Showing posts with label seams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seams. Show all posts

6/17/2014

Seam Building tools...one old and one new!

 

This template is something left from my years in graphic design and I only recently started using it for seam building and now it is my favorite tool .  I just love the flexibility it gives me... Now these templates are not cheap and this one is available for $29 at Amazon but I see them on Ebay for as cheap as $7...  This particular one is R-77 Berol eljpse master and is about 6x9"



  
  I love using loopy curves and so love having a guide that fits my seam ideas.  It's also great for adding fancy little finials to curves.





My most recent discovery was quite by accident.  I was going through a bag of craft stuff from the thrift store...and notice "plastic canvas" sheets in several sizes.... One of them had a grid exactly the same as the grid of the graph paper in my seam book... So I cut off a narrow strip and now I whatever I plot out in my seam book I can reproduce exactly.













5/28/2014

Sometimes I do something REALLY right!!!

Even though I adore my "Treasury of Quilt Stitches" , the real treasure is Miss Carole Samples herself.  I am ever so grateful that she has documented all this needlework... I used it on so many seams on my suffrage quilt... There was a certain "rightness" using seams documented from quilts of that era on my quilt about the women of that era.

I love sitting down with my graph notebook (a gift from Susie Wolfe) and my Miss Carole "Treasury"  and working out seams.. I had a sheet Carole sent in yesterday's mail and before I went to bed I had worked the seam circled (1885). Every time I work one of these vintage seams I feel a kinship with the women of that long ago time...  In my graph notebook I break the seam down into steps and make a note of where and when I used it.


And what I did that was REALLY right was my organization of Carole's templates.  It has make them a dream to use.  Having all the shapes on one sheet was inspired and the color coding has worked beautifully for quickly finding the appropriate template.
Since this was in 2011 and you might have missed or forgotten this, here are the links to that project.  If you have the templates you will love this...

http://olderrose.blogspot.com/2011/11/scissor-holders-and-miss-caroles.html
http://olderrose.blogspot.com/2011/11/taming-templatesattention-miss-carole.html

Sometimes events happen in your life and you don't realize until later how pivotal they were and the effect they had.  Taking the class from Carole Samples several years ago was just such an pivotal event for me. Besides being an unparalleled resource on crazy-quilt history and seam history, she was sharing, gracious and witty.. and I loved her!! She talked almost nonstop for 6 hours both days and never digressed from what she wanted us to learn about her book and templates. 




 

5/07/2014

Finished Fan Block #3

I finished Teresa's fan block and used the colors from the stitchers before me... I couldn't resist adding the little red-eyed tree frog.  Her rain-forest theme now has the frog in addition to a parrot, spiders and a butterfly.
Actually red-eyed tree frogs are much skinnier but I was influenced by my tiny garden frogs I guess.














The day I stitched the frog it must have gone out as an invitation.  We had a wild storm that night with lightening in every direction... We left the slider open as we watched the skies from the deck.  Returning to the house we found this tiny critter in the chair....with a heavy heart we had to take it back out into the storm..  All our critters want to live in the house with us...

11/12/2011

Home, happy, and tired....

Well here is Carole Samples in Wichita and it is me taking the picture.  Besides being an unparalleled resource on crazy-quilt history and seam history, she was sharing, gracious and witty.. and I love her!! She talked almost nonstop for 6 hours both days and never digressed from what she wanted us to learn about her book and templates. 

Sometimes events happen in your life and you don't realize until later how pivotal they were and the effect they had.  ... Like most CQers I've always keep a record of seams that were inspiring and  use them in my work.   But in those 12 hours with Miss Carole I went from copying seams to a mind set of designing  seams...and I knew immediately my life as a crazy quilter had made a dramatic change.   In the past I would open her book and find a seam I liked and find the templates to reproduce it... Now it will be just the reverse... I will FIRST choose templates and then design the seam... I will take you on this journey with me....
Both the workshops with Candace and Allie were great also and will talk about them later....

I can hardly wait to start but need to unpack and recover from the trip.... The trip home was grueling as there were 3 legs (Wichita to Minneapolis to Salt Lake to Spokane) and it took 12 hours total.  Morris was in trouble while I was gone... DH forgot to put the 1/2 gallon bottle of olive oil on a shelf out of Morris's reach...   Morris has coveted that bottle of olive oil for some time and how he is able to drag it about is beyond me as it is half as big as he is... Anyway he got it and drug it from the kitchen pantry into the area of the living room in which he keeps his treasures and chewed the lid off.... DH did his best to clean it up but I believe no matter what I do now I will have to get an area rug to hide the stain. And I woke up to snow!!!!

