Archive for January 31, 2012

Quilt Label Tips

Quilted wall hanging

This is a small wall hanging that I made and quilted by hand several years ago. It is in need of a label. It has been too long ago, so it will take me a while to find the information I need for the label for this piece. It is a prime example of waiting too long to document the quilt. Without documentation or labels, the quilt does not have any information to share with the person who has the quilt in the future. My hope is that my quilts will last for many years and my hope is that the history of them will continue with them. Little scarcrow on a little quilt.

Below I have listed some tips for when you make your own labels using permanent ink pens. I hope it helps with your label making.

Quilt Label Tips:

  • Use 100% cotton, high thread count fabric for your label.
  • Prewash the cotton fabric to remove sizing and help the inks penetrate the fabric.
  • Use light colored fabric so the ink will show. White on white fabric is not a good choice. The white is painted on and the ink will not penetrate it.
  • Use permanent ink pens that are made for fabric such as Pigma pens. A fine point pen is less likely to bleed.
  • Always test a sample of the fabric and ink. This will let you know how much bleed will happen between the pen and fabric. I always heat set the permanent ink with an iron and then wait 24 hours. After waiting for 24 hours, wash the sample and you will have an idea of how well the label will hold up and whether it will bleed after washing.
  • Use freezer paper to stablize the label. You can draw equidistant lines on the freezer paper to give yourself guidelines for writing on the label. Iron the freezer paper waxed side to the fabric’s wrong side with a hot, dry iron.
  • Practice writing slowly. Use a lighter touch so the ink flows into the fabric and you can control the letters easier.

Wall hanging quilt named Little House in the Woods

So this is the last post for January 2012. I have met my goal for January. I completed 3 OMOS (One More On the Stack). I have not completed documenting and labeling 4 quilts this month but I think January does not count since I did not add this goal until the end of the month. Maybe I will be able to catch up during February.

;

“What I give to you, what I make with my hands, I share with my heart.”

sue

Ways to Label Quilts

     Here is a quilt that is hanging in my sewing studio.  It is one I made a few years ago and it is on the list for a label.  I just need to think about what I would like to have on the label and then decide how I will make the label.  The name of this quilt is “Grapevines and More”.

Quilt named Grapevines and More.

     A label can be very simple or as elaborate as you would like to make it.  At the very least, it should include the name of the maker, the name of the quilter, the date, and the name of the quilt.  You should always have a name for your quilt.  You spent the time on it, give it a name.  Information to include on the label, especially if you want the infomation to stay with the quilt might be:

  • Name of the quilt
  • Name of the maker (Be sure to use full names.)
  • Name of the quilter
  • Name of the owner
  • Date quilt was made
  • Where was the quilt made
  • Why was the quilt made
  • What pattern was used or was it an original design
  • Techniques used in making the quilt
  • Additions – size of the quilt, personal message, poem, quote, photo, clip art, brief story of the quilt

     I think the more information you place on the label, the better it is for historical reasons, but even if you only write your name and the date, it will provide information for yourself and for others who might someday own the quilt.

Quilt named "Rooms Can Be a Jungle".

     There are several options for a label for your quilt. 

  1. You can buy a ready made label and use a permenant marker or a pigma pen to fill in the information.
  2. There are fabric bolts at your local quilt store that has labels printed on the fabric.  You can buy a half yard or more and have more one than one label for your use.  Again, using a permenant marker or pigma pen works well.
  3. You can embroider a label either by hand or by machine.
  4. You can make an extra quilt block from the front of the quilt and use it to write the information on, using permanent ink pens like pigma pens.  Use freezer paper on the back side to stabilize the block before writing your information.
  5. You can make a simple fabric label with a piece of muslin that is adhered to freezer paper.  The freezer paper will stablize the fabric so it is easier to write on the muslin.  You can add a border all around the muslin piece after you remove the freezer paper.  It can be fabric from the front of the quilt or it could be a “signature fabric” that you use on every quilt you make.
  6. You can use Microsoft Word to make your label.  You can add photos or clip art.  You can use a variety of fonts as well as having the fonts in differnt colors.  It is easy to type the information on your computer and easily print it out on treated fabric such as EQ Printable Fabric or Printed Treasures.

