Tuesday, February 23, 2016

QBTS Challenge Quilts

I just didn't want to overwhelm everyone with pictures of every single quilt so picked some of my favorites including the three winners.
This was a quilt by Donna Bergman and won Best Use of Color.

This was the Best Use of Theme by Lynn Flaherty.  It was obviously a representation of family pets as there were names on the back all chasing a squirrel.  It was very soft (wool or flannel) and as lovely to touch as it was to look at.

We had a banner night with 19 entries which was the most we have ever had.  And we had been nervous about how many entries we would get as we had heard there were only two or three.

This is Becky Bucci's and  won Best Use of Embellishments.  The picture doesn't do it justice!!

You might recognize this one by Barbara Swann.  She was working on it on our group day.

I loved this one by our speaker last night -- Mari de Moya.  I wish I could have gotten some pictures of her wonderful Asian inspired quilts but was busy with the Challenge Quilts.

This was by Betsy Manning - another member of the art quilt group.

This was one of my favorites and the very first one we looked at when setting up the display.  It is by Mary Harned.

There were lots more quilts and they will all be on display at the Brooklyn Arts Center in Wilmington on April 2 and 3 from noon to 6.  A poster can be seen on this link - Quilters By the Sea Guild Website.  Of course there will be many more quilts to see and even some to buy with lots of vendors as well!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Color Quilt Almost Done and the Challenge Quilt is Done!!

The blocks are finally all done and the triangle inserts are all cut and all totally bias because of the odd shape of the rhombus.  This was not easy.  I finally picked a mellower yellow than I had before and luckily had just enough yardage to make the setting triangles.  

Here I have sewn about half the quilt together.  Matching the points was easier than I thought it would be and this step has gone relatively quickly!

It's finally all together!!  I really think it needs borders to kind of hold it together.  If I had used a dark triangle for the setting triangles, this probably wouldn't be necessary but I couldn't bring myself to do my usual dark outside!  

My first was a thin orange strip and then a dark green about the size of the strips on the rhombuses.  

I have finally decided to go with a narrow red strip and then a fairly wide navy blue.  This will make the quilt 72 x 96 which is a little bigger than the lap robe I had envisioned!!

This is the background for the challenge quilt for the Quilters by the Sea. The theme was "circle of friends" and had to be circular.  I remembered a Facebook post where I mentioned that I was glad to be back and seeing my birds again down here was like meeting up with old friends so that became my inspiration.  This is obviously a beach-y looking background.

 I printed a bunch of my pictures on fusible fabric and then carefully cut out the birds from the picture and fused them down onto the background.  This is by no means all the birds I see (in fact there are two more on the back but still not complete) but there was only so much room on the piece.  I used a thin Sharpie to put their names underneath.  It was kind of fun!  I may actually hang this somewhere.  I used a piece of painted fabric on the back and of course all the fabrics on the front are scraps of my hand dyes.  The background is pieced.  I machine quilted the background and then used the pillowcase method to put on the back (so no quilting shows on the back).  I put the birds on after it was all quilted.  This blog won't appear until after quilt club tonight as it is supposed to be secret!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Forward Progress and the Beginning of the Challenge Quilt

This quilt is slow going but has already been claimed by my oldest daughter who saw it on Facebook.  There is only four more blocks to go and it will be done.  It certainly has used the full spectrum of my hand-dyed fabrics!!  I haven't arranged them particularly yet and will put the darker ones on the outside (I think).  My biggest quandary has been how to fill in those weird triangles on the side.  You can see one thought on the upper right hand side (discarded I might add).

This had been my very first thought.  Yellow triangles with the striped pieces kind of giving the effect of a border.  Didn't like it at all as it was jarring.  When thinking about it, I had been sure this would be the answer -- NOT.

I finally went back to my original thought which was just plain yellow triangles with the darker blocks along the outside edge.  I am not quite sure whether it will be yellow or not yet.  I am trying to only use fabric that I have down here although I could dye some so I will have enough as these rhombuses take a lot of yardage --- this is complicated by the fact that I kind of have to add inches to the ruler so that the triangles are the right size.

It also requires two different size triangles as you can see here.

In the meantime, I have started work on my "challenge quilt" due next Monday night!!  So I better get hopping.  My dear husband is going to NYC for a week of fun and frolic so I have a vacation from cooking so I shouldn't have any trouble completing this project.  The theme is "circle of friends" and it just has to be a circular shape between 12 and 18 inches in diameter. I am heading for the top end of the range. 

What absolutely amazed me is that I had no idea what I was going to do for a background except that it would be blue.  I picked up a stack of fat quarter blues from my stash down here and instantaneously it came to me.  This is the experience I had with Iron Quilter as well.  I always think I am not able to be creative and then surprise myself with my quick visceral response to things.    I can't post the quilt until after the meeting on Monday!!  It required printed images and this complicated my entry as our printer pooped out (of course) and I had to get a new one!  So stay tuned!

No birds today!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Uncommon Threads February Get Together!

A couple of months ago, I was invited to join this incredibly talented group of fiber artists here in Wilmington.  It is a group informally called Uncommon Threads.  We start with Show and Tell and I was just WOWed with this piece by Gerry, whose house we met at in December.  She just does beautiful work and this will be in the Quilters by the Sea gallery show in April.  My friend Priscilla would just love this and hope she sees my blog!!

I believe Barbara did this piece which we all loved as well!! It really captures the essence of the kitty.  Hope I got the right person -- I should really take notes!!

