Completing the Woman and Child Applique Pattern

I love being able to share things with my friends.  It is fun, it is helpful…especially when they give me feedback…and it helps me keep things on track..  So I thought I would show you some of the various stages of my drawing and what I now think is the completed applique pattern drawing.  I would still like your feedback if you see something that really stands out that needs changing.

Here is the original one I used for the first quilt “Waiting…”

finished detail as shot 2

I thought I should change her for the new Waiting… quilt 2.  So I tried drawing several new women drawing.

Woman looking to sea_001 woman 2_002woman 3_004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I decided to go back and recast the original one.

Wind blown woman 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After some feedback I realized the hair was not right and the clothes are not colored properly.  I also drew a little girl.  Here are some of the stages of that process:

girl's faceChild_007child

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman and Child for Waiting..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So after some tweaking and moving and so forth, here is where it is now.  Keep in mind when looking at this that it is just a pattern.  The only thing printed will be the faces and hand.  The rest will be created from various textures of fabrics, thread work, highlighting and lowlighting from inks or paints, but I do work best when I have a pretty good idea of how it really will look when finished.  The woman’s dress, cloak, and hair are still not quite right, but that will be changed as I work through making the applique.

Woman-and-Child-Final

I am so looking forward to getting these put together now.  I will make several versions of both the woman and the child and see which ones look best, and, after talking it over with Beth, my DIL, I decided to print out multiple faces and hands on a single sheet of fabric and set up a practice sandwich with it so I can figure out the best quilting for those.  The faces are not large, but always the most difficult to quilt.

Sew there you are.  These appliques are so important to the overall quilt.  They aren’t easy, and they have taken a lot of time.  I need them, though, to make the quilt I see in my head.  I also have gotten together most, but not all, of the special pieces of fabrics I painted, pulled from my stash, and ordered for this.  I am only waiting on the velveteen for the girl’s and woman’s coats and hat and the furry yarns for the edges.  Time to sew!

Sew happy everyone!  Have a great week.  Please comment on my blogs.

Addendum:  After some feedback, I made the girl smaller, the woman’s chin less prominent and did a few other changes to the hair.  Here it is.

Woman and Child Final_001

A Small Storm at Sea Quilt Pattern

small storm

I have been working on how to produce a pattern for other quilters using Electric Quilt 7.  It isn’t very hard in case you want to do this too.  You make your pattern, then set your printer for the pdf instead of the printer and print it.  Be sure to check the print preview before you do this, because you can’t go back and edit it if something is wrong.

For those of you who are interested I made a small storm-at-sea foundation piecing pattern and stored them as three pdf files you can download from the files below and use if you want.  In the future I plan on making some small wall hanging quilts that I draw myself, so I really wanted to try this out to see if it works for people.  If you print off the foundation pattern onto foundation paper of some sort, be sure to set your printer for actual size rather than fit to page.  This little foundation pattern makes 7 inch blocks when completed.  Then, for the quilt shown, cut four border pieces 4 inches wide x 28.5 for a 3.5 inch border and cut four 4 inch squares for the 3.5 inch corner blocks.  You can always adjust the size by adding more blocks and increasing the borders.

Please refer back to my blog about foundation piecing here for what I have found as important for good success.  I also found that for the 7 inch block, cutting 3 inch strips from which to cut blocks and triangles for the foundation pieces of the four colors helps a lot. The cool thing about foundation piecing is if your 3 inch strip is actually a little uneven or a little bigger or smaller than the three inches it is ok.  You cut them down anyway after stitching.

Storm at sea small quilt

storm at sea small quilt yardage  You probably need a little more yardage than this says you do.  This was figured by EQ7 for precise cutting and piecing, and I use larger pieces for foundation piecing.