     Quilt made for Kelli's room, Rooms Can Be a Jungle.     There are a couple of computer programs that you can also use to make your labels for your quilts.  I am familiar with three different ones that are easy to use and each provides an easy way to make the label and then print out on treated fabric such as EQ Printable Fabric or Printed Treasures.

     Home Challenge.

     EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7) is a computer quilt design program that can be used to design quilt labels as well.  You can use different fonts, background colors, even a fabric that is in the palette contained in the program.  You can add photos, a block or motif from the front of the quilt, or clip art to really enhance the label.

      There is also a program call the HP Custom Quilt Label Kit.  Computer program called HP Custom Quilt Label Kit.It is the program I used for both of Conner’s quilts and the Tulip, Tulip quilt in my previous post.  It is easy to use and has clip art included as well as a few quotes that might be nice to use on a label. Computer program called Quilt Label Collective

     C&T Publishing is also offering a computer program for labeling quilts.  This program offers 150 original illustrations on a CD that can be used in making your label. 

     Tomorrow, I will share a few more labels with you and give you some tips on making labels using freezer paper or permanent ink pens such as pigma pens.

“May your sorrow be patched and your joys quilted”.

sue

 

Labeling Your Quilt

     Saw this red ensemble and thought it was perfect for the color RED for this month.  It is a great quilt, unfortunately it is a “store quilt”, but great just the same.  Red is definitely needed for January.  This also shows just how cheery and bright and bold red can be in a quilt.

The Color for January is RED.

     Putting a label on a quilt is usually the last part of finishing your quilt.  I confess that I have many quilts that do not have a label on the back.  I am always so anxious to get to the next project that I do not take the time to make the label and sew it on the back of the quilt. 

     A label on the back gives information about the quilt.  I have some quilts I have made that I do not remember when or why I made that particular quilt.  It would have been nice if I had made the label and documented the quilt way back when.  Then I would not be in the position I am now with trying to remember information about the quilt that would have been much easier to remember right after I had finished the quilt. 

     With my quilts that I have not labeled yet, as well as ones I have that are antique, I do not have all the information and history about the quilt.  It would be great for my children and grandchildren to know the history of the quilts that they will have someday.  Some of the pieces they have now do not have a label so again, the history is not there for the importance of the quilt.  It is important that I get those labels made and preserve the history of each quilt.

     You spend hours making a quilt.  Your tears, laughter, joys, prayers, and hopes are all part of the quilt.  I know that I have my brain processing all the things that are going on in my life as I am quilting.  That quilt needs to have its history. It needs to have the history recorded for others.

Label for the Tulips, Tulips quilt     This is the label I made for the Tulips, Tulips quilt that I have shared with you in previous posts.  It includes the maker, quilter, date finished, pattern used, and a brief paragraph about the quilt.

     There is not a lot of information on the label, however, it does give a bit of the history for the future.  Quilt named Touching Ruby JewellThe documentation I have for the quilt is separate from the label and gives more information about the piece, but the label will help if the documentation is separated from the quilt.

     This quilt is called “Touching Ruby Jewell”.  It is an original design I created for the 2005 Hoffman challenge.  I needed to quickly make a label for this piece so I could get it mailed.  The label still gives information about the quilt even though it is brief.

Touching Ruby Jewell label

     I used pigma pens to make the label.  I did not use a white muslin as I thought a fabric with some color would look better.  I do not always want the label to be a huge white label on the back.

     The information does tell the maker, quilter, date made, and why the quilt was made.  Unfortunately, it does not provide any more information that would add to the history of the quilt.Challenge quilt with Home as the theme.

 

     This quilt was a group project quilt that involved women I had quilted with for many years.  The front center block was made with pigma pens and applique.  Center block on the Home Challenge quilt.I also used pigma pens for the label on the back of the quilt.  The label is quite descriptive and therefore provides a great bit of the history of the quilt and why it was made.Label for the Home Challenge quilt.

      There is not enough room on a label to put all the information so it is important to also write the documentation as well.  I did not place this label on the back in the corner of the quilt.  I wanted it to be placed in a random place as the theme of Home is not always the same for everyone.

