Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Cindy and Erika

Happy Birthday last week to my friend Cindy and sister-in-law Erika. I couldn't post pictures of their gifts until I had the opportunity to deliver them. I'm still suffering from a nagging cold so I had the send Cindy's gift with another friend to the hospital where she is waiting with her daughter Maddie for a heart transplant. Last night we had our family birthday party for all the December birthdays (Erika, my husband and me). Now I am free to show off my creation.
I made a Sunflower for both Cindy and Erika. I figured they could use a little sunshine on these cold, wet winter days in the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Inchie Christmas Tree

We decorated our Christmas tree yesterday using all the inchie ornaments that I have made over the last month. I have over 300 inchies. I also made some small beaded ornaments using head pins. Then I through on some mini quilted boxes.
My husband and oldest daughter did all the lights and the kids placed most of the ornaments, so my main job was refereeing who got to hang which ornament. Emitt, my 3 year old would pick a single branch and load ornament after ornament onto one spot. Isabelle and Annaliese, the two oldest, tried to get thier ornaments as high as possible. Rosaliegh, my 4 year old, then filled in the middle. Now I have the task of spreading out the crowded branches and turning the ornaments around so the decorated side is facing out.
Thankfully all the ornaments are relatively indestructible. I don't have to worry about the vintage glass balls suffering from little hands. The past few years even the wooden ornaments haven't faired so well. I think fabric is the way to go for at least a few more years.

Gift Boxes for a Friend

No, I haven't vanished. I have been suffering from a cold for the last three weeks. What energy I have, I have dedicated to creating. So many ideas for Christmas and so little time.
I created this tower of gift boxes for my dear friends the Lesters. Thier 3 year old daughter, Madeline, has spent the last five months in the ICU at Children's Hospital in Seattle recovering from heart surgury. She recently developed a rare complication from the surgury and now is waiting for a new heart. Maddie's parents, Cindy and Dave have exhibited such faith through this whole experience. They truly are an inspiration. I wanted to do something to show them how much they are loved, so I made 45 gift boxes filled with either chocolates or tea that they can give to the nurses, doctors and people who have supported them at the hospital. I figured they would like to give some type of thank you gift to everybody this Christmas, but wouldn't have the opportunity to get anything together themselves.
Each stitch in these boxes are full of love and prayers for Maddie. May God grant us the Miracle we all so anxiously await.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nesting Boxes

I just can't resist openning a box to find another little box inside. It is so much fun to travel down the path of box after box to discover what hides inside. Okay, currently there is nothing inside the smallest of these quilted boxes, but one day I might find a treasure. To create these boxes, I began with a piece of fabric I had used to wipe up paint while painting some Red and Green fabric paper. I then quilted it using red metallic thread on top and green in the bobbin. The tension was tight so the green thread came to the surface adding specks of green along the quilting lines. I then used this quilted fabric to create little boxes by zigzag stitching the sides together. The fabric was soft enough to be able to manipulate it under the sewing machine. The smallest box is a 1 inch cube and each box is 1/4 inch larger. The largest box is a 3 inch cube. These will make a fun addition to my Christmas tree, tucked in among the branches. And who knows, maybe there will be some treasures hidden in there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Art is For Sale in New York City!!!

These are a few more "Dreams" pieces that I have made for Art-O-Mat. I'm working on sending off another 100 pieces before Thanksgiving. I am excited to here that they have sent my pieces to eleven different machines including The Whitney Museum in New York City. I never expected to know that my art if for sale in New York City! You can find my work in the following locations: Contemporary Museum Shop - Honolulu, HI BKB - Tacoma, WA Amarillo Museum - Amarillo, TX Carrburritos - Carrboro, NC Salem College - Winston-Salem, NC Whitney Museum - NY, NY Erie Art Museum - Erie, PA SW School of Art and Craft - San Antonio, TX Pi Gallery - Kansas City, MO Accent Designs - Goshen, IN Turchin Art Center - Boone, NC I would love to here from anybody who has visited these machines. And if you happen to have a picture I'll ladly send you a treat in the mail.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Next Experimental Step

I've started cuting up my fabric and piecing it together with a zig zag stitch. I needed some more fabric so I created some more with the same yarns on a purple hand dyed base. I have a feeling this quilt will call for a lot of fun embellishments. Who knows, it might take after my dandelion quilt. The photo isn't the best, even taken outside the colors are't appearing true. There is definetly a blue cast with very little of the green showing up. It may be the early morning light, so I'll have to try again later in the day. We have clear skies so I didn't want to miss a limited opportunity.

