Tuesday, December 2, 2014

leather strips

This is the third lap quilt that I made.  I used a package of 2 1/2 strips that I bought from the Santa Rosa Quilt show.  Up close, the fabric looks like suede, but it is not as good a quality as the Cherrywood.  I challenged myself to use all the strips in the packet.  It was fun to make.  First I matched two colors and made 4 patches.  Then I put them up on the design wall and made the pattern I thought looked the best.  Then I sewed them together.  It is quilted in the ditch on both the horizontal and vertical seams.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lava flow

 This is a lap size quilt that I made using my hand dyed pole wrapped shibori fabrics. I pulled out all the pole wrapped shibori fabric and decided on 8 fabrics that matched the border Kaffe Fassett shot cotton.  I have made this pattern before and I was hoping to highlight the fabric.  I tried to make it look like it was flowing like waves.
This is a closeup.  I quilted it with a variegated Superior 40/3 King Tut thread.  First I drew the quilt pattern with a white pencil, then used the walking foot to quilt the pattern.  The last time I used this triangle pattern, I had a hard time with the bias and stretching.  I think the walking foot helped without too much distortion.

Chez Moi

The last 3 months, I have made 3 lap size quilts.  This is the latest which measures 48 x 48.  How do I know?  The block finishes 8 inches by 12 inches.  Joan found this pattern from a magazine and showed it to our group.  I think she was on her second huge quilt when she shared the instructions with us.

 This is how the pattern is supposed to be put together.  I am using my hand dyed fabric that matches the 6 fat quarters.  They are "Chez Moi" from Moda.  I thought they would make a good background fabric.  Joan used batiks in complementing colors.  Very beautiful.

 This was another possibility.
 This is the layout that I chose.  According to the directions, you start with a 10 inch square.  Lay the 2 pieces together.  Cut. Sew. Flip the fabrics around.  Cut 4- 2 inch pieces.  Flip and Sew.  It almost looks like a pineapple without all the little pieces.  Thats why it was fun to play with the blocks.
This is a closeup of the quilting.  The thread is an Aurifil 12 lime green top.  I made this up by doodling on a piece of plastic with a erasable marker.  A tip I learned from Jenny Lyon.  The problem I had with this pattern is I wanted to use the fat quarters which are 18 x 22.  Because the pattern called for 10 x 10 inch blocks, I used 9 x 10 inch blocks so that I could get 4 cuts out of the fat quarter.  It still works, but next time I'll cut it 9 x 9 inch.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


 Ulu is the hawaiian name for the breadfruit.  It doesn't have much of a taste but it is a starch and can be made into poi.  This is a quilt that I started years ago.  The size is 65 ' wide by 95' length. Enough for a twin size bed.  The fabric is from a scrap bag that I bought from the Sig Zane store in Hilo.  I could have bought a nice Hawaiian dress, but instead came home with 4 bags of scraps.  Sig Zane is a designer of hawaiian shirts and muu muu.  He designs the patterns and is very popular with hula dancers.
 This was all in one bag.  The pieces were pretty big and it was a challenge putting the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.  I'm glad I decided to finish this quilt.  I stopped years ago, because I was having tension problems with the free motion quilting.  I was using a #12 top thread, but I don't think I had the right size needle.  I finished the free motion quilting using a regular #50 variegated thread.  No more tension problems.
It was nice to finish an unfinished project.  Surprisingly after years stuffed in a closet, it still looks pretty good.  The light blue against the dark black background is striking.  I'll have to start on those other 3 bags of scraps.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Confetti Ties

 This is the third quilt that uses the leftovers from the Woven forty two quilt.  The border squares are the leftovers from the bowties of the Woven Ties quilt and the scraps are the leftovers from the first Woven forty two quilt.  Cool.  It is so satisfying using up scraps to make something.

I took a class from Stacey Sharman called Confetti Quilts.  She had 3 basic rules.  Sew at least 1/4 inch seam.  Sew a straight seam to a straight seam.  I forgot the third rule, but it was very basic.  I just started sewing all the scraps together to a shot cotton purple fabric.  The purple actually comes from a red warp and a tourquoise blue weft.  I love this fabric and color so much, that I had purchased it three different times.  I kept forgetting that I already had it.  Fortunately I usually buy 1 yard lengths, so altogether it was enough to be the base color for this quilt.

