Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quilting: the new classics!

A couple of years ago, I received a fun email from Michele Muska.  She told me that about this idea she had for a book and would I be interested in participating.  Allie and I were just finishing up the book we wrote together (you can get one here) and it sounded like a fun way to keep myself busy again.  Not only would I be designing with Allie again for this book, but in total there were going to be 20 different designers included.  I read the list of designers and I knew instantly that this was going to be a great book and I felt very honored to be included.

Here is a description of the book:

All quilters draw inspiration from the past. But how do today's artisans put their personal stamp on classic patterns? Twenty influential quilters from across the stylistic spectrum present their unique creative vision of timeless designs. Each pattern, Double Wedding Ring, Crazy Quilt, Dresden Plate, Bear Paw, Log Cabin, Nine Patch, Hexagon, Yo-Yo, Flying Geese, and Rail Fence, comes with step-by-step instructions for two adaptations, one traditional, the other modern.
The book also includes a history of each pattern, images of heirloom or museum-quality quilts for inspiration, easy-to-use templates and essential quilting techniques.
Forwards by Meg cox and Janneken Smucker.

So Allie and I were each asked to do a crazy quilt piece, one would be modern and the other traditional.  For those of you that know us well, (or own our book) you already know which one did each version.  Of course, I did the traditional version....

Michele sent a picture of a crazy quilt that was made by her great aunt Sadie(pictured above).  We decided that it would be fun to reproduce one of the blocks each in our own style.

I have been a long time fan of a crazy quilt that is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  In fact, it is on my bucket list...I will see it some day!  I don't think I am allowed to repost a picture of it, but you can look at it on their website:

It was made by Tamar Horton Harris North in 1877, to honor her daughter Grace who had passed away, it was my inspiration for the piece I made for Michele's book.

I incorporated some of the colors used in the quilt and embroidered some similar motifs.  Strawberries represent perfection and pink roses were a symbol of motherhood.  Such sweet sentiments...

Tamar Came to Visit, Valerie Bothell, 2013

When I received my copy of the book, I was extremely impressed!  The photography is done to perfection, instructions are great and the quilts are beautiful!  Definitely one to add to your library!  
You can buy her book on Amazon here:

I am participating in a blog hop with all the designers that participated in Michele's book.  The following is a list of each of the designers, their blog addresses and the day they will be blogging about the quilt they made.  I would invite you to take a look!

Oct. 20th Michele Muska

Oct. 21st Leslie Jenison

Oct. 22nd Janneken Smucker

Oct. 23rd Valerie Bothell

Oct. 24th Kaari Meng

Oct. 25th Elisa Sims Albury :

Oct. 26th Heather Jones

Oct. 27th Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Oct. 28th Amy Smart

Oct. 29th Jackie Kunkel\

Oct. 30th Pat Sloan

Oct. 31st Shelly Pagliai

Nov. 1st Allie Aller

Nov. 2nd Kristin Omdahl

Nov. 3rd Pat Sloan 4:00pm eastern time

Talk to you later!

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Summer Bedspread

 A couple of years ago, I made a purple crazy quilt bedspread for my room.  I LOVE that bedspread, but it is too warm for summer because I attached it to a very warm blanket.  Great for winter but too much for summer.  That is when I decided to make a Summer Spread.  I remembered seeing some pre-quilted lightweight bedspreads at Bed Bath and Beyond and I decided it would be fun to dress one up with a crazy quilted Dresden plate.

A few months before this, I had spotted this great template called Fats Cats.  It helps you make large Dresden plate designs quickly.  After I made the Dresden plate, crazy quilted and all, I appliqued it to the pre-quilted bedspread.  Such an easy and quick project.  To tie it all together I folded my winter purple bedspread at the end of the bed.

I am really happy with the result!  For the blog posts that I wrote when I was making my purple bedspread, go to the upper left corner of my blog, and in the search bar, put in bedspread and all the posts I wrote while making it will come up.

Talk to you later,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hand Dyed Wool Blocks

I just listed some beautiful hand dyed wool crazy quilt blocks on my website today!  They would make a perfect fall project! 

Here's the link: Hand Dyed Wool Crazy Quilt Blocks

Talk to you later,

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Beautiful Bullions

For those of you that have taken classes from me, it is no secret, I LOVE bullion embroidery!  Every single crazy quilt project I do includes some type of bullion embroidery.  I thought I would write this post so that you would be encouraged to add a little bullion pizzazz to your quilts!  Pictured above is a bullion embroidered pansy that I did several years ago, and of course, I thought it was so much fun!

