Monday, November 29, 2010

November Interpret This!

Bricks, Boards, and Window Panes
20" x 29"

I stayed away from the detail in this photo and concentrated on the geometric shapes. It was put together using a modified version of Ruth McDowell's technique. Instead of cutting a freezer paper template for every piece, I just divided the design into large sections (door, window, three sections of wall) and pieced each section by rough measurement. Then I used a template to cut the section to size, and assembled the sections. Except for the window section, it was simple.

I blogged earlier about the border fabric problem, but the result is passable in my eye. The holidays kept me from thinking much about how to make this more interesting with elaborate quilting, more thread work, even some embellishments. I just went with the simple geometric patterns.

This is a piece that makes me keep thinking about alternative approaches. For instance, the various textures in the photo are lovely, and it would have been fun to find fabric with textures instead of standard quilting cotton. Perhaps someone else in the group has done that. Be sure and click on the sidebar link to find out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fortunately, there's only a couple of the these types at my table. How about you?

Before I start last minute Thanksgiving organizing, here's a few bits of information that are on the top of my brain this morning.

Equilter is having a fabulous Thanksgiving sale, with many fabrics at 50% off. The collection of blenders is particularly wonderful; there's a full selection of several beautiful lines. I know it's ironic that I should post this in light of recent complaints about my stash, but I didn't say I was buying. I'm just sharing.

Kathy Loomis has been publishing a series of posts about the trend in quilt design and art quilting today. Some sacred cows have been gored. Very thought-provoking, whether you agree or not. I do, mostly.

Personal notes: I finished the binding of my IT! piece last night while watching the finale of Dancing with the Stars. Perfect timing. Reveals begin Sunday. And Peppermint Stars is going to Road to California. This was very good news, not really expected.

Finally, Happy Thanksgiving, safe travels, good eating, and pleasant company to everyone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

More Stash Problems

How do you organize your stash? Mine is sorted by color except for a few special types of fabrics, batiks, for instance. This works in theory, except that I do have a couple of boxes of fabric I've put aside for a future project. That caused the problem.

Trying to find a border fabric for Interpret This!, I realized I had no fabric of the right tone of green, a grayed blueish green; all my greens were too yellow. After fretting about this, rummaging through the stash, and auditioning fabric for a whole afternoon, I settled on piecing several bits of hand dyed fabric I'd made at a guild workshop. I was satisfied.
Then, while straightening up the mess, I looked in the box of fabrics put aside for my "winter" colored quilt (to be made when I decide on a pattern). Here they are: perfect bluish greens, even with the right kind of pattern. They would have looked just as good, or better, than what I've done, and they would have saved me lots of time. And I could have continued to "save" the hand-dyes for that special project. Arghh!

Even more embarrassing, I had actually pulled a bluish gray and an ivory from this box earlier, but wasn't looking for greens then, and forgot about them later.

Defeated by the stash--again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One of Those Things

I spent all day yesterday trying to make headway on my Interpret This! project, and actually accomplished quite a bit. The photo is both a teaser and a reminder of what can happen when you have been sewing all day and have "just one more thing to do". You mark the pattern wrong and cut where you shouldn't. No, there is not supposed to be a seam there, but there is now!

Friday, November 12, 2010


I recently prepared some pieces to submit to a local art gallery and decided to frame two of the small ones to set them apart from hot pads. I know there are different ways to frame fabric art, but this is what I did. I was happy with the results.

I bought an inexpensive frame with glass, removed the glass and all paper filling. I discard the glass because I don't care for the look of fabric pieces behind glass. Then I cut a piece of foam board the size of the frame. I like to use foam board instead of a mat board because I think it's easier to cut and work with, but it is a bit too thick to go back into the frame easily. I solved that problem by cutting and peeling back the layer of cardboard on one side, right where the little doo-hickies that hold the cardboard backing go. That makes the board compress so that it will fit into the frame.

Then I used temporary spray adhesive and pins on the corners to hold the piece in the correct place on the foam board. Then with a long heavy needle and strong thread, I made a tiny stitch through the board and the piece, trying to hit the ditch where the binding is attached. I repeated this stitch around the edges, tying the ends. The stitches and the cuts in the foam are hidden when the original backing of the frame is replaced.

Then the foam board goes back into the frame, the backing is replaced and the holders are twisted back in place, and here it is. Not too bad, relatively easy and inexpensive. It also has the advantage of not damaging the piece in any way, so you or a future owner can change your mind.

After posting, I realized I had an earlier, briefer post on this method, and had credited the idea to Deborah Boshert of Deborah's Journal. She should have credit for the idea, but I take credit for shaving down that foam board! Although it still takes muscle to force it into the frame, this helps a lot!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Moment of Truth

My name is Kathy and I have too much fabric.

This morning I was searching for a particular piece of blue fabric, bright blue with little white dots; it makes a perfect night sky. I couldn't find it.

In the search I realized that I have three drawers of blue fabric, two of them so full that the fabric is no longer standing neatly so I can see what's there. Some of it has slipped down and is totally lost to view. If you can't find it, or don't know it's there, what good is it? In addition, I realized that I no longer enjoy the rummaging process. I just felt frustrated, ready to give up the project. I never did find that fabric--it may be gone. I didn't find the white "snow" fabric either, and I'm sure I haven't used that up.

I could make a "stash busting" quilt, but we all know what a joke that is. The stash just grows. The quilt I'm making was supposed to bust some batiks, but the dent is not noticeable.

I'm not ready to start shipping fabric off to a good cause yet, so don't anyone suggest one, but I have to do something. One thing I won't do is go to a garage sale held this Saturday by a guild member who is cleaning out her excess!