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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Craftsy Quilt Class "Pictoral Quilting Techniques"

with Wendy Butler Berns 
In this course she teaches how to create an art quilt using freezer paper (with turned-under applique.) I have heard of using freezer paper before, but have never tried it.   This is an extremely valuable technique, and my mind is spinning with all the ways I can utilize it in future quilts.  
In this course she explains how to take photos and turn them into art quilts.  I'm already starting to design my quilt using a photo of my daughter, but the possibilities are endless.  

 This freezer paper-method also has an exciting "big reveal" aspect.  It's like a puzzle somewhat.  you have a general "idea" of what it's going to look like when complete, but you don't get to see it until you remove the freezer paper.  Here is my quilt TOP, before my big reveal.
 However you CAN hold it up to the light and look at it from the BACK.  Here I am trying to get a sneak peek.
 Quilt front AND back, waiting for everything to dry.
  and finally my big reveal!!   Wow, that yellow is BRIGHT. . . and what was I thinking with those bricks?   ;c)

I would like to add that I wanted to QUICKLY get through this "practice" quilt so that I could get to making a quilt using the photo of my daughter.   I wanted to just practice the techniques discussed in the class, and so I ran into the fabric room while my baby was sleeping.   I grabbed some fabrics off of a top pile, and tip-toed out.  I didn't really look at the actual PRINTS. . I just focused on the aspect of value.
I sandwiched my quilt, and decided I would start with outlining the flower, stem, and leaves in black with a zigzag stitch.
 Here's the back with the outline.   (I have no idea why these are upside down)
I had some thread from Wonderfil called "hologram" that I wanted to try.  So I added some shiny fun stuff in the flower.  
 Next I tried to tone down the yellow and brick areas with very thick white quilting.   (it didn't help much I know)
I also wanted the ground portion to be a bit darker, so there would be more contrast with the sky.  So I used a dark grey thread and did a dense pebble motif.
 For some reason I really liked my little bottom part of my flower just hanging out down there all alone.  So I tried to find a way to keep it like that in the final quilt.   Here is the batting trimmed away with my lonely little flower stem just hanging out on the bottom.
 I thought this looked weird  (as if it couldn't get any weirder!)
So to even that out, I trimmed some of the top portion out, so it looked like the flower was very much in the foreground of this scene.   That helped a bit I think.

 Since this was an art quilt - I decided to lose the binding - and gave myself permission to break all the rules and I kept the edges raw.  I tried doing a thick zigzag stitch with black thread, but it kept getting jammed and acting weird.  So I decided to switch to a regular clear piecing foot, and used a large doubled-up buttonhole stitch.  (#30 on my Janome.)  I like the way this turned out.
 And just for fun, I wanted to share a photo of the finished quilt BACK.  Isn't that pretty?   I might like the back better!

Finally - I HIGHLY recommend this course!   If you have ever wanted to learn the freeezer paper applique method, or make art quilts, give this class a try.   I love Wendy's teaching style, and really enjoyed listening to her talk about how she went about making each of her quilts.  She has a large variety of quilts in her gallery and there are many fun stories to go along with each one.

 In this class you will learn:
how to choose fabrics,
making your quilt pattern from a photo,
mapping your pattern,
freezer paper applique,
glue basting,
and unique quilting and finishing techniques.

I would also like to say how impressed I am with Craftsy's class format.   I have only taken ONE quilt class in my life, so I don't have much to compare it to, however Craftsy offers several neat tools.   One, you can pause the video at any time and add a NOTE.   That way you don't have to go back and try to find that one spot you want to hear again.   Also, there is a constant stream of people asking (and answering) questions and offering tips.   The instructor quickly answers any questions you might have and they are there for the whole class to view and comment on.  Everything was really smooth and I had no problem at all navigating between lessons/outlines/patterns.  I'll definitely be taking more craftsy classes in the future.    When you sign up for Craftsy, they email you when they are having sales, so you can wait until they are offering the classes at a discount.  I have seen them up to 50% off!
And if you sign up - (it's free)  please sign up through ME by click one of my links - so I can get credit!!!  Thank you!

And click here if you would like to try this same Craftsy Quilt course "Pictoral Quilting Techniques using machine applique with Wendy Butler Burns "

I'll post later when I finish the quilt of my daughter that I am so excited about - here's the photo I have chosen to use for my next quilt.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fun Baby Blanket REDO challenge!

