Friday, August 8, 2008
The last few days I've had the push on to complete this quilt top, which I call "Janet's Indigo Baskets".
It's made up of repro fabrics dating from the 1850's through to the 1870's and was a great deal of fun to do. I will be posting a project soon based on this design on my learn to quilt website:http://www.simplequiltmaking.com/. I plan as well to write a couple of articles to post there on the theme of half square triangles made into baskets; and in fabric/colour choices to make a quilt like this sing.
In addition, I have quite a few leftover orphan blocks so may do another variation of this type of quilt and use a couple of other colour prints such as an ochre flower print and some darker madder red prints as well.
I'm looking forward to getting the binding on another small quilt over the weekend - a vintage 1972 Paragon Holly Hobbie quilt kit I have just finished quilting - so that I can sandwich "Janet's Indigo Baskets" and get that handquilted before our small Quilts at the Harbour 10 show coming up in late September.
That's all for now. Have a restful and pleasant weekend!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
This is the first block in another project for http://www.simplequiltmaking.com/ . It is called Civil War Friendship Stars and I have to finish up the rest of the blocks - they are cut out and I have a couple more of them pieced. The fat quarters to the left of the block are a sample of the fabric choices I'm using.More pictures later.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Hope you all have a busy and happy weekend.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Here(http://www.simplequiltmaking.com/) you will learn to approach quiltmaking with only a pencil, pins, a ruler, and a pair of scissors plus needle and thread. To begin with you will only need to know how to thread a needle.
At http://simplequiltmaking.com/ you will find the satisfaction of learning to confidently design and construct your own quilts, seeing them through from the initial stages of fabric and colour choices to piecing, applique, handquilting and binding. You will design and make quilt labels to document your quilt and you will also learn to make an invisible hanging sleeve that is an integral part of your quilt.
This is a website devised to empower women everywhere (with a special emphasis on those quiltmakers who are either far from centres where they might learn or whose family commitments are such that they cannot easily get away for classes or retreats)
I want to support quiltmakers to feel confident in their developing capabilities and to rely on their own artistic experience and judgment, while at the same time spending as little or as much as they want to develop their skills and artistic expression.
It is planned to have an ongoing instructional course on quilt design and the skills needed to finish a quilt of any size; a monthly update of pattern ideas along with 2 new projects a month: buying tips: where to find the best books, patterns and tools at the best prices; and how to shop for the best prices on a variety of first rate, quiltshop quality fabrics, backings and batting. Best of all http://www.simplequiltmaking.com/ is planning a members picture gallery and a forum for comments, queries and exchanges.
ABOUT ME: I live in rural eastern Canada, and I have been doing needlecrafts of all kinds for over 60 years. I have had a business website presence at http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/
for over 10 years now, and set up my blog a few months ago at http://www.quiltingwithjanet.blogspot.com/. I have been making quilts for sale through my quilt studio for about 12 years now and am represented in quilt collections in North America and Europe.
I feel I have a very good grasp of trends in the industry, of quiltmaking in a historical context, and the requisite skills to make quilts that are very much in demand.
My life before "retirement" involved a career as an educational psychologist, and I have both the skills to know how to teach a complex subject like quiltmaking and the desire to empower women through the medium of textile arts. Best of all I am using an information management system on http://www.simplequiltmaking.com/ that enables me to post directly, so there is no waiting for a webmaster to load content, and your questions are answered in a very timely manner.
Come on this journey with me over the next little while - I know you will not be disappointed! You and I will exchange lots of ideas at http://www.simplequiltmaking.com/.
I have a one month trial, moneyback if you are not satisfied and decide to cancel membership within the first 30 days. You can't go wrong!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Next turn over a quarter inch seam allowance and baste it. Then cut away the three quarter inch strip inch along the marked line. Do this until you have as many strips as you will need to make seaweed, and when you have enough, turn over all the strips another quarter inch and pin. Set aside.
