Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Los Angeles: Delivering a quilt, and hopefully, a baby!

In my "former life" I was a Labor & Delivery nurse, a job I loved very much.  One of the most gratifying parts of my work was being able to care for people I know and help them through an amazing rite of passage:  parenthood.  When my friend asked me to support her during labor, I was both honored and excited.
I arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday.  First stop:  "Sew Modern" quilt shop.  Our goal is to walk this baby out!
Look at this awesome chair, created with Kokka fabric!
The baby shower quilt has now been delivered to the new mother.

Today, we had lunch and wandered around at Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.  This was my first visit, and I enjoyed it so much.  Here are a few photos:
a leaky spigot

Wisteria vine


bamboo forest in the Japanese garden

a tiny little pool of water inside a leaf

A beautiful patio created with small inlaid pebbles and slate strips

it seems very "quilt like" to me

zen garden

You know how much I love rocks!  This was a beauty.

Lotus pods

Koi & turtle

so beautiful

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The "Real" Price of Fashion..

Frequently, life inspires art.  Never more so than in the following image of a friend's dog, who was unfortunate enough to get too close to a porcupine.  Yikes!  She is on her way to the vet to get her new "whiskers" removed.  No fun!

It inspired me to move forward on a project I am making for an upcoming show in New York.  Each of us will be making a 12x12 inch piece mounted on a canvas.  In my case I plan to mount the finished work on a cradled board in order to support it properly.

I was also inspired by the many shoe pieces my friend, Rachel Edwards, has created over the years.  Hers are detailed, almost journal-like.  In my case, I was interested in achieving an almost-visceral response to the piece.  The name of the upcoming show is "Off The Hanger", by the way.

This shoe has been cut in half, lengthwise, with a band saw (thank you, Tim!).  The shoe was primed, then painted with the two colors.  Nails were painted.  I wrote on the shoe with a Pentel gel roller fabric pen, then used an awl to punch holes in the shoe for the nails.  Once I'm finished I plan to use putty to "fill" the shoe toe prior to glueing it to the prepared board.  You can imagine some of the things I have written on my shoe, right?!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Action Kivu: Please check this out!

Action Kivu is a nonprofit that helps women who are victims of the conflict in Eastern Congo by teaching them to sew at a sewing workshop. Action Kivu also pays for children to go to school. The conflict in Congo has taken the lives of over 5.4 million people since 1998. Rape is used as a weapon of war, with estimates putting the number of rapes in the hundreds of thousands. These are horrible statistics but together we can make a difference for some specific woman and children.

This project was created by Alissa Haight Carlton's (Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild) twin sister, Cate.
This project has already made a difference to women and children in this politically unstable area of the world.  Please visit Alissa's blog to read more about this wonderful organization.  By making a contribution you will be eligible for some extremely cool swag, all quilt-related, naturally!  Alissa's blog shows a variety of prizes depending on the donor level.  
I'm so touched by this photo, taken by Cate (and used with permission from Alissa), which shows Nzigira in front of a sewing machine that was purchased by last year's fundraiser.  She is now able to have economic stability thanks to this project.  
Here is the website for Action Kivu.
Please check it out, and thank in advance for your consideration.  Every contribution makes a difference!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Using Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in a Baby Quilt!

I'm sure I'm late to this party, but I recently fell hard for Kaffe Fassett's "shot cotton" collection.  I even splurged and bought the entire palette of colors, and as you can see by this image, it is a very big selection of colors!  I bought this quarter-yard assortment from Glorious Color.com.

My first project using these gorgeous colors involves a baby quilt.  I co-hosted a shower for a young (LA Modern Guild) friend recently, and decided to pre-fuse the fabric with Mistyfuse, then die-cut circles and flower petals in a selection of colors she is using in the nursery.  Each shower guest was asked to write a word describing a characteristic they hope the baby will have.  I used Pentel gel roller fabric pens for this and they worked beautifully.  For ease of use, I temporarily fused the die cuts onto squares of parchment.  

The fabric on the left is stretched over a canvas for nursery decor.  I am basing the baby quilt colors on it.

A close-up image of one of the shot cottons.  Gorgeous!

After fusing the cloth sections are doubled up and die-cut with my Go! cutter

I cut 4.5 inch squares from all these prints.
The flowers & circles will be fused onto the squares after the shower.

Rather than a traditional batting I have decided to use one layer of diaper gauze to keep this lighter in weight.  This is, after all, a California baby.  I also know that the baby has received two other beautiful quilts!  
 Here is the Pentel pen.
A sample....
die-cuts fused temporarily onto parchment squares....

After piecing the quilt top the die-cuts were fused to the surface

Two sections of diaper gauze yardage were zig-zagged together for the "batting".

This stuff is lovely!  (although I found out later that it causes a lot of tension issues when I attempted to free-motion quilt it!)

I pinned the quilt top to the gauze.
I decided to pillowcase the quilt and avoid the additional bulk that a binding would create.  Therefore, I pinned the gauze to the quilt top-only, stitched the quilt back (right sides together) around the perimeter and left an opening.  The quilt was turned right side out and the opening hand-stitched closed.  The edges were steam-pressed and re-pinned.  
I found that I had to use my regular presser foot (#1) and use feed dogs up to stitch this quilt together. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Painted Bunting

My friend Molly sighted this beautiful Painted Bunting on her back porch.  She sent these pictures to me and I wanted to share.  I had one of these in my garden last summer but was unable to capture good images.