Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some Quilting for Me!

The Beatles handbag I've been carrying around for probably a year now was getting rather ratty looking.  While I had fun making it and even sang "All You Need Is Love" while I was sewing, it's so dirty even the washing machine isn't going to save it.

So with no looming quilting deadlines, I decided to make my next purse.  I fell in love with Debbie Mum's Tuscany fabric last year and went in and out of Joann's to get enough of the four coordinated fabrics to make my next purse.  Some quilting friends of mine have had great success with the Bow Tucks pattern (ps008), so I purchased the pattern at a show. 
I'm really pleased with the outcome.  Of course, I had to make a matching book cover, too.  Why do I like it?   My favorite colors are peach and green. The fabric line celebrates olive groves in Tuscany.  My Italian grandmother used to tell us at every spaghetti dinner to have an olive...because it makes you passionate.  So, I guess this little project will help me to become even more passionate about quilting!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dresden Diskette

The Alliance for American Quilts  has "New From Old: A contest for quilters of all ages that celebrates the past in the frame of the present".   I figured, what the heck, and sent in an entry yesterday.   When I found out about this contest, I was perusing my email while I was getting some old 3.5" diskettes ready to be thrown out.  I must have hundreds of these in my study, the result of a Sony Diskette camera that's now obsolete.  Since everything on them has been converted to cd-rom, there's no use in keeping them.  But, I just didn't want to throw them in the trash as is because while most contain pictures, some contain personal information.  The best way to dispose of these is to pull them apart, throw away the plastic, and remove the disk inside to shred.  Hmmmm, what if that disk inside could be used as an embellishment on a quilt?  Could it be sewn?  I took one to my quilt cave and sure enough I could sew all over it.  So, for the contest, I decided to take an old Dresden pattern and modernize it.   Here's my attempt.

It was a quick 16" x 16" quilt using 30s reproduction fabric and yes, those black rays are cut from a diskette.  It kind of reminds me of patent leather the way it reflects the light... and since my patent leather shoes from when I was a child were my "happy shoes," I guess this makes this quilt a "happy quilt," right?
According to the rules of the contest, members vote for the winners.   If you're a member, please vote for "Dresden Diskette."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's a bird, it's a plane...yes, it's an SR-71

My creative streak was in full bloom this week.   I found a quick, fun challenge to create an airplane block no larger than 12"x12".  Since I've previously made a larger quilt with an SR71 on it, I decided to create a small one.  

I must say that appliqueing in miniature at this level of detail is tedious (especially the satin stitching).  Still, I'm pleased with the results.

It seems as if I'm on a neverending quest to create Linus quilts. 

But, I finished a convergence UFO that didn't work quite right.  The fabric was so bright on a black background that I got to experiment with Neon quilting thread.  Hopefully someone will love it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I finally remembered to make my Alzheimer's quilt

I absolutely love it when an idea takes fruition and results in a finished product all in one day.  Nimble Fingers Quilt Guild in Potomac, MD is collecting Alzheimer's quilts.  Here's my finished 9"x12" quilt:

Here's how the creative process went:  I went to Wikipedia and found some text on Alzheimer's symptoms and copied and pasted that text into Word.   Then I went to google and searched for "word cloud".  A word cloud is a program that takes some text and represents that text in a picture.  The more a word is used the larger it appears in the word cloud.  I found ABCya! word clouds  and pasted the text into the program.   The word "SUCH" turned out to be the most used word.   So, I went back to Word and deleted all the SUCH's and added some "Alzheimer" here and there.  Since I decided to use the Word cloud on an elephant, I selected a grey pallet.  After I saved the word cloud, I printed it out on fabric.  The next step was to google "royalty free elephant clip art" where I found a coloring page with the outline of the elephant.  I brought the coloring page into my graphics program, sized it to 8x10, and printed it out on paper. 

In my quilt cave, I traced the elephant onto a fusible and ironed it onto the back of the word cloud fabric, cut it out, and ironed it onto the background.  A little satin stitching and binding completed the quilt.  This little quilt was fast, fun, easy, and creatively satisfying.  Woohoo!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I guess it must be Spring Fever...

because I've been lax in posting my efforts.   Here's a few cheater panels quilted for charity in March.

In April, one of my quilt guilds, Friendship Star, had their quilt show.   Surprise, surprise.  A couple of years ago, Sally Collins came to our guild.   I bought her book, "Mastering Precision Piecing" and started doing her projects.  When it came time to put quilts in the show, I had none because I've been working on school quilts and challenge quilts....so I decided to put in the two Sally Collins projects I completed.  They won first and third prizes in the Viewer's Choice miniature category.  Click here for a look at my efforts: FSQ 2010 Viewer's Choice Miniatures