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Friday, December 15, 2017

I love red!

I've been working on a project which I can't reveal to you for a few more months so this week I'm going to post a few of my red and green quilts from previous years. They may not be Christmas quilts but I associate them with Christmas!

 This is my version of Pumpkin Peel from the book, Small Pieces Spectacular Quilts, designed by Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storm
 Beautiful machine quilting by Jan Hutchison
 This is Bonnie Hunter's pattern, Criss Cross Applesauce, but I named my version, Was Granny Smith a Northern Spy? It used up a lot of my red and green scrap fabric.
Quilted by Tricia Lehman. This one I just want to wrap up in and stay cozy. 
More quilts to come next week, including my most well known selvage quilt.

Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Binding Malfunctions

I just wrote a quilt guild newsletter article about why you should enter a quilt into the quilt show judged entry category even if you've received suggestions (like I have) to improve your binding skills.

For those of you have seen my quilts in shows, you probably don't realize how bad my binding can be. So let's get real, this blog post will be a good visual for why I need to improve my binding skills, ha!
 I've made both straight and bias binding but prefer bias binding. Seems like its more forgiving. First issue: I seem to have problems joining on a 45 degree angle even though I hold the ends together, visualize, trim, etc. Hello, Jack the ripper!
 See what I've done here? Made the binding too short. I had 15 more minutes left to sew and decided to sew on one more binding, it was the wrong decision. I wanted it to work and decided to see if it looked better the next morning. No, Jack and I fixed it.

There were other mistakes, some bindings were even fused down with an old roll of Stitch Witchery I found in a drawer. After I made several dozen of these, I just wanted them done!
So here they are, some of the mug rugs I'm gifting. 
Recipients will be warned of possible binding malfunctions.

On to deadline quilt #2 and if my swap partner is reading this, I promise your binding will look good.

Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Prize - Yards of it!

Just a few days before the Houston International Quilt Festival, I learned that my quilt, Paint Can Posy, had won the Honorable Mention prize in the Free Spirit "I am an Artisan" Challenge.
Here I am with my quilt hanging at the show and below are two photos of some of the embroidery and embellishment on the quilt. It was machine quilted by Jan Hutchison and I pieced, hand appliqued, hand embroidered, and embellished it.
 My prize just arrived - more of the Artisan fabric line in the yellow and blue colorways! I thought I knew what I was going to make with it but now seeing it all in the box, I'm not sure. One thing I do know, I'm going to have to learn to like yellow!
What would you make?

Until next time, Mayleen

Monday, November 20, 2017

Shocked, Shell Shocked!

This morning while drinking my first cup of coffee and reading the Quilt Show newsletter, I found a picture of my clam shell quilt blocks, Shell Shocked, in the "Design to Quilt: Principles of Design - Unity/Variety" article written by guest editor Laura Wasilowski. At first, I thought the quilt blocks just looked familiar (not enough coffee!) but then I recognized it as my quilt made in about 2012. Thanks for including it! Here's a photo of the completed quilt.

If anyone is still reading this blog, yes I realize its been several months since my last note. I'm still quilting but am often working on quilts which shouldn't be made public because they're gifts or they might be entered into a show. I plan to post monthly so look for something from me again in December!
Until next time, Mayleen

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The challenge quilt

My entry into the Free Spirit "I am an Artisan" Challenge. What you can't see is the hand embroidery, hand quilting and embellishment on the quilt. The challenge was to create a 60x60" quilt using at least 80% of Kaffe Fassett's Artisan line of fabrics. I'll know if my quilt is juried into the exhibit by the end of June.
 
Since I've been spending most of my time working on this quilt, I've been neglecting the flower beds and housework. Can you guess what I'll be doing with my extra time now?
 
Until next time, Mayleen

Sunday, May 28, 2017

300 pins

We spent part of yesterday blocking my Free Spirit Artisan Fabric Challenge quilt. Approximately 300 pins are holding it in place to dry into a nice square quilt with mostly straight borders. Does this mean I'm done with it? No, lots more to do. The entry deadline is June 2 and unless something unexpected happens, I should come close to finishing. 

The theme of the challenge contest is the harmony of color and texture. I don't know if my quilt does that but I like it and it makes me happy.

