Ghastlie Dollie

Must Have Fabric 3 – If Looks Could Kill!

Ghastlie Dollie
Ghastlie Dollie

Alexander Henry Fabrics has sent another visual valentine to us fabric lovers.

It is a Must Have Fabric! I have spoken and it shall be so!

With last year’s Ghastlies series, we reveled in wonderful fabric that featured images from the strangest dinner party ever, and this year we can join this oddball group in A Ghastlies Family Reunion.

Ghastlie Family Reunion from Alexander Henry Fabrics
Ghastlie Family Reunion from Alexander Henry Fabrics

It comes in several colors, including mauve, grey and green. (I suspect it comes in a white background, too, but I haven’t seen it yet.)

Clad in costumes from the Roaring 20’s, these upper-class socialites seem to be frozen in tableaux whose meanings we can only guess at.

A Ghastlie Family Reunion fabric from Alexander Henry Fabrics
A Ghastlie Family Reunion fabric from Alexander Henry Fabrics
Family portrait?
Family portrait?

Last year’s fabric featured a beribboned girl holding a hammer.  My friends and I refer to the dress-wearing tomboy as “little Alethea.” She really reminded me of myself, the dress, the tool, and the perpetual pout!

Little Alethea
Little Alethea

There is a new (old) member of staff, the butler Cobblestone.

Cobblestone the butler
Cobblestone the butler

We also have some new family members.

Baby
Baby Bertram
Cousin Georgie
Cousin Georgie joins Frederick and the cat
Carlotta and her dollie
Cousin Carlotta and her dollie
Cousin Zelda (peeking out from Aunt Georgetta's skirt)
Cousin Zelda (peeking out from Aunt Georgetta's skirt)
If looks could kill...
If looks could kill...

One wonders what is going on between these two ladies. There must be more than meets the eye. Could it have something to do with the expecting mother and her wayward husband?

Happy couple?
Happy couple?

So now the question remains… what to make with this fabric?

I can see some great bags, placemats, and pillows on the horizon.

As for quilts, well, let’s see. Laura Nownes Shoji Screen Quilt pattern would be nice.

Shoji Screen Quilt, pattern from Laura Nownes
Shoji Screen Quilt, pattern from Laura Nownes

Think of the fun fabrics and images you could put inside the frames. Alexander Henry has some fun companion fabrics that will read solid for the frame fabric.

One of my friends from Wooden Gate Quilts is already making a 9-Patch Pizzazz from Judy Sisnero’s fabulous book. (Which I wish I had written!)

9-Patch Pizzazz, by Judy Sisneros
9-Patch Pizzazz, by Judy Sisneros

I can’t wait to see how it develops!

Large-scale prints like this are also great for quilts from my book Maverick Quilts. Try it in Superstars, California Housetop, in the off blocks in Bella Boxes, or as the central panel in Lovely Landscape. Any of these would be great!

Or, how about the Show Off pattern in the book?

Show Off Summer Quilt, by Alethea Ballard, 2010. 65" x 76.5"
Show Off Summer Quilt, by Alethea Ballard, 2010. 65" x 76.5"
Show Off Jewels Quilt, by Alethea Ballard; 2010. 65" x 76.5"
Show Off Jewels Quilt, by Alethea Ballard; 2010. 65" x 76.5"

As always, sorry for the photo quality! (The publisher sent me a CD with all of the nice photos from the book, but I can’t figure out how to open them, silly me!)

For my Ghastlies quilt, I chose the Show Off pattern.

Show Off Ghastlies Quilt, by Alethea Ballard; 2011
Show Off Ghastlies Quilt, by Alethea Ballard; 2011

This quilt is made from the fabric which came out last year, and I used both the green and grey background versions for the block centers. The frames are made in black, grey, green, pink and then I threw in some purple just for fun.

I used the white version in the border
I used the white version in the border
Poor wee Frederick
Poor wee Frederick

Unlike the Show Off Quilt in the book, I included sashing between each horizontal set and added a wide band a single fabric. On the band I created a funny portrait gallery with images from the fabric.

Upper Chambermaid Dorset
Upper Chambermaid Dorset

I made frames for each portrait by fussy cutting fabric and fusing it wown. You should have heard me cackling as I finished each one!

Aunt Agnes
Aunt Agnes

Love the hair!

Ghastlie Family portrait gallery
Ghastlie Family portrait gallery

Do you see the cat’s ears on the top of Father’s portrait and the four cat feet on the bottom? I will stitch everything down with the quilting.

Ringing for the maid - a Ghastlie dinner! Look at miserable little Frederick!
Ringing for the maid - a Ghastlie dinner! Look at miserable little Frederick!

Please send me photos of what you make from this MUST HAVE FABRIC! I always love to see your work!

Happy quilting!

Advertisements

Portable ironing board – make one today!

Portable Ironing Board Covers 
Portable Ironing Board Covers

A portable ironing board can be made from two empty fabric bolts, some batting, a piece of heat resistant material, and a little cotton fabric.

Laura Nownes is the Queen of Pressing, so I shared the instructions with her for her blog, See How We Sew.

You can ask your local fabric store for a couple of empty bolts and you’ll be able to make yourself a handy ironing surface for classes or to set next to your sewing machine for those stitch and flip projects.

I used the Insul-Bright heat-resistant mylar/poly batting on top of a scrap of Warm and Natural batting, but you can also sew an insert of ironing board cover material into the front and back of the cover, like one of my students did (below).

All of the directions and pictures can be found here at Laura’s blog, See How We Sew.

