Denim and Lace

Our guild issued a new challenge that was due at last night’s meeting. The quilt was to use a mixture of denim and lace. It didn’t have to use actual denim but the fabric needed to look similar to denim.

I didn’t have any flat lace and, when I looked at the fabric store, I didn’t find any that I was particularly excited about. Instead I pulled out my lace trims and was immediately drawn to these two…..

As I have said before, I LOVE daisy-type flowers and these seemed to be perfect for a floral arrangement, but how was I going to do the vase. As I thought more, I wondered if I could make it out of the flat lace, but how would I attach it?

I was trying to keep the quilt fast and easy and wondered if I could used wonder-under on it. I made a small test piece…..

…and found that I worked great, as long as I covered it with a silicone cloth. AND, once I had ironed it really well, the fusible in the open mesh dissolved as well!!

After cutting the vase out, I added fused on stems and started placing the flowers in the vase…..

Once again I wondered how to easily attach the flowers and turned back to Wonder-Under….

….putting a small piece on the fabric and then adding the flower on top.

When I had everything arranged, I pressed it well…..

…and had a look.

Hmmm. it definitely needs some color. How about yellow centers for the flowers…..

To finish the quilt, I added two small borders on one side, quilted/thread painted it a bit, and called it finished…..

Our next challenge has been announced….an 18×18 inch animal portrait that contains a metallic embellishment of some sort…..sounds interesting!!!

Feeling Judged

This is one of those posts where I feel like I need to re-introduce myself….it has been far too long since I have posted anything.

There are several reasons for my absence including being super busy at work and preparing for my guild’s quilt show.  We are also struggling with some family health issues at the moment.  My husband has been diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma which has included two surgeries in the last two months and now we are waiting to hear results of a Lymph node test to determine if additional surgeries will be required.   News like that really manages to slow life down to a crawl!!

There have been some fun times in the past two months, including our guild quilt show.  The quality of work in our show was wonderful and it was so inspiring to spend 3 days looking at these examples of fine quilting.  I will post photos from the show in the next week….I promise!!!

I was interested in the Judge’s comments about my entries…..

I was surprised that this piece received a 2nd place ribbon in the “Wall Quilt – Applique” division…..

I am NOT known for my hand work so was excited that this was received well.  The Judge felt that the small yellow border did a good job of suggesting a light source and the shadows on the table encourage that idea.   I REALLY wish that I had done it for that reason, but sometimes serendipity knows better!!!   She did comment that the points of my petals could be more precise and I totally agree with that comment.

The other quilt that received an award was my pineapple quilt….an Honorable Mention in “Bed Quilt – Pieced”…..

She liked the color flow and the use of the yellow in the pineapple corners but felt that the yellow border was too intense.   I hadn’t really thought about it, but now that I look at the quilt further, I can see what she means!! 

For this quilt…..

….she liked the lettering, the reduced Chroma in the photo and the focal point of the quilt, but noted that the photo could have been sharper.   I agree with this assessment but had just used the photo that had been given to me.  Next time I need to play with it more and see if I can use Photoshop to sharpen it up!!

She didn’t like much about this quilt…..

….saying that the fused edges were too frayed and that it was hard to read the landscape with the similar values.   I sort of agree with the value comment but I also like that it is a nighttime scene with the light seemingly coming from the buds on the tree. 

I fully agreed with one of the comments about this quilt…..

One of her first comments was that the perspective wasn’t quite right.  I felt this as well, wishing that I had made the windmill shorter and wider.  BUT, the exciting thing for me about this quilt was that I did almost all of it freehand and without a pattern and am just happy that it didn’t turn out looking like a Picasso!!!    She also felt like the eye was drawn too much to the flowers.   I dont know if I agree with that but am actually quite happy if your eyes go there first!!

Probably my biggest disappointment were the comments on the Himalayan quilt….

