Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nebraska State Fair Quilt Show–My Entries

I do love entering quilts in the Nebraska State Fair each year and feel so very lucky to win any ribbon.  I am ecstatic to win the best of class Miniature Machine Quilted and to win best Miniature Quilt award for the silk wholecloth miniature quilt I titled “Silk Refrain.”   (I think that is what I named it but really not sure – finished this quilt not that long before I took it to the State Fair and didn’t write the name down and now am not sure) A friend took this photo today as I was a volunteer in the quilt dept – a really cheesy smile but the only photo of me with my quilt that I have.  (The volunteers wear these aprons to make us stand out from the visitors as well as white gloves to handle a quilt when asked.)IMG_9686IMG_9682
The second quilt I entered was the panel quilt I made for our guild challenge last year.  It too won a ribbon – a 3rd place ribbon this time.  I love this quilt and it hangs on the wall in our family room where right now there is a bare spot until it comes home from the fair.  It also won a special contest “best basket quilt”.IMG_9691The special contests are sponsored premiums from various groups, businesses and individuals. We enter quilts in the normal classes then can enter them in as many of the special contests that the quilt fits the category. Special contest classes are things like “best machine quilting”, “best hand quilting”, quilt made by a person from one of several western counties, best poke-a-dot quilt, best basket quilt, best quilt with at least one star, best quilt using embellishments…and so on. It is fun to look through the special contests and enter the quilts to try to win some of the great prize moneys offered.

There were 660 quilts entered this year so lots and lots of quilts to see and study.  I love looking at the quilts from all the talented Nebraska Quilters.  I also am waiting to read what the judge had to say about my quilts.  I have learned so much over the years from both the good comments and improvement comments that the judge points out.  This is a place to learn what I did right and things I need to improve.  I can imagine some of the comments the judge will make as I am no different than all of you in that I know where I think the quilts have faults or areas that could be improved.

Several friends and I volunteered to white glove from 9 am to 1 pm yesterday in the quilt department.  What fun to get to spend lots of time studying the entries and visiting with the many visitors.  John came along too so after my white glove shift we walked around the fair for a while.  All fun but boy was I tired last night.  We left here at 7 am and got home at 8 pm so it was a very long day.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wholecloth Silk Miniature Lucky Finish

Ta-Da it is done, bound and a label on the back.  It measures 10 1/2” x 11 1/4” and I love it!  The wool batting puffed some on the feathered areas which is what I had hoped and the design shows up pretty good and the background design adds a subtle texture.

I was praying as I finished stitching the background quilting though.  I thought I might run out of the dark green silk thread so was watching the spool very carefully.  I figured if it ran out I would just take a bit off the bobbin and use on top to get the quilting done.  What I didn’t know was it had very little thread on it too.IMG_9389As I stitched the last few stitches I knew I was going to make it but at that point the bobbin ran out.  Can you believe it!  It ran out when the last stitches were finished.  The photo above shows how much thread was left on the spool so I feel I won the lottery for sure.  This was a 200m spool of YLI #100 thread and I used the entire spool on the background.  Of course I would have had more than enough if I would not have ripped out the stippling on the center section but that is still using a lot of thread on this quilt.

I really did enjoy making this quilt and see more wholecloth designs on silk fabric in my future.  I actually started this quilt in July and finished it in time for the Nebraska State Fair but have been holding off posting about it until I could report on the fair too.  Stay tuned tomorrow and I will share how it and my other entry did at the state  fair.

Until later,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How Did That Happen?

As I was stitching the background on border I discovered a few places where I did not stitch with the peach/orange thread.  How could I have missed one hump of the feather?  I missed the center vein of each of the corner leaves too so had to change threads and finish it up the way it was supposed to be in the first place. 