7 inch storm at sea foundation piecing

This may seem odd to those of you who know my work as an art quilter but may not have been reading my past blogs.  I am making a new quilt in the “Waiting…” series, which will eventually be mostly a pictorial quilt, but has a big wave made from this traditional storm at sea pattern that merges into a pictorial ocean.  This is from Electric Quilt 7, but I did some adjusting and chose the fabrics for this.  If you have EQ7, you can make your own, but when you print the foundation pattern be sure to move the segments that are divided by the pages onto the second page before printing.  You can do that in print preview.

Sew happy everyone!  Try making at least one storm at sea foundation pieced block.

Updating

I always kind of feel like September brings a new year.  This has been a year full of updates and maintenance both for my home and for my software.  This year I had to replace my hot water heater, have some rotting trim and all the grouting outside replaced and the whole house pressure washed, the decks and fence pressure washed and sealed, and the trim repainted.  There have been a lot of smaller items, and yesterday I just got an old builder’s grade toilet replaced in one of my small bathrooms for a nice new one.  I still have to replace the weatherstripping around my front door, but that should be all for the house for a while, I hope.

The amazing thing is how well this restored my decks (I have two).  I was thinking before all of this that I might need to replace it, but it looks fantastic, almost like new.  I have enjoyed getting out there every day the weather permitted since the deck was restored.  Sometimes my grandson has gone out there and done some reading also.  He started to school yesterday, but he still comes here after school.  This is good.

In anticipation of my fall sewing and quilting now that school has started, I first updated my website, adding a little store to sell my quilts, books, and other items from.  Additionally, I have been updating my software.  I started by installing Windows 10 and made sure it works with everything, and then I took advantage of a really good deal on the new Corel Painter 16 software update.  This adds quite a few interesting new brushes and other things, plus it allows me to use all those Dover brush stamps that I have for Photoshop in Painter now.  I like that a lot.  Painter is the main design software I use so it is important to take advantage of these major advances.

All this updating made me realize that I was at an excellent spot in my sewing and quilting plans to update the firmware on my Bernina 830 LE, which I did.  Everything is working well so far (knock on wood).

So the other day I did a little exploration of some of the decorative stitches on my 830.  Most of the ones I tried are new, but not all of them.  Here are some pictures of the test samples:

stitch sampler stitch sampler 2Aren’t they fun?   I think I’ll have to do something special with some of them.  What do you suggest?

Stitch number 713, which was there all along, is the stitch I should have used when I was trying to get a Sashiko like stitch for my border on Kanazawa Memories.  I still think it would have stretched, and I would have finished it like I did, but I’ll know next time.  These little samplers are going in my notebook.

All of this updating, plus a very expensive dental/oral surgery thing, are the reasons you won’t see me at a quilt show for a while.  I’m not sure just how long, but I am content.  I have all these wonderful design programs and machines to play with at home with a fully stocked stash of fabrics, threads, paints and beads.  It will be fun to see what I can do with all of that.

Sew happy everyone!!!  Updating can be a good thing, though it may be a little stressful from time to time.  You might be surprised at how well things work and find some new treats as you get them finished.  Cheers.

 

 

 

Working With Different Fabric Types

I have almost finished my Ikebana/Sashiko quilt, and had some difficulties toward the end that were my own fault, but which reminded me that over the years I have learned a great deal about fabric properties and how to work with them to get results I want. Sometimes, I don’t succeed, but almost always it is because I skipped a step or substituted another technique to try it out.

In this case, I failed to back the border with the same fusible interfacing I backed the blocks with in the central section.  I thought I could get away with this because I was using a temporary spray adhesive attaching it to the batting.  It didn’t work.  The border stretched, the stitching looked horrible, and it wasn’t the machine’s fault.  I ended up cutting the border down to only 3/8″ wide plus the part to be covered by the binding.  Even the binding became very challenging at that point to get it on straight and true.  But I have succeeded, I think, although I still have to stitch down the back of the binding by hand.  If I had fused the interfacing to the border fabric, it might have had a very different outcome.  In the end, however, I think I like the narrow edge of green fabric better than the wider border would have been, even if I had succeeded in what I was trying to do.