Before you go any farther in cutting out fish, starfish, jelly fish turtles, etc, it's time to get a border around the inner part you have pieced. If you are using a print that is directional, as I did, you will first cut a top and bottom strip across the fabric. Each strip should be about 10 inches wide. Fold it over, wrong sides together and right sides outward, and then either drawing freehand or making a paper template, trace shallow a shallow curved line along the inner edges and then pin and cut along the drawn line. Set aside. Measure your side edges of the central piece and give yourself a little extra that you will trim off later. Cut two strips each about ten inches wide, then wrong sides together and right sides outwards, trace another curving scalloped line on the inner edges and pin together and then cut along line. Arrange the four pieces on your work table and carefully turn under scalloped edges and then baste down all four pieces along their scalloped edges.
First pin and then baste the side pieces, You will have first drawn a line on the outside of the pieces about 8 inches from the edges. Then turn over to the wrong side, baste checking that the scallops fit the central pieced section without gapping. Next arrange the top and bottom pieces to fit nicely and to make the edges all fit at 90 degree angles. (Again you can draw a line on the wrong side about 8 inches in from the edge). Baste and check by spreading out on the table and measuring to be sure the quilt top is square and all sides are equal. When you are satisfied, baste and set aside.
Next select prints you will use for fish, turtles, starfish and jellyfish.
I chose two shades of green for the turtle, a beige and a coral for two different starfish, a dark blue, a lighter green and a red and a mustard for fish and the same mustard for a jellyfish. These prints will be compatible with the "Nantucket" style print I am using for border.You can blow up and save to your computer the template drawings - then print them off and cut them out.
The dotted lines on the jellyfish tentacles show where they will be slid under the body of the jellyfish.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
These lovely tulips were brought to me on Saturday by a friend and neighbour - very timely - we're all longing for spring!
I have been too busy lately - and have neglected to post as often as I should. I'm embarassed to say, too, that I still owe you all another instalment on the Sea Creatures tutorial, and promise to work on it this week. I have some new ideas there for you - we'll look at finishing it in two possible versions - each very different from the other.
In addition to quilting like crazy on the Flying Geese quilt, I have been taking inventory on all the good stuff I have squirreled away in Rubbermaid totes. I now have a good idea of how much is too much on the fabric front and also am about ready to make a list of all the various vintage kits I own, and set prices on them - my daughter will not be a happy camper if this job eventually falls to her, so there's no time like the present to get on with it. Spring cleaning is in the air!
On top of that myself and a co-conspirator are drafting a policies and procedures manual for an organizaton we both serve as members of the board of directors; and as well, I am writing some of the editorial content for another local organization's revised website. Not enough hours in the day and I must get the flying geese quilt finished as soon as possible.
I've also been trying to keep abreast of all the blogs I follow and checked back to
Jeana Kimball's website which also has Jeana's blog and her "Sewing Room" link.
She has a lot to tell us that she has clearly thought through very carefully - she talks about hand quilting and hand applique, the current popularity of art quilts, machine quilting and applique and fabric painting and embellishment.
I have been thinking along these lines recently too - about fads and fashions and where it leads me as an artisan and artist.
I had jumped on the stashbusting bandwagon and to the extent that it helped me to look at my collections of patterns and fabrics and vintage stuff - this is very good. On the other hand I went for a couple of months there, not looking at new fabric lines, not window shopping and definitely not buying. It didn't work - I fell off the wagon bigtime and purchased in the last month quite a lot of new fabric and patterns. I have come to the conclusion that in order to keep my creative juices flowing I need to have actual new fabric under my hands and on the table to play wih. I will make a bigger effort still to use some of what is in my stash - that far is another good goal!
I also realize that even though I haven't had this blog all that long, I need to rehab the site a bit and update here and there. Another entry on my to do list!
Will try to return much sooner this time and forgive the long, long post!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I decided to play with Libby http://www.simplylibby.blogspot.com and so I'm posting a picture of my "ironing corner" above.
As I told Libby, I am the original "barefoot quilter", preferring to keep things very simple, so if I can't use my thumbnail or my $10 iron with a bath towel spread on my work table, it ain't gonna happen. Works for me!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I'm writing an article about sources of inspiration for quilters designing their own quilts and want to run a few ideas by my readers at this blog.
This is the view of the "big blue cupboard" I have from my worktable - there are lots of other things on the cupboard, but two of the big sources of inspiration for me are the jewel box or modified jacob's ladder block which was orphaned from a project a couple of years ago because the client did not care for pink in any form. It constantly reminds me of the importance of accuracy in piecing and the fact that with several not necessarily totally fetching fat quarters and scraps you can make a very compatible whole.