I think it is amazing how your eyes play tricks on you.  I really did look it over before I moved on to the background quilting but why didn’t I see those spots.  They are fixed now so will return to finish up the background quilting.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wholecloth Silk Miniature–Background Quilting

I sure like the new background filler stitched for the second time and it looks so much better than the squiggly stipple that I ripped out.  I first outline quilted the motifs 3 rounds then made concentric shapes of various sizes to fill the rest of the area.  This was a fun easy filler and I do like it a lot – will pencil it out  soon so you can see it batter.  The spaces are small between the quilting lines and by comparing the quilting to the bobbin you can see how small.  These photos make it look like the tension is off but it is a trick of the light and the shine of the silk fabric and the way the camera captured it.  In reality the dark green silk thread has good tension.  I do need to work on keeping my spaces more even across the quilt but for now this is just fine the way it is.IMG_9359The border feathers and flowers were quilted next with the same peachy/orange YLI Silk thread (#100 size) thread as the center motif.  I did the same background quilting on both sides of this border that I used in the center.IMG_9306Uh Oh…a boo, boo that is going to have to be unstitched- that is a nice way of saying ripped.  I was stitching along, happy as could be then thought the sewing machine sounded a little different so stopped to take a look.  The backing fabric had not stayed stuck to the wool batting and curled up to get stitched where it should not have been.  The spray basting didn’t hold the outside edges very well for sure.  Will be rethinking that choice for future quilts.

Again the clip on magnifying glasses help to see to remove the offending stitches.  Those tiny stitches can be so hard to see.  I shorten the stitch to 1.8 on my Bernina so they are pretty tiny.

 This post is from the blog, Nebraska Views. If you are not currently reading this via e-mail or an RSS feed, then this post has been stolen or scraped from the Nebraska Views blog.  Stolen content can be reported HERE .”

Happy Quilting – Lynn

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wholecloth Silk Miniature–Transfer The Design

IMG_9293My sewing machine cabinet makes the best light box.  I set the sewing machine on the floor and lay a piece of Plexiglas over the opening.  My light bar sits where the machine used to sit on the drop down shelf.  This light was made to stick up under a counter or desk and has a knob to turn it on and off.  Works pretty slick.  Of course this is not a large light box but I can mark most of the things I make using it.IMG_9296I taped my design to the underside of the Plexiglas then positioned my fabric on top and taped it down.IMG_9298IMG_9301I used a chalk pencil to mark the design and hoped it would not rub off before I got it quilted but didn’t want to use anything that would be hard to remove.  I did have to remark some of the lines right away when I rubbed a finished area while marking another.
IMG_9302 IMG_9302-2 
Layered it up with the same silk fabric for the backing plus wool batting.  I used spray baste for this small quilt and it worked pretty well to keep the layers together.  The center motif was quilted first with a peachy/orange YLI Silk thread.  I love the contrast of the thread against the turquoise colored silk fabric.

Knew I wanted a dense filler for the background so chose a dark green YLI Silk thread for background quilting.  I quilted and quilted and finished the background around the basket…..then I decided I did not like how it looked and ripped it all out.  I do wonder why I didn’t stop and give it a good look before I got that far….Oh well.  Thank goodness for my magnifying clip on lenses.  Made ripping out all those stitches a little easier….not more enjoyable, but easier.

I worried that the ripped stitches would show on the silk fabric but miraculously the fabric just looked a little puckered but no visible holes.  Now what should I do for a background filler in this area?  I do want to have a solid looking filler design to make the peach/orange designs pop so need to think about it a little.

