Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Interpret This

Behind the Gate  22 x 22
Machine pieced, quilted, and appliqued

Strip piecing worked well to give the basic feel of the gate in this photo.  I added the leaves to create a tropical lushness and to contrast with the stiff graphic lines of the fence.  Flat traditional applique didn't seem right for the feeling I was trying to create, so I attached my leaves loosely, with only one seam down the center so that the edges and ends would curl a bit, giving a three-dimensional effect.  I also extended them beyond the edges of the quilt.

I worked out a way to make a two-sided leaf with raw edges that won't fray, or at least I think they won't.  First I pressed a freezer paper pattern of the leaf to the right side of the fabric, cut around it leaving about a quarter inch margin, and then painted the edges of the wrong side with Liquid Thread, slightly diluted with water.  It's important to be sure some of the Liquid Thread goes inside the margin of the leaf.

After it dried a bit, I fused the cutout leaf to the wrong side of the fabric.  After it cooled, I cut out the shape of the leaf and peeled away the freezer paper.

I tried fusible web for this also, and it would work too, but the glue of the Liquid Thread seals the edges of the fabric, so there's little raveling.  It also gives a nice crisp hand, with a tendency to curl, which is exactly what I wanted.  

I must say it's a bit of a tedious process though.  There were lots of leaves!

You can see the original photo and other interpretations on the Interpret This website.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Something to Share

It's been a long time since I had a photo of work.  Mostly I've been working on my Interpret This piece for September.  Here's a bit of a peek.  The slanted image I produced here may turn out to be more interesting than the whole thing.

You can see the challenge photo (it's a fence/gate) and other people's hints on the blog page.  Reveals start Sept 26.

Here are three little pieces for Alzheimer's Quilts.  One is a "multiple original" using another copy of my scanned butterfly weed and another of Debra Spincic's machine embroidered butterflies.  The first one sold well, so I hope this one will too.  The rather disproportionally large rose is a bit from Anne Lullie's workshop sponsored by our guild a while back, and last but not least, there's the infamous lilacs.  Maybe someone will recognize them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Need an Excuse?

I heard this morning on NPR's Marketplace that because of droughts and floods in China and India, the price of cotton will be going up.  So stash builders, shop now!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


At guild last week a certified quilt appraiser from the area presented the program.  She discussed why you should have your quilts, both old and new, appraised, and what she does when she makes an appraisal,  what determines the value. One reason to have quilts appraised, of course, is that in case of loss an uninsured quilt is valued by the insurance company as bedding.  I'd always heard cost of materials, but apparently that's not true.

Her presentation was interesting.  For a new quilt, she considers fabric, the quality and quantity of the workmanship, and design, especially the good old "Wow factor."  The more specific information you have about any of these things, like the exact fabric line, the better.

For an old quilt, condition seems to be most important, but also rarity (old Grandmother's Flower Gardens are a dime a dozen apparently), and again the more specific the known history or provenance of the quilt, the better.

Besides putting a detailed label on a new quilt, she suggests labeling any antique or vintage quilt you have, even if your information is incomplete.  That way the next owner will have a place to start.

The most intriguing bit of information was this:  If you give a quilt for a special occasion like a wedding, it's good to have an appraisal to give with it.  Why?  Because young people may not care about the sentiment at this point, but they will care about the value.  So they will take care of the quilt, and later perhaps appreciate the sentiment too.  Rather cynical and commercial, but worth thinking about.

Does anyone have their quilts appraised?  At $40 an appraisal, it's pretty pricey, I think, and so I've never done it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Finally, a Perceptive Critic

My older son came to visit this weekend, and while using my computer, was looking around the walls of my "studio", aka basement, where some of my Interpret This pieces are hanging.  He had some comments:

"I like your sushi." (This was totally unprompted; it's hanging above the scanner.)

Then I asked him what he thought about the others, without making any prompts or suggestions.

"I saw the Andy Warhol.  It's pretty cool.  The doll eyes are really creepy."

"I intended them to be that way."