The framed print is by a local and lesser known folk artist who, I think, is very under rated. It is the view of Hall's Harbour that I have as I come down my road and enter the village from the west side. Someday I will ask Marjorie for permission to make a quilt out of that painting.
Where else do I find inspiration? Lot's of times from the sea - that's a given with Nova Scotian artists, but also a lot of time from pictures and layouts in magazines, from websites - the International Quilt Study Centre in Nebraska is high on that list, and of course from bloggers' pictures, from online fabric stores and from the large stores that still send out actual printed catalogues - I think I have every one put out by Hancock's of Paducah, Connecting Threads and Keepsake for the last ten years and wouldn't dream of throwing them out. Lately too, as I've been going through my stash trying to get a handle on inventory, I have found a trove of 1.5 inch swatches from Keepsake and a whole bunch of 2 inch ones from the New England Quilt Supply Company. Seems serendipity that at the same time, I have been looking a lot at doll quilts and "Little Quilts"
Let me know your take on inspiration!
And for those waiting for another instalment of the Sea Creatures Tutorial - I hope to have done enough more piecing to show how to put an irregular, scalloped border around the part whoch will have applique by late Sunday or early Monday.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I have just posted the next part of this tutorial which you can follow through all the steps to make my original design: Sea Creatures. In it I show the joys of handquilting, one of which is total accuracy the first time, every time - check it out - I am eager to see your comments and will answer questions for you.
Working very hard just now on several commissions and also on a small vintage quilt kit I am handquilting.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
A REMINDER: you need 24 completed blocks so cut 48 of each of two fabric choices. 96 in all.
Hang Pinning: working with right sides of each piece facing inward, you will hang pin to secure for sewing. Put a pin through the exact corners of two different 3" blocks - line up the pieces exactly and do not bring the pin back through the two pieces - just let it hang. Repeat at the other corner. In the middle, between the 2 hanging pins, line up the markings and hang pin there too. Make sure there are no puckers or gaps. Proceed to pin together all the sets of two different fabrics.
Piecing goes much faster if you don't have to stop to pin each one.
PIECING: Thread your needle but do not make a knot. Insert you needle down through where the right hand corner lines intersect and the pin has been placed - this is crucial to accuracy. Remove the hanging pin.
Bring your needle back up a very short distance left of the entry stitch and repeat, then overcast the first stitch and draw the needle through the loop to secure the end of the thread, leaving a loose tail at least an inch long.
Working from right to left, make tiny running stitches and make a lock stitch every 5 or 6 stitches. The lock stitch is simply a stitch going over the previous one and will serve to make repair easier should a stitch break. Keep your work taut(firm) but not enough to make puckers.
Finish at the exact point where the left corners intersect, and again make a double stitch with the needle through the loop to secure - cut thread, leaving a tail of at least one inch.
Repeat this process until you have no pieces left - you should have 48 two-block units.Press all seams to the right - making sure they are all to the same side - either using an iron, your thumbnail or one of those little flattened wooden sticks you can find in the notions department of your local quilt shop. I'm always losing things so I use my thumbnail - it's imposible to lose and always available - smile - and I save money that I can then spend on more fabric!
PIECING THE 4 PIECE BLOCKS:
Next take 2 of the two block units and turn one of them so that the seam to be stitched comes together, with one seam going one way and the other seam going in the opposite direction. This is most important in order to avoid bulky seams, but more importantly to help the two units to almost automatically come together in a perfect, accurate intersection.
Hang pin the two two piece units right sides together, starting with each end first. Then at the seam in the middle, hang pin on one side of the seam, exactly at the point where the lines intersect. Do not put the pin through the seam allowace, leave the seam allowance free. Then place a pin midway between the end pins and the intersection.
Match marked lines carefully.
NOTE: Until you are confident of your stitching, you can start at the central point(intersecting seam), stitch to the end, cut your thread and then flip the piece over and repeat, starting from the middle intersection again.
Note: Never stitch through seam allowances - just up to them, make a lockstitch and then pass the needle through the seam and continue on at the exact beginning of the marked lines on the other side of the seam. lockstitching helps to maintain accuracy at intersections by preventing "creeping".
