Monday, June 27, 2011

Fiber Postcards, Postcards And More Postcards

I want to share a lot of the postcards I've been mailing out recently.

Ever since the Red Hat Ladies came to my house to make fabric postcards I have been making whimsical and humorous fabric postcards.

This shows even more of the cards I have made. I have sent most of these to friends and family.

It is fun to pick out a special card and send it to an unsuspecting friend.

I have a few left to send, but I have been making more as the need arises. Unfortunately when I make one at a time they often do not get documented to share with you.

I have quite a collection of novelty fabrics to do this with. I bought a great selection in the quilt shop in Florida and already had a large collection here.

They are quicker and easier than the art post cards I have made in the past. I seldom do any sewing on them - it's all fusing.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cousins Reunion

My sisters and I had a very happy reunion with two of our cousins. We each have brothers but they were not able to make it. Our dad and their mother were sister and brother.

This is our cousin Jane who lives in California. She was visiting her Mom and sister in Ohio.

This is Jane's sister Mary and her husband Glenn. They all drove to Wisconsin to help celebrate an aunts 90th birthday.

We were able to arrange a noon lunch with them.

It had been a long time since any of us had seen them. I saw Jane 30 years ago in California and I think that was the last time any us of had seen each other. It was at least 45 years ago that I last saw Mary. As children we spent a lot of time together, much of it at our grandparents home in Milwaukee.

It was a beautiful day and we were able to enjoy lunch on the patio.

Clay and I took turns taking the pictures.

We had a lot of reminiscing and catching up to do and we talked non stop.
Clay took part of the group on a pontoon boat ride around the lake.
The rest of us sat in the Adirondack chairs watching them, enjoying the lake view and again talking non stop.

Before we knew it it was time for them to leave. We all were so happy we were able get together again and enjoy each others company.
We will not wait that long to see each other again!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Quilt Designing With Corel Draw

I use Corel Draw to get ideas for quilt designs. This is one of the designs I created with it. I have not made a quilt from it.
Replicating this one in fabric would be a challenge because of the gradation I used as a background.

I played with the design to create this Ginger Jar image. I do not set out to create a design that would necessarily work for a quilt.
Often the designs provide inspiration for a quilt.

I have also actually printed a design on fabric and made a quilt from something I created with Corel Draw. I may have to break the design into several parts and print each part separately to make a quilt the size I desire.

Playing is another way to create art and also learn by trial and error. I am mostly self taught when it comes to using Corel Draw and Corel Photo Paint. There is a learning curve to use this, and what I know is only the tip of the iceberg of this very powerful graphics program.

You can play with fabric but you can also play with a graphics program. These are only two of the ways you can play to come up with a design that may or not become a quilt.

Friday, June 24, 2011

118,000 Visitors

As of 8:44 p.m. CSDT there have been 118,000 visitors to my blog.
Thanks to all of you who enjoy what I have to show and tell!

Button Puzzle Blog Post

I had a request for more puzzles - specifically ones from the buttons and glass.
I thought that was a good idea so I am doing an all puzzle blog with button puzzles.

Click to Mix and Solve
Each one will use a different puzzle cut.

Click to Mix and Solve
Just remember, you don't have to do all these puzzles in one sitting - although you can if you want!

Click to Mix and Solve
Of course I have to include MY favorite puzzle cut and this seemed an appropriate coloration to use with it.

Click to Mix and Solve
Quite amazing that there is this much color variation in a box of white buttons.

Click to Mix and Solve
Here's a slightly patriotic puzzle for you!

Click to Mix and Solve
When you complete this puzzle you can consider yourself a Gold Medal Olympic Puzzle Athlete!

Ancient Glass Artifacts On Display

I came up with a way to display and enjoy the ancient artifacts I unearthed in the studio annex excavation this week.

I have arranged them in a color flow order in the office/guestroom.

I enjoy arranging things to be visually pleasing.

You may have noticed that there are many things here I didn't show you before.
OK, you didn't notice, but pretend you did! Some of them were still being washed when I took the previous photos, and some of them came from the minor basement excavation.
As I was going through the effort of arranging all of these things, I realized almost everything will have to be moved again in a little over a month. The window behind the light bridge is going to be replaced. That should not be very difficult as I have photos so I will know where to put things next time. Even with photos I usually come up with slightly different placements each time I do something like this.

I had a lot of small items which would get lost on the top shelf so I put those in the bookcase on the opposite wall. I guess we may have to call this the "Glass Room".

This room was originally our sons bedroom. I asked my oldest son to look at it and see what I had done to it. He came out and said he didn't see anything different. He really had no idea what it looked like for the last several years. It has been almost 30 years since he moved out of the room, and I do frequent changes with accessories. The furniture is all very neutral so I can change color to my hearts content.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Studio Collection - Buttons

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of buttons.

Some were purchased for garments that were never made.

Some were purchased just because I fell in love with them and thought I could possibly used them someday.

Some were antique buttons I found at flea markets, antique shops or our guilds annual sale for things we no longer wanted.

I used to do a lot more clothing sewing so used a lot of buttons.

I came up with this system to sort and store buttons so that I could find what I wanted easily, or just look in the drawers and get a color fix!

These are plastic boxes I buy in the fishing section very inexpensively. I remove the tops and dispose of them. They fit neatly in the drawers of the large pharmacy cabinet in my studio.

If you notice there are colors of buttons I don't have, that is because I didn't show you all of them!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Studio Annex - Excavated Treasures

I am trying to decide what to do with these "great treasures" I excavated yesterday.
I admit I am a collector. I love my collections but don't have room to display everything. That is why I put things away only to reappear somewhere else at a later time.

