Blue Plate Special

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Blue Plate Special is at her final show! Most major shows require that quilts entered into competition be no more than two years old, and BPS will be aged out in a couple of weeks. But it’s been a good ride! Let me tell you about this quilt…

BPS was really made almost entirely from leftovers! It all started with the narrow blue border stripe. This was left over from a quilt I cut out for my Mom to make a few years ago. I liked the colors, so I saved the strips. You can see the print here.

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I had some Cherrywood hand-dyed fabric left over from years ago that just happened to be in the same range of blues and turquoise. The white sateen background fabric was left over from a big custom job I was considering, but fortunately declined. Some of the threads were left over (but of course I ended up having to order more! I always have to order more thread.) Even the free-standing lace border design was left over – it’s a Zundt design that I’ve used many times over the years.

The first competition in which I entered BPS was Houston in 2015. Master Award for Thread Artistry! Not a bad way to start!

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(You can read about my Red Dress here and here!)

Then I entered it into the full line-up of AQS shows for 2016. Here it is at Paducah, with and Honorable Mention

BPS Paducah

and at Daytona Beach, with a category 1st place.

Blue Plate at Daytona Beach

Here is some of the bling she has won!

BPS ribbons

At AQS shows, she got a total of three firsts, one third, and two honorable mentions.

And now, at her final show at Machine Quilters’ Expo in Manchester, NH, there are another three ribbons to add to my bulletin board: 2nd in the Solo Artist Category, the winner of Embroidery At Its Best, and Best Machine Quilting – Sit Down (instead of a cash award, the prize for this is a Janome sewing machine!) That show is still going on, so I don’t yet have the ribbons to show you.

Update: Cricket Lomicka just sent me a photo! Thanks!

BPS MQX 2

Except for that blue print fabric strip, all of the color is machine embroidery. The designs in the interior of the quilt are from the Contour Applique collection by OESD. The large swirls in the outer border are from the Yukata Art Set by Zundt, and the lace border is Lace Set 10, also by Zundt.

I used Hobbs 80/20 bleached, because I needed a white-white batting so as not to get a yellowish cast from my favorite wool batting. The back is white sateen, just like the front. All of the quilting is hand-guided free-motion, without a stitch regulator. Here are a few close-ups:

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Blue Plate Special has had a busy couple of years. I hope she enjoys retirement!

 

 

The Making of a Miniature

In the summer of 2013, I decided to try making a miniature quilt. “Distraction II” was the result.

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It is 16″ x 16″ and made from white silk/cotton Radiance fabric. The feathers are from 1/8″ to 3/8″ long. The parallel background lines were not done with a ruler, and ended up about 14 per inch. While I was making it I took a photo with a dime for reference!

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You might recognize the embroidery design if you’ve been reading my blog for long. It’s a Zundt design that I’ve used on a number of things, including this dress. This little quilt ended up winning first place in the Miniature category at Houston in 2013!

I liked the miniature I entered in the contest so much that I decided to make another, using the center design and similar quilting, for my donation quilt for the Houston IQA auction. With yellow Texas roses, of course!

Days 1 – 5: Make a really cute little quilt, only to realize that the black and white dotted fabric I used for the backing shadows through  ( I had checked, and even used an underlining to prevent shadowing and to keep the cream-colored wool batt from making the white fabric look ivory instead of bright white. Didn’t work. Live and learn!

On to Day 6: Embroider a second piece of white silk/cotton Radiance fabric, soak to remove water-soluble stabilizer, press, and mark for quilting.

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Day 7: Sammy helps with quilting. I have quilted-in-the-ditch of every bit of the embroidery with YLI monofilament, and am trying to quilt the flowers with bright yellow Superior Threads Kimono silk thread.

PS – Cats are no longer allowed in my sewing room. Not long after I made this, Stella, an older kitty, got a hand sewing needle lodged under her tongue and nearly died before the vet discovered the problem!

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Day 8: Completed the quilting, all the rest of which was done with white Kimono silk thread. Soak to remove the blue marks, and lay out to dry overnight.

