A New Shirt Design

I’ve been having fun playing with designs lately, and I just made another that I like enough to offer to others!

My husband hand-pulls all the prints out of our screen printing studio – I love that it’s so hands-on and low-tech. When we set up to print this shirt, I’ll try to take a video.  I put a link to our store here on my quilt blog – I figure, my world is mixed between screen printing and quilting… so I think it’s okay to mix them in cyberspace too. 😉

On the quilting front, I finished my #cannabis pillows! I think they came out great!

This is the front and back of one of the pillows – they are both close to the same, a few differences to make them unique. The cannabis print was done using discharge ink. Discharge ink is actually more of a chemical reaction than an ink – it releases the dye of the fabric leaving the base fabric as the ‘print’. This means the print is a part of the fabric and can be ironed over and is just as soft as the fabric – no layer of ink! It’s a fantastic print method for fabric.

I have a few print/quilt related ideas in process right now to see which, if any, may pan out to push further.  A work in progress!

Log Cabins With Susan Beal

At the last PMQG meeting, I was a lucky door prize winner. One of the awesome goodies was a 3-month subscription to Creativebug which is an online education site for all sorts of crafty-ness. It’s super cool!
One of the classes offered is taught by my friend Susan Beal. It’s all about log cabin quilting. This first class centered on making a pillow… and here’s what I made:

My log cabin block

Close up of my center block using the new Brambelberry Ridge by Violet Craft

Finished Pillow!

I think it took me about 2 hours from start to finish… including picking fabrics. I used some Violet Craft’s new line Brambleberry Ridge. The metallics make this a really fun pillow.

I followed Susan’s direction up to the quilting where I wanted to just play around with echo quilting – I think it gives it more of an organic feel which I like.

It was nice to take a break from hexies. I got a little frustrated with my layout the other day… so I just picked up all the blues and will start over. Since this is the most important part, I want to make sure I get it just right. I will also be making more blue hexies and pull aside some of the ones I don’t like. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets frustrated and starts over… right?  😉

Pulled all the blues… starting over.

Happy Holidays!

This makes for a great day to do a little writing, since it feels like the whole city shut down.  It’s very calming and I like it. 

Just thought I’d post what I received for the Holiday Swap at the last PMQG meeting.
I got this AWESOME bag and little pouch:

Here’s the pretty yellow inside, it has a hard bottom too so it can sit on it’s own:

I was super happy with this… and I REALLY needed a bag like this too ~ thanks so much Tamara King!  You rocked it!   Although I think I would have been happy with anything on that gifty table, (see photos here) there are some amazing creative types in our group! 

This is what I made my swap partner:

It’s a pillow cover… I fell in love with the deer fabric.  So Northwest. I might have to get some of my own! 

I also started quilting the hexie dragon quilt this week!!  After a few weeks of practicing hand quilting, I’ve decided to free motion quilt most of it with my machine. 

It’s a basic Singer dometic machine with a darning foot attached.  I set the stitch length to zero and away I go.  I used to tape over the feed dogs, but I find it doesn’t seem to matter on this machine if I do or not. 

I went around the whole outer edge of the patterned hexies, and around the dragon itself.  Then I started a wood-grain looking pattern… I think it’s looking pretty good, but I’m concerned about the color of the thread.  I want the wood grain affect to go vertically, but the hexies go from light to dark… so if I use dark thread you’ll see it on top, and if I use light thread you’ll see it on the bottom.  I’m considering two thread colors??  but am unsure how to have them meet in the middle.

While I’m thinking about this, I’ve started straight-line quilting the dark brown border horizontally.  It’s looking really cool.  Since it has wool batting, the quilting is very dimensional and dynamic!  In these shots you can also see the blue basting thread which will be pulled out after I’m done quilting. 
Oh… I’m so relieved to have started!  My quilting is by no means perfect… at this point, I’m just going for overall effect. 

So that’s what I’m off to:  a little family time and some sewing.  Doesn’t that sound like the perfect holiday?
Hope your holiday is just as great!! 

Holiday Swap

I’m super excited for the last PMQG meeting of the year… it’s actually more of a party, and we’ve all traded fabrics for a gift swap.  My swap partner (who I don’t know… yet) had a bunch of browns and blues in the bag to use:

She said I didn’t need to use all of them, so I took out the light gold fabric and added a light solid grey:  (I should have told my swap partner the same thing “you don’t have to use everything!”)