This made me think to share this little chart I worked out for my own use that I think you may find interesting.  I leave it to you to determine brands and content of the stabilizers and interfacing.

Fabric chart

What do you think about this?  I’d love to hear from you.

Sew happy everyone.

Getting It Straight

I cannot quilt a straight line. I am finishing up my Ikebana/Sashiko quilt, which I will now name “Kanazawa Memories” in honor of the wonderful two women–Sensei (teacher) Endo, and Nobu Katagiri–who took me under their wings when I was a young woman all those years ago in Kanazawa, Japan, and taught me how to manage in a Japanese home. Not only did they teach me flower arrangement in the Sogetsu Ikebana School, but they taught me how to take care of unfamiliar parts of the home like tatami mats.

I really hummed and hawed with myself over how to quilt the border, and in the end I decided to stitch five rows of straight triple stitch around the border in earth tone Superior Rainbow thread. I started trying to stitch just a straight stitch, but found it did not lay down enough color, so I switched to the triple stitch. It was so hard to get it straight. I marked it AFTER it was sandwiched, which I am sure was the main problem, so I pulled out a straight ruler that I particularly like and used it as a guide.

Straight quilting

I really found this easy, and the straightness improved, though there were some drifts here and there and things I learned along the way.

DSCN2674

  • You must come to a full stop before you move your hands or the ruler or you may get a drift or jerky spot.
  • You have to be particularly careful in turning a corner.
  • If you press down the ruler too tightly and hold it out from you too long you get some really bad muscle aches after an hour or two of quilting.
  • The triple stitch was intended for an internal stretch seam, and it does not always stitch evenly (see the picture above, where it is obvious). So very even speed is needed to make it come out nice, but even so, it isn’t like I like in the end. To add to this, it is a very difficult stitch to remove, and virtually impossible on the soft, loosely woven Peppered Cotton.
  • The border is wavy, even though it was not when I first added it with care to measure and cut it lengthwise. It stretched on this soft, loosely woven cotton, likely because of the heaviness of the stitch. I should have backed the border with a fusible interfacing like I did the blocks. I mistakenly thought that using the temporary adhesive to attach the batting would serve the purpose.

So in the end, I got the rows fairly straight, except a very few wobbles that I MIGHT be able to fix. But I am probably going to remove the border altogether and simply bind the quilt in the same color green. I might leave a narrow border in place, adding a little to the width of the visual green, but not much.

This quilt was never intended to be a show quilt. It was mostly a learning and memory quilt for me. When I get it fully finished, I will, nevertheless, take good photos of it and might try to get it into a show or two so some of my friends who go to certain shows can see it.

In the meantime, here’s a peak at the quilting in the middle.
DSCN2680

Conclusions: The ruler was extremely helpful and I can use it with my quarter inch foot, as shown (I used it with my 37D foot, which is an exact quarter inch from the needle on both sides, making the lines on the ruler particularly useful). Soft, loosely woven cotton stretches A LOT even with some care. Even if you get the stitching as straight as you originally envisioned it, it sometimes disappoints. All good things to know.

Sew happy everyone. Try a little ruler work with your domestic machine.

Precision Broiderie Perse by Machine

Machine appliqueing with very narrow zig zag

Machine appliqueing with very narrow zig zag

My current quilt project includes a  broiderie perse Japanese flower arrangement (Ikebana).  I “painted” the flowers in Corel Painter 15 based on some Dover black and white drawings that I heavily edited. (See my post on painting the flowers).  Broiderie Perse flower arrangement appliques using printed flowers has been around since the 1700s.

I am using my technique for narrow stitching the raw edged appliques, and I thought I would just share with you how I set it up to be as precise as possible.