11/04/2011

Wichita bound....and a new feature..

At this point I have no idea how I am going to get all the stitching stuff into one suitcase and clothes also...I'm taking three classes...one from Allie Allison and also one from Candace Kling.  I had a class from Allie in CT and she is so much fun... She just lives across the state from me and for both her classes I'll have gone cross country... Candace Kling also teaches in Seattle which is just across the state from me... So why travel so far to take classes I could take closer to home...?









Well the answer is Carol Samples... I have her templates and my book of stitches for Carole Samples to autograph already packed.  I love my templates but only use about 10 at the most out of the 36 and am anxious to soak up all she has to offer... I wish it were a longer class... She has a list of all we are to bring and it includes a "happy heart" which I will definitely be  bringing along...  When Morris was in the dog house for chewing up my favorite template, Carole kindly sent me a replacement to get Morris back into my good graces... For a picture of the Morris-modified template click here!

6/14/2011

Back on Track...

Well I'm back on track with my suffragette quilt... These blocks are good size...almost 12" and have lots and lots of patches...  a little overwhelming  to get my focus again.. When that happens I pick a small area to concentrate on...this time the lower corner...

Of course I didn't make it any easier for myself when I set the goal of having EVERY single seam on the entire quilt (all nine blocks) be ones I've never done before.. and no fly stitch... I'd gotten into a rut of using the same seams stitches over and over...  So stitching the seams on this quilt is a journey unto itself..  Also I always want to rush ahead with the images and beading...and it is soooooooo tempting as I've acquired so many wonderful treasures to embellish it with.... some from my stash and some from friends.


So here I am with my Carol Samples book (Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches) and my templates and taking a deep breath to slow down and explore.  The seams I choose are always a starting point as I modify as the space dictates... You can see the seam I chose middle right on the page and how it is ending finally at the bottom of the photo...

The long strip that appears gathered is actually a pleated trim.  A thrift store evening gown had the entire A-line skirt covered with rows and rows and rows and rows of it... It took me forever to remove it.  It is so unique  and hope to have enough to use when I assemble the quilt also.. I'll do a close up of it when I get it secured.

3/08/2011

Seams

I mentioned the lovely seam work on the recent RR blocks and that I wanted to try some... I already tried this one is by Jeanne in Switzerland and imagine my delight when my "Miss Carole" templates fit perfectly... She must have a set also... But what I wanted to point out, because I didn't notice it at first, is she used two quite different weights of thread in the daisy stitches... By putting the heavier weight on the middle chain, the outer chain stitches tucked in so neatly... Combining different weights threads to achieve a look isn't something I had given too much thought to...but will now.
Below are seams on Helina's (Finland) block. The 3 seams on the right are all stitches I want to try on my suffagette quilt.. I loved the jaunty angles in the top right seam.. The bottom right will be perfect for a very short seam and I have lots of those... It makes an impact with just 4 stitches.. The center treatment was new to me... She did a buttonhole circle and then surrounded it with bullions. A very different look for a flower...
I love the combination of the fan and fly stitch on the left and will file that under "really wide seam treatments." But since I promised myself not to use fly stitches on this project (I use them toooooooooo much) I will keep it for the next time I need a wide seam treament.
This was a great RR and lots of thought and effort put in by this team... I appreciate getting to fondle and really look at the work first hand.. I always see things that I miss on a computer screen.

3/05/2011

Back to the Suffragette quilt and decisions

Last night was the first night for about a month that I worked on it because I was busy finishing the AAQ quilt... I worked on seams across the bottom and after one more evening I should be as far as I can go without adding the images... Seams like the ones with arrows are ones I will embellish more after the images...

I am so glad I did the AAQ quilt first because it was the same fabrics and there were many things I would have changed on the way I finished it if I hadn't been trying to meet a deadline... First..... too many images so on the large quilt I will probably use larger images and fewer of them.... But in my defense I was trying to tell the whole story on one block. Now I have nine blocks to work with.

Second....I was REALLY unhappy with the lace I dyed to frame the images for both projects .. The colors simply did not work... So all that lace will go into a baggie for another project. Now the key words for my color scheme for the large quilt will be "sepia tones."

I have cancelled most everything on my March calendar, put my answering machine on, and will focus on getting everything caught up and preparing for CT.. DH will be gone on tours for 2 long weekends (maybe three) so I will have lots of uninterrupted time....

