Monday, February 28, 2011

Tammy's Secret Garden - Part 4

Last night was Tammy's 50th birthday party and her quilt was all ready for her party.  It was a wonderful evening, got to see some folks I haven't seen in a long time as well as some current friends so a nice evening even though I stayed up past my bed time.  Tammy loved, loved, loved her quilt so I am very pleased with both my selection of fabrics and colours as well as the design of the quilt.  Another success story. Here are pictures of the finished quilt.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Elaine Quehl Workshop - In Full Bloom

Yesterday I took the In Full Bloom workshop from Elaine Quehl. This was also a very interesting one, I learned a lot, but definitely more intensive and required more brain power than the Tue one. Elaine went through how she starts with a photo of a flower and turns it into a pattern and that is suitable for using the fusible web and creating a wall hanging. By the way here is a link to Elaine's website: and to her blog:

You basically start with a 8 by 10 size photo and place one of those acetate overhead sheets over the photo. Then with a marker draw out the various sections that will become a pattern based on the light, mid and dark sections of the various colours of the flower. The easiest way then to get that enlarged is to take it to a copy place where they can do enlargements. The ones we were working with are about 36 by 30. The other method is to take the acetate and project it on an overhead projector onto a wall. Have a large piece of paper taped to a wall and draw it out. With that method you need a lot of patience and it is hard on your back and shoulders.

If I was going to make more patterns I would go with the copy place for the enlargements.

Once enlarged, you then have to sort out the petals, and do some numbering when furthest petal is the first one, then the second furthest petal is the second one, etc. The furthest petal is labelled A, and then within A, you have to determine how to the various sections A will be put down and number them from 1 through whatever. I think this process would take practice before you were good at it.

So once you have the numbering figured out , (ours was already done for us) tape it down to a table, then cover it with light weight muslin, and tape that down. the muslin should be about an inch bigger than the pattern. Then you need a fine point Pigma Micron pen (it is permanent and doesn't bleed), to trace the pattern as well as all the letter and numbers for the sections onto the muslin.

Once you have all that done, you have to flip the pattern, and draw all the outlines and renumber everything, because you need the reverse image for the steam a seam light fusible web stuff because it is cut out from the reverse image pattern.

Once that is done, you get your fabrics together, arranged light to dark and start figuring things out. Again this part will take practice. I got my first petal done in terms of placing it on the muslin. you don't fuse anything in place until everything is cut out and up on the muslin. She then said to take a photo and look at it on your computer to see if all looks good or if anything looks a miss. There may be some fabrics that may need to be changed. Once good, then you can start fusing everything down.

So this is Elaine's poppy quilt.  I'm doing the poppy, but only one flower, and it is the lower flower.

Here is my muslin piece with the first petal done.

Once you have the whole flower done and fused, you cut out the flower from the remaining muslin and then you need to audition background fabrics.  Once you find a suitable one, then the flower gets attached to the background fabric, and then the quilt sandwich is made, and you can start quilting.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Elaine Quehl Workshop - Surface Design Techniques

Yesterday I was at the first of 2 workshops taken through my Guild (York Heritage Quilters Guild) given by Elaine Quehl on Surface Design Techniques. Elaine currently resides in Ottawa Ont., but was originally from a small farming community in Waterloo county. As she said at her trunk show last night at the guild meeting she was born with the quilting gene having great grandmothers, grandmothers and her mother who were all quilters.

This class was about having fun and experimenting with various products to see if you actually liked them enough to invest the money. So I'm going to go through the products from least favourite to the ones I really like and will likely invest some money to buy a supply of my own to use in future projects.

The first product just wasn't my style and I didn't even bother to make a sample and they were called Tsukineko Inks. Next came Prismacolor Artist Pencils and Caran D'ache Water Soluble Wax Pastels. I'm putting these two products together since they give you similar or related results and often you can use the products together which is what I did in my sample. They are good if you are looking for a water colour effect on fabric and then would be great enhanced with thread painting.

The next product I really liked the effects you were able to achieve using it in stencilling but it turned out I was allergic to it. They were the Shiva Paintstiks which are an oil based product, fortunately i had my allergy meds with me. I had asked Elaine if there was another product like the Shiva that wasn't based on oil but unfortunately there isn't one. I guess the good thing was that didn't end my quest. I kept thinking what else could I possibly use to give me a similar effect. As I was working with the various products if finally dawned on me and Elaine also had Setacolour acrylic fabric paints. Normally these are just paints that you use to paint on fabric. But if you use them sparingly on a stencil brush, making sure that you remove most of the paint but working it off the brush onto your palette, then you can use this product for stencilling and get the same effect. Here is my sample using the Setacolours. So this product I'm thinking I would use.

The last one is foiling, where you take a medium and apply it to the fabric to provide a bonding agent and then iron on coloured foil. Again a very striking effect which I can see using in art quilts and wall hangings.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tammy's Secret Garden - Part 3

I'm now working on the quilting of Tammy's Secret Garden.  I've got one row of the floral fabric done as well a one row of the abstract fabric done.

This is the pattern for the floral fabrics and it is quilting up quilte nicely.  Below is a picture of the quilting for the abstract rows, but it is taken from the back since the picture from the front didn't come out all that great.  The quilting thread blended too well with the fabric and was too hard to see.

I'm hoping that by the end of the weekend I will have all the quilting done and then that will just leave the binding.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1st

So here in Toronto we are awaiting our first major snowstorm of the winter and it promises to be a big one.  This is the monster storm that has been tracking across the mid west states causing havock and is expected to hit some 30 US states and from Ontario through Quebec and the Atlantic provinces here in Canada. This is one mighty big storm.  It's suppose to start here sometime tonight and into most of tomorrow morning.  Fortunately I will be working from home tomorrow and won't have to brave the nasty elements.

On a brighter note Hetty from Crafts and Stuff ( ) has given me the "Liebster Blog" Award. Thank you Hetty for the lovely acknowledgment.

I'm not sure of it's origins but "Liebe" means "Love" in German so I guess this is the Quilt Lovers or Blog Lovers Award.  One really nice thing about this award is that it is simply an award with no strings attached and it is meant to honour your fellow quilters &/or bloggers.  I can play it forward and nominate 3 - 5 more bloggers for this award, but they must have fewer than 300 followers.

So I'm going to nominate Elizabeth from Sand and Sunshine ( ) for her informative posts and sunny disposition.  She also has two kitty cats named Tiny and Sunny.

My second nomination is Marj from Eclectic Quilter ( ).  Marj is one very busy quilter and as her blog title states her style is very eclectic.  I love seeing what her next project is going to be. Marj also has a cat and his name is Chipper.

My third nomination is Mary from Needled Mom ( ). Mary is another busy quilter as well as a busy grandmother, with the arrival of a new grandson this past weekend.  I enjoy seeing Mary's work and her wonderful use of colour.

I also think I will leave the other 2 nominations up to you the reader as Hetty did. So if you want the award please feel free to take it as long as you have less than 300 followers and then you can nominate 3 - 5 more bloggers.

Finally a quilt update on the Secret Garden quilt, I'm still working on the stitch in the ditch sewing.  I should have that completed before the weekend arrives and then I can start the actual quilting.