Quilt named On the Road     This is a darling panel quilt I made for my grandson.  It is called “On the Road”.  It was so quick and easy to LongArm quilt it after I put borders on it.  I wanted to make sure that it had a label on it for him.  It seems that I always put labels on quilts that I make for others.Label for quilt named On the Road.

      This is a label that I made using a quilt label program.  It made it easy to insert some clip art and to write the information I wanted to have on the label.Quilt made for Conner named Conner's Tractors.  The program was easier and less time involved than the pigma pens.

     This is a panel quilt I made for my grandson as well.  It is called Conner’s Tractors.  It also was an easy quilt to make.  I just added borders and quilted it with Crystal Rose my LongArm Millenium.  She does such a nice job.  Label on quilt named Conner's Tractors.

     This label was also made using a quilt label program for the computer.  It is a very easy way to get that label made right after you finish the quilt binding. 

 

 

     Tomorrow, I will visit with you about the information you should include on your label and I will share with you some ways to make your label for the back of your quilt.

“Quilts, like friends, are different, colorful, fun, warm and comforting…You can never acquire enough of either.”

sue

Documenting Your Quilts

Organizing Files. I have been very sidetracked from my quilting projects, as I seem to be drowning in paperwork. End of the year paperwork, preparing for taxes, a little bit of spring cleaning, and filing all the paperwork I did not get to during the holidays. Whew!Random filing I feel like I will never get to the end of the paperwork. I keep thinking the paper should be able to pass through my hands one time. I am not able to do that very well. Seems that the papers want to spend time going through my hands time and time, again and again.

In all the paperwork, I also have pictures of quilts and information to document and label my quilts. Remember, this is one of my goals for this year. I really would like to make sure that all of my quilts are documented and labeled.

More paperwork With stacks of paperwork everywhere, I find that doing anything other than getting ready for taxes is what I want to do. So… I guess that a side trip to try and start on my goal of documenting my quilts is helping ease the feeling of drowning in paperwork.

Do you have mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, or other family members that made quilts in the past? Do you have all the information about those quilts? Who made them? When were they made? Why were they made? As you know, quilts have huge sentimental value. Without information about those quilts, the history and stories of our quilts will be lost. Each of us puts a bit of our lives into our quilts and it is those stories that will mean so much to those in the future.

As you can see, I am behind (lazy, distracted) when it comes to documenting my quilts. I am much, much better when it comes to the label on the back of the quilt. I have always preached to my students that the label on the back of their quilt was critical. I will talk more about labels this week. Today, I just want to focus on the documentation.

There are many ways to document your quilts. Many products on the market look like they would help in the process, but I have not been as diligent about documenting as I think I should. So one of my goals for 2012 is to label and document at least four quilts a month. Wow, seems like I keep adding goals. I just hope that I am successful. Success is achieved through action. Keep moving even if there are mistakes or set backs. Inaction will not get projects completed.

  • I have a couple of samples here to give you some ideas about ways to document your quilt. The first sample is a journal that is labeled Quilter’s Registry. I purchased it from the American Quilter’s Society. (They do have great products). Journal called Quilter's RegistryYou can document 78 quilts in this journal. The inside has a place for a photo. It also has information spaces for you to fill out about the quilt. It includes information such as:
  • Title
  • Design
  • Type of Project
  • Reference/Pattern
  • Constructed by
  • Quilted By
  • Start and Stop datesJournal for documenting quilt.

It also includes other information spaces about the fabric, techniques, cost, etc. It is a start if you are not documenting your quilts yet. The photo area is small but you can still tape a photo to the page after filling out the information. (Remember to use Artist Tape. It is acid free and can be repositioned without ripping pages or photos).

The next sample I would like to share with you is an envelope that has been punched for a three hole binder placement. It has the quilt documentation spaces on the outside of the envelope. It is also a great way to document your quilt and keep swatches of the fabric used, the pattern, or anything pertinent to the quilt inside the envelope. I like the idea of additional pictures of the quilting design, the display of where the quilt lives, or photos of the person who received the quilt, on the inside of the envelope. It is also a great place to keep any awards, ribbons, or quilt show brochures that contain written discriptions of the quilt. Sometimes, there are those special items associated with the quilt that should be kept with the documentation and the envelope provides for that purpose.Quilt documentation envelope

I found this sample at a quilt store in Spokane, Washington. It does not have any ordering information on the outside. I think you could develop your own form to paste to an envelope and do something similar if you are not able to find it at your local quilt store.