  • I set my zig zag stitch width to .9 (the blanket stitch would also work if it were set just as narrow and shortened).
  • I set my tension a little looser on top and thread my bobbin for embroidery.  This has to be done carefully and with a test to make sure that even though the top thread pulls to the back a little bit it doesn’t make the stitch come out unsecured.
  • I use my magnifying glass attachment
  • My needle is a 6.0/8 Microtex Superior Titanium
  • I use the 37D quarter inch foot for my Bernina 830 LE.  And yes, usually this foot is for straight stitching, but it will accept a zig zag width up to 1.1.  I like this narrow foot because it has an open toe, it holds the applique tight to the fabric while stitching, it has a mark at the back of the open toe that shows the precise center of the foot, and I can engage my machine’s dual feed mechanism, which helps the stitching to be more even.  If you don’t have this foot, I suggest your open toed embroidery foot instead.

 

37D foot in action

37D foot in action

  • I use a very thin thread–usually Kimono silk 100 weight or Bottom Line 60 weight–in a matching color to the edge of the applique.

I discovered if I use this setup and aim the edge of the applique right at that center-back mark on the foot, keeping the edge as close to centered in the foot as possible that it stitches precisely with the zig on the applique and the zag on the background fabric (doesn’t matter which side the fabric is on and which side the applique is on). Also, by doing this, I can tell exactly when I need to turn and how far.  There is a lot of turning in machine applique of flowers.

Stitching fairly slow to medium speed and trying to keep an even timing, produces the best most even stitch.

The result is very hard to see, but even under a magnifying glass it looks pretty.

I sometimes use monopoly using this very same setup only I use a universal Schmetz 7.0/10 needle for the monopoly.  I don’t know why, but it seems to keep it from misbehaving so much.  I don’t like working with monopoly because it is so lively and hard to see.  Still, sometimes it is the right thing to use, especially in something like this.

I printed off and cut out more flowers than I needed and arranged the flowers in place on the quilt, using Steam-a-Seam 2 so I could hand stick them down before I fused them in place.  I found I really could use a lot of the things I learned when I studied Ikebana even though the flowers were flat.

A side note: I have my fourth year certificate in Sogetsu Ikebana school that I obtained while living in Kanazawa, Japan.  My class was a group of three wonderful Japanese women and myself.  All three had lived in the United States and spoke English very well.  They taught me flower arranging, how to keep house in Japan, Japanese cultural items I needed to know, and a bit of Japanese.  I don’t think I could have managed life in Kanazawa without them.  There was much to learn.  This quilt is being made in their honor.

Sew happy everyone.  Try some broiderie perse precision applique by machine in your next quilt project.

 

Digitally Painting Flowers for Appliques

I have been making some progress on my Sashiko/Ikebana quilt. I got the blocks all embroidered with the Sashiko, cut and stithed together for the background, and I made the moon applique and turned the edge around a freezer paper template using starch, so it’s ready to applique. The next thing is making all the other appliques.

I looked through my stash and decided I did not want to use commercial fabrics for my broiderie perse appliqued flowers. I also found a wonderful set of line drawings on Dover Pictura, but they needed a lot of editing to make them work for outlines for my painted flowers.  So I thought I would tell you a little about how I approached that editing and painting. This is a very brief look..there is more to it, but the blog gets so long. Please ask questions if you want to know more.

I have found that a lot of line drawings you can find that are either copyright free or royalty free (that make them useable for my purposes) have lots of things that interfere either with digital painting or with digitizing for embroidery, but they are fairly easy to edit.  It does take time, though.  I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter 15 for this, but I could probably manage it in just one or the other.  I have found though that the combination gives me a very powerful setup, especially when I added Corel Draw and Bernina V7 to that mix. Then I can potentially use the same line drawing for fabric painting and for digitizing embroidery.  But for this project, you can probably do it all in most drawing packages.

First some of the drawings need to be a little simplified…removing dots, for instance, using the eraser tool.  So I start with Photoshop and edit the line drawings:

Preparing a line drawing

Then I make sure all the shapes have no “leaks” or gaps, using a narrow line drawing brush.

