Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Parisienne Rose, My Favorite Garment

This garment is my favorite of all of them. Yours too, it was voted by the viewers as one of the top ten favorites! 

Parisienne Rose, captures the romance and excitement you would expect to see at a glittering ball in one of Europe’s capital cities, or perhaps gracing a shop window along the Champs d’Elise, enticing delighted passers-by to take a closer look.

Constructed of heavy silk taffeta hand-selected and imported directly from China, the brilliant red woven jacquard fabric is a delightful panorama of delicate roses in red and black. The fabric itself served as inspiration for the ultimate design. The close-fitting strapless gown has a darted dropped waist bodice and a double gathered skirt trimmed in lace Melody herself created using software, 15,000 yards of fuchsia-colored thread Her Bernina worked furiously for over 100 hours on just the lace motifs, alone. 

The long evening shawl, an original design, is made of shocking pink polyester lined with red Chinese silk taffeta to match the gown. The beautiful dimension you see is achieved with pin tucks stitched with a 2.5 double needle and red thread just a few shades darker than the fabric. Each of the 86 small lace motif along the shawl’s edges took 30 minutes to stitch, and the 14 larger ones each required over an hour.


Both gown and shawl are embellished with 5,000 Swarovski crystals, ranging in size from 3 to 5 mm. Their brilliant colors – fuchsia, ruby, rose, Siam, light Siam, and light Siam Aurora Borealis – twinkle and flash, just like the eyes of the beautiful woman fortunate enough to wear this chic and stunning ensemble.
 

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Fast Way to Finish Small Quilts

Some quilts just need a fast finish. I just learned this method from my friend Linda.

It really only works well on smaller quilts, because the batting and quilt top need to be cut the same size. Add the backing which is at least 1 1/2" larger than the front all the way around. Quilt.

Cut the backing exactly 1" larger than the front.

Press the back in half.

Fold the quilt diagonally, and place a ruler perpendicular to the folded edge. Draw a line from the fold down 3/4".

Stitch on the line, back stitch at both ends. Trim.

Tuck the edges in and top stitch. The corner is perfect every time!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Donna Martin - Guest Artist

Donna shared "Some of my tiny wall quilts."



Sunday, June 11, 2017

3-D Bow tie blocks


3-D Bow tie blocks are easy to make in any size. To make an 3" (finished) bow tie, you will need two 2" squares of your background fabric and three 2" squares of a print fabric for each block. 

Fold in half, wrong sides together, one of your bow tie squares. Finger press. Place this folded bow tie square between a background and another print square, right sides together, with the fold in the center. Sew along the raw edges.

Open up, and pull out the folded tie piece. Sew that together the remaining background and tie squares.

If the background is on the top of the first set, then it belongs on the bottom set this time. 

Open the knot piece and put both pieces right sides together, matching the center seam. Put seam allowances on opposing sides, one in each direction, so you won't have a huge lump on one side. Sew.

Open and press.

Want a different size? Cut all the squares one half the desired block size plus 1" for seam allowance. The process is the same.

Have Fun!!
   

Saturday, June 10, 2017

On Pressing Seams Open

I have been pressing seams open for almost 20 years. I didn't admit to it for a long time. I guess because I was afraid of the quilt police. I press open for a couple of reasons.

A very flat quilt, means less bulk when quilting and fewer skipped stitches.
When you press to one side, unless careful, piecing can be less accurate. 

I suspect the original reason to press to one side was to strengthen the hand stitched seam.  This was much more important with hand pieced quilts and old cotton battings.


Pressing seams open works for me, perhaps it will work for you as well. Try it you'll like it!

Friday, June 9, 2017

embellish

verb make beautiful;
Sometimes it's a dress.
decorate   
adorn
dress
embroider
exaggerate
festoon
gild
spiff up
amplify
array
beautify
color
deck
elaborate
enhance
enrich
fudge
garnish
grace
magnify
Sometimes its a purse
ornament
trim
add bells and whistles
fix up


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Inspiration: "the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions".

I find inspiration in many things:
I find inspiration in many things. The strength of the building against the power of the hills.
The lines of the cactus including its spines.

The colors in nature.







































Friday, June 2, 2017

Flower Power

Beauties In A Basket
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the summer of love, which gave birth to the anti-war flower power slogan. I thought I would share a couple of my 'flower' quilts.



