Friday, October 20, 2017

Art Quilt - 4 Horses Part 4

The fall horse was more difficult to paint than the other two but I think I did okay. I put fall colored leaves, flowers and grapes on vines around the legs and I might add more on the skin of the horse.





I also started the summer horse. I went with a black horse with blueish highlights and I'll probably add sunflowers and butterflies on it and maybe some cracked parched earth under it's hooves.


I took about 2 weeks off from painting to take a break from it but hopefully, I'll start the background area soon then onto the quilting.

















Sunday, October 8, 2017

30 Week French Cooking Class

I can't believe I actually signed up for a 30 week cooking class! What was I thinking?! Okay enough whining. I signed up for the 30 week French cooking series offered by The Seasoned Farmhouse in Columbus and our first class was October 3 and should go through mid-May with a couple weeks off for holidays. I've never been the Seasoned Farmhouse but I knew about their cooking classes but believe me when they're announced they fill almost immediately so it's really hard to get in. When I saw this 30 week French cooking series I gave it a brief thought and discarded it. Signing up for a 30 week class isn't something to do on a whim and the cost was considerable for the class so I decided to watch it and if the class looked like it would fill then I'd sign up.

One class was offered on Monday nights and one on Tuesday during the day. So I watched and waited. When I saw the Monday night class fill within a few weeks I didn't think the Tuesday class would but it slowly filled. Before there was no spots left I decided that I would take the class. I do a lot with my dog but nothing just for me so I signed up. I wanted to get out of the house, meet new people with similar interests (at least cooking) and learn some cooking techniques and recipes.

At our first class, we all got chef jackets with our name the SF logo and a chef and pairing knives. We were put to work cutting onions and carrots, while Chef Tricia explained the outline of the class and a little about herself. We also made carrot soup, honey mustard chicken thighs, salad with pear vinaigrette and pumpkin cake. Not bad for our first class. Hopefully, I'll remember to take some pics in future classes. I'm still a bit intimated about signing up for a 30 week class but I think we're off to a good start and I'm looking forward to my weekly class.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Art Quilt - 4 Horses Part 3

Painting the horses continue. There's a lot of detail work on the Spring and Fall horses with a lot of vines, leaves, flowers etc. so that's more detailed and very slow going but I'm making progress.



When I'm tired of working on the small intricate areas, I started working on painting the fall horse so I can go back to painting a large area. I don't have the hooves or mane painted yet and no highlights but at least it looks like a horse.






Monday, September 11, 2017

Art Quilt - 4 Horses Part 2

I spent several days drawing leaves, vines, flowers, ice crystals and whatever else I could dream up on the horses using Frixion pens. They erase with heat so when I make a mistake or want to change something I just iron it away and start over.

I waffled a while on whether or not I would quilt the horses first then paint or paint first then quilt. So it took me a while to get started but I went with paint first.


I started with the Winter horse first, mainly since its the first horse from the right and rest of the quilt is rolled up onto a cardboard tubing. I decided to paint it gray with some kind of icicles coming up from the hoof landing on the ground. But for now, just trying to get the horses done and you know, looking like horses.



The second horse in the Spring horse and I decided to make it a palomino color which is a golden color with white mane/tail. Since white on white fabric never really shows up, I went ahead and added some gray to help it stand out. This horse also has green flowering vines crawling up it's legs.



These two horses are not finished by any means. I still need to darken and highlight some areas and of course no flowers or vines painted in yet. This is more like a good rough draft.










Saturday, August 19, 2017

Kaleidoscope Quilt

I came across a video from Red Heart Designs on YouTube demonstrating square triangles. It's basically a kaleidoscope quilt, which I have never done before. It was nice to be able to listen to the video multiple times especially for figuring out how much fabric you need and how to do the measurements. Basically, you get 8 repeats of a fabric pattern and cut it into strips then into squares then cut those in half to get triangles. Each group of triangles is 1 block that you sew together. Remember to keep everything pinned together and you're good to go.

The most important thing about selecting a fabric for this type of quilt is contrast not colors. So fabric that is black and white is usually a good pick. You just have to make sure that there's an interesting pattern not just plain stripes or something.