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Day 9: I always like seeing a project with all the blue marks removed! Here is a ruler to show you the scale. I discovered that I really like making teeny, tiny feathers! The straight parallel lines are about 16 per inch.
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I wanted to make tiny double piping to bring out the colors of the embroidery. I covered gimp cord to make the piping. Gimp is about 1mm in diameter! I stitched on the piping and binding, then soaked again to remove more blue marks and glue, then dried overnight.
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Day 10: I added a hanging sleeve and label to the back.
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Before I show you the finished quilt, here is the “dotty” one. You can see the black dots shadowing through.
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Here it is! “Yellow Roses.” Just about the only thing I did differently for this quilt (besides using white cotton sateen backing – solid white!) was adding a row of yellow echo quilting around the flowers to bring out the color just a bit more. The size is just 12-3/4″ x 12-3/4″
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Heirloom Dreams

I followed quilting for years before I actually tried it. I was a subscriber to Quilters Newsletter Magazine for decades, and enjoyed the artistry of Caryl Fallert and the detailed precision of Diane Gaudynski. In about 2000, I visited the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY for the first time, and was blown away! Wow! Yet for a number of years after that, I said that I couldn’t start quilting in earnest because I wouldn’t have time to do anything else. Oh, I had done several special quilts (see Our Whole Life, My Texas Star, and David’s 21st Birthday Quilt, plus a few others) so I wasn’t starting from scratch. Finally, though, the idea of making a quilt for competition grew irresistible to me. And Heirloom Dreams was born!

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56” x 55” 2004

I had seen those quilts in the museum, and later, had attended the AQS show in Paducah, so I knew what kind of quality was required to be competitive. Because I had spent many years working for Martha Pullen Co., heirloom techniques were in my blood, and I also knew this was something different that had not been brought into the world of quilts in a big way. So I got out my batiste and lace and my thinking cap! 🙂

I wanted a quilt that would have the overall look of delicate lace. It is actually four layers – a backing, batting, and two top layers of fabric. The top is white Swiss batiste, embellished with shaped French Val lace, shaped lace/rickrack bridging, shaped puffing, shaped bias linen strips, pinstitching, entredeux stitching, and machine embroidery from an old Husqvarna Viking embroidery card. The outer edge is a shaped linen applique. This was layered over light blue Swiss batiste to create the quilt top.

Making a great top is only half (or even less!) of making a good quilt. The quilting is what brings it to life, what transforms it from a flat, two-dimensional piece of fabric into a sculpted, three-dimensional work. And quilting was the challenge (and still continues to be.) I free-motion quilted around every bit of embellishment with monofilament thread – the lace, the applique, the embroidery. This is still the first step of quilting for every quilt I make. I created trapunto floral designs in opposite corners around the center medallion that repeat the machine embroidery shapes. The 3/8″ crosshatch was done with the feed dogs up… lots of tie-offs, and lots of turning! Shell-stitched piping outlines the scalloped bound edges.

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So, my quilt was finished and photographed. Instead of starting with a small, local show, what did I do? I entered it in the World of Beauty contest at the Houston International Quilt Festival 2004! I was delighted when it won first place in the Computer-Aided Machine Embroidery category, was juried into American Quilter’s Society judged show in 2005, and was featured in Jenny Haskins Creative Expressions magazine, Issue 7.

It’s hard to believe that this was over 16 years ago! I still like many of the same things. I often use soft colors, and lean toward analogous color schemes. I still love fine details, and I regularly use medallion settings. Almost every quilt I make includes lace, either the fine cotton kind, or machine-embroidered free-standing lace that I make. I like symmetry. Intricate edges are interesting. And, I’ve learned a lot about quilting since then. Here are some of the things I’ve learned…

  • Quilts have to be visually appealing from a distance as well as close up. With heirloom garments, almost everything is about the tiny details. But quilts need to pack a “wow” from across the room as well as from a foot away.
  • The difference between expensive Swiss batiste and much less expensive cotton batiste is significant in a Christening gown; it makes much less difference in a quilt. Now, I’m not saying you should not use quality fabrics, but in this particular comparison, Swiss batiste is not worth the cost.
  • Those tiny stitches we love in heirloom sewing – pinstitch and entredeux – just don’t show up in the finished quilt. The little “holes” get lost in the texture. If you’re going to add lace to a quilt, a zigzag is just fine, and takes far less time.
  • As important as I knew quilting was, it’s even more important than I thought! It doesn’t have to be done on a longarm. All of my quilts were quilted on sit-down machines. This one was done on a regular domestic. The only way to be good at it is to do a lot of it!

Go ahead and try your hand at something you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Who knows where it might take you!?

To Quilt or Not To Quilt?

