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Archive for March 2008

I was surfing the web, in particular a couple of blogs, and found this little gem.

Your Thinking is Abstract and Random

You are flexible, adaptable, and creative.
There’s many ways that you can learn – and you’re up for any of them.
You relate well to other people, and you do well working in groups.
You can help people communicate together and work with each other’s strengths.

You don’t work well with people who are competitive or adversarial.
You prefer to work toward a common goal… not toward conflicting goals.

Be sure to share your results.  Abstract and Random… didn’t sound so good, but after reading the description… it sums me up pretty well.

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Our local guild held a workshop on Cathedral Windows on March 20th.

We were told to bring 4 – 9½” squares for background and 4 – 2½” squares of focus fabric, hand sewing supplies, and thread to match.

I must admit… my hand sewing skills are not up to snuff. We were also told a few sewing machines would be helpful, but not everyone would need one. There was one sewing machine for about 8 of us. I decided I would hand stitch the seams… just for practice, as well as not to hold the class up.

We were taught the traditional way, which is all hand-sewing (except the initial seams… these can be done by machine if desired.

We started with 2 of the 9½” squares. Folded them in half, right sides together… stitched the short edges. Opened up the long edge, match the seams and sew along the top leaving about 1″ space for turning. Turn the fabric. Press the fabric. This will create a square of double fabric with a stitched seams making an X. The corners are now brought to the centre of the stitched seams and tacked down. Pressing before stitching the corners down, aids in holding them in place. Repeat the steps to make using the second large square. Now it is time to stitch these two patches together. Right sides together (which is the folded edges), whip stitches one side to join the two patches together. Open up.

Centre one 2½” square in the centre of the rectangle created by the two square patches. The focus fabric can be cut on point, or fussy cut on point, depending on what look you want to achieve. Pin down the focus fabric… you want to align each of the corners of the focus fabric with the corners created by stitching the two background patches together. Bring the folded edge of the background fabric over the focus fabric, you will notice it will create a curved edge, with the points covering the corners of the focus fabric. Pin each fold. Using a blind stitch, stitch down the curved edge. Be careful you do not go through the backing of the patches. Your finger can go behind the folded pieces… it looks like little pockets.

Stitch the next two larger background fabric pieces as above. Whip stitch this rectangle to the the rectangle created earlier with the focus patch. Add three more focus fabrics following the step above.

To finish off the block… the remainder of the folds can be turned back and stitched. If you will be making more blocks for a quilt, do not stitch back, until all blocks are stitched together.

One 9″ Cathedral Window block completed. You could use this as is, or create more blocks to make a quilt.

Cathedral window quilts are not quilted in the traditional way, as all the layers of fabric make this quite warm.

This is my block. Cathedral Window

The weekend of March 15-16 was a great one! I didn’t know what I was in for. Allow me to tell you about it, but before I do, a little history.

Our guild, like most guilds plan events throughout the year. Our format is usually one Saturday class, and one Thursday demonstration each month. Sometimes the Saturday classes are a guild event, such as “Hands Across the Water” (another blog entry, another day). In the Spring, usually April they invite an instructor from out of town. This year’s out of town instructor was scheduled for March.

Our guild invited Ionne McCauley to teach two – one day workshops. The workshops selected were “Colour for the Terrified Quilter – Colour and Value” and “Fabric Collage”. I also have the book she wrote by Ionne and her co-author Sharon Pederson – “Colour for the Terrified Quilter”.

Something really cool happened on March 14. While on Vancouver Island, I stopped in at one of the quilt shops. I had become friendly with the proprietor over the last few summers, and wanted to let her know, I wouldn’t be working there (in her community) this summer. We chit-chatted a bit, and I mentioned I was taking a class at our guild that coming weekend, and mentioned Ionne’s name… Diane looked at me, and then pointed to the lady that was sitting across the table from her, and introduced me to Ionne! What a great surprise!

Saturday’s class was a lot of fun… we played with fabric, glue, and paper. I knew value was important… now I know how really important it is. There was one block I made, and I knew that one piece of fabric didn’t work, but wasn’t sure why… Ionne suggested I take a black and white picture of it with my camera. Now I see why… this one piece was the same value as those around it… so it “disappeared”. Was also a great example of intensity!

On the following Monday, I re-arranged my stash. Now I have a better feel for what I have… and what I need. The colour class was based on using fabrics which were one colour family… which meant pretty much, nothing extra… no novelty… So I took out all the fabrics which had more than one colour family… they are now stored by theme. The one colour fabrics are in my bins… I thought I had more of one colour, and less of another… now I know different. A much better idea, of what I need for when I go fabric shopping.

