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Posts Tagged ‘silk’

I’ve made lots of bags decorated with machine quilting (actually, I only make bags to show off the fabric embellished with my free machine quilting!).  I started making machine quilted bags many years ago when I started teaching – they were a fun and practical way to show off my passion.

Here are some of my first bags.blue bag 5589

I love thGreen 6877e rounded shape and the shoulder strap ties.

 

 

 

 

I taught a workshop to make this bag, but the workshop was two days long – with *homework required* in between the two days.

I decided I needed a simpler bag.

Red-bag-6511

 

Later,  I needed a special occasion bag for myself, and made this bag out of silk sateen.

 

I designed the bag to be easy to quilt, and to show off the machine quilting, but it lacked a bit in the area of sturdy construction details.

 

 

 

 

I discovered Lisa Lam’s website and blog, and learned the finer points of bag construction from her books and patterns.

I made a bag based on one of her patterns to carry an iPad, and then I had lots of fun (and spent lots of time…..) making a ‘fancy’ bag that I love to carry.

bluebag-front-4302 bluebag-back-4303

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I put all that I had learned together….   Stay tuned for the rest of the Machine Quilted Bag story!

 

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When I decided to sandwich a small a piece of solid silver silk blend sateen (Radiance by Robert Kaufman), I had no idea what I would discover.  This silver fabric has been in my stash for years because the color didn’t really ‘speak’ to me off the bolt.  Here is the “raw material” (next to ivory and gold for contrast)

Silver silk sateen fabric

When I started quilting and experimenting with different colors of thread, I was amazed!  I have taken too many photos and spent too much time experimenting with Photoshop to get the best [at least, the best that I can] color balanced photos to show you the amazing effect of different colored silk threads on this fabric.  The photo to the left is the feather plume that started it all.  The feather looks lavender (instead of silver)  because I used lavender thread to quilt and outline the feather.  Then I switched to shades of aqua / light green thread for the outline stitching, and the fabric takes on the greenish hue of the threads.

I used the silver silk fabric for the ‘Reflections of Tao’ wholecloth wall hanging to experiment more with different colors of silk thread quilted into this fabric. The center of the ‘Reflections of Tao’ wall hanging features the chinese character ‘tao’ (meaning ‘the way’, or ‘the path’) which is trapunto’d to make it stand out even more.

Center detail of Reflections of Tao

This detail photograph of the upper right feather and corner border shows the variety of colors of silk thread used in the machine quilting:Corner border detail of Reflections of Tao

This quilt is now on display at the New England Quilt Museum as a part of the Silver Threads Challenge exhibit.  The best way to see this quilt is in person, so be sure visit the Quilt Museum and look for ‘Reflections of Tao’ if you are in the Lowell, Massachusetts area in the next month.  The Silver Threads Challenge quilts will be on display until late November.

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I finally finished binding my feather plume sample from the February FMQ Challenge tutorial by Diane Gaudynski.  (I highly recommend you read through Diane’s tutorial at least once – it is packed with excellent instruction and advice on free motion quilting.) I call the sampler ‘Rogue Feathers’ –  my friend Jenny named the little feathers at the bottom ‘rogue feathers’, surrounding the circle.  I quilted the feathers there because I couldn’t bear echo quilting any more!  I am pleased with my little silver sampler.Rogue Feathers a free motion quilted sampler on silver silk by Diane Loomis

Free motion quilting detail of Rogue Feathers by Diane LoomisOne of the reasons I love this fabric is the way it subtly changes to the shade of the silk thread used for free motion quilting.  I’m having trouble showing this in photographs,  so here’s another view that shows the color changes in a different light.

(I haven’t stopped participating in SewCalGal‘s 2012 FMQ Challenge -just running late with my posts.  Look for a new blog entry before the end of the month with my July challenge entry! In case you haven’t followed SewCalGal’s blog recently, she generously featured my quilt Five Bar Blues earlier this month in a post about the Road to California quilt show.  )

2012 is the 25th anniversary of the New England Quilt Museum and in honor of this silver anniversary the Museum has issued a ‘Silver Threads Quilt Challenge’.  The challenge is to create a quilt inspired by the word ‘silver’, and I had a project in mind using this beautiful silver fabric before I discovered the challenge.

Here is a sneak peek at the wall hanging … not surprisingly, it has feathers…

sneak peek at silver feathers on the Silver Anniversay Quilt Challenge for the NEQM by Diane Loomis

I just finished machine quilting my silver-inspired quilt, so it is ready to be blocked, bound, and finished.   The bright blue is from the water soluble blue marker that I use to mark my quilts (the blue markings are already gone since the quilt’s first immersion today in clean, cool water.)  The quilts will be on display at a special exhibit at the 2012 Lowell Quilt Festival from August 9-11.

From another perspective you can see my signature as well as my favorite circle-spirals.

silver circles on the Silver Anniversay Quilt Challenge for the NEQM by Diane Loomis

Want to see the finished quilt?  Mark your calendar to visit the Lowell Quilt Festival, Thursday August 9 – Saturday August 11.  Visit the Lowell Quilt Festival website for more information about activities, lectures, and exhibits.

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Do any of you listen to Annie Smith’s quilting podcast, “Quilting Stash – the first podcast for quilters“?  I am a great fan and have been enjoying her podcast for years, so I was intrigued with her new online classes.  Especially when I found she is offering a class on her “Quilters Palette” quilt – I have always loved this quilt, and she has never published a pattern for it.  So, I signed up for the class, and it is really fun!  The class includes high quality video instruction in addition to written handouts, and a weekly online chat with Annie.  Check it out – you can follow the link to the Quilting Stash Classroom at the right, or find out more about the Quilters Palette class here.

Dresden Plate block

Dresden Plate block for Quilters Palette quilt

We started the class by selecting fabric for our quilt.  Annie asked us to pick a focus fabric, and then choose 16 fabrics that blend well with the focus fabric, and provide sufficient value contrast for the quilt.  I decided to use all solid fabrics for this quilt.  I have been using solids almost exclusively for the past year, and this gives the the opportunity to experiment mixing solid cottons and cotton sateen, silks, and cotton/silk blend fabrics in a single quilt.  It was a challenge to pick out the fabrics – the range of solid fabrics (and ones I have in my stash) is much smaller than the range of prints today!

The first block we made was the Dresden Plate block.  It uses all of our fabric choices and becomes the fabric ‘palette’ for the rest of the quilt.  The block is sewn together, but not yet appliqued to the background fabric.

Stay tuned – I’ll be posting my blocks here as they are completed.  I hope I can keep up with the weekly lessons!

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