Never forget the label
Flowers are a significant visual influence in my daily life.  I can almost feel the warm summer sun and smell the fragrance of the flowers from my quilt bouquet. The background of small half log cabin blocks was a joy to make. It was a personal challenge to combine three dimensional appliqué with log cabin blocks.



.
Plum Blossom   27” X 32”,  100 % cotton fabrics, machine pieced, appliqued & quilted


Oriental designs have always fascinated me. This is a challenge piece incorporating the backs of fabrics for increased variety.  Layered fans and lamé fabrics provide movement. The floral applique accent adds dimension.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Best Place to be on a Sunny Tuesday in Seattle

DUCK DODGE "The Ultimate Beer Can Race" - Sailing World, July 2008
Listed in FODOR's as one of the "TOP 100 Things to do in Northern America." Tropical Night won the Seattle Magazine's 2007 award for "Best Night on the Water".
 


And if you are really luck you just might get to watch  Arron Jones and the Way film a music video!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

kettle barbecue grillMemorial Day is a day often reserved for enjoying the beginnings of summer. We barbecue, spend time outdoors, hang out with friends and catch up with family, but the real reason for the holiday is much more important. Memorial Day is the day dedicated to honoring all of those who have sacrificed their lives in service of this great nation.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Contact Quilts of the Sierra Nevada by Ann Johnston

Ann Johnston Nevadan OrogenyThe Contact features over 30 of Ann Johnston’s large-scale quilts inspired by the California Sierra Nevada range. Johnston’s quilts—made from cloth that the artist has dyed herself—make creative use of patterns and textures to create literal, abstract, and sometimes completely imaginative representations of the area. These works demonstrate the mastery with which Johnston uses different processes in her fabrics to produce fascinating pieces that draw viewers in, powerful on their own and cohesive as a series.

The artist’s connection to the Sierra Nevada is strong. Her family has held a mining claim near Tioga Pass since the 1800s and she considers the area to be a place of power and fascination. The collection of work presents subjects that visitors of the Sierra Nevada might recognize—bands of colors in the earth, mineral-rich rock layers that have been squeezed and heated over centuries, mountain peaks, lakes, and rock formations.  The word “contact” in the exhibition’s title has a double meaning. It refers both to a place where geologic units touch each other as well as alluding to the human influence on the landscape. The forests, the rivers, and even the mountains themselves have been shaped forever by people seeking their fortunes.

Exhibit closes June 11, 2017.
Hours
Monday & Tuesday     Closed
Wednesday - Sunday     11am – 5pm
First Free Fridays     11am – 8pm

BAM
510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

425.519.0770

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The City of Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles often known by its initials L.A., is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. With a census population of 3,971,883, it is the second-most populous city in the United States (after New York City). Located in a large coastal basin surrounded on three sides by mountains reaching up to and over 10,000 feet, Los Angeles covers an area of about 469 square miles.

Nicknamed the "City of Angels", Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, and sprawling metropolis. About the climate: I went for the sunshine, and got overcast and rain. But I enjoyed my visit!

The beach from the Hermosa pier

Monday, May 22, 2017

Quick Trip To LA

Friday morning I took an early flight to LAX. Wanted to spend some time in the California sunshine. Saturday morning got up early to go to the Fashion District in LA. The LA Fashion District is home to the largest selection of textiles and notions in the United States. There are nearly 200 wholesale and retail textile stores selling trim, beading and fabric, crafts and home decor. Shoppers can find nearly every type of fabric, running the gamut from novelty to exotic silks and European upholstery. Prices range from 99 cents up to hundreds of dollars per yard. Designers, stylists and crafters all rely on the textiles and resources of the LA Fashion District. Textile and notion stores are generally centered within four blocks, from 8th Street down to Olympic Boulevard, between Maple Avenue and San Julian Street.

Spent most of the day visiting The Santee Alley. Over 150 stores selling apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty supplies, cosmetics, and more. The Santee Alley makes up two blocks of the 100-block LA Fashion District. It has traditionally been the retail core of the area, popular for bargain shopping and its bazaar-like atmosphere. Open 7 days a week, rain or shine.



Friday, May 19, 2017

How to Build a Better Back

I like to piece the backs of my quilts.I dig around in my pile of 'back' fabrics to find something that kinda matches, usually about the same value. A group of pieces that might be large enough.
I usually choose fabrics that I bought in my past and am no longer interested in putting on the fronts of quilts .(I'll use the two on the left last, they don't seam to go with the rest.)