My Mom's cousin Joyce asked if I could take her SON's baby blankets (from when he was a baby) and turn them into something NEW. ...
 SURE I said!  I will be happy to give it a shot!!  ;c)
He is getting married soon,  and Joyce gave this finished quilt to her son at his wedding shower.

The blankets have been washed many many times, stains, giant holes, weak and shredding fabric.  Also, the colors in the blankets don't exactly MATCH, so to say this was a challenge, would be an understatement.  . . a FUN challenge though!   Take a look at these 4 baby blankets and think . .what would YOU do ?  How would YOU fit them together?   How would you go about it?  
I am really happy with how this quilt turned out - and I feel that I breathed NEW LIFE into these blankets, and now they will last another 3 decades!  (at least!)

 I decided that I would make a RAG-style quilt.  
The troll doll blanket is actually a quilt.   The back of this blanket is a panel that is made up of large troll dolls.  The original quilt maker cut out the trolls from that fabric, and hand-appliqued them onto brightly colored solid background fabrics.  The hand applique is gorgeous!  She also hand-quilted the 3 layers.  I wanted this blanket to be the "star"  So I started with the troll blocks, and then worked around them.
I noticed that the polka dot blanket had similar colors.  So I made similar size blocks with that blanket.  I took the remaining two blankets and made 4-patch units.    And a large center block because Joyce's son loves elephants.
 I measured the troll blocks from the original quilt, and they varied in size, but averaged 7.5"
I typically want at least a 1" seam allowance for a rag quilt. . but I decided that for this quilt that I would do a 0.75" seam allowance and use a 6" finished block  (7.5" UNfinished).  
 HOWEVER, If I cut the blocks out exactly as they were in the original blanket, some of the trolls head and feet would be gobbled up by the seam allowance. So I utilized the blankets borders, and cut into the center blocks so that I could keep most of the troll in tact!    That's why you see more than one color in some of the troll blocks.
The back of the quilt is NOT so pretty ;c)  But you can see the awesome original troll doll fabric on the back. 

Here's a closeup of the center of the finished quilt.    This photo shows off the strong diagonal movement with the lights and darks.  
Side-by-Side of the blankets and the finished quilt.  

What would YOU do??  
I would love to know!

T-shirt Quilt

Finished T-shirt quilt!!!   
This quilt was made for a man that actually graduated with my Mom and Dad.  He has started several fundraisers and charities in our local area.  He was a very well-respected and loved man of the community.  He passed away a few years back, but his memory lives on through his good deeds.
"Mator" is his nickname - and his sister Polly collected the shirts and had this quilt created as a gift. 

 This quilt was pretty big -  about a Double/Full size.  But with the number of shirts I had, I could have made 4 king size quilts!!!  LOL

Here's a closeup of the center of the quilt

If you, or someone you know would like a custom T-shirt quilt, please send me a message via email or facebook!  Detailed price list on my facebook page under "general info" and photos of additional T-shirt Quilts under the album "T-shirt/Clothing quilts"
And these next few photos are just me taking photos of my babies - being silly ;c)

2 Quilts made of baby clothes

If you would like a quilt made from your child's clothing, please email me or send me a message on facebook ! -  subject "quilt"
Contact me if you have any questions - detailed price list on facebook under "general info" -  additional photos of baby clothes quilts on facebook in the album titled "T-shirt/clothing quilts"

I accidentally deleted most of the photos of these quilts before blogging them.  But I DID find these few photos from facebook and flickr!

I really really enjoy making these quilts out of baby clothes.   Like T-shirt quilts, they are similar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  I lay out all the pieces on the floor, fuse the pieces, cut, and then fill in the gaps with alternating colors from the clothes.   This is the 3rd and 4th quilt I have made using baby clothes.   For these, I tried using more of the details from the clothing.  You can see in the closeups that I kept some of the stuffed toys in tact.   I also tried to keep embroidered details, buttons, pockets, etc.,  -  It's much more difficult doing it this way and most of the stuff has to be done by hand.  But I DO think it's worth it in the end.

I can use onesies, bibs, shirts, pants, jerseys soft hats, blankets and small stuffed toys.  And don't worry about holes or stains because before anything goes into the quilt, it's backed with stabilizer, and the finished quilt is quilted thoroughly so stains are hidden (or cut around.)