I’m SUPER happy with how my project came out… I’ll share after the party on Thursday, don’t want to spoil it for my partner.  

I had a lot of fun sewing this week because I got to use my new sewing table!  The center drops down, and I had a plexi-glass insert made to fit.  Now it’s like using a new machine!!  The ergonomics of the machine being lower really help my neck and back while I’m sewing.  It’s awesome! 

 Now that this project is done, I think I’m ready for some dragon time!

A Friday Finish

I finally have a quilt finish to share!!

It measures 37″x 37″ – I used blue for the binding, and love it.  Had a lot of fun playing around with different quilting patterns in this one – some kind of sputnik-y looking thing.  My problem with this quilt was I used a chalk pencil to mark the position of the larger circles and the “straight” lines that connect them.  So I had to wash the quilt to get the chalk off… and some stayed stuck under the stitching.  It will probably all come out in the next wash, but I won’t make that mistake again!

I like the back a lot too:

…AND I finished Zihna’s pillows for one of her holiday gifts:

 Here is what the backs look like, I used a star-shaped quilting pattern that made it a little warpy so I would not recommend for future projects… but it still looks kinda cool.

I don’t know what I’m going to start next… I only have a billion ideas!!  I think something pink… I’m collecting a lot of great pinky fabrics ~ not my usual color choice, but I think it could be fun! 

Regardless of the next project… this is encouraging me to continue to practice, practice, practice the free motion quilting.  I don’t mind if the overall pattern is a little organic/wonky/not perfect… but the actual stitching needs to be even, and THAT’S what I need practice with, so off to practice I go!  

So Much

You may have noticed my blog moved ~ this will be my first post at GailLizette.blogspot.com.  Please follow, or re-follow my sewing updates.  I love getting all the feedback!  There are many reasons for the changes, but that’s a story for another day.

The PMQG All Day Sew that happened last Saturday.  It was great, as usual ~ I started two pillow covers for my daughter using a new technique a saw on Elizabeth Hartman’s blog: quilting as you go.  I had a lot of fun trying different quilting patterns and practicing.
Here’s a pic of the 2 unfinished pillow tops:

And here are some close ups of my favorite quilted areas:

Funny story too:  After the All Day Sew, I went out to the parking lot to find my car missing!  I called my husband and he came and rescued me and we made a police report as soon as I got home.  At 3:40 that morning we get a call from the local police saying they found the car and if we can get there in 15 minutes, they won’t have it towed…. so we jump out of bed and take a bleary-eyed drive to meet up with the police and our car.  Turns out some guy had a similar key that worked in the door handle and he got it jammed in the ignition enough to get it started.  So we were able to start the car and drive it home.  The next day my husband was able to work the key out ~ so it was a very dramatic  non-issue

A couple other updates:  The dragon quilt top is completely finished!  I’m waiting for a sunny day to get a good photo, but it will be soon, I promise!  I showed it at the last PMQG meeting and it was warmly received and it made me feel pretty good ~ almost too good.  Got so nervous in front of the group I completely forgot everything I wanted to say about it.  Oh well… another time!

I also made a cute little reversible apron for the Michael Miller Stripe Challenge.  It was really fun, bright fabric to work with:

Okay… I think that’s about it for now.  Thanks for joining me at this new site ~ I hope to regularly blog through the next year!

Brontosaurus Pillow

Brontosaurus Pillow, originally uploaded by RamonaX.

Woo hoo! Clearing through files on my desktop, I found a picture of one of my favorite pillows! I made it and sold it so quickly, I didn’t think I had a photo… but I found this today.

Sometimes it’s good to see past work that you haven’t seen in a while. I’ve gone through all sorts of sewing phases over the years… for a while, I was making dresses for friends, then I made hats and baby dresses and that phase transformed into patchwork hats and dresses, then I made a few patchwork bags.

I guess I’ve always been attracted to patchwork because I have always been on the poorer side of things, and I could only find bits and pieces of good fabrics, so patchwork was the way for me. It’s a challenge for me to be on the lookout for cheap or free fabrics… and still be able to create what I want!

A few years ago I made my first quilt, and I was hooked on the patchwork portion of it… and that led to sewing these patchwork pillows. Most recently I’ve been interested in sewing art quilts with vivid imagery like gig posters out of fabric… and now the actual quilting is becoming my main objective. With a few hours spent on stitching, you can make something amazing out of something very plain.

