Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quilts and Beads for Fall & Winter

This quilt was for Father Olsen's niece--his elderly mother made it entirely by hand and gave it to her granddaughter.  It's just GORGEOUS!

This is another beautiful quilt from Lauri.  I got this photo while it was sitting in a patch of sunlight.  It really glows like a stained glass window--it's so beautiful!  I should be returning it to her tomorrow.

Kathy C is the mother in law to a friend of mine who bought a gift certificate for Christmas last year.  It took several months before she finally called and brought over three quilts for me to work on.  This is one of them that appeared on my doorstep.  Somehow the other two didn't get photographed.

In the beadworks, I did a few commissions including one for Samira that she gave as a Christmas gift:

And one for Jadwiga:

I also made a bunch of beads for the SCA's Lampworkers Guild to be given as gifts.

I am also working on a weaving commission for a friend in the Middle Kingdom.  It has a Runic letter, Tiwaz, which is also the symbol for the god Tyr.

There are more projects coming, including the completion of a red tunic that will accompany the green tunic (that I don't have a good photograph of yet).  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Raining & Pouring Quilts

As they say, when it rains, it pours...and it's pouring a little here!  I missed a couple weeks of working due to a back strain injury, which took a couple weeks to heal up, but now I'm back to work, catching up to a bunch of deadlines that are upon me!

In no particular order, here are the items I've been working on for customers.  Pardon the blurry pictures--I need to make improvements to the hanging and lighting situation I've got here at Ye Merrie Quiltery.

Judy J., owner of Thread Mongers, asked me to finish up this quilt with one of the threads she sells in her shop, Valdani hand dyed color #86.  It's a 30 wt. thread, so it's about as heavy as the Signature thread.  Usually I use a 50 wt., so I had to make adjustments to the tension and speed, as well as waxing the tension discs a bit to help the thread glide through.

Since this was a Halloween-themed group of fabrics, it only made sense to sew a bunch of pumpkins and vines all over the surface!  I found this pattern on Leah Day's 365 Quilting Patterns, from her blog,  I love her site with the variety of patterns and videos on how to execute each of the patterns.  Here's a detailed shot of the quilting--very simple loops, circles and lines.

This is a quilt that is currently on the frame for Marlys, who is the mother of Linda D., the lady who brought me two baby quilts a couple months ago.  This is a gift for a grandson who is going off to college.  She made this flannel quilt in the school colors, and I'm quilting it with a medium stipple in the main body of the quilt, with some special details in the black border and corners.  More pictures will be posted later when this is finished.

Kathy C., a new customer, but the mother-in-law of an acquaintance in the SCA, sent me three quilts to work on.  This one is due back in her hands next week, but I'm having trouble connecting with her.  Payment apparently got lost in the mail, so I've been waiting to mail it to her.  Hopefully it'll arrive Monday so I can get it back to her in time for the auction or raffle that this will be in.  This has just a basic stipple all over.

This is the second of three quilts for Kathy C., also finished fairly quickly using a modified rose pattern from the 365 site.

Details of this quilt show the pattern of roses; a squiggle roughly flower shaped and a spiral into the middle of the flower.

Karen M. handed me this amazing work of art to stitch feathers all over.  Having practiced on a King size quilt for myself, I felt confident that I could do it justice.  I did a slightly different feather with hers than I did with mine, but it seemed to call for it...or rather, it's just the way it started looking, so I went with it.  I have a belief that some quilts "talk" to you; not that I'm actually hearing voices, but I can envision what it needs.  The big trick is to get your vision executed into your project.

This looks more pink than it really is--I will have to make adjustments to the lighting that I use to take pictures, as well as a place to hang them up with good angles and light.  While this is hanging on the wall, it's clearly not tall enough to display anything this long and the lighting in this room is abysmally poor.  I am also not a professional photographer...I may have to ask a few photo friends for some tips!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hip Deep in Charities

I have several quilt tops that have crossed the machine recently.  Starting with this auction quilt that my sister made for her daughter's school.  The kids in the school made the white blocks, adding images and their favorite scriptures, and she off-set it with a pieced border and sashing between.  It spent so little time at my house that I didn't have a chance to photograph it when it was finished.  

Then my customer, Linda D., called me up and asked if I had time to do a pair of baby quilts.  Not for a pair of twins, but for two friends who are having babies at the same time.  One is known to be a girl, but the other is of unknown gender.  So the first she made with green and pink, so I quilted it with loose artsy roses.  It quilted up like a dream, and I added the flannel binding to the edge.  The flannel was a little trickier to work with.  Grrrr...

