Venice travel collage quilt

I have been thinking about a Venice inspired travel quilt for a few years.  So I decided to dive in and start making collage blocks.

I watched a dvd by Linda M Poole -Artistic Painted Appliqué (i-quilt class) – to learn some techniques to paint on fabric.  I did a couple of practice pieces using watercolor pencils and crayons, Inktense blocks and textile medium.

For inspiration I looked at a mask that I had bought in Venice. I found a drawing on one of the free coloring book pages for a mask as my starting point.  I painted the mask on white fabric using some of the techniques from the dvd.  What fun!  I painted the face and then used a fabric gel pen to add some details to the mask like the music notes .  After fusing the mask to a background with a stabilizer under the mask, I used gold metallic thread to outline parts of the mask.

Oh I forgot about the eyes.  I used a few layers of black tulle and eyes that I made using a black marker and put the eyes behind the mask before fusing to the background.  Now she is looking at you. I added wool batting behind the mask and stitched around the mask for a trapunto effect.  I cut away the excess batting. Then added cotton batting and backing fabric and quilted the background.

I looked at pictures of Venice masks on pinterest to get ideas for a headpiece for the mask.  I fused fabric for the hat and added some wired ribbon and an artificial flower with a button.  I used a piece of sari ribbon for a scarf.  It was a fun project.  I am going to try to make one block a month – not sure if that will happen but it is a plan.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Chinese Coins pattern: Quilt of Valor

A couple of years ago I cut up my red, white, and blue scraps into 6″ long rectangles with different widths.  I started putting together strips to make a Quilt of Valor using the Chinese Coins pattern.   Fast forward 2 years or so and the quilt is now done.  Did I make a dent in my scrap pile of rectangles? Not really – still looks like a big pile of scraps to me.  So I have started on another Quilt of Valor.

I used a couple of quilting rulers for free motion quilting. I used a straight edge ruler to make a series of 3 lines.  Then I used an arch ruler to make 3 rows of arches next to the straight lines. Then I repeated this pattern to finish the quilting.  I used a ruler foot for my sewing machine and Gina Perkes’ quilting rulers (“Audrey” ruler for straight lines and “Marilyn” ruler for arches/curves).

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Using a hoop/ring for free motion quilting on a baby quilt

Our quilting bee worked on star block for a charity quilt.   We decided to make 2 quilts as it was getting too large to quilt.    I took on quilting the small (baby/toddler) quilt.  

One of our Bee members recently demo’d a quilting hoop.   We then purchased one set of rings and I played with it to quilt this group project.   Now I usually do not do this much quilting on a charity quilt, but I thought it was a good opportunity to try this new quilting tool.

I quilted different design in each square.   Here are my thoughts on these rings.

Ranger approved.

Pros:  Good control and easily moves by gripping the two nobs.   You also don’t have to wear quilting gloves.  Yeah!   I used it with and without a slider and it worked great both ways.   Good for quilting small areas and for tight quilting.

Cons:  It may not be good for quilting a loose overall design as it could be restrictive and would require lots one ring re-positioning.

The 2 ring package that we got included an 8″ and an 11′ ring.   We also bought the Martelli ones.   Shop around.   The ones that have a sewing machine brand name on it can cost more and but they are also made my Martelli.

Happy Stitchin,


Art Quilt Journal cover using machine embroidery

I was looking at ideas to make a quick project before I started a larger quilt project.  I decided to use a piece of machine embroidery that was colored with with colored pencils (UFO in my machine embroidery box) to make a cover for my art quilt journal.  I looked on for tutorials to make a book cover.

This project reminded me of all the book covers that I made as a kid to cover my school books – using brown paper grocery bags.  I found a tutorial on Alanda Craft site to make an easy fabric journal cover.  I did modify some of the directions as I worked on the project.  I used the machine embroidery design for the front cover and a fused flower design for the back cover.  I had fun playing with decorative stitches and variegated threads to stitch down the designs.

I really like doing small projects before starting on large quilt projects.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Sacred Threads – Eye Contact

One of the special exhibits, at the Sacred Threads Exhibition in VA, was titled “Eye Contact – making a connection”. They got 230+ entries and Donna and I both participated.   They even published a book with all the eyes.

This was an impressive art installation and really made an impact.
In these trying times, we need to put down our phones and make a connection (by looking at someones eyes).

Here are some pics of the installation.   Enjoy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We just got word that some venues contacted Sacred Thread and requested that the Eye Contact Installation travel.   So we agreed to have our eyes travel with the exhibit.   They will travel to multiple venues for two years.   We don’t know the locations or schedule yet, but we’ll let you know.  How cool is that?

Happy Stitchin,



Sacred Threads Experience weekend: Art Quilt Workshop with Deborah Boschert (part-2)

Here are my little “Personal Symbols” collages from Deborah Broschert‘s class.   I did 2 series (3 pieces in each series).

Can you guess what symbols they are?


If you guessed Lock and Keys, then you would be correct.  To me they represents new opportunities.  The one on the right looks like a cross between a scissor and a key (my free cutting got confused but I still like it.  I know, this one was easy.

Now, this one his more of a challenge to figure out.

Hint:   Look at the green.


If you guess Bridges, then you would be correct.  I think bridges carry you to new adventures.

The first bridge reminds me of Venice (my favorite city) and the one on the right reminds me of Rome (and the Romans aqueducts).  The one in the middle is a close up of a bridge (not sure where… maybe another Venice bridge).   Clearly they need hand and machine stitching to come alive, but it’s a start.

I have not done any additional work on them since the class.   I want to add some hand stitching and then free-motion.  I will group them as two separate sets.   It is now another UFO.  Funny how every time we take a class, I get another UFO project.

It was a great class and I love Deborah‘s work.

Happy Stitchin,


Sacred Threads Experience weekend: Art Quilt Workshop with Deborah Boschert

My first 2 mini blocks that I didn’t use in the wall hanging.

During the Sacred Threads exhibition, there were quilt classes and seminars to attend.  Mary and I took Personal Symbols for Art Quilt Collages class with Deborah Boschert.  She was a wonderful teacher and her art quilts are amazing.  Deborah talked about using personal symbols in her art work.  She had a few charts with pictures of symbols for us to get inspiration. Using pre-fused fabrics and small pieces of white felt (about 6″ x 9″), we made 6 mini-collages using personal symbols. I was NOT very excited about my first mini- quilt – guess I needed to warm up.  I liked my last 4 quilts the best – all of these quilts had the color purple.  I did a little of hand stitching on the vase quilt at the workshop.  Deborah uses machine quilting, decorative stitches and hand stitching in her quilts.  I like the look of the hand stitching details but hand stitching is hard for me.  So I finished the last 4 quilts using free motion quilting and machine decorative stitches. I used decorative stitches to connect the 4 pieces, added a backing and then used a satin stitch to finish the edges.  I used a variegated thread to finish the edges.  Now the wall hanging is ready to hang in my bedroom.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna