Saturday, June 29, 2013

Faded Roses

This post is journalling the quilt I finished for the 2013 Timberlane Quilter's Show, "Pieces of Passion."

It was inspired by a Craftsy course I took online called "Design It, Quilt It." The funny thing was, I had already started to talk to my friend Cheri about designing quilts using recycled linens, denims and thrift store finds when I signed up for the course. I had no idea that the instructor, Cindy Needham, had been creating quilts out of vintage linens for a long time.

I purchased a vintage tablecloth with hand-embroidered detail in each corner, probably dating from the fifties, on E-bay. (Don't even let me get started on how hard it is to resist online auctions for vintage linens, lace etc. The best thing to do is never log on and start looking or you will be lost...and broke...)
As I spread it out to inspect it, my eye fell on the Dresden plates I was creating for a crazy quilted project. 

Crazy Quilt and Dresden Plates

With little ado, the tablecloth hijacked my plates, and now I have to make some more for the original project. 

I added an 18 inch wide cotton border to the tablecloth, and english paper pieced the dresden plates for the centre of the cloth and the borders. They are hand appliqued to the quilt. A vintage doily was added to the centre plate. (A kind donation by my friend Sandra!)

Quilting "Faded Roses"

I quilted it on a domestic machine, and tried machine trapunto quilting on the fans and all the feather and flower motifs. I was quite surprised at how much volume the fans gained with the trapunto, they are quite fat!

Trapunto detail

Quilting detail, embroidered motifs

When I basted the quilt for quilting, I had no tablecloth clamps and tried another method to secure the backing to my folding table. It did not go so well, and the backing was a bit overstretched in the end, which led to wavy borders. I think that this might settle with blocking, but I had no time to block the quilt, and no place. My house is quite tiny. The only place I could even lay it out was my bed! I had made a goal to finish the quilt for our local quilt show, and did so about 1 day prior to hanging it!

Faded Roses, Finished.

Much to my surprise, it won the ribbon for Best In Show. Even more to my surprise, the quilt our embroidery and quilting groups made for my friend Sandra, as a wedding present, ribboned as well. It got a second place ribbon in the medium sized quilt category. 

Best in Show Ribbon

A Victorian Romance, design by myself, blocks by the members of the Texada Embroider's Guild and the Texada Quilter's Guild. Quilted by myself. 

After a long absence....

It has been way too long since I have posted. It is not because I have not been finishing things....Au contraire, I have been creating on many of my hobby fronts-knitting, quilting and embroidery. I finally finished my Silk Sampler, which was stitched with hand-dyed silk floss. I also departed from the original pattern and stitched the border with several Hardanger variations.

I also finished (and started, unfortunately) a couple new projects at our annual spring quilting retreat:

1. Violets Table Runner, a kit sent to me by my dear friend Cheri, started but not finished last year.

2. The Girly Tool Belt, a new project that several of us started on a whim at our retreat, just because the pattern was cute. I am proud to say I have been wearing it when gardening.

3. A new bag to match said tool belt, in order to use up extra fabric.

4. Placemats. Originally I started making ONE placemat for retreat, as each participant is supposed to have their own placemat. This is my 5th year of retreats, at least, and I have yet to finish one. So I cut out one and ended up making eight. Now I need another one for retreat, as I can't spoil the set.

5. Neat little change purse, made with -get this-broken/worn out carpenter's tape measures. I love recycling stuff.

6. Red, black and white quilt. Of course, not the one already cut out and brought to retreat for finishing. No, I gave in to temptation and cut out an entirely new quilt. Hmm. I must have a mental problem.

It made a nice gift for my brother-in-law's 65th birthday though. 

Cocoa Quilts

It has been too long since I posted! Life has been way too busy. I have been working on some new quilting ideas, and gardening furiously, and I have a new love in my life....

Meet Cocoa...

She is very active and curious and wants to be right in the middle of everything I do. I don't seem to mind though. She is my first pet in several years and I am enjoying her thoroughly, although my husband was not too impressed when I brought her home. Here she is helping me work on my latest design, Strawberries and Lace.

I had a small exhibit at our local coffee house and made the quilt in honour of the show, which took place during a Strawberry Moon. Nothing like a deadline to make me finish a project - It was completed about 1 hour before the show. I am going to go back and redo the applique of the lace doily. I want to stretch out the chain stitches on the edge a bit more.

It is a prototype for a larger project, I want to make a full-sized bed quilt using some of the ideas from this quilt.

Here Cocoa is helping me work out ideas for applique motifs using real strawberry plants and vintage illustrations of strawberry plants

A little help from my friend.

Work in progress, quilting detail

It's a miracle my quilt isn't completely full of runs. Silk and kitty paws are not a good combo.

Inspiration for the name of my budding quilt design business, Cocoa Quilts Design Studio. Logo: Kitty playing with thread on sewing machine. 

Quilting detail, almost done now.  Morning of exhibit.

Detail, strawberry flowers made of gathered yo-yos and embroidered with rayon boucle thread.

It's funny how finishing a project just makes you want to start another to replace it. So I started cutting out the wool appliques for this project: 

 Isn't this just the cutest? Not that I need another project.....