I took Mabry Bensons advice and quilted it in simple lines.  There are double lines to create interest in the quilting.  At first I started quilting from the top to the bottom and then started at the top again.  After 3 squares, I realized it was a lot of stopping and starting and tying and knotting.  So the rest of the quilt is quilted by moving the quilt around and straight sewing with a walking foot.  It was easier to quilt this way.  The border was just quilted in the ditch.  The binding is the same shot cotton purple.  I decided not to do any more quilting in the sashing.  The woven fabrics are busy enough, that your eye needed a resting place in the calm borders.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

woven ties

This is what I made with the leftovers from the Kaffe Fassett woven forty two quilt.  There were 42 strips of 10" x 18" shot cottons.  I went through all my fabric to look for wovens to match the woven shot cottons.  I pulled the plaids, the stripes, the ikats, the squares, the dots, the woven feathers, the guatemalans, the japanese stripes and the feathered ikat.and made a classic Bow Tie quilt.  Isn't it striking.
These plaids were from a 5" charm pack from the Voices in Cloth show.  I think the brand was named Olympus japanese fabric that were yarn died.  I also bought some Japanese woven plain colors that had a wonderful feel to the charm pack.
The orange and green ikat fabric was used in the binding.  Because only a quarter of an inch shows on the binding, you see only the orange and green as if it was a stripe and not a square.  I just love the look of the fabrics.
With such a large selection of stunning fabric, I first sorted them into groups, plain arrows with woven outs, woven arrows with plain outs and plain arrows with plain outs.  The woven with plains were put in the center, the plain with the woven surrounding those and the plain on plain in the outer border.  Somehow those woven plaids in the center have a illusion effect on your eye.

I used red sashiko thread to tie the corners.  Because this is a tied quilt, it is not admissible into PIQF.  Too bad. 

woven forty two

 the Kaffe Fassett shot cotton quilt is finished.  There are 21 warps and 21 wefts to make a woven forty two.  I had to come up with a title because I want to submit this to the PIQF competition.  The deadline is coming fast, and I still have a lot to do to submit it.
 The photographs do not do the fabric justice. Because the shot cottons are woven, some with different color warps and wefts, there is an iridescence to the fabric when you see it in different angles.
For the quilting, I used 42 matching color threads.  That is also hard to see in the photograph.  For the 21 warp threads I used the matching thread to stitch in the ditch for the 2 warps or up and down colors.  For the 21 weft threads, I chose to quilt on the diagonal.  I thought there would be more contrast doing it this way and yes you can see the diagonal threads better than the stitch in the ditch up and down threads.  But when you stand back, or take a photo, you hardly notice it.

I chose to use the red Cherrywood fabric for the border.  Why? Because it was already made and waiting for another project that I am working on.  Now I have to cut up more Cherrywood to finish that last project.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Santa Rosa Quilt Show

 The Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County held their quilt show earlier this month in Santa Rosa.  D. J. Berger was the featured quilt artist.  This is a picture of her San Francisco quilt.  I love the way the dragons tail made the lombard street twist and turn.  So well thought out and executed.
 This fabulous quilt of yukata fabrics was made by Judy Mathieson.  She was last years featured artist.  Such a beautiful way to show off such beautiful fabric.

The detail shows the shibori hand stitching where the flowers were continued in the red, pink, purple and blue sections.  

Isn't it fun how this quilt used the sock monkey fabric.  I can't remember his name, but I think it was Jim.  I thought I caught the label in this picture.  He makes such a technically hard to piece quilt look like it was fun to make.

As you can see, the quilt show was amazing.  I am always surprised at the beautiful quilts at this show.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ananse Village

This is a retirement quilt that I just finished and have already given away to my coworker Sharon Bush.  I wanted to make her a special quilt for her 36 years at the post office.  She is a special lady, so I chose this pattern of african ladies and used the fabrics from the Ananse village scrap bag that I got from the PIQF show last year.  The border fabric is a special find from the remnant section of Stone Mountain Daughters fabric store.  It was an overdyed and stenciled fabric that I thought was a very unusual find for a commercial fabric store, but you never know what you'll discover in that remnant section.  Each of the black flowers looked like they were hand stenciled onto the brown dyed fabric.