Until Later….Lynn

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wholecloth Silk Miniature

I purchased a few pieces of silk fabric a couple of years ago at the AQS show in Paducah but have not done anything with them until now.  I wanted to make at least one whole cloth miniature from them.  Now is as good a time as any so let’s get started.IMG_9274I started out by drawing a basket full of feathered fronds but found it lacked the pizazz I wanted for the center of the medallion quilt I was planning to make.  Using tracing paper I copied the basket and two outside fronds then proceeded to fill in with a few flowers and leaves.  I first drew my flowers out on this page then traced them on the flower stems.IMG_9275This is version #1 – I refined the number and position of the flowers and fronds several times until I got the composition I liked.  This one was just too busy – too many flowers.  It needed to have the elements spread out more too so when they are quilted they will show up well.IMG_9277This is the final design – outlined in Sharpie marker.  You can see the fronds have been reversed from the first two drawings and fewer flowers and leaves too.  The penciled arc was drawn to give me a guideline to help keep my composition balanced.IMG_9278The next step was to decide how large this center motif needed to be.  The scanner/copier came into use here – the 4 copies were reduced at different percentages.  I settled on the 60% of the original size as the one I  the would use.  I use the copy reduce/enlarge feature a lot to get designs the size I want.  If you know the size you want and can measure the size you have you can use the formula on this web page to set your copier.  Easy Peasy!
Next step – planning the borders.  I drew one side then copied and adjusted it to fit in a flowing feathered border.  As you see I added flower/leaves/buds to the corners and centers to help fill and for transition of the flow of the feathers.IMG_9286
I thought I had made the right decision on the placement of the flowers on the feathered borders then changed my mind.  I didn’t want to draw the whole border over again so just drew flowers on paper and glued it where I wanted them.  You can see all the pasted up pieces on the above photo.IMG_9288
Final design with borders – next step to copy the design on white paper.  When drawing I use newsprint paper I cut from a roll.  The local newspaper offices give the end rolls away or charge a small amount for these rolls that don’t have enough paper left on them to feed through the printer they use to print the newspaper.  Some rolls have quite a bit of paper on them too.  I have given rolls to each of my daughters for the grandkids to use and have a couple here at home – great for sketching out designs in larger sizes if needed too. 

Can’t wait to get started but first I have to transfer the design to the silk fabric.  Stay tuned for the next step on my next post for more on this quilt.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pot Holders and More Pot Holders

I had several people I wanted to give a small gift so got busy and stitched up these eight pot holders made from old denim jeans.  They were so quick and easy and if you want to make some of your own just follow the tutorial I posted  HERE on July 21, 2011. I did cut the denim squares 9 1/2",the cotton print fabric 8 1/2" and the batting 8".
Pretty print fabrics matched with squares of fabric cut from old denim jeans.
These pot holders are for friends that have horses that they love so thought the horse fabric was a good choice.  The pot holders look so good after they are laundered and the fringed out area ravels out.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto"

IMG_9599Is there anything more anticipated each summer than a fresh ripe tomato from the garden?  Tomatoes are on the top of my list, right next to fresh sweet corn.IMG_9505I don’t plant lots of tomato plants each spring but just enough to produce tomatoes for us to eat and if there are extra I cut out the core and pop them in the freezer on a cookie sheet.  After they are frozen I  put them in a large zip lock bags to be ready to be used in soup and sauces this winter.  They don’t have to have the skin removed as it quickly thaws and slips right off after it is cooked for just a bit.  You do want to take the core out though as it takes a while to thaw to the center and it is a mess to remove after it is cooked so get it out before freezing.IMG_9508 I did plant one grape tomato plant and it is producing lots of little tomatoes that are great to eat right out of the garden or as snack between meals or just because.

“it’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”  by Lewis Grizzard ...... My thoughts exactly!

(By the way I say “tuh-mey-toh”.)


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rose Garden Visitor

IMG_9578Strolling through my flower garden today with my camera and hoping to take a few photos of the different flowers.   I didn’t notice the praying mantis at first until I zoomed in with the camera and there it was sitting on this pretty rose.  It was fun to watch it as I think it could hear the clicking of my shutter as it would turn it’s head and look right at the camera at times.IMG_9584After a bit it got tired of my camera so walked to the underside of the rose to try to hide from me.
IMG_9585 IMG_9595
If I didn’t know it was there I would not have seen it as it pretty much blended in to the green of the stem and background foliage.

Enjoy my visitor!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Moderation Changes

I'm sad...I had to add moderation to the comments you all make on my blog posts.  I have gotten spammed the last few days with several advertising comments so that is why I made the change.  Some time I may go back to the comments being published immediately but for the time being this is how it is going to have to be.

