I thought I’d share a little bit more about the process that goes into my ‘double wedding ring technique.’ LOL. Its not really a technique. Its just the zigzag stitch. Here is the quilt that I pieced during my carpal tunnel surgery.
It was fairly simple to position the squares on the background piece and place one pin to keep them in their place.
And then I simply zig zag stitch around the edge of the piece, trying to catch one thread beyond the square so it will look neat, and so there will be minimum shredding of the fabric. I experiment and adjust the zigzag to the size I want. On my machine (a Janome 6500) that seems to be 3.0 and 1.2. You can see that I like to use a heavier thread and also a variegated thread sometimes. I think it just adds an interesting design element. Plus, it makes it a lot more interesting for me!
I zigzag around each square, and just gently lift the corner of the overlapping square as I go by it. Sometimes I have to manipulate the stitches a bit to go around the corner, but I’m not going to attempt to describe that in words.
And pretty soon, one block is completed.
Here is one more DWR quilt that I have made. I decided that these jewel tones went well with a beautiful large floral print that I had, and I cut those flowers out and fused them in place (even though I don’t like fusing that much!)
Here’s a close-up of how I just stitch carefully along the edge of the fused flower.
And a close-up of the quilting on the DWR. You can see I chose another variegated thread for this.
And one more close-up showing the bubbles that I quilted in the dark background. Gotta say, that was not fun, quilting with dark thread on a dark background.
So that’s my adventures so far with the double wedding ring. I have used raw edge zigzagging on some of my other art quilts, both in the piecing and directly in the quilting. And I like it very much.
I figured out how to make a slide show! So proud of myself. So here are the quilts I have hanging in the Art and Soul Gallery in Oak Hills Church. I will be there this Sunday from 9am to about 3 pm. If you’re in the area I’d love to see you.
This is the description of how I started this Housetop Quilt project:
The Housetop quilts began as a simple challenge: to work entirely with solid colored fabrics. I had never worked with solids before, as there were so many beautiful prints that I loved. I looked and looked, and finally decided to make a ‘housetop style’ quilt. “Housetop” simply refers to the block pattern/structure that is used. It is similar to the more familiar “log cabin” block. The Housetop pattern was made famous by the Quilters of Gees Bend, a group of African American women in rural Alabama. I had the privilege of meeting these women several years ago, and was so inspired by them. In spite of their difficult lives, they made beautiful art out of just what they had on hand. And more than that, I was inspired by the way they seamlessly integrated their faith in God into every part of their lives.
So as I started on the first housetop quilt, I happened to read a verse in the Bible that I had never noticed before. “Jesus said, ‘What I have whispered in your ear, shout it from the housetops.’ ” Hmmm. Isn’t that interesting? I am making a housetop quilt, and here is a verse using that same term. I also thought to myself, Hmmmph. You never shout anything from the housetops. What is wrong with you? I thought about these two things–the housetop quilt and Jesus words– all day long. And then it occurred to me. I COULD PUT JESUS’ WORDS INTO MY QUILTS. And that was the beginning of The Housetop Quilt Project. It has been a wonderful year of re-discovering old favorite verses, and finding new-to-me beautiful words of God to put into my quilts in various ways and using various techniques.
And here is a link to the slide show:
Housetop Quilt Project
I always have to have a little quilt to work on when I travel. Its my version of a security blanket. Usually I don’t have that much time to work on the quilt. But I usually manage to take a few stitches, and I find that just by having the project with me I will sometimes find new inspiration or a new direction for the quilt.
For this quilt I wanted to use this cool fabric for the background, and I knew I wanted to add some colored circles on top, and then to do a lot of hand stitching on them.
Before this trip to Haiti I had been reading Colossians 1 every morning. Many of the words became very meaningful to me. I continued to read it while I was there. So that is how I got the idea to add some of the phrases to the quilt. A little different than my other quilts, as they are not complete verses, but just phrases, and they are not even in a particular order. I like it.
Also, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I don’t really like using fusible, and I found that I can very neatly hand-stitch the circles in place, using simple decorative stitches. Big score!
I think I will heavily hand-stitch the background on this one too, as you can see in this picture.
And here is something I have done on my last few projects. I always machine baste my small quilts, and by turning over the back and basting it in place, I have a very neat edge that keeps things nice and tidy.
Most of the work you see was done after I got home, and sat in my big chair with two little dogs on my lap. I am thankful to be an American.
Tomorrow I go to Folsom to hang my quilt show! I can’t believe the day is finally here. This has been a wonderful almost-year-long challenge to make 20 quilts for this exhibition. I loved almost every minute of it. From the ideas that came flowing freely–many times during church my eyes would light upon a verse that it seemed I had never seen before and had fresh and new meaning for me. Or sometimes the fabric or the thread would start the idea, and I would find just the right phrase (or chapter!) to embroider on that quilt.
I finished the final five quilts shortly after Christmas. Tonight I went over all the quilts, checking for uncut threads, and then rolled them up for the trip tomorrow. (I roll them on those foam ‘noodles’ that they sell for the pool in the summertime. That keeps them from getting creases. And hopefully, keeps them from getting any dog hair on them…)
Here is the very last quilt I did:
And some close-ups of the quilting:
My BF encouraged me to quilt around the lettering to give it some definition. I had never done this before, and I really like the way it looks.
If you are in the area, the quilts will be on exhibit at Oak Hills Church in Folsom, CA, from January 6 until February 10. I will be at Oak Hills on January 27 from 1-3pm for a small reception. I’d love to see you there!