Saturday, September 30, 2006

The new Hoffman Challenge fabric is posted on their web site in case anyone wants a peek before it goes on the market. It seems to be a large scale print, unlike the usual all-over pattern, and although it's very pretty, that seems to me more difficult to work with. I find it harder to think outside the box when something is so clearly representational, but I'm sure some people will do interesting things with it. They did with the cherries a few years ago, and I thought that one was hopeless!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yesterday I received the Quilt of Valor that I made and Deb Geyer quilted. As you can see, she did a terrific job. The variegated thread looks wonderful on that red check fabric.

The three other stars are for a special Quilt of Valor that Debra Spincic is putting together for display in the Houston Quilt Show. Yesterday I pieced three 8-pointed stars. Practice does make perfect I think, since the blue and purple one, my third attempt, has a neater center, and doesn't have the strange pucker in the fabric that the red one does. When you read not to use steam to block a block, believe it!

So yesterday was a big day for my Quilts of Valor projects. Today I plan to spend time putting away some of the fabric I have pulled out in the last few days! A photo of my "studio" would be good for a laugh. Sorry I didn't think of it earlier.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Hoffman Challenge Saga

As I posted back in July, I entered two quilts in this year's Hoffman Challenge, not feeling terribly pleased with either. I liked the design of one, but felt I'd messed up the workmanship, and the other one (the purple thing) just didn't jell at all. So I was amazed to see on the web site that Twilight (purple) was in traveling group A. Many jokes were made about this in my family ("They had a purple quota"), and my mother and sisters mourned the parrot quilt, which they had liked. Today I received a box from Hoffman Challenge, and when I opened it expecting to see pink parrots, I found the purple thing instead, along with a rejection letter for Parrots in Paradise. I immediately emailed Kelly Gallagher-Abbott, and she called back within a few minutes. Yes, the parrots are traveling, they mixed up the names, and I should get an acceptance letter (for Twilight?) soon. Should be interesting..."Congratulations, your quilt has been accepted," but then there would be all the negative comments. It's sort of like twins separated at birth--positively Shakespearean. But all's well than ends well. Apparently Kelly has had a nightmarish time with her move and organizing the challenge, so I certainly can understand how this happened. And I am pleased to know that people aren't looking at the purple quilt saying, "Hmmm."

Here it is: officially traveling quilt.

A hand for the Show of Hands project. This was fun: it gave me a chance to use up very small scraps of my kimono fabric, some ribbon flowers, and take advantage of those decorative stitches which I never use. I made both sides of the hand separately by putting the scraps on fusible fleece interfacing, zigzagging with invisible thread first, and then with colored thread and decorative stitches. I embellished them, glued the two sides together, trimmed them, and zigzagged the edges, then added the pearl hanging loop and the big ribbon embellishment. The hand wanted to cup a little bit, so I blocked it over my tailor's ham to accentuate that, making it quite hand shaped. I really enjoyed this, and I like the way it turned out, although as I was making it, I didn't. Sometimes you have to have faith! And you see, I can embellish--thanks to you crazy quilters for the inspiration.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fun Idea

Here's another fun projectfor the Houston Show. Make a whimsical fabric hand for the "Show of Hands" exhibit. Lots of scope for creativity, without the pressure of making something worth $30!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Worm Turns

OK, there is now an ultrasuede worm with a bead eye beside the flower. Cute, isn't he? Probably not what Allison and Debra had in mind, but I just can't do the heavy embellishment thing. Puritan upbringing or something, I guess.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Fiber Art for a Cause

Here's are two postcards I made for the ACS fundraiser at Houston. This is my first use of the fabric I painted with Seta Color. I used a leaf to make a not-very-clear leaf print, outlined it, and then quilted heavily in the background. I have a second one on which I outlined the leaf with heavy metallic thread used in the bobbin. I don't like it as well, actually, although the leaf shows up more. The funky flower is an ultra suede embellishment that I made for a hat when I was making and selling those, and I stumbled across it by accident and found it went perfectly with another piece of painted fabric. The leaves are also ultrasuede scraps. I fused the binding on these cards, and then stitched over the fusing. I like this look, and it's a bit easier than the usual binding. Compared to the examples on the web site, and other people's work I've seen, these may be too simple, not $30 pieces. What do you think? I'll keep going, I think, but I'd appreciate some feedback.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First Quilt

I had to get in on the "first quilt" discussion started at Quilt Studio. I made some blocks when I was about 12, but they were never finished and mercifully lost. So this must be the first. It was made in 1972 (I was so proud I signed and dated it!) while we were waiting to adopt our older son. I guess I found the pictures in coloring books, except for that cat face in the center, which I drew myself--always artistic. It represents the dearly beloved cat we had when we were childless. The beautiful hand quilting was done by my dear, dear mother-in-law and her church group in Waterloo, Illinois, who did hand quilting as a fund-raiser. It's WAY beyond the deserts of this quilt. The quilt was used, but not particularly loved, so although the fabric is faded and worn, there are no actual holes.

Blogger Beta

I'm back w/o many pictures. Will post what I have soon, but first I have to do a mini-rant. When I came home last night, I eagerly checked up on the blogs I had missed while away, and of course was unable to comment on the beta ones until I found Debra's suggestion to use "anonymous". But isn't this whole thing beyond annoying! What are they thinking! The whole ease of communication is going away. As for eventually "fixing" the lack of interface between Blogger and Blogger Beta, isn't it more likely that the old Blogger will just go away entirely, phased out as obsolete? Well, I will have to get a new Beta account, or at least a Google account that would allow me to post on Beta blocker. But apparently there are some risks here, and you can lose the ability to access the original blog. Does anyone have any additional information?