Happy Solstice!

Rooster Wall Quilt

Today marks the time when the days will start to get lighter again: Solstice! The days will become longer starting now.

It’s a great reason to celebrate, and it’s the reason we put lights on trees! Before electricity, people would put candles in trees outside to light their way this time of year because it got so dark out.

Who doesn’t love sunshine – I can totally understand why people have celebrated this time of year throughout the centuries. I made this Rooster Quilt years ago – the sun is paper pieced, and I think it’s the perfect Solstice art! 🙂

So on this darkest of dark days, I have much hope for the future and wish you all the best during this holiday season!

rooster Quilt

Rooster Quilt… Finished!

Woo Hoo!  Today I finally finished my Rooster Quilt!  I’m glad too because I’m about DONE looking at it… sometimes when I am focusing on the same image for so long, I start to question every decision in the process.   I would have liked to hand quilt this one, but alas… after getting ready for a long haul in hand stitching, I found out I couldn’t run the needle through all the layers of the appliqué.  So ~ it’s machine quilted, and I think it turned out fine.

The face turned out pretty good ~ here is an up close shot.  I am so happy to be finished because I already have 2 new ideas for more art quilts!  One is a Cancer crab design I did for my daughters tattoo ~ I think it’ll look great as a quilt too.  The other idea is a squid quilt… we’ll see how those ideas pan out.   I love accomplishment!

Summer Solstice

I’m excited to see the sun today… finally.  Here in Portland, we’ve had winter all through springtime which means grey, wet rainy days.  So having the sun out makes me smile 🙂

I haven’t been sewing the last few weeks… I’ve been moving my sewing room.  I’m hoping with a new set up that I will be able to be much more efficient with my time.  I also had to oil my machine.  It was getting real tough to turn the handwheel, so I found some machine oil and fixed it right up.  I learned that 3-in-1 oil is not to be used on a sewing machine… you are supposed to used a “white mineral oil”.  I wonder if that’s true or if the sewing machine guy was just trying to make a sale?

Currently I’ve also been watching World Cup Soccer!!  I’m pretty stoked that my husband is so into it that he’ll wake up every morning at 4 a.m. to hit the record button on the VCR.  Then we wake up normally and get our necessary work done and then sit down to watch some games.  I can’t sew and watch anything… so my sewing time is disrupted a bit ~ but the world cup is only once every 4 years.  I think I can make some exceptions!  I don’t root for any particular team… so I pick the underdog in each team to root for.  I’m really enjoying it.

So not a lot to report… I did finish the front of my rooster quilt and added the edging.  Here’s a picture of the back of the patchwork before I sandwich it into the batting and backing.  Kind of cool from the back too!

Rooster Work: Appliqué

I have progressed to the next step in my Rooster Quilt adventure!  Over the last week or so, I’ve been doing the applique of the rooster, it’s feathers, and a little barn.  It’s a machined satin stitch, and I used some beautiful threads from Gütermann.
I have only just started doing applique… I’ve worked on 3 other small things and that is what inspired me to create my rooster! Here is the finished applique work:

And here are a couple of up close shots:

The color on some of these are a little off… but you get the idea 🙂

Right now I’m working on the edging to frame the work, then it’s time for batting, a backing fabric and I’m off the the proverbial quilting races!   I would love to hand quilt the entire thing, but I think I’ll have to use a machine to quilt through all the layers of fabric and stabilizer of the actual rooster.  Every step of the way has taken a little time to figure out and plan out my next move.  My next dilemma is figuring out how to hold the piece in place with all the backing to quilt without puckering.   I hope I can do a good job with it.  

Feather Colors: Rooster Quilt Continued

Do you ever notice how your productivity is affected by what you listen to?  Lately I’ve been listening to books on CD while I sew.  I was listening to good groovy music for a while, and that was cool for a while… but I find I get tired of trying to match my sewing mood to music.  Listening to stories is a very nice change of pace.

So I started cutting tail feathers for my rooster project:

When I did the background I listened to “Drood” by Dan Simmons.   It’s an interesting fictional story about Charles Dickens his “wild boys” who live in the sewers beneath London.  With the start of working on the tail feathers, I started a new seven-book series by Kevin J. Anderson.   The first book is:  “Hidden Empire” and so far is starting off great.  I need something that will draw me to my sewing area and keep me there for a while… and the books on CD are really working for me 🙂

I got all the feathers cut and this was my first take:

I liked it, but something just wasn’t right… and so I changed up one color:  The flower print on white has been rejected for a darker maroon print fabric:

I think it’s a great change, it really balances the darker colors of the body and gives the feathers a little more depth.  I’m happy with how the pieces all fit together ~ they are not totally as planned, but it still worked out great.  They are in place tacked down with a little spray glue.  Next I will be satin stitching all the edges.  Since this is all new to me I still don’t know how long it may take ~ but so far this project is exceeding my expectations.  I’m glad I have something fun to listen to while I take this on!

Rooster Work

As you may know, I’m amidst a big sewing project right now… and I’ve just finished the background patchwork for it!!  Here are some pics over the last couple weeks of my progress: