Friday, July 12, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - July 12

Botswana Bounty
30" H x 30" W

Both Botswana Bounty and Thinking in Green have been selected for State of the Art, an exhibition of fiber art at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Art in Cedarburg, WI. I will be attending the artists reception on July, 21 from noon to 3 p.m. If you are in the vicinity, do take in the exhibition and be sure to  seek me out at the reception.

This week brought a change of focus from free motion machine quilting to piecing. I struggled against the change of routine, but soon found myself back in the groove of assembly line piecing. That isn't all I did, of course. Here is how the week played out:

1) Oyster Bay (deadline 8/20/2013) - Done!

a) Make and attach the label. - Done!

b) Add Oyster Bay to my website. - Done!

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

It was Leah Day who brought the change of focus to my week. She has begun a second Express Your Love piece. This time instead of a whole cloth quilt where the design is created exclusively with free motion quilting, it is a pieced quilt. Step one is to create the background of the quilt from thirty 6.5" log cabin blocks, eight 3.5" centers of log cabin blocks, several solid squares and a star block. That is quite a time consuming project. I did make a good start. The eight 3.5" blocks are basically done.

One of eight 3.5" blocks for Express Your Love II

Next I created the star block...

The star block for Express Your Love II.
This is paper pieced which helps with matching seams
and keeping the points sharp.

I had fun selecting the fabric for this. I think of it more as a sun block than a star block. The gray and black fabrics will also be used in the background log cabin blocks. My plan is for all the design elements to be pieced in tinted jewel tones, so that the design will really pop.

Collection of pieced elements for
Express Your Love II

The very first quilt I ever made was an Eleanor Burns Log Cabin in a Day. That was more than 25 years ago. To this day, whenever I piece numerous blocks of the Log Cabin ilk, I turn to Eleanor's assembly line method. What the picture doesn't show is that those individual mini blocks, or partial blocks have been assembly line pieced onto a single strip of fabric. The next step is to cut them apart and iron the seams. 

3) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Create the acetate overlay for aligning piecing - Done!

The layers from back to front are: my work table, muslin 4" wider
and longer than the final quilt, in some instances the quilt top fabric,
freezer paper templates and finally a plastic sheeting placement guide.

I am assembling Companion Oysters using an amalgam of techniques I have experimented with in the past. The full quilt will finish at approximately 36" square and the oyster shell is 31" H  by 19" W. Inset piecing it would be a nightmare. I have never enjoyed needle turn appliqué. I could fuse the fabric with either Misty Fuse or Steam a Seam 2, but that gets expensive at this size. Also, it adds one more layer, albeit a thin one to the quilt. I don't want to use dabs of glue adhere the fabric because the raw edges invariably fray. My plan is to pre turn the edges and glue just the turned back edges. So far it is working quite nicely. 

b) Cut and place the pieces - Partially Done.

Freezer paper templates laid over the the paper carton for
Companion Oysters. If you compare this with the picture
above you can see that I am assembling the quilt from the
outside in. I find it easier not reverse my templates. This means
I iron them to the right side of the fabric. It makes the unveiling
of the piece quite fun. At this point I just have to trust my
instinct that I have chosen the right fabrics. Of course should I need to
swap out a fabric, nothing is stitched down and I have saved the template.

4) Pictorial Painting - A class taught by Annette Kennedy.

a) Quilt "Canyon." - Done!

Finally, I took time out to quilt Canyon. 

One thing is certain, Leah Day is going to keep me busy next week. However, I also don't want to loose sight of my determination to finish Companion Oysters in time to enter it in one of the many opportunities coming up in at the beginning of September. Here is my plan for the week ending July 19, 2013

1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Finish cutting and placing the pieces

b) Stitch the pieces to the background muslin

c) Add a layer of batting behind the oysters for a trapunto effect

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon."

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.


  1. Congratulations on having two pieces accepted into the exhibit!

  2. I love ethnic art and so Botswana Bounty is my favorite of your quilts so far. I wish I could see it in person.

    1. I was asked to contribute a 30" sq. piece to a collection of work traveling to Gaborone, Botswana. I realized how little I knew about Botswana and the local art. What would we do without Google? I did some research and turned up the stunning basket weaving typical of the area. I didn't copy the patterns precisely - just went for a feel and palette.

  3. Congratulations!

    Very interesting your piecing technique, I am new to quilting, I have been searching the whole week for piecing techniques. I'm not doing a second version of express your love, but I will try to use her ideas for my next project, a quilted lego play mat for my son. I already designed it but I really don't know how to put it togheter. piecing can be intimidating.

    1. There are advantages to being one of the quilting dinosaurs. It means I have tried numerous techniques to achieve the same thing and have a good idea for what works for me. I don't always use the Eleanor Burn's method. It is fabulous for quick and easy, but falls short when precision and perfection is required. Of course the more you do it the more precise you get. Enjoy the adventure. Remember you opted to do this for fun. You are not trying to create the Sistine Chapel of quilts.

  4. Congratlations! You're quite a busy lady. I'm totally impressed. :)

    1. Thank you, Susan. A busy lady is a happy lady.

  5. WOW! You have been so busy! Congratulations on the acceptances. I totally agree with their choice. Beautiful quilt!

    1. Thank you, Lisa. Good to know you concur.

  6. Congrats on your acceptance - your post reminds me that I need to put up my to-do list. I try to add and revise it everytime I get a big piece done!

    1. I do find having a plan helps me keep me from straying to the last whim and getting zero accomplished. At the same time should inspiration strike, I am happy to let her rip.

      Thank you for providing a way for art quilt bloggers to share their work with others.

  7. You always get so much done! You make a list and finish it all.
    I love the quilting on the canyon.

    1. Can't say that I finish it all. However, most weeks I do finish most of what is on my list. I find publishing the list and then sharing the results is a great motivator. It is much easier to share that I ticked an item off my list than share I have had an item on there for six weeks that I haven't done more than post "it is still there, wagging an accusing finger at me.

  8. Congratulations on your works which got into the exhibit!
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

  9. Love the Botswana Bounty. Incredible.

    1. Thank you, Autumn. It is a favorite of many.