Ironing Board Cover with an insert of ironing board cover fabric
Ironing Board Cover with an insert of ironing board cover fabric

Let the Quirk Begin…

Koi Pond Chairs, by Alethea Ballard (detail)
Koi Pond Chairs, by Alethea Ballard (detail)

(Read all the way to grumpy cat and the P.S. to be eligible to win a prize. Really.)

There is a very special quilt event beginning on Thursday. The San Ramon Valley Museum in Danville, California, is opening a month-long quilt exhibit.

It is called the Quirkology of Quilts – Warmth to Whimsy.

Margaret Linderman and I were asked to co-curate the biennial quilt show for the museum, which is housed in the historic railroad building at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Prospect.

We have collected an eclectic mix of new quilt work, mostly created by local quilters. Margaret and I both have some of our newest quilts included. In addition, Margaret has selected some of her wearable art clothing to display, and I have some of my small chairs on display.

One of the wonderful things about creating a show like this is that during the selection process you can create a body of work that tells a story, as the quilts relate to each other in interesting ways.

As part of this conversation we have also created displays of old and new sewing tools, pincushions, and a few hand-made monsters. There is an interesting photo collection depicting some of the influences on today’s more quirky quilts. The museum has several fascinating antique quilts that we were able to include, along with a very unusual “Maverick” quilt from the 1960’s.

I invite all of you to visit the show, which will run until September 25. For more information and hours, please visit the museum’s website. http://www.museumsrv.org

Official Quirkology of Quilts flyer
Official Quirkology of Quilts flyer

But wait, you also get…

There are two quilts that you can win for your very own selfiepoo.  There is a raffle quilt; the tickets will be on sale at the museum. (photo coming soon)

Shibori Bouquet, by Margaret Linderman
Shibori Bouquet, by Margaret Linderman

The above quilt, made my Margaret Linderman, will be the prize for the Quilt Treasure Hunt. To win this beautiful quilt, you can pick up a postcard that lists the location of seven quilts, each of which are hanging in a Danville business within walking distance of the museum. Fill out the postcard when you have discovered all of the quilts’ locations and turn it in to the museum to be eligible for a drawing of this lovely wall hanging. Eat, shop, win a quilt – awesome!

But Wait You Also, Also Get a BIG Hello!

I would like to extend a special welcome to those of you who are visiting my blog for the first time! You might be visiting me after reading Laura Nownes’ blog, See How We Sew. It is a delight to be interviewed by Laura for her blog. I hope you like the free project that I shared, which shows the steps to make a portable ironing board using empty fabric bolts.

I invite you to scroll through my blog posts. I write about my current work, things that inspire me, quilts I like, and about my greatest passion – fabric!

Mavis Quinn (again)
Mavis Quinn (again)

A strange person called Mavis Quinn sometimes uses my site to post her ramblings written for Where Cuckoo Women Create Magazine .com.org.biz. Take what she says with a grain (or pound) of salt!

To get you exploring the site, I would like to offer you an opportunity to win a special prize – I will make a wonderful tote bag and put an image from my newest painted quilt, Koi Pond Chairs, on it just for you!

To win the cool tote bag, send me a comment below and tell me your favorite image from the blogs, I will put your name in my cool, red Disneyland hat and randomly pick a winner on Friday night at 9:00 P.M. PST. With the help of grumpy cat, Scott Hastings.

Scott Hastings
Scott Hastings

Enjoy!

P.S. Of course all of you faithful blog subscribers are welcome to enter the drawing – as you know I have never offered a free prize before!!! So stingy!

Marvelous Margaret strikes again!

Marvelous Margaret Linderman
Marvelous Margaret Linderman

I am supposed to be cleaning my sewing room, so I will blog instead!  It is much more fun…

Yesterday I went to a really fun class held at Woodengate Quilts with inspiring teacher and friend Margaret Linderman.

We made napkins in two different styles.  Of course, being the nutball I am, I had to pre-cut all my fabrics and then proceed to make two thousand and two napkins.  They look great!

There were square napkins with mitered corners…

Square napkins
Square napkins
Darling contrast fabrics
Darling contrast fabrics
Picnic, anyone?
Picnic, anyone?

I might have gone a little overboard!

How cute are these?
How cute are these?

The mitered corners are really easy to do and the project is really fabric-friendly.  A half yard of the inside fabric and 5/8 yard of the outside makes two napkins.  The directions can be found in several sources, but I know that another wonderful teacher, Laura Nownes, has pictorial directions on her blog. You can find them at: http://seehowwesew.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/ahh-sweet-spring/

Of course, Margaret had a special project up her sleeve.  She showed us how to make these cool, sort-of-half-circle-two-sided napkins…

Half circle napkin
Half circle napkin
Pretty contrast fabric and darling stitching
Pretty contrast fabric and darling stitching

You stitch and flip and topstitch and then…

Folds up into little trees!
Folds up into little trees!

They fold all cleverly up into little trees. I just love them. I made four napkins using this Art Gallery fabric to give as a gift to a special friend. They also look good in Christmas fabrics – just like little Christmas trees.

Between you and me, I don’t actually need to take a class, but the beauty of doing so is that you actually get your work done. You also see friends, get out of the house, and you always learn new things from your fellow students. One of the other students showed us how to use a threaded needle to pull out the corners; it works really well.

Besides all that, any chance to spend time with an amazing teacher like Margaret is just golden. Get out there and take a class! It’s fun!

Being a person who has to make absolutely everything out of fabric, I try to make gifts out of fabric for my friends and family.  Often I get a project organized but then get too busy to make them and end up not having gifts for anyone. Oops! Now I have the gift for this year organized, I will be making them for everyone I know… if they are lucky!

Special note for you blog subscribers: What do you think of my photos from the new “photo booth,” my bathtub?  Better color, eh?  No yellow wall in there!