Thursday, March 31, 2016

I Am Happy My Friend Debbie Is Here

My friend Debbie Jones arrived early this evening for  a visit.
We intend to play with the dyes tomorrow and try some things that are new to us.
She spends time in Florida teaching for guilds, shops and shows during our March quilt season even though she has moved to New Mexico.
We all love seeing her between her professional engagements. She has developed some really personal and unique classes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lanai Looking More Coordinated!

You saw the cushion I reupholstered for the rattan lanai furniture with the green fabric.
I had enough fabric left to recover these pillows on the new loveseats.
It sure helped to pull the room together.
And in case you are wondering, that first cushion is the only one that is done. I am working on the other 7 production line style and hope to finish them within the week.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Tasteful Flamingoes!

Recently I shared a video of flamingoes on a beach on Facebook. I mentioned I had a TASTEFUL flamingo collection.
This is one of my flamingo statues.
I keep them all in one cabinet.
One time I mentioned my TASTEFUL flamingo collection to someone and she said she didn’t realize there was an such thing as a “TASTEFUL” flamingo!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

New Covering On Lanai Cushions

After 11 years the covers on the green furniture on the lanai were starting to show slight fading and wear.
I bought the fabric last year and didn’t get them made. It was partly because time ran short and partly because I don’t like to do this type of sewing.
I finally bit the bullet and started on them. I finished one of them and it turned out great. The biggest problems were working with a long heavy roll of fabric, cutting the outdoor fabric accurately and dealing with the raveling. I did a lot of edge finishing with a zigzag as soon as each piece was cut out but it still didn’t eliminate all the raveling.
I have 7 more to go and although I know they’ll all work just as well as this one, I still am not looking forward to making them.
If you look toward the top of the picture you can see some of the furniture on the lanai.

I Want To Share A Few Eggs I Created

Nothing more fun than decorating eggs for Easter……
Oh, I forgot there is…..Eating Jelly Belly jelly beans and Chocolate eggs!

Happy Easter

E B and I wish you a Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Stitching On The Lanai

I usually leave all my hand sewing/finishing for the evenings when I watch TV.
It is such a beautiful day today I decided I’d sit outside and watch the golfers while I stitched down the facings.
I think that since golf is a part of this it can be considered exercise?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My Quilts Around The Globe!

This was a fun idea to share several quilt at once!

Stitching A BIG Spiral

You are only seeing a portion of this quilt which I am currently quilting.
I started at the center and am stitching a single spiral to fill the surface of this 40 something inch quilt.
I do love stitching circles and spirals. Quilting one this size is a challenge.
I should finish the quilting very soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ugly-No, Beautiful Scrap Blocks

I had some small pieces and strips of some of my hand dyed and hand painted fabrics. I decided I’d do some simple blocks and use almost all of them up. It was also a good chance to empty some various colors of thread from bobbins and spools of thread that were almost empty.
As I looked at them as I was working I thought “These are some really ugly blocks and I’m going to have to work miracles putting them together and adding something to make them sing.
As I was giving them their final press and looked at each one I realized these were really beautiful blocks. You may recognize some of these fabrics from previous blog posts.
At this time I have no idea how I will put them together or what I will add to make it work. There are 21 blocks of various sizes.
I have to tell you the scraps I have left are mostly those too small to use. It’s a great feeling to have achieved my objective.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another Finished Quilt…

When you look at this quilt do you see anything familiar? I am not going to tell you and I want to see how many of you can figure it out.
My middle child was here and gave it a name that is under consideration. What would you name this?
This is one of those quilts that I like so much better when it is quilted and finished. Often as I work on a quilt I am not sure what I think of it. It also was fun to make this one with the bright cheery colors.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Supporting Cast

imageMost of the time when I start a quilt one outstanding fabric inspires me.
My next choice is finding other fabrics that work with and complement the first fabric I chose.
This is a group of fabrics that are possible supporting fabrics for the next quilt I will start.
Just because I choose some of these fabrics doesn’t mean they will make the final cut.
That is why it is important to me to have a wide range of fabrics to choose from.
Over half of the fabrics you see here have been created recently. The others have been created sometime in the last 10 or more years.
And if none of these do the job I also have a drawer full of hand dyes along with the selection on my cutting counter.
One of the biggest challenges is sometimes finding the PERFECT fabric and then not having enough of it. But….I think of that as a design opportunity as often a piece is more successful when additional fabrics are added.
It is not only my love of fabrics and color that keep me coming back to make more quilts. It is also the thrill of the chase as I find the perfect fabric to make a quilt sing.