Oh… for those of you keeping track, I’ve stitched up 3 more rows on my squid quilt in the last 2 days, so I’m slowly getting there! (16 out of 50 done).

First Finished Crow Pillow

After going to that meeting all about Hexagons, I have been trying out my new skill!  I made a pillow using some hexagons and one of the crow prints from the other day.

This was a fun project!  I really enjoyed a little hand-stitching to get the hexagons made, definitely a shape I want to work with more often.  For this pillow, it took a little while to figure out a good layout with the rectangular crow patch.  This was my first idea… and you can see how I pieced the hexagons together.

I finally came up with this layout.  The strip of hexies is for the back ~ it’s an envelope enclosure, and I like how this little addition really makes the pillow look complete.

Once I got the hexie pieces stitched to the background navy fabric, I sandwiched it up to do some quilting.  Since the navy fabric is nice… but very plain, I decided to try quilting close together which made some really cool patterns on the pillow!

When I got it all put together this is how this 16″ square pillow turned out:

It’s really fun to be able to use new ideas and knowledge!  Now onto the next project ~ YAY!

Crow Pillows: Screen Printing

If you didn’t already know… my husband and I have a small screen printing company called Phantom Chicken.  Because our studio is in our basement, I’m a lucky girl when it comes to customized printing in my sewing projects!  My latest project is a Crow Pillow. 

Here is the screen with the crow film on it, ready to shoot.  Screen printing is a process that uses light to create a stencil.  Here’s how it works: 

  • First we create a design.  It has to be black and white to create a clean stencil.  This design was from a photo that a friend had taken. 
  • We send this design file to a camera shop and have film positive’s made.  
  • A coated screen is made by taking a clean screen and evenly spreading a photo-sensitive emulsion over it in a dark room.
  • Once we have the film and a coated screen, we put the film on the screen and shine a high-pressure sodium light on it for about 10 minutes.  This “sets” the emulsion hard on the screen while leaving whatever is opaqued under the film very soft.
  • Then the screen is rinsed with water and voíla: a hole or stencil is made in the screen.

  • At this point, the screen is ready to set up on press.
  • When the screen is on press, we pick an ink color and put it on the screen and then pull the ink through using a squeegee.  The squeegee pushes the ink through the hole in the screen and onto your fabric (or t-shirt).

One pillow set I want to sew is using some patterned fabrics that were part of a set, so I mixed some special greyish-blue ink to match the darkest blue stripe in the fabric.

I’m pretty happy with the color match…

Since I had a screen all set up, I decided to print more than just one set of birds, so I changed the ink color to Navy and printed this guy on a light blue starry fabric to be used in the pillow I’m making for the friend who took the photo.

Then I changed the ink one more time to Black and printed a few on some other scraps of fabric I have laying around… not sure how these will be used yet, but I really like the image so I’m sure I’ll be using them soon.  I’m even thinking of making a quilted bag instead of always making pillows.

So now I have some images on fabric to work with… YAY!

Crow Pillows

Now that my rooster quilt is finished, I have embarked on a NEW project ~ YAY!  A friend of mine took a couple great photos of some crows, and I took a couple more, and they worked really well as silhouettes.

What you see in the photo are the fabrics I plan on using, and the crows are actually pieces of film.  These pieces of film are opaque where it is black, so we use them to “shoot” screens for screenprinting.  In the screen-shooting process, a screen is coated with photo-sensitive emulsion, then we put these films on coated screens and shine a light on it.  Where the light hits the screen it “bakes” the emulsion, and where the light can’t get through (where the black film is) the screen emulsion stays soft and then we wash it out with water and voila:  a hole in a screen.  Then I can print using any color I wish… I’m thinking of printing in a dark blue ink to match the darkest blue in the fabric.  Here is a picture of a screen on press:

I’m excited to start a new sewing project… especially since our summer is still looking like winter… today I pulled out sweatpants and a hoodie ~ it’s chilly here right now.  I did hear that next week it will jump from the 50’s to the 90’s… not fun. 

So like I said, I’m happy to have a project!  Plus I’ve been watching butt-loads of soccer with my hubby ~ so my schedule is all wonky these days.  Just watched the Netherlands beat Brazil!  How cool is that?  It’s like watching the Lakers lose… I love it!  Later today is Uruguay vs. Ghana… I think I’ll be rooting for Uruguay ~ I liked watching them through the World Cup so far.