Saturday, March 17, 2012

Portrait of a Friend

Recently I finished a long overdue gift for a dear friend in Pennsylvania. I thought she would get a kick out of a whimsical portrait. I decided that a tote bag would be the best option to show off the portrait so I designed a bag for that purpose. The back of the bag has a large pocket and the sides are cinched with some cute bows.
I started with the face shapes in Amy Bradley's book, "Quilter's Yearbook." Then I recreated her hair from a photo and added simple facial features and clothes. The "eyes" are Velcro circles that act as fasteners for the shades. The portrait background is stipple quilted and the rest of the outer bag fabrics are quilted on the fabric patterns. The applique was fused and stitched using a blanket stitch and the hair and collar details with straight stitching. Ordinary blush makeup was applied to the cheeks.
I couldn't decide which style of shades she would wear so came to the conclusion that she needed a wardrobe of them. Instead of fusing the glasses to the face, I made them removable, fastening them with velcro circles.

The inside features pockets on both sides, a covered stiff bottom piece and a magnetic closure.
My friend, Deb, received the bag in the mail yesterday. She loved it so I was very happy. I had fun making it.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Family Quilting Retreat

A couple of weekends ago my sister, Leslie, my daughter, Kecia, and I got together for a 3-day weekend quilting retreat at my daughter's house in Tustin. She has a huge studio room above her garage with lots of room for the three of us. We sewed and ate and sewed from Friday night until Monday afternoon. This is my sister Leslie at her sewing machine and at one of our pressing stations.

This is one of her rows of small Stack 'n Whack blocks and the finished top.
This is an Asian-themed quilt top on the design wall that Kecia finished. And here she is at her sewing table.
Leslie at one of our cutting stations and with her paper-pieced Bird of Paradise block.
Me sewing at my Juki. I was working on a simple charm square quilt. Finished the first border.

This was another project Kecia worked on using some chintz fabrics she brought back from Amsterdam a couple of years ago. Leslie with a small wall quilt top she finished.

This was the other project I worked on--a kit I bought in Alaska. I only discovered that the last block in the second row was set wrong after I saw this photo. I have fixed it. I also made a pillowcase, a snap bag and a paper-pieced tree block for another quilt.
We did an applique block exchange for the retreat using patterns from Flower Festival by Kim Schaefer. We each did 3 blocks to exchange for a wall quilt or table runner.

At the end of our retreat, l-r Leslie, Kecia and I. We had a great time sewing from morning til late at night.