Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pink Azaleas - Done and RJR Fun

Pink Azaleas
I finally finished another class project last week. This is for my strip applique class - Striplique? It's kind of a cute name for this method of construction.  Anyway, I finished the quilting but then thought it needed sun rays... 

Pink Azaleas without the rays
What do you think? I can always tear off the rays. I'll show my students the before and after pics and they can choose? 

The easiest way to attach the rays was to pin a double layer of white tulle to the finished quilt top and then pin on some stiff paper. All I had to do then was outline stitch around the paper with monofilament thread. 

Ray patterns pined to already quilted/finished quilt. 

Detail of the rays - you can see the mountain quilting under the tulle....

 This week I made a deal with RJR. For years and years I have loved Jinny Beyer's fabrics and I'm rather thrilled with the opportunity to work with them.  

It was like Christmas at my house on Wednesday when the first box of 1/2 yard pieces came. These are bunches of their batiks from the Malam, Malam 2014-15, and Malam III collections.  PLUS they sent me 1/2 yard pieces of from their Handspray collection.

You can already see I've pulled some out to get ready. (The greens and browns) 

Batiks and Handsprays behind them...
 I love the feel of these batiks, they aren't stiff! They seem to be thinner and more drapey in my hands. Aren't these fantastic earthy colors!? 
More fabric including a huge pile from their Danscapes Collection 

See those pink flowers on the far left? Ignore them. My daughter's long term boyfriend broke up with her so we've buried all the silk flowers he's given her over the years in my sewing room.  We are thinking of burning his football jersey, too. Grrr. Men. Actually he is young. Boys. Grrr.

But I digress.

New pictures on the wall

 Don't laugh at me but once I knew I was going to devote myself to making a few quilts for RJR, I had to redo my sewing room. Lol, I had to nest. Soooo, I took down an old quilt and put up some flower photographs my dad took years ago.  Nice, clean and uncluttered. 

That will change soon! 

Earthy batiks sorted by color and value

 My idea is to do a strip applique fall scene with hills in fall colors and a grassy foreground which will eventually have some sort of bright red foliage fused on. Maybe sumac trees? 

Luscious colors

 Oh, I wanted to show you my nice clean sewing room. I don't have the room in my small home for some big wide open expanse of play space with lots of windows overlooking mountains and meadows.

I have a small room with a fish tank. 

My sewing room 

 I have canister lights and they are a bit tricky to work under but I did find full spectrum florescent light bulbs for them so that is really nice for any seasonal depression issues I may face. (I used to live in rainy Southeast Alaska and the lack of sunshine got to me after a while. I highly recommend those full spectrum bulbs if you can find them. Their color is listed as 5000 K, by the way.) 

Sketched out mountain shapes
 Sometimes my mountains and hills get away from me. I decided to try something new and sketch out roughly where they would go on my foundation. (The foundation is Pellon EK 130 Easy Knit.)

Now, I think it makes things easier to sketch out the shapes on the foundation before you start, BUT, not with a black sharpie. I'm afraid those black lines will show through any light sky fabric... we'll see how it goes. 

505 Basting Spray
 The other problem I sometimes have when I'm working with the Pellon is that it is a bit slippery and the strips I lay on it shift around. To solve this, I sprayed it with the basting spray and that worked quite nicely.

So far... 
And this is my progress so far. This week I'll be working on the sky. I'm thinking a soft sunrise with peach and apricot tones? I may also change this landscape a bit, I just started on it yesterday and I'm not sure about the 3 hills... hubby wants me to add a lake. (I love my husband, he comes down into my creative cave and pops out the craziest ideas.... then I think about them and realize they aren't too crazy, lol!)

The beauty of making this kind of landscape is that until you fuse it all down with a hot iron and steam, nothing is permanent. Hmm... maybe I could tuck a lake behind the green hill.  Green for grass - the last thing to turn brown in the fall and the perfect back drop for sumac.

Anyway, that's what is going on in my life. I'm hopeful that I'll make some awesome patterns and RJR will love me forever.

On a completely different note, I'm making a baby quilt for a very good family friend and we're thinking about Calvin and Hobbes. Every baby needs a Hobbes in their life.

(My sister had a friend - Mr. Gookenbock - who lived in our mailbox and came out to play when he was needed.)

There is so much wisdom in this little comic!

Quilt On!
Comments Welcome


  1. I have your Lovely Landscape Quilts book, I have my landscape sketch/idea, and I have a bunch of fabric I think might work. Now I need to be brave and just start putting strips together! Your photos here have inspired me to "Just Do It!"

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you like my book and the blog. I'd love to see what you come up with. Have fun!

  2. Your art is beautiful! I'm trying to teach myself. How do you applique such small pieces?
    Do you have videos?

    1. Hi Debster, no videos. The small flowers and leaves have a fusible web pressed on the wrong side of the fabrics. Then all you have to do is cut them out, arrange them where you want and press using steam. I like Steam a Seam Light, or Wonder Under paper backed fusible webs. Thanks for the compliments!