Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Past becomes Present - Natalie Barnes

Meanwhile, trying to catch up I wanted to share a project mentioned in January. It was one of those projects that could not be shared because of the secret nature of 'business'.

But, all was revealed during Quilt Market in May...
and I am finally getting to share it with you.

My good friend Natalie Barnes had her first line of fabric introduced!
She is a great person and I was truly honored that she asked me to make up a quilt using her new fabric line.

I had a blast pulling this together, especially when I was able to utilize one of my 5-minute sketches from last summer for the design.
The piece is called 'Flowers for Natalie' and was part of a group of quilts used as part of the backdrop for her booth.

Love the colors and the designs -- they were very easy to work with... hope you look for them in your favorite quilt store in the fall.

BTW- Nat is offering a chance to win a Quilty Box over on her blog ... click over to check it out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rag-Quilt Saga

Since sometime last year I have known that the extra colorful quilt I kept on my bed would have to be replaced. It had been way overly loved since it was made in 1998 and had gone beyond just showing wear to having holes. These holes were made even bigger by a certain kitten who will remain nameless.

I had tried time and again to think of a design that I wanted to use, but it wasn't until I got my birthday present from my friend Angelique that I KNEW what the bed was calling out for. Angelique knew that I wanted a lap quilt for the living room which had been redone and she sent me a wonderful rag-quilt!

When I saw that quilt, I knew Angelique had provided the perfect idea for the bed quilt redo. All the colorful fabrics in my stash could be used....
I was off!!
 So I pulled a ton of fabrics from my stash.
 And, even though Ralphie took over the piles I managed to get all the fabric cut.
 I could tell from the scraps that I was going to like it.
 and Ralphie helped with the sewing....
 until the blocks were stacked high...
then the blocks were stitched and stitched.
Lastly, all was cut and washed to fluff.... leaving a very contented kitty.
He no longer has the holes to play with, but I don't think he misses them.

If you think you want to try one for yourself there are a ton of quilters who have given directions on how to.
Click here for one of those wonderful folks.

Happily covered in Kentucky,

btw - that old quilt just might show up is some other transformation soon

Monday, July 11, 2016

Wanna Do List - Heron Pond

Here I continue to try and catch you up on some of the summertime fun things that I have on my 'wanna do' list.

With the everyday following up of this and that in the garden behind us, David and I have wanted to do a little venturing out. Since days here have either been hot, hot, hot (gotta watch those feels like numbers) and filled with rain clouds there have been some fun times. One of these was a trip over into IL to Heron Pond.
 Way off the main road -- turn right at the little church.

 A beautiful day, a nice walk through the woods, though it was surprisingly quiet. This area is smack dab in the middle between several wineries that we have now added to the 'wanna do' list.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bowling Balls for the Garden

I promised updates on some of the projects that have kept me rolling along this summer. It feels grand to be home and able to work on 'my stuff'.... sharing it with you is fun as well. Forgive me for presenting these in reverse order.

Last summer while wandering the walls of Pinterest cyberspace, clicking this and that fun item, placing them into my Garden Wishes board; I came across the bowling ball redos. Then after sharing it with a friend she ran across 4 bowling balls at the local thrift store after a bit of texting back and forth, they were mine. Then they sat out on the patio for a long time.
They finally made it to the top of wanna do list last week, so what I am sharing here is a bit about the process. I pretty much followed the same steps I used when making the glass totems back in 2013, and now these pieces are drying for a couple of days before the final step of grouting.

You start with a bowling ball, alcohol, some clear outdoor grade silicone, tin foil, wall spackle and either glass or ceramic pieces.
Then wiping it all clean with alcohol.
 Once it's clean - then fill the holes with tin foil and spackle over the foil. Now, have at it and have fun fitting it all together.
 Masking tape curled up worked great to hold the glass pieces in place for drying.
 I started at the top and worked down, and placed some found votive candle holders to represent the flower heads.

Here are my four awaiting grouting.

Playing at playing...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

On the Creativity Road

Wow, it really has been quite a while since I last wrote here.
The summer now stretches out in front of me with all sorts of inviting adventures.

Since I last rambled on here there was a lot on my to-do...wanna-do list. In all the chaotic nature of Spring the house and garden shouted for attention. Quilts called, and fabric has been daring me to treat it in new ways.

Over the next bit of time I will try to catch you up...
but, if I tell you that with the help of my good friend Joanell I have declared July bird month...
would that be enough to keep you coming back?

To kick it off there are now 4 bowling balls sitting on my front porch awaiting transformation.

I promise more... later. Til then happy Thursday.

On the road of creativity!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Getting the word out

Life is coming on full force for me right now, and I am having a blast keeping up with it all.

Most folks take on one big project at a time, but I have had a couple of big ones being held off in the wings due to things outside of my control -- like finding the people who can actually do to work for us and coming up with a time to make it happen.

As it turns out, the intersection of yard, backyard and inside redo of flooring throughout the entire house are occurring RIGHT now. Of course, I said yes to it all ---

There are daily ups and downs, like rain or high winds...
all the cable service being cut off accidentally...
things that make an appearance only after they are dug up....
Like enough rocks to create a rock garden,
or just how the 50 years of previous owner leave their choices under the carpeting.

But, all is rolling along -- and it is terribly exciting!
(there will be pictures to follow)

Art happenings do not go away with all the 'house' happenings, so I wanted to get the word out about a couple of these as well.

First, If visiting Paducah during April or May this year you can find a small exhibit of my some of my favorite landscape quilts at the Freight House.
A wonderful new dining experience here in town.
The Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway Office and Freight House, simply known as the Paducah Freight House, is a historic railroad freight depot located in the southern portion of downtown Paducah, Kentucky. 330 S 3rd St - Paducah, KY 42003
Then, in early May my on-line workshop
Shaping Up with Fast-Piece Applique is scheduled to begin May 6th!

There will be more as things settle...
Hope to see and chat with many of you soon!


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Couching the Curves

Couching is a stitching technique where you add a decorative element to a sewing project by laying yarn or other materials across the surface of the ground fabric and fastened it in place with stitching.

The materials can be almost anything...
the threads used for the stitching can be chosen to blend or enhance,
and the stitches used are really up to YOU!

In the majority of my work I like to lay yarns down along the edges where my fabrics meet and use a wide & long zig-zag to stitch it in place.

The only limitations to be aware of is the thickness of the materials to be laid down, for something too thick, when stitched may cause bulging not lay flat.

A couple of years back I produced a tip sheet for couching, and you can click over and get a copy for yourself.

I've recently been stitching two very curvy projects, so today I wanted to share a little bit more about stitching curves and circles. Here we go!

I begin with my quilt top, batting and backing sandwich made,
and I love using spray adhesive for this step.
 the gentle curves are easy enough
if you follow the basics on the tip sheet.
 but for spirals, and other circular motifs you will want to:
1. slow down your stitching
2. keep you hand flat on the piece as it goes under the needle
3. take 4-7 stitches as the curve goes-
then with your needle down- lift the presser foot
and relieve any tension that may be starting to form the stitching.
 4. Continue stitching and relieving any
tension every few stitches as needed.
 5. When the point of the spiral is reached
(or any sharp corner)
take one additional stitch in place
and end with the needle down.

6. Pick up the presser foot.
Make the turn let the presser foot down again,
and continue stitching on.

You can see from the finished piece that the couching enhance the fabric element. It allows me to give the viewer a better idea of what is on top/ or in front of something else, and also to move the color around the piece.