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!


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Woo-woo & Witches

No new quilts to show yet, but there is something new...and something not-so-new. It begins with the new music box I received in mid-October from my oldest friend and college roommate, Nita.

(Click any photos to enlarge)
The balance wheel turns an actual belt, moves the treadle, and moves the needle bar (sans needle) up and down. When the center drawer is opened, the music plays...oddly enough, my favorite piece of classical music, Fur Elise by Beethoven. I don't remember ever telling Nita it was my favorite; still, I'm not surprised. It's that kind of friendship. Lots of synchronicity. (Some would call it "woo-woo," and that's fine. Keep reading for more woo-woo.)

Fast-forward to the not-so-new part of this story. About a week after I received the music box, my husband saw an offer posted online in a give-away, recycle -type group, and he replied that he (I) was interested. By then the owner had already promised the item to someone else, but two days later she wrote my husband and said it was his if he still wanted it.

He wanted it. And look what he brought home.

This beauty, a Singer Sewing Machine No. 15, is 116 years old. It was originally sold in a wooden cabinet with a treadle (like the music box), but has had a motor installed, a new pedal added, and is housed in a 1950's portable case.

Coincidence? You be the judge. To me it's more synchronicity (or woo-woo).

The decals are worn away in places, but still gorgeous. The crank assembly, which would have been decorative as well as functional alongside the balance wheel, is missing, as are the attachments...but the machine works! Its full power hasn't been tested yet, however. I don't want to run it hard until it's cleaned up and oiled a little more. But I have a feeling it will run like a top.

And though it's a bit premature to find space for it in the studio (and I really thought it would be impossible), it didn't take long to figure out where it would fit. There's a fair amount of space on the wooden table behind the big machine, and the Singer can sit on the edge facing the window. There it will also serve as a stop-guard for quilts being sewn on the big machine.

With the holidays approaching, the restoration job may be a 2019 project. I'll be reviewing Lizzie Lenard's (Muv's) videos on how to clean and oil a vintage sewing machine, parts 1 and 2, as well as others she has posted about using vintage machines. I'm very grateful she has shared her experience with these wonderful old workhorses.

Off subject, on the knitting front, finally it's a finish for my granddaughter Lucy's Secret Garden sweater coat. The pattern and the yarn are by Alice Starmore of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland (click here to visit her stunning website, Virtual Yarns). This sweater coat pattern for ages 3-4 & 5-6 was fun, and not nearly as difficult as it might appear at first glance. I found it in The Children's Collection knitting book by A. & J. Starmore (J. is her daughter, Jade). Lucy won't be able to wear the sweater coat until next year, but in the meantime I can take it out occasionally and admire it. It is such a lovely pattern.

That's all for now, except to share a photo of Lucy in her witch costume, taken with me this Halloween.

The sweetest witch ever (at left, that is. The one on the right is not nearly as sweet)
Have a great November!


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Villa Views

Finally, a finish for the quilt featuring the cut-apart Hoffman fabric photo panel of a beautiful beach at sunset. My husband took one look at this quilt and said, "Can we go there on vacation?" I wish!

Villa with a View, 39 x 19
Further down are some close-ups of the finished quilt. But first, here are some photos taken in progress...

The original panel, just after cutting it apart. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)

Tracing freezer-paper patterns from my original drawing of the arched windows....

...and using those to cut fabric pieces from Northcott Mills' Stonehenge fabric.

Fusing the fabric pieces with pre-applied Misty Fuse (which never gums up my needle!). The stone wall and inner arch pieces were also cut from Stonehenge fabrics. Don't know if these are available anymore, but I hope so. I use them often from my stash!

Next, some close-ups of the finished quilt, Villa with a View. I wish these were better photos, but between dim light/heavy clouds and my camera's automatic adjustments (time to get out the manual), this was not a good week for photographing in the studio. 

This may end up being just the first of a series (something I've never done), because there are some other photo fabric panels lurking in my closet that could be cut up and spread out like this, too. And right now I have my eye on a fall scene that should work well with these triple arched windows, so...

Speaking of which---happy fall, everybody!!


Monday, July 30, 2018

Villa with a View

Finally, I've decided to cut up this Hoffman printed fabric panel that's been hanging in my closet for longer than I care to estimate.

The upper sky is a bit over the top (no pun intended), but I might use it or parts of it in another project. The beach at bottom is a fairly "muddy" looking piece and may never be used at all.

I've always wanted to make one of those 3-window-view landscapes, and I love arches, so off to the drawing table...

 ...and then to the design wall, to audition fabrics...

 ...then back to the drawing table to trace pattern pieces onto freezer paper...

 ...then to trace the windows on vinyl (previously used---can you see the upside-down mountains from my last quilt design?)...

...and then, let the real mess begin! Pressing, fusing and cutting...

 ...and finally, the first piece is fused to the muslin base, where guidelines have also been traced.

More next time. Have a great day!