Sunday, July 25, 2010

Project Quilting - Challenge 6 - Flower Power Dolly Blanket

This weeks challenge for Project Quilting was to find inspiration in an office supply store. I could come up with nothing until Kim told me to go to the store and wander around. Which I did and inspiration struck. We were to use 3 supplies for inspiration. Here's what I came up with. (Scary dolly for display purpose only)
The inspiration for my dolly blanket was all the bright colors of the new school supplies, a folder (pictured below), white poster board, and a quilted backpack.

I started with 2 pieces of cotton fabric I had gotten a while back at Walmart. They are supposed to be big dish towels, but I loved the texture and knew I could do something with them someday. They came in a big package of 5. After ironing them out, they looked and were about the size of white poster board.

I cut one piece in half, sandwiched it with some batting and quilted it. I quilted in a diagonal manner like the way the backpack I saw was quilted. I really like how it looks as I usually stipple everything.

I then heat bonded a bunch of solid colored fabrics, traced out my flowers, cut them out and ironed them onto my quilted surface. The butterfly wasn't on the inspiration folder, but I thought it would blend in nicely. I then free-handed the remaining flowers that were going to be just stitched.

After adhering all the flowers I matched thread and sewed over the flowers. I stitched several times around not going over the same line of stitching as I wanted it to look like doodling.

As I was finishing all the doodling, my machine decided she had had enough and I spent about an hour trying to figure out what was wrong. Which was aproximatly 57 minutes to many. So, before taking a sledge hammer to her or putting my head thru the nearest wall, I got out my baby Janome (which is like a kids sewing machine) and sewed on the ribbon border. I wanted it to be nicely couched onto the quilt but my janome only does a simple zig-zag. Whatever.

This piece measures 22 x 16 and was fitfully made in water-logged Elgin, IL.

Head over to Flicker to check out the other pieces....especially Aunt Kathleen's. I'm thinking she will be the judges winner this week!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Auntie is the big ribbon winner!!

Holy Cow!!! Look at all the ribbons Auntie Kath won at her fair this year!!!! Big Congrats to you Miss Sew-It-All!!!! I'm so proud of you!!!

Class: Quilt, machine quilted
Map Quilt won first place!!!
Stars and Nine Patch - second place

Class: Quilt, child's size, machine quilted
Birdie Quilt - second place
Splashes of Red - third place

Class: Quilt, miniature, hand quilted
Tea Party Scraps - second place

Class: Wallhanging, quilted
Rectangle Challenge - second place

Project Quilting Theme: Stars Over America

Well, as you can see, I also took the theme quite literally. I thought of this idea as soon as I saw the challenge. All the fabric came from my scrap bag...which is really getting workout with these PQ challenges!

I started out by finding a template of the US on line and then printed it out in poster size I cut it out to make a pattern. I then sewed a bunch of scraps together to emulate the flag.( I didn't have a lot of royal blue fabric, so I used what was in the scrap bag instead of cutting into a new peice.) Once I had all the strips sewn together, I quilted it with a large stipple. I then traced my US pattern onto the peice.

 Before I cut it out, tho, I taught myself a new technique called 'couching'. I took skinny black ribbon (which is the other color I used for this quilt) and zigzagged (twice around) over it to make a nice outlined border. It 's a fun technique and I'll definitly be using it a lot!. I also used this technique with the stars. After outlining the US and the stars, I then cut them out.

My nephew, Jack, who is 6, was over yesterday and saw the almost finished wall hanging and said, "Oh Auntie, I love it, can I have it?" I said, "Maybe...." ....knowing for sure now where this piece was going to hang (in his room, of course!)

After I finished it the next day, I snuck over to my sister's house while they were at the pool and hung it up in his room. He was thrilled to have it, and I think I was even more thrilled to give it to him!

The US measures aprox. 30x19 and the stars are aprox. 8x8. All supplies came from my stash. I spent 0 dollars. I love that!!!

Final Score from the judges: 7.13

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mini Art Quilts

I started with a piece of my hand dyed fabric and sketched then acrylic painted the sunflower onto it. I then thread painted with several different colors. The binding is a new technique I taught myself this week, called 'couching'. I used a skinny ribbon and then zigzagged over it. I left the blue fabric unquilted because I liked how it puffed up.

For this one, I sketched the flower with colored pencils and then thread painted over the drawing. I then quilted it and added the couched binding.

I'm thinking I'll do a series of these using flowers I have photographed for inspiration. I'll  then bind them in a book somehow.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to dye fabric in your backyard or dying fabric hillbilly-style.

So, I've wanted to try dying my own fabric ever since I met the lady down the street who showed me her process for dying. It was really complicated and time-consuming. You had to wash the fabric with this stuff mix it with that stuff then cut your fabric a certain size then do this then do that blah blah blah blah...ick.....that's way to much this and that and blah blah blah to do. There had to be an easier way. So, I found one. I'm sure its not as good as doing it the 'professional' way, but I sure had fun....and that really is the point , right? Here it is.

First, go to Walmart and buy the the Tulip tie-dye kit.

 Second, gather all your supplies and bring them in the back yard. You'll need big cups, gloves, your fabric cut into manageable or fat 1/4 pieces and then dampened with water, plastic sandwich bags, a laundry basket (yes, a laundry basket) and a hose with a strong sprayer on the end ...oh, and wine or preferred beverage(optional).

Next, I dumped most of the dry dye into sandwich bags to save it because I knew I wouldn't want to use it all up at once. I left a small amount of dye in each bottle and added water. For a darker color, I used less water for lighter colors more water. It wasn't very scientific, but it worked just fine for my first try.

Here's where your laundry basket comes into play. Squirt a bit of dye in the bottom of the basket and swirl your fabric around in it. Cool! It's like a science project!

Once you get a nice color on the fabric, put the pieces in separate cups...

....and then (and this step is very important) take a break to go get a nice glass of wine. 
Cover all the cups with sandwich bags securing them with the rubber bands that were included in the dye kit.
Sit down, enjoy wine, admire work.
Let the covered cups sit overnite to soak up their pretty colors.
Early the next morning.......

Clear a spot on the sidewalk and spray the crap out of your colored pieces. Spray until the water runs clear then wring extra water out.

Next, wash and dry your fabric (separate loads for different colors) and fold it into pleasing little stacks.