Thursday, October 18, 2012

PIQF'd Out!

This past weekend was Pacific International Quilt Festival:  complete with over 800 quilts, 300 vendors, 60 workshops offered by national and international quilt teachers.  It was 3 days of quilter's bliss!

Dixie in fabric
This year, I signed up for two different one-day workshops:  Animal Portraits with Esterita Austin and Tucked Up and Embellished Circles with Jennie Rayment.  I arrived to the Animal Portrait class super early--so I got first pick among some half yards of gorgeous hand dyed fabrics.  I had hoped to use Skippy as my subject matter---but he tends to be pretty camera instead I went with Dixie.  As you can see I didn't get very far with capturing Dixie in fabric, but in fairness those are all individual pieces of fabric cut out and fused.  But I am really excited about the technique and can't wait to work on it more to tackle the rest of her face in fabric.
Jennie's Tucked Up Circle

Just the beginning...
Last year I took Jennie Rayment's Texture into Sudoku class, so I knew I was in for a treat with her Tucked Up and Embellished Circles class.  Many students opted to go with the class kit containing muslin fabrics.  And as usual, I took a more colorful route:  a gorgeous glowing ombre fabric ranging from a warm yellow to oranges and finally to a bright raspberry pinkish/purple.  I was able to cut the fabrics needed for class to capture on this changing fabric...and each step of the process kept getting more and more exciting.

Tucked up circle from class...more to come!

I can't wait to show the finished piece, especially since I added some fun borders.

And even though I was exhausted after each class, I powered through and checked out the quilt show.  Day 1, I only managed to get through the vendors and maybe half the quilts.  Day 2, I helped cover our guild's table to sell tickets for wall hangings and a featherweight machine, named Pearl.  Day 3, I tackled the remainder of the show.  I behaved myself at the various vendors, only picking up a few fabrics to add to my stash.  I especially enjoyed seeing all the gorgeous quilts made by fellow guild members, several of which earned ribbons!  Next year, I will be sure to submit a quilt or two...  but until then, I am officially PIQF'd out!

Monday, October 8, 2012

BAMQG Whole Cloth Quilt Challenge

Colorful zig zag stitching radiating from the center
This past Saturday was BAMQG meeting day--and the deadline for completing the Aurofil Whole Cloth Quilt Challenge.  Up until Wednesday morning, I hadn't a single stitch, let alone selected fabrics, threads or designs...eeeeek!  But I woke up with a vision of a quilted color wheel combining only 6 threads to create zig zag rays of primary, secondary and tertiary colors.  Before I lost the vision, I drafted up a quick sketch to guide me, then went to the studio to make a sandwich of Kona charcoal grey solid for the front of the quilt and a bright color wheel printed fabric for the backing.  

painter's tape to mark arcs and stitching lines
To create the evenly spaced zig zags, I first created a freezer paper circle template, then used 1" painter's tape to mark 12 evenly spaced arcs.  On the circle template, I jotted down which thread color combination would fill each arc.  To create the same zig zag pattern in each of the arcs, I marked dots along the inside edges of tape that were then be connected using my walking foot.  For the first few arcs, I would measure out and mark the dots to match the first arc.  But then realized I could reuse the tape segments containing the original marks, which saved quite a bit of time and minimized the chance of accidentally marking the fabric with the permanent sharpie marker.  It was easy to eyeball the first few connecting lines, but as I worked my out from the center circle, the lines grew longer and more difficult to stitch straight lines.  So I used smaller lengths of painter's tape to create a straight edge to serve as a guide for my walking foot.  

pop of color in the center
Once each arc had its master zig zag stitched, I then stitched three to four parallel zig zags approximately ~1/4 apart to create the color saturation to pop.  In the primary and secondary arcs, I could use the same thread for all 5 rows of stitching.  But in the teriary arcs, I alternated primary and secondary colored thread to achieve a blended Red, Violet, Red, Violet to achieve Red-Violet. Even though this process required me to swtich out threads/bobbins, it actually went fairly quickly!  

I found a great rainbow ombre fabric that was already blended on the bias which really added a pop to the binding!  I kept going back and forth over the center space, and whether to leave the center as is or add something special.  I opted to add one more burst of color by appliqueing a small circle of backing fabric, while still maintaining a ring of unstitched negative space before the zig zag stitching began.

Finished project--unfortunately my photo just doesn't capture all the colorful stitching, but boy does that binding pop!