Thursday, March 31, 2016

Scrap-ilocks and the ugly blocks, part deux plus beaded bracelet finish

Remember my trouble with the Stratavarious blocks? I was doing them for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
Then I started to not enjoy doing them for the challenge so I finished them up with a couple more colors, green and Rust, to go with purple, blue and brown.

 This is the page of the pattern I sort of followed in the book.

At least it is the look I was going for while using scraps instead of blended fabrics, and making them much larger than the pattern said.

That resulted in having less blocks come out of each strata.

And I constructed them differently as well, placing the blocks right sides together sewing diagonally then cutting apart into the mirror image HST blocks.

Anyway.. they weren't looking like I thought, so I just finished them into a lap quilt size 45 X 62 ish.

The quilt is in two halves now: blocks sewn together into two halves of a quilt ready for quilting in sections.
I might add a border, not sure... kind of want it finished.

I didn't like the green fabric so I got out a stamp that says I love you, and textile ink and stamped that over both blocks.

I think I might donate this quilt but want it to go to just the right person who needs it...

I also finished my beaded bracelet...
It was a bit of a challenge as I don't have a lot of experience with following a bead pattern.

It is very interesting and wearable and I've actually worn it twice... so that's a good thing.

And believe it or not, I have beads left over.

Bead Scraps.

linking to, among others on my links page:
oh Scrap Sundays

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cole's Capers... Cole's whimsy

Are you lookin' at ME?? I got my eye on the red gator
This is Cole. He is officially obsessed with what is called a whimsy. He waits all day for the magical hour of 8 when he gets to enjoy his chewie.
We started buying them one at a time.

We are into stockpiling them now ordering from Amazon.

They have their own box.

For a lark, we offered him two one evening... a white one and a red one. He looked them both over and chose the red one. The next night we offered a green one and a white one, he chose the white one. The next night a red and green when he chose the red.

This is the official standing...

Red is the favorite but he won't turn down a green one when offered.

(especially good with duck sauce)

Cole here with an important story:
So last night I had just settled down with a magical red whimsy.

All of a sudden the Talky-talk (TV) was turned off and my peeps headed to bed.
What!? I just got started !!

They took it upstairs and gave it to me up there.


I don't chew these upstairs. Bed time has it's own rituals. I get a pile of trail mix when I go to bed... (that's kibble, cookies, glucosamine treat mixed) not a whimsy. Right away I'm under stress... what to do what to do? I paced around while momma showered. I kept looking at the whimsy just laying there in all of it's perfectness. I laid down and had my trail mix, keeping an eye on the whimsy but not having it.
 The peeps went to sleep, and I woke Daddy up at 5 AM when I was having my whimsy.
He complained but I was just taking care of business. One doesn't want them to remember I had it today, because they might get it in their heads not to give me one tonight too.

When they are SUPPOSED to.

LeeAnna here... we are not lucky enough to have endorsements from dog suppliers. We just buy the dang treats and Cole decides whether or not to eat them.  No poodles were harmed in this reenactment.( More poodle stories under the labels, poodle puppy ponderings, Cole's commandments, and walks with poodle)

Eat 'em if you've got 'em !

linking to create-with-joy.   and   blogpaws   
and Cole was featured at this weeks party

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Abstract Flamingo

"Abstract Flamingo"
This is one of the small abstracts done from silk scraps.
I started with uneven raveling strips of silk, free hand cut curves and pieced together. These were put on a piece of peltex, and some green silk placed on top to look like seaweed.
Quilted the whole thing with metallic threads to suit the sheen of the silk.
(sulky halogram lime green, and gold YLI threads)

Here are some detail shots proving no piece is too small to embellish.

To me, as a painter, these are mixed media art work suitable for a shadow box frame. The benefit of being made from fiber is they can also be placed on a tabletop easel, or pinned to a cubical wall.

There is a blending of the craft of making quilts and bead work, with the art of drawing, painting  in these.

 Look at that little lizard climbing up the seaweed !

1.continuation of seaweed line with the line of metallic threads
2. repetition of curved line in piecing, in applique, in quilting, and in beaded seaweed on the right.

My Flamingo was created in thread with feather quilting. I first stitched a straight line curve of a neck and body, then feathered off that even using feathers to create the legs. I returned after finishing the quilting to place seed beads along the body and neck in coral, and line green on the legs.
Of course there is a hibiscus quilted in with rayon thread.

Binding is copper tissue lame'

I teach you how to do this easily despite fragility of fraying fabric, in my binding 12 ways workshop.
All done on machine as well.

3.Shading inside the feathers was done with a grayish-purple prismapencil.
4. Beads hand applied thru top and batting, to repeat curved lines.
5. Applique done without fusible to allow for organic fraying, which adds to texture and color. The pink applique strip frays green, as the warp thread is green in this pink dupioni silk. 

 I am a representational artist... I like to interpret what I see and feel. Abstraction is not easy for me so I am doing a lot of it these days. I marry it with my mental images though, so that I can enjoy doing it.