To Ruby about Andy: Thanks for your words of caution and I DO always carry a big wooden crook. When he lowers his head to position himself to ram I whack him on his nose... Now if he start to lower his head and I raise the crook, his head pops right up....innocent as the lovable lamb he once was so long ago... I fully realize how dangerous he can be protecting his ewes... I was truly scared and smart enough to know I didn't want to handle him alone... so the first thing I did was run to call for help... That testosterone is a powerful force...that's why we have wars, violent sports and monster trucks bashing into each other... certainly not a woman's cup of tea......and while I'm rambling there is a large plot of woods not all that far from us that is used for "paint gun battles" Grown men dressed in military camoflague run around in the woods and shoot each other with balls of paint ... better than real bullets but definitely a testosterone thing.

3/03/2011

"Seams Only" blocks return....

My own blocks from this RR returned during the preparations for Cathy's visit and the envelope just went into the mail basket. Finally today I got around to emptying the basket and opening the envelope...This block was done by Cathy Labath and she did motifs generally oriented towards a seam... It's delightful and I'll do something special with it... I kept turning and couldn't decide which side was up but it perfect on point and I'll use it that way...Thank you Cathy for all the special work you put into this block... and daffodils and hummingbirds are my very favorite.


My plan in the beginning was to use these blocks on a jacket to wear to CT but that was before all the button-painting stuff... The other "Seams Only" blocks were actually "seams only" and extraordinary seams at that... I can hardly wait to try some of these now that I'm in my seam mode... In fact I'll use them as samplers to try the seams on my suffrage blocks.
These blocks were done by (starting on the left) Jeanne Gagnaux, Ritva Peltola, and Helina Penttinen. All these ladies are "seamers" I greatly admire and I'm about to start another RR with Ritva and Helina.
Maire Courtney used to be active in RRs and I haven't seen her name for a while but Ritva's seams remind me of Maire's....so delicate, almost ephemeral. I've decided I'll stitch a few floral motifs in these blocks at some point...

2/26/2011

Helina's "Seams Only" Block & a recap of blocks

This is my last block in this RR. Doing just seams is a challenge because you have to make them strong enough to add interest to the block since there's nothing else. I posted a couple days ago about Helina's block which has only three long seams and my decision to use wide seams which expanded into the block. Well it was one of my projects I worked on while Cathy was here and now it is ready to pop into the mail. This has been an interesting RR for me..





Helina asked us to limit ourselves to colors in the block and to do very wide seams when possible. Upper left I used a wide lace and embellished it with the block's colors.

The middle seam I chose to treat as two different treatments. I used the gold scallop treatment to tread lightly as I didn't want to overpower the lovely green fabric. On the inside curve I used the stronger colors of the fabric.



But the bottom seam against the white patch was the "ta da!" of the block.. I adapted this seam from on in Miss Carole's treasury and used the templates with the triangles. With all the beads and visual activity it becomes the focus of the block.. and I'm done.
Now here's a recap of the blocks I did in this RR. The first was Cathy L.'s and it was a delight because she had a definite theme to her block - apples and I added pictorial seams which carried out her theme.... including apple cores and my favorite .... worms..
The second was Ritva's and she had eleven patches in a 6" block..ELEVEN!! So you can easily see more patches, more seams and more interest .. Some of these seams were only 2" long and I loaded every seam. I love this block... I know I already blogged about this but in the lower left there was an orange patch which I was not fond of so I literally buried it in daisies...
But the absolute opposite happened with Jeanne's block. It had an orange patch and I celebrated it. This 6" block also had a lot of patches - nine... so lots of seam opportunity.

Meg's patches were so homogeneous that I didn't want to introduce any other color. And if you follow my work you will notice I am almost religious about limiting my colors choices on other people's block... You just can't go wrong...
So what did I learn...? I learned how important the seams are to the composition of a block. Since I was limited to just seams I really experimented and learned that I just LOVE seams..
Will I do another "seams only" RR? Probably not because I still love doing motifs
more...
My advice to you? If you do a "seams only" make a lot of patches.....


2/18/2011

Last Block...seams only

This is my last block in the "Seams Only" RR and it belongs to Helina... As you can see there are only four patches and three long seams.. But Helina has very cleverly requested and put out the challenge for wide seams..... I will use some ribbon or lace to increase the possibility of seams...

And I love wide seams.. the large space they take up visually creates such interesting patterns...




As a contrast Jeanne's block in the same RR had 9 patches and endless seam possilities but all very short...









There are fantastic wide seams in my Carole Samples "Treasury" book such as the one I circled at the left... I've always wanted to use some but I seldom have the space...Now's my chance... There are so many that it will be difficult to choose just a few... I won't have time to get started for a couple days but will keep my book handy to start highlighting the ones I might try... This book will be the first thing I pack going to CT in April.

