Monday, August 29, 2016

Little Black Purse

100% Black Wool Purse with Embellishments

Quickly--I want to show you a black wool purse I finished last night.  This year I purchased several long wool coats from thrift stores in my favorite colors: gray, red, teal, olive, cobalt blue, black, and mustard.  The black with tiny gray flecks coat was shorter but once deconstructed there was enough to make 2 lined purses and a number of cell phone totes.  

The assorted buttons are gifts from friend Jerry who recycles clothing to make his beautiful loomed rag rugs, and some recycled buttons I bought from thrift shops.  The zipper pull is made from Hemptique cord and polymer clay beads I form by hand and bake in the oven.

Before joining side seams, I decorated the wool with No. 8 Perle Cotton thread in several colors.  I especially like echoing the running stitch.  My favorite colors against a black background are the same as the wool coats I purchased plus turquoise, cinnamon, and purple.

I took an online Craftsy class from Carol Ann Waugh called Stupendous Stitching and learned several simple French Knot, Running Stitch, etc.  Her class is fabulous and so is she!

Taking Carol Ann Waugh's class was a turning point for me.  I used to sew everything in ivory, beige, and blah.  After taking Waugh's class I'm creating in LIVING COLOR.  It is so exciting.  I highly recommend signing up for her class on

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Blue Skies . . . smiling at me

Clear Blue Sky Colors for my latest quilt

I could say I stumbled on this one.  I was looking for contrast and grabbed the bolt of gray to frame the 9 patch of white clouds and blue skies.  Once I got going I just let the quilt be what it wanted to be.  Simple blocks and cornerstones using fabrics I like.

While picking sky colors and clouds,  I was thinking about Irving Berlin's 1926 hit song Blue Skies. Ella Fitzgerald sang it in the 1940s.  But I love it most when Willie Nelson sings it.

Blue skies smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies do I see 
Bluebirds singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds all day long

Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly . . .

I always thought the music sounded a bit sad, but the words uplifting.  Why did Berlin write it that way?  

In this photos I'm finished and rolling the quilt back to the beginning, checking to make sure I didn't miss anything.  It happened once during a bobbin change, I missed a spot and I had to reload the whole darn quilt just to take care of an obvious 4 inch space.  

There is a long list of considerations, things to watch for when doing long arm quilting.  Knowing, (feeling) just the right vertical tension so the quilt lays close to the throat plate--keeps the stitches going just right.   I crank the belly bar to snug the quilt, then backing it off to give it some slack to touch the throat plate.

Be careful, don't crank the belly bar so tight . . . doing this can distort the quilt (stretching it). 

Yes, lots of things to watch for . . . like forgetting the basic no-no rule of having the machine needle in the down position in the fabric and cranking the belly bar creates problems with the bobbin assembly . . . ask me how I discovered that???  It was a $200 repair discovery, uhhhh.  I'm long arm quilting three years now and still learning, improving.

This is the only quilt I've made this summer.  I've been so busy helping my brother on his 1892 Victorian in Wild Rose that I haven't had much time to work in the studio.  

I took time last week and this week to get it loaded on the frame with 100% cotton Warm and Natural batting, and do the long arm quilting.   Also I made four purses.  I have a show Sep 4 and Sep 17.

I like the edge to edge free style Floral Bouquet I created and use often on quilts.  It is a sequence design that is relaxing to do, and has predictable spacing.  A joy.

I'll take more photos later.  Since these photos were taken I made lined prairie points for this quilt--placed the points facing inward, around the border--between the corners stones.  Then I added the binding, hand stitched the binding, and hand stitched around each prairie point to secure properly.  

Ah, what I do for love . . . 

Back again with a photo of the prairie points installed and binding completed.  

Photos taken at 6 something this morning--looks different under lamp light than the photos taken in the studio with natural daylight.  

I really like this shade of green prairie point made with a purple-blue lining.  

If you'd like to review how to make the prairie points, check out my Toast and Jam Quilt.

Nice to visit with you again.  See you later.