Archive for May, 2008

More Mermaids

May 28, 2008

The mermaids fishtails looked to shiny to me so I experimented by  painting on scraps of fishtail fabric ( its a metallic knit stablized on freezer paper for these trials — on steam-a-seam 2 for the quilt)  here’s a before of this shiny stuff;

For these trials I assembled Shiva Paint Sticks, Jelly Roll pens, Fabric Mate Markers and Sharpie fine points.

I tried  a purple and green Fabric mate  and  purple, green and blue jelly roll inks.  This next picture shows the Sharpie Fine Point colors of green, purple dark blue and turqoise.

And lastly the Shiva paintsticks:  The top color is from directly applying the stick to the fabric, the next was applied with a sponge brush the third was from blending directly onto the fabric and the  bottom is from blending purple,green and blue on a scrap of parchment paper and then blending it with the sponge brush and applying it with the brush.

I think that last blend is great colorwise. 

Conclusion:  I wanted coverage that still allowed some shine through and also highlighted the scaley look of this fabric. 

Fabricmate:  some shine,  good texture, colors are too neon for this application

Jelly Roll Pens: dull colorations, not much texture shows through, a bit of shine

Sharpie Fine Point: Deep colors but almost no shine or texture

Shiva Paint Sticks: Direct application yielded almost the same results as Sharpie, but when the sticks were blended on the parchment and then sponge brushed onto the fabric — great result: good color, texture and shine.  We have a winner!

So now I tried it on a mockup of a mermaid tail:


Looks pretty good, but I want it to vary from light at the belly region to darker at the fins, so I added som green FabricMate to the fin section and a bit more blended blue/green shiva stick to the mid section. Can you tell a difference? I don’t think the photo does it justice.



More Funky Women

May 26, 2008

Carol Ann generously sent me more pics of Funky Women.  She’s been busy designing more of these fun gals.  They are so sassy.  I plan on doing an OZ themed batch of them when I get finished with some of my WIPs.

Blue Girl African Girl

Miss Purplewitchie woman

wow, Carol Ann you’re going to have fun embellishing these!

Gig Harbor Quilt Festival Quilt (WIP)

May 25, 2008

I’m working on a wallhanging quilt to donate for auction at the Gig Harbor Quilt Festival later this summer.  The theme is “Fishing For a Cure” and the money raised goes to fighting breast cancer.  One of my favorite aunts died from breast cancer, this was back in the mid 60s and I still vividly remember Lily showing my mother and me her scars and Lily saying the radiation made her sicker than the cancer.  As they say (who the all knowing “they” are — go figure) she fought the good fight.  In any case, the money raised goes to a good cause and I want to make something that will fetch a good amount of change and that my Mom and Lily would like.  They were incredibly talented women — Lily was a woodworker who specialized in miniatures and western themed items like covered wagons.  My mother did oils and mozaics.  As soon as I heard the theme  for the auction an  image of a mermaid flashed through my mind.   Seated on a rock amidst waves she summoned  the other sea creatures bearing curative items.  My designs gone through many permutations of that theme to this one that I’ve finally settled upon:  2 mermaids swimming from the ocean depths toward the surface.  They are hauling a net full of curative items.  I think I’ll weave the net from their hair.   Here are some preliminary pics.  I just can’t say enough nice things about Steam -a – seam 2 Lite.  I’ve got it fused to the back of the mermaids and  it is pressure sensitive which means I can just gently place them anywhere on the quilt and they stick (like colorforms from childhood).  They don’t become permanent until ironed in place. (FYI — Steam a Seam 2 Lite is only semi permanent, it needs to be sewn).  I’ve already quilted the ocean water with 3 different metallic threads.  I think I’m in love with Superior threads “glitter” thread, it went through my Ellageo like butter. 

This is my drawing of a mermaid — it comes from a Dover publication (copyright free images — great source)

Here are some of my mermaidish fabrics

And here is a fused mermaid And here are the 2 of them swimming in the ocean. 

They are like colorforms, so I’m going to fiddle around with their positioning, but this gives you an idea of what I’m doing so far.

Round Robin Projects

May 25, 2008

There are 13 people participating in the current RoundRobin I’m involved with. They are all talented quilters and I’m learning lots from them.  So far I’ve worked on Carol Ann’s  “Funky women”.  This is her example for us:

Doesn’t she remind you of Freddy Moran type quilts, so colorful and folksy and NOT a piecing challenge but a great opportunity to add embellishments. 

Here’s my “Funky Woman”

I made her high heels but she’s too plain at this point so I added some fancy threads and stitches:

Still not enough?  I decided to give her a flower:

I hope Carol Ann likes her.


Joie sent us lots of folk art type applique patterns to pick from.  Isn’t Yvonne’s contribution cute?

I love the grass and the specialty beads.

Here is Carol Ann’s cow block for Joie. Note that tongue:

I chose the butterfly/moth:

That was the plain version and here it is after I embellished it with yarn and thread

I also worked on Shirley’s Easter themed shirt but I don’t have a picture of that.  Sorry Shirley but you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s great.

Yvonne sent out a piecing block called Broken Wheel ( Is that a squeaky wheel that didn’t get oiled?) and I’m happy to say that thanks to paper piecing I made the block without mishap.   My contribution is the purple wheel in the upper left corner.  Her focus fabric is on the right. This will be a colorful quilt.

Round Robin Progress

May 25, 2008

Round Robins? What do you think about them? I have friends who always regret getting involved in them and then there are people like me who have a love/hate relationship with them.  I love working on everyone’s projects, but I hate it if I miss a deadline due to unforeseen circumstances.  That said:  Round Robins (RR) are a great way to stimulate your creativity by seeing up close what other people are doing.  They often push me beyond my comfort zone.  I love to embellish, but oh how I dread piecing.  I’ll never forget our last RR — some very lovely person sent around a project that consisted of making a “Card Trick” block.  This block  contains quarter square triangles  —- which means BIAS edges will be exposed!  What’s wrong with bias you ask?  Aside from the obvious sociological implications, biased fabric is a PIA to work with.  It never behaves itself, it certainly does not play well with others as it has a tendency to twist and turn even the straightest seams.   I thought I could control this by heavy starching, but in the end I wound up paper piecing the block and it was mostly square.  I have a newfound appreciation for paper piecing, you sew on a line and if you want pointy points, thats what you’ll get. 

The other block I had difficulty with was a perfectly innocent looking block, a watermelon slice set into a background.  Easy enough?  Not for the piecing challenged such as myself.  I tried 3 different times and ways, starching the bejimmies out of the fabric only made it like cardboard and did not result in a square block, I cut it with a rotary cutter, NOPE didn’t help, I cut it with a template, No diff.  I finally sent it on, defeated by a watermelon, oh the humiliation.  I did send the project owner extra fabric so she could make her own (by that time bleeping!) watermelon.  She kindly told me my problem was an inaccurate 1/4 in seam.  What! I’d set my Ellageo to the piecing setting but apparently that wasn’t good enough.  Now I have a 1/4 in foot with a FLANGE, that is a little bar that runs along the edge of the fabric and keeps it in line (no more wiggly seams for me!) 

I hope  you’re still with me after that long-winded way of getting to my point which is: I’ve gone from being piecing challenged to  being able to master curves like the Drunkard’s Path

I used the “cut-a-round” tool developed by Cheryl Phillips and found it very easy to accurately cut the shapes, so accurate that I only had to use 1 pin to hold the middle and I made this wallhanging in about 3 hours!  so I think I’m ready to tackle any curves sent my way in this latest RR.