Archive for December, 2009

Woodpecker Quilt: Just starting.

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

  These are not very good photographs.  It’s a bit gloomy out today and I try to photograph my quilts using natural light.  I hate using my flash when photographing, it flattens things out. 

  I love woodpeckers and I love the black and white fabric that I used to make the branches out of.  I want more color in this quilt so I will probably add some colored circle elements and maybe even some leafs. 

This is how I came up with the design for my woodpecker. 

  I knew that I didn’t want a literal image of a woodpecker.   I Googled Woodpecker Art to see how other artist had portaited this bird. 

  This is a detail of a James Audubon print of Pileated Woodpeckers.  It’s beautiful but to realistic for my needs.  One thing this print does show is Woodpeckers in a pose where they are not stuck to a side of a tree.  I wanted my Woodpecker to be like that.

I  Here is my Woodpecker print.  And, oh yes, he is stuck to the side of a tree.

I wanted my woodpecker to be a bit cuter.  I remembered a site called Birdorable.  All their birds are extra cute.  They have a woodpecker or two which helped me decide how I wanted to increase my woodpeckers cuteness.

You will notice that my woodpecker looks nothing my Birdorable’s or Audubon, but each image gave me enough info to create my own woodpecker image.

PS – YOu should really check out Birdorables site.  I think I might have to buy one of their t-shirts!

January 2010’s Embroidery Pattern!

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Feelin’ squirrely?  I know I am. 

Here is the free pattern for January 2010.  Have fun!

Valentine Quilt, Finished!

Monday, December 28th, 2009

  I hope you’re not tired of seeing this quilt.

  It’s finished!  Like always, it’s all hand sewn, appliqued and embroidered.  The final size is aprox. 30″ x 30″.  The fabric is all cotton.

  Please click on each image to see the details.

Valentine Quilt, creating the sandwich.

Saturday, December 26th, 2009


Here is how I prepare a small quilt for quilting.  

  I tape the background fabric, right side down, on a flat work space.  Tape the four corners first, then the edges.

  Make sure the background fabric is flat and wrinkle free.  When taping make sure that background fabric is somewhat tight.  Next, lay down your batting, making sure it is smooth.  Lastly, lay down quilt top, right side up.

  Now you have a sandwich of your three quilt layers.  The next step is to safety pin all three layers together.  I create a  grid with each safety pin being about 3 inches from the other  pins.  Once the safely pins are in place you can remove the tape from the edges.  Your quilt is now free to move around without fear of you fabric moving out of place.  

The safety pins secure all 3 layers temporarily so you can baste your layers together.  You baste stitch your quilt in a grid in between the safety pins.  Once this is done you can remove the pins.

  Some might think, “When all 3 layers are laying flat, why not just baste the layers together without using the safety pins?”.  Well, it’s very hard to keep all the layers nice and smooth and fabric seems to like to move around. 

     Putting together a small quilt in this method allows me to quilt without the need for hoops or stretcher bars.  This also means I can take this quilt on trips.  I just roll it up and unroll it when I am at my location.  All I need is my quilt, scissors, thimble, needles and quilting thread.

Toshiko Yazu

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

  I was searching through Flickr, looking for quilts when I came across photo’s taken by Be*Mused.

Be*Mused Flickr photostream –

 This is where I found this quilt by Toshiko Yazu’ from the 2009 Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival.  Oh…my….god…. Have you ever seen such beautiful work? 

  This photo implies that she has made quite a few quilts. 

I don’t even know what to say, she is unbelievable.

Be*mused’s Blog:

Quilts Japan Web, article on Toshiko Yazu, but it’s in Japanese:

Valentine Quilt, and my possible book.

Monday, December 21st, 2009

  What a difference a day makes.  The last photographs I took of the quilt top all the pieces for the applique where just pinned into place.  Previous Valentine Quilt article:

   As you can see I embroidered the heck out of it.  This style of embroidery is more subtle than what I usually do.  Tried to add fancy stitches like the Blanket Stitch and Maiden Hair Stitch but it just looked to heavy.  I usually go for colors that “fight” with each other to make it pop but that is not what this quilt top needed.

  This design currently sits in the middle of a 30″x30″ piece of muslin.  I don’t know yet if I will leave it there in the middle like the other heart quilt or will I cut it down to make the design off center and maybe add other elements.

Book stuff-

The response for a possible quilt/embroidery book has been real positive.  Don’t get yourselves too excited yet because I’m still have issues regarding what the dang thing should be about.  Every time I make notes or write a passage it seems so dry and boring.  Plus, to be truthful, I have no idea what I am doing.

Valentine Quilt, just beginning.

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

My next quilt is in progress.   It has changed a lot from the orginal idea (down below) that I started out with.

My idea about how to design these abstract quilts has changed.  I find what works for me is to start with a central idea or color, this time it’s the heart, and eye balling different colors and shapes next to it.   I can see the need for a quilt design board. I had already stitched the pink design to the muslin.  When I layed the red heart on the pink design  I decided the heart needed a border/background.  I really like the way the yellow with pokadots looks against the red heart.  Then I laid the acid green next to the whole design and fell in love with how it played against the other colors.

Construction.  All the pieces where hand cut using no patterns, just eye balling.  The green is in 4 sections.  The Yellow pokadot was also hand cut with no pattern.

The pink design was actually done before the heart, yellow polka dot, and green design. The pink was hand cut with no pattern.  I then appliqued the pink using the  method in which Hawaiian quilts are appliqued.

The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue and yet another bra comment.

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue by The Seamster\'s Union (Local #500  Take a good look at this quilt.  Click on it.  It’s called The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue.  I particularly like the snake. 

You can see more vintage quilts at The Quilt Index:

On to Bra’s –

I recently received  a reply to my comment about a person who told me that if she can’t find her bra she knows that it will be in the back seat of her car.  My mind went wild with the idea of how someones bra could continuously be found in the back seat on ones car.   Here is the response –

“Oh! dear, where is your mind? I knew she meant she took it off and threw it over her shoulder when she was caught in traffic at a red light. Many a time I’ve wanted to do just that. ”

Here is my side.  If I where to try to take my bra off in the car, especially with the limited time of a red light, it would look like I was wrestling a grizzly bear.  I got big boobs. I can’t get my bra off very fast.  Also,  if I where to exit my car bra-less my nipples would freeze hanging out below the hem of my t-shirt.