It is easier for me to build the back, on the wall, right over the front. No small backs for me.


Oops, the bottom piece would look better if it was turned over.

Perfect!
All I need to do is sew the pieces together and I'm ready to baste and quilt it!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Label, Label, Here is an Easy Label

I love to print labels with my computer. Sew-On Printable Fabric Sheets work with any inkjet printer or inkjet copier and are colorfast and washable.
 
Instructions:
1. On your computer - prepare image to be printed. 2. Set printing parameters at BEST for the print quality and PLAIN PAPER for the paper type. 3. Print first on regular printer paper to test ink coverage - image clarity - size and placement. 4. Cut (do not pull) any loose threads from the Printed Treasures sheet. 5. Load Printed Treasures sheet in printer tray so image prints on fabric side. Follow your printer's directions for loading instructions. 6. Print image. 7. Allow ink to dry completely - (approximately one minute). 8. Slowly peel paper backing from the Printed Treasures® fabric sheet. 9. Before sewing - remove any excess ink that may be resting on the fabric surface. This can be done by submerging your fabric sheet in an oversized bowl that is overflowing with a constant stream of cold water. Keep fabric sheet submerged for approximately one to two minutes. The water will carry off any excess ink - and prevent it from attaching to other areas of the sheet. Do not twist - or wring out - simply lay flat to dry. 10. Once dry - the sheet is ready to use. Care for completed Printed Treasures projects: As needed - hand or machine wash in cold water using the gentle cycle and a mild detergent. Air or machine dry using low heat. After washing or rinsing - Printed treasures is iron friendly using the lowest steam setting (silk or wool). For best results - avoid exposure to direct sunlight. 
I add a step, paint the fabric first! Makes great personalized labels

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pressing Seams Open


I have been pressing seams open for almost 20 years. I didn't admit to it for a long time. I guess because I was afraid of the quilt police. I press open for a couple of reasons.

A very flat quilt, means less bulk when quilting and fewer skipped stitches.
When you press to one side, unless careful, piecing can be less accurate. 

I suspect the original reason to press to one side was to strengthen the hand stitched seam.  This was much more important with hand pieced quilts and old cotton battings.


Pressing seams open works for me, perhaps it will work for you as well. Try it you'll like it!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Eye Candy Quilts with Words

Words are a simple addition, too, and there are a variety of ways to add them to your Eye Candy Quilt. Hand stitch them, use your sewing machine lettering program or purchase them straight from a craft store. You can even write directly onto buttons using a sharp-tipped permanent marking pen.

Purchase your copy of Eye Candy Quilts

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Inspiration

Inspiration comes from many places. Sometimes I just need to figure out what to do with it!


Friday, May 5, 2017

I Love to Quilt! Here are My Best Tips

I love to quilt, I especially love dense stitching. I have some tips and tricks to make your machine stitches, quilts the best ever.
Batting - I prefer cotton batting because among other things:  Cotton tends to stick to the quilt top and the backing, allowing for easier machine stitching. Thin cotton batting rolls up compactly (a nice quality for machine quilting).
Safety pins – The 1” size work the best. And if you have bent quilter’s pins work even better. Use lots, I place the pins about 4” apart. I remove them as needed.
A walking foot - It has built-in feed dogs that help move the top layers of fabric through your machine, while your machine's own feed dogs move the bottom layers through. This helps ensure the layers don't shift while you are quilting.
Basting - First, lay the quilt BACK on a flat surface, right side down. Use masking tape around the perimeter to hold the edges in place. The fabric should be taught but not distorted. Next, place the batting on top of the quilt back. Smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles with your hand. Finally, lay the quilt top on the batting, right side up. Once again, use your hand to smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles in the fabric.
NOTE: Take the time to make sure all the straight lines that should be straight are straight.
On a sample, test the tension and stitch length.
Change the needle.
If I can hide the starts and stops in under the binding, I back stitch at the beginning and end of each line of quilting to lock the stitches.
When I start quilting, I use the edge of the fabric as a guide, keeping my walking foot placed along it as I stitch.
Use the needle down, if possible, so the fabric doesn't shift.
I use the previous line of quilting as my guide for the next line, keeping the edge of my walking foot against it while I work on the next line of quilting.
Before you know it, your beautiful quilt will be beautifully quilted!

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings.  Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons.

Seattle has many flowers in bloom!