Tuesday, March 25, 2008

At Last!

Whew! I can't believe I'm finally finished with my Alabama Hills Rock quilt! It seems like a long time since I started it, but I put in the last stitches today, and here it is:
The last embellishment I added was the wispy clouds... the photo I was working from had clear sky, but the picture screamed for clouds, so I added them in. That netted me some muscle cramps in my shoulder, but it was worth it!

Friday, March 21, 2008

New toys

Last weekend, I bought a small greenhouse on sale at our hardware store. I have wanted one for a long time, but they always seemed to be out of my price range. Not this one! This little beauty was on sale for $29.99! I should have bought 2, but wanted to set it up first to see how well it was made. Here it is:

Isn't it neat? It's 64" tall by about 35 1/2" wide. Should be great for starting seedlings, growing herbs, etc.

My other new toy is my new sewing machine. My old one was broken and could not be repaired, but I found a new one... another Pfaff, my favorite machine, and it was on sale to boot!

I have done a little sewing on it and it's a different feel from the older one, but it does free-motion sewing very well. I will get around to trying all the bells and whistles eventually, but I'm just glad to have a working machine again!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Disaster Strikes!

Oh, migosh! I was busy sewing last night, when the handle on my sewing machine that raises and lowers my sewing foot broke! My faithful Pfaff is almost 28 years old, and I have visions of taking her to the sewing machine doctor and being told they don't make that part anymore! Agggggggggggggaaaaaahhh! At the very least, I'm sure they will need to order the part, which could take days.... maybe a week! And I'm right in the middle of 2 projects! Sigh....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The struggle continues...

Since my last post I decided to remove the hand stitching and go with free-motion embroidery. I have to say that I am finding the process to be very tedious on this piece, as I am attempting to add shadows and highlights with the stitching. Here is my update:

Below is a detail of some of the stitching I have added:

So far, the highlights are working better than the shadows. I am thinking of adding a darker thread to 'cross-hatch' some of the darker shadow areas in the hopes that will make the shadows more realistic...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Embellishing the rocks

I have completed preliminary stitching on the rocks... I chose to use a satin stitch to outline the shapes, then began handwork using embroidery floss to create highlights and shadows. After working on the center rock, I have decided to study the piece a little before I continue. I'm not sure the additional detail is going to improve the piece, and I may remove what I have done and just use free-motion stitching to add visual interest to the rocks. Here's where I stopped:

Below is a detail of the center rock where I used the embroidery:

On another note, I got tired of putting thumb tack holes in my wall, so I created a design board of sorts using a scrap piece of baseboard molding and some flannel, so now I can clip my work to the flannel or pin it for distance viewing... woo-hoo!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Fusing is done

I just completed the fusing step on my Alabama Hills Rock piece... now it's time to start the detail work with machine quilting. I am excited about this next step, but it's also a little scary. I'm still getting used to free-motion quilting, and although I have been pleased with the results I have achieved with previous pieces, it's still very new to me and my confidence level is not where I would like it to be. So we'll just have to see how things progress from here. I hope to have another progress report to share soon! Here is the latest picture:

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Spring is in the air!

Finally, we have some warm, sunny days to enjoy! My friend Linda and I are going to have a play-date today, so I needed to do a little cleaning in the studio to make room for batik work and stamping. We also hope to do some discharging of darker fabric pieces using bleach water sprayed over areas not blocked by resist materials.

While I was cleaning up the studio, I hung my Rock piece, currently in progress, and thought I would post an update. I haven't had as much studio time this week as I would have liked, but I am close to being done with the fusing step.

Yesterday, I went to the library to see the local Quilting Guild's exhibit, which by the way I am now a member of! The quilts were fabulous, and I look forward to getting to know the other members of the Guild at their monthly meetings. Linda and I went to the meeting on Thursday as guests, and wouldn't you know? I have met several of the women who were there for the meeting! Small world, small town... I love it!