Editing a line drawing 1

Then I move it into Corel Painter 15 for the painting.  (Note, I save the outline as a .tif file and as a .jpg, and I use the .tif for the painting). I start by filling the shapes with color using the paintcan fill tool.  After I do that, I will add some highlights and lowlights using one of the digital air brush tools, and I might do some blending with the blending brush tools.  In some cases, I need to add some texture with some of the texture brushes,, as I did in the center of the blue flowers below.  I left the lines black because I think it looks good for fabric prints.  I will probably use the lines for stitching lines.

flower 4 for applique-a_003

 

But sometimes I just color the drawing with only minor editing.  In the drawing below, I filled all the lines in dark green (this requires care…just to touch inside the line so the lines go green and nothing else does).  I filled the leaves as much as possible (the spaces are very small) with the light green and then painted in the rest of colors using the scratch board brush.  I did not do any highlighting  or blending on the one below because the line drawing was so complex.

flower 5 for applique_001

Colors have to be more intense on the screen so they will print well on fabrics. If you try a paper print and it looks right, it’s probably too light. I can print an 11 x 17 inch fabric on my printer.  It will print larger, but I would have to prepare the printable fabric myself.  I get the 11 x 17 and 8.5 x 11 sheets from Electric Quilt.  After I print them with my ink jet printer, heat set, rinse, and iron dry it seems to be fairly permanent and washable.  So I print it and set it and then iron the fusible web on the back and carefully cut it out.  I do stitch the edge after ironing it in place.  Sometimes I use only a tiny straight stitch with 10o wt silk thread or with monopoly.  Sometimes the edge of the cut fabric shows a little white, and I use India ink markers to color the edges if needed.  This also needs to be heat set to make it washable.

It amazes me how far digital paint programs have come.  I especially love Corel Painter 15, but it really took me a lot of time before I began to really use the great features of this program.  I found some you tube videos by several of the digital painter experts that have helped me a lot.  One of the cool things about this is that I can resize the flowers, reverse print them, and print them all..then I have a lot of flowers without having to paint more.

Sew happy everyone! Try a little digital painting for fabrics.

 

Tackle Those “High Tech” Tools and Software and Soar…

 

App 9 from Outer Space (my personal app quilt for R2CA))

App 9 from Outer Space (my personal app quilt for R2CA))

A lot of you know I love software and high tech machines and gadgets. I have found them to save me time and give me additional abilities I don’t have on my own.This is to all of you out there who have a piece of software, an attachment for your machine, or a tool (or even a high tech machine!!!) that requires figuring out how to use it and you just haven’t, It’s time to pull it out of the closet or from under the bed or fire it up on your computer and learn to use it. I just saw the comment again on Facebook in response to one of my friend’s posts “I’ve had [whatever] loaded on my computer for a couple of years now and haven’t used it – fear of the ‘unknown’ I really need to find some courage and tackle the fear…” My response is yes, yes you do! You will be rewarded for doing so.

Most everything comes with online manuals and videos these days, and there are a plethora of videos on YouTube or for purchase for nearly every activity. Take this approach:

 

  • Decide you are going to learn to use “THE THING IN THE CLOSET [OR ON THE COMPUTER]” using simple practice or test projects for starters.  These would be items you would be willing to throw away or could put in a notebook for future reference…not a present, not something to display. I’m not going to tell you to sit down and read the whole manual,  because I never do and I know from my mother that this is a barrier.  So I say read the first chapter that has step by step instructions or watch the first how-to video and skim the rest.  If THE THING is a machine, you need to look through the manual and see what help it has.  You don’t have to read it in depth, just find the helpful pages and maybe put a sticky note on them.

