Archive for January, 2011

Cutting out the Dress

Today was the day. I was determined to cut into the beautiful fabric, and begin the dress. First step – iron the pattern pieces.

Second step – pin the pattern pieces to the fabric. Not too hard, right? I had a guide after all.

Somehow though, it took longer than expected. It was almost like trying to fit puzzle pieces together, making sure I followed selvages, folds, and things. In the beginning I tried using our kitchen table, but it turned out to be too small.

So I swept and mopped the kitchen floor, and moved everything down. That worked out well!

And then, with a deep breath, I took my scissors, and cut the fabric. I can begin to see the dress taking shape. So exciting!

P.S. Do you notice the different colors in the fabric, how it goes from pink to green? It depends on the lighting. It was interesting to observe how the fabric changed as the sunlight in my kitchen changed. What wonderful fabric – I wonder how it will look up on stage?

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Day two of the Mickey Lawlor Skyscape class was designing our mountain quilt. It was a fun relaxed day, of cutting, placing, arranging, and moving. The class began to bond, as we shared opinions, offered advice, and gave critique. Everyone had a design wall hung around the room, and towards the afternoon, the room was full of color.

The mountains will be pieced. Part of the process is adjusting proportion and playing with value.

I decided my sky was too brilliant, making the mountains disapear in the foregrounds. So I turned it around so the back faced forward to mute it a bit, and that worked out nice.

At the end of the class, we all had a design ready to be pieced and quilted.

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Today was day one of a two day class with Mickey Lawlor, learning how to paint fabric. I painted five yards today! Mickey is a great instructor and a fabulous person, and playing with color, well that part was just pure fun.

The top was my first sky piece, the bottom my first sunset.

Another sunset!

The hallway outside our classroom fills with painted skies and foregrounds.

Margaret painting a masterpiece.

We skipped our two hour lunch break and just continued to paint. Here I play with more colors.

Tomorrow we take our painted fabrics and cut them up to make a mountain scene.

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Incredible! Inspiring! Wonderful. Lovely. Crazy. Margaret, Roberta and I walked the rows of the quilt show today, marvelling at the talented quilters that make such amazing quilts. Here are a few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy.

Very sentimental for me, an Oregon quitl guild did a running quilt of the Rogue River. Each quilter did a small piece, and the river runs through it all.

Detail of the Rogue River quilt.

My favorite.

I like this one for its simple beauty.

This quilt's detail was out of this world intricate. My favorite part was the tea bag, Earl Gray of course!

One of the few hand quilted quilts. I like the wonky piecing.

I'm thinking I could do something similar with my skyscape fabrics I'll make in class tomorrow.


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Playhouse 395 Seamstress

Our local theater group – Playhouse 395 – is busy rehearsing for their spring Once Upon a Mattress Show. And somehow or other, I said yes to sewing a costume. Well, I know why I said yes. I will be sewing my friend Brandi’s costume, and I think she will look just fabulous in it.

Costume image

I picked up my pattern and fabrics last week, and they are delicious! Such vibrant colors, that change depending on which way the light hits them. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to cut into them they are so lovely.

In high school, I made a similar pattern for a Halloween costume one year. So I’m not too nervous. But sewing a quilt and sewing a costume can be two very different things.

Some advice I received today from Penny:

1. sew a mock-up with muslin first

2. read your pattern carefully once, then read it carefully again

3. iron your pattern flat

Do you have any advice before I begin?

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Sew day with Kim. She worked on a lovely pink and white purse, and I made a ironing board cover and sewing machine cover.

Kim at the sewing machine

Kim sewing

Ironing board cover

Machine quilting Becca’s quilt continues. Today I took inspiration from an article in the most recent Quilting Arts, featuring this square squiggly pattern.

Machine quilting

Machine quilting pattern

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2010 Reflection

Happy New Year!

I spent today – the first day of the year – sewing! My friend Kim joined me in my sunny kitchen as she made a lovely hand bag and I made a new ironing board cover and sewing machine cover. We both took our patterns from the new, incredibly fun book, One Yard Wonders.

I also took a moment today to look back at 2010, and what sewing adventures I had. There was a bit of dyeing, batking, painting with shiva oil sticks, needle felting, machine quilting for the first time, two quilts finished, two quilts started, and much more!

For 2011, I am hoping to continue to explore the world of art quilting. First up this month is a fabric painting class at the Road to California Quilt Show. I am hoping to complete my sister’s quilt, and begin on a few more that have been brewing in my mind. I am hoping to continue to dye much of my own fabric, sew and play with quilter friends, and have fabric shopping trips with Kim.

Wishing everyone the best in this upcoming year!


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