This is the fabric I selected. It's Kaufman Lumina Metallics Floral Bouquet Peacock, which is a mouthful. There's very dark blue to light cream colors with pinks, purples and greens. There's leaves, flowers, petals, heart shapes and vines in the pattern. The fabric pattern also doesn't have a lot empty space. This maybe bad/good depending on what you want. I also selected another fabric from that series Starry Blender to use as sashing. You don't have to use sashing but I think it frames the blocks nicely.

My fabric repeat was 23 1/2" so I got about 8.5 yards of fabric. I wanted a little extra fabric for borders and got cutting. The cutting of the fabric is really important. You want the repeat of the pattern to be stacked on top of each other exactly. To find the repeat of the pattern simply look at the selvage lettering and pick the first letter. Slid your finger down the selvage until you find the exact some letter again and that's the repeat. You can also do this by locating a particular item, say a heart, in the fabric pattern and slid your finger along the fabric in the exact same location until you find the heart again.


This is after I cut my fabric into strips, squares and then triangles. You can see along the center cut there are several layers of fabric and they are all the same.

Each triangle is one block, so at my sewing machine, I laid the triangles out with the same point into the center. Then I would flip one triangle to the right laying it on top of the neighboring triangle.



Just line up the two pieces as accurately as possible then sew from the tip down. Starting at the tip can be hard since that little tip of fabric might get jammed down into the feed dog so be careful.

After sewing two pieces together, open up the seam and iron. Notice you will have some dog ears. It's the only time you get them but you need to trim them away. Continue sewing until you have 4 sewn pairs instead of 8 triangles. Remember to iron each seam open. This helps keep everything flat.

Continue sewing two pairs together to get a half. Line up the seams.



Now, sew the two halves together to make 1 block. Line up the center seams and pin and pin again at the two ends. You can add more but I didn't feel the need. Here's a good tip from the video. Start at the CENTER and sew out and then flip it over and sew the other side starting from the center.


After you get them all sewn together they need trimmed down into a square. I trimmed mine down to a 9.5" square and I got 30 squares. Here's some of the trimmed blocks.





I laid all 30 squares out and put them where I wanted them. I put a pin in the right side of each square where I needed sashing and sewed the rows together. Next, I cut sashing for the long horizontal sections of the rows and sewed that on. I cut my fabric into 1.5" for 1" finished sashing.

I also wanted to use the main fabric for the border. That way you can see the fabric as a whole. I chose 5" borders so I cut the strips 5.5" wide. I also decided to add a flange in aqua between the sashing and border. Think of the flange as a mini border. I cut some aqua batik in 1" strips, fold it half and ironed. I placed the raw edges along the sashing edge and sandwiched it in between the border and sashing. Place the flange on the top/bottom of your quilt and baste/pin it in place then do the sides. Then you can attach your border. I just pinned my flange on and I really should've basted just to make sure it doesn't slip around.


This quilt was really fun to make. One fabric produced 30 different blocks and not knowing what the quilt was going to look like when I started was new to me and I'm glad it turned out so well. I don't have the binding and quilting done yet but here are some pictures of the finished top.













Friday, July 28, 2017

Four Patch Charm Quilt

You know how your looking around on the internet and you might be on Pinterest, a magazine website or a blog post and you see a particular quilt pattern that you really love and you bookmark that webpage and tell yourself, "one day I will do that quilt, it's awesome!" and within a week or so you forget all about it?

Yeah, we've all done it, don't lie. Anyway, I was going back through my bookmarked webpages basically cleaning out what I don't want anymore and I found this Four Patch Charm Quilt from Tamarack Shack. I bookmarked this quilt years ago and I since I re-discovered it, I decided to get my backside in gear and get it done. It's a simple quilt yet very interesting, which I think is it's appeal. Tamarack Shack was also kind enough to put up a PDF file with instructions on how to make the quilt.

