Monday, January 19, 2015

Fun With Victoria Findlay Wolfe's New Line of Dies From Sizzix!

 I was delighted to discover Sizzix a couple of years ago during International Quilt Market & Festival.  I purchased the BigShot Pro because I was very interested in some of the large dies Sizzix has to offer and have used them extensively in my recent work.
I was happy to receive two dies to play with for this hop:  the "Wave", and the "Double Wedding Ring Tulip".  I used the dies in two separate projects and in very different ways.  Come along and take a look!

the Wave, dimensions of the die edges 12" x 12 3/4".
This die requires the use of the Big Shot Pro cutter and pad.

Double Wedding Ring Tulip,
dimensions of the die edge are 12" x 12 3/4".
This die requires a Big Shot Pro cutting machine and pad.

Project #1:  The Wave die.  Using the Wave die cutter I cut many black and white prints, some black with white, some white with black.  Then, just to be nutty, I threw in a few cuts of a Kaffe Fassett print that I love.   I ran out of that print, which will be the major part of the border of this quilt so I will have to add another post once the needed fabric arrives!  
first, I folded my fabric to best utilize it.  This meant assuring that the fabric 
overlapped the actual die shape.

Here is my stack of cut fabrics...

It's fun to see how it looks as the cut shapes begin to line up on the design wall!

The general layout of my "central panel"

To piece, I worked horizontally, one row at a time.
It is easiest to piece with the concave shape on top, convex shape on the bottom.

Begin by positioning the concave shape so the tip overlaps the edge of the bottom piece.

Hold edges securely in line as you work around the edge with a 1/4" seam

And the finished edge will have another small tip overlapping the lower piece.

Here is how they look once pieced.

A whole row is finished!

Press each row with seams going the same direction, and then 
do the same as the rows are joined.

Press each row with seams going the same direction, and then 
do the same as the rows are joined.

And here is my finished central panel!

I'm looking forward to my additional colored print fabric to arrive as I think it will really pull those limited number of colored pieces into focus.  Stay tuned!

Project #2:  Double Wedding Ring Tulip die.  I decided to use this die in a somewhat unconventional way.  Rather than machine-piecing these shapes I opted instead to pre-fuse all my fabric using Mistyfuse and then cut the cloth for the Double Wedding Ring Tulip design.  By pre-fusing my fabric I am saving a great deal of time!  
fused fabric is cut to "just cover" the particular section of the die I wish to use.
The plastic plate is placed over the folded fabric and run through the cutting rollers.
The machine is VERY easy to use and does not require much physical effort to use.
Since I am always struggling with a bit of tendonitis in my arms I am appreciative of 
how smoothly it works.

Once my shapes are cut I work on my ironing board over a Goddess Sheet to overlap
the pieces.  Using a dry iron I fuse the shapes into place.

Now, I can peel them off the Goddess sheet and they are ready to be fused onto my quilt surface!

Here is the back of one.  You can barely see the fusible, right?

How it looks....

Now, all 6 "tulips" are positioned on my white background fabric.
As soon as I was satisfied with their placement I used a dry iron to fuse them into place.

The fusible serves as a type of "basting".  Now I am securing each in place by using a
blanket stitch.  I have activated the dual-feed on my BERNINA 750QE.

In addition, I used the Sizzix Lollipop Shadow alphabet set to create the message.
The fabric was pre-fused before using the alphabet dies, as well.  It is important to 
orient the fused side of the cloth in order to have the lettering show properly on the quilt surface!
I stitched each letter into place by free motion method.
I created my own "needle" and cut it from a pre-fused solid, then used some wrapping string as my "thread".

After all the surface elements were securely in place I began to free motion quilt the objects and background.

Here is the back of my quilt. I used Superior MonoPoly thread in my bobbin.

After the quilting was complete, I created two labels, one on the base of the quilt and one that I attached to the hanging sleeve.  The hanging sleeve contains more information that the more "decorative" label, and I stitched it onto the sleeve before attaching it to the quilt.  
This quilt was created for an invitational exhibit called "Personal Apps", which is to debut 
at the Road To California Quilt Show in just a few days.
Each artist was asked to create a 36" square quilt in the general style of an app.
Here is the website description:  
An App is defined as an application, typically a small, specialized program downloaded onto mobile devices. Artists invited to participate in this exhibit have created small quilts that represents them as an individual. The quilts show an aspect of their life or their identity. Curated by Matt Reese and Stevii Graves.

As an artist I am certainly fortunate to "Do What I Love" and I really "Love What I Do"!

I'm very excited about these new dies by Sizzix.  I hope you will give them a try, and if you do I want to see what you make with them!  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Come back to visit often!
Please click the following link to leave a comment which makes you eligible for a great giveaway!
Sizzix is giving away a fabulous package. The winner gets the Big Shot Pro and Victoria’s three dies. Good Luck!

Be sure to drop by these other artists' blogs to see their projects using all Victoria's cool new dies:
January 16th Jamie Fingal
January 16th Tracy Mooney
January 17th Elizabeth Timmons
January 17th Nicole Daksiewicz
January 18th Ebony Love
January 18th Holly Hughes
January 19th Marni Weaver
January 19th You Are Here!
January 20th Karin Jordan
January 20th Sue Bleiweiss
January 21st Jenny Doan
January 21st Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Observed Stones and Stone Surfaces in 2014

I love rocks.  I love how they are seemingly impervious to the elements and yet, over time, they begin to wear.  I love how they nestle together in a pile.  I'm particularly attracted to rounded, tumbled stones.  Those of you who have visited my garden or seen images know that I, er, have a few stones lying around out there.  I took a quick scan through my photos taken in 2014 and thought I would share some of the things I looked at, rock-wise, last year.  Why am I writing about this?  Well, one of the things I am always curious about is what artists like to look at.  So I'm showing you one
 of the things I look at constantly.
Petroglyph National monument in Albuquerque NM

Beach stones in California

Bluebonnets amongst the rocky terrain in the Texas Hill Country

Wind-worn limestone at Point Lobos, California

Point Lobos, California

Okay, this is not stone but is part of my obsession..
cast shadows through my corten steel outdoor shower screen.

African basket installation at the Crow Timberframe Barn,
Baltimore Ohio

Poured form concrete

a rock-inspired installation seen at Art Basel, Switzerland

Stacked stone wall, Tirano Italy

moss-covered wall, Tirano, Italy

cobblestone pavement, Tirano, Italy

Limestone wall at my hair salon.

Stacked stone cathedral wall, London, UK

Stone wall, London
Stacked stone and quarried rock, Tuscany

fencing, Tuscany

Roman-era stone steps, Tuscany

Imagine how many footsteps it took to wear these stone steps away...