Thursday, September 30, 2010

Slideshow of the Colfax Quilt Show 2010

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Another Ribbon from The Colfax Quilt Show!

Well here I am early in the morning, next to my entry. It was a nice little show, fun to walk the sidewalk and look at the beautiful quilts.  There was a broad array from beginner to advanced.  The back lighting on this picture doesn't help show off the colors, but when you were there in person, it was lovely to look at.

The local officials and local businesses, purchase ribbons to present to the quilt they like the best.  It's all very subjective, but that is the fun of it.  The first year I entered I received a ribbon from a local business, the second year I received a ribbon from California Department of Forestry, this year I received a ribbon from The City of Colfax.  It's fun to hear people comment on your work as they walk by, I could sit there all day and listen, but John would not do well, so off to Bob's Dogs we went for a celebratory lunch.  If you haven't been to Bob's Dogs in Colfax, you have to go!  And take your appetite with you.  At this point I didn't know if I had a ribbon for my quilt yet, so we were just celebrating the fact that it was in the show and people were making nice comments as they strolled by.  At 3pm I took off with Suzette Cowperthwaite to the Relief Society Women's Conference at the Stake Center in Auburn.  As our evening there drew to a close, I called my husband, because the anticipation was getting the better of me.  At first he wasn't going to tell me, said I would have to wait until I got home ( he wanted to see my face) but after a short bit of pleading on my part he spilled the beans!  Already planning the quilt for next year.

Here is the ribbon I received from The City of Colfax.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Colfax Quilt Show, Colfax, California

The annual Colfax Quilt Show will be held tomorrow, September 25th.  Quilts will be displayed outside between the posts along the sidewalks of this historic Gold Mining and Railroad Town.  This will be my third year with an entry and I am excited to be displaying my quilt which I have titled Miner's Peacock.  The show is one day only and is an absolutely delightful event.

I had a big helper today as I was finishing up some last minute stitching by hand on the binding.  Little Honey Bee so carefully holds the fabric in place for me, she is so gentle and seems to instinctively know when I am working on a quilt, she plops herself down right in the middle of it to make sure that none of the fabric moves.
She is quite effective.  Notice the placement of the paw, just so.  It's a technique that she has developed over several years.  You can tell by her face how very serious she takes this work.  More pictures will be forth coming tomorrow as the quilt show unfolds.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Little House Quilt - Selecting Landscaping Materials #6

Click on the photos to enlarge and see detail.
You are ready to put in some general landscaping.  WE ARE NOT FUSING ANYTHING TO OUR BACKGROUND AT THIS TIME.  Remember when you were a kid and the teacher had a felt board and she put things up on it and then took them down, or maybe you had one of those toys as a kid that would let you apply the plastic sticker to the background and then you could easily peel it up and place it somewhere else or remove it altogether?  We are going to do the same thing for right now.  Everything in our design is in flux.  We are like that boy in college that you thought you liked, not ready to commit.  You will be laying your pieces on the background to develop your Little House Quilt, but you will NOT be fusing them in place yet.
Just like the house, the fine detail can be done last.  This is a great time to go through your fabric stash, and that of your friends (share ladies, you know you covet her fabric...LOL).  Below are some examples of fabrics that would work in a landscape.  Think about making the fabric work for you, I plan some boulders in my landscape, so I will look at using some of the fabrics that have a mottled, hand dye look about them and mix it up a bit.  

The watery blue fabric in the center would make a great pond, or turned differently, a great water fall.  Leaves and ferns in the forest of course.  Don't rule out large print fabrics, you can fussy cut a leaf and it will become a shrub with delightful detail in your landscape.  One time I used cabbage leaves...they were great shrubs!   Think about how you want your Little House as you select fabric, are you going for reality, whimsy, ethereal, early American country...what ever you choose, it's your landscape and there is no wrong choice!  Let yourself explore all the possibilities that exist and then you can pare down to what please you.
Again, let the fabric do as much of the work for you as you can and don't think about details right now, you want a general flow, it's like, if you looked through a pair of foggy glasses, or squinted your eyes and just caught the general outlines of the trees, fences, shrubs, etc.  We are roughing it in.

When you have assemble the fabrics that you would like to work with, start cutting out some shapes and laying them on your Little House lot to see how they will look with your house.  It's okay to layer, we like layering, it's our friend.  Layering will give a sense of depth to your quilt.  Are there trees behind your house?  If you live in a big city, there may be other buildings or landmarks that would give your quilt a sense of placement.  Maybe you have a silver trailer with a pink flamingo in the front on some astro turf.   Do you live on a farm, think about row crops, bountiful harvest, the checker board landscape.  Maybe you live in the mountains, selecting a variety of fabrics and creating several ridge lines will give your quilt more depth and interest.  Do you live in the forest, like I do?  Well, your trees may be a mix like ours of madrone, a variety of pines, oaks, manzanita.  If you are going for whimsy or an early American folk country style, you can create conical trees, or circle trees with stick straight trunks.   Maybe you live on the east coast and the hills are ablaze with the glory of fall.  What about lavender fields, or beds of roses, maybe a trellis, poppies, tulips, daffodils...what's in your garden and what would you LIKE in your garden.   The point is to have fun with it and let your mind go.