A folder system is another way to organize your documentation. You will need to have a place to store the folders and will need to consider how you will file the folders. (More filing…..I am not sure I am up to this at this time.)

You could also use a ziplock bag or a notebook with a manilla folder attached to the form. I think it is important to have some type of envelope to hold a variety of items related to that particular quilt. Fabric receipts and swatches, sketches, photos of the finished quilt as well as in progress photos, copies of entry forms to shows, ribbon, brochures from shows that might have information about the quilt, pattern used, or anything else that is pertinent to that quilt.

A form of some type should be used to keep track of the pertinent information about the quilt. I have compiled some suggestions of information you might want to include:

  • Quilt name
  • Name of maker
  • Name of quilter
  • Start and finish dates
  • Current owner
  • Where quilt was made
  • Size of quilt
  • Pattern/reference used to make quilt
  • Techniques used
  • Fabric used
  • Batting used
  • A brief story of what was going on in your life while you made this quilt.

I know that there are many ways to put the form together to gather the information on each quilt. Do take the time to write a bit of the story about the quilt. Only you will remember what you were doing in your life when the quilt was made. This is what it means to say “Each of my quilts has a piece of my life stitched into it”. I can tell you where and what my life was about for each of my pieces, as well as the quilts of my clients. Being able to tell you does not help for the future unless it is written down.

There is also a new software program called QuiltAlbum. You can find out about it at www.QuiltAlbum.com. It is a technology way to document your quilts and still be able to print off the information and have a hard copy in a notebook. I have decided that this is how I will proceed on documenting those quilts I have not done to this point. I have used the manilla envelope system with the form on the outside to this point. I think this program will be a much easier way for me.

Journal for documenting the quilts This is a journal I use to keep track of the quilting process for the quilts I LongArm quilt for my clients. It allows me to remember what thread I used, how much thread, type of batting, LongArm designs used, and the amount of time it took to complete the quilt. I also include a picture of the quilt in the journal for reference. I take a picture when the quilt first arrives at my studio, and I take a picture when it is finished. As we all know, the quilt isn’t a quilt until it is quilted and the quilting changes the quilt top.Journal to record LongArm quilting.

This side trip should take up a bit of time…at least give me a break from the tax prep stuff. Who knows, maybe I will be on top of things soon and then I will need to find something else to organize!

Tomorrow, I will talk about labeling the quilt on the back of the quilt. This is critical and a must, regardless of any other form of documenting you do.

May you be creative and be able to quilt each day. May it bring you serenity and joy!

sue

Red Quilts with a Touch of Black

Red and black quilt for Jake

     Jake’s quilt finally has the binding on it (which is why I have not written the last few days) and is just waiting for the label.  I had wanted to show it at Boise Basin Quilt Guild this last Thursday.  However, on Thursday, I did not feel well and did not go to the guild meeting.  Now, I want to keep the quilt until next month so I can share it at the guild meeting.  I know that Jake is ready to have it in his possession, so I will get the label done today and ship it off to him tomorrow.  It is a quilt that I will be sad to have it leave me.  It should look fantastic on his gorgeous metal and glass bed frame he designed and built (SaintFurniture.com).  I will just have to wait until the Boise Basin Quilt Guild quilt show in June and have him send the quilt here for the show.  Yea!  Here is another OMOS (One More On the Stack) that I have finished.  Sometimes I forget that it is difficult to do my quilts around the schedule of LongArm quilting for my clients.

Red and black quilt for Jake.     The design element in this quilt is fantastic for using light and dark fabrics as well as bold fabrics (red and black).  I loved being able to go through my fabrics and sort out those reds and blacks and moving into the lights and darks of each color.  This is again, that bold, dramatic feel you get from the use of red in a quilt.

Black and red quilt.

     The diagonal lines add tremendous movement through the quilt by changing the color from red to black or reverse.  The use of light versus dark fabric makes this one of the most dramatic quilts I have done with black and red fabrics.

