Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Liberated Linen Wedding Quilt

A couple of months ago I bought two pieces of vintage French linen on ebay to make a special quilt for my nephew who is getting married. He is an art history professor and had a show on the Travel Channel "Art Attack with Lee Sandstead". He has traveled all over Europe so I thought the vintage linen would be cool for a quilt.
My goal was to put a good dent in the getting the wedding quilt underway over this past long weekend and I am happy with the progress I made. I had dyed the fabric earlier in the week. The only time I left the house to plant my cannas in the front yard on Sunday evening and water them on Monday morning. I sewed Saturday from 7 am to 9:30 pm. I made three of those giant log cabin blocks and then decided that I wanted to not have so many blocks that looked alike. I made all of the blocke cutting the fabric with a rotary cutter, but no ruler. I wanted the pieces to be wavy. The only time I used a ruler was when I squared up the blocks to sew the rows together. I was thinking about just sewing the block together, but there is so much going on that I thought the quilt needed a little orderlyness. I could be wrong about that though. I think already I will make another quilt and not square up the block - hey, but that is another post!

Here is the big block cut into four.

I was also getting a pile of pieces that were too short to use that method with. It took longer to make the individual half square blocks, but I love the result. Of course, I ran out of the tan and brown fabric so I had to dye more linen and of course it did not come out the same color as the previous fabric, but that was ok. It just added more interest. So by end of day Saturday I had 19 out of 25 blocks done. The blocks measured 18" X 18 1/2" before they were sewed together.
Sunday I was up early again and finished up the blocks and sewed the top together. I dyed the fabric for the back, planted my canna rizomes and call it a day at 8 PM.

Here we are on Monday about noon all pin basted and ready to quilt. I have so many quilts pinned basted that I did not have enough pins to finish this job so I found another quilt that is mostly quilted and took a bunch of pins out of it. I guess I really need to get some quilting done!

If I would have more time I would quilt this piece using lines, but since I am in a time crunch my usual all over design will have to due. The wedding is June 18th.

I will be working on this hard every night after work and my goal is to have it done early next week. I will post the completed quilt.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Liberated Finish

Finally! I might be the last one to finish, but I'm ok if I'm last. I'm finished and it feels great. I really stepped out of my box on this project. It stretched my imagination and my skills, both machine piecing and hand quilting. Thank you Tonya, for inspiring me and for everyone's kind comments along the way. It really meant a lot to me.

I used a stack of hand dyes for the stars, some with black centers and some with the colors. The blacks I used are different brands and shades.
It's quilted with rust YLI thread, I marked the feathers as I went along. It had it challenges with all the seam allowances where the letters were.

I chose the word Thrive as I knew this was going to be a special piece for me. I never liked the word 'survivor' after dealing with breast cancer, I think 'thriver' is a better word. So my quilt says "Thrive" I think that's the only way to live. Surviving sounds like you are just getting by, Thriving sounds so proactive, so positive. It sounds like you are making things happen!
Thanks to everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Heavy metal/hard rock quilt

I needed to make a quilt that had a heavy metal/hard rock vibe to it. When I was out at Miller's Dry Good May 6th and 7th working I scoured the place for fabric that I thought would work. I snagged this flame fabric when a customer brought it to my cutting counter. I bought the 3 yards that were left. It was pretty cool and would add a little color to what was going to be a dark quilt. I also found a guitar fabric with a gray background and black guitars (forgot to take a picture, but you can see it in one of the pictures below - with the wreath design over the guitar it makes the guitar look like the end of the guitar is an ax. Very metal!) I was looking for skull fabric, but the lovely woman that is the assistant manager said in her sweet voice "we don't buy that type of fabric." I had a good laugh and the Amish women were chucking at me!

I started this quilt Sunday morning about 7:30 a.m. Here is the center. I used the Decolorant product that I bought at the Sewing and Quilting Expo in Cleveland a couple of months ago. It turned out ok, but I think I should have put the product on a little heavier. I used a stencil I had picked up cheap last year for the letters.

I decided to start out with approximately yard long pieces. I took the guitar and flame fabric, layered them (about a 12" wide piece) and double cut them, switched the pieces up and sewed them together. This was all improv piecing. I headed back into my fabric storage room to see if I could find anything else that would fit the theme of this piece. Score! I found some guitars on a black backgound, some fabric with Asian writing, and black sheet music fabric - perfect! I also had planned on using the fabric with words on it that are related to guitars so thank goodness for a stash and collecting music fabric!

All the pieces are layed out so now it was a matter of sewing and fitting them together.

Here is the top finished. It turned out 63.25" x 76.5". I had it done by 1 P.M. Sunday.

I had this gray music print in my stash that I got off the discount shelf when it was marked down again for just a few dollars a yard - its nice stuff too so I thought it would be a good backing fabric. Since I could not find any skull fabric for the front, I decided to put a strip of my "Quilting Pirates" when I joined the gray backing fabric together. I think it adds an edgyness and humor to the quilt. I had the quilt pin basted by 4 P.M. Sunday. I then went outside and did 2 hours of yardwork - weed wacked, mowed, and trimmed a tree.

After a focused week of intense quilting I completed the quilt.