Monday, February 16, 2015

A Winter's Pace

The days are cold, snow covers the landscape, and the light has changed, coming in at different angles and illuminating old favorites in a new way.  It's ok to slow down one's pace, linger with coffee a bit longer, have lunch with a friend, work on no-pressure projects or explore new ideas in your work.

I have been playing at my machine and trying new techniques for fun on these long bright afternoons where it is good to be cozy and warm in my upstairs room, music playing, machine on and back in action.  I have re-discovered feed dogs, thick lustrous embroidery threads,  and programmed stitches!  

Years ago I included some broderie perse on one of my quilts, October Morning, a Delectable Mountains pattern with a good central spot that cried out for this vintage technique.  I vaguely remember learning how to use my machine, digging out the right foot, adjusting the stitch and tension to get the look I wanted for the fused raw edge applique, and enjoying it very much.

"October Morning" 1999

Now I wanted to try something more modern so I have been using ancient fusible web that was still where I left it in 1999 and watching my needle zig where I wanted it to zag, and saying "oh no!" out loud.  Ah, the joys of trying to figure it all out.

I winged it at first (how does fusible web work???), then consulted my personal quilt book library and read how various authors recommend doing this.  I have lots of info now from art quilts to very traditional formal work, and hope to try some new things tomorrow.  I have enjoyed rediscovering how to do this and who knows where it may lead.  Broderie Perse?  Coneflowers?  Tiny circles?  One thing I know is I must buy some fresh fusible web before doing anything more.

Meanwhile, my bit of advice is if you never try something you will never really for sure know if you do like it or not, if you can do it or not, if it has some promise for wiling away an afternoon or two......and to include it in a future quilt, or not.

Hope you had a chocolate or flower-filled Valentine's Day.....and I have so loved hearing from so many of you in comments or emails.  It's good to be back.

Keep quilting, your work gets better every day,


Lin McQ said...

Your post is very timely for me this morning. I'm trying to figure out how to quilt 9" borders. I want to do circular feathers but can't figure put how, particularly the corners. I all but gave up, came upstairs for breakfast and was going to throw in the towel and stipple the whole dang quilt. Your post is a wake up call to slow down, be patient and keep trying till I get what I want. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

It is so good to have you back!!


Diane Gaudynski said...

Lin, yes do slow down, take the time to figure it out, let it percolate in your mind for awhile. If it means doing some simplistic work on another project while this one develops in your mind, that works too. Try some samples, draw things out on paper, look at books, whatever it takes, because in the end the quilting is the final touch you have to create something that is "you" on your quilt. Good luck!

Lane said...

I'm with you too, Diane. I'm remembering how to work in miniature. The more I do, the more I remember and the better I get. Thanks for reminding me that everybody does that...unless they do the same thing over and over again...and how much fun would that be? Lane

QuiltShopGal said...

What a beautiful quilt. This design has been on my bucket list for some time and you just gave me more inspiration to make it. Love your applique in the center, as well as overall colors and fabrics. Of course, your quilting is spectacular.

I'm sending positive thoughts and warm wishes in hopes that sunny skies and warm weather will soon come your way. This has been another harsh winter in your area. Just doesn't seem fair when we in California so desperately need water. Wish I could work out a trade with the weather gods, as I would certainly send you some of our sunshine if you could send us some of your rain/snow!

Happy to have you back blogging and sharing.


Paula said...

How wonderful to see you blogging once again. I have missed your posts tremendously. Sending good thoughts regarding health issues. I am so grateful that I was able to be a student of yours at Asilomar in 2010. It is and always will be the highlight of my quilting journey. You are such an amazing "lady". Good to see that Oliver is being "Oliver". Welcome back!

Debbie said...

Thanks for your inspiration Diane ! So glad you are back !!!

Debbie At The Quilt Journal said...

Hi Diane,
So glad your back!!! I have just read both of your books and love them! I have a question- you advocate washing the quilt after the quilting process is finished. Do you iron your quilts? My samples look kind of wrinkly. I did not give them a toss in the dryer, maybe that would have helped?
Thanks for all your great advise !!!

Diane Gaudynski said...

Debbie, I have washed all my quilts when finished, but gently - I immerse them in tepid water in the washer with a touch of mild soap, mush it around with my hands a bit, spin it out on low, and then do it over again with clear water. I do this because I use wash-out blue markers and starch. I need to get it out of the quilt, plus it plumps up the wool batt a bit to fill the quilting designs.

I don't put it in the dryer anymore, but you can on low until damp and then lay flat to finish drying, blocking it to get it square.

Many quilters do not wash their quilts if they never plan on using them and getting them soiled. They steam them or spray lightly with water and block and let dry in place, works great.

For the past few years if it is a wall quilt or silk or something small I dunk it in tepid water in the sink and blot it with towels, lay flat to dry on my cutting table, patting it into the correct shape/measurements.

Every quilter has a system for this from not washing anything from fabric to finished quilt, to washing everything, and something in between too. Find out what works best for you.

I don't iron my quilts but do hold the steam iron over them and give them a good steaming to get rid of crinkles, smooth the designs, and if I use any art materials it helps set those as well.