Friday, December 16, 2016

We Have A Winner!

Allison from Alabama has won the drawing
for a bundle of Natalie's new fabric.

Lucky, Lucky...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

WooHoo! Natalie Barnes #handmakerfabrics Blog Tour

Just about a year ago my friend Natalie Barnes or Beyond the Reef Patterns asked me to be part of the rollout of her first fabric line for Windham fabrics. To say I was excited to be part of this celebration of Natalie and her accomplishments would be an understatement, and I jumped on board to have a bunch of her quilting buds create a wall of smaller quilts - 30"x30" for her quilt market booth promoting the new fabric line.

Each of us on the wall created a quilt especially designed for Natalie and her wonderful #handmakerfabrics. When I received my fabrics I just had to make flowers -- the colors are vibrant and fun, and I loved the simple (yet complex) patterning.

This bundle of fabrics contain all the fabrics from Nat's new line and could be yours.... keep reading for further details.
Below is the quilt: Flowers for Natalie
and as it appeared on the wall at Quilt Market...

click here for full size pattern
full directions for Fast-Piece Applique
can be found in any of my books or on my Youtube video.

Meanwhile, take this opportunity to leave me (in the comments) the name and city of the quilt shop where you plan to check out Nat's wonderful new fabric.

That's all you need to do -- You could be the winner selected next Wed.

For more fun, don't miss out on more patterns and other giveaways by following the blog tour stopping at all the cyber stops noted below:

Saturday 03 December 
Natalie Barnes +

Ann Shaw +

Sunday 04 December
Angela Walters -

Monday 05 December
Amy Ellis +

Tuesday 06 December
Julie Herman +

Wednesday 07 December
John Q. Adams +

Thursday 08 December
Latifah Saafir +

Friday 09 December
Rose Hughes + - quilt artist

Saturday 10 December
Jenny Pedigo +

Sunday 11 December
Cheri Leffler +

Scott Hansen +

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mark-Making Opportunities in the Works

Lots of creating going on -- though not a lot of quilt works happening.
This past summer I wanted to start playing with paper mache --
Building 3 dimensionally
Getting dirty
and basically having fun.

these 3D playthings have turned into a new place to try out some of my mark-making ideas. It all begins with balloons - newspaper - cardboard - masking tape - and homemade paper-mache glue....
 Then they can turn into things like these.

FUN... right?!?

Monday, November 14, 2016


Several weeks ago I found a book on Amazon called-
Mark-Making on Textiles
It sounded intriguing, and on arrival I found it just the type of book I like. Examples galore and small exercises to get your creative juices flowing.

This book has opened up some conscious exploration into mark-making in general for me. I say conscious, for I have been making my mark on textiles for a while without being aware of personal choices and where they come from, and without really being aware of what other artist's mark-making may say about them no matter the media. A personal story-telling tool.

As prompted by one of the exercises in the book I have started collecting and creating marks.Then a couple of weeks ago David and I took a fused glass workshop and had a great time. We are both a bit addicted to the process for the moment, and I began to see how we created our initial pieces - mark-making with the glass. (the ones below are my 1st attempts after they were fired)

While visiting Cedarhurst Art Center yesterday to get in some more 'glass time' we came across an exhibit of Jun Kaneko's work entitled 'sense of spirit: mark-making & space in the art of kaneko'.
I found his work pretty exciting in its extremes, and then while looking over several books he had about his other projects I was drawn to one which documented his work with the San Fransisco Opera House's production of the Magic Flute. Again... for me it was about how he took his mark-making to extreme from everything to background projections on the stage to the costuming he created for all the characters.

All of this makes me have a stronger understanding of how important mark-making... and how much it is an expression of energy, focus, and textural story telling.

The pieces below are ones David and I made on Saturday and are now awaiting firing. You can definitely tell how different our mark-making styles are.

Monday, November 7, 2016


My friend Marie wanted to try and make a quilt --
for a gift, but she has never even learned how to sew.

And, she wanted it to be an art quilt....
We can do this!

So, we have been taking some stolen bits of time and going step-by-step we're heading down the 'fabric road'. It started with a bit of pattern making- but once a theme was chosen the design emerged and then the pattern. (secret stuff at this point).

Next, I gave her a bit of a crash course on the sewing machine and of course stitching. This went really well after Marie's initial fears went away. Starting first with stitching straight lines...then straight stitching curves.

This went really well... so, Marie quickly moved on to appling her newly acquired straight stitching knowledge to Fast-Piece Applique some practice pattern pieces together -- then how to use those special Kai scissors to trim.