This is the cherished stuff. They've all been washed and are squeaky clean.

I could sell them on eBay, but I think that would be more work than it would be worth.

I think I have a zillion pieces of colored glass that I am not currently displaying anywhere in the house. Decisions, decisions?

It would be easy if I no longer liked these things, but I still like almost all of them.

At one time I had windows in the living room and dining room that allowed me to display all of these plus more. I've redecorated twice since then and have new windows that don't allow this anymore.

As I think about this glass I do have one idea where I may be able to display them.
Stay tuned and they may make another appearance here.

Studio Annex - What's Hiding There?

Studio annex is just a fancy name for our attic. You can not stand up in there. You must crawl on your hands and knees over boards that make a partial flooring.
The only way to get in there is through two "doors" in the studio and studio storeroom.

It's one of those places where things go while they are aging enough to be thrown out, given away or repurposed somewhere in the house.

I can see boxes that something came in. Do you save all those boxes in case you have to send something back? Did you ever have to use one of them? I never have. I no longer even have those items I saved the boxes for! So throwing them out is a no brainer. Maybe there is a lesson for me in there.

Today, with help, the excavation began. It is not the first excavation, but hopefully it will be the last and there will be almost nothing left to fill the space.

What treasures will we find?

THE GOOD NEWS: Everything you see in the above photo has now been removed from the attic to go to new homes, the landfill or kept elsewhere in this house.

THE BAD NEWS: This is only about one fourth of the entire annex.

It's just another step in lightening the load.

Now I have to decide what to do with some of these treasures.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Design Wall In Use

I am fortunate to have almost 30 linear feet of movable design wall space. You can click on the photo to get a larger image.

I use the entire 30 feet at times.

This is what I currently have on the wall.

Most of these are things I have shown you before, but this gives you a better idea of how I work.

I have work that I am designing, work ready to be quilted, work that is quilted and ready to finish as well as finished work. I also have some swatches of fabric that I am considering using either in the work on the wall, or as the inspiration for new work.

Sometimes you can see a relationship between all the pieces on the wall, and sometimes you see something that has no relationship at all to anything else. Often that is the starting point for a new direction in my work.

I also often take something off the wall when I am not ready to finish it and it apppears again days, weeks, months or even years later to be finished.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Black And White Quilt - Now It Is Red And White

I was thinking about this quilt and wanted to know if it would be as effective if it was red and white. I still am mesmerized by the Red And White quilts in the New York exhibit recently.
It would be next to impossible to duplicate the exact quilt.

No - wait - it could be very easy.
So I proceeded to change the colors on the computer.

Here is the exact same quilt in red and white.
Which one do YOU prefer?
I won't tell you my answer until you tell me yours!

Black And White Quilt - It's Quilted!

After looking at the pictures of this quilt on the blog last night I realized there was one small change I wanted to make to the left border.
I went up to my studio and made the change.

Then I thought about a comment from Sherry Boram who suggested I combine both black and white thread and quilt it with the two threads at once.

Next thing you know I was trying that on samples. My machine did not like that and the threads were slightly loopy.

I took out the white thread, and started quilting with only the black. By 11 p.m. the quilting was done. I really enjoyed quilting this one. It's a relaxing way to quilt and puts me on auto pilot!

Here is one closeup of the quilting. As with almost every image on my blog you can click on it to see a larger view.

This is another close up of the quilting from a different section of the quilt.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's As Clear As Black And White - Adventures In Designing A Quilt

Today was a day I needed to sew.
I headed up to the studio and was not exactly sure what I was going to work on.

I pulled out a drawer of strips I had cut, partially sewn units and some larger things I had started.

This is the piece that spoke loudest to me and I decided I would make a finished piece with it.
You can get an idea of the size by looking at the 1" grid on the cutting matt.

I have added 3 borders here. It does not look particularly interesting at this point.

After adding a fourth border I decided to add some more patchwork, echoing the center section.

You can see now the second side with patchwork added.

I decided to change course and add a section of patchwork and a section of strip pieced border for the third side. I felt this was a unifying step.

I used a variation of what I did on the third side on the fourth side.

I think this is finished. I will do some trimming and reshape the outer edge.

As usual, I will need to think about how I am going to quilt this. I have a pretty good idea as to how I will do that, but I am not so sure what color thread to use.

I just realized this would make a great puzzle so I opened the blog again and added a puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, June 17, 2011

Graduation Day

I've been neglecting my blog since I had something more important to do.
I went to my granddaughters graduation.
Here she is with her parents.

Here she is with the whole family.
Her graduating class was the first class to graduate from a brand new high school.
They attended the school for two years.

Jessica assembled this display of her life herself. The books you see are stories she wrote or photo albums she made.

Each parent makes a full size image of their son or daughter and they are displayed at the school during the party that is held after graduation and then come home with them.

There was a friends and family party the day after graduation with delicious food. It was well attended.

Jessica, we are all so proud of you!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Me And My Shadow - Piecing Completed

I completed the piecing for this quilt.
I chose a simple design to accentuate the beautiful mandalas.

When I showed you the two mandalas side by side I had thought the design in the darker one would be the dominant element.

Exactly the opposite happened. You hardly notice the design in the darker strips.

This is a great example of how fabrics are influenced by what is next to them.

I am pleased with the overall design of this quilt.

I will now leave it on the design wall while I work on other things. I do that so I can study it and come up with a quilting design to enhance what I have already created.

I prefer to do a quilting design that is:

1. Simple to stitch

2. Doesn't require a lot of stops and starts.

3. Doesn't require marking to quilt.

When those criteria have been met it will be time to do the quilting.