By the time showing and telling was over, Becky introduced us to the project we would be doing and the giant pile of scraps we could pick from.  We did collage on canvas using Modge Podge or glue to adhere the pieces.  This is Becky's cat Hobo who liked to be right in the middle of things obviously!!  Reminded me of some other orange cats who shall remain nameless!

Most of the pieces utilized canvas pieces about 8 12 x 11.  This is Betsy's piece which I loved.  She used fabric, laces and even dyed paper toweling that Becky had and generously shared.  It was perfect for the sky.  It would look great in any beach house down here!!

Barbara is working on her piece here on a much bigger canvas and she started it before she came.

Here is a better shot of the above piece.

Pat is working on her piece here -- another piece I just loved.  I was very awed by the work of the other women.

Mary is working on her piece here which I also loved (birds,  you know).

And here is my piece which I tried to create from my memory of the sunset I posted a few weeks ago.  Someone said it looked like an African picture so I must have succeeded as that is what people said of my photo!  It really is the Live Oaks down at Ft. Fisher.  I pulled from my bag of hand dyed scraps.

Becky graciously took our picture at the end of the day.  From left to right, Betsey, Gerry, me (in the back), Pat, Judi, Mary and Barbara.  It was really a very relaxing and fun day using a new technique for me.  I do seem to be drawn to bright colors though!!!  Nothing subtle about mine!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Quilt Progress and More Bird Pics (of Course)!

The beginning of a new day and some more work on the quilt but first a trip to my bird places as it is a nice sunny day.

First a lovely Tri-Color Heron down at the boat ramp.  He was joined by a Snowy Egret and then later a Great Blue Heron.

The Great Blue was fluffing his feathers and annoying the others!

There were a lot of the usual gulls plus several Royal Terns and Forster Terns that were adorning the dock.  This is a Royal Tern.

I headed down to Carolina Beach Lake and there were several male and female Buffleheads diving like crazy.

There were even more Lesser Scaups, both female and male, than before.  You can see his distinctive head shape.

I finally got to see the male and female Red-headed Ducks close enough to take their picture.

A closeup of the male Redhead!

I called this a double date for Valentine's Day as there are a male and female Redhead and a male and female Scaup hanging out together!

Auditioning some more insides in the early afternoon.

Making real progress here.  Right now it is about 40 inches x 50 inches but think I will make it probably about 60 wide by 80 long so good for a nap on the sofa.

I already see one block that I don't like and it will be removed or put in an inconspicuous place.  These are slow going as there is a lot of trimming at each step.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Moving Forward on the Albers Quilt

All those things that look like rocks are really Dunlins!  The wind was fierce yesterday and the tide was extra high because of the new moon so the Dunlins and Oystercatchers were all huddled on what little was left of the rock wall at Ft. Fisher.  This wall was built in the mid 1800's to keep the silt from the ocean from getting into the Cape Fear River.  It is really long and almost intact still although a  lot of it goes under water during high tides.

Well, I had the idea that the blocks might look more interesting if I set them on their sides -- kind of wave like.  So I tried it.  No, didn't like it!

So I turned them around again.   Much better.  It is slow going.

There is no way to do these quickly so am just plodding along.

I really liked the blocks with the deep fuchsia/purple.  I decided at this point that I needed some reds and red/oranges in the outer layers. 

So far I have just been using the scraps from other projects plus green and blue fat quarters that I brought down with me with the intention of making some quilts out of them.  I always seem to want more color and things always evolve which is why the other colors are getting added.  It would probably be calmer if I stuck to a nice restricted palette but I am pretty much incapable of that!!  I am making the rings larger than the pattern I had been using.  Each rhombus is about 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 now.  It keeps growing and growing, another thing my pieces have a habit of doing!

Monday, February 8, 2016

My Ducks Have Returned to Carolina Beach Lake!! (Plus a New Visitor)

I truly felt like I had returned to Lake Mattamuskeet when I stopped at Carolina Beach Lake on the way to the grocery store.  I ALWAYS carry my camera with a telephoto lens when ever I leave the house!!  I know from experience that when I don't, I will see something awesome!!  Here is the usual group of Mallards at Carolina Beach Lake with a Northern Pintail in the middle!!  I had never seen a Pintail in this lake in all the years i have taken pictures there.  He was a gorgeous specimen too and came over pretty close to me.  Notice the Carolina blue skies reflecting on the lake.  Yesterday we were visited with a horrendous Nor'easter which produced incredible waves and probably another five or six inches of rain after we had a lot just several days before.  There were ponds and pumps everywhere today.  

The male Mallards really are pretty and colorful especially in the bright sun.

Here is the aforementioned Northern Pintail.  I don't think I have ever gotten as good a picture of one!  He is a dabbling duck and was constantly with his rear in the air!

This is a male Bufflehead.  You can see his iridescent head with all the sunlight!  He and his female friends were diving like crazy.

This is a male Lesser Scaup.  There were again quite a few of them at the lake.

This is the female Lesser Scaup who was following around after the  male.  She has some algae on her back from the constant diving.

I am continuing on the Albers quilt and will have pictures with my next post.  It is coming slowly and I haven't decided how big to make it yet so will just continue making blocks.  Right now I am just using the fairly solid looking hand dyes.  I am thinking I may add some marbled fabrics and make only one row of color around them.  Like to make things a little unpredictable.

I have read that not only have the Snow Geese left Mattamuskeet but that the Tundra Swans are also heading north.  Glad we got to visit last week and didn't have weather like yesterday!!