Monday, January 25, 2010

Quilt: Books I Have Read

I suppose that if you turned this quilt on its side, it would be the "stacked coins" traditional pattern, but since I'm putting it the other way, it looks like books on shelves to me, and that's why I'm calling it Books I Have Read.  All the fabrics except the border were in my scrap bin, leftovers from other projects.  Once I decided it looked like books on shelves, I scrounged through six or seven quilt shops before I found what I wanted for the border fabric - printed words - in a quilt shop in Napa.  I had to have a very wide border in order to make it big enough to cover my double doors.

Next step:  Get a track system for hanging it so that it will insulate the room (Warm Window fabric serves as batting and backing) on very cold and very hot days.  When not in use, it can slide aside and serve as simple wall decoration.  Photo to come when that is done.

I am SOOOO glad I don't have to manhandle this stiff and heavy thing through my machine any more!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A wrestling match

This ambitious project of mine, the insulating quilt, "Books I Have Read," that I plan to hang on a track over the double doors in The Hideaway studio, was horrible to quilt. On the fun scale, quilting it ranked somewhere down near "root canal" and "leg cramps."

"Books I Have Read" is seven feet square (84x84), and backed with the Warm Window insulating layers, it is the heaviest and stiffest thing I have ever pushed through a sewing machine. I did only minimal quilting, long wavy horizontal lines varying from two to seven inches apart, but it still took me several days to quilt, because it was so exhausting.

I started out with the quilt rolled, but that meant I had to hoist the stiff roll up over my shoulder, while still fighting the tendency of the heavy folds to pull downward and refuse to move evenly through the sewing machine. I enlisted an extra chair to hold fabric on my side of the machine, in addition to the extra table behind the sewing machine. The roll was still difficult to manage, so when I could, I laid the fabric to the left of the machine flat, continued to fight gravity since my table was not big enough to hold it all, and was forced to stitch only a foot or so at a time before needing to stop and engage in battle with the quilt, forcing it to bend to my will. I was NOT going to let it win, and it didn't. I am the champion!

Now I need a liniment rub.

Next up (after binding): Research track systems at interior decorating and garage door supply houses. I want this thing to slide out, completely flat, to one side so that it will serve as a wall hanging during times of the year when I don't need insulation from heat or cold.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fiber portrait - a break from the routine

If no one missed me here, I missed myself, but I have a good excuse:  I was spoiled in Colorado during the holidays.  Family there all have high-speed internet and new computers. I came back home and connected at my top available speed of 28.8 kbps, and it was like trying to crawl in gooey goo after having soared through sunny blue sky.  Hey, if anyone should ask me to marry him, I think one important factor would need to be determined before I gave my answer:  Does he have high-speed internet?  Ha!

Yesterday, before meeting with the Guilty Quilty Girls Friendship Garden Stitch and Itch Club at my place in the evening, I had the urge to try something new instead of finishing any of my Works In Progress, so I threw together the fused piece below, from a picture of my daughter trying to look shocked.  I used scraps of fabric I had on hand for this test run.  Pay no attention to the background; that's just what was on my design wall at the time.  If it looks too paint-by-numberish, scoot back from your computer ten feet or so.

But if you, as I suspect, did not move back from your computer monitor far enough to get a blended view, here's another view, below. The face looks great from a distance, don't you think?  

Experiments are so much fun.

I am currently working on a quilt I have named "Books I Have Read."  It is going to be backed with Warm Window insulating fabric and hang in front of the cold-producing double doors in my Hideaway studio.  Now what would a quilt called "Books I Have Read" look like?  You will see.  I am not excited about the outcome, but it will be useful, and most of it came from my scrap box.  My plan is to give it pizazz by adding embellishments and applique to it as time goes by.