….but after I thought about them more, I can actually agree. She commented that the top part of the quilt was more effective than the lower part because of the value differences in the mountains.   She liked the flags, but didn’t like the lack of value contrast between the monument and the grass, and this is what I agree with.   I remember when I placed the monument on the finished background that I was concerned about this.  However, in my rush to finish the quilt, I didn’t listen to that niggily voice telling me to FIX IT!!!

So now I am trying to decide if I want to try to fix it or leave it the way it is.   I know that I could use some paint to darken the monument but I am afraid that I will have to get it REALLY dark to have enough contrast from the grass.  So instead, I am trying to think of a way to lighten the grass….maybe sponge a creamy, yellowy brown paint over the green fabric, especially directly around the monument.   I am also sure that I want to add some shading to the “steeple” and also to the inside side of the monument.

Now I just have to work up my courage and tackle it with a sponge and some paint….maybe I will wait for a while!!!

It was interesting to hear people’s comments about the quilt at the show.  Many had no idea what it was and couldn’t figure out why there was “washing hanging on the line” or “flowers inside the brick oven”!!!

I did buy an interesting book…..

She starts with plain white fabric, adds layers of textured fabrics, paints those fabrics to create a background and then thread paints over them.  I LOVE the texture and am anxious to try this technique!!!

One of our vendors presented an interesting method of using Derwent Paint Sticks…..

He would shave the sticks into a small jar, add some Aloe vera gel….

and mix it to form a paint consistency.   He said that using the gel helped to control the bleeding of the paint that you often get when you add water to it.   Again, I am looking forward to playing with this!!!

OK….I have done my duty and caught you up for now.   Hopefully there will be more to come soon!!!

Putting it all together……


After I finished adding some threadwork to the four panels, it was time to put it all together.  My original thought was to border each panel with a brown fabric and then to add some other designs and pots, etc.   Something like this….


BUT….when I put the borders around the first two panels, I realized that it would look better if I kept it simple and leave off all of the other stuff…..


I kept on adding strips until the piece was basically square…..


After deciding on a dark border, I felt that it needed something else, so ended up adding a sliver of Turquoise around the edge…..


Here is the final top…..DSC09089

I got the quilting started before my meeting last week but ended up taking it in for the challenge in an unfinished state.    Hopefully I can get it finished up before the new year!!

By the way, the challenge was to make a quilt depicting a Nation, including an Indian Nation.    Here are a few of the other entrants…..

Nupur made a “stamp” from her native India……


Mary’s quilt was Polynesian in nature…..DSC09102

Nancy used “Olive” trees to depict Italy……


Madeline remembered her trip to France with her daughter……


Pat chose France as her country.  She had two wonderful quilts,  but I wasn’t able to get a good photo of her first one.  Here is the second…..


Mary Ellen had two entries.  The first was from Africa…..


Her second one was from Australia……


And finally, our Challenge chairman, Barbara, chose to depict our neighbor to the North…..


It was a fun reveal to the challenge and a great Christmas party!!!

Quilt Show Magic

Last week my guild held its biennial show “A Journey in Quilts – 2013”.  It was a bittersweet time for me since I missed most of the show because of my impromptu trip to Texas, but I was excited to learn that I had won THREE blue ribbons……

“Flower Pot, Flower Pot…..SO Many Flower Pots”…..


“Lines Should Be Straight”……



and “Complements Under the Canopy”…….


The show was beautifully laid out and hung and it was such fun to spend two hours enjoying the wonderful quilts.

This one was made by my friend Deb and was part of the “Two Block” challenge…..


…..I love the neutral colors!!!

This one by Sylvia is called “The Ooze Primordial”….such great colors….


Sylvia is a Marine Biologist and many of her quilts express her love of all things scientific!!

Terri stole the show, winning numerous ribbons for her wonderful scrappy quilts.  This is one of my favorites…..


A group of women, calling themselves “Artful Hands” put together this fun piece….


But the show stopper was a quilt made by Cleo….hand appliqued, hand quilted and beaded….


Look at the detailed quilting  (remember that it is done by hand)…..


All in all, it was a fantastic show and I cant wait for 2015 to enjoy the next one…..guess I should get started on my entries!!!