Friday, September 16, 2016

Silk Star

 After I made the Lonestar sampler, I decided to use some of my silk tie fabric to see how it would look in a lonestar pattern.  I added splashes of leftover kimono fabric here and there for color.
 I did not foundation piece it.  I did not back the silk with interfacing.  I wanted to see how piecing the silk would look like.  Okay but not okay.  The silk was flimsy and after sewing it, I would have to check and recheck the pattern.  Lonestar is not a forgiving pattern. 
 The points don't match, the lines are not straight. 
Visually it looks striking.  The feel of the silk is also very nice.  This quilt was given to Lily.

Tara Faughnan

 Tara Faughnan is a modern quilter who lives in the local Bay Area.  She taught a Color workshop at the end of august at Sue Fox's Dream Studio in Berkeley.  She asked us to bring 20-30 five inch strips of solid fabrics.  I should know by now that to get the best results, you need to follow the instructions on the supply list. I did not want to buy more fabric and decided to use my collection of fossil fern fat quarters.  They read as a solid from a distance.
 She started off the class by asking us to choose fabrics that make us feel happy, icky and unhappy.  A lot of this was using your intuition.  How you liked the way two fabrics looked together.  My first choice was a happy fuschia pink and bright yellow, because to me they represent happy fabrics.  They are happy separately, but not so happy together.  too bright.  Then we went on to choosing, complementary, analogous, monochromatic, high contrast, low contrast...  Starting from the top left trough the first 3 rows, are the fabric choices I used for this study.
This is a detail of the quilting.  I used a Hawaiian print of heliconia flowers on the back fabric.  I outlined stitched the flowers and used metallic thread in the bobbin, so it would show on the front.  Tara had a great idea on her class quilt.  She machine quilted straight lines from the top to the bottom and interspersed it with hand quilting.  It looked wonderful.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Improvisational Curve

 Sherri Lynn Wood taught Improvisational Curves on her Monday workshop. The fabrics come from 1 package of Grab Bag Cherrywood fabrics and 1 sampler pack of plaids from the C and T annual sale.  I started by sorting the dark medium and lights from the Grab Bag.  From the darks, I chose a range of 5 to 7 fabrics and made sure there was 1 zinger fabric that highlighted the darks.  These were cut into wedges and sewn together.
 Sherri discouraged the use of the rotary cutter and said to freehand cut the wedges with a scissors.  To create interest, some scraps were pieced together to form a wedge.
 The hardest part of the process was piecing the curves together.  I laid a dark and a light wedge with the right sides up and cut them together with a scissors.  Using a tailors chalk, I marked the edges where the light and dark met like dressmakers notches.  Then I pinned the right sides together and sewed.
All of the scraps were used to fill in the borders and the puka (hole) created in the circle.  Bobbi suggested I use the plaid fabrics in the puka instead of a solid color.  Good eyes Bobbi.  Thanks for the suggestion.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Lone Star

 Helen Frost Young taught a workshop on the Lone Star pattern.  She asked us to pick out a dark medium and light fabric for the lone-star and complementary background and border fabrics.  Some students picked the border fabric first and then chose complementary fabrics from those.
 I chose Japanese dragonfly fabrics in yellow pink and orange.  Usually those colors don't match, but because the fabrics were like Japanese chirimen, almost a seersucker like fabric, they were complimentary in feel.  The background pale pink is also a Japanese fabric with a subtle woven feel.
 The skinny border is an old Japanese print and the orange border is the orange middle fabric used in the lone-star.  I used free motion quilting to highlight the dragonfly motifs in the border fabric.
The backing fabric and border are the same.  I don't remember where I got this.  Helen asked me where I found the dragonfly fabrics.  I think I bought the fabrics at Kaimuki Dry goods.  Probably a long time ago.  Whenever I visit my Mom in Hawaii, I always look for fabric, especially Japanese fabric.  I could have used regular quilting fabric especially since this was a sampler workshop, but I decided that the dragonflies had waited long enough.  I used wool batting which gave it a puffy lightness to the quilt.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Score 1 Improv Squares

 Sherri Lynn Wood taught an EBHQ workshop on her Improvisational techniques.  This is from the Saturday workshop on Score 1 or Improvisational Squares.  I started with 3 fabrics, a white on white, a Japanese printed kasuri and a Hawaiian palaka or checkerboard print.  Following her instructions we cut the 3 fabrics into squares and just started sewing them together.  I loved it.
 From 10 feet away you don't notice the quilting.  Up close you can see the white thread on the dark blue fabrics.  I used both the front and back of the blue kasuri and the white fabrics.  The backs of both of these fabrics showed the base fabric without the printing and gave another dimension to the fabrics.
 I introduced a 4th fabric to help bind the assorted pieces together.  I think this fabric is Korean.  I would have liked to have fabrics printed in Japanese or Hawaiian to use, but this is the closest one I could find in blue and white.  I wanted to show the language barrier that results when different cultures come together. 
This orange and white Hawaiian print is the backing fabric.  What a shock of color after the blue and white.  I used a white gutterman thread to quilt around the flower and leaf motifs.

