Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall 2012

A rather dark photo--darn camera is not the highest quality.  This is a quilt top is destined to be a tree skirt, hence the lack of quilting in the center of the quilt; it'll be cut out and bound.  This is an all over ribbons pattern, a fun celebratory quilt pattern!
Blurry sideways penguins.  Did I mention the poor photo quality?  I hung it up on the wall to photograph, then realized it was sideways.  Whoops.  This is a quilt top I finished for my mother in law, and I think it's destined for a nephew who loves penguins.  :)

This is a smaller quilt top that was made by Joy and her mother, Violet for a friend who is ill.  You may note that it's very similar to the previous quilt from Joy--many of the same fabrics were used in both.  It's the perfect lap size for snuggling under during treatments.

Go Cougs!  This is a shop sample for Judy J., owner of Thread Mongers.  She asked me to use two different threads for this quilt top from her stock.  One was a nice poly/rayon from Superior Threads in a colorway called "Lava".  It was really nice!  The other was a glittery thread that was a bit of a pain to work with.  I don't know who made it and I wouldn't trash their name publicly anyway.  Other people may have a much better experience than I did, and who knows--maybe with more adjustments, I could make it work on my machine better, too.

Lauri's quilt for Laura made with Laura's favorite colors--purple and green.  Quilted with loopy hearts in a quick, all-over pattern.

A Christmas sampler for Kathy, quilted with small scrollwork all over, echoing the subtle print in the background fabric.

It's been a busy few weeks here.  Here's to many more!

Karen, Ye Merrie Quilter (& Costumer!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summertime 2012

The great thing about having a quilt show is that you get a chance to take nicer photos of work that you've done.  They're hanging up on standards, and this particular show had wide aisles so you could stand way back and get some good photos.  A few of these may be repeats from earlier posts, but they look much nicer hanging up with great lighting!

I finally have a great photo of my scrappy Pineapple Blossom quilt.  It's 88" square...although I thought it was much bigger than that.  Weird.  When I hung it in my sewing room, it went floor to ceiling, which would have indicated to me that it would be 96".  So either I measured wrong or I have short ceilings.  Maybe I need to measure again.

Here is a better photo of Michele's baby quilt for her nephew.  Much better lighting this time, and look!  The whole thing is in the frame!  With a binding!
Judy J. made this quilt and now uses it as a backdrop for her display at her booth.  She was also a vendor at our show as the owner of Thread Mongers.  This was a fun quilt to work on!  I love these oceanic colors and the rich royal blue.  Also includes a binding this time, unlike the last time I photographed it on my floor.

Michele had me do this Christmas tablerunner for her several months ago.  Again, better lighting, a binding, and a straight-on shot...fabulous!

This is the quilt that our online friends and guild members made for our friend, Sharon after she lost her mother.  She really needed a big hug after losing her mother, as difficult as her mother had been all those years, and the day I presented it to her, she had just lost her job a day or two before.  It was truly a labor of love for a very dear friend who was having a very rough time.
This is another quilt that was made by our online quilt group...Heart in Hand for Sharon.  I forget what the occasion was...perhaps it was another sympathy quilt.  Maybe it was when she lost her father.  I'll have to ask her.  

Other more recent projects fresh from the quilting frame include this quilt for Joy, whose church held an auction last weekend.  I haven't heard how much it sold for, but I hope it was a bunch--the quilt top was an original design by Joy!  She said she's not a big fan of following patterns, except for block directions.  After that, she makes her own designs using random blocks on a design wall.  And most of the quilts she makes uses scraps, so clearly she is a talented and creative lady!

Here is another quilt that I made for Judy J., a round robin that she made with a group of friends.  Apparently it won Best in Class at the Skagit County fair!  I'm pretty excited about that!  I quilted it all over with leaves, except in the center block where I echo quilted around the star.

Sharon took a class at the local quilt shop which uses 2 1/2" strips from a Jelly Roll and makes this "lasagna" quilt top.  I love the bright batiks she chose!  I quilted this top with long bamboo leaves.  I was inspired by another quilt that I just finished for Michele, a Mt. Fuji wall panel.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of that one.
This is another "lasagna" quilt top that was made in the class by Donna.  Funny thing is, Donna signed up to take the class and the teacher called in sick, so she ended up TEACHING the class!  It's made from some really fun modern fabrics by Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett and others.  I did a very quick overall pattern of swirls and loops for this top.  I used the Warm Company batting as an experiment for her to see if she can tolerate the weight.
Kind of a blurry picture of Donna's Waterfall quilt. This was a really cool technique that she did that creates this quilt, and then the scraps creates another quilt with a completely different design.  The batting was wonderful, too--a silk blend that is soft as...I don't know...something really soft!  Donna has foot issues, so she needs a very light-weight batting on her bed quilts.  The Warm Company batting is a little heavy, especially if it's paired with beefy cotton fabrics.  
This is a close-up of the waterfall quilt, which I covered with a river over the top.  I even included rocks in the river.  On the edge, the border is covered with a calm lake surface of rippling water. Although the quilting was done, it wasn't ready for the quilt show; she didn't have time enough to bind it before the show.  Hopefully I'll get a photo of the quilt once the binding is on!

That's about it for now...I have a couple of quilts ready for the frame and more that are on the way.  Christmas is just around the corner...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

End of March

Michele's quilt is the most recent project off the frame.  She requested this lovely flannel piece to be quilted with sharp angles and have the initials sewn into the center square.  I think this is for her nephew, who was born recently.  It's very soft and cozy and quilted up very nicely!