Yet Another Note: after several stitches, flip over and check that you are sewing exactly on the marked line on both sides, adjust as you go.
Do all 24 four patch units, checking each for accuracy. When satisfied, press each seam to the same side. Never press seams open inless specifically instructed to - always press to one side, and make it the same side with similar units. Try to press to the darker fabric's side to minimize chance of dark fabric shining through from the wrong side. If that happens, carefully trim away enough of the darker fabric so that the lighter covers it, maintaining a safe seam allowance to avoid ravelling.
When you have all the rows seamed, check carefully that you have not "turned" a block and accidently spoiled the symmetry - if you have, unpick and re-do. Press each row toward the solid blocks each time - this lessens bulk and again allows the seams to nestle into each other, making for great accuracy.
Before seaming the rows together, add solid squares to each end and to the for single corner blocks, pressing as described before. Mark with a pencil at the line where trimming will take place (or not take place if you choose that option. Seam each row together checking for accuracy and pressing each seam in the same direction. You will end up with a rectangle if you imagine the top trimmed or actually trim it.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
To all my friends who are waiting for the next installment of my tutorial on the Sea Creatures quilt I want to let you know that I have pulled out the fabrics for the quilt top's background using my choice of three printed neutrals for a pieced blocks background;and a second choice using one print neutral for a wholecloth background. The fabrics are shown in the photograph and the border will be the lovely "Nantucket" fabric by South Seas International that I show with it. Bonus: I am busting stash here finally!!! No new fabric will be bought and when the tutorial is finished I will have made two quilt tops, and hopefully started to quilt them too, to add to my studio inventory for the summer tourist season.
Part 2 will consist of piecing instructions and how to add the scalloped borders.
Hope you will find this project fun to do!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I finally finished the lovely "Garden Path" queen/double quilt top that I have been handquilting for Ruth in South Carolina. Before I sent it off to her yesterday I
took a moment to get a picture of it on my worktable - I usually do my photos outdoors in natural light, but in the winter my options are very limited - lol! Please excuse the poor quality. I show the hand embroidered label I put on this quilt in the other picture.
Now I can get on with Janie's quilt - a flying geese in very traditional solid colours of ochre, red and dark green, that I have posted here in the past. It is inspired by a quilt in a Pennsylvania museum's collection.
So happy to be making some progress!
Sunday, January 6, 2008
SEA CREATURES - size approx 40x60 inches
Suitable for a crib or youth bed quilt, table cloth or wallhanging
Pieced and appliqued
This project will provide you with the skills to piece very accurately, plus the basics of needleturn applique and handquilting. In addition, it will stretch and develop your confidence in making colour choices and design modifications. This tutorial will enable you to put your own identity into your final results. It will be posted in parts (today's is Part 1) on a weekly basis until we finish.
Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have questions or need further assistance.
YOU WILL NEED:
1) your fabric choices, including batting and backing fabric - try to use good quality 100% cottons and for the batting Quilter's Dream request weight or Heirloom 20/80
2) a quilting ruler of the size of your choice - most versatile is 6x24 Omnigrid, but I got along for a year or so with their 3x18 ruler
3) a thin lead pencil - mechanical works with a very fine line - for light colours
4) chalk pencil and hand sharpener for dark colours
5) template plastic - for cutting accurate geometric shapes nothing beats gridded, but with care clear can be used, and should be used for the applique templates
6) sharp scissors (dressmaker's shears) you use only for fabric - this is important, hide them if you must, but don't let anyone use them for other purposes!
7) utility scissors to cut template plastic
8) sharp, long, thin glassheaded pins - you can use plain pins, too, but these are better
9) betweens needles size 8 or 9
10) piecing thread - 100% cotton - I use Star brand
11) quilting thread - 100% cotton - I use YLI
A FEW WORDS ABOUT FABRIC CHOICES AND DESIGN:
Background is really your choice with a few suggestions - I used darker mid green and mid blue for the four patch blocks because my client specified those colours - for myself I would today choose either a darker and a mid tone beige neutral print for the four patches, with the setting squares and triangles of a lighter neutral - that is 3 different but related neutral prints. Another choice that strikes me as simplifying the whole arrangement and making the appliques stand out more is to use
a light, neutral and simple tone on tone, marbled or one colour batik such as the Hoffman 1895 range - I love this fabric - it has a hand like silk and very good range of colour choices - super stuff to work with!