This quilt uses 96, 5" squares. So look for some charm packs or get your scrap fabric out and get sewing! I couldn't find any charm packs that I liked so I bought some fat quarters to cut up. Yes, this will make more cutting for me but cutting 96 squares isn't that bad. I decided to go with Gemstone Stonehenge gradation fabrics because of their rich color. I also bought 7.5 yards of bali batiks handpaints sunflower oyster fabric for the top, binding and backing from Fabric.com. If you've never shopped on Fabric.com, I urge you to check it out. I love saving the fabrics to the design wall and when I have enough for whatever project I'm making, they're all saved in one place. I just hope they're all still available when I do want to buy them.



This quilt is a bunch of half square triangles which I didn't realize just looking at the photo of the quilt but the instructions on the PDF are very clear on how to go about making this quilt so I won't reiterate what's on the PDF.

I washed all the fabric, iron everything and got cutting my fat quarters into 5" squares. Next, I cut up my background fabric according to the instructions and once I had all my pieces together I started sewing.

I didn't have any trouble sewing the blocks together or cutting them on the diagonal but I did find I had a lot more trouble with the squares being stretchy after cutting everything on the bias. I had more trouble than what I'd of liked to have had anyway so if your a beginner sewer try to have a more experienced sewer around to help out. Another area I had some issues with was the bulk at some meeting points. Some were super thick to try to sew through so I trimmed out the bulk a few times but some were still really thick to have to deal with.



I laid out my squares according to the diagram and got sewing. I was very pleased with how everything was coming together but I will say making sure your seams lined up correctly was a bit difficult. I consider my sewing skills to be intermediate and I had some trouble and some of them look pretty "off" in some places but I can't help it. I'll rack that up to learning experience and I'm sure I'll do better the second time around. I also noticed after I got borders sewn on that I have 2 blocks out of position. Needless to say it's a glaring mistake in the quilt top and I'm going to have to fix it. It's really frustrating because I checked each row after sewing them together if everything looked okay but even checking it, I still messed up.

Anyway, I completed this quilt top working on it for a few hours each day and got it done in about 6 days. I'm sure if you really wanted to get it done quickly you can do it in a long weekend. I'm hoping to get it quilted soon and I'll post a photo of the quilt completely done in the coming months. My quilt top measured 63x69" when finished to give you an idea of size.

All an all a really nice quilt and the instructions were clear.














Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Art Quilt - 4 Horses Part 1

Yes! I've started my 4 horses art quilt. I've made some additional decisions since my last post so here they are.

I bought 4.5 yards of PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric. This fabric hasn't been treated with any stabilizers and I've not washed it. The fabric is supposed to hold onto paints/dyes really well. I didn't wash it but I did throw it into the dryer on the refresh cycle so a little steam was added but that was it.

I created my own image of four horses and projected it onto the fabric and made an outline of the horses. I decided to make the horses realistic in coloring and decorate each one with seasonal themes. So for example, I decided the Spring horse will be a palomino color with white mane/tail and then I'll decorate the horse with flowers, leaves, ribbons and whatever else I can come up with. I might applique them on or just quilt them. I'm not sure about that yet.

I'll probably take some scrap fabric and do some experimenting and see which one my art brain likes the best. There's no right or wrong way to do anything, it's just a matter of which way you prefer to do it. If you're really good at applique that way might be your preferred method if you're better at quilting and painting images then go with that. So I'll have to decided what to do. Might be a combo of both in the end. I'm also kicking around the idea of painting some kind of theme related scenes on the horses. For example, I've been thinking about Summer. How you draw summer? What reminds you that time of year? I think hot, dry weather. So I'm thinking about drawing a hot sun and desert scene on the rump or belly of the horse. I want the viewer to see "hot" when they look at the horse and trying to convey that is going to be a bit tricky. But you get the idea. Not sure if I'll do it or not but I want that to be subtle too so no applique. It would have to be painted image on the horse. But it's just an idea so I have to kick it around a bit.

If I do paint, I've decided on using Jacquard Textile paints. They're opaque, blend well and you can get the paint in bigger quantities than what I used the last time. So I better get to it!

Here's a few pictures of my horse sketches.