Monday, June 8, 2009

Future Quilts?

I've been carrying my digital camera with me on my walks to the train station in the morning, and just about everywhere else. When you keep your eyes open, inspiration is everywhere. Like these locus trees on my morning walk. They're beautiful in their wildness. They don't follow the rules. Their branches grow here, there, wherever they please.

I love the moss and tiny branches sprouting out of the larger tree. This green is wild, beautiful green next to the luscious brown of the trunk. I can see this making a beautiful quilt.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Purple Coneflower

I'm still catching up on unfinished quilts. This is one I picked up last weekend and finished during the week. The top was created during the International Quilt Festival in a class by Wendy Butler Burns on machine applique. I had already finished the top and fused it to Decor Bond, which is a stabilizer. The stabilizer is needed to keep the fabric from puckering up when you machine stitch over the seams. Last weekend, I did this machine stitching and discovered it's not as easy as I thought it would be to keep a steady line with a free-motion zig zag stitch. But, I soldiered on.

In retrospect, I think this quilt would have benefited from a border or two. However, I had a few roadblocks on that front. I didn't feel I had just the right fabric, for one. Mainly, though, adding a border would mean patching in more Decor Bond, and this was a process I had not done before. To put the binding on without a border, I didn't need to add any more of the stabilizer; so I took the easy way out. In the end, it's still pretty, and that's all I need.

There's something nice about knowing that the piece you're working on is not for anyone in particular, is not for a competition, and therefore will not be judged. This quilt was something that I could learn on, and something that I wanted to finish to please myself. I took this opportunity to experiment with some variegated silk threads I bought at the festival. They were even more luscious and beautiful than I thought they would be! Many of the threads turned out to be thicker than I anticipated, but the thicker thread creates a beauty of its own. I'm very happy with the way this quilt turned out!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Embroidered Landscape!

Now that I have the baby quilts behind me for now (Stop procreating, people!), it's time to turn my attention to finishing some quilts that have been waiting patiently in line.

I turned to this task last weekend and realized that I have no fewer than half a dozen quilts in some stage of construction. They all need some love, and I'm tending to them each in turn.

Last weekend I paid some attention to this piece that I started at the International Quilt festival in April of this year. It was pretty well done. I just needed to trim it square, put a backing on it, stitch around the edges, and frame it. Done, done, done, and done!

The trees, leaves, grass, and flowers were all created using either a zig zag or straight stitch. You lower the feed dogs on the machine, put the pedal to the metal, and GO! The process is so liberating; it feels like you can do no wrong. You're not coloring inside the lines, you're making the lines. It's beautiful and freeing. Now I'm looking at thread in a whole other light; not as an accent to the picture, but as a means to create the picture. I think a new addiction has been born!