Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mary and I keep on truckin'...................

  I know I'm bad about not showing "process", even though it's not an intentional thing. I just keep thinking that I'll do "one more stem, or one more leaf", and before I know where I am, it's too late! So. on purpose, I took these photos on three separate occasions.........yesterday morning, this morning, and lastly, the end of sewing today, so you can see how it's gone. Let me first say that needleturn applique is simply cutting out your shape (leaf, petal, etc.) leaving a turn under allowance,  placing it on the background, then stitching it down by using your needle to turn under the small seam allowance. I was asked by a commenter, and couldn't email her because I could not find her address. I hope this helps.

So, this is what the medallion looked like yesterday morning, with quite a number of stems stitched, and over half of the leaves.

This post picks up on the very next entry, so if you want to see what came next, please keep on scrolling. Sorry for the problem! Michele


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As I was saying.........................



You know what? Blogger seems to be doing peculiar things. I don't know if it's their idea of Trick or Treat, but I wish they wouldn't! Course, it's my fault that I only understand how to do things on Blogger one way. If something goes wrong, I'm just stymied. Anyway, in the previous post, which was "interrupted", I showed yesterday AM's medallion. Above is how it looked by the end of sewing yesterday afternoon.

Below shows today's additional stems, with the new leaves just pinned on for purpose of auditioning the fabric choices.



I'll tell you it took all the discipline I was capable of to hold off adding any flowers until the basics were chosen, and stitched. These leaf fabrics have a lot of colors in them, aside from the obvious green, and I was afraid that I might regret some flower color placements if I didn't do my groundwork first (no pun intended).

I've been so "into" this project, that I have been sewing from approximately 10:30 AM till 4 PM each day! This is a lot for me, and my wrists are pretty noodle-y, so I've been sleeping in my braces each night.

Just a little over a week until Festival! I wish more of you were coming, because I'd really like to meet you. Hope you are getting a lot of sewing done. Michele
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Second weeks progress on Mary Brown...........................



Just this minute put the last stitch in the center portion of the medallion. Next is the surrounding border of flowers and foliage. I sure struggled with my flowers, removing several completed ones before finding a combination I liked.



I am particularly happy with the leaves! The bird's eye is needle turned, and is 17/64 of an inch, if anyone is curious. The color/fabric plan is to make the top bright, and use clear colors, without making it loud, or garish, and I think I have achieved that. Quite a few of you did express your preference for strictly reproduction fabrics in the remaking of antique quilts, and I have done that in the past, enjoying it very much. Perhaps because I've lately been working with all the Kaffe Collective fabrics on the Roseville Album (see Glorious Applique blog) my eye has adjusted to the point that I wanted to continue using some brighter colors. I think I'm sorta doing the exact opposite of Kathie. She is doing Roseville Album (a comtemporary design by Kim McLean) in all reproduction fabrics, and with lovely results. So I have just reversed the process. I look forward to your comments. Hope your stitching has been a true pleasure this week.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Mary Brown begins...................



I thought you might be wondering how Mary Brown, and I, are getting along. It's a big quilt at 100" X 100", and it is all applique, so it will take me a good while to complete the top even if I don't work on other projects.  I have a feeling I will  aggravate some of the repro purists among you, because I am not confining myself to repro fabrics. I will use anything I have that gives me the look I'm going for, including Kaffe Fassett, Jenny Beyer's color palette, and batiks. While I admire historical accuracy as presented by quilters like Cindy Vermillion Hamilton, among many, my theory is that if Mary Brown were alive today, she would be using all the wonderful fabrics we have now to create her masterpiece..........why should I limit myself to what was available in the 1800's? This may bite me in the behind at some future date, but it's how I'm rolling on this project, this time.

The center medallion is worked on a 42" square of fabric, and is the largest center I've worked on. It's a bit unwealdy to manage, but I figure the floral border won't be so difficult to handle after completing the center tree/bird/flowers. I found the bird wings rather "challenging", but they are done, and I'm ready to begin the foliage.

I have some new followers, and I want to say welcome to you. Thanks for your interest! I hope you will give me your feedback, because I am interested in all your comments. I also want to remind you about the International Quilt Festival the first week in November, in Houston. I'll be there, and I'd love to meet you in person if you're going to attend.  Till next time, happy stitching.  Michele

Monday, October 4, 2010

Starting something new...............

What is more fun than starting a new quilt project? Nothing, would be my answer. The planning, and the fabric selection, and the endless possibilities are just so exciting. I have long wanted to do a version of the 185l Mary Brown quilt (shown below):

I purchased a pattern awhile back from Patricia Cox, but it entirely eliminates the outermost border, as well as altering the innermost border, and I may want to do it differently..............what else is new? HaHa. I assure you that I will go back to my clamshells, just later. I am soooo in the mood for something fresh.

I had a lovely surprise recently, when I received an email from Karey Bresenhan, Queen Mother of the International Quilt Festival. It informed me that two of my quilts from previous exhibits had been selected to appear in the upcoming Lone Star III book, which will be published sometime next year. Only 200 Texas quilters were selected for the book, and I would have been extremely happy just to have one accepted for inclusion, but they chose two. When things are going amiss in the old sweat shop (quilt room) it is awfully gratifying to have someone validate your work. Makes me hope that someday................down the road, maybe the clamshell fiasco, completely reworked, of course, might end up making me proud. We'll wait and see.........never does to count your chickens too soon.

Anyway, I want to say again, how much I would enjoy meeting any of you who may be planning on coming to Houston the first of November. It is always an awesome show, and offers an endless array of shopping for those of us who enjoy it.........................and who doesn't?  Wish me well on the new quilt venture, and have fun stitching yourselves.  Michele

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gone walkabout, AWOL, French leave.................

Whatever you call it, I have been secluded, licking my wounds. Finally, I talked myself in off the ledge, pulled up my big girl panties, and decided that life will go on. I am sorry for being silent for so long, and delighted that so many of you enjoyed my way of expressing my dismay at the spectacular failure of my clamshell efforts. I have NOT given up. I WILL lick the damn things. That said, though, I am working on my Kaffe project (Glorious Applique blog) and deciding what repro venture is next. 

A picture of said disaster is coming up, and some of you lovely people may be tempted to tell me it isn't "that bad"..........but it is, and here is why: 



If you look closely, starting at the center of each side of the square, you will note that my clams gradually move inward from the center to the corner. This is not right. Properly sewn, I should be able to lay a yardstick along the entire side of the square and have each clamshell just touch it in a straight line. It might not matter if I had been sewing them in straight rows of repeating lines. For the quilt I was planning, this just will not do. They must be straight.

So. Do I disassemble, and save the clamshells, as they are some of my favorite fussy cut ones, or scrap 'em? Do I salvage the feathered star? I think so, because I like it. How do I create a grid that will avoid my doing the exact same thing all over again? I plan to put in some time studying the blogs of those of you smart enough to have used a grid in the first place. If you have any words of wisdom for me, bring 'em on. If I had the sense not to wing it in the beginning, I might not have had to deal with the aftermath you see here.

On a completely different subject................I will be attending the International Quilt Festival in Houston, the first week in November. If any of you will be attending, I would really love to meet you in person. This is my first year of blogging, and it would be wonderful to be able to put faces together with blogs and emails. I'll be at the Crown Plaza, which is on the shuttle route. Please let me know if you'd like to meet to say "hello". 

Bye for now, but not for long, Michele