     I split the backing so it has black fabric on either side of a red strip that runs down the center of the backing.  This really helps show off the quilting.  I wanted to have the LongArm quilting design enhance the quilt, not compete with it.  I also chose a design that did not interfere with the diagonal design element of the quilt.Quilting design for Jake's quilt

     As you can see, this is a great design that added texture and a design element to the quilt while not competing or interferring with the quilt design.

     The pattern is called “Center of Attraction” by Me and My Sister Designs.  It is a great pattern with good instructions.  The front picture on the pattern does not excite me, but it was a great pattern for my purposes.  I never follow a pattern exactly, so I made a couple of changes and increased the size.  It should fit nicely on his queen size bed.

     Black and Red Flying GeeseThis quilt is an original design Flying Geese quilt made from my fabrics on hand.  I am not fond of the term “stash” so prefer to call it my fabric on hand (FOH).  Again, the color of red paired with black is dramatic, bold and impactful. This quilt was very easy and quick to stitch and looks fabulous during January on the back of my sofa.  It just brightens the room along with the Red Tulip quilt that hangs on a nearby wall (See previous post).

Flying geese quiltThe use of light and dark fabrics as a design element can also add a great impact to a quilt, moving it from so so to fabulous.

     I have one last quilt with red to share with you.Drunkard's Path sampler quilt  This is a sampler quilt using the Drunkard’s Path block as the main design element.  It is red with green instead of black.  It is a Block of the Month pattern that I taught in a class.  The pattern does have curved piecing, but you learn that it is easy to do. Curved piecing is not nearly as difficult as you may think.

Feather LongArm Design for the Drunkard's Path sampler quilt.

      I decided to use feathers on each side of the 4″ Drunkard’s Path block for the quilting design.  It was a lot of quilting for this quilt but really enhances the quilt.  
I love quilting feathers on my LongArm APQS Millenium (Crystal Rose is her name) and this really gave me a great quilt to quilt all those feathers without taking away from the design of the quilt.

     My darling daughter came by today and helped set up this blog with a way for you to subscribe to the blog via email.  Be sure to sign up on the right side of the page.  If you have any difficulty with subscribing, email me at crystalvisionquilting@q.com

     Please let me know if there are specific things you would like to see in the future writings.  I want to be able to write about piecing, quilting, patterns, designs, LongArm quilting, creativity in quilting, or whatever interests you.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated and helps me to be focused in my writing.

Quieting the Mind for Creativity

A lot of individuals write and talk about setting goals this time of year. It is so easy to think about starting the New Year and doing some things differently. I know that I REALLY want to get many of my OMOS (One More On the Stack) projects completed. It is not my only goal, but it is definitely the one that keeps staring me in the face.

The statistics are not in my favor to accomplish this goal. 75% of those who make New Year resolutions give up in the first two months. It takes three months of consistently working on the goal for it to become a healthy habit. (I could have the healthy habit of quilting, quilting, quilting.) I also need to be realistic with my time and not become discouraged, just because the technology whirlpool has grabbed me by the behind and is sucking me into the black hole this week.

Goals should be set as positive goals and be specific. Measuring goals incrementally helps keep you on track and sharing your goals helps make you accountable for your actions. Planning my day with specific time to work on OMOS should be a great way to keep me accountable and on task. HOWEVER……..

I also need time for creativity for my quilting projects. I need time to look at a quilt top and have it “speak” to me about what should be quilted on it. I have found that by using a couple of strategies, I am able to have great ideas for LongArm quilting that quilt top.

Those same strategies help me in my daily actions, and have a huge impact on the creativity of the projects I do. You can say, “OH, I am not creative.” Each of us is creative, but we stop the creative process sometimes before we even let it get started.

Three important steps to take to start the creative process are:

  • Be quiet. Let your brain settled down and rest. All the lists and chores and errands and activities rev up the brain and then it becomes stressed. When it is stressed, we are stressed. When we are stressed, we do not listen, learn, remember, or think well. It is very difficult to be creative when we are stressed. So, sit and be quiet and calm. Give your brain even 10 minutes to let all that stuff that is jumping around inside calm down.
  • Put together a file (or use Pinterest), a bulletin board, or a notebook of some type to gather those ideas that generate other ideas. Pictures of quilts or great LongArm quilting designs are in my file so that I begin to see what works for certain types of quilts. I also keep pictures of quilts from shows or magazines that I really like. Sometimes it is the color, not the pattern that I like. Sometimes it is the reverse.
  • Focus, focus, focus. Slow down and really pare down the project you want to do. Many times I need to let my mind “not think” so that the ideas begin to flow more readily. If I am allowing the brain to move, move, move, I am not focused and might as well be doing chores and running errands. Take the time to look, focus, and SEE.

