Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sharing my passion

Those of you who know me, know I love being a teacher.  I believe that teaching is a calling and I enjoy helping children on their educational journey.  I also enjoy teaching adults about my passions of quilting and dyeing fabric.  

I have had the privilege of teaching some adults lately.  A few weeks ago, I taught a quilting class at Ardyth's Sew n Vac in Baraboo.  Last week, I shared my love of dyeing fabric with the Gem City Quilters.  I forgot to bring my handouts, so I'm attaching them for the lovely ladies who were there that night.
Hand-dyeing supply list

  • procion dye
  • soda ash
  • table salt
  • synthrapol detergent
  • 100% cotton fabric--PFD
  • dust mask
  • latex gloves
  • ice cream buckets
  • measuring spoons
  • small container to mix dye
  • old wooden spoon
Please note--once you use something for dyeing, don’t use it for food!  

Dharma Trading
Color By Accident
Color By Design

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Charms of Spring

So, last year, as part of my grand prize for Project Quilting Season 5, I got a charm pack.  When the latest challenge was announced, I forgot I had it, but discovered it after digging a little.  The challenge was to use charms--5" squares for any non-quilters reading this.  I just wasn't sure what I was going to do, until I saw the pattern for this quilt in a magazine.  I modified it to be able to use charms, so without further ado, here it is!

This little piece is 15" x 8".  It is called The Charms of Spring.  I embellished it with yo-yos made from the charms, ric-rac, and buttons.  It turned out so cute!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Favorite Fabric

Here is the fabric I chose as my favorite fabric--my favorite fabric for a purse.  I've got lots of favorite fabrics, so it was hard to narrow it down.  I bought this fabric at The Quilt Gallery in Kalispell, MT, the first time I went out there for a Judy Niemeyer retreat.  It's 100% cotton, but it's heavier than quilting cotton--a cotton duck or twill.  I bought it to make a purse.  I figured this Project Quilting Challenge was the time to pull it out and use it.

So, here is the finished purse.  The two other fabrics were also bought at The Quilt Gallery.  I really like it!  Now to clean out the purse I'm using now and switch all my purse stuff into this one.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hearts for My Birthday

Today is my birthday and the PQ Season 6 Challenge 4 deadline.  The challenge this time was Have a Heart--the challenge piece had to have at least 12 hearts.  I call my Hearts for My Birthday and it is 16" square.  Notice the prairie points that look like hearts.  I thought I was pretty clever with that one!

My little chicken didn't make an appearance on the UFO challenge or on this one yet, but look for a post later this week.  She really wants to try out the last two quilts.

PS.  I quilt in Reedsburg, WI.
PPS.  I should win a prize because it's my birthday.  :)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

28 years later.....

This week's PQ Season 6 challenge was to finish a UFO or orphan blocks, so I pulled this piece out of my my UFO stash.  I started it in a class with Liz Porter in 1987 at the Wisconsin Quilters symposium.  The class was called Woven Applique Baskets.  The weaves in the basket are made from a striped fabric; I cut the stripes to make the weaves.  The project came home with me, with just the basket part done and some flowers and leaves cut.  I have pulled it out a couple of times and put it back.  The PQ challenge was the right one to finally make me finish it.

I call it "Liz Meets Kaffe After 28 Years" because I started the class with Liz and I finished the project using Kaffe Fasset fabrics.  It is 18" square and I quilt in Reedsburg, WI.  I think I should win a prize for the oldest UFO!

I'm not really happy with the binding, so I will probably take it off and re-do it.  I think it isn't great because I just wanted to get it done.  Outside of the binding, I think it turned out great.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quilting Past My Bedtime, part 2

As promised, the story behind my PQ Season 6 Challenge 2.  It's called Here Comes the Sun(flowers).
I was really having trouble coming up with an idea.  I had multiple thoughts running through my head, but none that really spoke to me.  I wanted to do something different, out-of-the-box, but my ideas seemed cliche.  Finally, I pulled out some books for inspiration and the one that caught my eye was Flower Garden from the book 25 Ways to Sew Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, and Charm Packs.  I have wanted to do this quilt and immediately saw the sunrise yellows, oranges, and pinks as the flower petals.  I pulled this great gray batik I got in Montana last summer and the quilt was started!  

The song that was running through my head was Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, especially these lyrics: Little darling
It's been a long, cold lonely winter
Little darling
It feels like years since it's been here

Little darling
I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling
It seems like years since it's been clear

The gray background represents the winter, the darkness, the ice, and the flowers represent the sunrise on that first spring morning when you know winter is done.  The flowers bloom, the sun warms the earth, and the ice is gone again.

Read more: Beatles - Here Comes The Sun Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Oh, look.  The chicken has appeared again!  She says the flowers are too big and they kinda scare her.  She likes the Wonky Trees best so far, but she's looking forward to the rest of the PQ challenges to see which one will be her home.

Project Quilting Retreat

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time at Woodland Ridge Retreat for a Project Quilting Challenge retreat.  At 1 pm on Friday, we were given this wonderful PQ bag, filled with fabric and the challenge rules.
The challenge was the APE challenge.  The A was for applique, but in a new way.  Kim Lapacek, PQ Challenge Master extraordinaire, taught us Painted Applique.  We used special colored pencils to draw in the fabric and then covered our coloring with a fabric medium to set it.  P was for piecing and E was for embellishment.  In addition, we had to use the the fabric on the left and right, pictured above.

So, this is my Dandelion and Daisies.
The dandelion in the center is my painted applique.  I painted it directly on to the background fabric.  The leaves were also colored with the colored pencils, but were done on a different fabric, then appliqued down.  It was a challenge because the flower was on the background and I wanted the leaves to look like they were behind the dandelion.  I was able to make it work.  I pieced the the partial border to fulfill the pieced requirement.  The dragonfly was embellished with beads for eyes and the end of the antenna.  I also added ceramic hedgehog buttons (thanks, Trish!) and the dandelion fluff is made from Angelina fibers.  A shout out to Frieda Anderson and her book, Fun, Fast Fusies, which is where I found the dandelion design.
A close-up of the hedgehog buttons.  Hey, where did the chicken come from?  She shows up again, but she decided she and hedgehogs don't mix.