Friday, 23 January 2015

Catch up

A couple of quilts finished this month and backs for 4 quilts made.  Making backs is like making a 2nd quilt sometimes but the result is worth it.  The sense of satisfaction as the quilts get closer to being completed is a good medicine in the depths of January.

I also took some time to play or if you prefer, practice this month.  Like with any skill or expertise, practice is necessary.  Oh, how easy and flowing quilting on a long arm looks on video.  But you are generally not on a video unless you have earned recognition and that takes practice.  But each time you watch videos, your mind latches onto something new that you know will help you.  A simple thing like saying to relax.  Of course if your shoulders are hunched and your hands in a death grip on the machine handles, your work will be jerky.  But when your mind is on getting going and of course making it perfect you forget that quilting is fun.  It is also nice to hear the presenter say that nothing is ever perfect.  You have to step back from the detail to look at the whole and then decide on your level of satisfaction with your work.  It is quite a different view from the stitching right under your nose from a quilt laid out or hung up and viewed from a much longer distance or through someone else's eyes.

This quilt I posted when it was being made.  Making a sampler from a panel is a lot of fun and I will be happy to do more.  Panels can be really colourful and detailed in ways piecing cannot especially with today's printing capabilies,so combined with some relatively simple pieced section it can make a nice wall hanging or lap quilt.

It is hard to hang quilts on the line in the winter especially when there is a skating rink between you and the line so here is the finished quilt draped on the sofa.  The cats look just as supercilious in the finished quilt as they did on the original panel but they have been enhanced with the stitching.  I picked up on the simple flower shape in the borders just as I did on the block of 3 flowers which were embroidered on a black background to fill in the last gap in the sampler.  Striped binding really adds to a quilt.  I try whenever possible to find a fabric that has movement in it to use as binding.  I was fortunate to have fabrics that coordinated in my stash but I do have another panel I purchased where I hit the fat quarter bin at the store and purchased coordinating fabric for the panel.  It is fun to quilt pictures as you get to make the pictures have more dimension.

Here is my resident supercilious cat but he is napping and has forgotten to be upright and proud. 

I drool over applique quilts that have masses of quilting with the applique sitting proud on the quilt.   So before I do another quilt which is all applique, I took a left over block and practiced.  The applique is not very good but I think was the first block I did in applique quite a long time ago.  This has languished in boxes and bags for several years.   I am not sure how much I like doing hand applique but I sure love the quilting. 
It is amazing how the quilting brings the applique to life.  So, I put on a binding and put this practice piece on the wall in my quilting room.  My hope is that it will serve to encourage me when I get my quilt with the applique  from the same series of blocks on the frame.  But now I think I will drool even more and might think about more applique in the future but probably more of the machine applique type.

I belong to a guild that has great teachers come to give classes, Mahone Bay Quilt Guild.  This fall, we had Sylvia Naylor a fibre artist , who taught a class in embellishment.  She had fabulous ideas including using wonky tension to create thread elements in your art piece.  There were so many possibilities in thread, fabric, design, texture explored. 

I love sunrises and sunsets and in particular the sunrise on a summer morning when the sky is lit in beautiful colours as the ground remains still encased in the remains of night.  The light coming in flashes off the pots and pans and any reflective surface until my kitchen is alive with light.  So with the help of some bits of fabric, thread, surface elements, beads and netting I did this abstract to remind me of this beauty and what a wonderful start to the day it is.  Finally the mornings are now a bit lighter and there is a hint sometimes of pale colours in the early morning sky but nothing like in the middle of summer.  Welcome to my imagined summer mornings.  The reality is wonderful and I cannot wait until it returns. Unfortunately indoor light does not catch all the sparkle on this piece but outdoors is too cold and too icy for picture taking.  

Well there are couple of quilts with deadlines looming in my sewing room so time to be practical and constructive.  I hope you enjoy what I have posted.

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