  For instance, even though I took the free classes for my Bernina 830, I still needed additional help in learning to run it.  I found a whole set of videos on YouTube and over the course of a few days I watched every one. Then I made some test projects for future reference.  They were enormously helpful.  By the way, I still make test projects before I start a major show quilt, and write on the test with a Sharpie what settings, batting, thread, etc. I used.  I also keep a notebook handy with additional reference thoughts.

  •  Take your project one step at a time.  Tell yourself that each step is fairly easy and focus just on that one step.  When that is finished do the next.  It’s when you start thinking about the whole big picture that you might get bogged down.  This may seem intuitive, but you would be surprised how many students and friends I have had that have to make themselves look at one tree (step) at a time rather than the forest (completed project).  This is how I learned to tailor men’s suits.  I can make a tuxedo that is as fine as any fine tailor in Hong Kong or London can make, and it’s almost all self taught from books and trial and error.
  •   Let yourself have fun and just play.  “Playing” is really just practicing only it sounds more fun…and it is.
  •  Once you have sort of got a beginning understanding of THE THING…make a simple project for keeps that is just yours…no one else’s.
  • Don’t tackle anyone else’s until you are really comfortable with THE THING.

 

I hope you will try this.  I hope you don’t feel I am talking condescendingly to you.  I really want you to find comfort with the tools you have at your disposal.  These advanced software tools, attachments, and machines have magnificent features that can speed up your work and allow you to accomplish things you would be very surprised that you can do.  You can soar, but only after you practice.

Please put a comment on my blog if you have THE THING hiding out in your closet or computer or some such.

Sew happy everyone…and go take out THE THING and let yourself play.

Ikebana for a Quilt

As some of you already know I am currently making a quilt that has a Japanese Sashiko emboridered background with a Japanese Ikebana foreground.  I am machine embroidering Sashiko blocks of various sizes for an irregular layout based on a five inch grid.  I am almost finished with the embroidery, but I discovered I needed a little more gray to make it have the look I am after.  I am inspired by antique Japanese fishermen’s and firemen’s coats for the background, and that part of the quilt is coming along nicely.

Sew…now I have to come up with the foreground appliques.  This will be somewhat like actually building an Ikebana arrangement with real flowers, but I will be using fabric flowers.  I found slumbering in my stash a wonderful piece of hand-dyed silk dupioni, very slubbed and with rusty and brown colors that looks a lot like an ancient Japanese ceramic for the vase.

The actual arrangement needs to be done on the quilt top much as I would do in a vase with real flowers.  Sew I found a lot of flower fabrics that I could use for my embroiderie perse flower arrangement, but I may not use them.  I am also drawing from photographs or changing and coloring in some vector flower designs in my Corel Painter 15 from Dover Pictura which I might print on fabric and use for my appliques.  Here is a sunflower that started out as a black and white line drawing from Dover.  It needed a lot of editing before I started the coloring.  If I use it, I will do some substantial thread work after applique to bring it alive.  I might separate the flower from the stem and leaves so I can print them larger.

Sunflower ready to print.

Sunflower ready to print.

One of the arrangements I did way back when I lived in Japan that won a ribbon in a contest in Kanazawa, used two giant sunflowers, some greenery and some broom straw, which, when held properly, can be bent into swoops and swirls that hold their shape.  If I use that as the basis of my Ikebana arrangement, I will couch on some thick decorative threads and cording to replicate the broom straw.

It’s great fun. When I get to the flower arrangement, I’ll take some pictures and share with you some basics on Ikebana. I hope to complete this quilt by the end of July.

Sew happy everyone!  Try your hand at some broiderie perse.  I found this very interesting article talking about it.  http://www.womenfolk.com/quilting_history/broderieperse.htm  Mine will not be using chintz, but it’s still the same concept, although I will be using machine applique with a very narrow edge stitching.

 

Putting Aside a Bogged Down Project to Draft a New Sea Themed Quilt

tatum-detail-waiting-AQSI got bogged down on designing my deep forest quilt with woodland creatures. I won’t abandon it, but will put it aside for a while. So I have decided after some encouragement from my friends and family to make another waiting-at-seaside quilt as quilt 2 in the clipper ship/sea series.

