Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bars and Stripes...Day 2

Made some good progress getting this project rolling! One and a third bars are done being pieced.

I'm going to have to rearrange things in here to free up the full extent of the design wall. I haven't needed it this big since my last bed quilt, which I made in about 2003... ;-)

This shows the width of it...

..and this shows the length. The pieced bars are 11" wide; their length is about 88".

Here's a closer look. You can see I've pinned up some lace to act as a border on the plain fabric. I honestly don't know what will actually be there in the end, but probably some combination of lace and velvet ribbon. The color choices of these have the potential to really spark things up.

As do the second set of bars. Their colors will be deeper in value and a bit richer in hue than the inner bars. I wonder if that will be to keep going to find out!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Project: "Bars and Stripes"

You know how it is...deep down you have a quilt forming that finally has to come out and see the light of day.
I've been thinking a lot about cottons, ever since I made that class sample last spring. I love cottons!

So I decided to make an actual bed quilt out of cotton (mostly; a few silks just have to sneak in there) in a combination of crazy and sane quilting techniques. There will be bars of crazy piecing alternated with bars of striped cotton fabric which will no doubt end with applique on them.

I got started today.....

As always, I begin with the "blanks" of foundation fabric on the design wall. Here they are placed between the striped fabric bars.
I'm not sure if I'll keep those striped fabrics or not...but I've been saving that Kaye England border print in the center for years and really do want to use it.

It is more or less determining the color scheme of the quilt (though gosh it looks washed up in this picture. The background is actually much more yellow.)

I pulled my fabrics and the scene below is the harbinger of the tornado that will soon be my sewing room.

Ahhh....I do love this part.

Then I just jumped in and started piecing. I'm thinking there will be lighter valued pieced bars in the center, darker toward either side. So I started with the softer, lighter colors.

I really do want to emphasize more of a flat surface in this quilt, in a departure from the 3-D work I've been doing for quite some time now. I don't know why! So I am keeping the texture in the fabrics to a minimum.
This will have very basic seam embroidery....

...and maybe even some machine quilting in the striped bar areas.
I have to psyche up for that though. You know how I feel about machine quilting. Yuck!
(I'll think about it tomorrow, at Tara.....)

But meanwhile I have some happy days of piecing ahead of me... ;-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Hey Cowgirl...."

Ever since I got back from Michigan, things have been hopping on the homefront, so I haven't had much time to stitch.
But I finally finished the project I started a few weeks ago at the cottage. I've loved working on it because my cowgirl is such a cutie. She is also promoting a very great cause: breast cancer awareness.

Some background: My friend Michele Muska is in Marketing Communications for the Simplicity Creative Group...the makers of patterns, trims, yarn, tools...all things we quilters and crafters love.
Michele invited me to join the Designer Bandanna Quilt Challenge for 2010....Simplicity is selling pink bandanna designs with some of the proceeds going to breast cancer research...they will be holding a similar challenge for the general quilting community soon--this challenge for designers is to get the ball rolling.

So as I was holding the pink bandanna in my hand, all I could think about was cowgirls...and one thing led to another....

I did write to Michele to make sure the image I used was cowgirl is saucy and quite lusty....but she's still innocent, too. And most of all, she's healthy...

Hey Cowgirl...
22" X 23"
copyright by Allison Aller 2010

My goal was to present an upbeat message on a serious subject, in a way that would make people smile (and mens' heads swivel!) So all you cowgirls, get those mammograms, you hear?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm Guest Posting on Pam Kellogg's Blog

I love Pam and was honored to be invited to be Guest Blogger on her blog today.
"Embroidered Place Portraits" is my subject....I go through the basic process for creating landscape based crazy quilts--it's a kind of condensation of many posts I've been making here, with pictures of various projects, source links, and a few technical tips as well.

So head on over to Kitty and Me Designs if you are interested!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Home from Michillinda

As always, this place inspires me like no other.
I had a week on Lake Michigan with a few of my very dear cousins. It was my first time visiting in September in three decades. Fall arrived my first night there.

The mornings were crisp and vivid.

It was mostly mixed clouds and sun, and lots of wind.

Lake Michigan is like a highly sensitive woman, so responsive to the changing weather. Her mood can change completely overnight.

The trees at Michillinda always overcome me with their grandeur and grace.

This oak in the foreground especially....

But really, this year was about the wind and the whitecaps.

This was the most amazing, howling sunset.

Here is the view a little later, looking the other way, towards the north.

There was so much wind earlier in the day while I was going down to the beach that it blew my glasses off my face onto the bank, never to be seen again! (We looked and looked, although I confess I couldn't see too well.)

So I had to go into town to get some reading glasses to tide me over until I get some new prescription ones.

Aren't they fetching?

It was so hard to leave yesterday...though it's always great to come on home.

So good-bye, beloved cottage, until next year.......

Oh, and I did work on a very fun project all week which I will post next time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"High Summer"....Finished!

Thank you all so much for your very kind comments about this piece. It really was fun to make.

All I did to finish it up was put some cording along the edges between the central image and the lace, and between the white "mat" and the green "frame"...and then back and bind it.

I am very excited about my new Simplicity Bias Tape Maker, as this quilt's binding will be the last time I make wonky and wobbly velvet "bias tape". From now on, professional results will be mine!

Remember, this will be hanging at Quilt Market and Quilt Festival in Houston this fall, as part of the Celebrity Mini-Quilt Auction. It you are there, stop and say hi to it....

I'm off to Michigan for a week tomorrow with no internet (except a neighbor's Wifi)....back at you soon....!