Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Wallhanging

This wallhanging featured in an old book that I have has always fascinated me.
Several summers ago, I decided to put one together.
It is fused and machine buttonhole appliqued and machine quilted.

If I were to do it over, I would have picked different colors even though I think these go very nicely together. It is rather like an optical illusion - sometimes the dark seems to be on top other times the light.

A long and narrow piece, it would look nice in an entryway with high ceilings or over a fireplace as in the first photo.

I had almost forgotten this was in the closet. It was a fun piece to do. (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Little Watercolor Wallhanging

Sometime after moving to Michigan, I took a watercolor class at the quilt shop and made this small piece. I really enjoyed doing the shading and think it turned out pretty well. This is one of my first machine quilted pieces. I really like the way the quilting radiates out from the center. My stippling in the border is pretty crude but it is done with the invisible thread so that helps a bit. All in all it isn't a bad little wallhanging. This was done probably in 1994. (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Small Wallhanging from 1990

Here is a small piece I did in 1990 that is appliqued in machine satin stitch and hand quilted. The little blocks are about 6 1/2 inches. The house we lived in had brown carpeting and lots of blue - so things I did reflected the colors in our homes in the early stages of my quilting. Lots of dusty pink and blue.
These little blocks came from a book of miniature blocks that I had that was by Pat Andreatti. I still have that and also several big books that she did. I so loved her designs.

I was also starting to use decorative stitches for the vines and stems and they really worked out well in blocks like this. Makes me feel good to see the hand quilting that I did back in those days. (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blooms in the Night

Sometime in 1991, I started this quilt - machine satin stitch appliqued and hand quilted. It's background is a lovely cotton satin with a pretty, soft sheen. I used patterns from magazines, books and even designed some on my own. The border was my design, also. It turned out to be a lovely quilt. I finished it in 1992. I decided to send in some slides to the American Quilters Society for their annual quilt show. It was accepted! A thrill to be sure. My husband and I had booked a bus trip to go to Paducah to see the show. The night before we left I got a call saying I had won second in Amateur Applique. That was the thrill of my quilting life to be sure. Ten years later, I sent in slides for From There to There to There to Here. It was accepted to hang in the show but did not win a prize. However, just to have a quilt there is as good as winning.
The above is a picture of the lady who won first prize, me and the two girls who represented VIP fabrics, the sponsor for that category. This was the picture in the issue of the magazine that contained the contest pictures. (Click to enlarge)

Hand Quilting

Back when I first started quilting (approximately 1975), it was all hand quilting - machine quilting had not become the force it is now. How the finger beneath the quilt hurt! It was hard to get a callous thick enough to protect against the sharp little needle attacking that finger. I did learn to use a thimble on my quilting hand. One day, I tried putting a thimble on my underneath finger. After some clumsy tries, I finally got the hang of it and wow my troubles were gone. I was able to "feel" the needle against the thimble and return it to the top of the quilt. It actually helped me to become quite a good hand quilter. My stitches were small and evenly spaced.
However, I no longer hand quilt and probably could not quilt as well as I used to. I do have a lot of quilts that were done in the hoop. I will say this, I think machine quilting is just as beautiful as hand quilting and actually harder to master. There is a place for it all. I have been machine quilting smaller pieces - will never be able to do a large quilt on my machine - and in the past year or so have finally become to feel more comfortable and a little more confident of my quilting. If I do a large quilt, I will have one of the girls with a long arm quilter quilt for me. (Click to enlarge)