Sunday, February 28, 2010

Takeout for Two

is my piece for February's Interpret This! challenge.  I managed to complete it yesterday, thanks to Dayquil and hot tea.  I am still feeling lousy, so I'm spending the day at home not doing much of anything.

I had fun with this, and overall I'm pleased with the result.  I do think I will move the chopstiks so they are resting on the plates, not perched on the very edge.  I was definitely in rush mode by the time I sewed those on.

I'm especially pleased with how the quilting designs contribute to the overall design of the piece.  The background and border designs have a definite Oriental feel.  The border is hard to see, but it's overlapping fans that alternate directions.  That took me the better part of a day to complete!  The quilting in the plates is more Western- by the time I got to them, I just wanted something simple and unobtrusive.  Maybe with more time I'd have come up with a more Asian design.

Critiques and comments on this quilt welcomed, I love to know what you think.  And do go over to the 'Interpret This!'  blog to see how the others interpreted the photo.  There is some wonderful work!!

I'm supposed to have 'Blue' quilted by tomorrow for the 12 by 12 Project- don't know if I will make that deadline.  And Monday, our new photo will be posted for 'Interpret This!'  I sure hope this cold comes and goes quickly, so I can get back to work.  In the meantime, the Olympics is a nice way to spend a lazy, I don't feel good afternoon.  Hockey!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Back Home

After a week on the road, I am glad to be home.  I drove the stretch of  I-15 between Cedar City and Beaver everyday this week except Wednesday, and I've seen enough of it.

However, there is one really good reason for any quilter to go to St. George.  This place!!


Nice building, it blends into the rocky cliffs and bluffs around St. George.  But inside is a veritable candy store of thread and other goodies!  This is the international headquarters for Superior Thread, and they let you come in and shop in their warehouse!!  So of course I had to hit that before I headed back north.  I came home with--

I got metallic thread, So Fine (to try it for piecing), Brytes, and Highlights.  I also got a new rotary cutter, a bobbin holder, titanium needles, Transdoodle-- it was hard to choose!
I should be downstairs putting the finishing touches on my Interpret This! piece.  I actually did a bit of work on it in St. George, but it has a tiny bit of quilting left to do.  I am not a night person, and I'm tired after driving 250 miles home.  And, I'm beginning to think I am coming down with something.  So, I am going to go to bed with my Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine, take some Nyquil, and pray I can function well enough tomorrow morning to get it done. Nothing like cutting it close!

In the meantime, head over to the Interpret This! blog and enjoy the quilts that have been posted so far.  They are all wonderful!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Snow Dyeing 

I got four containers with half yard pieces of fabric done this weekend- it batched while I spent the better part of yesterday quilting the borders on my 'Interpret This!' February piece.  My setup was improvised and hurriedly done- the fabric on top of two small containers which were then set in a larger container. Everything I've read said that the results are better if you don't let the fabric sit in the dye.  The snow we got was the dry Utah powder, not a lot of moisture in it.  After dumping the dyes on top of the snow, I set the container out in the garage to spend the night.  Cold, but warm enough that the snow would melt overnight.


From front to back, I used grape and cerulean blue, golden yellow and charcoal gray, fire red and lemon yellow, and cerulean blue with lemon yellow.  I wanted to make sure and use a couple of mixed dyes to see what would happen with them.
I brought the fabric in Saturday morning, and let it sit under my heat lamps until late afternoon.  Then I washed them out.  Here's what I got--

Not as dramatic as some of the results I've seen on other blogs, but I will definitely use them.  This fabric is not mercerized and the dyes have all been sitting in my little frig since last fall- so I wasn't surprised by the paler colors.  I do like the veining I got in a couple of them, and the red/yellow one has some nice dramatic areas that could either be used for sunset skies, or flower petals.  All in all, an experiement well worth the time.
It's snowing again today, and I'm packing to leave for southern Utah for the week.  Don't know if there will be any snow left when I return on Friday.  There's a winter storm warning out for all of southwestern Utah, so the driving will be slower than normal.

I'm taking my challenge piece with me, too- there's handwork I can do.  When I get back, the only thing left is a bit of quilting in the very center.  But it will give me something to do in the hotel room besides watch TV.
Hope your week is a creative one!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Snow at Last!!!