This weekend while my quilt continues to dry, we will celebrate Memorial Day remembering relatives who are no longer with us and enjoying a meal with family. I hope that you will also spend some time in remembrance and thankfulness for what others have done for us!

Until next time, Mayleen

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pardon the mess

I'm working on my entry into the Free Spirit Artisan Fabric Challenge. I don't want to show it to you until its finished but will tell you its different. Someone said it doesn't look like me. I'm glad to hear that because at least my quilts aren't predictable. lol

I'm busy hand embroidering and I'm not sure I'll be able to finish before the June 2 entry deadline. Lots of hours spent with needle in hand stitching, stitching, stitching.

Because I wanted to share a photo of something with you,  here's a photo of the mess on my sewing desk. You are spared a photo of the mess on the floor. It may take me all of June to clean up!

Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, April 27, 2017

That Cat!

I think I'm finally finished (maybe) with That Cat! It was begun in Pam Holland's Thread Painting class at Houston's 2016 International Quilt Festival. I keep thinking I should add more stitching to the fur but I have so many projects with deadlines that for now, I need to move on.

That Cat! resembles several of the cats who have been our companions over the years - Mary Jane, Buster, and one of our current cats, Clyde. He is definitely a "That Cat!!!"

I added the mostly vintage buttons from my mom's button jar to the border simply because I didn't want to machine quilt it. Ready to move on and finish another quilting project.
 
Until next time, Mayleen

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fireworks over Dresden

Someone requested closeup photos of my Prairie Quilt Guild challenge quilt, "Fireworks over Dresden", so here they are!
This is what it is finished but not what I envisioned when I started. I will have an idea where I want to go with a project but it usually will take a few twists and turns along the way. This time, I wasn't going to buy any new fabric, thread, etc, ha. It didn't take too long and I was at the quilt shop. If I were doing this over again, I probably wouldn't use the white with gray streaks fabric. I think it just stands out too much.
 The challenge required us to make a Dresden Plate and use some of this fabric. Its actually a panel of strips but my photo shows them cut apart. We could add additional fabrics and design elements but needed to also stay within size limits.
 I decided to make fireworks because I thought it would be unique and because July 4th is my birthday! Here are a few photos of the fireworks which I stitched over and added crystals. Some of the threads are metallic which was a new skill to learn. I had some issues with tension.


 The name, "Fireworks over Dresden" doesn't just refer to the fireworks over Dresden Plates. There is a bridge in Dresden, Germany which looks somewhat like this. Its the Loschwitz Bridge and is sometimes called "das Blaues Wunder".

I created the reflection of the fireworks in the water below the bridge by cutting small snippets of the fabrics and fusing them down. I also included small snipped pieces of the metallic threads to create even more depth. The water is covered with black netting and machine quilted to keep everything in place.
Here's the back of the "Fireworks over Dresden" wall hanging. I like the back almost as much as the front! 
Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I've been getting a few reminders that I haven't been keeping up my blog. It has been a long time and I don't know where to start again except to post a few photos of quilts I've finished. 

The next photos are "I Spy" quilts I made as 2016 Christmas presents for our grandchildren.

 The three boys received similar quilts with a navy blue border.

Our only granddaughter received this quilt with a red print border.

 This thread painted cat is my project from the class I took with Pam Holland at Houston's International Quilt Festival in November, 2016. I only get to work on him when I don't have a quilting project with a deadline. Still have quite a bit of stitching to do on him!

"Fireworks Over Dresden"

My local quilt guild, Prairie Quilt Guild in Wichita, KS, has a challenge every other year. We buy a small amount of required fabric to use in a required way. This year it was the Dresden Plate quilt block and a mix of fabrics in colors I probably wouldn't normally have chosen. 

I made my Dresden Plate blocks out of the required fabrics and added several fabrics of my own to make a fireworks exploding over a bridge scene. Several firsts for me on this project: a new sewing machine, learning to use metallic threads, and gluing on hundreds of crystals.

Guild members voted on their favorite quilts and winners were announced at our last guild meeting. "Fireworks Over Dresden" won 1st place in its category and Viewer's Choice!

I'm also working on a Kaffe Artisan Fabric challenge quilt but I won't be able to share it until June. 
I hope to blog again before then though!

Until later, Mayleen