Sunday’s class was definitely something out of my element. I’m not saying I’m a traditionalist either, just inexperienced. I wouldn’t have considered myself a fabric artist. That being said… I am hooked on this method.

We were asked to bring a picture or a photo. It could be of anything. I decided upon a photo I had taken about 26-27 years ago… a winter sunrise over Baynes’ Sound.

I scanned the photo… the scanned image is lighter than the original. Details are more clear.

Winter Sunrise over Bayne’s Sound

With something like this you can re-create your image to size, or adjust as you wish. My photo is a standard 3″x5″, and I “blew” it up to 14″x18″. One of the difficulties I had was the scale… but as it is a representation, and not a copy, I fudged it.

As you can see the sun is just coming up over the island in the middle (which is further away than the island leading off to the right). And with the cloud formations you can just see the “glow” of the sun over top of the clouds. I recreated that in my collage. The collage is still a work in progress, although I think I am almost to where I want it.

Fabric Collage of Winter Sunrise over Baynes’ Sound.

To soften the reflection of the sun in the water, I used some white toile, and used a piece to represent a wave rolling in onto the beach.

I was considering borders today, when I discovered I needed more detail on the beach. My next step is to add the borders, I have decided to go with a black inner border, about 1/2″… or maybe 3/4″. Then a Blue/Black squared outside border… maybe.

Then I will be sandwiching and quilting… especially stitching down all the pieces. In some areas… there are several layers, and pieces to get the colour blending.

Would I do this again… you bet… I just need a few more items to add to my stash. Having a large palette… I mean stash of fabric, will definitely add to this technique.

In April 2006, I attended a Redwork workshop given by our local quilters’ quild.  Redwork is needlework similar to embroidery, but uses traditionally only red thread on a white background.   It was a fun evening!

After taking this class, I had a great idea.  I’ll make a quilt for my Mom.  Now we should add, that at this point I was only just starting to quilt… no quilts started, only a thought of doing one to remember my dad.  (Another story, for another time).

In the Redwork workshop, the facilitator suggested that redwork designs could be found just about anywhere… but colouring books were often used.   Within a few days, I started to gather cats.  I traced a couple from a few colouring books, then I scoured the internet.  Found a few there too.  Some needed some “editing” to get rid of the colour, and to leave the outline (lines) of the design.    I worked off and on on these blocks until February 2008 (when I finished the last one).   I made 12 redwork blocks, and 13 puss-in-the-corner blocks as an alternating block.   I also gathered several burgundy/wine reds, as that is the colour of the thread I chose to do the redwork.    I wish I knew then what I know now… I would have bought a little more of the fabric… because I didn’t have enough to do the borders.  I found some fabric with cats on it, to use for the inside border.  The outside border is a paisley with colours from the inside border as well as from some of the blocks.

I finished attaching the borders today!  I am very pleased with my results.  I even did tricky (what I consider tricky for a beginner quilter), corners for the borders.  I made 4-patch blocks for the corners.  The tricky part is getting the border long enough to fit the sides of the quilt, and then of course matching all the seams.  I think I missed 3 or 4… so I think it went very well.

This will be my largest quilt made to date.   Currently it is approximately 70″x70″.   My design wall isn’t quite wide enough, so the pictures don’t have all the quilt.

Completed Topa few of the blocks are missing from this picture.  Once the quilt is completed, I’ll post a picture of the entire quilt

Gotta Luv Cats - Close up of cornerclose up of the border

All I need to do know is sandwich, quilt, bind and label it, and it will be done!  I think my Mom will like it.

It started with a class on Thursday night. Our guild was to have a Stained Glass Quilt class on the 23 Feb, but the instructor had to cancel due to some reason. So she called and arranged to hold the class at her house on Thursday night. I asked for the supply list which she sent me.

I gathered the items I had… she said she had stuff available for purchase (she runs her own home-based business). I thought, that I should probably bring a few basic things… Well it turns out… I needed a lot more of the basic supplies than I brought. LOL. This is actually my first class with the guild, so I didn’t know what else I needed… apparently a sewing machine would have been helpful. She was nice enough to lend me hers. There are 3 of us in the class. The other two students, have done stained glass quilts before… so I was the “newbie”! We were going to do a rosebud.

Here are a few “in progress” pictures. I got carried away last night (Friday), as I wanted to do something. I stopped myself, before I had finished it, so I’d have something to do the next class on Tuesday evening.

Stained Glass Quilting… the beginningthe white spaces are from the design wall Stained Glass Quilting… the beginning

This is what I did Friday night.

Stained Glass Quilting… second work out as you can see… the design is starting to become apparent. The white spaces are waiting for fabric.Stained Glass Quilting… second work out

I am having fun doing this technique. I have so many ideas, I want to do…

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March 2008
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