Saturday, October 31, 2020

Island Batik Ambassador Thread Painting Challenge with Aurifil Thread

 I'm excited to share this with you.  The Island Batik Ambassador challenge this month was Thread Painting with Aurifil Thread.  When I was on the vacation trip I won from Wheel of Fortune and Collette Tours in March, we went by bus to the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.  It was amazing, and I took over 3000 photos along the way.  At that time I knew we were going to have a thread painting challenge with Aurifil, so I was visually overwhelmed and wanted to make quilts out of so many photos.  But I haven't done that type of thing before, although I had read and watched how others have done it.  

One of the biggest challenges for this project was to choose only one photo.  I was asked to use Sunset Plumes by Kathy Engle, and provided Aurifil 50 weight thread to coordinate.  Additional fabrics were provided to coordinate with the collection.  

I chose this photo for the center, and then played with designs to frame it, using EQ8.  

We had stopped in a parking lot for a minute, to take photos of the Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon called Salt and Pepper.  Our guide, Brian, pointed out another spot, just beyond the pine trees, where the sky shows through a space and looks like a star.  Although I really wanted to use a photo from Lake Powell, this one kept calling to me.  A quilter has a thing for stars, I guess.  

I picked Bluebird for the sky, as it was the closest match.  I used Cream for the rocks, and copper Cheerios for the accents.  All other details were added with thread.  I used dark brown, forest, and 3 shades of tan from cream to copper.  I put a lightweight fusible Pellon interfacing on the blue fabric, and marked the size, 12 by 18".  I then drew details on the Cream fabric so I could get the outline shape I needed, and the location for the star.  I used Wonder Under under this and cut out the top edge and star, then fused the cream on the blue.  I added a layer of tear away stabilizer under it, and drew a few basic lines with a blue wash-out marker to make sure I had the details, and then cut pieces from the Copper to add a little depth. 

After that was ready, I prepped the bobbins for the machine.  I wanted to have a bobbin that matched the top thread, so it would look better.  Because of the  fusible interfacing and Wonder Under, I opted to use the Schmetz Non-Stick needle we were given in the January Ambassador box, size 12.  Then I looked in the booklet for the machine to determine the best way to do thread painting.  But there was no information that seemed like the best practice.  So, I called Pocono Sew and Vac, my favorite shop, and spoke to Heather.  I got this Janome Horizon 1450 in April, when my almost 20 year old Viking decided not to work.  Because of Covid-19, I was unable to take a class on this wonderful and amazing machine.  Most things I've been able to figure out, including free-motion quilting, but I needed more info for this.  Heather doesn't usually work in the store, but is their Janome educator, so I was thrilled I got to speak to her.  She went to the machine on their floor and talked me through setting up and choosing the best foot, and some other suggestions.  I started sewing with the darkest brown, to add the tree branches and some of the darker shadows, but was having issues.  I figured out a better way to do it, going side to side on the design.  I switched to green, added the pine needles, and then switched to the beige, copper and tans to fill in more details.  

I pieced 6" stars for the first border from the collection, and added a 3" outer border.  The piece measures 31 by 37".  Then I loaded it on Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara with a solid cream I had, plus some Warm & Natural batting, and used Fancy Feathers on Prosticher to do the borders.  I used Aurifil 3827, Marrakesh in 40wt for the borders, and switched to a 40wt in cream for the rocks, and 3770, Stonewashed Denim in 40-Three for the sky.  

Here are some more detail photos.  I've named this Bryce Stars.  

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. 

Thanks so much for visiting.  Please check out the other Ambassadors who've done incredible things with Island Batik fabrics and Aurifil Threads this month.  Click on the link for the list of Ambassadors, and you can find their blogs and search for the Thread Painting posts.  

Saturday, October 24, 2020

October's Finishes

 Hi. I've been busy!  I like to think of this blog as a way to keep a record of my projects and finishes.  I've had a few lately, so here's to catching up.  

Most recent is the Spellbound quilt by Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill Studio.  I won this kit when the Salem Quilt Show was a new line, and have been wanting to make it, but it's Halloween themed, and I prefer to work on projects when they're close to the right season.  I love the bottles of needle potion, and the colors of the ribbons around the witch hats.  Meg's designs are cute and full of whimsey.  She has other collections, so I think you should follow her.  I went to Hick's Nursery in Hicksville to have some fun with the displays.  
I quilted spider webs, and used a wide Cuddle minkee backing, and Warm & White batting, so it's a great weight.  I used Aurifil 40-3 for the quilting, in color 1243, Dusty Lavender, which is a little bolder than usual, but I did want to see the spider webs.  I wish I could have found a great witch hat panto, but Haunted Web from Urban Elementz was a good choice.  It measures 64 by 80".  

