Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wendy's Jacket in Progress

Working with black and white fabrics is something new for me. I love the contrast of these fabrics in combination with the pattern design. This Morninglory Town & Country jacket still intrigues me, and I love the process of making it.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Cultural Mix

The colors of India are so vivid and still running through my mind. I've been thinking a lot about colors and design. And my scrap stash is overflowing. One scrap quilt that I loved and gave away was a log cabin design. So I'm putting the colors in India into a Log Cabin quilt.
Log Cabin designs are time-consuming. This one will have 48 blocks, and each block has 13 pieces. But there is such a terrific payoff. A traditional log cabin has a red center (symbolic of the hearth/heart/fire of a house). However the center of these blocks will be gold. These gold centers will be surrounded by scraps from three color families - red/oranges, purple/indigos, and green/blues. The back of the quilt is going to be a piece of hand-stamped fabric that I bought in Jaipur - it's 86" by 108".

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Organizational Demonstration

As evidenced by some of the blog entries in March, I have really been enjoying working on quilted jackets. My sister-in-law Terry - she of the Quilting Injury Hall of Fame - bought the fabrics to begin her jacket. As a way to get started, I've decided to make this little photo organizational tool. Even though the pattern directions are very clear and I took this class from the Morninglory pattern designers, I think this picture is useful. These fabrics are for Wayne's wife Wendy's jacket - they chose these fabrics, and it's obvious that they understand the concept of contrast, which is essential for this pattern. There are 7 fabrics. The left column is for the front, the middle for the back, and the right for sleeves and collar. Can't wait to see how this jacket will turn out!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Purse #2

This one's complete, and I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out. A huge thanks to Cecilia - I showed her this purse in progress and she pointed out the straps weren't right. Luckily, the straps were at a point where they were able to be corrected. There's a kind of personal dyslexia that sets in with things like straps and zippers. Although this purse went better than the first, there was still an issue with pocket facing, and I think I know what it is. Purse #3 will be the evidence.

But before I start another purse, I have to put the studio right - there are threads, scraps, and piles all over. Considering the space and storage I have, there's no excuse. While I'm doing this

cleaning/organizing, I'm preparing for my next quilt, using the big whole cloth piece from India. It will provide the backing for a front that is still in my head. What I do know is that the front will use scraps from 3 color families - red/orange/yellow, violets/purples/fuscia, and teals/green/blues. Most of the scraps will be batik, which is a great contrast to the muslin-type fabric of the whole cloth. Those terrific colors we saw in India - so beautiful, so vivid.

There are 2 zippered compartments in this purse. Towards the left is the smaller pocket. To the right there is a large pocket that goes to the bottom on the purse. I did find a magnetic closure for the strap that crosses the purse. Very clever. Very inexpensive. And I have FIVE more of these magnetic closures!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Purse!

Maybe I should entitle this blog entry "A Real Purse." It has decent straps, two (count 'em - 2!) zippered compartments inside, and a very nice little tab with velcro that keeps the purse shut. It's also a good size - 13" by 10". Best of all, it has a symmetrical flat bottom that even has a plastic base!

This was a pattern that I actually (1) purchased and (2) followed the directions for. Just a couple of notes for the next bag. All outer bag pieces were quilted using Thermore. I used iron-on interfacing (fusible webbing) on the lining pieces. The handles were quilted using Warm N' Natural and could use a sturdier batting - maybe a double-layer of Thermore?

I think I'll make this pattern again! And I think I'll try to add an outside pocket for a cell phone on the same side as the little tab that closes the purse. Finally, the lining of a purse needs to be light for maximum purse efficiency!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Smiling While I Quilt

I've been smiling a lot this week. Baby quilts are always special. But this baby quilt may be the most special one of all. Little Michelle Cylkowski Mushel is having her first baby!

I've known Michelle since she was a 3rd grader. Her parents, Dale and Linda, and her little brother Jeff were our neighbors on Elm in Brookfield in the early 80's. For a while Michelle took piano lessons from me, practicing on my piano. In exchange Linda did my laundry. These days were peaceful and happy, but they came to a very sad end when Linda, a Type 1 diabetic, died. This happened during November of Michelle's eighth grade year.

Michelle was adopted by Dale and Linda from a Korean orphanage when she was 4 and has never known the story of her birth mother. She then lost her adoptive mother. And her stepmother Debbie, Dale's second wife, also died. All three of Michelle's mothers are surely smiling and watching over Michelle at this point in her life, thrilled for her journey into motherhood. Michelle is now a remarkable woman with a terrific attitude. And she has married Ryan, a great young man. Elm Street Aunties Dorothy and I are taking as much joy in this new baby as her father and Ryan's parents are!

This baby quilt will be in the home to welcome their little girl in late June (early July?). There are many memories stitched into this quilt of Michelle in all stages of her life. What a great new stage she is enterting into. 42" x 49"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Those Pesky Jacket Leftovers

It's always an issue: how much to buy of a fabric? If I find a fabric I like that is reasonably priced, I'll get two yards. And of course when I use it in whatever project(s), there are leftovers. Occasionally, like for my sister's jacket, I buy specific yardage according to the pattern. And still there are leftovers. I have a big wicker basket of scraps. I have two small baskets of scraps. I have a pile of scraps in a corner. More scraps on a bookshelf. I have scraps leftover from scrap quilts. Some of my scraps even have scraps.

So Paula's jacket leftovers are now a bag. It is a bit bigger than a MORS bag and flat-bottomed AND both sides have a pocket. I still have lessons to be learned about symmetry and flat-bottomed bags, and then there's the whole issue of how to get a bag to stand on its own. Something to look forward to with future projects.

The more immediate issue is what to do with the leftover scraps from this bag. A glasses case? A camera case? A cell phone case?

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Jacket Pattern

Not only is this a new pattern, intead of using thermore batting (lightweight for clothing and warmer climates), Ive used a flannel as the batting. While I've enjoyed sewing with it, the proof will be in the wearing, which may not happen for a while. These colors are fall-like. The lining is the same fabric as the thin vertical flanges. This jacket doesn't have a collar which makes the construction easier. However, preparing the vertical strips of fabric added some time. This is the second Morninglory Park Avenue design that I've done, and I like the way these patterns are written. This is another pattern I would like to do again.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Quilt of India

Travel mates Cynthia and Richard from San Diego provided some great companionship as we toured India and Nepal. Cynthia bought 6 embroidered t-shirts in Nepal, and we began to talk about turning them into a quilt. She then gave me artistic license to do what I wanted with them. I've told people that India stimulated all our senses, and in this quilt I've incorporated the colors of the marigolds, the fruit, the saris, and the ubiquitous bougainvillea.

The back of the quilt is pieced from a whole cloth I bought in Jaipur (while everyone else was being introduced to Old Monk Rum during a carpet demonstration). Jaipur is famous for its Amber Fort and hand-stamped fabrics. For some reason I bought two big hand-stamped pieces. I knew I wanted to turn one into a whole cloth quilt and didn't quite know why I bought a second one. As I started Cynthia's quilt, it occurred to me what a perfect backing this would make. Cynthia and Richard are nature enthusiasts and have a fondness for elephants. Check out the detail on the back of the quilt.

I am used to making lovely things and then parting with them. However, parting with this quilt will be difficult. My comfort is knowing that the quilt will be in a place that we will visit! 64" x 88"

Posted by Picasa