Thursday, May 30, 2013

Broderie Perse Meets Crazy Quilt...Progress

The rainiest May in years has yielded me extra time to work on this project.  And I am falling in love with it....I think I have always wanted to make this quilt!

A rainy day, the ballgame on my fancy new flatscreen TV, Facebook on my computer, crazy piecing on my table...I'm a happy girl.  (I see so many great quilts on Facebook.  I love it.)

As I've looked at this quilt on the wall I realized that the Broderie Perse floral arrangement needed a little tweaking.

Can you spot where I've pinned on a few more elements?  They are mostly to fill out the overall shape of the bouquet, make it a bit more balanced.

Once those hexies were appliqued on, it was time to start piecing the background area.  I don't want to distract or compete with the center focal point of the quilt, so decided to use basically all white fabrics.
Or maybe I've been influenced by all the Modern quilts I've been seeing lately: lots of white!

One of the biggest joys of crazy quilting, to me, is the way we can juxtapose so many different fabrics.  This little section has hankies, vintage and reproduction shirting, metallic silk brocade, a scrap from a '40's farmer's dress, cross stitch fragments, quilters' cotton, '70's lace edging, burlap; I get such a kick out of it.  There are pattern and a few glints of color, but in the end, this will read as white.

That piecing will extend right to the hexie border, so the background will (hopefully) be seen as whole cloth.  Going to start in on the long sides today...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Project: Broderie Perse Meets Crazy

These days I am wanting to return to my 40-years-of-quilting roots, using cottons. Who knows why?  Never question the Muse!  But I will always have handwork and crazy quilting involved in everything I make, in one way or another....

I spent years back in the day making Broderie Perse style wall know, where you cut out a printed image and applique it onto a background fabric.  Well, I love and miss that technique so I decided to indulge in it for my new quilt.  It will be the focal point in the center.  I'm adding some other elements to it, too...have a look so far.

It started with a border I had on hand from another quilt that didn't get used, combining vintage blocks and fabrics--with a few repros mixed in--and some vintage hexies I got off Ebay...

So this sets the stage..
Next, see that floral fabric folded up on the floor beneath the quilt? It's been calling to me....(It too was an Ebay find...)

I fused some SoftFuse fusible web by Shades Textiles onto the back of the floral fabric before cutting.  This prevented fraying while cutting and then later, wrinkling or shifting when sewing.  I also used a new pair of pointy scissors.  Sharp scissors are a  must here.
I had my cut-out on a small mat that I could rotate and move around as I snipped, so I never had to move the fabric.  Keeping it flat helped prevent any stress on those fragile cut out stems.

Once it was fused onto the background fabric (which is a vintage table cloth, stabilized with fusible knit interfacing), the sewing began....I used YLI silk thread in the top in a new size #60 needle; the bobbin had a matching cotton machine embroidery thread.  My buttonhole stitch was set to 1.5 wide, 1.5 long, and away I went.

It got pretty detailed...but that is what makes Broderie Perse so special.  This rosebud is about 2 1/2" long.

All nice and sewn down, perfectly flat, no fraying...Yay! It measures about 16" wide by 21 1/2" long.

I'm making this the focal point of the quilt.

Next I need to applique that whole center section down onto a muslin foundation.  I cannot deal with those hexies any other way!  Plus, you know they're going to get buttonholed anyways...

The large white areas will be crazy-pieced with a great bundle of shirting from Newcastle Fabrics, "Margo's Favorite Shirtings".  (Scroll down on the link.)

And yes, I will EVEN quilt this!  That Sweet 16 is waiting, waiting....

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Max and Esther....Finished!

My wall-hanging of them, that is.  Those two are just getting started on a lifetime together....!

After I finished framing the photo with embellishments and lettering, it was time to quilt the image on my Handi Qiuilter Sweet 16.  I prepared it for quilting by spray basting two layers of drapery lining cotton into place behind it on the back of the top.

That was simple enough!  No pinning needed....