I think the original Waiting… has been my most popular quilt as far as positive comments from people…not so much from judges. This time I am planning to pay particular attention to the details of the clipper ship and to the family member(s) waiting for their loved one to return from sea, and greatly narrow or eliminate the borders. If I can successfully digitally paint a nineteenth century woman and child looking out to sea in anticipation, I will use them. This will again be my own original artwork except for the clipper ship.

Here’s how I approach a new wall art quilt that I am making in cotton (the silk based quilt process is different:

  1. I get an idea and lightly draw up a design concept on paper or in Corel Painter 15
  2. I put it aside a day or two and start hunting for royalty free images for elements I am going to need a reference image for drawing…in this case the clipper ship.
  3. I paint the elements for fabric prints…in this case the family member(s) waiting at sea side and the detailed drawing of the clipper ship.
  4. I then put the idea together in Corel Painter 15 and save it as both a .rif and a jpg.
  5. I take it to Corel Draw and size it to full size.   Corel Draw will automatically separate the pattern into printable sized sheets…usually I use 11 x 17 inch paper for this.
  6. I print it out and tape it together, providing me a full-sized pattern to work from.
  7. I crop out the elements that need to be printed on fabrics…in this case the family member(s) waiting at sea side or just their faces and hands, depending…and take the full sized element back to Corel Painter 15 to reference for matching the .rif format size and finalize the digital painting in the correct sizes.  I intensify the saturation by 25 percent and save as .rif or tiff file, which have fewer printer problems than jpg, and print these parts on fabric.  I have been known to send it through the ink jet printer twice, lining it up carefully, with very good results, and thoroughly saturating the fabric with the inks.  I then iron it to heat set it, rinse it in really hot water a couple of times, wring it out with a towel, and iron it dry.  This removes excess ink and makes it reliably permanent.   If it makes it too light, I will print another piece after raising the saturation level another ten percent. Occasionally, I will touch it up with real fabric ink and heat set again.
  8. In this case, I will paint the sky with Setacolor fabric inks…so I get some prepared-for-dye fabric, which I lay flat and spray with water, and wash paint it with the watered down fabric inks.  I heat set and hot rinse and iron it dry like I do with the printed fabrics.
  9. I prewash all the other fabrics involved.  I spray starch and iron everything before I start to construct the top.
  10. I then set about putting it together, confident that all the fabrics are washable and I can lightly wash and block the finished quilt before I bind it.
  11. Note that I use Crayola washable markers on the washed and starched fabrics to mark the top as I go.  It has always always come out in the blocking process for all my cotton quilts even if I iron over it.

I love clipper ships, and I plan on doing careful applique, trapunto work on the sails, and detailed stitching for the ship’s rigging. I am on the hunt for just the right royalty free picture of a clipper ship to base my quilted ship on. Copyright is always an issue when I am using someone else’s artwork or photography even as an inspiration for part of my quilts. Fortunately, I have a lot of resources for clipper ships that are royalty free now. it’s a matter of finding the right one and then redrawing it as a pattern for me to use.

I see a whole long series of historic ships, storms at sea, and waiting at sea side drama in my future. I plan on addressing some of the issues highlighted by judges for Waiting… as I reach for a higher level of quilt making.

Meanwhile, I am making progress on embroidering the Sashiko on the Peppered Cotton for my Ikebana quilt, which is kind of an ode to my years of living in Kanazawa, Japan and studying Ikebana. The biggest challenge of this quilt will be the Ikebana applique arrangement. The background is going to be simple embroidered and printed fabric blocks based on a five inch grid. Some of the blocks are 10 x 10, some 10 x 5, and the rest 5 x 5 arranged after embroidery and cutting on my design board. And I’m still working on my books.

Sew happy everyone…Hoping you have some fun in your sewing space today.