The second baby, due to its unknown status, is going to receive a more gender-neutral color combination.  The quilting is similar, which I told her could be roses or snakes...depending on the gender.  The outer border is black minkee, which has some issues with stretching.  The blue binding went on easily, although there was just barely enough of it.  

 Lauri gave me a quilt to work on for a raffle for a cancer fundraiser.  I don't recall which organization it is supporting...sorry.  

I also put my daughter's Girl Scout quilt on the frame to finish up that quilt for her.  It still needs binding, but she's very excited that it's almost done!  I have to dig around and see what I have for binding fabric.  I think I have enough of one of the green fabrics I used on the back.

 The most recent project, I've been quilting up some pieces for Quilts of Valor that were brought to me by Kathy W.  She provided the tops and paid for the backing material.  I'm hoping that they can also spring for the batting, since that costs $8.50 a yard, but the time and thread I can happily donate.  There are five in this series...sorry they're sideways.  






Not sure what I'm going to do about my camera...apparently it got jostled around in my purse and now the screen is busted.  2/3 of the screen is black, so I can't see what I'm snapping and I can't turn off the flash now.  I just got it a year ago...frustrated that I may have to replace it already.

My next project may be quilting up the 9-patch scrappy top that I put together a few months ago.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Winter Progress

A number of quilts have come and gone, as some weaving as well!  I'm not just a quilter, I also do a number of other fiber arts.  I have made socks, tunics, and tablet woven bands.

Here a 14th century book of hours illustration features a woman weaving a band on an upright loom.  It looks like tablet woven bands, but it's hard to make out the details.  In her left hand are the four-hole cards, and she has a heck of a beater in her right hand.  I'm unclear how the other end of the weaving is set up on that vertical piece of wood...what is it for?

Of course, I don't use a loom like this to weave my bands--I use an inkle loom.  I've made around 12 pieces so far, selling a few, giving a few away, and keeping a few for myself.  These are some of the pieces that I took to the recent medieval faire.

Recently, I made a test piece based on a 6th century Norwegian pattern.  It's a short band, measuring only about 1 3/4 yards, but I have already been asked to weave another for a woman in green and gold.  That'll be next after I finish...

...this band!  This is a double-sided "Anglo-Saxon" band that I found online.  I suspect that it may be documentably period, given that the author of the web site I found called it Anglo Saxon, however, she did not list the date or source of the pattern.  It may be in a book that I do not currently have access to--it's out of print and there are no booksellers that I can find that currently carries it.  More research is needed to find out more information about this are 25 pairs of fishing spinners to help untwist this mess...all the cards continuously turn in the same direction.

Over in the quilting zone, here are a few of the quilted pieces I've finished lately:

Monkey Madness!  This was actually a two-sided quilt.  This panel with the borders on one side, and a pieced quilt on the other.  For some reason, I can't find the photo of the other side.  Clearly, I'm a quilter, not a photographer!

For Malcolm!  My nephew was born on the last day of January.  I finished the quilt for him a couple weeks before he was born and got an opportunity to deliver it to the new family in person.  Barring any miracles, he is the last of the cousins to be born.  I still owe him one more quilt that my sister and I are going to make together in the near future.

Blue and jeans and t-shirts...reminds me of cowboys!  I like cowboys...  This is a great scrappy blue and white that didn't photograph as well as it could.  Remember that bit about not being a photographer?  Besides, I took the picture with my phone, which is not the greatest.

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten good pictures of a few more recent pieces I was working on.  One of them I completely forgot to take a photo of when it was finished!  All I have is a picture of it in process.  These were some really lovely fall colors!  Just makes you want to go bake a pumpkin pie!  She just wanted a simple stipple over the surface, which I debated whether to do it in gold, black or grey.  In the end, it was the black thread that looked the best.

Next on the frame is a Sounders Fan Baby quilt.  Rave green and blue!  It's really a great pattern and the colors are bright and cheerful.  I'll be cheering in those colors soon!  Go Sounders!

In the wings are five pieces for Quilts of Valor and four that will be given to patients at Children's Hospital, plus a few quilt tops for myself that I finished recently.  One of them is a UFO that's at least 10 years old.  Note that this quilt is pinned to the log cabin quilt hanging on the wall--again, photography skills lacking.  I started making this when my middle daughter was not quite 2.  She's now 11.  Time to finish this up and get it on her bed!

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...