As a retirement quilt, I would usually have my coworkers sign the front of the quilt and use it like a big card.  I so liked the way this quilt turned out, that instead of having everyone sign the front of the quilt, I kept the back of the quilt white, so everyone could just sign the back.

The pattern comes from a quilt that I saw by Pat Bailey at our Voices in Cloth show.  I talked to her at the show and told her how much I liked her quilt and the african ladies pattern.She said she would send me the pattern, but I ended up just drafting it from a picture.  I don't know what the size of her block was, but by drafting the design on my own, I could make the block size to the dimension that I wanted.  Pats quilt had sashing and a border.  I chose to just use the one fabric.  The same fabric was used as a binding.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Voices in Cloth 2014

 What an amazing quilt show.  I am so proud to be part of the EBHQ quilt guild.  The natural light from the Richmond Craneway Pavilion really made the quilts sparkle.  Here is my Dragon Treasure.  I was surprised to see other silk quilts.  I guess once you start looking, your eyes are open to other styles.  Knowing how hard it was to piece the silks, I can appreciate silk quilts much more.
 This is Clamshell Mounds.  I received so many compliments on this quilt.  People were astounded that I hand pieced and hand quilted this.  Yes it takes longer, but when you're sitting and watching TV, its nice to have something in hand to work on.
 This is the workshop wall.  The Dragonfly quilt was made in a Marjan Kluepfel workshop.
 The yellow and brown pineapple pattern was made in a Rita Hutchins workshop.
Hello Marti.  She is sitting under my Obachan quilt made in the John Marshall workshop.

Simple 4 patch

Look how wonderful a simple 4 patch can be if you use Kaffe Fassett shot cottons and place them into a woven texture.  The colors give a modern feel to a simple pattern.  This has been on the wall for over a month now.  With the VIC and workshops, I haven't been able to take it off the wall and start quilting the top.  It measures 82 x 82 now, so I probably won't put a border on.  I have a 80 x 20 cotton polyester batting that could fit.  But after hearing Pat Paulys lecture about the virtues of wool batting, I might just wait to buy some wool batting.

I have started to use the leftovers of the 42 fat quarter Kaffe shot cottons.  There was only a 5 inch strip x 18 inch left.  What can you make with these small strips of fabric?  My next project.  You'll just have to wait and see.  I have already finished cutting all the fabric.  Now if I can find the time to piece them together.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Simple 4 patch

 This is what I am working on.  I have cut all the strips and most of the squares and have started to piece the two together. Isn't it beautiful.  The Kaffe Fasset colors are just such a joy to work with.

 I love this kind of mindless sewing.  You have your strips and stack of squares on the side and sew them together.
This is one set of the four patch.  I will sew another set of the same colors.  Cut them apart and sew the four patch together.Then I will have 21 four patch sets which will make 1 row.  Back to sewing and cutting.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Feed Me

 This is an Adult Bib that is used in nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living facilities for adults to use to protect their clothes while eating.  After Doris' stroke she does not have full control of her left side and uses bibs like these during meals that can get messy.  It is made of a terry cloth material with a white cotton binding and a velcro closure that doesn't work anymore.

This is my first attempt at making a new bib.  I traced the original onto a bath towel and cut out the shape.  I used a grey bias tape and and tried to sew the tape around the edges by just folding the edges around the towel and sewing it.  It was not too successful.  The new velcro from JoAnns $1 dollar craft bin works well though and holds the ends together great.  I took a label and wrote Doris name on this bib.

