Thursday, January 31, 2013

Have Tote, Will Travel!

We are in the midst of a remodel of our sunroom, which has made it out of commission for the next week.  As my HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen lives out there (she is temporarily in the spare bedroom to avert any tragedies) I have not been able to quilt, so have been working on some small projects.
The first project I tackled was a ruler tote! Earlier this month, The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims had a link to an Olfa site that had the directions for a ruler tote.  We all know how important it is to have your favorite ruler when you are at class or retreat.  And carrying them can be clumsy at best!  I had the quilted material left over from another project, as well as the striped binding.  I did need to purchase the belting!
I used fabrics from my stash to make the pockets.  This tote is large enough that you can place an 18 x 24" cutting board in the middle also.  I will probably be putting my super large square up ruler there!
From there I proceeded to make an Iron Caddy!  We all know the angst of having to carry a hot iron home after class or retreat!  I got my pattern, which included the heat resistant ironing board fabric, at The Back Door on a recent road trip to Indianapolis.  I saw the pattern and the fabric in the latest Nancy's Notions catalog.
Yes, I am that nerd that does crossword puzzles in ink!  I found the fabric at Quilts Plus, also during the Indianapolis road trip.  The orange I had in my stash!  (yes, I do bleed orange and blue...go Illini!)
The tote opens flat so you can use it as an ironing surface also!  There are two layers of Insul-Brite to protect your table, but the pattern recommends to not use it on your fine dining room table!  Each tote only took a couple hours to make, and will make traveling to retreats and classes so much easier!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Class with Laura Wasilowski

Last week I had the privilege of traveling southwest (50 miles) to Decatur, IL to take a class with Laura Wasilowski, dean of correction of the Chicago School of Fusing!  I have taken a class with Laura before, follow her blog, and love to stop and say hello when I see her and Frieda Anderson at the big shows!  Laura does beautiful hand-dyed fabrics and threads, which she sells through her webstore ARTFABRIK.
In the morning we were entertained by Laura who presented: Art Quilts: The Musical.  Laura sang, and shared her beautiful artwork!
In the afternoon Laura taught Colorful Leaves.  We were giving 2 pieces of Laura's beautiful hand-dyed fabrics.  Then Laura taught us the principles of fusing, building a fused collage, and design.  Then we were told to sketch a leaf design.  I had decided before going that I would make my design based on a gingko leaf!  As you can see, I really got some creativity unleashed!
Here we are at the end of the day with what I had gotten accomplished!  All that is left is the hand embroidered elements that will take it from ho hum to spectacular!  Laura had advised me that I should use either #8 or #12 Perle Cotton rather than the #5 that I had fallen in love with.
Being the rebel that I am, I went ahead and did an outline stemstitch around the elements with #5 Perle Cotton.  Yes, it was difficult to get through the fused layers, but I liked the heavier, bolder look that it gives.  I need to figure out what embroidery work that I want to do in the borders, then I can quilt it and bind it!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Houston class results!

When I went to Houston this past fall, the only class and lecture that I went to were taught by the very talented Teri Lucas!  We have been internet friends for years, and finally had a chance to meet in person!  What a joy she is, and such a talented quilter and teacher!
The class I took was entitled "And now what? Designs in Machine Quilting."  The last part of the class Teri had invited us to bring quilt tops and she would give a free consult on how to quilt it!  This is the top that I brought.  The center panel is an oriental print, as are the the side panels.  It is a simple enough top, but the center panel had me stymied!
Teri suggested that I simply quilt/trace around the major elements in the panel with a gold metallic thread.  I used a golden brown thread in the bobbin, which gives some interest to the backside!  I stippled in the black areas to help even out the quilting and make the printed areas pop!
For the colored areas in the sides, Teri suggested doing a gingko leaf, as the corner fabric is gingko.  I love gingko leaves, and gingko trees!  So I got out my sketch book and tried to see if I could draw out some gingko leaves!
Here's how it turned out on the backside!  I am really loving this, and definitely am going to put this is my collection of designs to turn to!  This little quilt will be donated to the East Central Illinois Refuge Center for their annual fundraiser!