I don’t travel and teach much these days. I live about two-and-a-half hours from a medium-sized airport, so besides the normal hassles of air travel, I have the added long commute before and after a trip. Besides, I’m basically a hermit, most happy when I am at home with my hubby and my cats and my fabrics! But when I was asked to teach for a wonderful group of stitchers in Florida, I couldn’t say no. You see, back when I coordinated Project First Day for the school kids of Joplin after the devastating tornado five years ago, this group sent not just a few garments, but hundreds! They have ongoing charity sewing projects. They’re good people. So, I’m going to Florida soon!

One of the projects I’m going to teach is this “To Quilt or Not To Quilt” table topper. Lots of heirloom techniques! It’s pretty without quilting.

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But I wanted to demonstrate how quilting can add an extra dimension to a project like this! So here is the same project (well, some of the laces are different, and the crazy patch center block is different) layered over taupe silk dupioni and quilted!

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I know quilting is not for everyone, and it takes a lot of practice to be able to do free-motion quilting smoothly (I quilt on a sit-down machine, not a longarm; in other words, I move the fabric, not the machine,) but it really is pretty! 🙂

Here are the techniques included, in both the unquilted and quilted versions:

Puffing with entredeux and lace insertionIMG_5804_2IMG_5815_2

Lace and Rickrack Bridging…(Sorry, I didn’t get a photo of the full unquilted block. But this lets you see the technique close up.)IMG_5806_2IMG_5819_2

Bias Linen AppliqueIMG_5803_2IMG_5814_2

Transparent Reverse AppliqueIMG_5802_2IMG_5821_2

Machine FaggotingIMG_5801_2IMG_5816_2

Lace Crazy Patch…IMG_5800_2IMG_5823_2

Many of these techniques are covered in detail in my class “Heirloom Sewing: More Classic Techniques,” which you can get for just just $24.99 here.

I spent days preparing the class kitsclass kit

In this nice little plastic bag are 11 pieces of pre-cut fabric, 3 pieces of pre-cut water-soluble stabilizer, an embroidered motif (which I made), 4 yds. of bias linen strips which I cut, rickrack, entredeux, and 3 kinds of lace (over 12 yds. total!)

I’m ready to head south!

 

 

“The Lion King” Challenge, part 2

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the Cherrywood fabrics challenge quilt I made with Kimberly Einmo (King of the Backyard Jungle.) I said I would show you our other quilt when Kimberly posted a photo of it. Well, here it is!

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For this quilt, Kimberly made the center block

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(sorry about the color on this – the finished quilt shows the correct colors), and I added the borders.

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The giraffes and crown are machine embroidered, and the symbols are appliqued. The symbols don’t mean anything, I just thought they looked right with the rest of the quilt! I sent the top back to her, and she quilted it. She used a Sashiko machine for most of the quilting, and it looks awesome! Kimberly also used a decorative stitch to embellish the narrow sashing and the binding. This quilt was accepted into the exhibit! Yay!

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King of the Backyard Jungle

I’ve been enjoying working on collaborative quilts with my friend Kimberly Einmo. You can read about our ongoing projects in my previous post A Friendly Challenge. So when Cherrywood Fabrics announced their current challenge (http://cherrywoodfabrics.bigcartel.com/king-of-the-jungle-challenge) inspired by The Lion King musical, we both jumped at the chance to do a “challenge within a challenge.” We decided to make a 12″ block each, exchange blocks, complete the other’s quilt top to the specified 20″, then exchange again to complete the quilting and binding.

Because the original challenge was named the “King of the Jungle” challenge (before permission was given by Disney to use the name “The Lion King”) I knew right away what I wanted to try for my 12″ block. Four years ago, a couple of kittens were born in our back yard. One of them was an orange tabby, who we named Billy.

Baby Billy

Billy still lives here with us. He’s outside most of the time, but comes in when it’s cold or hot or he wants to check and see if any of our other cats have left any food behind. He’s our big bubba cat. But four years ago, he was a fuzzy, bouncy little kitty.

He was exactly the same colors as the colors included in the fabric pack for the challenge! A little baby lion – a King of the Backyard Jungle! Okay, a great idea… how do I turn this image into a quilt? I had done only one other pictorial-type quilt, David’s 21st Birthday Quilt. I’ve seen and admired photo-realistic quilts, but had never done that technique. What is so great about this collaboration is that it gives both of us the chance to try new techniques and ideas that we wouldn’t normally use. Quilts made for contests or classes or publications don’t offer that kind of playful freedom!

