Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shaggy Silk Pinsies

I'm playing around with the idea of using silk scraps with pearls to make colorful pinsies. You can see that the blue silk strip at the top is a selvage, so not as much fraying there. There's one pearl between each silk strip. Maybe 2 or 3 pearls would be better. Also, maybe the strips could be trimmed shorter.

These might look better on a design wall or bulletin board. They take up a lot of space on a pincushion. Of course a larger pincushion is another option. :) Any suggestions?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Boho Blanket Update

My boho scarf-blanket is coming along. I think the strips need to be longer. They are about 57" long now. They'll be crocheted together eventually.

Choosing the yarn colors is lots of fun. I got a load of yarn on sale at JoAnn recently. It's Vanna's Choice acrylic, $2.99 on sale. I'm using the skeins that are lined up on the bottom shelf for this project.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photo Wall is Like a Quilt

My DH recently printed and framed a collection of his mountain climbing photos and asked me to hang them on this hallway wall. I love a challenge like this. It's like designing a quilt! Here's the final arrangement, taken from the left, and from the right.

The last photo is one of my favorites. My 3 heroes, left to right: (son) David, (DH) Jason, and (son) Brian. This photo was taken in the Beartooth Pass near Yellowstone in Wyoming. So beautiful.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Carolina Squirrell's Selvage Runner

Isn't this table runner a beauty? It's from Carolina Squirrell in Texas. She'll make one with any color background you choose. Click on the link to see a close up showing the blanket stitch around each leaf. Nice job!

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Silver Charm Pinsies

Here are my latest Pinsies (beaded pins to decorate pincushions and give to friends). This series features silver metal charms, and black and silver beads. The one in the middle looks a little "steampunk," doesn't it?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Being Early Isn't Everything

I'm not the early type, so I got a chuckle out of this when I saw it in itsybitsyelephant from Bonnie in Texas. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nancy Tanguay's New York Beauties

These stunning quilts are the work of my friend Nancy Tanguay from nearby Warren, CT. She has a shop on Etsy called  Uniquely Nancy. I was reading my new issue of Quilter's Newsletter today and I saw the first quilt featured in an article about Bill Volckening's stunning collection of NY Beauty quilts. The second quilt shown here is available for sale in Nancy's shop. Nice job, Nancy!

Click here to see tons of New York Beauty quilts on Google Images.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Silk Quilt is Finished!

This silk quilt is a custom order for Thelma in the UK. I just finished it yesterday and it goes in the mail today.   
We had very good communication via email and that helped make the process easy and enjoyable. This quilt measures 48" long x 30" wide. She plans to hang it over a bed. 

I like using shot silks because they look so brilliant in a spotlight or near a lamp. Shot silks are woven with two different color fibers. One color going north-south, and the other color going east-west. Depending on the direction you use them in a quilt, the color will look different. I put them in both directions, of course.

The three panels are machine pieced, not using foundations. I didn't use a stabilizer either. This is silk dupioni, so it's a little stiff, and has small nubby bits in the weave. You can see them in the middle photo. Cutting the silk with pinking shears (zig-zag cut) helps to avoid fraying, which can be a big problem with silk. I have a pinking blade for my rotary cutter too. Yes, my cutting table has lots of silk fuzz on it! Haha.

The triangles were sewn improvisationally, and the colors were arranged with a minimum of agonizing. This makes for a more exciting quilt than when I ponder it too much. This was fun!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sea Urchin Pincushion!

This is my new Sea Urchin! It's a silk pincushion on a round glass dish, topped with 60 pinsies! I love the busyness of the whole thing, like a scrap quilt. This looks awesome in my quilt studio. And when you're on the phone, you can take them out and rearrange them. See this in my Etsy store.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Meet Margie from Ohio

I met Margie Homan of Colorful Me from Middletown, Ohio on Etsy. She makes fabulous handmade jewelry from polymer clay. She has a studio in the Pendleton Art Center and you are all invited to visit her there. I'd love to watch her make jewelry. Pink bracelet details here.

Margie says that when she was trying to make the bubbling swirls necklace above, it started to look like an animal with a turquoise eye in the upper left side. So she went with it and called it "Friendly Animal." Haha.

Margie's sister gave her lots of colored embroidery thread and this was the result! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Knitted Log Cabin from Turkey!

This log cabin is knitted! It's the creation of Bilge Erata of Ankara, Turkey. She backed it with fabric for more stability. See details here on Etsy.

This is what she writes about learning to knit when she was little:
"When I was a little girl, I told my mother that I wanted to learn knitting. She stopped a little while, and said: "You are so young that I can't give you knitting needles..." I felt like crying. Then she started to look at my hands. There were two plastic sticks of lollipops in my hands. And she said: "... But....why don't you start knitting with these?" That was the first day of smiling to a new dream..my knitting dream."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Today on My Design Wall

This is my latest quilt top "Diamond Dishes." It's the first time I've used bright orange since the 1960s, I think! I like it with the retro fabrics, and the yellow inner border calms the orange down a bit. 

I think I'll make a pattern for this while I still remember how to make it. 
It has Y-seams, but it's not too tricky. This quilt measures 45" x 58." No foundations.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Camera Club Update

Tuesday evening at the Heritage Village Camera Club meeting there were three first prizes, and two were my photos! Here they are at my Mom's house. She says I might not be allowed to participate anymore. Haha. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wanda's Wild Log Cabin Quilt

Do you read Wanda's blog "Exuberant Color?" She has so much inspiration there. Take a look at this log cabin quilt. The black and white "fireplaces" are in the corners. The logs look like one-inch strips made from everything in her scrap basket. The quilt has a "streak of lightning" look.

