Accessories Mini Quilt with Silken Stitches

Time for another show and tell! I’ve actually had this finished for a while now, I just didn’t get the pictures taken right away. I made this quilt as an example of what can be done with the postcard size accessory appliqué patterns for the Silken Stitches workshop. I love the way the quilt turned out, which is probably not surprising since I’m a little addicted to the shoe, bag and hat accessory motifs, and I suppose the same could be said for the fun Michael Miller prints that I used in the quilt.

I’m not sure that I’ve had my fill yet either, and I still have some yardage left, so at some point there may be another coordinating project coming. A lap quilt or pillows perhaps? Of course, none of this really fits into my house with it’s current decor, so any more quilts in this style or colorway might require some major redecorating…and shaking of the head and rolling of the eyes on ITMan’s part… :)

Here’s the crisp, colorful, summery-looking goodness (just in time for fall?): Continue reading

Studio News: YLI #100 Silk Thread Collection

YLI #100 Silk Thread

Mmmmm….YLI #100 Silk Thread, the finest silk thread on the market. Have you used silk thread in your quilting or fabric art? It’s just incredible stuff, with an unsurpassed sheen all its own. I started using YLI silk thread years ago, at about the same time Diane Gaudynski and YLI teamed up to offer this gorgeous thread in larger put ups for machine quilting. It’s just fabulous for machine quilting since it’s perfect for intricate design motifs as well as tiny stipples or other background designs, adding texture and subtle color without making your quilt look “thready.”

I’d collected a few of the larger spools over the years and I used the silk thread in a few of my quilts for machine quilting, and I also used it for a bit of hand appliqué. When you use silk thread for hand appliqué, the stitches just dissappear into the fabric because the thread is soooo fine. At some point I started working on a show quilt where the design called for some pretty intricate hand appliqué and I realized that I just couldn’t do that much needleturn appliqué anymore, so I started searching for an appliqué-by-machine solution that I could live with. Continue reading

My First Quilt (for the Parade of Quilts)

My first quilt--Irish Chain

Over at Simplify, Camille is hosting a Parade of Quilts (and lots of parenthesis) along with Carrie@La Vie en Rosie (who I’ll honestly admit I don’t know, but obviously I’ve been missing out because her blog looks wonderful and I’ll have to go get lost over there for a while after I’m finished here). Camille and Carrie want to see first quilts and last quilts, and I thought I might pass on this one (especially since I’d just posted something already this morning, and I’m lucky to post something twice a week but twice a day is unheard of and y’all might think I’m having an out of body experience and some other strange quilter has taken over and is madly posting to the blog). I mean, I could just be a sponge and soak it all in once the links to everyone’s entries were posted up on Monday but then I remembered that my first quilt (or what I call my first quilt anyway, which was really “one of the first quilts” if you need to be all technical about it) was an Irish Chain. The only picture I can find of it (well easily find anyway, since a 10 minute dig in the hard drive didn’t turn up anything bigger or better) is this little bit of a thing you see at the top of this post.

I made this quilt for my first daughter (who is now 17), to use in her crib and then on her toddler bed when she got bigger. It had cute fabric with baby foot prints all over it, which was what I used to decorate her whole room. What I learned: I don’t like Warm & Natural batting (or anything cottony for that matter); cotton poly blend isn’t that great for quilt backings, even when it’s sold as “quilt fabric;” Continue reading

Shall We Meet in Des Moines for the AQS Quilt Expo?

2009 Des Moines Quilt Expo

Are you planning to attend the AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines, Iowa this year in October? I am, and I’ll be teaching my newest techniques and projects there October 28-31! Check out the workshop descriptions here on the Workshops page, and then head over to the AQS site to download the Registration Guide for the show.

On the workshop menu are Inchie projects and a lecture, as well as workshops on embellishments, machine appliqué and there’s even a class for bloggers and those that would like to start blogging online. Online registration for the Des Moines Quilt Expo is coming soon I’m told, but if you want first dibs on limited class space, you can fill out the form in the Registration Guide, and fax it in to AQS! See you there!

Bloggers Quilt Festival–My Favorite Quilt

Paisley Pavane
Paisley Pavane
2005
59″ x 59″

I’ve decided that Paisley Pavane is my favorite quilt, if I’m just thinking about the design. I made this quilt for the New Quilts from an Old Favorite contest a few years ago, and I enjoyed every minute of it’s making. Every part of the quilt was a leftover from other (failed) projects, and it’s just so fun that it all came together so well. I used my embroidery machine seriously for the first time, and developed some really cool techniques to solve various issues along the way that I still use today. Continue reading

AQS Show Des Moines–The Loot

I gathered the loot from the AQS Show back up so I could share! Here’s the first batch:

AQS Show Loot

Looking at it all now, I’m sure it’s not terribly exciting to anyone but me, but I’ll tell you what it all is anyway. From the top center, sort of counterclockwise, we have:

  • Something called a Waterbrush, which you fill with water and then you can brush small amounts onto fabric or quilts. The folks selling it were using it with Caran D’ache colored pencils to make a watercolor effect (a bit of a strange technique that wasn’t quite ready for prime time, IMO), but I’m thinking it will be great for correcting mistakes with the blue washout marker, and it will probably come in handy for many other things at some point.
  • I bought a strange and lethal-looking seam ripper thingy, after the vendor demonstrated how it could be used to cleanly slice through fabric layered between fusible web and freezer paper. Think fusible appliqué pieces.
  • The Magic Bobbin Washers were something I’ve wanted to try, and the Lickity Grip is probably just an alternative to my favorite free motion machine quilting “get a grip” tool, the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. Worth a try to see if it’s better.
  • A couching foot for my Bernina 440. This thing makes couching soooo much easier. You use it like a free motion quilting foot to stitch down cording and fibers to fabric.
  • Some new embellishment glue and fabric markers that I haven’t tried before. It never hurts to try lots of different brands to see what’s best.
  • I renewed my AQS membership, and they gave me free curved thread snips at the show. I love these thread snips and they’re at least $15, so that was a steal!
  • I searched all over the show floor to find that little green thing there on the left. It’s the new flat needle threader from Clover, and I LOVE it. Works great for threading fibers through small needle eyes.
  • I bought a couple of new types and brands of hand needles that I haven’t tried before. So far, I really like the Bohin Crewel Embroidery for embroidered embellishments on quilts. It’s nice and long and sharp, and pretty easy to thread with that new Clover threader.
  • The clear box is a bead storage box from Embellishment Village. You can never have too many beads, until they outgrow your storage options, that is. :)

That’s it for the first round. My goal at the show was to catch up with (and buy) the new things that I’ve missed because I live here, and don’t see or hear about the new stuff until it’s old news most of the time. I’m off to try out some of the Loot! More to follow!