Metamorphosis of a Leaf

October 30th, 2008

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted…this is Halloween season so my time has been usurped by scary types of creative endeavors, but I’ve had some time to make a bit of headway on my leaf quilt. This first photo shows a leaf block in its most rudimentary stage…actually, this is a fusible-web backed leaf just lying on the block:

…kind of boring at this stage! Next, I cut out a stylized vein line from the center, then fused it to the background fabric. (I thought I had taken a picture of this stage, but I can’t find it). There is great contrast between the gold and the purple, but I wanted to highlight the edge of the leaf just a bit, so I threw a temporary stabilizer behind the block and did an orange satin stitch around the edge:

This partially edged leaf gives a better idea of how this step adds some zing to the block:

Next, the temporary stabilizer is torn away and I free motion-embroidered the inside of the leaf with a trilobal polyester thread:

This closeup gives a better sense of the finished leaf:

Here’s a closeup of a fern on another block for the same quilt top:

…and here is a weed from another block:

…and here is a picture of the blocks pieced together:

I’m going to free motion embroider some vines onto it before I put it into a quilt sandwich, but I’ll post pictures of it once it’s quilted. In the meantime…Happy Halloween!!

Fast and Free! Volume 3 is here!!!!

October 14th, 2008

We have been working on this edition of Fast and Free for several months and I am happy to say it is now available! This edition is SO comprehensive that we couldn’t fit all this information into 1 DVD, so volume 3 is a 2-disc set with a total play time of 4 hours and 4 minutes! Filled with many new families of beautiful designs, this edition also has a detailed chapter on how to manage a large quilt on a home domestic sewing machine, a chapter on how to decide which quilting designs to use in different places on your quilt, and a chapter on hyperquilting background fill designs! But, the best part is this $59.95 value 2-disc set is priced at only $49.95! We are living in tough economic times and wanted to give all our quilting friends a break! Here’s a snapshot of some of the designs covered in this dvd: (Truthfully, there are so many designs that I’ve left out some pictures here):
-The Rotating Axis Family, where a design is created by rotating a design element around a central axis point:

And the Revolving Axis Family, where a design element revolves around another design element:

And the chapter on Improvisational Quilting, where you learn how to morph a design into a size block on your quilt top:

And here are a couple from the Loosey-Goosey Revolving Axis Family:

And in the next chapter, I show you how to do McTavishing…My Way!

And then we look at the Circling the Element Family:

And then we learn the fun of hyperquilting background fill deisgns:

And after that, we move to a chapter where I share all my secrets for free motion quilting a huge quilt on a home domestic sewing machine! We start at the center of this quilt and work our way out to the edges:

And then we move to a chapter where we review how I make design decisions about which quilting designs to use in different parts of quilts. I’ve gotten so many emails from folks who really struggle with these decisions, so I’m hoping my guidelines will help take the mystery out of this process!

And after that…I can’t tell you, because it’s a secret! I guess you’ll just have to watch the DVD to find out!

Check out our preview video clip to get another view of what’s covered on this DVD and don’t forget to download all the free line drawings (43 of them to be exact!)so you’ll have a road map as you learn these new designs! This DVD may be our most fun edition yet, so don’t miss out on the fun!


October 8th, 2008

Sometimes, I can take something so simple and turn it into something very complicated! Periodically, I feel this need to piece something in fabric…not anything complicated or big deal, but just something I can mindlessly cut and piece. Anyway, I had this itch to piece a quilt about 5 weeks ago, and I was able to buy some pretty fabric for a really great price:

So, I buy this fabric right before I’m about to travel to NC and I’m figuring I’ll have some time available to whip up a nice quilt. Of course, I FORGET to pack said fabric for the trip, so I get down here and I’m trying to pick out other fabrics from my NC stash to go with it, but I don’t REALLY remember the colors very well, so I end up piecing MANY blocks like this:

I take them all back to OH to use with some blocks from my original fabric, but do they go together? I don’t think so…

Rats! So, even though this all started because I got such a great deal on that first fabric yardage, now I needed to go out and buy some new fabric to go with the original fabric! (This just kills me because I have an incredible stash and nothing seemed to go well with this!) Anyway, I get some new fabric and when we came back down to NC last week, I started making new blocks, but I just kept telling myself I had to find a way to work those different fabrics together:

That center section seemed to be just screaming at me, so I just used the newer fabric blocks:

(Ignore the bottom center blocks-I must have forgotten to remove them before I took the picture). This looked better but was kind of boring-like it went together TOO well. Next up, I swapped out the 4 corner blocks for a different blue, and that’s what I ended up going with:

Now all I need to do is come up with something for the border…

On a more upbeat note, today I was auditioning background fabric for a block on a new leaf quilt (for underneath the green fern on the right) and my heart skipped a beat when I unearthed this luscious variegated violet/magenta fabric:

And while I was there, I snapped this long range shot of part of my sewing room. It is cleaner right now than it has been in a couple of years (how long will it last like this?!)