Jun 27, 2014

black and white cow, part 2

Here's part two of my black and white cow applique art quilt - that's quite a mouthful, actually. Previous post of part one is here.

Cow applique art quilt work in progress. Teresa Duryea Wong.
She looks a lot better on the turquoise background, don't you think? I'm just testing it out at this point. The entire cow is appliqued using Misty Fuse onto white muslin. Then I cut it out... and I've just pinned it on this background to test it out.

This cow is hard to photograph... the definition of the whites is kind of lost. But I think you get the idea. There are a couple hundred pieces of applique here!

The eye is the last hold out. Waiting to finish that a bit later... to be honest, I am searching for the exact fabric I need for the eye ball.  I took a class last year at Art Quilt Tahoe with David Taylor - very funny guy. He had this great deep blue/purple fabric with these tiny star bursts on it that were perfect for tiny eyeballs. The funny story he told is... he searched and searched for this fabric, and when he found it, he thought: "Now this is the perfect eyeball fabric. I take 6 yards!" I thought that was quite funny.  I just learned from checking his website that David is currently recovering from heart surgery! I hope his sense of humor will help him recover. We're thinking of you David!

I need a clever title for this cow... any ideas???

Linking up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Jun 20, 2014

black and white cow appliqué art quilt, part one

Working on a new art quilt - a black and white cow with over 180 pieces of  appliqué.

Here's my model. Handsome, isn't she? You just can't get more "Texas" than this baby, right?

And here's my progress to far. Obviously, the eye is not done yet.

Appliqué work in progress. Third Floor Quilts.
I have placed the applique pieces for the entire cow on a white muslin background. Eventually, the cow will be sitting on a vibrant turquoise background --- a beautiful Moda solid. This step (using the muslin) was important though, because there is so much white fabric in the cow, if that white had been placed directly on the turquoise, it would completely change the color balance. However, for the purposes of this photo, the whites look washed out.

Check back in a week or two and the whites and blacks will really pop!

In order to make these pieces, I first enlarged the photo in black and white, or gray-scale. Took it to Fedex to print. You can of course do this in color, but it is way more expensive to print the enlargement, and for pattern line drawing, the color is not necessary.  This image is roughly 35 x 40 inches and the b/w enlargement costs about $7.00 at Fedex. You can "tile" the image and print it on your home computer - that seems like a waste of my time though, so I gladly pay the $7 bucks to have one photo on one piece of paper.

Next step is to draw the pattern. Here's a photo - it is a bit difficult to see the pencil lines. It's drawn on tracing paper. I taped several pieces of tracing paper together to cover the whole thing.
Line Drawn Pattern by Teresa Duryea Wong. Third Floor Quilts.
Once you have a pattern drawn on the tracing paper, transfer it to freezer paper (in reverse). Then the fun part - choosing fabric. The more fabric the better. If you repeat too much, it starts to look boring, or flat. Also, not too many prints... abstract or soft lines work best. I use a lot of Stonehenge fabrics for these type quilts. Or course my studio is a disaster site for quite a while.

I should add, the appliqué will be fused, raw edge - using Misty Fuse. This is the FIRST time I have done a major project of this scale using Misty Fuse. I've done several smaller things so I could learn to use it properly. So far I am thrilled with the results.

Up until a year or so ago, I completed all my appliqué by hand - edge turned and everything! Can you believe it? Sometimes I can't even believe it! So fusing this one has saved me at least a month's worth of work, maybe longer. I made the switch for several reasons... one of them being the pain in my hands from hours and hours of hand work. This weighed heavier on my decision versus just saving time. But, I have to say, I'm so excited about being able to iron these pieces down and pretty much move straight to the machine for free motion quilting!

I'll update my progress on this again in a few weeks.  I hope you enjoy this work in progress. Its Friday so I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.

Be sure to check out all the great work there. Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 15, 2014

a bird and a song - small art quilt finished

Finished a small art quilt. I'm calling this one "A Bird and a Song."
"A Bird and a Song" Teresa Duryea Wong. 2014.

The bird is mix of fabric, water color, tulle and thread painting. Then I put him on batting and quilted him... cut him out and added him to this inset. The feet are hand embroidery. The music is vintage paper (applied to water color paper and sewn in).

"A Bird and a Song" Teresa Duryea Wong. 2014.
 I meant to post this Friday so I could link up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.... running a bit behind schedule. Fortunately, her link up is still open.

FYI: this quilt is fairly small... about 24 inches.

Jun 9, 2014

my first book - off to the publisher!

This is me, sending my first manuscript off to the publisher. It's the real deal, with a major publishing firm.

368 days ago, I used to work here. (But who's counting?) My boss was a big shot who made millions. He never said good morning.
These days, I work here.

And here.

My boss now is a big, bad-ass Bernina. She greets me every morning with a wonderful little sound.

And unlike my old boss, she comes equipped with the tools to deal with mistakes!

A year ago, "dress for success" was a big deal for me. Here's how I used to dress every single day!

Now, I dress for success with my Bernina. She likes my choices... and she doesn't judge.

After my corporate gig ended, I set my sights on following my passion: writing, blogging, quilting... and finishing my first book.  To say that the last year has been transformative is an understatement. It has been fun, scary, thrilling, independent... and most every emotion in between.

Along with the book... I also made big strides in my journey from traditional quilting to making art quilts. That's also been fun, scary, frustrating and thrilling!

In fact, I recently entered my very first art quilt in a major, international competition. We'll find out next month if it gets in. If so, I'll be so excited! Being accepted would mean I would have two humongous accomplishments from the past year - a book and a major, "competition quality" work of art! If not, well you can't say I didn't try.

Pretty cool! I'm ready for my next book and my next big art quilt! In the meantime, you'll find me splitting my time between the keyboard and my bad-ass Bernina, and I'll be dressed for success for sure!

Jun 7, 2014

book review - Leah Day's sprial bound 365 FMQ Designs

Leah Day has just released a spiral-bound version of her 365 FMQ designs.

These patterns are meant to encourage free motion quilting without marking the fabric.

Leah has an interesting business model. Everything in this book is available on her website for free, plus she has videos online showing how she stitches these patterns. I've spent a lot of time on her website and I find it incredibly useful.

The book is for people like me who want to hold a book in their hands and be able to flip through a hard copy... rather than click around on a website and look at a computer screen. And if that appeals to you, this is well worth the ~$35 investment. Plus with the spiral, you can lay the book flat next to your machine and refer to it as you stitch.

There is one hitch though - I had a tough time finding this book. Leah is only selling it through quilt stores and my local shop was not able to source it through their usual distributors. I did email Lead Day through her site and she referred me to this great store and they shipped me one right away:


Jun 1, 2014

modern quilt finished

The beautiful, muted fabrics of Marcia Derse are featured in this modern, made-to-use quilt! This was a quick project, took about three days to finish.

I purchased a collection of Marcia Derse fabrics some months back. I absolutely love them! They've been sitting, waiting for the right project. I finally decided to make a small quilt to use and put on my couch... slightly larger than a lap quilt, but not too big. This quilt is roughly 38 inches wide by 88 inches long. I used 2 (blue) one-yard cuts on the front and 2 (red/purple) one-yard cuts on the back.  All the quilting is free motion, improvisational. I used this neon yellow thread, Aurifil 2120, vivid enough to stand out but also not too loud.

I must have been in a blue mood. I went a few weeks ago for a nail manicure - something which I rarely take time to do. I have NEVER had my fingernails painted anything other than your usual conservative colors. Something made me go bold. That must have inspired me to start stitching up this cool little modern quilt!