More WIP- Metal and Fiber

Since I somehow lost this bracelet:

braceletcopperbead I decided I need to make another.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make one out of copper or brass, so I decided to do both.  First you saw out the bracelet shape using a jewelry saw.  Then, on the copper one, I decided to run it through the metal roller and create a pattern  in the metal surface.  Next, I took them both to the hydraulic press and made the shape.  File and smooth the edges, clean it, then place them into a patina solution that looks like this:

patination Recipe: 1 part vinegar:3 parts household ammonia mixed into oak sawdust.  In the photo above, I am changing the finish on a copper chain maille bracelet.

Here is what the copper (back) and brass (front) bracelets look like after the patination process:


Next step is to seal in the finish.  I just use some turtle car wax.  After that, I need to weave the beading part, and attach to the bracelet.  That’s it… I’m getting close!

I also wanted to show you my first bezel sterling silver stone setting with my very first rivet:


Faith was kind enough to give me a 1:1 rivet lesson.  I sure appreciate it!

Fiber Goodies

I picked up a cool fiber tool to showcase in a upcoming post.  If you own a yarn stash, you will LOVE it!  Keep watching!


Here is a sneak peek of Lori’s dragon quilt:


The quilting is subtle, as you can see, so that the focal point of this quilt will shine through- which is the dragon, drawn by a talented artist friend named Teri Farrell-Gittins.  Teri’s work is amazing, so you should pop on over for a look.  trust me on this.

Back to Lori’s quilt.  The other focal point is the bright use of colored fabric used in this quilt.  I wouldn’t want to muddy any of the colors, so I am taking the time to change colors in each section.

Guild Show Opening

My local guild, the Gold Bug Quilters, is having their once-every-two-year quilt show.  I entered 2 of my own quilts, plus this one I quilted and is owned by my friend, Barb.  It is called , “Sunrise, Sunset” and you may see the front of the quilt here and here on my Flickr page.

The following pictures are of the back of the quilt, which showed up nicely in the light as I was sewing on the show label this morning:

and some detail quilting:

and one more picture:

All of the quilt is freehand, except for a portion of a lovely flower stencil by Pat Campbell you can find here.  I love that flower and can now do it from memory.

Friday night, I’m treating Barb to dinner and the quilt preview show!  I’m glad she can come with me.  Barb is a talented quilt piecer and designer, we have collaborated on many quilts together- and some in the future!

This show is non judged, by the way.  I’m not sure how many quilts that I’ve worked on will be in this particular show, my guesstimate is a dozen or so.  I will take pictures of all the quilts on display that I like and share them with you.  Regards, Carla

Quilting Plan

This gives you an idea of how I approach quilts with regards to my quilting plan.  In case anyone is curious, I sketch in Photoshop directly onto my tablet laptop using a stylist pen.

Step 1: Take a picture of the quilt and import into Photoshop for drawing.

Here is the quilt shown minus any quilting lines:

Step 2: Sketch or draw various quilting ideas right on your digital image of the quilt.  For Photoshop or PS Elements users, I create a new layer for each area of the quilt.  If you later want to alter it, you may now easily do so by working on a layer.

And here is my rough sketch of the quilting plan:

Note: this sketch is used for reference only.

Step 3: Quilt your plan!

I start quilting at the top and work my way down the quilt, advancing as I go.  When you load a quilt, you only see a small portion or slice of it at any time to work on, so you need to know what you quilt on border one, so you may replicate it down at the bottom of the quilt.

This quilt will have no markings,  it is faster for me to do freehand.  The only tool I will use is a heart shape pattern board for the center heart shape.

The borders on this quilt has some slight fullness issues, so I couldn’t quilt what I really wanted to in the borders.  I knew I wanted to quilt some texture in the body of the quilt, but I also wanted to bring some structure to the borders to change it up a bit.  I’ve decided to instead quilt the borders using my freehand border quilting- which I know can “quilt out” any extra fullness easily.

Bargello quilts, by their inherent design, have no well defined areas.  Instead there is a blending of fabric from space to space.  I am using Continuous curve quilting to break up the darker areas and define areas where I will change the quilting.  If the quilt had less fullness, then I might decide to quilt in faux borders or lines and visually break up the spaces with the quilting lines.