I used a yellow thread for quilting and then added some colored pencil to the background.

I just wanted the figures to stand out from the background a little bit more. And they were definitely glowing that day....

For the binding, I did what I often do: iron trim along its length and take advantage of its finished edges and pretty weave. It was easy to zigzag it in place with clear thread in both the top and the bobbin (so it wouldn't show on the back.)
Finally, I couched some cording along the inside edge of the binding.

I did have fun with those felt flowers from Custom Fabric Flowers. I teach the velvet/silk ribbon flower in my Craftsy class!

Here is the whole piece...

It's actually squarer than it know how the camera bends the edges...  ;-)
It measures 14.5" X 17.5".

It was a joy to make it is on to the Ringbearer's Pillow!

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Craftsy Class

Since the beginning of March I have been entirely focused on preparing a class for Craftsy.

If you are unfamiliar with them...on their website they describe themselves like this:
  • A wide selection of online crafting classes from the best instructors from around the world.
  • Watch your classes from anywhere, from any device with an internet connection.
  • Take them anytime you want, as many times as you want. Your access never expires.
Classes are on a wide range of subjects, including cake decorating, crocheting, cooking, machine embroidery, home & garden, jewelry, knitting, paper crafts, sewing, weaving, spinning, and.....QUILTING, which is in fact their most popular category by far.
So you can imagine how utterly thrilled and honored I was to be asked to teach a class on crazy quilting!

I prepared for my "shoot" for 2 1/2 months, designing the class, sewing up class projects, samples, and step-outs.  This week I finally went to Denver for three days to put all that hard work onto video.  People will be able to sign up for Crazy Quilting from anywhere in the world!  
Beyond that, part of my job, and one I am really looking forward to, will be interacting with my students online, via the fabulous software "platform" the Craftsy software engineers have developed.  I'll be answering students' questions, looking at pictures of work that they post--and students will be able to interact with each other, too.
So I want to share a glimpse of my week, working with my great crew at Craftsy...

This is where my day started, as Danica used her considerable skill to make me look presentable on camera.  I am telling you, it was a WHOLE lot more make-up than I have ever worn, but she knew what she was doing.  I never did get used to it though!

 The first morning, Amy got the set all decorated.

Max, the tech man!

My fabulous producer/director, Alissa Norton, was such a pro...I couldn't have gone 5 minutes without her guidance, creativity, and support.  We had a beautiful collaborative experience over the 3 day shoot, and I left with a true new friend.

Alissa ran one of the cameras, and Rob here ran the other one; he also was in charge of the sound.  It was so cool to see how Max, Rob, and Alissa choreographed the shoot over the three days.

I was calling myself "Gloria Swanson"--like the heavily made-up character in the original "Sunset Boulevard"--because of all the make-up I had on.  But they assured me, it wasn't so much!  Here I am getting ready for the "Stashbusters" segment, one of the highlights of the whole experience.

You can tell, I was having a blast....

On the last day we grabbed some lunch together before the final afternoon of shooting.  We knew we were coming down the homestretch and were feeling great about our work.

The class will be launched in about a month...I'll be sure and let you know when it does.  I'm really excited about being able to introduce crazy quilting in this new (to me) venue.  Sending thanks and love to my friends at Craftsy for giving me the opportunity! I can start blogging about what I'm working on again!  It's been a long hiatus.  I'm looking forward to posting things as they happen in the sewing room once more....

See you soon!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Max and Esther....Progress

Those little blue flowers I had pinned on there above the photo had to go...they didn't show up well enough.

But the floral frame is coming along nicely!  I am almost ready for the lettering....

This is such a fun project....

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Max and Esther

My older son Max is marrying his Esther next month, cause for great celebration!
I am making a little commemorative wall-hanging for them.  I'm just starting out...

They look so happy, don't they?
I'm going to frame them with flowers, like in one of the classes I teach...

This should be very fun to do...especially because I get to look down at their smiling faces as I work.  I'll post progress shots as I go....