Monthly Archives: September 2019

Now In 3D

Ever since I bookmarked Hilde Morin’s instructions I’ve had an itch to try making a fabric bowl. On Monday I decided to scratch my itch.

Using cotton duck canvas (bought at 60% off from Joann’s) I made my circles. Next, I sorted my fused fabrics. After I found I needed larger pieces than I already had, I searched my stash for batiks to use. Batiks are recommended because they don’t fray much when fused. It seems I either used up or purged most of my batiks, so my choices were limited to a few pieces I had held onto because I liked them too much to use. No time like the present, I decided.

After I fused a batik to the outside, I laid down the beginning of the front side, and cut eight slender wedges that make the bowl curve.
Then I zigzagged the wedge sides together, starting at the center. I concealed the seams with fused fabric pieces before I ironed on more decoration. I did the same on the outside.

At this point the fun part began. I was pleased that my pack rat habit of saving fused scraps paid off as I cut thin, slightly curved strips to lay around the bowl’s interior. I switched to my travel iron to make it easier to press around the curves.

After I fused down fabric around the edge (I recommend bias here) I quilted the bowl twice in two different colors of turquoise.

Hilde Moran does beautifully intricate quilting on her bowls, but for my inaugural bowl I decided to keep it basic. I found it easier to start the quilting on the outside and work my way in, but either way involves a bit of scrunching to fit the bowl through the machine’s harp.

This bowl was a refreshing break from my current slog through my quilting backlog. I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Completed Projects, Project Ideas

Vacation Inspiration

I just got back from a visit with my brother in southeastern Pennsylvania, and we packed a lot into six days. If you want to see photos of quilts, go back to last week’s post. This one is quiltless, though some of the photos may become future quilts.

We began at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, right after I got off the train.

Love the ornate curves and play of light/dark.
Maybe use one quilt to frame another?

The next day we headed for the Barnes Foundation in downtown Philadelphia. Lots of history and controversy surround Dr. Albert Barnes’ unparalleled collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings. I’ll leave it to you to explore how the present museum came into being, if you desire.

Of course this isn’t Impressionism, but 18th century Pennsylvania Dutch. Dr. Barnes mixed up all sorts of periods in his displays. I love the painted designs, especially the arcs on the black bands. To see the paintings in the collection click here.

After a day visiting family in the area, we headed next to the Brandywine River Museum of Art and Longwood Gardens. We caught the last day of the N. C. Wyeth exhibit at the former and enjoyed work by other Wyeth family members and friends. Again, the website has much better reproductions of the collection than my photos show.

Most people know Longwood Gardens for its winter holiday displays, but pretty much any time of year is worth seeing. We were especially impressed by the conservatory’s offerings. Click here to see all the gardens.

Why show orchids when you can feature variegated water lily pads that contrast so well with the chartreuse ones and the blue tiled fountain floor

For our final day we headed up the Delaware River to Washington Crossing and New Hope. The river looks a lot dinkier than it does in the famous painting.

Yup, it’s a peeling door to the boat barn, but I love the texture.

We climbed Bowman’s Hill tower for an overview of the area, but my eye was caught by something more mundane.

Fencing designed to keep humans from falling off the observation deck.

We couldn’t leave the area without a nod to the Quakers who settled the area after William Penn received a land grant from King Charles II of England. Newtown is a lovely place full of old buildings and a Quaker meeting house.

I think I could base a modern quilt on this.
I couldn’t resist capturing this tray of painted rocks (in my favorite color palette) we found on a bench outside the meeting house.

Aside from seeing three of my gifted quilts on a wall, my trip was quilt free. I hope to break my abstinence now that I’m home.

Linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Commentary, Inspiration

Glamor Shots

Recently I had a professional photographer work his magic on a few of my quilts that I may enter in national shows. The difference is amazing.

Let The Mystery Be
If The Shoe Fits
Dark and Deep
Hazy Shade of Winter


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

Not What I Had Expected

Sometimes a project starts with one plan and ends up in a very different place. I’m there throughout the creation process, but the results really can be baffling. Case in point, my latest finish.

I take casual photos of scenes, objects, etc., that catch my eye. Occasionally, I decide to base a quilt on a photo. When I saw the setup below on the props table backstage at the theater I was intrigued. I had no idea why the lighting was red and blue, but I loved the hanging row of canteens.

I knew I couldn’t capture the reflections of light off the metal to my satisfaction, but I had hopes of the lighting and the twisted straps. I actually worked up a drawing.

A trawl through my fabric hoard made me realize that the original background color scheme would have to be changed. No problem, I had an intriguing yard of gradient I bought from Vicki Welsh that I wanted to use.

To go with the change in background color I chose various complementary solid color fabrics for the straps and an old (2012) piece of hand dyed fabric I thought looked like a plaid for the canteens. The other bits of fabric were various hand dyed or printed scraps.

I cut off the blackest edge of my background fabric and inserted it in horizontal strips along with another hand dye. I added the straps and bits of “paper” and then quilted all that before I sewed on the canteens. To prevent the background quilting from showing through I backed the canteens with flannel and quilted them individually before I sewed them to the main piece.

“Camp Memories” 24.5 by 35 inches

The result doesn’t look at all like what I had envisioned. I had hoped for a mysterious effect, but ended up with more of a mildewed canvas tent effect. So, I rolled with it and called it “Camp Memories,” in honor of those nasty childhood treks into the woods with canvas equipment that left my belongings smelling sour for a long time.

One irritating technical aspect of this project was how much some of the solid fabrics in the straps raveled. I used fused raw edge applique and finished the edges with a zigzag, but that didn’t stop the problem. I recall those fabrics were the Craftsy (now Bluprint) house brand, so maybe there was a reason they cost less than name brands. They’re fine for piecing, just not so much for raw edge work. I guess the rough edges contribute to the overall shabby effect. I’m linking to Off the Wall Fridays.


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects