Friday, March 15, 2019

Wooded Villa

This week brought a finish to Wooded Villa (except for a label).

In my last post I said I was decidedly unhappy with the quilt, and had resigned myself to outlining the arches and sills with satin stitch to achieve more separation between the villa wall and the forest background.

That was done, and it's an improvement, but I'm still not thrilled, by any means. It may be the best it can be, though, with its inherent drawbacks (too much tonal similarity in the wall fabric and the forest panel, made worse by stippling the wall in a medium-brown instead of a light one). However, lesson learned, and you can be sure I won't make these mistakes again.

If you've hung in here with me this far (thanks!), here are some closeups (click to enlarge):

A third triple-arched-window quilt is planned, using the upper half of that same Timeless Treasures forest panel. This time the wall fabric will be chosen more carefully.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, March 7, 2019

P. S.

Remember the "p.s." we often used to put at the end of a handwritten letter (remember those?) after we'd already signed it? You might if you're my age, but if not, "p.s." stood for "post script," meaning "after writing," which was followed by a line or two (or more) of news that you had forgotten to put in the main body of your letter.

Well, how in the world I forgot to share this bit of news when I posted the blog It's About Time yesterday, is beyond me. I had the incredible fortune to have some work published in both the Winter 2019 (which came out December 1, 2018) and Spring 2019 (which came out March 1st) issues of Art Quilting Studio Magazine by Stampington Publications. This beautiful (now quarterly) magazine has been a favorite of mine for years, and it's a thrill to be included with so many amazing quilt artists. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)

The Overlook

The Visit

Coincidentally, I was also thrilled to find Carol McDowell's work in the Spring 2019 issue. Carol was the first landscape quilter I ever had contact with online. I love her work; it has inspired me for years. She also has an Etsy shop in addition to the main website.

Thank you, Stamping Publications, Art Quilting Studio, and in particular Assistant Senior Managing Editor, Danielle Williams, for being so courteous, available, and professional to work with. You are wonderful.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

It's About Time

Happy New Year! Coming out of a working hibernation that started right after the Christmas holidays, that's more than a little belated. TIME. What happened to it, and who has it anymore?

My favorite area--landscape fat quarters and favorite photo of my boys, now grown

Everything here has been in flux, with lots of progress but no big finishes (except on the knitting front). That's partly due to my first major studio clean-out in 8 years. A big thank-you to the Netflix Marie Kondo series for inspiration.


As for the second landscape in the arched-window series, shown in my last post...

...this is how it looked by February, and I was decidedly unhappy with it at that point. The wall fabric was too close to the same tone as the forest panel, or parts of it, and some of the veins in the marble wall looked almost like tree-branch extensions! I soon realized that to give the forest and wall more separation, the raw edges I had already finished with seam sealant were going to have to be satin-stitched---something I'm not bad at doing but which adds quite a bit more TIME.

That change has now been made, and it's definitely an improvement, but I'll save that for next TIME. All that's left to do is block, trim and bind the quilt.

But while I was still pondering what to do about the landscape, a distraction project was pieced. This will be a twin-size scrappy bed quilt for the Center for Women & Families here in Louisville.
The top and batting will be quilted in three separate sections. Each section will then be quilted to a backing through the sashing only. A border will be added after trimming and joining the sections. This all takes extra TIME but will save a lot of wear and tear on my neck and shoulders.

Panel design (black-and-white) by Kathy McNeil

Another distraction project was this koi panel designed by Kathy McNeil (I think for an AQS quilt show), which I colored with watercolor pencils. After heat-setting, a thin mix of fabric medium and water was applied with a small brush, one section at a TIME, always working next to a dry section to keep the colors from blending.

The finished panel was washed in warm water with Color Catchers and I'm happy to say that none of the color bled out.

Also done was a cleaning and oiling of the (now motorized, previously treadle) Singer No. 15 that we picked up for free, and here it is in its new home in the studio. This machine was manufactured a long, long TIME ago---one-hundred and sixteen years, in fact (the maple table it now shares with my main machine is even older!). I'm anxious to piece my next bed quilt on this old beauty.

That's all there is on the quilting front for now. Hopefully I'll pick up speed from here on out (and maybe stop knitting for a while!) so I can blog more often again.

Thank you for stopping by!


Friday, December 14, 2018

Two Landscapes in One

Ever since finishing Villa with a View, I've heard other fabric panels calling to me from the closet, where they've been stashed quite a while. This is one of them, a one-yard scene from Timeless Treasures Fabrics.

Only after rescuing it from the closet and looking at it more closely did I notice that this is actually two different planes/levels of forest, one on top of the other (click on photo to enlarge). Pretty clever designing--fabric for two landscape quilts in a single yard!

So I cut it in half....

...then tested that half under the vinyl overlay I had used for Villa with a View...and realized those same arches would work for this panel, too!

So, out came the original drawing.

Then a tracing-paper overlay was cut (and reinforced with masking tape), to help me decide on the best position for the arched openings.

Next, pattern pieces were traced from the drawing onto freezer paper so they could be ironed onto the fabric. Only the wall/background piece was traced onto parchment paper, as I wanted to see that fabric through the pattern before cutting it out.

Moving things along with a condensed account of what followed...

Cutting out (right through the parchment paper) the wall/background from one of Northcott Mills' Stonehenge fabrics

Fusing the scene (with pre-applied Misty Fuse) to the muslin base, and fusing the interior arch and sill pieces over the scene

Fusing the wall/background to the muslin base

Two of the three white arch frames are fused in place. Testing positions of pieces with vinyl far, so good!
More next time, when some critters will be added to the forest and the two columns will be embellished.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!