If you have patience, I will be on vacation for a couple weeks and will return and post detailed instructions on finishing, along with photos. I will be returning September 20th.
For those of you who just can't wait and want to get hopping on are some basic finishing instructions.

Once you have all the basic components in place the way you want them, fuse them to your quilt.  Like that guy from college that you fell in love with, you both graduated, married and are now committed!

You can now start to place windows, doors and smaller details using the same technique of trying out different fabrics and then when you are certain that you like them, fusing them in place.

Next will come the detail stitching or if you don't want to stitch, you can embellish your Little House Quilt with a fine tip permanent marker, fabric paints, what ever your heart desires.  You can add crystals, beads, buttons, ribbons, yarn...think outside the box and have fun.

Layer your quilt with very thin cotton batting, select your backing, and then quilt your piece as desired.

Attach binding and a rod pocket if you wish.

You are ready to display or give as a gift.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Little House Quilt - Let's Build The House! #5

By now you should have worked through tutorials 1 through 4, you have two copies of your pattern, one trimmed to the house and numbered and the other one intact and numbered, you have created a base lot and sky to place your house on and have a pretty good idea where you want to place it.  You have gathered up the materials for your house and have some type of fusible bond to work with.  Remember, if you want to stitch on your piece and not gum up your sewing machine needle, you may want to consider a fusible like "Mistyfuse" or a very light weight heat and bond, if you want to do your detail work with a marking pen and not a sewing machine, you can use a medium to heavy weight heat and bond.
First thing to do is separate the body of your house pattern from the roof.  Simply cut it apart.
Now you have some decisions to make.  You can cut the individual pieces of the roof and sides of the house into your numbered segments and place them individually, or you can leave them intact, which I am going to do for this quilt and create your definition with stitching, embellishment or you may elect to piece certain portions and not others to achieve your end look.
REMEMBER, right now we are only dealing with the body of the house and the roof, details of windows, doors, stairs...etc. will all come later in the process.
DON'T WORRY if you have a little strip of siding up in the roof area like I do; the area where the roof gables are at different heights.  I will cut a little strip of my "siding" and fuse that over the top portion to fill in that space.  For right now, you just want to separate the roof area from the house.
Having selected your fabrics for both you are ready to apply the bonding agent (misty fuse or what ever you have elected to use) and cut out your roof and your house.  TIP:  When you cut your house, give yourself a little extra allowance on the area where the roof and the house will meet so that you can overlap the roof slightly.  Doesn't have to be much, an 8th of an inch is plenty.
Place your "house" pattern on top of your fusible backed fabric and trace around the outline with a disappearing ink pen, very light pencil or chalk.  Cut out your house and set that piece aside.  You will do the same for the roof and set them both aside...NOTE:  VERY IMPORTANT!  YOU WILL NOT BE FUSING THEM TO THE BACKGROUND AT THIS TIME.

do the same for the roof...

TIP:  If you have little pieces to cut out, or narrow bits...just put scotch tap right over the top of the pattern onto your fabric, trace on the tape and leave it in place until you are finished cutting your piece, then remove the tape.
Here is the basic house...REMEMBER do not fuse this to your background yet!

Okay now, remember I told you my Little House has some siding up in the roof area and the gables meet at angles.  This is how I deal with that...Originally I numbered my roof pieces, I know that piece #6 on my roof pattern is a piece of siding.  I cut apart the roof pattern and select that little piece #6, place that on my house fabric and trace around it, cut it out and again, using my roof pattern pieces, I line up the area where that siding piece #6 is going to go and fuse it into place.  Example below:

Now you can see in the picture below, we have added a little bit of definition, you can see the siding area on the roof.  I will add more definition in the final stages of the quilt with machine stitching to show the actual roof lines, so we won't worry about that now.  For this segment of the project, we just need to have our roof and sides assembled.
REMEMBER:  you are not fusing this to the background at this time.  TIP:  Save your left over bits of fused fabric, you may need them later in the project to add definition to an area.

Alright now!  Things are starting to take shape.  Your next task is to look through your stash and assemble fabrics that will serve as trees, flowers, rocks, walls, fences, ponds, driveways, paths, what ever you want in YOUR landscape for your Little House Quilt.   Look at the example quilt in the photos section and you will see that I used fabrics that would do the work for me.  The pine tree fabric offers the swirls that you might imagine as branches, I simply cut out cone shapes... the trees with the birds...well that was just too easy,  some fluffy circles a little thread embellishment and I was done!  This is the time to let your imagination run wild!  It doesn't have to look just like your can get rid of your neighbors, put your animals in the yard, your family, your car, your boat, wildlife, you can do ANYTHING you wish!
Let's meet back here shortly to start  Landscaping our Little House!