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Monday, September 27, 2010

Yellow Stuff

Earth laughs in flowers. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Get out and listen for the laughter today!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Construction Techniques

How is a pictorial quilt like In the Quiet constructed? Basically I used two techniques.

First, the main quilt is put together using the applipiecing technique I learned from Caryl Fallert at her Soaring Compliments workshop. She also offers a workshop on CD at:

This involves drawing a full size reverse-image pattern on freezer paper, a detailed construction plan, starch, a hot iron and assembly with tiny zigzag stitching. My main quilt includes the walls, fireplace, bookcases, floor, rug and chair.

Second, many of the smaller details (picture, sconces, cat, flames, teapots, plant, book, etc) are fused with Wonder Under. Raw edges are finished with a small zigzag stitch.

Shading is worked with fabric paint and pens. Even the choice of thread enhances or detracts from the overall image.

A quilt with this much detail requires a similarly detailed construction plan. Usually that's a result of trial and error on previous quilts! It's always helpful to start small when trying a new style or technique. There's no substitute for just diving in and seeing how it goes.

See my post "In The Quiet" in July for a couple more images of this quilt.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yellow Stuff

Life is like riding a bicycle: you don't fall off unless you stop pedaling. ---Claude Pepper

How's that for YELLOW? Saw this outside a shop in Geneva, IL.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza

Many thanks to Lisa ONeill for her pics from PNQE. Check her blog at:

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Another winner . . . Hybrid received Best Use of Color in the Innovative Category at Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. The show runs today through Sunday, 9/16-19. Check details at:

Also, see my Hybrid post in August.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin ran September 9-11. Although I was not able to attend the show, I entered two quilts. They just returned home with some good news.

Fandango received third place in the wall applique category.

Fragrant Memories received first place in the wall pictorial category.
What a great way to top off a lovely day here in Chicagoland. This calls for a little celebration. I see a McDonald's hot fudge sundae ahead. (yeah, cheap treat, but a tasty favorite)

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Orchidaceous was made for a special exhibit at the Miami Orchid Show.

The shapes are fused with Wonder Under and edge finished with a small zigzag stitch. The exception is the orange wavy line. If you want a 1/2" wide finished strip, cut bias strips 2" wide, joining them with bias cut edges. Fold the full length strip wrong sides together and stitch just slightly wider than 1/2" from the folded edge. Trim close to the stitching line and iron with the stitched area down the middle of the strip. This will be hidden as it is the back side of the strip. The bias cut makes it flexible enough to bend into the desired shape. Pin at close intervals before stitching very close to the edge on each side.

To coordinate the quilt top and back, I often use up fabrics leftover from the quilt top. Each back is unique and more intriquing than a one fabric back. Of course, that's great, too, if you have that much yardage, which I rarely do.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yellow Stuff

Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.
~John Ruskin

Enjoy them now. The season is winding down here in the midwest.

Friday, September 3, 2010

In Memory

Made in memory of my father-in-law, this small quilt is constructed with his ties.

Ties are often made of slippery fabric and cut on the bias. I cut the pieces on grain whenever possible and stabilized some that were too wiggly. For some tips on working with ties: