Sunday, February 05, 2012

QAWM: A Few Questions

I am working on coming up with the next project, so in the meantime, a few questions and answers.
What kind of threads do you use?
I like to quilt with 30wt. cottons, mostly. I like to see my stitches.
30wt. is heavier and more visible than finer weights like 40 and 50. For my seams I will use 40wt. Sulky and Madeira are my two faves. I use prewound poly bobbins for underneath, as I am not very interested in filling bobbins with matching thread. The bobbin thread is finer and hardly noticeable on my busy backs. I have just oodles of thread, including rayons, which I sometimes use, but not often.

 I've been sorting through my fabric and notice that all my block colours are pinks, purples, mauves and blues rather than the vibrant yellows, oranges, greens and turquoises that you use. I also have a lot of patterned fabrics, but I notice you always seem to use your trade-mark solid colours.
I think this is the reason your work has the 'wow' factor. Do you ever use more pastel colours or patterns?

I am glad you feel my work has a 'wow' factor. I don't really use solids that much, but some of my hand dyeds are more solid looking than others. When I fuse I primarily use hand dyeds, and just a tiny bit of prints to add detail. When I piece I am more likely to use prints with my hand dyes, and some commercial solids too. I am sure most quilters have much more patterned fabric in their stashes than hand dyed. I can understand that, as there are always new prints to entice. But with solids, one can have a full array of colors and not have as much yardage in comparison. I find that the solids and hand dyes offer me more in the way of being original, as I add my own decorative elements that make the work mine.
As for pastels, I LOVE pastels. See these pieces:

 and Radiant Orb 48x45"and
and  I could go on...
Are you cutting your pieces with scissors or a rotary cutter?
I use both. The majority is cut with a rotary cutter, no ruler, just free cutting. And I use sharp small scissors for dots and small details.

Have you ever used black or white in your pieces?
As for black, I used to use it a lot, but outgrew it. I find that it is the easy way out, and has a tendency to look like I couldn't think of anything better to use as a contrast.
And white...hmm. I may have, but also find lighter values like pastels work in its place. This is just me of course
I did collect a lot of black and white prints over the years, and may start using them any day now. ha!

And then, the famously asked question:
How do you wash your fused quilts?
Of course... I don't. If they are hanging for a long time I will use sticky tape to lift any dust that may have accumlated. And of course I don't hang quilts in the kitchen, altho these days, I hardly ever fry anything, so it might not matter.

Some of your quilts look pieced but then you say they are fused. What's the difference? I mean why fuse or why do you piece a design?
This question came from anonymous, but I am guessing lots of people wonder the same thing and were hesitant to ask. I chose fusing over piecing years ago, so I could do anything that came to mind without a struggle. I am not into applique, or turning edges under, or even worse, zigzagging the edges of my shapes.  And I like to add details like dots and skinny strips without having to afix them with stitching. Then later I figured I could do pieced looking quilts the same way, by fusing. If I stitch next to the edges of my shapes, they look pieced. But then, lately with the two twin beds we have, I needed bed quilts and of course those have to be washable, so piecing is just right for those. I've made only a few pieced wall quilts that qualify as arty enough to hang.


  1. You have given honest and inspiring answers to a number of, what I am sure are, frequently asked questions.

    The examples you have used to illustrate your answers, are, as usual, beautiful and cheerful.

    Maybe these are the most important things about you. (and inspiring)

    Have a great day.

  2. When you use fused pieces, do you overlap the pieces, such as in the last quilt you have pictured above of the triangles. Or do you simply butt them together?

  3. "I did collect a lot of black and white prints over the years, and may start using them any day now. ha!"

    Or you could dye them!


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com