Friday, July 27, 2012

Gerber Daisy Wall Hanging - Part 1

My new project that I'm currently working on is a Gerber daisy wall hanging. The actual design for this wall hanging is my own and I'm making it for my friend Karen who loves Gerber daisies. The Gerber daisies will be fused applique and what I did to come up with my design for the daisies was to first study many photographs of Gerber daisies. I had some of my own that I have taken over the years plus I did several Google searches to find some good specimens for my research.  I decided that my Gerber was going to be multi-layered since the petals of this flower typically have several rows as do the smaller central petals near the centre of the flower.

I did a test run to see how it would look and was pleased with my results. Here is my sample piece which I turned into a mini wall hanging that I now have up in my sewing room. The flower is about 7" across which was a nice size to work with. If it was much smaller then I think the cutting and sewing would become tedious.

For the actual wall hanging I'm planning on having 5 Gerber daisies in various shades of pink from light to dark on a pieced green background. The background is what I have been working on this week since I also wanted to try something different there as well. I have been interested in the diamond blocks that are used in Jan Krentz's book "Diamond Quilts and Beyond".

After going through my stash of green fabrics and realizing that I was a bit shy on the dark greens, I picked some up at a couple of quilt shops while I was visiting Buffalo and Rochester a couple of weeks ago. I got my various green diamonds cut and spent the last few days working on the design wall arranging the background layer. This is what it looks like.

I'm quite pleased with the results since I have managed to get that colour washed effect I was after.  So now comes the fun part of sewing all those rows of diamonds together, yes we are talking biased seams. Now I did use spray starch when I was ironing my fat quarters to help with the stability issue. I tried first to cut one strip as per the instructions in Jan's book and found that without the starch there was too much stretch and I knew I would have problems when it came to sewing all those diamonds. Hopefully with the starch I will have saved myself some headaches. I will let you know next week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ricky Tims Seminar - Rochester NY

I attended the Ricky Tims Quilt Seminar in Rochester NY from July 12 - 14. This was my second time, the first was almost 2 years ago in Cape Cod. My friend Sue from Long Island who went with me to the one in Cape Cod also came to this one. We were both fairly new quilters at that time, really enjoyed ourselves but also found some of the stuff over our heads. We thought this would be a nice get away, a chance to see each other, doing something quilty and hopefully pick up on stuff that the first time wasn't all that clear.

Let me tell you we had a blast, learned some new things and reinforced some old stuff. Ricky, Alex and Libby were great teachers as well as very entertaining.  This was their biggest turn out ever with 740 in attendance. The only downside to the event was the stadium seating which either caused issues for those with back/hip problems due to the stiff seats and/or issues with knees/legs due to limited leg room.

I have to say if Ricky's seminar comes to a city near you, you may want to consider going just from an inspirational perspective this seminar really packs a bang. You can check out the details here:

Ricky also had some quilts on display that he, Alex and Libby have made as well as some from his private collection. This quilt is one of Ricky's newest ones and is called "Lifelines 3: Can Something Come From Nothing".

Here is a close up of some of the detail work.

This quilt was done by Alex Anderson but unfortunately there wasn't a label on it so I don't have a name. It is hand quilted.

This quilt was done by Libby Lehman and is called "Pinata".

Finally this quilt is from Ricky's private collection and it is called "The Man From Snowy River" and it is by Helen Godden from Australia.  It is a very large quilt and where it was hung I couldn't get back far enough to capture the full quilt. You can get more information on Helen and her work here:

This past week I have been busy prepping fabric for a wall hanging art quilt.  I will be putting together some posts on the progress of this project so that you can see what I am currently working on. I need to have this ready for a birthday in mid August.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recovery, New Quilt Oriental Odyssey & Ricky Tims Quilt Seminar

So what have I been up to this past month.  I have spent some time recovering from the thyroid surgery. It was a good thing that it was removed since they did find cancer in both the lump and the thyroid but it was in the very early stages and completely contained. Also nothing had spread to the lymph nodes and that was really good news. 

When I felt up to things I was working on a new quilt called Oriental Odyssey.  This quilt I was making it for my Tao Shiatsu therapist Alex. He is currently working on renovating a building that he purchased at the beginning of this year and the hopes is to open a new healing center by the end of this year.  He was having his first fund raising event this past Friday and it was held at the new place so people could see where the new center will be and what his vision for the place is. I'm very thankful to Alex for his treatments since they have been very beneficial as I have been going through my recovery from the iron deficiency anemia and then this thyroid stuff. Sometimes just plain western medicine isn't enough to get a person back on track.

I made this quilt for his silent auction that he is going to have in September in the hopes that he will be able to raise some money through my contribution since I'm not in a position at this time to make a financial one. The quilt was a big hit at the event and hopefully it has created sufficient interest for the silent auction that will be held in September and Alex will have a good turnout for that event.

Here is the front of the quilt:

Here is the back of the quilt:

So tomorrow I'm actually going away on a mini vacation to Buffalo & Rochester NY. I'm going to do some shopping, visit some quilt shops and then it's on to the Ricky Tims quilt seminar. If you have been a follower of my blog for a few years you will likely say but wait a minute you've already been to the Ricky Tims quilt seminar in Cape Cod a couple of years ago.  Yes that's right, I was. I went with my friend Sue from Long Island and yes she is coming to this one as well.  We had so much fun that we decided to take it a second time. The first time we went to the Ricky Tims quilt seminar we were both quite new quilters and now that we both have a few more years of experience we figured we would get a different take from it.  Also it gives us a chance to see each other and have some fun.  I'll be back on Sunday and will give you a review of what I think the second time around.