A finished quilt and an anniversary!!!

First of all, today marks my 2 year anniversary of blogging.  As I said on this day last year, I have truly enjoyed the people that I have met along the way, as well as the wonderful art that I have seen.  Thank you all for adding so much richness to my life!!!!

A special thanks to Anita  for her encouragement to try to write a blog and to my husband, Michael, for his continuing support of my art and my online journal!!!

Now, to celebrate this anniversary, I am getting to tell you about a completed project….the first that I have had in quite a while!!!

I am co-chair of our Guild’s upcoming show entitled “Hot Threads, Cool Quilts” and we had issued a challenge to our group to make a quilt that was 24×30, designed to hang vertically, with an “off-the-surface” embellishment of some sort, that somehow referenced our show theme.

WOW…..how many different ideas did I come up with!!!!  We set the challenge about 2 weeks before my husband and I left for our epic 7 weeks in Italy so the theme was much in my mind as I wandered thru the beautiful Italian country and cities.   Basically everything that I saw could be somehow combined into a Hot/Cool combination.  I think that I about drove my husband crazy!!!!

But then it happened…….. while in Rome we developed two daily habits.  My husband would always stop each morning for a cup of hot espresso and we would  go down the street to the local Gelateria every night to have our cup of cold, heavenly delight.    And look at those cute spoons that they serve it with!!!!_B190935

So, my mind started planning…..my friends and myself started collecting spoons and the quilt was in progress!!!!!

When I finally had a few minutes to work on the quilt, I began by planning the borders of the project as those had to be big enough to hold the spoons.  Once I had determined the interior size, I started drawing boxes and rectangles that would fit within the piece.  This is how the original version looked, although I made changes to the size of the pieces in later versions…..

PB190937-1I then started looking thru photos of Rome and started selecting ones that I would like to use in the piece.  This was almost the hardest part as I had 1,510 photos of this beautiful city.

Once selected, I would open a copy in Photoshop, crop it to the size that it needed to be, use a contrast layer to deepen the photo and then apply a color mask to change the colors of the photos.  I tried to keep the photos in the cool range of colors….mostly blues, greens and purples.

I printed the photos onto paper, cut them out and taped them to the pattern to see how it was going to look……


After adjusting a few color combinations, I printed the photos on fabric and started the tedious job of piecing it together.  I tried to find groups that could be pieced together with only straight seams, but ended up with a few seams that had to be partially sewn first and then finished when other parts were added.

At this point I realized that somewhere between the original design and the 2 other versions, I had managed to mess up the dimensions of the piece so that it was going to be about 1-1/2 inches too long!!!! 

OK…don’t panic….this is just a design opportunity!!!  So I played with the borders until I came to an arrangement that I liked.

I had decided to quilt small spoons in three of the borders and hang the actual spoons like a fringe on the bottom.  I was having trouble evenly spacing the designs on the border, so I got a  length of adding machine tape (remember, I am an Accountant, so I have LOTS of the stuff), cut it the length of the border and then folded it again and again until I had a good spacing for the spoons.  It was then VERY easy to draw the properly spaced quilting patterns…..

_C131089 After quilting the piece, the final step was to attach the spoon fringe to the bottom of the piece.  I found a large safety pin, heated the point in a flame and used it to burn a hole in each of the spoons.  To attach them, I first added a seed bead, the spoon and topped it off with another seed bead. 

Here is the finished product…..


I am very pleased with this piece that fulfills the challenge as well as provides my husband and I of a fun reminder of our wonderful month in Rome!!!!!

As important, it marks a return to the studio for me…..an event that I hope continues into the upcoming year!!!!

Escada Azul


Wow, I just had a very fun 3 day weekend….it is sad to see it past!!!   On Friday, I mailed my Sunflower quilt to the East Cobb Quilt Guild show in Atlanta,  where it will be judged next Monday and then hung the following Thursday.  I am looking forward to seeing it hanging in this wonderful show.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I worked on several different projects and truly enjoyed spending long hours in my studio.

The prize of the weekend was finishing the blue stair quilt that I showed a couple of posts back.  It is now named “Escada Azul” (Blue Stairs)……

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Here is the photo that the quilt was based on……

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As with most of my pieces, I learned a lot about myself!!  I ended up doing a lot of applique to set the piece together and found that I enjoyed the hand work.  I also had one piece that didn’t l0ok right but I had decided that it was “good enough”.  I thought about it during the night and went in first thing Monday morning and ripped the piece out and re-did it, being much happier with the result.

I also quilted a wallhanging for a friend who is in a time crunch trying to get her booth ready for the upcoming Atlanta show.    I still find it nerve racking to quilt for another quilter….someone who KNOWS what it is supposed to look like!!!

Oh well, so much for the Holiday….now it is on to Accounting work!!!

Finished Quilt (at least my part)

Firstly, I have just realized that I LOVE getting onto my blog at about 8:30 am and checking to see who has added to their posts. I love seeing the posts that were put on late in the evening when I was sleeping and then those from the early birds (like me) who post first thing in the morning. It is lovely to see our diversity!!!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a “commission” quilt that I was working on for my cousin. My mother (85 years old) had originally told my cousin that she would make this quilt for her, but I was asked to print the photos on the fabric. As I talked to my Mom, I realized that she was concerned about being able to finish it on time, so I offered to piece the top. When I finished the top, I called my Mom and asked her if she would like me to go ahead and quilt it for her. She said “yes Please” and then agreed to put the binding on. SO, I spent a Saturday and finished this quilt……

There is nothing particularly fancy about it, but I like the homey feel that it has and I hope that the quilt winner will enjoy the 50+ years of photos.

SO…..on to the post office to get it in the mail and off of my “To-Do” list.

Oh, one other comment…….I made this quilt (and the last one) solely from fabrics that were in my stash!!!!