JuJu's belt is a commissioned piece.  She wanted something that looked like watermelons with dark green on the outside, light green and pink on the inside and a black center.  She's very excited about this being done and I hope to get it passed on to her soon.

Also I finished Tara's two other quilts--another Packer's Quilt, Andy's Funky quilt, and the Hearts quilt.  Unfortunately, I didn't get photos of two of them before they went on to their homes.  The Packer quilt is a late Christmas gift, that is finally on its way to Wisconsin.  The quilt top was sent to me in November, at the same time as the previous Packer quilt, but then a health emergency in the family delayed the Christmas celebrations.

For Donna, I finished a Christmas quilt top.  She requested that I use a specific batting--Quilters Dream--which I sourced and tried on the frame.  It worked fairly well, but it was thinner and needed gentler handling.  I had once before tried the Green batting, made from recycled plastic bottles, and I really hated it.  Most of the thin poly batting stretches too easily with the handling required for loading up on the machine.  I have lots of ideas for redesigning this frame, but I don't have the capability to make significant changes.  But, oh, if I were to work with one of these manufacturers!

Several more projects await...more photos to come!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Fun!

I finished up a couple things lately--Tara's 'Hearts' quilt that she handed to me with a "no hurry" deadline finally had its turn on the long arm.  I love working on her quilts--the seams are pressed, her measurements are accurate, the top is squared up, and the whole quilt lies flat.  Her tops are a dream to work on--she does great work!  If you are the kind of quilter who "quilts by check" (rather than by hand or by machine), these are things that your long arm professional LOVES to see!  Ask your quilter for other tips to make their job easier.  My regular customers have a large Ziplock bag to put their next project into--it holds the top, batting and backing in one bag that won't get wet or dirty in transit to and from the customer, it's transparent so you can see what's in the bag, and it's re-usable!

Next quilt up on the long arm is another one of Tara's for her son, Andy.  He likes unusual colors and patterns, and he lovingly selected these fabrics himself.  He's my nephew, so he felt obligated to pester Auntie Karen to get his quilt done already...which he did last week.  :)

After this one, I have another six quilt in line to work on, plus the Watermelon Weave for Juana.  I'm going to be busy!

I also started the anchors weave, but haven't had time to work on it much lately.  I hope that I can finish it up this week to I can send it off to the new owner.

Quilt happy!
Karen, Ye Merrie Quilter

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quilting and Weaving Works, Winter 2011-2012

I have been working on a few quilts this winter and also doing some more weaving, some of which I have sold to individuals either on commission or at events.  Here is my most recent experiment.  It was an exercise in Egyptian Diagonals, assigned by a weaving mentor, and I think I got the hang of it!  After figuring out how to do the basics, I experimented with turning and making different shapes and designs.

A few other things I've been working on include this Packers quilt for my sister's grandson.  It's late in arriving for Christmas, but this was due to a family emergency--her friend was very ill and passed away in December.  My sister went to be with her for her final days and Christmas was put on hold.  I finished this and handed it off to her in early January.

The second half of the antique quilt completion project has concluded as well.  These four quilts were tops originally hand-pieced by her grandmother, and were handed back to Tina this morning over coffee.  She was delighted to have the quilts completed and ready to be added to her cozy home.

This is the quilt that I added a different fabric on the back than what she had provided.  She had picked up antique bed sheets--mostly--for the backs, but this one had been paired up with a Made-in-China, 100% polyester bedsheet.  It was awful and I could not bear to sew this awful fabric to the back of this gorgeous hand-sewn quilt.  I wrote to her begging to allow me to find something more suitable, and made a deal with a Civil War reproduction that I had found on sale a couple years ago.  She loved it!

These are some fun quilts with space aliens on the tan fabric.

More of this alien fabric.  Too fun!

More weaving that I have done.  This one I thought the color combination was really striking!  It's just over 4 yards and I am selling it for $60.  I called it "Double Diamonds" since the pattern on the back also has diamonds.

This one took a lot more work, so I'd have to sell it for a bit more, but I'm not sure I'm ready to part with least not yet.  I could make another one like it if someone was interested in owning one like it and would sell it for $75.  This one is also about 4 yards and is called "Ram's Horn."  I love this pattern...maybe because I'm an Aries...

This is a piece of weaving that I called "Barony of Aquaterra, Kingdom of An Tir" due to its color combinations.  Black, yellow & white are for the kingdom; blue, green & white are the Barony's.  It was donated as a prize to the Ursulmas Medieval Faire and was given to a lady by the name of Emma.

This one I called "Black and White and Red all over", for obvious reasons.  It was two yards and sold for $30.  It was an experimental weave of a pattern that I just made up.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I can reproduce it exactly...I was trying to create a pattern from a finished piece I saw in a book, but was unsuccessful.  It still looks interesting, but not what I was aiming for.

This is a commissioned piece for Molly.  I worked out a special deal with her for this 4 yard piece.  This was loosely based on a pattern I found online, but I did a different turning sequence to come up with this repeating pattern of diamonds.  

This is another 4 yard band that I called "Hugs and Kisses" (see the X and O?).  I sold this one for $60 also.  This was from an online pattern generator.

This is another favorite, the Aquaterra band.  A 4 yard piece for $60.   This is also the Double Diamond pattern, but obviously with different color placement. This is one of my favorites, I think!

What's next on my docket?  I've got a couple quilts for my sister--a pair of scrappy quilt tops--as well as a weaving band for a High School friend who wants a belt with Anchors on it.  Another commission from Juana for a woven piece that looks like watermelons...that'll be fun!  I also have a tunic to finish for Tyrssen, the 4th of 4 tunics he commissioned.