We were on a roll, so next we went fabric shopping for the background pieces needed for Marie's quilt. There is nothing like fabric in hand to speed thing along, and Marie quickly had the background completed.
Since the project really is hush, hush you'll just have to believe me when I tell you that Marie is doing GREAT!

During our last time together Marie pulled fabrics for the main characters of her quilt -- Stacks of reds and golds began to pile up.. with Ralphie's help.

I'll keep you posted--but I hope you join me in welcoming Marie to the fun of quilting. She is proof that you don't have to start with traditional... you can jump in anywhere. (she's already planning out her 2nd quilt!)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pulling the Stuff Out of My Head

Hi All,
It has been a while since I last sat down and shared stuff with you, but I want you to know that it has not been for lack of stuff happening or lack of thinking about sharing. Time has just been flying by.

Today though, I am hoping to share something that may be of interest to some of you and useful...especially as we approach the holiday season.

For several years I have added a stretched and mounted quilt finishing method to the others I use. Once completed these pieces hang nicely on the wall as would any framed art item.

The quilting remains the same.... though if I know I am planning to mount a piece my backing fabric does not have to be anything fancy, for it will not be seen. Once the top is done, I create my quilt sandwich and quilt and embellish the piece. With the piece done the mounting process begins by first selecting the size pine wood you want for your frame (I use 1x2s-but note these are not really 1"x2"-more 3/4"x1 1/2") then:

1. Trim the quilt to the size desired.
2. Cut binding strips. (for the 1x2's I use 3" wide straight of grain binding strips)
3. Attach the binding as 4 separate strips. 1 to each edge of the quilt. Starting 1/4" from each edge. Leaving about an extra inch unstitched on each side.
4. With all the sides stitched into place I fold back each corner, right sides together, matching the binding edges. This creates a 45 degree angle on the quilt edge and lines the the binding up below. From that corner point of the quilt edge I drawn a line straight down to binding edge.
5. Once it is lined up, line drawn I stitch on the line, then trim it back to 1/4". Repeat on each corner, and turn the corners out to complete.
With the corners done, I move on to building the frame.

1. Measure the inside dimensions of the prepared quilt. Note the measurements of the width and length.
2. Cut width pieces of wood to the dimension noted.
3. Take 1 1/2" off the length dimension (for 1x2s), and cut length pieces to this size.
4. Line up frame pieces widths to the outside with lengths on the inside to create the corners. Use wood glue and nails to hold frame together.

For the mounting and stretching:
1. Cut batting approximately 3"s bigger than frame all around.
2. With batting on flat surface, place frame in middle and starting in the center of each side stretch batting around the frame, while either gluing or stapling in place.
3. Lastly, slip quilt over the batting covered side of frame, and again working from center of each side stretch the binding around frame and staple in place.

If desired, a backing can be made and glued in place over the back before adding hanging hardware as below.

Then they are ready to hang and enjoy!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summertime Reads In

Since the last time I posted I must confess to have filled an inordinate amount of time reading. Reading for the fun of it, and having a grand time. Oh, there have been days filled with building planters, others filled with stitching on several projects and of course with rains slipping by to the north of us or to the south there has been plenty of mornings of watering all the new plantings.

But, throughout it all I have enjoying a bunch of books.
In January a group of us here started a book club. We plan on a whole year of women authors -- with a couple of books with lots of recipes thrown in for our June and December meetings.

Our first cook-book meeting was at the end of June and boy did we eat well -- with plenty to share about the author, Ruth Reichl and her wonderful book My Kitchen Year. Then there was all the food!!!
 Kristen set an incredible table.
it all started with broccoli rabe bruschetta
then gazpacho
 Michael's grilled london broil with onions
 Jim Lahe's no-knead bread
 along with corn pudding filled the menu out
and finally two incredible desserts
The Cake that Cures Everything
apple crisp

This meeting set everything rolling for a reading summer - though there hasn't been anything quite as yummy (at least yet).

Here's my reading list for so far.... I'd love to hear about other books you have enjoyed, too!

Lab Girl
A Man Called Ove
First Frost
We are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Full Dark House - Book 1 of Bryant & May Peculiar Crimes Unit series
The Water Room - Book 2
Seventy-Seven Clocks - Book 3
The 10-Second Staircase - Book 4

and am now reading...
Hold StillThe White Corridor - Book 5

The studio is a mess with almost as many projects being worked on as there have been books read... more on those for another day.

Happily reading....

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