Wanda's teaching a class on Color on July 25, so if you live near Sandwich, Illinois, you might want to join in. I wish I could shoot over there and participate. What fun that would be. Details here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Camera Club Entry

My Mom and I are members of the Heritage Village Camera Club in Southbury, Connecticut. Every month members enter two photos. A guest judge critiques the photos and chooses a "Photo of the Month." This month the theme is "Food," and this is one of my entries. The meeting is tonight.

This photo was taken outside on a bright sunny day. I spread some white cotton fabric on an ottoman, and used my Grandmother's green dish. I love how the sunlight travels through the dish, making a lacy shadow. There's also a water drop below the tomato on the right. The light green border was added with Picasa.

The pretzels below might be my second entry. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spring Equinox

This quilt is called "Spring Equinox," and it's part of the collection of Nancy Ray. Many of her quilts were featured in Gwen Marston's book: Liberated String Quilts a few years ago. This photo was shown recently on the Nifty Quilts blog. I'm always inspired by Nifty Quilts!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Victoria Findlay Wolfe's New Book!

I can't wait to see this new book! The release date is November 2012, from C&T.
 If you can't wait that long either, visit 15 Minutes Play to see what she's up to now.

Victoria's quilts are stunning! She makes fabric by piecing scraps "willy-nilly" into collages, then using the new creation to make blocks. This book will be full of inspiration. 

I made some quilts for this book too. I'm looking forward to seeing all the others. 
We'll have a giveaway of some copies here in November.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Felt Slippers from Lithuania!

Haha! How could you not feel warm and happy wearing these fairy slippers
They are Size 6, $65, from Zavinta in Lithuania.

Aww, a mouse-eared baby hat too. Only $32, but you don't get the baby. Too bad. 
See Zavinta's gorgeous Etsy shop here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Riel Nason Featured in The Quilt Life!

Have you seen the June issue of  The Quilt Life from AQS? They have a feature article about our very own Riel Nason, selvage quilter (and author) from Canada! The interesting article is written by Meg Cox. 

See the orange quilt? (above, right) "Mummy Wants Fabric." Haha.

This issue also has a question-and-answer section by Gwen Marston. I'm enjoying this magazine!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

See the Movie: Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom is a quirky and delightful movie about Sam and Suzy, two unpopular kids who decide to run away together on the small New England island of New Penzance in the 1960s. When I saw the trailer, I knew this was going to be fun, and I wasn't disappointed. See the trailer.
P.S. This movie has 2 quilts: a wild string quilt and an antique brown-tint half-square triangles quilt. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Eileen's Going-Away Quilt

My sister Eileen just moved from Rhode Island to Michigan. She has wonderful quilting buddies in Rhode Island who sent her off with this beautiful quilt. All the blocks have special memories of their years together. There's even a selvage block in memory of the fun we had when I visited them. Isn't this an awesome quilt?

And here's my little sister Eileen when she saw the quilt. Now she lives in Haslett, MI. The friends who gave her this quilt also gave her a gift certificate for a quilt shop in her new town. Are quilters sweet or what?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Killer Whale Submarine

This is a personal submarine that looks like a killer whale. See the interior below. If you push and pull on the levers at the same time, you can do rolls and flips. My DH would love this. It only costs $100,000. That's cheaper than spending a week in the space hotel that you saw here recently. I'm just sayin.'  Read more here.

Thank you to JoAnne from California for sending my this link.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Silk Quilt Top Finished

Remember I showed you my sewing table recently? This is the quilt that I was auditioning silk fabrics for, and I used almost all of them. This is a custom order quilt for Thelma in the UK. Today I finished the quilt top. I love all the colors; it looks like the flower gardens I'm enjoying this summer. I hope she likes it!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vermont Show Quilts - Continued

I kept finding more and more wonderful surprises in this quilt to show you: "Gilding the Arbor" by Bethanne Nemesh of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Just look at this masterful quilting! Then scroll down and I'll tell you about Bethanne's quilt.

Bethanne was inspired by her love of the garden, whole cloth quilting, oriental silk tapestry and old botanical etchings. She drew the designs on the quilt top with chalk and wash-out markers, and quilted this with a longarm machine. Wow! This quilt has some well-deserved ribbons on it.

The quilt above is "The Jewel in the Crown" by Dawn S. Hayes of Upper Montclair, NJ. She used silks and cottons to make this opulent quilt. I love the black and white sawtooth sashing.

Below, "Looking Out - My Lunchtime View" by Susan Bishop of Queensbury, NY. And what is she having for lunch? A peanut butter and honey sandwich. 

The quilt below is titled: "Smuggler's Notch" by Anne Standish of Cambridge, VT. She took this photo, then turned it into a quilt using skills she learned from Mary Ellen Krantz. She used oil paint, inks and threadwork.  She really captures late autumn, don't you think?

And finally, here are some quilters taking a good close look at "Illusion" by Susan C. Sherman of Westport, NY (with the help of a "white glove volunteer"). This tumbling blocks quilt was inspired by an antique quilt by Ann Johnson circa 1890. Susan used a combination of recycled silk neckties and new silks. The back is also silk, as is the embroidery floss. Oh, there is a lot of embroidery in this quilt!

I enjoyed taking these photos so we could "visit the quilt show" together. 
I'm so inspired, I can't wait to get sewing!