Monday, August 22, 2011

Pencil vs. Mouse

Camellia  21" x 21"

This is one of my newer applique designs and I'm currently working on a pattern for it.  I did machine quilt it and will have a good photo of the finished quilt soon.

I design all of my appliques using paper and pencil.  I do a lot of sketching and keep files of ideas and also collect things I find in nature to use as patterns. Once I've designed a quilt around my appliques, I use graph paper to map out the exact size appliques I will need and then draw them to fit.  Lots of erasing goes on before I'm happy and have what I want.  If I am drawing a symmetrical flower for example, I do one half on graph paper, fold it on the center line, place it on my window and trace the other half.  Perfect!  Sometimes I  use a simple light box.  I have a set of circle templates and a draftsman's compass for making circles big and small. 

I do use my Electric Quilt program to lay out quilts and color them, but I have never used the graphic drawing part of it to draw appliques.  I've been thinking that I should get myself up to speed and be a little more professional with my design work so.....recently, I enrolled in an online quilting class through Quilt University:  ( class is EQ Applique Design and teaches exactly what I need. I started Lesson One over the weekend and became hopelessly stuck trying to draw a heart.  The teacher even sent me a separate video and I still can't do it.  I think there's a problem with the software - yeah right! 

I could have drawn 1,000 hearts by now on my paper - any size, any shape I chose.  Maybe I should stick with what I know and can do.  I'll keep trying though:  I don't want to "drop out" of university!

The rest of my time right now is devoted to preparing a quilt book proposal with the far off hopes of having it published.  The proposal itself is daunting, but I am working my way through it.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wholly Moda!

Here is a quilt I made a few years ago entitled "Wholly Moda!"  The Fabric Patch in Ironwood, MI sponsored a Moda fabric quilt challenge contest requiring you to use a pack of Moda neutral background fabrics in your quilt entry.  There were several categories one could choose to enter and I chose "The most Moda fabrics."  From my stash entirely, I used 88 different Moda fabrics, all documented by the Moda logo cut from the selvages of each fabric.  I do love Moda fabric!!

This pattern is "Flowering Vines"  from the book: "Flowering Favorites" from Piece O' Cake Designs.  I pieced the background in the border blocks using the challenge fabric and then appliqued them.

This quilt hangs in my upstairs hallway and always makes me smile.  Oh, and I did win a sewing machine as first place in this contest.  That made me smile big time!

I have completely finished (including sleeve and label) my "Essence of Self" quilt for our applique group challenge.  I can't say another word about it (secret identity), but I am happy with it and will look forward to seeing everyone and their quilts in September at our next meeting.

Also:  "Flower Power" is presently in Colorado where Quilter's Newsletter is creating their own pattern from it, to be featured as a series quilt in their magazine starting this December.  I had just finished creating my own pattern to be self published, but that will be on hold for now.

If you subscribe to Quilting Quarterly (NQA's magazine), my quilt "Woods and Wildflowers" is pictured in the Winner's Gallery in the current issue.

I will have more news to share next time.