Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another Peek at My Work Table

More playing with my purple fabric paper. I free motion quilted (or should I say embroidered?) a square of each of the papers. I'm not sure exactly what design I am going to use for this quilt, but now I have more materials to play with. I design very intuitivly--totally making it up as I go along. I can't see the design in my head. I have to be able to create it in from of me and then determine if I like it. I love the swirls of the thread and the contrast of the purple and copper foil.
This morning I realized how easy it would be to do the circles with the fabric paper. I cut out a bunch. Although I tried, I can't seem to get away from a geometic pattern. It must be that math side of my brain. I might paint some watercolor paper to stitch these onto. Who knows where we will end up.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adventures in Purple

Purple is my favorite color, but I realized that I haven't done a purple quilt. With this one, I am trying fabric paper. I made four different sheets using various scrapbooking papers, one each with blues, pinks, purples, and oranges. I used basically the same paints on top. The differences in paper colors shine through, but are unified by the paints. The glowing colors are so full of life and energy. For the quilt, I created a simple grid pattern and added embellishments in each of the squares. I always enjoy raiding the various stashes -- Beads, Brads, Buttons, Ribbons, Fibers, Wire and anything else I can get my hands on. This photo is the quilt layed out on my work table. I still need to sew everything down and perhaps add a yarn binding. I also have lots of fabric paper left over so I think I will try several different quilts. My next thought is to use the purple fabric paper with copper. There's never enough time to play!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Little Stress Free Fun

I keep coming back to these little 3" x 2" art-o-mat quilts on those evenings when I'm feeling spent from the day's work and need a some creative fun to renew my energy. I made these from the scraps of fabric left from my last couple of projects. I have so much fun simply sewing together the little bits and pieces and not worring to much about the design details. If something isn't working I just cut it up and sew it back together in a different way. No demands, No pressure. Some things in life just don't have to be made hard.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

B is for Book

Okay, I had a year for this project so why did I only finish it hours before I had to turn it in at our guild meeting? I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't always finish projects until the last minute. Our challenge for this years local quilt show was to pick a letter. The quilt was suppose to bring that letter to mind.

I chose "B" for book and used everything blue. I used quilted fabric that I painted with every shade of blue paint I own. The different values didn't come through very well in the photography. I think the late afternoon winter sun tends to blue everything even more. For the various embellishments I used Shrinky Dinks, Fabric Paper with rub on letters, scrapbooking letters, yarns, beads, wire, buttons, polymer clay tiles, ribbons and seed beads. Originally the back panel was suppose to be the front, but I stitched it to the wrong page. Not a big deal, just a fancier back cover than I expected.

This is the first fabric book that I have ever made so I was guessing as to how to put the whole thing together. I added a layer of Peltex to the front and back covers to make them a little stiffer. I added a 1" spine and stitched the panels to it with a zig-zag stitch. It actually came together a lot better than I expected given my limited time and experience.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Goodbye Precious Madeline

My heart is broken. My dear friends', Cindy and David Lester, three year old daughter, Madeline spent the last six months recovering from heart surgury in the ICU at Children's Hospital in Seattle. She suffered many setbacks, but each time God pulled her through. A couple weeks ago she developed a blood infection which ravished her little body. Earlier this week she suffered a brain hemorage. She was taken from her mother's arms into the loving arms of God. Everyone who has been touched by her incredible spirit and parents mighty faith aches with her passing. I poored my grief into this book, a guest book for her memorial service. Maddie, I miss you and my kids are anxious to go to Heaven so they can play with you there. Cindy and David, I love you more than words can say.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Art-O-Mat Treasures

I receieved my second paycheck from art-o-mat on Christmas Eve. This one was over 10 times my first check and my husband didn't even laugh. I sold 62 pieces over the last three months. If this rate continues I will need to make about 250 mini quilts and other fiber pieces a year. What Fun!!! These are a few little "Dreams" that I made while taking a break from cleaning and organizing this New Year.