In the photo-editing options on my phone is an option called “cartoon.” It makes the photo kind of like a paint-by-number picture.

King cartoonized

This gave me lines of demarcation for the colors. I outlined each area with a fine-point marker, and numbered the colors.

King process 1

Then I traced this onto vellum, so I could see through it and trace the reverse side onto Steam-A-Seam Lite fusible web. I cut out the fabric pieces and arranged them on parchment paper. (I did some of this in the evenings while I was in Denver shooting my most recent Craftsy class.)

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As I went along, I changed a few shapes and colors, but basically stuck with my “cartoon” image. When all the teeny tiny pieces were cut and arranged, I fused little Billy to my block background. I used the Cherrywood black fabric, into which I had pieced narrow strips of green to suggest grass and plants, and embroidered a few outlines of plant designs.

Then it was time to thread paint. I’d never done this before, either. But its basically free-motion work, so I stabilized my fabric, dropped the feed dogs, and stitched. It was actually far easier and more fun than I expected!

Here is the block I mailed to Kimberly (I’m sorry the photo isn’t more clear.)

King block

Kimberly decided to run with the “backyard jungle” theme, adding appliqued silhouettes of the animals a baby lion king might encounter in a backyard! She continued the pieced green strips in the background. I was thrilled with the results when she mailed it back to me! I quilted it using wool batting, and was very pleased with how much puff and dimension this gave the kitty and the animal silhouettes.

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I was so happy with how the face looks!

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And, because edges just need special treatments, I used tiny piping. And because I’m a sucker for little precise details, I pieced the piping so it is green along the light gold fabric, and light gold along the dark gold fabric.

I pieced the backing using up just about every spare scrap of the black and gold challenge fabrics.

King of the Backyard Jungle_back

Notifications went out on Friday, and “King of the Backyard Jungle” did not make it into the exhibit. Oh well, I had a great time making it and learned a lot! However, our other quilt – the one in which Kimberly made the 12″ block, and I made the borders, was juried into the exhibit! I’ll show that when she posts about it.

If you have the chance to do something like this, do it! It has been so much fun to work with a friend whose style is quite different from my own. It has given both of us the chance to stretch ourselves and try new things. Now, I’m off to work on finishing up another challenge…

 

Anyone Can Make A Quilt Like This!

I haven’t written a blog post for quite a while. I’ve been super busy getting ready for – and taping! – my new Craftsy class! It should be online within a few weeks. I’ll be sure to tell you more about it soon, and I’ll have a free class giveaway, too!

But, in the meantime, I thought I would share this little quilt with you. Anyone can make a memory quilt like this!

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Three of the blocks were obviously made by Annie, who was probably about 3 or 4 years old at the time. The clown applique block was from a book of applique which I used to make many bibs and t-shirts for the kids. It is fused, and not even stitched around the edges. My Mom put it together and did some very simple machine quilting.

Let’s look at those three “original” blocks!

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I have no idea if that is a swimming pool, or a yard, or… next to the house.

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This is obviously a Christmas tree. What I like best is that the blond, green-eyed girl has white teeth painted in her red smile!

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And here we have a pretty detailed bicycle, although I have no idea what those other objects are!

So folks, don’t always worry about coordinating fabrics, or consistent block sizes, or workmanship. While this quilt will never win any contests, it is still most decidedly a treasure!

Win $1000 for your Favorite Craft-Based Charity!

March is National Craft Month! I’m pretty sure every single person reading this blog is involved in crafting – most of you in sewing or quilting, but I’ll bet many of you do other things as well. Or would like to learn. Now is a great chance to learn, and also to have the chance to help others learn. How exciting would it be to be able to win $1000 to donate to the craft-based charity of your choice?! (Any art or craft focused charity or nonprofit (501(c)) will qualify.)

From Feb. 29 through March 13, use these links to shop my online Craftsy classes (with 50% off) Heirloom Sewing Essential Techniques and The Machine Embroidery Inspired Quilt. Purchase any class, and you’ll be automatically entered to win $1000 for the craft-focused charity of your choice. And you don’t have to buy just my classes through these links – any class you purchase through those links will count as your entry in the drawing. Just remember, it’s important to click the links provided in this email, because that’s how you’ll be entered to win!

Besides having this chance to win, what are the benefits of taking a Craftsy class? You get to learn from top teachers in very well-produced online classes, for a very reasonable price. You can watch the classes whenever you want, as often as you want (even in your pajamas!) You can ask questions and interact with the instructor and other students. Craftsy will even refund you in full if you don’t enjoy the class! What could be better than that?

