Sunday, October 31, 2010

Working on Key Fobs

I decided to put together some key fobs using leftover fiber art from past projects.

I put fusable on the back of the fiber art and fused a front with a back which makes the fob stiff enough for using as a fob. After fusing these together with medium heat with my iron using a pressing sheet, I then used a tight zig zag

for an edging treatment. Then using a rivet pliers, I attached the rivet. I'll probably add a few embellishments such as beads, crystals, etc. I think they will make nice gifts for some of my quilty friends.

Class with Karen Stone from TX

Had a great weekend in Duluth MN for the Quilting on the Waterfront event. I took classes with teacher Karen Stone from TX. She is a wonderful teacher that has a distinctive flair with color and design. I found her class to be an eye opener, so I was very pumped when I got home last night. The picture has both pieces that I started in her classes. The one on the left is a free form design that I made up in class, and the one on the right is the start of paper foundation pieces for "An Unusal Lonestar" from her pattern that I've admired for years. There were many friends in class, and we had a blast.
This class was a stretch for me using brighter colors than I normally use. I have them in the stash, but I just admire them and don't cut into them.

Today I'm going to try and do a little decorative stitching in between working on a flannel customer quilt that is on the machine. A girl has to be creative with her time when so many things are calling her.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dryer Sheet Tutorial and Goodies from Friends

Today for our Wild Threads Machine Quilters meeting I did a short demo on using dryer sheets for making leaves for use on art quilts.

Last fall I dyed dryer sheets by low emersion in kool aid dye and later for more mottling I added some lumiere metalics to the sheets. From these sheets I fused one to fusable and cut out a leaf shape for application on a batik fabric.

Here are directions for working with the dryer sheets.

1. Save used fiber dryer sheets.
2. Wash sheets in warm soapy water, dry, and on low heat iron flat.
3. Fuse sheet onto a thin light weight fusable such as steam a seam light 2.
4. Mark a shape with a fabric marker or stamp a shape onto sheet. Cut out.
5. Apply shape to fabric and heat set using a pressing cloth.

I saw this technique used on a beautiful quilt made by Betty Busby featured in the AQS magazine for November 2010. Betty's quilt is on

the last page. After looking up Betty's work on the net, she wrote about the method used to make the leaves.

Here is a picture of goodies that were shared at the Wild Threads meeting today. There are centers that are used for floral arrangements, and multi colored braided fishing line. I'm feeling a creative art day will be happening soon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Slab o Border

I've been working on the quilting of a challenging quilt the past 2 days. A friend, Linda Thielfoldt, said she calls quilts like the one I was working on "slab o border" quilts.

Here's my story. I got a call from a lady that was at the local quilt shop and she said she had a quilt that she made just like the one that the shop owner had made, but she made it to fit her queen bed. The worker at the shop said, "Norma quilted the store sample". This is why I was blessed with this "gem".
When she got to my house, she insisted I quilt it just like the one I did at the shop, but she showed me the border, and my thoughts were OMG! But, I did'nt show that reaction, I sucked it in fast. She liked my idea for feathering in the outer border to fill the space. I told her I wasn't remembering the quilt I was told I quilted for the shop. Monday I went to the shop to check out said quilt. It was someone elses quilting, and not of a style that I quilt. It had panto motifs that I did not own. I had to take a clear garbage bag and a sharpie to copy the motif, just to get the quilt done. The real challenge was the outer border. I decided to use Linda Thielfoldt's wavy marking ruler for 2 matching spines that I marked with school house cheap chalk. GREAT MARKING TOOL! I then quilted freehand feathers for the inner spine and used the outer spine for a parameter for bars leading to the outer edge. It was a whopping 20 inches of mega border to fill and try to make it look good.

It was a success, and I highly recommend this technique for such a situation.

I used the Ultimate Spine-Vine Tool Large.

Check out Linda's products at

End of story is, the customer will be picking up her quilt in the afternoon tomorrow and I'm confident she'll really like it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taking pictures and finishing UFO's

Last weekend I visited my daughter and her family southern WI and we went to a pumpkin and berry farm. My grandson Gage was not so happy with the posing he did with the pumpkin. But, he is a badger fan.

Today I finished a blue log cabin that had become a UFO and I used the last 4 blocks that were left over for a baby log cabin. I love to use up the fabric stash and this helped for using up those blues I'm never very happy with.

The other thing I worked on today was photographing the last of my art quilts and bed quilts that need to be listed in my shop at etsy.

As a quilter and artist, I find it a real challenge to sell my things. Not only is there a separation issue, but there is the challenge to get people to notice and want to buy your art. I've had moderate success on etsy which is a site for selling handmade items, and I've had a little success selling to some locals in my area. The problems I think that exist are the downslide in the local economy, so most of my quilting customers are from out of my area or state. It doesn't seem to make a difference that I've been fortunate to be published in some magazines for winning at shows, published in a couple of quilting books, and won ribbons at national quilt shows.

What I do is not a necessity, but a luxury, so I depend on people being able to afford this luxury of quilting and preserving their quilts. The fortunate thing for me is my quilting machine is paid for which reduces the anxiety when quilting jobs get sparse.

Of course I quilt because I love to work with fabrics, so I there for piece. I have about 30 UFO's of my own that need to be quilted, but I can't keep all of them. Then enters for a store front to sell some of my finished work.

Enough ramblings for one day. Gotta get back to work.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AQS show in Des Moines

Just got this from a friend in MN that I quilted a lovely english paper pieced water color quilt for last year. We made the show cover for the AQS Des Moines show in Iowa this month. What a super honor, plus the quilting actually shows very well. Life is full of little surprises when you least expect them. This quilt also won a ribbon at the MN State Fair this summer. Congrats Sarah Jane Stowell.
We didn't win a ribbon at the quilt show, but someone at the AQS organization really liked the quilt enough to feature it on this cover. Thank you AQS!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quilts finished for the Shows

Started this post about half an hour ago and had to come back to finish it. I have a fairly new laptop that I sort of know how to use. I drug my thumb over the mouse and suddenly my screen went sideways. Ever try to read a screen sideways, yup, the mouse is also hard to use. Now, I know how to fix that fubar.

Back to my topic. I finally finished my 2 current show quilts, and I entered them in the Road 2 California show for this January. Cross all your fingers and toes for me. Now I need to decide what other shows I would like to enter them in. I like certain shows, and really dislike some that are not very fulfilling.

I've had a very busy last 3 weeks, and that is why I've played posting hooky. I moved my son, daughter in law and grand daughter to Portage Wi and returned for another visit, visited my daughter and her family in Milton twice, fished in the Musky Tournament, and finished some customer work. Last night I was up until 2 am finishing one for a customer in Duluth. I spent some time at my son's trailer home and finally got it sold on Tuesday. I still have a mess to clean up in my flower gardens and carrots to pick. It's crazy how fast summer went this year.