Carole says others take their books to office supply stores and have a plastic binder put on it. I think that is the greatest idea and I would have NEVER thought of it...





2/04/2011

Let the seams begin!!!!

I spend countless hours selecting and arranging materials....getting the right patterns, colors and textures to suit me... And since I've been collecting suffragette photos for at least 10 years I have been agonizing over which photo to use where...... I have all the trim, laces, braids basted.... NOW THE WILD AND CRAZY FUN BEGINS!!


I do not have a plan of any kind for seams on a block... Heck, I don't even have a plan for the seam I'm working on... It's all spontaneous from now on... Since I used a lot of silk ties with geometric pattern, I'm sure that will affect my choices, consciously or unconsciously.. Having said all that I'm keeping in mind my 2011 commitment to stretch myself with seams. I want to do seams I've never done before and have all the seams on the quilt different from each other... Also I am NOT going to use the fly stitch as I tend to overuse it... I have my seam templates and Carole Samples' Treasury of Stitches handy for inspiration.. I'm heading into zen territory now...


Just a note on lace.. I do have some lovely black Venetian laces I'll use....heavy, rich, and elegant ... but it's also great fun to work on the cheapest, tacky, nylon lace you can find... like the stuff in the photo on the left... Just such a seam is on the upper right in the photo above... I love rickrack also and it's easy to find in all colors at thrift stores... Another note. Some stitchers wait until the very last to attach beads... I prefer to do them as I go along... Personal choice.

12/30/2010

Seams & Snow

I finished the seams on Meg's block in the Seams RR. I used 3 templates I haven't used before and 2 immediately jumped onto my favorites list ("never let anywhere near Morris" list). I have been experimenting with combining the templates with very interesting results...
I don't always love or even really like every new seam but at least every seam is new and I'm finding that it's I'm always wanting to carry seams one step further... a big step for my "year of seams."


I wish I had been more careful placing them on the scanner so all the numbers were correct... The first one (23 B) is already a favorite but I used the A side for the first time and combined it with parts of 31 to get the seam in the middle of the block... #31 template is going to be a real jewel by itself and combining it with other templates... The little cutout on the end is so versatile
It was the first time using #30 and it was a large shape... larger than I am comfortable with... I will probably just use parts of it next time...
But this last one #29 is going to be used over and over... I had never realized the possibilities... All the arches and spans are just the same...only the height is different so it is great for stacking. PLEASE note:::: The seam on the lower right is so small and anything done to it would look like it was falling off the block... But by stacking the shapes of this template it gives the little seam substance and brings it back into the block... I did a little happy dance when I realized all the possibilities for this template....
Finally we had 12" of snow in 9 hours yesterday and we are completely snowbound again... I got up early and made scones for DH to ease his decision between chaining up or walking out... BUT ME!!! happy... happy happy... Not only can I not get out... no one can get in and NOBODY can expect me to get out.... I will have a fire in the fireplace, dye lace, paint buttons, stitch and start doing a much-needed database for my Etsy...
Sounds like a perfect wonderful, healing day for Morris and myself.....







12/28/2010

AAQ Entry...moving right along



I'm getting ready to baste down the last two images in the center of the block... I love the juxtaposition of these two photos with the men all facing backward the women facing forward. Once basted, I can start adding the top layers of lace, buttons and ribbon embroidery. I have soooooooooooo many images collected for my suffragette quilt it is going to be hard to choose which to use...
It looks a little cluttered and chaotic at this stage but the last layer of lace and embellishment will bring it all together...
I finished the top corner and is that seam to die for or what...??? I have to spend a good part of the day tomorrow at the clinic while DH has a procedure and will spend the time finishing my "seams only" RR. I really am having fun with the seams on it also....
I edged this replica of an old poster with some ticky-tacky copper ribbon which by itself was far too gaudy....but once I ruched some brown ribbon on it and added beads, it adds a nice touch of bling.
Finally this campaign button was basted down with a running stitch and then beaded... Sorry about the focus...











10/09/2010

And more flower seams for Ritva

I'm far enough along on this block now that I can take a breather and do some work on my cottage motif and finally get back to my CQI Challenge block which I have missed dearly and am sooooooooooo far behind.. It will take days to get back into the groove on that one... When something sits for months I lose my whole train of thought...

As I continually add more of my focal colors - green, pink and cream - the colors themselves begin to form a pattern on the block... It will be bits of blue which will move your eye around... I'm waiting for an inspiration on how I want to embellish the lace - lower right.....

Ritva send me a picture of a lovely old yellow church in her town.. I always think of that church when working on Ritva's blocks.

And if you make a motif long and skinny enough, can you call it a seam treatment??? LOL
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