It's not much, and it probably won't hang around long- but it's enough for me to try dyeing some half yard pieces tonight.  I've got them soaking in soda ash and my dyes are out of the frig warming up.  (Although I have to wonder why, since I'm going to dump them on top of snow anyway!)

I was up in Salt Lake today for my WAQ group.  It was good to see everyone, since we haven't met since November.  Kathleen had a gorgeous piece made with fabric and felted wool.  We also got to look at some books from Sidney's voluminous library- always nice to see if you want to buy one yourself!  Robyn and Suzanne are preparing to go to Asilomar next week.  All in all, a good meeting.

I will be quilting the rest of my 'Interpret This' piece tomorrow, while the fabric batches.  I need to get it washed out no later than Sunday morning.  Sunday afternoon I leave for Cedar City, and I'll be down south all week for work.  There is a payoff- I'm in St. George til Friday, and I plan on hitting Superior Threads!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Progress (that I can't share!!)

I got February's challenge piece sandwiched, thread and design chosen, and got to work yesterday.  Right now I am taking a break, waiting for some banana bread to finish baking.  But I am more than halfway done with the largest part of the quilt!  It took some work to get the tension right on the metallic thread, but it is working well and looking great.  Next I just have to decide how to quilt the borders, and I'm good.  So I should have this ready to do the blog post ahead of time, easy.

It has been dreary and drizzly today.  Less than two weeks, then March.  If I can survive that, we should start seeing little bits of green sometime in April.  Although if I have to deal with winter, at least I have the Olympics to watch while I sew.  I love watching the figure skating!

I hope your long weekend was a good one.  Just three days of work to survive, then more marathon quilting next weekend.  I leave for Cedar City Sunday afternoon, so gotta have it all ready to go by then.  Later!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finally- a Day in the Studio!

I have been hard at work all day, piecing my quilt for February's 'Interpret This' challenge.  I made my final decisions on fabrics yesterday, and drafted freezer paper templates this morning.  The sewing went together quickly, and the last really fiddly bits are finally done.  All that's left is to square it up, decide if I'm going to border it, and quilt it.  I think I've already got a quilting design, at least for a large part of the quilt.  And I can't show you any of this!

We had a little snow this morning, and I was hoping it would keep up so I could try some snow dyeing with dyes I've had in the frig for a few months.  It quit before lunch, however, and by afternoon it was sunny and the snow gone. I see the midwest and east coast buried, and we haven't had any big storms since Christmas.  Our front yard faces south, and the snow's been gone from there for a couple of weeks.

I've also got 'Blue' done and ready to be quilted.  A good thing, since I only have this weekend and next to finish both.  I'll be in southern Utah on a business trip the entire week of the 22nd, and my reveal date for the 'Interpret This' challenge is the 25th.  So I'll have to create the post before I leave, and figure a way to get it posted on the reveal date.

Beyond that, not much here.  I plan to thoroughly enjoy the long weekend- hope yours is a good one also.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I'm Stitching- 

but no pictures to show, since both of them are for challenges and won't be revealed until the end of the month.

I have a working design for the February Interpret This! piece, and I don't think that will change in any substantial way.  But I am struggling with one part of it.  I thought I had a solution that would work- then I started wondering, am I taking the easy way out?  Am I avoiding trying something because I'm afraid of how it might turn out?  With that little voice niggling in the back of my head, I did some drawings, and got them to scale.  We shall see.

I got more work done on the Blue challenge yesterday and today.  Part of it was using printer transfers with CitraSolv- I had problems with smearing, something that I don't remember from the first time I did this.  So far, I'm happy with how this is developing.  It may be ready for quilting by the end of the weekend.

Shannon is making dinner while I type this.  She used her birthday present, a pasta machine, for the first time today.  So we are having chicken, asparagus, and a GOOD alfredo sauce over homemade fetuccine.  Yum!  I'll leave you with a photo of dinner before I dug in!!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Next Challenge

We got our photo for February- and I'm the first to post in the reveals.  Check this out- how perfect is it for a confirmed foodie???

I've got my sketchbook in my briefcase, hopefully I can snatch odd moments at work to do some preliminary drawings of possibilities.  Thank goodness I get a long weekend this month!!