Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Snapshot

Detail of Fish Quilt, 2011
This is another detail photo from my fish quilt. 
I made this quilt as part of a Amoskeag Quilters' Guild challenge and one of the items in the box of stuff you had to use was a set of artificial leaves in autumn colors (the silky-kind you often find on wreaths this time of year). I used those by cutting little fish (they are roughly the size and shape of goldfish crackers) out of the leaves and then tacking each one onto the quilt with a single bead to be the fish's eye. The resulting school of fish looks flat in the picture, but actually stands out from the quilt a bit as the leaves the fish were made from were fairly stiff. 
The seaweed is also dimensional. It was made with strips of one of the required fabrics (basically the construction I use for handbag handles) to which I zig-zagged fluffy sparkly trim. The end of the seaweed (see last week's picture) is sewn into a seam between the water and the sand and then the strip was twisted a bit and tacked here and there to hold it onto the surface. 
I am linking this up with Saturday Snapshot at West Metro Mommy.
Susan from Buch Handling visited last week's post and she asked to see the whole quilt. That will be next week's photo.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Snapshot

Detail of my fish quilt, 2011.

I made this quilt as part of a Amoskeag Quilters' Guild challenge. It is 3-D and has lots of embellishments. The seaweed and the sand, and the fish are all made from fabrics that had to be in the quilt (per the challenge rules).

I am linking this up with Saturday Snapshot at West Metro Mommy.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Experiments with Grain Bags

I'm lucky enough to have friends who are professional brewers. This means I not only have access to great beer, I also have access to lots of empty grain bags. Recently I have been playing around with ideas for using these to create stuff. Grain (aka malted barley) used to make beer comes in 50lb. bags which are typically made of a woven plastic-y material and often have cool graphics printed on them. A commercial brewery empties a lot of these each time they make a batch of beer, so finding a way to use them seemed like a fun, green project.

I came up with a design for a small bag to carry growlers in.
I also figured out how to use an entire grain bag (of the kind that shreds when you cut it) to make a tote bag. (I used strips cut from a less temperamental bag to make the handles.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Convergence Quilts by Ricky Tims

Ricky Tims' Convergence Quilts: Mysterious, Magical, Easy, and FunRicky Tims' Convergence Quilts: Mysterious, Magical, Easy, and Fun by Ricky Tims
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A friend of mine made one of these quilts which I just loved. The technique is fairly simple and looks like it could be used to create some very interesting designs. There is a long (for a quilting book) introductory section where Tims tells us about how he came to this design and maps out the process and tips for design and assembly. He has a very friendly entertaining tone that I liked and built the process in a logical way. There were several variations to try and lot of inspiring pictures of quilts made by different people using these techniques. I really loved the ones where the convergence was used as a background for an appliqued design.
I put together the first "exercise" in the book in an evening and the directions in the book were clear and easy to follow (lots of pictures and exact step=by=step). The only place I ran into a little trouble was the cutting of the first set of strips. Tims tells you exactly how to place the unit on your board (fabric 2 on top, seam at the bottom) and what edge to cut from. When I was laid out that way I couldn't cut the strips from that side, but I rotated the mat to the seam was on top, cut the strips, and rotated the board back before I picked them up so it worked out ok. I didn't love how my convergence came out, but now I have a better idea of what fabrics will work well. I may not put borders on this one, but it took 4 12-inch squares from my stash so no great investment was made in trying out the technique.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday Snapshot

The entrance to San Franciso's China Town taken on our trip last year. 
I am linking this up with Saturday Snapshot at West Metro Mommy

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday Snapshot

I have been photographing items for the Etsy shop I am working toward launching. My friend Lisa and I spent an afternoon taking lots of photos on our patio of various things, this one is a group of purple pouches. I like the rocks and wood as a background.
I am linking this up with Saturday Snapshot at West Metro Mommy