Quilting stuff

Mama.Sylvia's Fat Quarter Page

I was using Bizhosting for this, but they have now phased out all the free services I originally chose them for.  So I'll be gradually shifting my little fat quarter business here.  I still gladly take checks or credit cards through Paypal .  Click here to see whatever is left on the Bizhosting site!

Challenge quilt 2003 progress report

Barely started designing it! And it's on hold until I finish the 2002 quilt. Updates here won't be nearly as frequent as the 2002 challenge since I have until July 2003 to finish it!

Challenge quilt 2002 progress report

Final comment: I won second prize in the "novice" category and I'm thrilled!  The red ribbon will probably be a permanent addition to the piece when I hang it as a curtain.  The theme is "Gardens of My Mind." Deadline is July 15. I titled this Hope of Spring. The four challenge fabrics are the green "Through the Garden Gate" which I bought extra of to use as my primary "view" fabric, as well as the blue fabric with flowers on it, the red fabric which I used as a bridge, and the medium-dark blue fabric which I used as water. In Simply Quilts episode 503, the guest showed Quilts with a View, a technique for using those fabrics that are so gorgeous you just can't bear to cut them up for traditional piecing. You basically take a piece of fabric and cut a hole in it, either a traditional shape such as rectangle, oval, or heart, or a rougher shape that follows items in the front fabric (which is what I did -- I cut around birdhouses, gates, and flowers to try to make it more like the viewer is really looking "through" the garden fabric to the "view" behind it). The demonstrator used a pretty hand-dyed fabric for the "view" and placed it behind the front fabric, then appliqued the edges of the front fabric. I modified this a little, since this quilt is for a challenge and I had four fabrics I had to use pieces of. I cut two "view" holes in the front fabric, and put a red bridge over blue water in front of flowers and blue sky in one hole, and just sky and water in the other hole. Then I used that whole fabric-and-view combination as the "view" for a second layer, with a wintry blue fabric as the new front fabric. The impression I'm trying for is looking through winter's rage to the "Hope of Spring."  I received the extra fabric I needed and started stitching 6/29 . As of 7/2 , I had the top inside close to done , but I was unhappy with the way the blue flower fabric disappeared into the green garden fabric. Frog-stitch time! I added some sky on top of the blue flower fabric and it didn't disappear so badly. I finished the inside 7/4 and cut the frame . These photos will only give the roughest idea of what the finished top will look like, as I'm cutting around the wind and snow print to give an uneven frame. That blue fabric was part of a Christmas line at JoAnn's a couple years ago, and I liked it so much I bought more whenever it was on sale. I probably have 6-8 yards of it left and none of it is for sale on my web page! This has really been a learning experience for me. I matched thread to the fabric pretty regardless of what type of thread, and one of the threads is rayon. The shiny silkiness of it complements the "winter" theme nicely, but it's a pain to do applique stitch with. I think the curls of winter wind look great against the garden green. See my tiny stitches ? And I've added closeups of the top and bottom "views" so you can see some detail. Isn't that garden fabric charming? The red blob in the "bottom" view is supposed to be a bridge. 7/6 : My first big mistake! I've been cutting along the border edge just before I sew, to follow some curve in the pattern. I cut too deeply right where there isn't much green fabric border, and I cut past the selvedge. It wasn't a catastrophe, since I could just stitch more green fabric onto the exposed edge, but it took precious time just when I was trying to rush to finish the frame tonight. (Gee, I wonder if there is a connection ...) I'm thinking of quilting brick lines with heavy white thread to make it look more like a bridge, but would welcome other ideas. I pin-basted the sandwich at Sunday School 7/7, when I had a big table to use. I finished stitching the frame late that day -- here's a photo of the completely pin-basted sandwich . I cleared a path to the sewing machine and started quilting my challenge quilt 7/9.  Problems, argh!  First, I'm just not that good a machine quilter, and I'm trying to quilt along some of the fabric designs, like the garden gate and the tree leaves.  Second, the green thread matches the fabric TOO well; where I'm trying to stipple (which I'm ordinarily fairly good at), I'm going over some of my own lines because I can't see where I already quilted!  Third, and I'm sure this complicates the other two problems, I haven't used machine quilting muscles in a LLLOOONNNGGG time, and they are protesting already, and I haven't even finished the center green "bar."  I don't want to think what I'm going to be like by the time I'm even half done.  I'm not really looking for solutions -- practice will improve my MQing and the muscles will just have to survive.  7/11 : I'm a quarter done with the inside "framed" section, but it's still going very slowly.  I quilted waves into the water and "wind waves" into the sky that I think look kind of neat.  I'm stitching around the larger leaves and flowers, doing a sawgrass pattern wherever appropriate (there's a lot of something that looks like sawgrass in the green fabric),  : Half done with quilting the inside!  7/13: I didn't finish the inside quilting, although I got all but about 36 sq inches done.  I found a decorative thread that has just a hint of sparkle and tried it around the flowers on the dark blue fabric.  I liked the result so much I used it to quilt "bricks" onto the red bridge .  7/14 : Finished quilting the inside and started on the border.  I'm quilting in swirls in that white thread with just a hint of sparkle, and it looks great!  There probably won't be any more photos until the quilting is complete. 7/15: Deadline day, and guess what I was doing all day?  It's complete other than a little bit of binding I still need to sew down, and that I didn't get to do as much quilting on the wintry blue as I wanted to.  

Artist's Statement: "Hope of Spring" Winters here in Wyoming are long and cold. I used the wintry blue fabric to frame my garden, as winter's inevitability reminds us to savor the glories of spring and summer while they last. If nothing else, this is probably the quickest quilt, as I didn't decide to participate until June 29th! After the quilt show, this will be hung in my living room as a curtain, to let the flowers ease my heart when winter has gone on too long. The technique is a variation of Broderie Perse called "Quilt With a View." Hand stitched, machine quilted. All the quilting was freehand, I didn't mark anything -- which is not necessarily a recommendation!   

Quilting Files

Collected messages about printing photos onto fabric

Many people Emailed me about the scrap block I mentioned on rec.crafts.textiles.quilting. First of all, I didn't create it, I saw it on a Simply Quilts episode (don't remember which one) and realized it would be perfect for using up scraps! I've put it and some quilt designs using this patern into an EQ4 file, click here to download it.

Electric Quilt 4 files

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Copyright © 2002 by Peter and Sylvia Steiger
Last revised: 10/25/2002