Saturday, July 9, 2011


I love hand dyed fabrics.*
Like most quilters I love them and buy or make them and then don't know what to do with them.
THEN I watched an episode of Design Matters TV with Laura Kemshall
She took a piece if hand dyed fabric and made a rail fence block and then quilt. Interesting, imaginative and simple! Not to mention that it makes perfect use of those multi coloured hand dyed fabrics that you don't know what to do with.
This is the fabric before cutting it up.
After cutting it into 4.5 inch strips the width of the fabric then 1.5 inch strips it was sorted into groups by colour. A lengthy process that really is a great exercise on colour and decision making! Then four strips were sewn into a block and blocks arranged -- another lengthy process requiring making up my mind. Easier said than done!
This is the resulting layout all sewn together
I love the way the mottling of the fabric when cut makes the colours sparkle. The mixed vertical and horizontal nature of a rial fence lay out adds another layer of texture to the surface.
Now on to quilting it. More decisions!
Make sure to check out Design Matters TV!

*Love them enough to take Carol Soderlund's class on dying. Two classes coming up this fall at the Crow Timber Frame Barn; True Colors and Layers upon Layers. I am looking forward to them!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quilting the quilt

I have been working on a huge service quilt. Huge for two reasons (a) I have been told my lap quilts are too small and (b) last fall after renovation I moved things around and now have a larger design wall. Larger space = larger work. Or so it would seem!
I though I would share some of what I have been doing in the quilting arena.
I created a stencil with my domestic machine.
There is no thread in the machine and an old needle is being used to perforate a piece of tracing paper. The paper has been cut the size of an area that I want to repeat the same quilting in several areas. Just a simple design that outlines some areas for circles and another for cross hatching.
Tracing paper is good if you want to see what is under the stencil. Newsprint also works - cheap, but no seeing through it.
This is after laying the paper down and using a pounce pad to mark. The chalk goes through the holes in the paper leaving a line of dots to follow.
The finished area.
Here is another area. It was my intention to do less quilting on this project. I didn't like the results so I did more.

If you would like to take a class from a great quilter I have news for you! My friend Sanrda Ciolino, who is an awesome quilter is teaching a class at the barn. If you are not familiar with The Crow Barn it is a beautiful facility to take a class at. Relaxing and invigorating! Sandra's quilting designs are simple and effective and her calm manner makes her a great teacher. (I know as she has explained several things to me in classes we have taken together when I was a little slow on the uptake...) Best it is a three day class so there is plenty of time to understand the ideas and try them out! Also this is contemporary quilting design. Check it out!

Happy quilting!