Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quilting Order

On Saturday, I'll be zipping out to Salt Lake City to film my episode for Season Three of Quilt It! and I really want to bring this quilt with me. I'd hoped to have it finished in time but, typical me, I've gotten waaay too carried away with the quilting and there's no way it's going to be done. My episode is going to be on template use and this quilt is all about templates, so it would have been a nice quilt to hang in the background. However, I've decided to turn lemons into lemonade and will simply use it as an example instead which, now that I think about it, is a much better idea since it will allow me to really get the cameras in close so that the viewers can see what I'm talking about.

I've gotten many questions on Facebook about the stitching order for this design and really, it couldn't be easier. let me give you a little tutorial:

Step one was accomplished with a large circle template, which I cut in half because it was just too dang big to be convenient. I stitched around this template to make the basic half-circle design. Then I used a melon template to echo that line and allow me to stitch out a second line that was 1/4 inch from the first.

After stitching out the first two lines, I did the same thing, only upside down, which gave me a classic Egg and Dart design.

This created the 'bones' of my design.

Now it's time to fill it in with a combination offreehand feathers and curved crosshatching which, in this case, is being accomplished with a small circle template and a small melon template.

I still need to figure out how to fill in the spaces behing these motifs (I'm thinking piano keys) and also need to fill the backgrounds of the blocks.

Maybe more curved crosshatching? And a whole bunch of secondary 'ghost' petals to enhance the dahlia effect?

Clearly, I need more coffee to get me going.

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Love To Quilt

Boy oh boy do I love to quilt. Love, love, love it. I love the peace and quiet in my studio, the way that time becomes meaningless as I work on my art, the excitment that I feel when it becomes clear that a design is really going to work. I really love it when the stabilization work is finished and I can start doing the filler work that makes my design pop, because then I can not only see the design with my eyes, I can feel it when I run my hands across it.

This week I've been working on the second of the two quilts for my next DVD. This is the one with the border design I was struggling with last week. As you can see, I came up with a completely new design which works *much* better for this quilt. It's far from finished (I just finished the stabilization work), and will require at least three more days of heavy quilting, but at least you can get an idea of the direction in which I've chosen to go.

I will definitely use the curved crosshatching design I drew out last week, just not on this quilt. It was too elaborate and ornate for this simple 1930's quilt and would have been completely overpowering. However, I believe that it will go perfectly with the Chimney Swallows quilt that I'm going to make and donate to the Riley Blake Challenge Auction at HMQS. That will be the next quilt you'll be reading about, as I plan to document it's design, construction, and quilting processes here on this blog. I promise to try really hard not to swear as I am paper piecing it. (mutter, mutter, mutter)

PS Go back to the photo and check out the Dresden Plates. I quilted them in much the same way as a Giant Dahlia is pieced. Cool, eh? You wouldn't believe the crazy cool texture it gives!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Wow, it's been a long time since Ive posted! Sorry about that. Houston was the last show in a very long string of shows for me and when I came home I just sort of collapsed into an exhausted puddle. Then came the holidays and you know what happens to people when it's the holidays. I feel like such a Scrooge for saying this but, somewhere along the way, Christmas sure did turn into an awful lot of work. What's up with that?


I'm back to quilting like a madwoman. I'm currently working on the second of two quilts that will be featured in my upcoming DVD 'Bordering On Lunacy For Beginners' which will, as the title would suggest, cover the subject of borders for beginners. The first quilt for this DVD was my Avatar-inspired quilt 'The Last Shadow' and this new quilt will complete the lineup.

If it ever gets finished, that is.

In two weeks, I'll be flying out to Salt Lake City to do my filming for Season 3 of Quilt It! and I was really hoping to be able to bring this quilt along to use as my backdrop. However, I have run into a big problem. I'm stumped. The border design which looked so perfect in my head is not turning out well at all. Sometimes that happens; designs that appear to be perfect inside the confines of your imagination have an ugly way of turning all crispy and shrively when exposed to things like air and light and seam allowances, but usually I'm able to bulldoze my way through those issues. This time, though, I'm hitting a wall. For the past four days, I've been doing nothing but drawing, drawing, drawing to try to get things to work out but I am just not feelin' the love.

This is just way too much curved crosshatching. I'm telling you, I have redrawn that stupid corner 6 times and it is not working. When will I ever learn that if I redraw the same thing more than a couple of times and it still isn't working that maybe it's time to give up and try a new design??? I tell this to my students all of the time but apparently I am not so good with that whole practice what I preach concept.

I'm going to brew another cup of coffee and sit down to redraw. Again. And this time, I'm going to put feathers in the curving diamond shapes instead of curved crosshatching. I'd hoped to avoid using feathers on this quilt lest people begin to think that's all I know how to do, but really, the quilt is screaming for feathers and it's high time I start listening to the quilt.