My goal with the quilting is to “enhance” the quilt, taking advantage of the focal point of the quilt- which to me is the heart shape and center of the bargello heart.  By the way, to all the non-machine quilters reading this, the light areas in this quilt is where the quilting lines will most show when I am finished.

I change thread when I quilt, I  will use one color for the borders and dark areas in this quilt, a medium tone thread for the medium value areas, and then a lighter thread for those light spots.  I do this because I am enhancing the quilt and not trying to change the color or hue on the quilt top.  By using similar thread value to the colors used in the quilt, this will allow the quilt top to shine.

My biggest advice to newer quilters is to find what works for you, then go with it!

Happy quilting from Carla

PS: Today I got about half way finished in my quilting.  Here is the center:

Next Quilt Up

The quilt I just loaded onto my longarm table is this bargello heart quilt:

I just pieced the backing- which is a medium shade of the salmon color fabric.  I’ve drawn out the quilting plan, but I want to work on it a bit before I start the quilting.  Check back and I will show you my prelim quilting plan for this particular quilt, also discuss design challenges with a bargello quilt such as this and how I overcome them. Carla note: Quilting Plan is HERE.

Been busy making all the travel details for my October Kauai trip.  Thanks to Lori and everyone else who recommended what to do and places to see.  I can’t wait to go!!

So far I like the roomba… it did miss one of two spots, so I will see if it gets those places tomorrow.  So far, so good!!

A big welcome to all the new blog readers- I had a banner traffic day yesterday with about 1700 hits!  That’s a lot of hits in one day for a smaller blog like mine.

Enjoy your day!  Carla

Valentine quilt finish!

I am happy to report that I finished the antique Valentine quilt for Jayne! I confess it was a lot of work, but do think it has potential as a local show quilt. I’ll let you know how it does in the guild show later this month. Here is a picture of it on my dining room table as I was clipping any stray threads:

My friend, Jayne, was ecstatic with the quilt and I made sure to praise her for how well this quilt behaved on my table and her appliqué work and piecing. Some quilts are so square that you know they will hang perfectly in the show as I predict this one will.

I promise to share more pics later and yes, I have some pics of the back, too.

I have some work-in-progress to share from my metal art class. Our first piece is a hydraulic press piece where you create designs with wire, then press a copper sheet over the wire design to make this:

First, I had to make a birdy:

And a leaf shape:

I’m still trying to decide what I will do with the above pieces, but I thought i would show you the kind of stuff I’m doing in class.

My first finished piece will be to make some metal beads, then create a metal and fiber necklace with them. I’m also texturizing small pieces to make a metal collage diva pin.

I’m just going to be myself and make what I like. I have a very cool sketch of sterling silver chopsticks holding a metal sushi roll. Of course, I have to first learn the techniques to create my vision. LOL!

I bought Joe a smoker about a month or so ago. He has been teaching himself the art of smoking and how to fix certain recipes. His skill level has improved considerably since his first 2 attempts, so this weekend he is fixing pulled pork- Yum!! Of course, that also means I don’t have to cook- which I’m all for! It’s a win-win!

Enjoy your day and a shout out to all the readers dealing with hurricane season, especially Hurricanes Ike and Hanna!

Molly Floral Quilt

I finished the cute floral quilt for Molly, this one was fun to quilt.

When you make a quilt with large floral fabrics, which I love by the way, the downside is that the quilting really doesn’t show up all too well. Anyway, I’m done and on to my next quilt- my own!

The next quilt up will be a special quilt for myself. Because I plan on showing it, and my co-creator is planning on marketing it as a pattern, I won’t be showing it on the blog for awhile. Well ok, maybe a close-up here and there. LOL!

Last night, we went to see a ball game with the local AAA team, the Rivercats. This picture was taken with a cell phone:

The last time I had been taken out to a ball game, I think Reagan was still in office! I was surprised by all the advertising tie-ins and promos. A typical promo was if a certain player got a hit, then every person in your particular seating section would win a lotto ticket. And because I visited on “Macy Wednesday,” they would encourage people to wave their Macy’s card or new application into the air and would choose people to win gift certificates. Pretty funny and geared towards people with short attention spans. It was fun.

