Friday, August 1, 2014

The quilt show

See my latest quilt:

Well, after a year and a half after taping an episode focusing on landscape quilting with The Quilt Show online with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson, my episode (#912) begins airing today and can be viewed for the next two weeks - there will also be a new project for members available later on as well as more slides of my quilts......It was so much fun being on the show and I am very humbled to have been asked to be a guest!
View more on Joyce R. Becker's website » and her blog,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Garden tour, Luncheon, and vintage fashion show!

One of my "Thursday group friends," (my quilting satellite group) bid on an auction at her church for a group to enjoy a garden tour, a luncheon, and a vintage fashion show. My friend, Christine, treated us to the most wonderful day - The home we visited was beautiful with a huge flower and vegetable garden. It was a gorgeous day out, in the low 80's, and after the garden tour, we were seated at beautifully decorated tables in the garden, and treated to an incredible home-made luncheon. 
The quiche was creamy and full of ham, and a home-made granola, topped with garden-grown raspberries and Greek yoghourt, was delicious. We also had a small muffin with orange zest and an orange glaze on top.

After lunch, we headed inside the home to view an amazing fashion show of clothing and accoutrements, from the Victorian era to the 50's. What a treat. I haven't had such a wonderful day in ever so long and I think the rest of my friends felt the same. Thank you again, Christine!

Here's a cell phone photo of one of the outfits:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Change in Plans....

Today, I thought I was going to work on my quilting novel......silly me, what was I thinking? I was trying to tidy up my studio and put things away since our house-keeper comes tomorrow. I tried cramming one more thing into one of drawers and it just wouldn't shut, so....................
I decided it was time to clean those suckers out! OMG, I had so much shit stuffed in the drawers it was no wonder everything wouldn't fit. I unearthed all kinds of crap, none of which really belongs in a sewing studio like; ribbon/bows to decorate the top of a gift, 6 pairs of scissors that were so dull they wouldn't even cut paper, little bits of fabric, pins up the ying yang, and a whole bunch of machine embroidery needles that were UN-used!! The list goes on and on and on. Now, everything has a place and I feel a whole bunch better. However, now I need to re-organize my whole studio but wait a minute, I can't possibly do that with my shoulder still in a sling, can I......tee hee

Here's some photos of my newly organized sewing table drawers:

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Something I often do is alter fabric to make it "my own" or manipulate fabric appearance . In this case, I am talking about fabrics for the binding on my quilt, Tuscany. Yesterday, my dear husband squared up my quilt Tuscany after I removed the facing (see a earlier blog about why a facing didn't work on this quilt)....After removing the facing, the edges were lumpy, so my husband and love of my life, squared it for me. He has helped me in the past many many times squaring quilts, so he knows the routine. There is no way I can use a rotary cutter at this point because it would mean putting weight on my arm and shoulder and I sure don't want to screw up my recovery of my rotator cuff after going through surgery!

Once the squaring was done, I asked my husband (very sweetly, I might add) if he would consider cutting the strips for my binding. He agreed and with my assistance, he cut the 2 1/2 " strips I needed of various fabrics for the binding on my quilt.  My goal was to cut "like" colors" used in the quilt for the binding. In one case, I didn't have a speck of fabric left over, so I "altered" another fabric to make it appear the same as in the quilt. 

The technique I used was to color around 3 inches of a very similar Stonehenge print with a peach Neocolor wax pastel and smudge the color with my finger. Here's the original color and the altered fabric.

Instead of using the typical method of joining strips when switching from one fabric to another on my binding, I tried something new because I wanted the binding to match the fabric in the quilt exactly. My method was to leave extra fabric on each end of each color of binding, then fold a portion and insert it into the other folded edge where the two fabrics meet. It is confusing because you have to look on the front of the quilt and front of the binding vs. looking from the reverse side as it won't line up properly. Here's a photo showing how the binding will look:

Next time, I will try and set up my camera to record a video so I can show you in person how I accomplished these techniques!
That's it for today.
XXOO Joyce 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quilting withdrawal!!!!

I am suffering from quilting withdrawal.....I have soooo many ideas but here I sit with a right arm I can't do much with (I had rotator cuff surgery May 20th). However, I am working hard on my quilting genre novel and having fun writing! I am now writing chapter four. I do go back and rewrite and rewrite but I basically just want to get the words on the paper and then go back and tweak it, make the words more descriptive, and add more detail. I seem to do fine with the dialogue, though!
On another note, I was able to remove the facing on my quilt Tuscany (the quilt is just too thick to do a facing because the seam won't roll to the back, as desired). I am going to see if I can iron left-handed today and press the seam open to the front again so it can be squared. I think my husband will square it for me as he always helps me square my quilts (whatta guy!) I feel confident I can put the binding on as my ortho doc said I can use my right hand - especially since my sewing machine is at the perfect height (just like my keyboard). I tried hand-quilting earlier this week but my arm killed me the next two days so I will have to do way less.......
That's all that's going on with me right now. Take care everyone and keep on stitchin'
xxoo Joyce

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's a gorgeous day here in the Seattle, WA area. We have a few scattered clouds and a nice breeze, with the highs in the 70's. I love looking outside at all the colors in the garden and our yard and our hydrangea flowers are just starting to turn color from light blue to purplish. 
As I mentioned on Facebook, I just sent away two photos taken this past Feb. in Hawaii to Spoonflower is a site that prints on fabric. In this case, the photos will be printed on a cotton/silk fabric that has a slight sheen, which will be perfect because both digital photos are beach scenes. Their prices are incredibly reasonable, especially when you compare printing on your home printers - you need to keep in mind when you print yourself, you have to pay for the computer ready fabric and the ink cartridges.

I have printed landscape scene before on computer ready fabric, as demonstrated below, using a method called "tiling" or "posterizing." Basically, what you are doing is taking a digital image and enlarging it so it prints on several fabric sheets. What you end up with is: a scene that you must put together - It involves trying to eliminate the white border around each portion of the scene (one printer sheet). Many quilters just line the pages up and end up with straight lines through their scene. I prefer another method. I cut every other line in a curvy fashion then lay that line on top of the coordinating straight line. In my method, the scene blends together and you see no joining lines. As an example, I am including a photo of my quilt, Clover Lake, where I used this method. The only part of the scene where I didn't use this method was the sky. Instead, I substituted an actual commercial sky print because I thought the joining lines would be too obvious. I accomplished this by cutting "out" the mountain and trees and then sliding the sky fabric beneath. I glued the curvy lines and sky into place using a glue stick and 505 Re positionable adhesive. In Clover Lake, I also added some of my own pine trees, rocks and moss along the shoreline of the design, as well as overlays of Angelina and extensive machine quilting. 

Another quilt where I used the tiling or posterizing method is my quilt Serenity. This quilt was auctioned benefiting the Association of Pacific West Quilters. I wish I had bid on it myself as I truly love this quilt! In this quilt, I used one of Mickey Lawler's SkyDye hand -painted skies. The only problem was: I didn't have quite enough fabric. So, here's what I did; I laid a portion of the fabric on the top of my printer and then copied and printed the fabric on computer ready fabric. To join the fabrics, I cut my trusty curvy line and you can't even see where I joined it. See, there's always a way to solve a problem......I enhanced my design with Neocolor wax pastels, machine embroidery, and overlays of Angelina. Man, I miss this quilt......