Friday, I attended a Cactus Collage class at the Bernina Connection.
This is the quilt made by our teacher, Mary Lewkowitz.
The class is using the pattern Collage Cactus Sampler by Laura Heine. Before class I pieced the background for the cactus collage. The background is abut 46" by 63".
Laura's collage technique is a bit different, she uses Steam A Seam 2 which I dislike. I last used Steam A Seam about 6 years ago, I stopped using Steam A Seam because I thought it gummed up my needle plus I think it makes wool appliqué difficult to needle. I can say that my opinion of Steam A Seam has not changed, in fact I found the new improved Steam A Seam awful. Since I purchased 10 yards of Steam A Seam, I will continue using it for this pattern. The new Steam A Seam is more gummy and IMHO more difficult to work with.
The first step was to trace each cactus onto Pattern Ease which is a non-woven material. An appliqué pressing sheet is placed over the cactus tracing, then the Individual pieces are cut out and placed according to the pattern. After the entire cactus is built up on the appliqué pressing sheet, it is pressed to make one complete unit. The completed cactus unit is then placed on some parchment paper. After all cactus units are completed, they will be pressed to the background.
This weekend I was able to complete 5 cactus units which is good start but still leaves a lot of work yet to do.
I really enjoyed stitching the Marsh block, the fifth block in Solstice Dream Quilt. The block is 6" finished.
I was a bit worried about stitching the dragon fly tail and frog, I was worried the bullion knots would not be round and plump. The frog and the periwinkle bullion knots of the dragon fly tail were stitched with Thread Gathers silken pearl. Silken pearl is a 100% silk thread with a tight Cordonnet twist that is about a size 5 pearl thread. The tight twist of the silken pearl creates firm stitches with a gorgeous sheen. The dragon fly wings were cut from a sheer, organza-type ribbon and stitched down with Painter's Metallic Braid thread.
|The five blocks stitched together.|
I started this quilt 12 months ago, I finished the stitching and then waited 6 months to get the quilt machine quilted. I am so excited to have this quilt almost complete, I just need a hanging pocket and label to the back of the quilt.
This is my version of Sue Spargo's Tootin' Along quilt. I changed the generic auto with VW Bugs which are loved by myself and my daughter, Marcie. We have always driven blue Bugs, my first VW was a dark blue 1969 VW Bug with a flowered vinyl roof. Two years ago, someone made a left turn in front of my daughter and her lovely blue bug was totaled. I could only find a yellow VW Bug to replace the blue VW, hence the lone yellow VW on the lower left of the quilt. The quilt was machine quilted by Gina Perkes. The quilt is 23 1/2" by 37".
Marcie is also a dog lover, so I added some wooden dog buttons I found in Houston a few years ago. There is a poodle on the upper right of the quilt. Emmie is Marcie's miniature poodle.
I finished the fourth block for Solstice Dream quilt. The block size is 6" finished. The center stem is stitched with Shimmer Floss using a Palestrina knot stitch. The horizontal stitch of the Palestrina extends the full width of the 1/4" stem which gives the stitch a different look.
I am stitching on too many large wool projects at the same time, so I am not sure when I will start stitching the fifth block of Solstice Dream. Most of the blocks are 6", the stitching is not as intense as stitching on Fresh Cut, Sue Spargo 2017 BOM, so I do find stitching on Solstice Dream a pleasant break between my Sue Spargo projects.
I just got home after an absolutely inspiring workshop with Sue Spargo at Madeline Island School of the Arts. MISA is located on Madeline Island, the largest of the 22 Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. I flew out of Phoenix on Sunday, June 25th to Minneapolis, Minnesota. My wool appliqué buddy, Monica and her husband picked me up at the airport and we drove to the Duluth airport to pick up a rental car. Monica and I then drove to Bayfield, Wisconsin to catch the ferry to Madeline Island and Monica's husband, Glenn, began his week fly fishing vacation in northern Minnesota.
The class project was the peacock. I spent a few weeks getting the background and peacock appliqué pieces prepared.
I had the wool appliqué pieces all whipped stitched on my background and I was ready to start embellishing. After 5 days of stitching, I have a good start on the peacock but have much more to stitch. The peacock block is approximately 21" x 21".
Friday afternoon, Monica and I drove to La Pointe. Monica had a chance to look for agates on the shoreline, she was brave enough to wade in the cold waters of Lake Superior and found some beautiful agates and rocks.