After The Rain….Azaleas

With the crazy weather we have had this past 6 months I didn’t think we’d have many azaleas.
As I looked at them this morning I may be wrong. Maybe not as many as some years, but it is sure to be a beautiful display.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Finished Knitting Scarf

I finished knitting my scarf today.
It is about 90 inches long. I still need to weave in the ends, block it and do a little felting which means it will be a little shorter.
I carefully watched the colors and the amount of yarn I used and I am proud to say I finished with less than 2 yards of yarn!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Just A Few Small Fabrics I’ve Created

I sometimes try different things or products on a piece of fabric. Often they get put away in a drawer and taken out at a later date and I do more to them.
This is a small piece. The detail is a little lighter than it looks in the photo.
This actually started with a boring piece of a commercial print. I think I have 3 or 4 layers of pattern added to it.
This is another piece that has at least 3-4 layers of pattern. I used one of my original design thermofax screens for one of the layers. Two of the images were my own rubber stamps I made.
All of the pieces I have showed you on this post are relatively small. I have no idea how or when I will use them. That is true with both these small pieces and the larger pieces I create.
I have always let the fabric inspire me. That has held true whether I was sewing a garment or making a quilt. ( OK, I admit, I did make some poor choices of fabrics for 9th grade sewing projects.) But I learned a lesson and didn’t repeat the same mistakes.

Designing With Images

I cut out each of the images from the piece of fabric I printed all these designs on.
Now the fun begins. I will be trying different ideas to use all of these to create a cohesive piece of art. I have many options and a collection of possible fabrics to use.
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Miniature Works In Progress

The only thing left to finish on this miniature quilt is the binding. I think the reason I am putting it off is I know the seams of the three different fabrics on the binding have to match the seams on the border. The strips are 1/4 inch wide.
I got an ink spot on one of the borders on this miniature quilt so I removes that piece of the border. I have the fabric to replace it but have never finished it. The squares are 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch. Like the first quilt this is hand quilted with teeny tiny stitches. I don’t think I could make stitches this small anymore!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Quilting Is Finished But This Is A Teaser!

This quilt is the negative image of a positive image I showed you recently.
I have finished quilting the entire quilt but right now I am only sharing the center section.
Stay tuned until I get it finished!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Decorative Machine Stitches

I have had my Janome sewing machine for over 15 years.
As with most people who have machines with a lot of decorative stitches I have rarely used them.
I found they were the perfect touch for one of the latest quilts I finished.
It is not easy to see what a stitch will look like from the tiny diagram on your machine.
After cutting two fingers and having them bandaged while they heal I had to find things I COULD do.
Knowing that I might like to do some decorative stitches on future quilts I made a sample of all the stitches. I was surprised to see some of them.
I have two alligators, one facing left and the other right. Not sure I’ll be using them unless as a Florida joke!
I have found some that are candidates to use on future quilts.
So stay tuned and see if any of these stitches show up on future quilts!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Black And White Shibori

I dyed these six strips of fabric in as similar a shibori pattern as possible. I was not sure how I would use them and played with different arrangements.
When I came up with this way to arrange them I was pleased,yet it needed something more.
I inset the square piece of shibori fabric and that was a finish.
I know most of you know I depend on color for most of my work   I am pleased with this piece as I feel the black and white creates a nice strong graphic image.
It is layered and ready to be quilted.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

First Ice Dyed Mandala Of 2016

I have been quilting and haven’t ice dyed until now. It has been TOO cold.
Someone asked me how warm is has to be to ice dye?
It has to be warm enough that I can be in the garage with no heat and not be cold! The dyes will work even if it is colder than that.
I don’t think I’ll have to be concerned about the temperature from now on as it seems to have warmed up for the duration.
I just have to get some more pieces of fabric washed and manipulated so they are ready to dye.
Each piece I do is so different than the others and that is good. If they were the same or very similar there would be no reason to dye more pieces.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Art Quilt Group March Challenge–Wings

We have a group of art quilters in our community who meet every month.
This year they have chosen to do a 9 x 12 inch monthly challenge with monthly theme.
It is fun to see how each person interprets the challenge in a totally different way.
I am sharing pictures of some of the pieces.
Lots of winged creatures in this one.
Butterflies come to my mind when wings are mentioned.
Of course pretty birds have wings.
A sense of humor and a beautifully executed piece.
Colorful butterfly wing
I think there were a few I missed getting pictures of.
I hope you enjoy seeing the talent in our group.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Just Sitting Knitting

