Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More wool applique

It seems I've been on vacation.  Not really, but we did spend Thanksgiving  in Minneapolis with our wonderful family, and the weekend before that I was gone to an out of town wedding.

After finally  finishing my shore birds quilt, I wanted and needed a break, a diversion.  So, I began this wall hanging "Crimson Tweed" from the book by the same name, author Sue Spargo https://www.suespargo.com/.

I have combined hand wool applique with cotton raw edge machine appliques.  I'm adding embroidered embellishments as I go along.  There will also be appliqued borders.  Will I finish it  before Christmas?  Hmmmm.... I do love the folk art designs and it's really been fun to stitch.

Also, I hand stitched a couple of bird ornaments of my design for our quilt group's annual Christmas tree which will be raffled for the Manitowish Waters Library.  The theme this year was simply "red and white" and all ornaments are hand made by group members.  We decorated the tree today and it's beautiful.

Meanwhile, my next large quilt is brewing in my head.  More on that later.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Over the Waves

"Oh, Mexico Beach"
 86" x 86"
Jane Zillmer

Also known as "Shore Birds",  and at times "The Beast",  this quilt is finally finished.  Better photos will be taken when my new camera arrives and I find a non windy day to hang it outside and take pictures.

The skewed edges you see are caused by a slight breeze when I took this photo early this morning.   Prior to this, the border edges were just plain wavy.  Made me seasick.  Now, I know that the theme of this quilt is ocean and beach, but those kinds of waves are not desirable.

This set me into a panic. Who knew you needed to block a quilt after it's been quilted?  I always skip those chapters in my books.  With some excellent advice from Diane Gaudynski, hours of consternation (get my quilt WET?) and finally, just using common sense (as Diane advises), I accomplished what I set out to do.  After removing my first binding, blocking the entire quilt - twice - squaring and remarking a new outer edge, reattaching a new binding and doing a final block, it is as square and lovely as can be.

I first blogged about my inspiration and fabric choices for this quilt in January, 2012.  This is my Big Quilt for the year.  For the past 7 years, it has been my goal and pleasure to complete one large quilt each year.  Of course there have also been many small projects and patterns completed, and oh yes... a book written.  But I always have one major quilt in the works.  Most of these quilts are professionally long arm quilted.  "Oh, Mexico Beach" was quilted by Lisa Arndt.

Why do I make these big quilts?  First of all, I love looking at big quilts.  And I love the challenge of  designing and completing these quilts which each tell a story about something in my life. I guess they are big stories to tell. 

And for 2013?  That quilt is still just in my head. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wool work

Maybe it's just that time of year, when my thoughts turn to wool. Like wool socks every day. Or maybe I just need some small projects to work on while still tackling The Big Ones.  More about that another day.

This pillow was so much fun to make.  After gathering leaves on one of my walks, I dried and pressed them as usual.  I thought I'd just lay them out on graph paper and let an idea come to me......  

... a really nice, cushy warm pillow done in my hand dyed felted wool.  I usually stitch wool applique by hand , but I stitched these leaves by machine with a straight stitch around the edges and then added vein details to the leaves also by machine.  I like the effect.