I believe abstractions teach us a lot about art.
They are kind of a Rorschach Test. How do you put yourself into an abstract? What do you see in them?

The fact that each person will see something different in abstracts is important. That leads to involvement. Participation instead of being told what to see. In the beginning,  I saw a flamingo in the pink abstract lines you saw in my second photo so that became my focus.

That's because I love flamingos... but from a distance a viewer can't really see my quilting and beading on this piece. They will make up their own minds until they look closely.

My husband saw this design wall one evening...
With three "doorway" works, the forest and flamingo. I thought he would love Blue Grotto, but he said his favorite was the pink one.
One never knows...

I am often inspired by a flamingo and have finished at least 25 flamingo quilts in my career. I should share some of those quilts here one day.
 I did a flamingo series on journal quilts sent to Houston Quilt Festival one year, and show those in my lectures. From large to small I love the colors and lines of this bird.

This post is a fanciful story about two flamingos:    flamingo-love-story

enjoy a flamingo? this video is hilarious....  confused confab 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spring Improv

Happy Spring y'all!

Last summer I played with Tee Juice markers and made lots of 6 inch impressionist type paintings on fabric.
I have made numerous items with them, and this is the latest.
I saw it as a garden so why not revisit my hand embroidery days?

I used a variety of threads, and just played with them, seeing how the lines looked with different thicknesses and colors.

That was fun in itself!

I'll do more of that. See Xs and knots, and straight stitch and daisies.  I learned I prefer thick threads for a bold look.

When it came time to make it into something, I pulled out my improv mind, and started adding strips of scraps.
The quilting is done with a some free motion, some walking foot echo lines, and my very favorite program stitch...
One of the scraps is my painted fabric, the one on the right with a dab of additional glitter paint. Jacquard no longer makes starlight but it glittered like crazy!
You can see the Tee juice marker circles painted in this shot. I had about four colors, and dotted the fabric watching colors blend and move. I started with yellow, and added the others to see how they changed when overlapped.

You can't plan that kind of thing.

The binding was done by machine, brought to the front and then two lines of machine stitching on top with YLI gold metallic thread.
Look at the little flower beads, aren't they perfect?  My friend Cynthia surprised me one day with a wee bead container holding 6 kinds of beads and these were included. Love a surprise gift. The butterfly scrap was so little and ragged and just fit into this piece. Also given to me by a bee mate in a bag of scraps.

The whole piece is a bit larger than my IPAD older version.
So I plan to make it into a carrier for that. Don't know how I want to do it yet, but I know it will make me smile to see it each time.

Just make stuff, you never know where it will end up!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Purple dress and sofa

Voila my purple sofa and dress blocks of the month.   Love the red legs on the sofa!!!
I didn't have time to do the TV yet... stay tuned (pun intended)
All three colors so far,

check out other people's purple blocks at
And the three sofas...have a seat!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kaleidoscope Finish !

Around Christmas Ricky Tims was advertising his DVD on Kaleidoscope Quilts. He provided the video free on The Quilt Show for a weekend. I got busy and made my Christmas quilt using his technique.

It's been finished a while now, but I am just now showing it as my bee tried the techniques this week and I got this one out again.

Ricky has a reputation for cutting freehand but this technique is very exacting. It takes thought, drafting a pattern yourself, being very careful with color choice, cutting and sewing. Take very good care not to over handle the pieces as they are all bias edged. Take more care on laying them out on the design wall as they are easy to mix up. I did not fuss with angles I just enjoyed what showed up after cutting the mirror images.
I did a lot of straight line quilting in the center, but it doesn't show in the pictures well. It looks terrific though, and required a strong arm to twist and turn the quilt under the needle. I used metallic gold thread by YLI.
For the border quilting, I sketched out ribbons with poinsettias and holly leaves/berries on this scrap of paper.
I doubt you can see it in the pictures but I made ribbons first all the way around with the walking foot. Then did flowers and holly free motion again with the gold metallic thread in the top, and thin cotton DMC in the bobbin. It shimmers in person. BTW the snowflake you see here is silver metallic paint, and I had only a small piece left in my stash. I am actually happy I allowed myself to use it! It's really pretty.

 Can you see the poinsettia in the corner? I did not plan much, just started sewing to see what showed up. Each corner is slightly different. The think is, certain fabrics just don't allow you to see the quilting stitch well.

At the bee, I hung this up with the table runner made from the numerous scraps left from fussy cutting the segments. There is significant waste using this pattern. It is not hanging on it's sleeve so it looks wonky here, but it's just pinned badly on our wall.
The whole kt and kaboodle was made from stash except for the red with dot's inner border. That was on sale and I only wish I had been able to buy more. I finished the bolt at 1.5 yards. One can always find a use for red fabric with silly white dots, no??
Happy Christmas in March!
linking to among others...sewcanshe

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cole's commandments Teach your pawrents well...

I'm an Angel, see my halo??
Cole here...
Today I wanted to talk about training a pawrent to play games.

