Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wild Threads and Other Snippets

This morning we had the Wild Threads machine quilters group meeting and WOW there was so many cool things shared at the meeting this month. This little group is one of the sanity savers that I need to go to every month or so. We have a great group of ladies that drive from far away to get their Wild Threads fix and if they are like me...too long with out the company of like minded quilters or fiber artists and Im going through serious withdrawal.
One of the wonderful new members, who obviously never and I mean never sleeps, had gobs of beautiful things to share with us. She had made thread pins, yarn scarves on her home machine, and a stunning crazy quilt that was framed. The scarves really captured our attention. She used super solvy in a single layer and layed lengths of yarn about an inch apart on the solvy and stitched with a zig zag on the yarn with her sewing machine. She then layered the yarns in the other direction and stitched again. Well, I thought....I can do that on my longarm. And I did, stitching the yarn down with a wavy stitch going back and forth on the yarns. I tried to keep it simple for the stitching and not saturate it with thread.

After stitching I soaked it in warm water dissolving the solvy and hung it on the clothesline. As you can see in the worked beautifully and has a soft drape. It took about 30 minutes to make on the longarm and about 30 minutes to dry on the line. I used about 1/2 a ball of fuzzy yarn and half a bobbin of thread.

I'm thinking that I love this method and I'll be making more for gifts.

Now if only I could make up my mind about what color to do next.

You can see why I love going to the Wild Threads group meetings. I encourage every quilter and artist to not isolate themselves and to get out and meet like minded artists. Just being able to talk about your ideas and art, helps to solidify in your mind the directions you want to explore.

Have fun and remember you are not alone.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Results of Rust Dyeing

Today I finished a couple of blouses that I rust dyed last week during a quilt guild demo. I had purchased a silk short sleeved and a rayon long sleeved blouse on a sale rack with the intension of altering them a bit.

Here is a picture of me adding a motif design using a new stencil and burnished gold Shiva stick with a stubby stencil brush.

I did not mark the edge when deciding how far apart to place the stencil and it worked out fine for placement. I rubbed the Shiva on white copy paper to transfer the color to the brush to control the amount of paint. After stenciling, I ironed the motifs with high heat and a piecce of paper towel over it to absorb any oils. It now gets to hang for a couple of days to air dry. It will then be permanent and safe to launder.

Great close up of the motif after ironed.

Here is the front of the rayon blouse.

And here is the back of the silk blouse.

The silk blouse was stenciled with dragonflies with Shiva sticks in gold, green, and metallic purple.

I love this one.

A Cool Call Came Today

I got a couple of emails and a cool call from a friend, Shari Guimont, today. We collaborated on a quilt that she entered in the Minnesota Quilt Show "Quilting in the Quarry" that took place this weekend. We won 3rd place, and another quilt that I quilted for Arlene Liska of Trego WI won 3rd place in the "First Entry" category.

Shari's quilt is a beautiful paper pieced wallhanging, and Arlene's is a Civil War reproduction queen sized quilt. What a great ending to a wonderful weekend.

2005 A & E Challenge Machine Quilters Showcase 3rd Place
2005 "Toxic Star" Teacher Award Machine Quilters Expo
2006 "Toxic Star" Best of Show WITC Quilt Show
2006 "Party of 3" Best of Show WITC Quilt Show
2006 "Party of 3" 1st place Machine Quilters Showcase in Kansas
2006 "Night in the Northwoods" 1st place MN Quilt Show
2007 "Party Favors" MQS in Kansas Judges Choice, Linda McCuen
2008 "Party Favors" MQX in NH 2nd place
2008 "Mariner's Compass" made by Shari Guimont, quilted by Norma Riehm, MN Quilt Show 2nd place.
2009 "Party Favors" HMQS in Utah 1st place
2009 "Pharaoh's Fan" made by Shari Guimont, quilted by Norma Riehm, MQS in Kansas Teachers Award from Karen McTavish
2009 "Pharaoh's Fan" made by Shari Guimont, quilted by Norma Riehm, MN Quilt Show in Duluth, Teachers Award
2009 "Stars over Saginaw" made by Barb Goldman, quilted by Norma Riehm, MN Quilt Show in Duluth, Judge's Award from Lynne Erbach
2009 "Dreamscape" made by Marge Portilla, quilted by Norma Riehm, MN Quilt Show in Duluth, 2nd place
2009 "Party Favors" NQA Quilt Show in Columbus, Ohio, 3rd place
2009 "Pharaoh's Fan" AQS Quilt Show Knoxville, TN, 3rd place.
2010 "Spring" MQX Rhode Island, Teacher ribbon from Cathy Franks.
2010 "Dreamscapes" made by Marge Portilla, quilted by Norma Riehm, Denver National Quilt Show, Best of Colorado.
2010 "Fluer de Spring" made by Shari Guimont, quilted by Norma Riehm 3rd place, MN Quilt Show "Quilting in the Quarry".
2010 "The Civil War Love Letter Quilt" made by Arlene Liska, quilted by Norma Riehm, 3rd place, MN Quilt Show "Quilting in the Quarry".
2010 "Pharaoh's Fan" Made by Shari Guimont, quilted by Norma Riehm, NQA Honorable Mention.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Binding Tool

I finished quilting 3 charity quilts today for the local Salvation ArmyElizabeth House. On the last one, I had binding....Yay! I was finally able to test out the Binding Tool designed by Lee Spanner and made by Quilters Rule. I love it. It went on beautifully and I know that I will use it in the future for attaching the bindings while on my longarm. I highly recommend the tool. It's also very sturdy on the solid side of the ruler and I used it as a straight edge for stitch in the ditch. Worked great too. Here is the link for the tool designed by Lee.
Here is the link for Quilter's Rule that made the tool for Lee after she designed it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Working on Quilt Show Entries

Party Favors

Joan's Party Sampler

Well here I am again. After a very busy guild day with my quilt friends, it's time to get my quilt show entries organized so they can hit the mail tomorrow. Yes, I have procrastinated until the bitter end again. Pictures were finally taken, forms printed out and ready to be filled in. The show in my sights is the Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show in Milwaukee WI. Deadline....tomorrow! What a surprise.