To make this a little quilt related here are two simple quilted pot holders I made yesterday for gifts from old denim blue jeans and a square of pretty fabric.  I have had my grand kids make these they are so easy and have a tutorial HERE if you want to read the step by step directions.  I did cut this one larger than those directions though.  (Denim squares 9 1/2", cotton print fabric 8 1/2" and batting 8")
This isn't the best photo as I just snapped it with my cell phone but you get the idea.  The denim edges have been clipped but the pot holders need to be laundered to make them fringe out yet.These stitch up quickly and make great gifts and are easy enough for kids to make.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Summertime Sunflowers

Photos taken of my sunflowers.  I purchased a package of mixed colors so there are dark blooms to sunny yellow blooms.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tsukineko Ink Workshop

As promised here is my class project from the class I took at QuiltNebraska in LaVista (near Omaha)  The class was Quilt First – Color Later Using Tsukineko Inks by Bobbie Bergquist from Quilters Treasure.IMG_9268We started out by choosing one of many pre-quilted blocks then colored in the different areas with the inks.  We did not use the inks straight out of the bottles but mixed them with either shaving cream or clear aloe gel.  That made keeping in the lines so much easier and the ink did not bleed onto the backing or outside the lines.IMG_9320This ink is water soluble until it is heat set so it can be blended with more color, gel, shaving cream or water.  We used the blender sticks to blend colors and Fabrico Pens to add shading to the colored sections.  I didn’t know that the Tsukineko Ink in the jars is the same ink in the Fabrico Pens so the colors will always be exactly the same.  The ink and pens are acid free as well.
FX-INK96_lg fabrico3
This was such a fun class and I learned so much.  I had always wanted to learn to use inks but was afraid to start but am anxious to use these inks and pens in my work again.  Here is a close photo of one of the flowers.  I am not satisfied with the light green color of the leaves and flower stem but for a class project I am ok with it.IMG_9323Like I said earlier the ink must be heat set to be permanent.  We learned we can use an iron, blow dryer or toss it into the clothes dryer to set the ink.  If coloring a pre-quilted piece I would think I would use the clothes dryer or blow dryer so as not to flatten the batting.

Sure enjoying watching the Olympic events this summer on TV.  Are the events televised in other countries?  I applaud all their hard work and effort to train all these years to perform this summer.  My 6 yr. old grandson was showing me how Michael Phelps swims when we week at the swimming pool last week and he has the NBC Olympic music memorized and can hum it right on key.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fun Times….Summer Time

Wow – what a summer full of fun activities.  My thread samplers have come to an end for a bit until things slow down some and I have a chance to get to my machine.

The photo at the top is of myself and my roommates at QuiltNebraska, the annual quilt convention for the Nebraska State Quilt Guild, held near Omaha this year. (I am 3rd from the left) The theme this year was a take off from Harry Potter and was a lot of fun - there was an abundance of robes and wands.  Attendees were divided into houses named after famous Nebraska quilters.  My roomies and I were in the Haight house named after Earnest Haight.  Here are a couple pages that tell why he is famous in Nebraska….Quilt Index and the page on the QuiltNebraska website.  The convention chairmen really worked hard to have good natured competitions and the Haight house has the honor of getting the highest number of points - go Haight.

I was not able to attend the entire convention this year as my oldest daughter received her Master’s Degree so missed the first full day, but I was so proud of her.  She teaches school so has been doing Masters classwork for the last 3 years in the evenings and weekends plus has two young daughters and to top it off she and her husband built a new house this last year.  I asked her what she was going to do now that they are moved into the house and her studying for her advanced degree is done and she said she was just going to live like normal people do.

QuiltNebraska is held each year on the last full weekend in July.  It is a full weekend of classes, banquets, quilt displays, merchant’s mall and other activities.  Here is the web page where you can find information and photos from QNE 2012.   Will photograph and tell you what I did in the class I took but that will be another blog post. 

Besides the QuiltNebraska convention, this summer I have had grandchildren twice for several days, two family reunions, a high school class reunion, have been trying to keep up with the garden and yard, preserved almost 50 pints of sweet corn for the freezer, attended one fair to watch our grandkids show their 4-H sheep, sewing and other projects and have another fair for two other grandchildren next week…No wonder I have no time to sew in the summer!

Watching the Olympics tonight – I just love watching the young men and women compete.  I know nothing about the sports but can cheer on my favorites anyway.  My grandson asked me tonight how long they were going to be on TV.  I told him I thought it was 2 weeks and he said, “Oh, no…mom will have to watch it for the whole two weeks.”  He really didn’t want to watch them this evening  here either but I am glad I taught  my daughter to love them too!

Until later,


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