When I started this series, the little fabric beads reminded me of dreams tied up in a scroll. Each piece has a name that refers to a type of dreams. Previous works have bee "Secret Dreams," "Growing Dreams," "Wild Dreams," and "Bandaged Dreams." haven't come up with names yet, so if you have any suggestions as to what type of dreams they appear to be I'm open to suggestions.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Last weekend I managed to find a stretch of time to play with some fabric that I had quilted and painted earlier in the week. I was suppose to be working on my Chocolate challenge piece, but this rainbow of colors was calling to me. I just needed something fun and colorful to fill the day. The attempt to add order to the chaos of the stitching and colors is a reflection of life around our house. Somehow I keep thinking that I can push all that energy into some organized direction. I know, I know, it's never going to work, but please don't take away my hope. .
The piece is 16" x 16". I painted the fabric with the whole rainbow of colors, but it definetly reads as a triatic color scheme -- blue green, red violet, and yellow orange. I'm planning on adding a small black border when I have the opportunity to pull the sewing machine back out.
I happy to have some color to add to the wall now that the Christmas decorations are put away. A reminder that summer is coming during our wet winter days. (Though I can't complain today since we woke up to three inches of snow!!! Enjoy it while you can and ignore the rain that is coming down on top of it.)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Quilting Arts Embellishments

Does the background art look familiar? My inch wall-hanging was featured in the Quilting Art embellishments newsletter on December 26th. I was so excited to hear from the magazine that they wanted me to write a short how-to article about my wall hanging. Luckily the writing went very smoothly and only added a day of stress to the week before Christmas. Then I woke the day after Christmas to a wonderful gift in email box.
This issue of the newsletter hasn't made it to the archives yet, but I will post a link when it appears. For now, if you would like me to forward you the newsletter I would be more than happy. Just send me your email,, and I will get to it asap.

The Unveiling of the Christmas Gifts

Merry Christmas! Okay, I know I am a little late. With everything going on, I have sadly neglected all my cyber friends. I hope you understand and know that you are not forgotten. I have now pretty much dug out from all the Christmas Chaos and will have time to catch up with each of you.
These are the Christmas quilts I made for my mom, mother-in-law and friend Shannon. Lucky for me, my friens Cindy's family is celebrating Christmas in July so I have some extra time for her gift. I made these by first stitching a white quilt sandwich (fabric, batting, fabric) with the preprogramed decorative stitches on my sewing machine. I used stars for the red and green pieces and snowflakes for the blue pieces. I then painted them with watered down acrylic and fabric paints in the various colors and values. I then cut them into 1/2" strips and sewed the designs together using a zig-zag stitch and metallic thread. Beads finished off the edges and I stitched them on mat board. Each piece is approximately 10" x 14".
My mom's red and greeen "Christmas Cheer" quilt coordiates wonderfully with her bed sized traditional Christmas quilt she has hanging in her living room, even down to the black border. Hopefully "Winter Wonderland" will work as well in their new homes.

Time to Update My Bio

My birthday came and went without me having a free minute to post about it. I'm one of those pre-Christmas (December 20th) babies that has always struggled to have a day to herself amid all the Christmas celebration. Add my husband's birthday on December 22nd and we have a very busy week.
This year my friend Shannon brought me Thai food for lunch -- such a wonderful gift, especially since lunch is my least favorite meal to cook. Our kids played and we attempted to give our three year olds hair cuts. We did okay, just ignore the bald spot on Emitts head. He's a boy and hair grows quickly. My mother-in-law came to watch the kids in the afternoon and I was able to get my annual hair cut. My husband then took me out to a fancy dinner and I was able to feel like a growny-up for the night. The kids baked and decorated a cake with grandma. We didn't want them to wait up for us so they celebrated without me, blowing out the candles themselves.
All in all it was a good day and over way to soon. I'm now excited to see what 34 and 2008 have in store.