Monthly Archives: January 2013

Boring………………… Why not???

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Officer duet

Officer duet

Working on learning Adobe Illustrator – boring!!!!  Well, why can’t they write these guides so that you wouldn’t fall asleep every other page.  Lets see…

“As Illustrator is brought to life the screen is haunted by a dark enclosure, surrounded by alien artifacs foreign to the eyes of it’s beholder.  Silently the signs of filters and plug-ins become more and more apparent.  Colors are brought to the forefront, masking shapes shadowed in the background.  The being in search of knowledge crosses the Adobe bridge, navigating to the cache in order to free up space for the encrypted files….   

  I KNOW, DAYDREAMING IS NOT WORKING….

Oh well, not much quilting went on today.  I did finish more costumes.  The one pictured here is actually part of a duet – Until later…BE HAPPY!

Leisurely Sunday of Quilting

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Boy this was a lazy Sunday.  Some sun here in Houston but mostly cloudy skys.  It has been nice though, probably upper 60’s, lower 70’s.  I spent most of the day playing with a machine applique block that has been laying on my worktable for a couple of months.  I also finished up a quilt belonging to Sandy K.  It s so cute, a casual baby quilt with lots of applique and hand embroidered cats and dogs.  I have attached pictures of the whole quilt and some close-ups of the blocks.  Check out the quilted border – I thought the houses looked great as an accent to the houses in her blocks.  I will give it to her on Tuesday – hopefully she will be thrilled.

This week is scheduled to finish up the solo costumes for my daughter’s dance team and hopefully make a big dent in the team modern dresses (27 of them) that she needs.  I also plan on getting back to my Adobe Illustrator for Dummies book.  I have to learn this program!!!

Enjoy the week and, most of all, BE HAPPY!

Karenhouse 1 house 2 house with umbrellas quilted house border Sandy K quilt

Using colored pencils with embroidered redwork

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Well, here is a project that I decided would be a fun way to experiment with these pencils. I have sewn out a series of redwork designs on my embroidery machine.  I backed the fabric with a thin layer of cotton batting, hooped both pieces and sewed out the design.  RJ is my up and coming cowboy so this will eventually to him.  My plans are to color each design with my Derwent pencils, then work on an unusual setting for the blocks.  I have cut the fabric large enough to give me some leeway on block size for the final arrangement.  When I quilt the finished top I will quilt it using another full layer of 80/20 Hobbs batting and will do some fairly tight background fill around the designs.  With the two layers of batting and the tight background fill, the designs will look like they are trapunto.  Neat huh?  Here are some pics of a few finished and a few left to color.  Learning more with each block.

Until next time…BE HAPPY  …Karen

Technique for this week – coloring your quilts with pencil!

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COLORING WITH PENCILS  

72 Colors to a box

72 Colors to a box

Borders Colored with pencil

Borders Colored with pencil

This was an auction quilt I made for our guild auction.  I wanted something different so I found a wonderful pattern for quilting the border and then used my Derwent Inktense pencils to color the border to enhance the quilt design.  Using the Derwent pencils, which resemble water color dependent upon how much water is applied is so simple.  Color the areas you want, you can shade to your hearts content, then brush with a small brush dipped in water until you get the effect you want.  Just be careful (ask me how I know), too much water will run the color thru to the back of the quilt.  So Easy! AND IT’S PERMANENT!!!  This is the container that the pencils come in if you buy the 72 color box.  I highly recommend them.  Other pencils, like Prisma or even the cheapest from the grocery store will work with this technique but will not give you the intensity of color that you get from the Derwent pencils.  Most other pencils must be sealed with a textile medium of some sort.  Tomorrow I will show you how you can use these pencils to make a quilt, combining them with embroidery from your embroidery machine.

QUILT FOR THE DAY   This is the quilt for today that I am quilting.  It is much like a t-shirt quilt and as little quilting as possible was my objective.  There were a lot of memories built into this quilt that I felt needed to be the highlight.

Until tomorrow….BE HAPPY

Karen

www/karenthequltingdiva.com

Nancy's memory quilt

Tip Toe Thru The…..Puddles!

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Well, I got what I asked for.  It really rained today and my backyard, which usually drains well, has standing water.  Now, that does present some entertainment value.  My dogs HATE to get their feet wet.  So, want to take bets on how long a dog can hold it…  Finally my big boy, Champ, just couldn’t wait any longer and out he went, tentatively.  No, the little piece of grass next to the sidewalk wasn’t big enough, so, there he goes, tip toe, tip toe, all the way out, stops, shakes his feet, one at a time, does his business, and then again, tip toe, tip toe.  Gosh, I bet that’s the only time he goes out all day – way too much stress!!

LONG ARM FOR THE DAY  Since I don’t like to keep my machines running during a storm I did’t accomplish much today.  Finished one more costume (forgot the picture) and the second of Isabelle’s grandsons quilts.  I did get a picture of that while it was still on the longarm.