This is the second one that I made.  This time I ironed the bias tape flat.  Sewed a 1/4 inch of the tape around the edges of the cut out towel and then hand stitched the bias tape to the back.  Just like a quilt binding.  Feed Me was her brothers idea.  Now all Doris has to do is point to Feed Me if she gets hungry.  The lettering was scraps of colorful fabric that were hand sewn on.
 This is the third bib that I made.  Cute.  I haven't finished hand sewing the binding so you can see the edges.  Its kind of fun making these things. Just a little bit of imagination and color and you turn a blank white towel into a happy face.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

fabric postcards

These are the 5 postcards I made yesterday.  They were supposed to go to the fundraiser for the VIC show, but Larry has put a kapu on them.  Which means he has taken them for birthday gifts.  Now I have to make more postcards, so I thought I'd better write it down so I can remember how I did it.
First I selected the hula girls and cut them out from one of my favorite fabrics.  I backed them with Wonder Under.
Then I carefully cut them out with a sharp scissors.
I picked out some bright hawaiian fabric and ironed it onto the Fast 2 Fuse backing.  Careful to place the release paper on the bottom so it wont stick to the ironing board.
Then I ironed on the hula girl to the fabric.  I used a clear polyester thread and sewed around the hula girl to stitch it down to the fast 2 fuse and hawaiian fabric.  Then I cut around the edges of the hawaiian fabric to fit the 4 x 6 fast 2 fuse piece.
I cut out the post card backing and then ironed it onto the back of the fast 2 fuse.  I used a bias binding to sew around the edges.  After seeing all the postcards from the KPFA craft fair and the different techniques used to bind the edges, I decided on this binding.  It gives it a nice finished look.  If I didn't have the bias binding, I could satin stich around the edges or single stitch or use a yarn.  The problem with using the bias binding is how tiny it is.  I think next time I might glue it on first.

Monday, January 20, 2014


This is my entry for the National Park Service World War II challenge quilts.  It is a picture of an identification badge that was posted on the Rosie the Riverter flicker photo page on their website.  The original picture was named RORI 2628.  I contacted the curator by email and asked permission to use this photo for my project.  They were so helpful and actually attached the photo to the email.  I chose this picture because of the red border.  The red is very striking and had a wonderful white scrollwork throughout the red.  

 I used Bubble Jet Set and printed it on a Kona white cotton.  The main picture was one 8 x 11 sheet , the lettering were 3 other sheets of treated fabric.  The hardest part to recreate was the lettering for IDENTIFICATION.  At first I thought I could just print it, but since I was using my own red for the border, I had to carefully cut out each letter after backing it with wonder under.  I used a 100 wt silk thread and a number 6 needle to carefully sew around each tiny letter.
The scrollwork in the red border was challenging.  I tried drawing it on, printing it on tissue paper and then sewing it on, using a circle to sew it and really just used all three techniques to make that elaborate scroll.

I thought I was going to use an actual blouse for the shirt, and cut up an old shirt.  My idea was to have the collar flap extend out of the quilt.  But that did not work so well.  I found some stripe fabric instead and traced templates of the shirt and coat.  I backed the fabric with wonder under and then used the templates to cut out the fabric.   All the pieces were ironed on the quilt and then carefully stitched down.

She looks like she is in a lineup with the height measurements in the back.  Hopefully IDENTIFICATION will be picked for the VIC show.  I wrote about how I could identify with this picture.  Since I live right next to the Rosie the Riveter National Park, it will be nice to see this quilt in the show.

Identification has been accepted to the Rosie the Riveter National Park Challenge quilts. Feb 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

Last night I decided to eat the mochi from the new years mochi display.  Unfortunately, I waited too long, because the mold has gotten to it first.  It still looks so pretty, that I thought you might enjoy a picture.  My father would say to cut the mold out and cut it into small pieces and eat it.  I'm too lazy and since we still had frozen mochi, I made that instead.
 This is my next project that has been on my mind.  42 fat quarters of Kaffe Fassetts woven cottons.  Aren't they beautiful.  You can clearly see the woven texture on the fabrics.  At first I sorted them into lights and darks.  In this arrangement, the darks would go from the left to right and the lights would go from the top to bottom.
After playing around with it, I decided to make two stacks of dark to light.  In this plan, the blue greens would go from left to right and the red yellows would go from top to bottom.  This would make a dark section on the top left and a light section in the bottom right.  Gradation coloring.  Isn't it fun.