I am currently working with my Momma on my version of  "Hide and Seek".
I do not enjoy the regular game, as I have a bit of separation anxiety ( and I'm not on the couch at the moment to analyze so we'll just let that go by heh heh)

I'm talking about my game-invention...... Hide the Squeaker.
I got Daddy to order replacement squeakers for my favorite toys that somehow got broken.


Then I trained Momma to pull out the old ones, put in new loud squeakers, sew the toy back up and put it in my toy box for me to "find"
 LeeAnna:  This is his Favorite Toy... which has been re-sewn so many times it's more of a rectangle than a ball but it's the first one he pulls out every time.

Cole again:
What fun it is to "seek" the new squeaker, pull them out thru the holes I make, and break them! I leave them laying by the toy so the Momma can find them and do it all again!
OMDOG! There's hardly enough to stitch back! But they don't make these now, and he loves a furry fleece ball., What to do!!!
Momma is hard to train,  and definitely surly about it. She has thumbs so she can get her own treats so I don't know how to reward her for the tricks... isn't it enough that I am happy again, for a moment, and that she gets to listen to the squeakers being VERY LOUD??
It sure makes me happy!
No I don't want the newer ball there
Okay Momma, do it again! Good girl!

Monday, March 21, 2016

A few lessons learned from AQS Lancaster

"Whole lotta shakin' goin' on by Dreme Eckley
I only wish I could show this picture in even more detail. What an amazing quilt, bed-sized with lots of different blocks in rows. The part that interested me of course was the hexagons. They traveled around the border... not that unusual to see appliqued hexies but...
Each one of them had a surprise. Beads, buttons, embroidery.


I took many quilt pictures but mainly want to discuss some lessons learned while looking at quilts...
Red Chairs by Mary Ann Van Soest
This caught my eye as I want to do an adirondak chair piece. I have done paintings and drawings but want to do them in fabric. Lovely and peaceful, a large wall quilt. The lesson for me was in the cropping.
While I like the whole quilt, I love the image cropped.

Makes me wonder if I should draw out the composition on my quilts before making them more often than I do. Then try cropped versions to see if I like them better. To me, my opinion only, cropping these chairs is more interesting than seeing so much sky. The cropped scene is intimate, and the cut off chair tells a story.
Look at this one...
Life by Yoshiko Katagiri
Magnificent!!! Possibly my favorite. A large quilt, very dynamic. Note the detail shot...
thousands of hand appliqued circles creating the one spiral. What focus, and a way to use so many fabrics and colors. The circles were stuffed.
A lesson in "vision". The maker had Discipline and vision. while appliqueing quarter inch  up to about 1" circles round and round, and round in a spiral.
Teri Tope's Some Intensions (AKA Ten)
The horse is created with thread. Black thread on white fabric. It was large wall sized, say about 50"
No fancy fabrics no fancy threads, just one line next to another creating a textured portrait. Doesn't take expensive fabric or tools to make, just talent and vision and perseverance.

This one seemed so full of fabrics and depth
The King by Sherry Turkenoff
from a distance it appears the mane is composed of many pieces of fabric however on closer look

One well chosen fabric did the work.

I really really liked the following quilt, The Gift and the givers by Betty Kalizak.

The lesson was in inspiration. She was inspired by a book illustration. You never know what will inspire you to create so keep your eyes open!

 Finally, this one
Cats Game by Donna DeFusco

The detail of a tail, hanging under the quilt, reminded me that humor is as important as any other characteristic. Have fun, do not lose your send of fun while pursuing your art.

I might have bought a few things...

who are those attractive people in the mirror??
Our selfie, or "Spousie" from the AQS quilt show in Lancaster this weekend.
More about the show itself next post, but on to the important stuff... I managed to buy a few items.

Support is important in a spouse! Drew was with me at a quilt shop after the show... Zooks in Intercourse PA. They had a massive sale, with hundreds of bolts at $3.19 a yard.
while in line to cut/pay I shopped the bolts not put back yet! And the staff were nice, didn't rush me, and were so helpful. What a good time. I mean, comparing to the $11  paid for a panel of labels at the show, this was too good to pass up.
 Down the street at the Old Country Store there were batiks for $5.99 yard. I was oh-so-restrained and got one two yard piece, pink with lanterns and one 1 yd piece. That plus a giftie for my friend Nancy, and a jar of pickled beets for Drew!
On to another store where the batiks were also on special for $5.99 yd.
 At the show itself, the prices were regular retail but I found cool tote bag zippers, some scrap bags of cherrywood hand dyes ($8) some superior needles that really are outstandingly strong, and a few other items. I also got an AQS book for $5. I own a lot of books, but want to try just about all the techniques in this one.
The whole kit and kaboodle
 I dithered over the terrific deal on a Bernina. It really was a good deal but I couldn't make a decision to the tune of thousands of dollars right then. I need a new machine, I sew every day, but still....

Pictures of quilts can be seen   HERE!

I enjoyed seeing the quilts,  but the shopping is the most fun event of the show.