The quilt in the photo is made with my fiber layering technique, and quilted with mctavishing. It is a quilt on a quilt, with the top quilt attached with beading for stabilizing the center and hand stitching for part of the outer edge only. The top quilt being only partly stitched down the side allows the backing for the top quilt to be checked for quality in workmanship. The black back quilt is meant as a frame to lighten up and highlight the top quilt. The name of the quilt is "Joan's Party Sampler", which is to honor a great friend that passed away last year from complications with Pancreatic Cancer. The green fabrics in the top quilt are hand dyes she made with her business Primrose Gradations.

I've been coveting the large bag of hand dyed fabrics that I bought from her and have been rationing them for important pieces that I make for my show quilts. This one is the second in a series of my "Party" quilts. The first quilt was "Party Favors" which has done very well in it's quilt show life the past 3 years. The next quilt in the Party series in waiting for it's time to be quilted, patiently on it's hanger. I've talked with other friends of Joan's about making things with her fabrics and I've gotten the same response from them about rationing her fabrics. Joan's fabrics were dyed with her own formula's and when the fabric is's gone.
Well, wish me luck....cause that is what quilt show entering is all about....lot's of luck.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Off to the Big City.

I spent the day scrambling to get as much work finished as possible. Had 4 quilt items on the machine today, with the 4th half finished and me exhausted. I leave in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday to head to Minneapolis. I'm spending the day with my friend Stephanie Forsyth and at 12:30 am picking my grandson up at the Mpls airport. Dakota is flying in from Florida and is an experienced 13 year old flyer.

I've been trying to think of what to bring to Stephanie's to work on or play with and I haven't been able to make up my mind all day. I do admit to being distracted a couple of times by Honey. She nagged me a couple of times to rub her tummy, brush her, feed her treats and rough her up in general.
I did get some outstanding goodies from Stephanie from her trip to market this year. I'm having ideas about the bamboo felt samples and the wool roving. The felt samples are leaf shaped and I think having it layered with some roving, and quilting some long stem stitches with pebbling in the center would be very interesting. Some of my most satisfying pieces are put together in a hurray and stitched without a lot of pre-planning. I love the spontaneity.
How do you work on a quilt piece? Do you plan it out a little or a lot?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cool New Tool for Longarm Quilters

Here is a post by a friend that has developed a new tool for putting on bindings. I will be testing and critiquing it this weekend. I trust this person and highly recommend her as a designer.

Cool New Tool for Longarmers
Tools are a big part of the fiber world, be it machines, rotary cutters, or scissors. Well part of our world, is also rulers! And I have found a brand new ruler out there designed for longarm quilters, and want to share it with you!
This tool helps you put the binding on a quilt while it is on the longarm frame! I've also found it works well for stitch in the ditch, echo quilting and for quilting around applique. I got permission to post the info page here, and will provide links to the site where it is available:

AniLee's Longarmers Binding Tool
New Binding Tool For Longarm Quilters!
A new improved way of attaching binding during the longarm quilting process.
Customers will love not having to struggle to put bindings on their quilt.
Increase your profits by offering binding attachment services to your customers.
This new tool will help you attach binding to the edge of the quilt with a fast easy process.
The cost of one quilt can pay for the tool leaving nothing but future profits for you the quilter.
Here's how easy it is to use.
The 3 1/2" x 6" tool is made of clear acrylic and fits easily in the hand for guiding.
Hopping foot fits into the groove allowing you to guide the machine while keeping the edges lined up perfectly for accurate seam allowance sewing.
Notice that as you slide and sew each section, the tool holds the fabric down around all four sides keeping it nice and flat for sewing. No more ripples to work with like you get with a conventional ruler.
I tried to do some video demos on my own for you. It is very difficult trying to demo and hold the camera at the same time but, hopefully it is enough for you to see how the tool is used. I will eventually have a new video made but, in the meantime, this is what I could come up with. Hopefully you will be able to watch them. I have them linked on You Tube now so the buffer time isn't so long. You will still have to watch in three parts. After so long the camera recorder automatically shuts off for some reason.

Click for part 1

Click for part 2

Click for part 3

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Today I donated 2 of my little art quilts "Spring" and "May Day" to the Art for Animals Auction sponsored by the Hayward chapter of the Humane Society. These 2 lovely wallhangings will be auction on July 16th 2010.

This picture shows my method of layering on my longarm machine. I layer a backing, flat batting, batik strips, silk flowers and leaves, fun fur yarns, angelina, and black netting to hold it all down. I then stitch around the flowers and leaves and McTavish the background.

It's a very fun process with great results. This is one of the layering methods I teach groups.

As you can see the finished art quilt can vary greatly depending on your placement of the collage.

One thing that I added for an embellish-ment was a batik fabric covered button for the center of the blackeyed susans. Usually I hand bead the centers and was pressed for time. I like the buttons alot.

So now I hope for the little quilts to go for huge sums raising big money for the local animal shelter.

Now I need to focus on some quilt entries for the Milwaukee Machine Quilters Show. Deadline for entries is the 15th, and the deadline for the AQS Des Moines show is the 7th.

Why does this always sneak up on me?
Does anyone else out there have this issue?