NEW WEBSITE  I did manage to get my business website up and running today.  Take a look if you have time.  It still needs lots of work and I have picture loading issues there as well as here, but, hopefully I’ll get it figured out before too long.  Meanwhile visit http://www.KarenTheQuiltingDiva.com     I have put a permanent link to it on this blog.

COLORING QUILTS WITH PENCILS…Well it’s Thursday again and time for a new technique.  Tomorrows project and technique for the week will be working with colored pencils.  You will be surprised what intense colors you can get and just how much it can add to a quilt.  Until then…BE HAPPY!

Karen

Bright and Cheerul quilted in a mix of pick-up trucks and sports balls

Bright and Cheerul quilted in a mix of pick-up trucks and sports balls

I love Purple!

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Isabelle's 8yr. Grandson's quilt

Isabelle’s 8yr. Grandson’s quilt

P1030678 (2)Caitlin

Champ on his "throne"

Champ on his “throne”

 

 

 

 

 

Boy, I sure wish I could figure out how to place these pictures so they make more sense.  Today has been long, gray and dreary here in Houston.  I finally got myself motivated to get some work done and went upstairs to the studio to quilt a customer quilt.  This is a really Purple quilt, trimmed in lime green for Isabelle’s 8 year old grandson.  The next will be another for her 11 year old grandson.  That’s on the schedule for tomorrow.  Also costuming away today – more solo costumes.  I decided to quilt this one with bicycles figuring all eight year olds love their bikes.  Hope you can see the bike in the picture.

When I quilt, as usual, Champ and Caitlin are upstairs with me.  Champ has his own sofa and you best not sit on it or he will “box” you to death.  Caitlin has a huge pillow under one of my work tables.

Stayed home today from my usual Tuesday schedule because we were scheduled to get some really mean rain – barely a drop came of course.  We even had Flash Flood Warnings.  Sigh….

Tomorrows another day….meanwhile, BE HAPPY!

Karen

Easy Street – What an experience!

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Easy Street ready to quilt

Easy Street ready to quilt

P1030666 (2) adjusted easy street front P1030669 (2)easy street back P1030670 (2)quilting

This was an incredibly fun adventure and I want to thank Bonnie for her generousness.  Easy Street was the first of her quilts I’ve done since discovering Quiltville.com  So much information, so many things to try.  Now, I don’t know if I would have started it if I’d had any idea there were nearly 2500 pieces in the quilt-thank goodness for my Sizzix cutter.  It was a challenge but worth every minute!

Karen

 

A LAZY SUNDAY

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Costume for Dance Duet

Costume for Dance Duet

Well, worked on dance costumes for my daughter, Stacey’s high school dance team today.  I have about a dozen solo and duet costumes to do and one team dance.  Things are good though.  This is a new school for her and she has a very small team, only about 27 members.  The last 18 years or so she has taught at a school with 60-240 students dancing.  Soooooooooooooooooo, 27 costumes in NOTHING!!!   Here is one of the costumes, part of a duet.  Looks pretty strange on the maroon body!

Finally got the Quiltville Easy Street on and off of the longarm.  It just needs the binding put on and then it’s finished.  A real quilt that I made for me…wow!  It should look great on the guest bed!  Well, I have a long quilt guild meeting tomorrow.  Hopefully I can get something exciting in during the evening.  In the meantime…BE HAPPY!

Easy Street in Progress

Easy Street in Progress

Rain, rain go away!

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Gosh I am so tired of the rain.  It has drizzled for days and been gray and miserable.  Oh well, it has kept me busy working inside and I am getting lots done for a change.  Even so, it snowed about three hours from Houston.  That, my friends, is a very exciting thing in South Texas!  TV is showing kids sledding in laundry baskets.

Meanwhile I finished the top to my Bonnie Hunter Quiltville Mystery quilt, Easy Street.  I love the way it came out.  It is currently on my longarm table very close to being finished.  The pattern and fabrics are very busy so I am just doing some circles to give the quilt texture. I have already prepared my grey binding and will be ready to go with that when I finish quilting it.  This is my first mystery quilt with Bonnie and I really enjoyed the process and love the quilt.  Everything went together like bread and butter. Here is a picture of the top before I put it on the longarm to quilt it.  No more quilting tomorrow.  Have to get busy making drill team costumes for my daughters high school drill team.  😦   Until tomorrow…BE HAPPY!

Easy Street Top Before Borders

Easy Street Top

ICE DYED FABRIC EXPERIMENT EXCITING!

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Well, I finally managed to get the five pieces of fabric out, rinsed, washed and ironed.  They are really very cool – I wish the colors showed as well in the picture as they do in person.  Take a look….    It is definitely a do-again, although not as much control for color the results are fantastic!  Here are the pictures, straight out of the dryer.  I am anxious to use them in a design class with David Taylor next month…of course, though, I’ll have to try some more before that!

Easy Street Top is finished, borders and all.  I’ll post a picture of that tomorrow.  Until then…BE HAPPY!