Here are some roses I did to embellish a seam.  The thread I used here was one of my favorites from Judith Baker Montano's thread collection.  She has a lot of great colors and I have them on my website here:

Here I used bullion's to make a little of course!

Bullion embroidered roses were used here to create a little scene, adding a bee and a bee hive.

Even long seams look great with bullion roses!

I even have been know to embellish a spider web with a little bullion rose.

In the two photo's above a bullion was used to attach a button.  I love using butterfly shaped mother of pearl buttons and attaching them with a bullion! 

Here is a close up shot of the crazy quilt I did for our book, Quilting...Just a Little Bit Crazy.  Little bullion embroidered rose buds can be used to dress up a fan blade.

You can also use two different colors when making your bullion's.  It gives them a great 3-D realistic look.

 I also love to tat, so I thought it would be fun to combine the two together.

This pic show how you can use bullion roses in different configurations.

Hopefully I have inspired you to try bullion embroidery on your quilts.  These are just a few of the countless ideas that you can use to incorporate into a project.  I would love to hear from you about the different ways you use bullion embroidery on your crazy quilts.

Talk to you later,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quilting...Just a Little Bit Crazy Video

Here is a link to a video I made about our new book...done by son's childhood best friend.  I remember when they used to play with my video camera in the summer!  Enjoy....

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Renaissance Ribbon Purse

 A few weeks ago, as I was scrolling through Face Book, I noticed a  post by Renaissance Ribbons that looked interesting.  They posted a picture of an adorable purse and asked if anyone would be interested in making this purse with some of their ribbon.  The funny thing is that for a couple of weeks, I had been looking at their website drooling over their ribbons.  The reason:  I wanted to make a ribbon purse!  What great timing!  I left a comment on that post that I would be very interested and they emailed me a few days much fun!  I decided to use the pattern they had posted, it is free and was really easy to do.  The blog is called the Stitching Scientist which further peaked my interest on this pattern because for many years I was a chemist, so I guess I am also somewhat of a stitching scientist!  The pattern is an Oval Messenger Bag and here is the link:


I looked at their website once more and had a hard time deciding what ribbons I wanted to put together!  I finally pinned my choices on Pinterest to see how they looked together.  You can go to the Pinterest board for my choices here:


I printed out the pattern and started right in!  Because I was not using a whole piece of fabric and I knew I would be piecing the ribbons together, I did what every good crazy quilter would do and decided to foundation piece the ribbons.  I made the foundation a neutral color so it wouldn't show through if I didn't get the ribbons close enough together.  I also decided to double the fabric because these are really nice durable ribbons!

 I placed the ribbons side by side and zig zagged them together on top of the foundation.  The first piece I did was the front pocket.  I used invisible thread on the top so that you couldn't really see the stitches.  Several years ago, I wrote a tutorial on sewing with invisible thread.  If you have never done it before, you should give it a try!  Here is a link to my tutorial if you have never used invisible thread:

 Piecing the front pocket went really well and I was pleased with the result.  Somehow I didn't get a picture of the piece that goes behind the pocket after it was done.  For that piece, I did the same thing.  I cut the piece out using a gray neutral and doubled the fabric.  I only pieced the section that was going to show up above where the top of the front pocket stopped.  I didn't want to waste any ribbon inside the pocket where you wouldn't see it!

 After I had finished piecing both parts that make up the front pocket, I put a piece of binding on the top edge of the pocket and basted the two pieces together.  Next, I cut out the side pieces that make up the remaining part of the front of the purse.  Because the front pocket is fairly heavy from all the layers, I decided to iron some fusible knit to the side pieces to give them more stability.  They were sewn them in place on either side of the front pocket.

 At this point I was really happy with the way it was turning out!

I still had some ribbon leftover, so I decided to add a pocket to the back of the purse.  I really love lots of pockets to put things in, it helps me to organize my stuff!  I used the same method and pieced the ribbons to a neutral base and put a piece of binding on top of the pocket.  To hide the raw edges of the pocket, I just ran a length of ribbon along the sides of the pocket and up to the top.  The fabric I used for the back of the purse was also stabilized with some fusible knit and the lengths of ribbon on either side of the pocket were zig zagged into place using invisible thread.  

 I decided to make a pocket for the lining of my purse...I know the fabric looks off grain but I promise it was cut straight!  Following the rest of the instructions for the pattern, I sewed the purse together.

For a final touch I even put a piece of ribbon at the top of the strap.....

This purse was so much fun and it gave me more ideas for projects involving ribbon!

Talk to you later,