Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Necktie rug revisited...

I kept working with the smaller ends of the ties and wound up with a really cute rug!

I put two layers of batting where the hole in the middle was and then backed it with a really heavy muslin (also from the box of goodies!).  After I got it all pinned I stitched them along the tie lines and then made a big spiral out from the center to lock in all the ties.  

The centerpiece is made from a template technique.  The ties are broken down, fused with pellon and then sewn together. 

I haven't really gone any farther with the bigger version of this and it may have to go on the back burner for a while.

Speaking of back burner, I put my opt-art quilt on a solid backing today.  I'm thinking it's too big for a wall hanging so maybe I'll border it and turn it into a quilt.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

-- Alison

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today's Design Wall

Happy Monday, everyone!

Last week I received two more boxes from my cousins full of fabric, clothes and other family items from my great aunt.  These boxes contained a very big surprise - 197 1970's wide polyester neck ties!  At first I thought "what the heck am I gonna do with a 197 funky neck ties!"  Ruby had an idea that they might make a nice bed...

I've been interested in making a floor quilt and I had heard about making rugs from these things so I trusted my fate to the googles and typed in "neck tie rugs" and found a lot of really fun ideas.  It seemed like the typical method was to connect them with a zig zag stitch.  I've been having lots of fun working on this!  Here are some picture of them coming together...

The center is now complete and I love it, I think I like it better all by itself than the center of the big rug.  What to do, what to do?

It's been fun to see these old styles again.  I feel like I'm lost in episodes of Kojak and Barney Miller!

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Until our corners meet again,
-- Alison

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coming up for air!!!

Hello everyone!

What a busy few weeks it's been!  I finally completed the quilt for The Quilter Magazine which will be in the August/Septemer issue, out in July.  I have secured two other magazine engagements and, in the meantime, was fortunate enough to have one more design selected for a new fabric line for P&B Textiles.  Whew!  I'm alwasy so glad for the time to just sit and work on designs!

I also have a good number of commissions that always keep me busy.  Here is a sorority tshirt quilt I just finished yesterday.

We've had days in the 80's this week which is pretty toasty for February.  Our winter veggies are about done and we have started putting in some spring goodies.  Here is the last of our cabbage.  Mmmmmmmm

Today I enjoyed getting out and doing a little shopping.  I found some nice fabric at The Quilt Haus in New Braunfels for the baby quilt a friend has commissioned.  She's on her way over to check it out.  I hope she likes it!

I hope everyone is enjoying their day.  It's almost Friday!

-- Alison

Monday, February 20, 2012

What's on my design wall today...

Today I'm playing with some cube ideas to incorporate into an original design.

Last week I received fabric for a original design of mine that will be featured in the August issue of The Quilter Magazine - fabric provided by P&B Textiles.

This quilt was designed in memory of a good friend.

I have received a commission for a few other quilts that I'm working on now, so I'm off to get more supplies so I can finish them up!

I hope everyone is enjoying President's Day!!!

Until our corners meet again,
-- Alison

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here is a Valentine's Day quilt I made a few years ago...

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

-- Alison

Monday, February 13, 2012

On My Design Wall...

I've been working on a design I found in the book "Opt-Art Quilts" by Marilyn Doheny.  

First I made the strata.  There are actually two strata - an A and a B.  They are essentially the same thing only the two colors are reversed in their order.

Once I had this done, I moved on to the next step which is counter cutting the two.  This is where each strata starts to differ.  One is cut to a certain size, the other a different size, which is what gives you the illusion when they are sewn together.

Next, I began piecing the two together.  The smallest strips finish at just 1/4 inch so you can see how important it is to have been meticulous in cutting, pressing and sewing the first strips.  

Just keep piecing the strips together according to the design.


Eventually I had the completed illusion below.

I'll keep working on finishing it out, but in the meantime I have received the fabric for one of my designs that has been booked for a magazine later this year.  Once I get a publication date, I'll post more information.  This is one of three I'm booked for and I'm really excited to see a few more of my designs make it out into the world!