I'm also working on Journey 2 Nebula with Jaybird Quilts.  She's using her rulers to introduce the skills needed for the Nebula quilt for Tula Pink, a block of the month starting in January.  I'm not planning to use Tula's fabric, but may decide to make it with Island Batik.  My friend is doing it in Tula's fabric, so I wanted to make sure I could help her if she has issues.  The Journey includes 6 patterns for pillows and table toppers.  This last one is Rock Candy, and uses diamonds to make a topper.  I have it assembled, and used a variety of black Island Batik fabrics, and Black, Grey and Charcoal solids.  I hope to quilt a spider web on this, as well.  
I also finished the Red Elegance custom quilt, again.  When we were discussing the details, I had forgotten she wanted it longer on the sides to come to the bars on her sleigh bed.  She approved the square design, but wanted me to add to the sides after it was finished, so I just added another border fabric and put it back on the machine to quilt. I had been thinking of doing a pieced block, but couldn't work out the math for the blocks needed.  It's a big quilt, now measuring about 96 by 110".  I also made pillow shams to coordinate.  I chose the center Ohio star as the focal, and added borders of flying geese and piano keys, before the outer border that makes the flange edge.  I did geese because I had miscut the pieces for the geese blocks on the top, and the colors were reversed.  I thought they would add a good look for a border.  The Piano Keys were actually trimmed from leftovers on the quilt.  The tops, measuring about 26 by 30", were quilted, and I made an envelope back, and then stitched for the flange. 

This is on my bed.  I hope they're happy with it.  

I also got Seaside, top 1 of Journey to Nebula quilted and finished, and listed in my shop.  This is also a variety of Island Batik purples. 
This pillow is Lucky Charm, from Jaybird quilts, and was made to coordinate with my bed quilt.  I was happy to use more of Crystal Ball from Island Batik and have a pillow for my room. 
This one is Jawbreaker by Jaybird Quilts, also, and it's a top for a pillow, waiting for quilting.  I used Santa Fe from Island Batik for this.  I'm hoping to get that and Rock Candy on the long arm this week.  But I also have a custom to quilt for a friend, and need to get the Aurifil Thread Painting project done for the Island Batik Ambassador challenge.  I've started.  I'm hoping to have good progress tomorrow. 
The Minions quilt was picked up for the donation by the Evening Star Quilt Guild to a local hospital or center that serves kids who need a hug.  I'm happy to have a small part in charity quilting.  The guild had kits of precut pieces, and I added the border to make it a little large, and used a fun circle design on the quilting.  

Are you using #SewSomethingOctober?  It's helping me to spend at least 15 minutes a day stitching.  Tonight I worked on a counted cross stitch UFO, while watching the new Hallmark Christmas movie.  Try doing something each day.  It helps your brain!  I'll have a new hashtag for November.  Challenge yourself to post a photo daily, and see how much progress you make. 

Thanks for visiting.  I'll be back soon with the Ambassador challenge.  


Sunday, October 4, 2020

October One Monthly Goal

 The beginning of another month means a link up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal

My main goal is to make the Aurifil Thread and Island Batik Ambassador Thread Painting Challenge. 
I had taken so many photos during my trip to Arizona and Utah in March, right before the shut down. Or actually during.  We were told that the planned tour was cancelled, and they offered an optional one, a 3 hour boat ride on Lake Powell to hike to The Rainbow Bridge.  I was so impressed with the views that my head was swimming with ideas for quilts, and I think I can do something with one of the photos for this month's challenge.  I plan to use some of the Sunset Plumes collection, since the colors work.  I have some blue that would work for the sky, and I'm not sure if I'll just do fusible applique or confetti.  
Here's one of the possible photos.  

I have 4 possible printed, so I'll see which seems to work best for the ideas floating in my head.  That day was so visually stimulating that looking at the photos reminded me how I felt to experience seeing this stunning beauty.  I did get to see the Rainbow Bridge.  If I can find a good photo of that, I may use it.  I think my son has some on his phone, as he got closer than I did.  

I also need to finish the red and cream quilt, as it needed to be larger.  I'm also making shams for the customer.  And I'm working on Journey 2 Nebula with Jaybird Quilts.  I have the first 2 projects quilted, but they're on a wide back, and I have more to quilt on that.  This is Lucky Charm.  It will be a pillow to match my bed quilt. 

I also finished piecing the Spellbound quilt kit in Salem Quilt Show fabric by Meg Hawkey with Maywood Studios.  I would love to get that quilted this month, as it's actually a Halloween theme quilt. 

If you haven't heard, I'm now accepting quilt tops to be Long Arm quilted.  I have a few openings for quilts due before Christmas, so if you need something done please let me know.  

And this month's Hashtag is #SewSomethingOctober.  I challenge you to do something sewing related for 15 minutes or more each day, take a progress photo and post it on Instagram or Facebook with that hashtag.  I'll cheer you on!  I know it's helping others to make sure they do something for at least 15 minutes.  It's given one back her sewing mojo, and another realized it's her favorite time of the day, and she loves that she has friends sewing along with her.  Do anything!  Mending, clothes, quilting, piecing,   Just do it.  And I'll be checking and cheering.  What can you get done if 15 minutes?  I added one column of sashing and cornerstones, and a column of blocks to the above top.  I timed myself.  Yes, I had it all set to go, but in 15 minutes I did 2x from the top to the bottom.  Within 1 1/2 hours, I had the whole top assembled. 

And I felt so good afterwards.  Join me, using the hashtag, and share your progress.  

Thanks for checking in.