Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Peace Star

Here are some of the images from the Peace Star Wall Hanging that I completed in December. I shared in my previous post that I was asked to create something to hang above the alter for Advent based upon a Bethlehem Star Quilt with purple on the outside and yellow in the center.

Time was spent prior to vacation selecting colors & cutting out all of the pieces. I'm thankful that I had help trying to decide upon which fabrics would work best. The goal was to create an illusion of light and depth and a feeling of darkness to light. I was drawn to using oranges and pinks to complement the purple and yellows but wanted to make sure that they didn't overwhelm them. I also had help cutting out 400+ pieces with a 1/4" seam allowance. Jinny Beyer's Book & the hints on her website were extremely helpful.

One idea that I found in a book was to use 2 mirrors set at a 90 degreee angle to evaluate the layout. It worked rather nicely. Can you see where the mirrors are placed?

After many hours of piecing and a couple of late nights, the quilt top was complete. I sewed the top using a technique called paper piecing. Paper piecing worked well although it became tedious removing all of the individual pieces of paper from the back of the quilt top. I was especially impressed that the quilt was square the first time that I measured it from corner to corner along each diagonal. Based upon past experience, that's unusual. Of course, paper doesn't stretch.

All eight points in the star have 16 pieces. In the four longer points, each of the 16 diamond shaped pieces have a slightly different dimension. This meant that I had to be alert or pay the price by removing stiches with a seam ripper. Needless to say, I paid the price several times. It also meant that I had something to focus upon other than my day job. That's always a good thing as the end of the year approaches.

The colors in the following image are the most true (thanks to my new phone). I've learned that purple fabrics generally show up too blue using my regular digital camera.

Images of the finished hanging in the church:

First showing a stained glass effect in the sunlight...

This image best shows the glow that I wanted to acheive. It is one of the characteristics that I most admire about the quilts that Jinny Beyers creates.

Hard to believe that the hanging is approx. 52" square but I'm pleased that the star showed up nicely while complementing the other items in the sanctuary. In the following photo, one of several sheer purple banners is visible hanging down toward the stained glass window.

This project certainly approached my the limit of my skills but I am pleased with the results and appreciative of the kind remarks received. I am also glad that I was able to share it with the members of Peace.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Peace Star

I been designing a quilt using my Electric Quilt 7 software. It's a work-in-progress but this is what I've came up with so far:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Neocolor II Inpatien Flowers

I picked the follow picture to try out my new Neocolor II watersoluble pastels: First, I converted the image using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Then, I printed the image onto a piece of cotton fabric that was ironed to a sheet of freezer paper and trimmed to 8.5 x 11 inches. This was the first time I made my own printer ready fabric and it worked well. I was motivated to try it when I realized that I could make my own for pennies versus purchasing it for approx $5 per sheet especially when I already had cotton and freezer paper on hand. Next, the ink-jet printed image was heat-set using the iron.
Next, I began coloring the image using the pastel pencils.
I used a variety of colors in an attempt to add depth. A paint brush was used to blend the colors.
One flower colored & blended.

After coloring the flowers, I colored the background & continued touching up the flowers.

Once I'm satisfied with the colored picture, I'll brush it with water to brighten it up. But first, I may add some more color to darken up the background to add more contrast. Hopefully, it'll get alot brighter to come close to the original picture.

I'm not sure what this project will end up as but it's been fun so far.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thinking of Spring

I enjoy following a blog called "May Your Bobbin Always Be Full." Recently, after reading the blog, I was inspired to use some of the art supplies that I've collected over the years. Also, this provided a good excuse to use one of my many flower pictures. I chose a picture of some lollipop gerber daisies from my yard a couple of years ago. I downloaded a trail copy of Photoshop Elements and converted the image to a line drawing.
Next, the image was printed using the laser jet printer. I heat transfered the image to cotton fabric and then colored it using water soluble oil pastels.

After everything was colored, I used water and texture medium to blend the colors.Here's the finished flower. Next, I'll focus upon coloring the background. Then, it'll be time to quilt it.
Fun way to spend a cloudy day and get ready for spring!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quilt to complete the kitchen makeover

Buddy & I painted the kitchen over a year ago. At that time, I made some temporary window treatments. Then, about a month ago, I made some new valances for the kitchen. Next, I decided to recreate a quilt from a book that I checked out from the library called Color harmony for quilts : a quiltmaker's guide to exploring color / Weeks Ringle, Bill Kerr.
Author: Ringle, Weeks. Imprint:Gloucester, MA : Rockport Publishers, 2002. (Buddy's been doing a good job of seeing that I make it to the library to check out books instead of going to Barnes & Noble.) One of the quilts featured in the book is called Raindrops. I recalled really liking the quilt and its color scheme from when I checked the book out in the past. I decided to make a similar quilt for the kitchen wall which had a large empty space above the chest of drawers that I refinished a few years ago.

I began by ordering a selection solid cottons from I began by trying to arrange 12" squares and quickly determined that there must be a better approach. I then cut out small 3"x3" squares and quarter circles and arranged them until I was relatively satisfied with the color scheme. It seems that this should be rather simple given that I had a book to follow but I found that wasn't necessarily the case. Here's my 9"x12" mini quilt.

Next, I made the quilt top out of 12"x12" squares and 6"quarter circles. At this point, I'm still second guessing the color choices.

Then, I prepared the quilt sandwich and began machine quilting. All of the quarters, halves and circles were quilted first. These are supposed to resemble the ripples caused by raindrops falling on water.

I then free-motioned quilted the remainder of the quilt using a stippled design. I began liking the color choice more once some texture was added.

After sewing on the binding, I washed and dryed the quilt. This is the point at which the textures really emerge.

The quilt is displayed in my kitchen on a decorative drapery rod (thanks to Buddy's help). I think it illustrates my kitchen's color scheme very clearly. It reminds me of sea glass & good times on and near the water.
In this photo, you can see the aloe vera plant on the left that Karen gave me a few years ago. It seems quite happy because I have followed her directions and have given it little water. The plant on the right grew from a cutting that I got from the Christmas Cactus that belonged to Buddy's Mom.

Guess this means that the kitchen makeover that began over a year ago is somewhat complete.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I spent some time over the weekend playing with some fabrics that I purchased at the AQS Quilt Show that Mom and I went to in 2004 in Paducah, Kentucky. The fabrics are a bright combination of pinks, yellows, and oranges. I'm concerned that the quilt will be too "peachy" especially with the slashing that I've chosen. I may have to make a trip to the fabric store to find something that will provide some contrast. (The camera really helps drive this point home!)

I also gathered fabrics to create a pickle dish quilt that is featured on the cover of Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Romance, a book that I found at my local library. This quilt will feature some of the batiks that I've collected over time.

Although the pattern looked difficult, I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Here is 1/2 of a "pickle dish."

Only 71 to go!

This one may take a while. The dishes are the easy part. Stitching in the corners and the center will be more time consuming and challenging.

Let the fun begin.