You wouldn’t think that machine embroidered quilts and upholstery would have much to do with each other. But instructor Cynthia Bleskachek and I have been working on a fun collaboration.

I made this, using the embroidery designs and quilting tips from my machine embroidery class

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Cynthia found this beauty at a thrift shop!chair4

A new seat…

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…and a new coat of paint equals a vanity chair fit for a princess!chair2chair3

You can learn Cynthia’s easy techniques for re-upholstering your own chair seats in Getting Started With Upholstery with my affiliate link!

Maybe you’d like to try your hand at cake decorating with The Perfect Birthday CakeThe Perfect Birthday Cake

Maybe you’d like to improve your garment-making skills with Janet Pray’s Sew Better, Sew Faster Advanced Industry Techniquesunspecified1

Or maybe you’d like to quilt up some of those quilt tops, and don’t want to do free-motion quilting – try Creative Quilting With Your Walking Footunspecified

When you purchase a class through one of my links, I get a percentage of the class fee. Thank you for helping me make money to buy more fabric! 😉

Happy Leap Day!

Argentum

 

Argentum is the Latin word for silver. That seemed an appropriate name for this little quilt!Stewart_Argentum_full_2

It’s a miniature – just 16.5 inches square, and was completed in 2014. It was juried into the Road to California contest, and was shipped yesterday. It’s already been in two other shows; it won 1st Place, Miniatures, at the 2014 IQA Houston show, and an Honorable Mention, Miniatures, at the 2015 AQS Paducah show.

It was made from silver gray silk/cotton Radiance fabric on both the front and back (I have a story about the back…) The machine embroidery is from Zundt.

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The design is for two colors – the first, a satin-stitched design, and the second, an outline around all the satin stitching.

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Here you can see the corner design stitched four times around the center, and you can see the metallic outline stitching, on this sample in gold. I skipped the first color – the satin stitch portion – and stitched only the outline. Done with antique silver metallic thread, it creates a very light, airy filigree look. (See other things I’ve done with this design here.)

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The same four designs as above, stitched only with the silver outline, then turned on point, form the center of the little quilt. The corner design was stitched individually in the corners,

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then stitched side by side, mirror imaging each time, to form the border. Just this one machine embroidery design, stitched multiple times, was used in this quilt. I used water-soluble stabilizer so there would be no stabilizer remaining in the stitching to make the quilt stiff.

Okay, the machine embroidery was the easy part! Next came the applique of teeny-tiny bias strips. These are less than one-eighth inch wide, too narrow for me to make a stitched, turned tube. To make these tiny strips, I cut bias strips of the silk/cotton fabric about one inch wide, pressed the fabric in half lengthwise, then stitched one-eighth inch away from the fold with very short straight stitches. I pressed the narrow folded edge over the stitching, so that the stitching was just on the under side of the fold and didn’t show on top. Then, I trimmed the fabric very close to the stitching, so that the raw edge was hidden under that less-than-one-eighth-inch-wide fold of fabric (that’s why I needed those very short stitches, to prevent fraying.) This fold wouldn’t stay pressed for me (it was too much bias and way too narrow) so I used a toothpick to apply just the tiniest bit of water-soluble glue to hold that fold in place, then pressed the glue dry. Finally, I hand-appliqued those tiny little strips to the quilt top using Superior Threads Kimono silk thread. (The scallops along the binding were appliqued on after the quilting was done, but before the binding was applied.)

Next – time for quilting. The back is the same fabric as the front, and the batting is Hobbs Tuscany wool. First, I stitched in the ditch of every bit of the silver embroidery with monofilament in the needle and silver metallic in the bobbin. The rest of the quilting was done with the silk Kimono thread in the needle and Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin.

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I finished all the quilting. The little parallel lines are about 14 per inch! Almost done! Ready to soak and apply the binding, right? Wrong!

After I soaked the quilt, look what I found on the back!

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(Yes, this is the back.) See that red spot? Did it wash away? No! Aaargh! I could have just placed the label in an odd place on the back and covered it, but the red showed through faintly on the front. What had happened?