Double Ikat

 This is a picture that Betsy took of my Double Ikat quilt.  I had been saving double ikat fabrics for quite a while now.  Joan knew that I loved Japanese fabrics and gave me a handful of mostly black, grey and white double ikats.  I paired the black and white ikats with my Kaffe ikats and all the single and double ikats from my treasured Japanese fabrics.
 Most of the double ikat is handwoven.  Some of the Kaffe ikats are printed on.  Can you tell which is which?  Look closely at the fabric to notice the difference between a printed and a handwoven.   Kaffe Fassett had a line of colorful checked and dotted double ikats that were woven in India.  After a few years when I tried to get more, he started to use printed fabrics instead of the handwoven. 

I used the diamond and square pattern to show off the fabrics.  I tried to keep the colorful fabrics in the middle with the greys.  The black and white alternate on the top and bottom.
It was hard to cut some of the handwoven fabric.  I used to weave fabric in the 80's, so I know how hard it is to warp the loom and weave the weft fabrics.  It takes a lot of skill and patience.  I was just starting to dye my own threads when I moved to the East Bay and decided to store my loom.

The backing is a pink and grey hawaiian print.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Marble fabrics

The fabrics on this quilt were all made in the Marbling class by Jo Fitsell.  The white border fabric was stenciled fabric that I made in other workshops at EBHQ.
 Jo used an alum soak to get the fabric ready to accept the dye.  We purchased Golden Fluid Acrylics for the dyes.  My friend Bobbi found a good deal on the internet and bought a set of these for me.  It's nice to have friends who look for bargains because the acrylics can get expensive.
 We used a thickening agent for the water so the dyes would suspend on the surface.  I think it was a powdered carageenan.  The instructor said she bought it from Dharma Trading.  At the end of the class she graciously shared some of the carageenan with the students.
 This was a fun class.  At the end of the class, I took my thickened water home.  The ride home made the solution very murky.  The top yellow and red piece shows how the murky water made the white area look grey.  Its funny how the murky pieces seemed to make the nice crisp white pieces look so much better.
The backing fabric is a striped pink woven.  The quilting is stitch in a ditch.

Paper lamination

This is the sample quilt from the Leslie Tucker Jennison Paper lamination class.  I used my silk scarves instead of the requested organza or other sheer fabric.  To get the best of the class, you really should follow the directions of the supply list, but, I thought the silk would work.  Partly yes and no.

Here is an example of a music sheet that was laminated to the silk.  I used the medium gel and I think the consistency was too thick which made the silk very stiff.
This is Joss Paper that Leslie supplied to us.  The blue silk is the joss paper laminated on the top of the silk.  The yellow example shows the joss paper laminated to the back of the silk.  The paper is then washed off.

This is the back of the quilt.  I used a japanese panel of a geisha with tea and two japanese fabrics for the top and side.  The panel is so pretty.  I used a walking foot and simply started from the outside and quilted it about 4 inces apart then retraced it when I got to the center.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


 I finished this quilt in May 2015, but haven't been able to write about it because I couldn't figure out how to put the photos from my phone to this blog.
 This is the third tumbling block pattern that I have made.  The fabrics are Japanese kasuri from the KASURI DYEWORKS shop in Berkeley.  I have been holding on to these for a long time and finally decided to cut into these beautiful fabrics.
I think I'll name this quilt 'Beautiful'.  I love the fabrics and the color.  This quilt was given to my sister in law Carol.

 The quilt was machine pieced and machine quilted.  I stitched each diamond a quarter inch away from the seam line.  I think I used an Aurifil 12 wt. grey thread.
The backing fabric is an indigo stenciled blue on white kimono fabric.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Katano Shibori

 Katano Shibori is a dying workshop that I participated in with Ana Lisa Hedstrom.  She introduced me to Acid dyes and machine stitched shibori.  This is the result of the 2 day workshop.  For the material list Analisa gave us different types of Silks to experiment on.  The border fabric comes from the raw silk, which had a rougher texture to it.
 I was fortunate to have silk samples that my friend Winnie brought me from her trip to Hong Kong.  It was the perfect size for this workshop.  Most of the silks were in pale yellows and pinks.  I had to prepare the silks by removing the labels and gum and lightly washing and drying them.
 The samples were folded in six and then machine stitched.  This was a pink silk that was put into a red dyebath.
 After Saturdays workshop, I went home and read the book SHIBORI by Yoshiko Wada.  There were a lot of inspirational photos.  I did my homework and traced some of the patterns onto the silk.  This was a light yellow that was put into a blue dyebath.
This was a pale green silk that was dyed in the green dyebath.

Friday, January 15, 2016


 Happy New Year!  With the new year, I decided to retire from the Postal Service after 35 years.  To my surprise and delight, my coworkers made a quilt for me.  I was Shocked.  I'm the quilter and I thought I was the only one making quilts at the Post Office where I worked.
 Here are a couple of panels in the quilt that show some of the quilts that I have made for my coworkers through the years.  Counting back, I think I made about 12 quilts.  The picture on the left is a quilt I made for Louise and the one on the right was a quilt I made for Kin.  I always tried to put pictures on the quilts so that they would remember us.
Here is a closeup of the top panels.  Most of the pictures are signed, so that I won't forget their names.  The best part is that this quilt was made at WALMART.  Cindy and Tina chose 12 pictures and downloaded them on the Walmart website and ordered the color and quilting type.  I don't know how much they paid or how long it took, but its a wonderful reminder of my great coworkers.