Monday, March 10, 2014

Feeling productive

We got slammed with more winter weather the other week; sleet, ice, snow, 5" of the mess. I choose to use my enforced home-bound Friday in the studio. I started out sorting through my scrap bin & ended up making new pillow covers. 

I forgot how much fun they are to make. Instant creative gratification!

I need to make a few more, freshen up the sofa pillows!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A fun one, for me

I have had this idea gestating in my head for a while, so I decided to do it!
My "Jolly Rodger"
He's 20" square, on black Kona.
FMQ is Signature 40 wt. Polyester thread (grey) and 60 wt. bobbin thread (black).
I drew the outline of the skull in chalk, and thread-painted. Yep, it was way fun!
I added a variety of stiches to frame. I love him!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Great Frixion Pen Experiment

So, the Frixion Pens have invaded my quilting world, and with their introduction, the splintering of factions, both pro and anti appeared
Yes, they mark on fabric, have a variety of colors and nib sizes and do not dry out too fast. But will they really disappear?
The Frixion pens I have purchaced have a rubber tipped end, to use as an eraser, the idea being the ink disappears with the friction of rubbing (hence:Frixion, get it?). Since friction causes heat, heat should also cause the ink to disappear, thus  yet another use for the iron. BUT: will the ink come back if the quilt gets cold?
I know, I've been snarky with this question before (who stores quilts in the freezer?), but upon reflection, this needs to be answered. If you enter quilt shows, sell and/or ship quilts, they are exposed to temperature extremes during shipping. The unpressurized hold of an airplane gets mighty chilly.
So, to see for myself, I performed an experiment.
Using 4" squsres of Kona cotton, I labeled my trials (using a standard, permanent Sharpie), both Starched & Unstarched. See, I had heard (somewhere, but I can't. remember where) that starching first will prevent the ink from reappearing. Then, I marked each with my Frixion pens: black, blue and orange.

Then I ironed. With steam.

And stored in my freezer for a couple of hours.

Finally, I washed my samples, in the washer with Tide detergent.

Results?: yes, the iron removes, but yes, the cold causes reappearance. Washing helps the ink fade, but I still see a faint trace in all three colors. 

Will I use my Frixion pens to mark my quilts? Just my practice stuff. Any thought or experiences to share?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

love, honor and (a very bold) glory (post 2 of 2)

My other secret project was to make a quilt for a very dear cousin. I knew he wanted one, and I knew which one was perfect for him. I had designed this quilt in 2009 to contribute to the Quilts of Valor program and have always intended to make another. I love how quick it goes together and had the thought of publishing the pattern. I may still.
Bold Glory 60" by 84"

Anyway, my dear cousin retired from the Army last year and since he holds a special place in my heart, I knew I had to make this one for him.
He received it yesterday afternoon, so I can share it now. As this quilt is all about the fabric placement, my quilting takes a supporting roll. I used gray thread and quilted a stipple in the red and blue areas, with a long, curved feather in the white areas.

I love the red, white & blue. I designed it inspired by the banners that families used to hang in their window during WWII, the number of stars on those banners stood for the number of family members they had in the military. For this quilt, I choose 3 stars for balance.

I love how the striped binding frames it. My son and I took these photos at Historic Bethabara Park, one of the early Moravian settlements here in Winston-Salem. Besides being a beautiful spot, I love the connection of history.

And my cousin loves it!

Been a while (post 1 of 2)

How can February be such a short month and yet seem so long!
It has been over a month since my last real post. But that doesn't mean I haven't been quilting. I have done a couple of secret gift projects as well as some commission quilting. Now that the gifts have been received, I can share!
First up is a quilt the Triad Modern Quilt Guild made for a member who had a baby in December.
Said member loves rainbows and robots, so the quilt design (directed by May Chappell) was easy to concieve.
Instead of contributing a block, participating members contributed a row of color. Then it was handed to me to quilt. A robot, naturally! I drew out my robot idea (based on a Lego figure),

marked my dimensions with masking tape, loaded rainbow variegated yarn, and set to stitching.

 It is hard to see the large central figure, so I did a tiny version in one of the corners.

And for the major cute baby enjoying the quilt, click here!

A great project to be a part of!