Thursday, July 30, 2015

Happy World Embroidery Day... what memories do you have?


Happy World Embroidery Day!
I was always drawn to color whether in nature or fashion, or the colorful embroidery in my grandmother's house. My grandmother's embroidery was her on pillowcases, dish towels and table cloths. I loved them because she had made them and there was colorful embroidery thread in them. So it was natural that I too learned to embroider with that colorful thread.
I've been doing a bit of research into the 'roots' of embroidery and it appears the art of embroidery has a very glamorous and ancient history. The East Indians have done and are doing amazing things with embroidery and color. They've been known for their skill in embroidery and embellishment for centuries. Embroidery is a fascinating subject.
And here is a link for textile enthusiasts, Hand & Cloth
They support 'dignified work to skilled women artisans creating beautiful, functional textiles.'
They sell traditionally made Kantha quilts. I think that's a great idea, have a look.

Friday, July 24, 2015

California State Fair @ Sacramento, quilts...

 Guess where we went for fun Friday?

Street entrance to the fair.

Entrance to the CA State Fair.

California State Fair Monorail.

Entrance to the amusement section.

Thrills and lots of color.

Game vendor.

Amusements at the Fair.

Quilt and Costumes at the Art and Craft Exhibition.

Art and Craft Exhibition entries.

Sacramento City College at the Tech Exhibition

Technology Exhibition

911 Memorial at the fair.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pacific Blues Art Quilt #2 fly stitch WIPW

Pacific blues art quilt #2 WIP Wednesday, fly stitch and running stitch have been added the last few days. Also, more beads have been sewn down. I like fly stitch it's organic, living and unpredictable when you want it to be.
For fun I've been researching Kantha and Sashiko stitch. Basically they are a running stitch used for reinforcement and decoration. The Indian, and Japanese cultures have an amazing tradition of beautiful embroidery. Talk about inspiring! 
I always say, "Stop and enjoy something beautiful," well, I've been doing just that and it's refreshing.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pacific Blues art quilt, Embroidery, Beading...

Pacific Blues #2, beads added, interviewing others.

Tropical theme #3, adding stitches.

 Last few days I've been beading and embroidering. It makes me feel tribal which is a relaxed sort of organic feeling. I know that word 'organic' gets over used, when I use it here I mean natural, as in occurring in nature. In the quilt world there is such a variety of styles as you all know. Everything from super formal, in which the critiques flash their magnifying glasses and rulers around. The poor quilts in this category have usually been machine quilted within an inch of their lives. Woe is the poor person who would try to get comfort and warmth from such a stiff, scratchy 'quilt'.
Then on the other side of the spectrum are the Gee's Bend type quilts. Made in a much more relaxed atmosphere with the quilter having an inner trust in her own ability to work with her hands using color and design as she likes. These are the quilts that are nurturing and comforting. Kind of like mothers. The best mothers are warm and nurturing, you would seldom find a good mother on the cover of a fashion mag. Not that she couldn't be there, but she doesn't want to be there. She has nothing to prove, she has an inner trust in her own ability and she's doing what she wants. A mother, a woman, like that is the most beautiful woman in the world.

I like the texture of hand stitching, more 'organic'.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Liberated Quiltmaking II & Cultural Fushion great color, design

My blocks, liberated shoo-fly and stars

 I'm working through Liberated Quiltmaking II by Gwen Marston. Next I'll work through Cultural Fushion Quilts by Sujata Shah. In 2013 I did a lot of embroidery on my sewing kits and finished up a couple of art quilts. Lately I've felt the need to branch out into more traditional quilting still keeping  the art aspect, the freedom to use color and design as I wish. So Gwen's book and Sujata's  book are just right for that.
 First off, working through Gwen's book, I made enough wonky log cabin blocks to make a small quilt. Then came liberated  star and shoo fly blocks, next onto flying geese blocks. They'll go into a sampler type quilt, I think.
 I'm going to start pressing seams open, it looks neater and flatter. Sujata suggests doing seams that way. Some quilters advise to press seams to the side. I've done that and the results are not as neat and flat. How do you press your seams?
That's my progress and report for Monday, have a good week!

Two of the best books on the true spirit of quilting...

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Santa Clara series #3 quilt & Asian Theme fabrics..

Santa Clara series #3, machine quilted with a walking foot.

Machine quilting back view, #3.
Santa Clara #2, Machine quilted with all purpose foot, washed and dried.

 Last couple of days I have been machine quilting #3 in my Santa Clara series, it's 39" x 22" with a 2" border. I'm using a walking foot which on my machine is slow. When I'm finished quilting and binding it then I'll wash and dry it and see how it compares to my Santa Clara #2, 54" x 17" with no border, that I used the all purpose foot on. I purposefully used the orange colored thread to make the quilting stand out as part of the design whole. The idea of my Santa Clara series was to repeat the diamond like summer colors in Santa Clara, CA.
Visiting one of my favorite fabric stores, for a break, I found these lovely Asian theme fat-quarters. The blue fabric behind them was a blue I had to have, it's made in S. Korea, they put out fabulous fabrics with a rich feel.
This is my Wednesday progress...remember to check in at Fret not Yourself blog to see a lovely New York Beauty in progress.
Have a great day!

Fabric I couldn't resist, Asian theme, the blue fabric is made in S. Korea.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pacific Blues Quilts ready for Embroidery,Embellishment

My Pacific Blues #1 & #2 are ready for hand embroidery and embellishment, they measure 11" x 11" each. They're both machine quilted, one with a walking foot the other I used a regular all purpose foot, can you see the difference? I'll add hand quilting too with hand embroidery. I like the look of a lot of stitching.
I also got hanging sleeves sewn onto the back of my 'Tropical' series quilts. I'm thinking of entering them in a local quilt show, I like sharing their color!
 Have you tried making anything in a series? How did you like it?