Optimism is a key to creativity. Change how you think about your environment. Change how you look at your world. Definitely, change how you speak. The flowing of positive, optimistic ideas create far more than the “Eyore donkey of ideas, thoughts and words”. If you say you are not creative, I will bet that you just limited yourself. If you spend time thinking negatively, you will not be creative. You cannot build from the garbage. Garbage in is garbage out. You can soar from the clouds though with optimistic movement.

So, what ideas do you think about this quilt top and the LongArm design the quilt is asking for?

A Drundard's Path Pattern

Circle Dance from Eliza's Backporch Designs

Scrap Drundard's Path quilt.

So How Do You Feel About Red?

Red Tulip Wallhanging

I drove around looking for red in my environment this afternoon. I wanted to look at what was around in my cold, though sunny, day. Red is around even though you may not consciously be aware of it. red in the neighborhood

This is definitely the color red that attracts attention.

I know that there are some red berries that attract the attention of the birds. And I know that there are some red branches on some of the leafless bushes around. I did not see any other red flora or fauna. Red is in all of our seasons, but I know that I am looking for red TULIPS.

So just how does red make you feel? We all know the negative feelings, but what about those strong, bold, sexy, feelings that red produces? Just a little bit of red in a quilt definitely adds that extra highlight or SPARK that can make a ho-hum quilt, a great quilt.

Red is tough to match sometimes. It depends on the fabric manufacturers’ mood as to whether you can find true red, orange red, violet red, deep dark red, burgundy, or going the other way, the pink reds. I think I like them all.

Red tulip quilt I was certainly looking for Tulips when I made this Tulip, Tulip quilt. It is using a Michael Miller fabric that is just mouth-watering. I used it in the center and appliqued and paper pieced the border. with black and polka dots as the highlight. It is a favorite of mine. I have it hanging so I HAVE to walk past it daily. What a way to put a smile on your face!

Reds are great! They give me that great emotional impact! So, what is in your stash? Are you ready to pull some reds out and get started on your next quilt? Here are a few I had on the top of my bin of red fabrics. Now what can I do with these? I am still looking for those red tulips. I guess that these will just have to do until I find other ones in my stash (or at the quilt store).

Michael Miller Tulip fabric

I definitely SEE red, FEEL red, and EXPERIENCE red! red fabricsNow I have the whole month of January to play with lots of red fabric in my quilts…….oh wait, I forgot that I have a few OMOS (One More On the Stack) to work on first. I am still focused on that goal. Don’t hold it against me if I forget the goal by mid-January though. I do have it written down so I am continually reminded of that particular goal for this year.

I am working on you having the availability to subscribe to my blog. I will keep you posted on that. I need to have a young person, who understands that foreign language to help me. Seems that the black hole of technology likes to just grab hold of me and down I go. I do not even want to begin to tell you the technology stories of this week and we are only at Wednesday! Besides, it is technology that has brought us so far in the land of quilting…….

January’s calendar is already full for those LongArm quilting spots…..contact me for your spot for February and March so you get a place in the schedule. The spaces for T-Shirt quilts still has a couple of openings for January so be sure to be the one to fill those! Have a great RED, passionate, impactful day!

20120111-175332.jpg

Color For the Month of January

“He who wants to become a master of color must see, feel, and experience each individual color in its many endless combinations with all other colors” Johannes Itten

Yes, that’s it. You have to see, feel, and experience the color first. Then, and only then, can you begin on the journey. What a glorious, COLORFUL, journey it is in the land of quilting. Quilts are color. It is color that makes the quilt seem one way or other when you look at it. It is the color that shines (or does not shine) for each quilt.

Does the quilt look good to you? Does it make you say “Oh, that is nice”, or does it make you say “I really like this one”. You might even think, “Oh, not this one, this one just does nothing for me”.