If you are going with the four patches, cut 24 sets of four patches - using a 3 inch square template - drawing around the template and leaving room for a quarter inch seam allowance outside your line when you cut them out - in other words - 48 pieces of each of the colours you have chosen.
Then cut out 6 inch blocks being sure to add your seam allowance from the background fabric you choose - you will need 31 of these. You will also need a 9 inch block of the same fabric which will later be cut into the corner pieces.
If you decide to go with a solid piece of background fabric then you need to cut a piece about 25x45 inches.
For the border (instruction for scalloping it later in the series) you will need a batik - again I used Hoffman's 1895 series - but as long as the fabric is suitably sea-like, anything goes! Buy 3 yards - you don't want to be left trying to match this type of fabric. Any left will be a very good addition to your stash - so versatile!
Now, at your leisure, you can look around for the fabrics for the applique - anything goes, except for the seaweed which should be suitably dark and muddy looking because that's what seaweed looks like and also because it provides a nice contrast to the brighter fabrics of the creatures.
The creatures I used are small fish, jellyfish, turtles and a seahorse or two and I used very small bits from my scrapbag - mostly bright calico's, but again it's your choice. Templates and full instructions for the animals later on.
You are now ready to begin sewing the four patches, or just cutting out the single background piece if that's your choice. Perhaps you are not ready to learn to precision piece and perhaps you don't have the time for it just now - that's ok - you can go at your own speed.
And remember - just holler if you need some pointers! See you next Sunday with the next installment - good luck and good quilting!
Friday, January 4, 2008
I simply cannot believe this! It has been snowing big huge fat flakes off and on again all day - this last bout has been going on for over an hour and appears to be one of our famous "off the Bay" flurries - it certainly is dark out in that direction. Have wuzzed out on a meeting this evening - cold, snow and after dark is not my cup of tea now that I am staring 70 in the eye!
Have been working hard on one of my commissions all day now - I have 4 more blocks to handquilt and then the binding will go on - yeay!!! And then if I can travel on Monday - off it goes in the mail to balmy South Carolina - think I can squeeze myself into that box too? Would love a little vacation from lugging firewood and dealing with snow.
Have been looking over my pile of WIPS and UFO's, and as well as the current two commissions I'm working on, there is also a scrap hexagon one patch, and a big block, very masculine quilt I decided to do after buying a huge amount of marked down Thimbleberries fabrics that despite their lovely "hand" and how well printed they are tend to be unashamedly muddy colours - I ask myself again and again - what was I thinking?
The price was right but outside my comfort zone - so, I guess it is a charity quilt in the making!
Whoops! just glancing around and realized I missed my small amish-style strippy quilt which is already sandwiched and being hand quilted - that is picture #1 above, and since I seem to be unable to add more pictures to this post will post the others in a new post just below.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Have spent a lot of time over the last week or so thinking about the direction my activities should be taking at this point in my life. Have looked through my stash and my vintage and antique quilt kits and quilt top collections and my other collections of local folk art, smalls, books, paintings etc and decided that now is a good time to start downsizing. As my quilt studio opens as soon as the snow is gone around here I plan to work on selling many of these items. If you are interested in anything like the above, drop me a line and tell me your wish list and we'll see if I can be of help. I just might have what you're looking for.
Check out the blog on my homepage at http://www.novascotiaquilts for some pictures and more details....
In another way, my life is taking a slightly different turning as I am working on opening an online, membership website for teaching quiltmaking, including developing colour sense and design skills. Looking forward to that! In the interim, I am planning on setting up a free tutorial on "Quilting with Janet" for people who would like to see how to do my "Sea Creatures" quilt. We have a few interested parties and I am asking for several more in order to make it worth my while.
The weather here has ben very conducive to staying home and getting things done as it has been snowing pretty steadily since New Year's Eve.
Hope you are all enjoying that post holiday pause.
I am thinking about a Pay it Forward giveaway and will likely announce one in a week or so.....