Christmas Inchies

I created these inchies for a trade at Fiber Arts Bits. We are trading from 1-20 sets of five inchies each. The trade is open until December 1st so if you would like to participate feel free to jump over to the web site and sign up. I had so much fun with these that I couldn't stop at just the twenty sets. I created them with the same method I used for my experimental piece of fabric. I used the needle felting machine to create swirls of yarn on red and blue fabrics. I then free motion quilted with more swirls. I then cut them up into 1" squares and zig zagged around each. I then hand sewed each of the embellishments and hangers. My husband was very gracious and played Barbie, Polly Pocket and Go Fish with the kids while I was able to sew away. I think I will leave all our old Christmas ornaments packed up this year and decorate our tree with inchies. The kids wont be able to break them and I wont have to unpack everything. Here's a detailed view of each of the inchies:

Friday, November 9, 2007

A New Experiment

This is some fabric that I am working on for a new quilt. I'm trying this time to take pictures and blog along the journey. I've already forgot to photograph two steps, but I'll have to live with that. I began with one of my paint clean up rags. The colors are mostly blues, greens, and purples, with a splash of the whole rainbow. I then needle felted spirals of various yarns. I then free motion quilted sprials over the whole piece with gold, purple verigated and green verigated threads. The fabric is very textured and has an interesting free. I've began cutting it up and piecing it back together.
I'm hoping when I can tame the craziness with some strong line and embellishment, much like my daily attempt to tame the chaos. I don't think the chaos will end any time soon, but maybe I can add some order.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Inchies in Houston

My inchies made it to Cloth Paper Scissors's Make it University at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I didn't know for sure until I saw a glimpse of them in photos taken by Kathy. The wall hanging was in the corner of a photo of another work, but I will take what I can get. I'm just excited to know that my work was there. If you would like to see better photos of the actual pieces, just scroll down a couple of entries.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dandelion Wine

Our first challenge is in for Twelve by Twelve. The theme word was Dandelion. I tried drawings of dandelion flowers and seed heads, but I wasn't happy with any of them. I instead went with the color, Yellow. I searched high and low for yellow embellishments and just kept adding them until I ran out of time. I'm not sure I could find much more. They include: Yellow cotton fabric, yarns, glass and seed beads, brads, artificial flowers, raffia, wire, embroidery floss, metallic thread, ribbon, and buttons. There may be more if you look hard enough. I had a lot of fun adding everything, but I don't think this is a path I will go down often. Often when I asked my husband what he thought of the piece I got a strange look. At an early point he said it looked like the seventies. I don't think you can even see the swirls of needle felted yarn anymore though. My daughters have a better appreciation of over embellishment. The under eight crowd thinks anything with a little sparkle is beautiful.
My original thought for the compostion was a yellow river with fields of flowers on either side. I added the beaded river, but probably could have used more large glass beads. I used all I had and didn't want to spend more money. It then turned more into a wetland with the bits of raffia poking up. The fake flowers, button and ribbons are the fields of flowers on either side.
I lost track a bit of the dandelion theme. I had the impression that everyone else was taking a more literal approach to the topic. Finally, I decided that the title "Dandelion Wine" fit the piece. My great-grandmother would tell of making dandelion wine when she was young. The piece looks somewhat like the craziness of having too much wine.
You can check out all our Dandelion Quilts on the Twelve by Twelve blog.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Untitled for Today

My kids have been kind to me the last twenty-four hours. They have played nicely and given me some free time to sew -- an unusual occurance lately. I made this piece from the fabric I had previously quilted and painted. I tried to use a range of value. Now that I see the picture there are a few squares that I probably would have switched. I'll have to make sure to look carefully next time. I really like the color and the texture in the piece. Of course, it will go perfectly in my living room. Maybe it will draw the eye to the walls instead of all the clutter. Probably not, but one can always hope.
I haven't thought of a name for the piece. I'm open to any suggestions. Now that I've spent most of the day on fun stuff, I should probably try to tackle some of that mess.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Inchies Away

I made a series of inchies from my quilted, painted fabric. I sent them off this morning to Quilting Arts for their Fat Inchie trade at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. They also had a call for art created using inchies. I made a wall hanging and a little box. The wall hanging is inchies wired together with black wire. The little box is inchies zigzag stitched together. Cloth Paper Scissors will be displaying some projects at their Make It University booth. Hopefully one of my projects will be included. I have so much fun working in a small size, I couldn't resist the call.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Raw Materials

I've been having a lot of fun free motion quilting fabric and painting. Both are relatively mindless activities that are a nice break from all the other craziness in my life. I can work away at the sewing machine and my only worry is that one of my kids will run up to me and push my finger under the needle. Thankfully it hasn't happened yet and they will eventually learn they need to be gentle around Mom. The painting I do on a piece of plexiglass laid over my kitchen sink. With the fabric on top I don't even see the dirty dishes underneath. I then cheat and dry it in the dryer on a rack. Instant gratification and I can't even feel guilty about not doing the laundry since the dryer is already in use. I'm excited to have a chance to piece these fabrics into fun creations. Hopefully I'll have some pictures up soon!!!