I hope everyone has a great day!

Until our corners meet again,

-- Alison

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday works...

Good morning!

Now that I have cleared my plate again I went looking for something fun to play with.  Lately I've been really fascinated with optical illusions so I purchased a book called "Opt-Art Quilts" by Marilyn Doheny.

I was so excited to see some really logical ways of creating these awesome illusions!  Another extra special bonus is that she gives you some very helpful tips for rotary cutting since these designs are absolutely hinged on how clean you cut.  I learned a new trick or two!

So that's what I'm working on now.  I found some fabric to play with and have gotten everything cut and one big chunk pieced together.  I'm planning to take these fundamentals and then turn it into something with my twist on it.  I can't wait to see this come together!

I have a few other things "in the works" that I hope to be able to share with you all soon!!  In the meantime, only Jodie knows... and she ain't talking. :0)


Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Until our corners meet again,
-- Alison

Monday, February 6, 2012

Productive Weekend!

I took a few days off from blogging because I was honestly too busy working to stop and talk about it.  I have been really busy putting together the three memorial quilts for my friend.  I came up with some creative ways to use some of the fabrics which are not traditionally used to piece quilt tops and I'm so happy to say that my ideas have really come together nicely! 

My friend provided me with some of her dad's best known sayings which I printed out on fabric paper and incorporated into each quilt.  His initials are framed in each one, too.

The second one incorporates a lot of thermal tshirt material which turned out to be very stretchy.  I knew that I was going to have to be very careful with this one to ensure it would quilt out ok.  And, of course, you have to "pin for the win"!  I've tried all sorts of methods for pinning my quilts, but the method I've finally settled on is to just tape the back down tight to the kitchen floor with 3M contractor grade tape and go from there.  It's sort of a workout, but I find it gives me the best results.  Lenora got an action shot of me pinning this weekend...

It was a busy weekend for sure, but I am anxious to get these off to my friend so she can share them with her siblings.  Being able to do something like this with her memories has been very special to me.  So, one last quilt to finish today and then I can send them on home to her.

Other than quilting it rained and rained all weekend.  This is a very unusual Texas winter for sure.  We definitely appreciate rainy winters because they really make the wildflowers flourish in the spring.  Haven't seen that in a while, so hopefully this is going to be a good thing!  We still haven't had a good freeze, which has been lovely for the flowers.  These snapdragons are in heaven!

Have a great Monday, and a great week!

Till our corners meet again,
-- Alison

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stuff in the works...

Happy Wednesday!

I've been up to my earballs in memorial quilts this week.  I generally like projects that come together and go out the door relatively quickly, so for me this is a really long project.  I have completed one top and am sewing the second one together today. 

I chose a wonky star pattern for the first one, and a wonky log cabin for the second.  Each quilt will have his initials on it.  The challenge for me has been working with the thick material from the sweatpants and I'm worried that my machine is going to get hung up at those seams when I go to stipple it.  I'm also not sure if I sure use a thinner batting, no batting, or what.  Does anyone have any experience with using this type of fabric?  I sure would love to know how best to approach this once I hit the quilting stage.  There are so many different fabric thicknesses, ranging from the sweatpants to thermal material to flannel.  This is going to be interesting!

For the last quilt I'm going to use a bento box type pattern.  On this one I'm going to focus more on the other fabrics and try to move completely away from the sweatpant material.  This should give some variety for the kids to pick from.

It's been so unusually warm here, but it looks like the weekend is going to be chilly.  So if I have to be inside I'll just keep plugging away on this!

Oh, I almost forgot...  The optical illusion wall hanging that Lenora claimed finally made it to its home over her desk. 

She says that they are trying to get more lights turned on over her team's area, but apparently most everyone else likes to work in the dark!  I would be asleep under the desk if I had to work in that much dark!!!!  I guess the IT industry is a bit different than mine where I sit next to a great big window all day and watch the people, cars, dogs, birds, cats, and whatnot go by!  I guess everything works out!

Until our corners meet again, have a great one!!!

-- Alison