams until I live with the fabric choices for a while but there comes a time when, just to get things in perspective, you just have to sew some seams! Inevitably then you have to UN sew some seams as choices made at the bottom affect choices made at the top and vice-versa. The long narrow layout (32 x 78”) of this piece presents it’s own challenges! Luckily the deadline is April, so I can take my time and enjoy the process.

Seasonal Palette 3

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The first step was to figure out how to place seam lines that would integrate the deer into the whole. I did this by tracing the print to freezer paper and aligning it with the full sized freezer paper pattern on the wall. Then I could plot out the seam lines to be able to cut and sew it to fit into the scene. I wanted to fracture the panel and make some changes in the placement of the deer.

Luckily, the freezer paper allowed enough of the print to show through so that I could trace the basic outline of the deer!

I started the piecing with the bottom of the tree area, so that I would have a base on which to add the deer.

It has not been without drama though. After several day’s work, I was not happy with some aspects. I decided that the tree needed to be lower, more behind the deer allowing me to add more branches to the top of the tree to balance the composition.

I reworked parts and now I have the problem of fitting already pieced elements into a revised whole, but it will work out, I’m sure. I ordered more fabric from two different sources, as I found some sky and some coordinating foreground prints that might work in. The first arrived yesterday and the second is due any day now. It’s a little difficult to plan without the fabric here so I am working on the parts where I feel safe, knowing I may have to tweak later. This has enough challenges to keep it interesting for me!

To be continued……….