Sunday, October 31, 2021

No Trick or Treat Candy!

 I like my new home.  It's a condo of people pretty much my age and no children, not that there's anything wrong with them!  We're not in a neighborhood - we're in nature.  And it's lovely. There are walking paths, and our across-the-street neighbor is the Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort.  Instead of agonizing over what kind of Halloween candy to buy and whether we have enough, this holiday is a candy-free zone.  A nice change of pace.  One negative:  one more leaves fall I we will be able to see an over-the-top magamansion.  I'll need to keep my eyes in the studio.

I've been working on this, now that it's cool again.  This quilt is based on a pattern by Yoshiko Jinzenji and features bit of favorite fabrics.  There are 6 boxes of negative space, each one with different hand quilting.  Sometimes I can't see for forest for the trees, so I asked John to hang this off the balcony for some photos.  I'm trying to vary the stitching, but it just doesn't show up all that much.  So now?  It's just a matter of getting it done.

Meanwhile I went through my batting scraps and made some presents, both for this house and for others. These bowl cozies are so handy for soups and chili and anything else that comes out of the microwave too hot to safely handle.  Mine are in the bottom right - that black and white fabric I bought in New Zealand and it represents Maori designs.  The colorful dots back with orange prisms?  for Eileen.  The bottom left - very dark blue and a dress pattern print for Sarah.  And there are several for Melissa featuring topographical fabric, Native American design,  and house design plans.  It was good to work on small things that are easy to complete!

For the most part John is appreciative of what I do and lets me hang whatever I want.  However, he looked at this wall hanging, meant for above the fireplace in the dining room, and said he didn't understand how this was representative of Fall.  And this is indeed my Fall wall hanging.  Ill admit it's abstract at this point, but I have stitching plans that I hope will make this piece easier to understand.  And if he doesn't get it, that's okay too.  It's 3' tall and 4' wide.  

This quilt is one I started after fracturing my wrist.  I foundation-pieced selvage strips onto batting.  I could operate my machine and was able to do rough cutting by stabilizing my ruler with my elbow.  Foundation piecing meant that there were no seams to iron.  And its obvious I stuck to lights, greys, reds, and black.  Then I attached each 12" square to a neutral backing.  When it was too warm to work on the above Yoshiko-ish quilt, I worked on hand-quilting these blocks.  31 of them or complete.  I'm saving the remaining 4 for some traveling mid-November, and then I'll connect these blocks using the reversible quilting method.  I know the sashing/binding strips on the front need to be neutral, but I'm trying to decide whether I want to do something different for the sashing/binding strips on the back.  I have a few weeks to ponder on this.  And I'll watch the leaves continue to fall.  Happily.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Double-Sided Tape: My New Love

 My design wall is working just perfectly!  None of my taped batting-covered insulation boards have come loose.  Pins go in easily, and single-layered bits just stick so nicely. 

The design wall also holds the finished purses nicely, too.  Most of these four use recycled blue jeans for the body.  And the flaps are from other deconstructed quilted projects.  I am having a serious love affair with double- sided tape! 

Now that the weather is cooler, I am getting back to this quilt.  Most of it is quilted except for the areas surrounded by the fabrics.  Here’s what I tried in one box…

And here’s another…

It’s fun and satisfying to work on these negative spaces.  Every so often I have to unfurl the whole quilt - you know, kind of like you can’t see the forest for the trees, right?  I think I want to hang this in the living room when it’s completed.  But meanwhile I have hung an oldie but a goodie:

I made this well over 10 years ago, and it hung in my dining room forever.  Despite its age, I do think it’s one of my more creative pieces.  These blocks are all log cabins, and I was still heavily into my batik period!  I am loving seeing it up again.  Just to unify this blog post, let me give another plug for the double-sided tape - that’s how this quilt is hung,  and that’s how the area rug above is “mounted” on the carpeting.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Design Wall Success


Having a design wall is pretty important to me.  But since we still have both homes, I tried to figure out the most cost-effective and efficient way to create one.  And I’m proud to report that I’ve had success.  Home Depot carries 3/4” foam insulation boards that are 24” x 24”.  Score both sides with a rotary cutter and snap over a knee:  voila! Cover one side with batting - here it’s Warm and Natural.  A regular stapler works just fine for this.  My handy dandy roll of double-sided tape is perfect for adhering these to the wall.

                    I even used a level at this point with the first boards.  

Single layers of fabric will adhere with no pins.  But if there’s any weight or heft, pins go in very easily and support the weight.  This design wall isn’t the largest.  And I may add a 12” row on the bottom.  But this will serve my purposes nicely.  When making multiple purses, it’s good to be able to see what I’m working on and what steps have been completed.  Above there are two purses including lining and straps.  

I’m pretty pleased with this effort!  It is 60” wide and 72” tall.