Today, I am mentoring two young friends to learn to sew and make a flannel bag. They are the grand-daughters of Ranch Ed, my very cool rancher neighbor. here is what the bag looks like:

This will be their first sewing experience, so it will be fun. First step, I teach them how fun shopping therapy is!! We have a field trip planned to my local quilt store. They are cute, one asked me if we could find dachshund fabric since they have a new dachshund puppy. She has a good future as a fabric stash builder!

Enjoy your Thursday! Hugs, Carla

Tropical Quilt

Another happy quilt… this one has a tropical flavor- in a pretty way. You can’t really see the quilting due to the pattern in the fabrics, but I want to quilt it wonderfully nonetheless.

Other News: Next month, I start a metal arts class at the local college. I have been wanting to take this class for years, so I decided now is the time!! Hmmm… is there a metal or jewelry artist lurking inside of me??? We shall see….

Tomorrow, we are going to see a baseball game. It has been awhile since we have done this, so it should be diverting and fun.

More painting to share, so keep tuned!! Hugs, Carla

What To Do With Leftover Quilt Blocks

I don’t know about you, but I always make more blocks than I can possibly use in my quilt project. In fact, I sometimes make enough for 2-3 quilts. So what to do with leftover blocks??

You could turn them into a quilted garment, make a quilty purse, sew one on a favorite tshirt, make a pincushion, plush toy or turn some into a pillow. I decided to use the last of my blocks on a small wallhanging to hang in my entryway, seen here on an old Artist Trading Card (ATC) project:

Last week, I decided to rotate the quilt that was hanging there and move a new one in. Only problem is that my quilts I have made are too big for the space. That’s when I decided to make a smaller version with the leftover blocks from my autumn leaf quilt just for this space. Here is what I pieced together yesterday, sans border:

Once I add the final border, then it will fit perfectly in this space. I think I’ll start making smaller versions now just for the walls in my home!!


Next Quilt: Next up is a lovely quilt using Amy Butler fabrics:

I can’t wait to start!! Some quilts just beg to be quilted, y’know?


Dinner & Books: Last night, Joe took me out to our favorite Japanese food place for sushi (yum!). Then we decided to go across the street and see what new books or magazines were at our local large bookstore. I bought a couple of magazines on jewelry art:

and 3 new books related to sailing and the cruising lifestyle. Thanks to Oreneta, of the blog, Oreneta Aground, (who spent several years cruising with her family in the Bahamas) for a list of which authors to look for.

A year pass my bareboat cruising adventure of last summer, I am still yearning to take up the cruising lifestyle and spend a year or two cruising. This still remains one of my bigger goals which will take several years before I can actually realize this adventure. Smaller goals involve sailing lessons, another bareboat charter next year, and of course, finding the perfect sailboat to meet our needs, desires and budget.

Anyone else want to try their hand at the cruising life? Enjoy your weekend! Carla

Happy Quilt Done

Did you know that quilts have a personality? It’s true! This quilt, I just finished for Nancy back in North Carolina, is a very “happy quilt!” It is a bright and cheery quilt, not complicated. Here are the finished pictures:

Here’s the back of the quilt:

And here is a close up look of the quilting:

This was a fun little quilt to do. Thanks to Suzanne for borrowing her meandering magic technique used in the center of this quilt!

Stay tuned to see the terrific applique quilt up next! This one will be seen at the Long Beach show hanging up in a booth.

Hugs, Carla

Quilting Again

It feels good to be quilting again after my vacation. This first quilt is for a friend who lives back east, I’m quilting it using a technique by Suzanne Early called Meandering Magic

Tomorrow, I need to finish this so I can start a quilt that will hang in a booth at the West Coast “Houston” quilt show that is happening later this month down in Long Beach, CA.

After that, I hope to work on a special project for myself- my friend and talented quilt designer/piecer, Barbara Kiehn, pieced a quilt for me that we will eventually show later this year. My plan is to make this my best quilting effort to date.

Happy Quilting, Carla

PS: Don’t miss the season premiere of Project Runway happening on Wednesday night. This is one of my favorite shows, I will admit. Who else love this show?