Sunday, September 27, 2009

That Damned Elusive Free-Motion Quilting

I'm impressed by quilters who are able to do free-motion quilting. I've taken classes in free-motion quilting. I've practiced this technique without much success and have never felt confident or comfortable with it. And so I always resort to the safety of my walking foot when it's time to quilt.

Almost a year ago I met my quilting Doppelganger at a Fiber Arts show in Glencoe. Wayne is left-handed, has the same Husqvarna sewing machine, is drawn to geometric designs and modern fabrics, keeps a blog of his work, and quilts with the same passion I do. In our e-friendship we've discovered some amazing similarities. We have successfully incorporated his wife Wendy and my husband John into our friendship and have tried when we are with them to keep quilt talk and spousal eye-rolling to a minimum. One of the things Wayne does very very well is free-motion quilting.

Friday we got together for the first time as quilters and did our own workshop. Wayne coached me on the technique. And this bag is the result. I won't claim that I've mastered the technique, but the two sides of this oversized bag are a great start. I thank Wayne for helping me with the breakthrough of this technique!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Out of Africa

 This ethnic wall hanging is finished. There were several inspirations for this work. First, there was the central fabric, a wonderful gradated piece with its range from gold to deep brown. Second, there was that fabulous pile of scraps that formed the border. Third, as I was beginning to put this piece together, I stumbled across the book Simply Stunning Woven Quilts (thanks to Rachel from my Art Quilt group) and did the woven circle, which anchors the whole thing. The final inspiration came from the walls at the Salt Creek Wine Bar in Brookfield - they are a marvelous textured deep red with brown undertones. The whole time I was working on this piece, I envisioned it hanging at this bar. John and I are having our 60th and 70th birthday party there, and Out of Africa will be hung there in their wine-tasting room. It's my present to Tom and Linda. 29" x 36"
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Still in process

This piece is getting done ever so slowly. This wall quilt is being machine-quilted from the outside in. I still have yet to decide where to attach to woven piece in the center, and I keep turning it to find the best position. One blog reader, Josie Ray, felt strongly about this piece being horizontal because it is a landscape of sorts. But the quilt spoke to me and said it needed to be vertical. And so it is.

We spent almost a week driving around - literally - Lake Michigan with one stop at the base of Lake Superior. Delightful weather, scenery, and travelling companion. But I can't wait to get back to this piece tomorrow.
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Weaving in Circles and a WIP

In the quilting world a UFO is an unfinished project. A WIP is a work in process. This is a work that is in process. In the center is a circular weaving piece. It's temporarily tacked to a piece of fabric of graduated color - it reminds me of an African landscape (yeah, as if I've been to Africa - I don't know where this is coming from). The inner border are bits from the recent scrap quilt. And the top and bottom border fabrics are both strong possibilities for this quilt - I like them both a lot. Thread work will be the only other key design element, except I'm not very good at it.

I'm not sure about this piece and have felt stuck all day. Perhaps seeing this picture will help me make some decisions about this WIP. Maybe this should be a vertical piece...

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Roman Coins, Scrap Style

This scrap quilt, using the Roman Coins design, is terrific (she modestly says). I love each one of these scraps, and using browns as the sashing, outer border, and backing really makes a strong design statement. The result is dark and dramatic and rather masculine. Nephew Chris Thompson is the intended recipient of this, but only if he likes it. The last quilt I made him was 8 years ago when he graduated from high school and was on his way to the University of Michigan. If this quilt doesn't appeal to him, then I'll be happy to hold on to it!

Click on the picture to see the details of some of these wonderful scraps.70" x 92"
Note: September 29, 2009 - This quilt has actually gone to Michelle M, just because... Chris T is again on the back burner.