Knitting is something I work on while watching TV….although many times the TV is just in the background and the knitting is my focus.
In case you don’t know I LOVE color. Knitting this scarf is color therapy for me as the yarn has wonderful colors. As you can see I am making color changes ever 2 rows. Often I don’t think the color progression on the yarn is pleasing so I break off the yarn and switch to a different skein. Sometimes I just take out all of a specific color. When I do that I find a way to work it in later. I will have some ends to weave in when I am done, but since this is Noro Kureyon, a loosely twisted wool yarn they will disappear when this is blocked and felted.
Because of the way I am using the yarn and going from skein to skein I can’t tell exactly how far I am, but my best guess is it is half done. When I am working on something like this I don’t want to put it down. I want to see the next color progressions. It reminds me of doing counted cross stitch when I just had to see what the next row would look like and 3 hours later I finally went to bed. The same thing used to happen with a good book!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sunny Sunday Thermofax Prints

I printed this on some “less than lovely” fabric. The original fabric was the bottom layer of several layers of fabrics that were stacked and then painted with very runny paint. The bottom layers usually had a lot of white. Here the white was an advantage and the color suggested what I should use when printing the thermofax screen.
This was done on another area of the same base fabric. It created a very interesting print and the colors worked so well together.
I was so satisfied with some of the results I achieved today it makes me want to break out the screens and paints again soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A Wonderful Visit

Today I had a late afternoon visit from a friend I hadn’t seen in at least 12 years. Jean Sands and I met at Hilton Head Island at the Jinny Beyer Quilting Seminar. We both attended it for many years. Her Mom lives in the area and she visits her often.
She brought some of the things she has been working on and I was so impressed. It was interesting to me to see how even though our work is very different, we each have a similar process we go through as we create.
The love of fabric, fibers, designing, creating and figuring out the best way to do something are traits she both share. I would say we both love to figure things out and are quite analytical in our approach. We each also are intent on creating a pleasing well designed and long lasting end item.
She also enjoys collecting and using antique and vintage laces, trim, buttons and linens. I do too. There the the similarity stops! She uses hers and makes many lovely items while mine sit in boxes in my studio. She shares her work as well as her journey creating her pieces on her blog. Her blog is:
Don't you just love the title of her blog!
I think if you have any interest in looking at or creating with fabric, fibers, and/or antique textiles you will adore her blog. I spent quite some time on it tonight catching up on the earlier years from her blog and I found them every bit as interesting as her current work.
I am so happy I have lived a life that has allowed me to meet so many interesting and wonderful people and to reconnect with so many of them.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Time Out For Knitting

While looking for something else I found the bag with the pattern and yarns for this scarf. Of course I had to cast on and start it. This is how far I am.
The pattern uses Noro Kureyon. It calls for 3 skeins of two different colors. I had 5 plus skeins ….each a different color. I am changing colors as often as I see fit to make an interesting scarf.
It definitely will be one that can be worn with anything.
It will need to be lightly felted and blocked when it is finished and I have a long way to got before I finish it.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

You Have to Begin Somewhere

If you read my blog post yesterday this design may look familiar to you. This is just the beginning and I am designing this one from the center out. Yesterday’s quilt was designed from the border in.
Saty tuned as this develops into a quilt!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Circles On The Quilt Go Round And Round, Round And Round…..

It’s FINISHED!!!!!!
This started years ago looking like this:

Then it morphed into this:
I cut it into 4 equal strips with no idea what I would do with it.
I figured out how to use them as the border. Next I found this piece of rust to fill in the center.
Finally I found the perfect purple for a design for the center.
I chose to quilt the center motif in a way I had never done before.
The rest of the quilting was done using styles I felt fit the design of the piece.
I tried to carry the circle idea through as many of the layers as possible.
I’m pleased with the completed piece.
Stay tuned as there will be more in this style later!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

5th Quilt Finish For 2016

scroll quilt finished
It’s such a good feeling to finish another quilt.
When I started working with the red/yellow/green fabric I had intentions of creating something entirely different with it. I am open to trying something different when I see the original idea is not making the most interesting use of the fabric.
This one has been a joy from start to finish.
image  image
Using the satin stitch and the decorative stitches from my sewing machine in this way were something I had never done before. I was very pleased with the detail and accent they provided.
Who knows? This could show up on future quilts.