Just before I made this quilt, I had made a quilt for a benefit for Libby Lehman from red, orange, and turquoise silks. Apparently, a tiny thread of the red silk stuck around, and floated onto the back of this quilt after I had soaked and as I was blocking it. Red silk bleeds terribly! So there, on the back of my little quilt, was a bright red splotch! Tiny, but obvious. I asked for advice on facebook, and tried some of the suggestions, all to no avail. Finally, I decided I had nothing to lose, and poured Chlorox 2 directly on the spot. After several hours, it lightened slightly. I rinsed the quilt, and put the peroxide bleach on again. I repeated this several times a day for almost a week! Finally, the spot was light enough so that only I could tell where it was, and I was afraid that I would irreparably damage the fabric, so I called it quits. Even I can’t find the spot now!

Whew! Onward… I blocked it one more time, marked where the binding would go, appliqued the little bias scallops, and applied the binding, which is just over one-eighth inch wide.

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Because it still needed a little something more, I used the silver metallic thread and stitched by hand an outline stitch just inside the binding. I added the sleeve and label.

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See, no red spot! 🙂

This was at Houston, and will give you a better idea of the size.

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You can read about the flower pins I’m wearing in this post. And, of course, I made my top! It’s StyleArc’s Gina Tucked Top.

Wish my little silver quilt good luck at Road to California!

Update 1-19-16: This was part of the e-mail message I received today – “Your entry #12256 titled “Argentum” has been awarded “Excellence In Machine Quilting” by our judges.  You will receive $1,500.00 in prize money.  This award was graciously sponsored by Primitive Gatherings.”

Woohoo!!!

 

 

A Red Dress: Part 2 – Houston Quilt Festival

So many of you commented about my new red dress, which I made for the award ceremony at the Houston Quilt Festival! Well, I’m home from Houston after a very enjoyable week, and it’s time for an update. We arrived in Houston on Tuesday afternoon. Part of the prize for the top winners is travel and hotel accommodations. Here I am, ready to go to the convention center for the awards! Makeup, nail polish, Annie Pennington brooch and earrings (of course!) – the works! 🙂

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Here are those red shoes!

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The presentation of the awards is fun, with all of the category awards given first. The blue ribbon winner in each category is revealed from behind a black curtain on the wall of the auditorium, with spotlights focused on that quilt. The eight big awards are given last. My quilt, Blue Plate Special, was awarded the Master Award for Thread Artistry, sponsored by Superior Threads! After the awards are all given, attendees get to get up close to see the winning quilts, and talk to the makers. And, yes, the top winners get flowers! 🙂

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On Wednesday, there is a luncheon at which the top winners all give short speeches, then Preview Night is from 5PM to 10PM. This is the way my quilt was displayed.

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I spent a lot of time in front of my quilt for the next four days, talking to thousands of people.

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You can see all of the prize winners here. I was also awarded an Honorable Mention for my quilt Crystal Garden, but that’s a post for another day.

Here is Blue Plate Special

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99930_SusanStewart-detail2Capture-048363_2

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The quilt is 73″ x 73″, and was completed this year. It is white cotton sateen on the front and back. It all started with the dark blue print strip of fabric that surrounds the central star, and forms the border corners. That strip was left over from a quilt kit I cut out for my Mom to piece! The fabric was a print stripe, and this section wasn’t used, so I kept it. The colors for the quilt all flowed out of that little print strip. And the corners are the size they are because that’s all the fabric I had! Those strips were appliqued on, then I used a decorative machine stitch – little satin stitch dots – to accent the edges. All the rest of the color on the quilt is digitized machine embroidery. The more solid-looking, darker areas are machine embroidery applique, done with old Cherrywood fabrics from my stash. The free-standing lace border and the large swirl designs are from Zundt; the rest of the embroidery designs are from OESD. Except for the lace, the embroidery was all stitched on the quilt top only. After the embroidery was completed, I layered the top, batting (Hobbs 80/20 bleached), and backing, then did all the quilting free-motion on my APQS George, which is a sit-down machine. The quilting was done with The Bottom Line thread in the needle and bobbin. I usually like to use silk thread in the needle, but I didn’t think this quilt was going to be good enough to justify the expense! To make the lace, I embroidered segments on water-soluble stabilizer, joined all the segments together in a big loop, then soaked the stabilizer out. I soaked this for a couple of days, with several water changes, because I don’t want any stabilizer to remain in the lace. Then, after the lace was complete, and the quilting was all finished, I stitched the lace to the quilt, using free-motion stitching and monofilament thread. I hope this quilt does half as well at the other shows in which I’ve entered it!

Now, it’s time to get back to work on my quilt to enter into next year’s Houston contest.

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The deadline is only about six months away…