I think this is the FIRST part of seeing the quilt. Seeing the color is the first impression on our brain. Our eyes SEE and then we process the color. So….I thought it would be fun to look at a color each month and have a bit of a discussion about the color and how it/we relate to it on our journey in the land of quilting.

Maybe this would be a great way to begin to move past the idea we sometime hold. How often have you said, “I am just not good with color”? Working with color can be learned. I am not talking about all those terms of shade, tint, hue, or tone. Those do play a part (sometimes a huge part) in what can make a good quilt great. However, I am talking about the other parts of color. Color is what we see, it is what we feel, it is what we experience. Color constantly changes. It can be bright or dull, light or dark, one color (red or red orange as an example), changes depending on what color you place it beside.

The color for January is RED. What does red look like? Is it bright? Is it bold? Red can be dynamic, attention getting. It seems to always look great. It looks bold, strong, passionate. Red is used to demand attention, to say “Here I am, look at me”!

I challenge to you “see red”, not feel red, but rather, SEE RED all around you. Where do you see it? How does it look next to the other colors around it? Do you use red in your quilts? Do you collect reds when you go to a quilt store? Do you have a stash of reds you can use in a scrap quilt?

Later this month, we will discuss how reds make us feel and how we experience the color of red. I am hoping that by focusing on a color of the month, you can begin to get a better understanding of the color and thereby begin to use that particular color more freely (or easier) in your next quilt.

20120109-223257.jpg

20120109-223310.jpg

20120109-223319.jpg

20120109-223329.jpg

20120109-223336.jpg

20120109-223344.jpg

20120109-223352.jpg

Affairs of the Heart Quilt

The Affairs of the Heart quilt has to be one of my favorite quilts. I started it as a class and it has eight blocks and a border that are appliqués using a different technique for each one. The class really gives you a good sense of which techniques work for different projects and which techniques you like more than others. It also gave you an added bonus of color for each block.

20120107-235026.jpg

20120107-235045.jpg

20120107-235058.jpg
I know that I have shown you some of these pictures but I had a couple more to show you. It has definitely inspired me to maybe do another appliqué quilt this year.

I finished the binding on a quilt that has a panel in the center of it. It made a quick holiday quilt to put together. I quilted trees in the outside border, holly and berries in the inside border, and stars and loops as an overall design on the inside. Yea! Two quilts with binding so far and one less OMOS (one more on the stack).

20120108-000013.jpg

20120108-000029.jpg

20120108-000038.jpg

“The work you do and the ripples you set in motion are likely to last a long time. Choose the influences you share with care and integrity”. I hope to share the new project in the studio tomorrow. It is time to start on the next client quilt and I will give you a hint…brightly colored feathers are circling around.

Tips for Piecing Your Quilt Top

     A quilt top that has been pieced well, quilts well.  It definitely makes a difference to the longarm quilter when putting a top into the frame, to have it flat, straight, and have the corners matching.

     I use a great little tool to help with my piecing of a quilt top.  Sewing EdgeIt is  called a Sewing Edge, A Reusuable Vinyl Stop by Qtools.  There are five vinyl strips in the package and they can be reused.  You place them on your sewing machine to help you have a perfect quarter inch seam.  This definitely helps with your accuracy.

Rotary Cutter

 

Using a GOOD rotary cutter (I prefer the Olfa Rotary Cutter), a Good mat (Olfa Rotary Mat), and a GOOD ruler (Omnigrid) also helps in the accuracy of cutting your strips and pieces.   I also use a larger square ruler to trim all of my blocks to the same size.  (They go together better when they are the same size). 

Pressing your quilt pieces and seamsAlways press your seams as you go.  It is important to have flat, straight seams.  I use steam and I PRESS, lift the iron, and PRESS.  I do not IRON.  I want the seams and blocks to be straight.  I can warp and stretch seams and blocks very easily when I IRON, so I PRESS, PRESS, PRESS.  Sometimes, I also use non-flaking spray starch to add a bit of body or crispness to my blocks.

Good intersection points in quilting and piecing.

 

It is always such a good feeling to have your points meet and your blocks to fit together.  It is worth using good tools, good fabric, and taking your time.  Remember, you are creating quilts not just for today, but also for years to come.

     Let me end with “Watch your thoughts; they become words.  Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits.  Watch your habits; they become character.  Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”