Wednesday, December 26, 2007

First pastel drawings

Well, guess what I got for Christmas - pastels, and I'm having great fun playing with them!

The first one I tried was my version of Monet's garden (I think it needs more work), which I did while watching the pastel video "Landscape in Pastel, Reflections of Monet's Garden" by Urania Tarbet. I guess it's not bad for my first pastel.

Here is my second attempt - a landscape from a lesson in the book "Creative Painting with Pastel" by Carole katchen. Different techniques to play with, and I'm happier with this painting.

Ok, the last one for the day is my own design, but inspired by Ann Fahl, since I was watching her video "Ann Fahl Teaches you Coloring with Thread" while still playing with my pastels. This is my favorite so far, and I think it will be framed for my studio as soon as I add a couple last touches that I realized were needed when the picture was uploaded.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I hope you all have plans for a wonderful Christmas this year, spending time with family, or whatever you prefer to do. Don't forget to take at least a few minutes to relax and enjoy the holiday!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thank you for all the great comments

This last week I received a special comment from my cousin. We used to live close enough for frequent visits, but now are across the country. Boy, do I wish we lived closer and could visit whenever we wanted to!

I wish I could email everyone when I receive comments, but it seems like that is not the way blogger works. For those who would like to receive an email back, or contact me more privately, there is a link for my regular email in the upper right of my blog - as far as I know blogger won't block responses if you email me that way.

I've been visiting the sites and blogs of those who have posted comments, and there are lots of great blogs out there! Some people don't have a blog, and when I try to emial you back, blogger won't send it to you - instead it comes back as undeliverable, so thank you for leaving your wonderful comments, and I hope you'll take time to come visit my blog again.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Quilting a New York Beauty

Recently someone was looking for quilting ideas for a NY Beauty quilt on one of the lists that I belong to. That made me check to see if I'd ever uploaded pictures of mine, and I found that not only hadn't I posted any pictures (because I made it before I had a blog), and I found that not only hadn't I posted any pictures, but I haven't even't taken a "good" picture of the whole quilt once it was finished - only close ups of some blocks. I'll have to take one asap, but for now I'll post some of the block pictures. The quilt was quilted with quite a few different threads, trying to blend with the fabrics and repeating some designs as well as creating some new ones to fit the spaces. My border was quilted with a variety of designs that were fit together.

Online Quilting Class in January

For those who didn't get a chance to take my "Artistic Free Motion" quiltng class in November, I'm repeating it in January at Quilter's Threads. It is listed with the other classes at, and packed with lots of information and designs, as well as ideas to get you creating some of your own designs.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Beyond the Secret Garden

This was my entry for the "Doorway to Imagination" challenge that Quilting Arts had. Although it didn't make it into the magazine, I'm still very happy with the way it came out, and am looking forward to seeing it again when they return it to me. I thought it would be nice if you could see what was behind the door, so the door was hinged with a few stitches, and many techniques were used. The door is made of soy silk paper that I made and fused together with fast-to-fuse, and there was puff puff paint, fabric and acrylic paints, hand-dyed fabric, silk ribbon embroidery and hand quilting. The image inside the door is from Dover, printed on purchased prepared for printing fabric.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

embellished green velvet

This will be the outside of an evening / party purse that I've got in progress - almost sewed it together without taking this photo. I thought it might be nice to have a picture of what it looks like when it's flat and you can see all the emellishment at the same time, because once I sew it into a bag only one side will be visible at a time. I did roughly pre-fold the velvet to help plan my layout, but it was still one of those gut instinct projects, although I did take notes as I went along so that I will be able to create a pattern to make another.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Beautiful Bargello pattern is ready!

I had originally hoped to have this pattern ready in August, but it's been such a busy year! So ask your local shop to contact me if you like it and they don't have it yet.

Wet felted purse in progress

Here's my first wet felted purse in progress. It was created with just wool, soap, water, and a form that I cut from a scrap box in the garage. Unlike working with fabric, when felted in one piece, the lining color felts through to the outside (duh), so my spots dissappeared from the pale blue/ grey lining, and the lining made the outer bag much greyer than it started out - originally, it was mostly black wool, with multi colored wool sprinkled through it. The blue and green were added before felting, so right now it's looking very dull to me, and I'm busy dreaming up a way to brighten it.

Chickadee mini quilt

Here's another little quilt that I made for the Art Quilt class I'm taking at joggles with Jane LaFazio. The assignment was to make a bird quilt, and I couldn't resist making a quilt of the cute little chickadees that come in small flocks to visit us. It isn't perfect, and if I was going to do it over, there are things I'd do differently - like the satin stitch outline, which I went around 3 times and still am not happy with. I think I'd rather do piping than satin stitching, even though it would have taken longer, and consider it a lesson learned.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

giraffe art quilt in progress

This week I had some time to get caught up in a couple classes that I'm taking at joggles. One assignment that I was behind in was creating an animal quilt in colors that were not realistic.This is the Dover image that I decided to work with, as it had larger areas to work with, and the giraffe's portrait just plain appealed to me.

It was hard to decide what colors to use, and I had considered orange for the giraffe, so boldly started with a watered down salmon fabric paint, which dried a bit too pink for me. This was then washed with golden yellow. Next I went with orange as the main color, highlighted with yellow and shaded with dark purple. Tiny highlights were added with an iridescent purple gold metallic fabric paint.

My Journal Quilt in Houston

Here's the quilt that I sent to Houston for the Journal Quilt Project. It's a tribute to the huge tulip fields that we have visited several times, and the memorable barn that we see every time we visit. One of my photos was used for inspiration, and the barn that I printed on pre-treated fabric. There are a variety of techniques, from torn fabric, fabric printing, dyeing and puff paint, to the free-motion embroidered tulip.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Felted Landscape

Well, here is my first piece of felt! It was created with the wet felting technique, and is still drying, but I couldn't resist taking a picture right away. I think it needs some embellishing, but that will have to wait while I finish some other things first.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

three finished projects

I'm on a roll trying to finish up some projects that I've been working on simultaneously, and these three are finished (for now anyway).

First is the book cover that I started when I was writing up my Artistic Free-motion online class. I've added the pockets inside to hold a book and bound it, so it's just waiting for a book to be placed inside.

Next is the art quilt landscape - first project for the art quilt class that I'm taking with Jane LaFazio at I've added my hand stitching, and also went back and shaded the trees again to add more depth.

Last is a felt flower design for the same art quilt class. I'm not sure I'm making a quilt out of it - maybe a wall hanging, but it will be finished once I decide. At least all the cutting, layout, and embroidery are done!

Friday, October 19, 2007

harvest landscape

This weekend there is a quilt show at a winery nearby. I have to admit that I had plenty of notice, and made rough sketches for it over a month ago, but ended up rushing to finish in time, because of all the other things that I have going on right now. At least I was able to try out some new techniques, and the design made it out of the sketchbook and ready to hang. Of course, there are things I'd do differently next time, but I do believe I did the best I could with the time I had to make it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

free-motion trees

I received some questions about how my trees were created, so I thought you might like to see another picture that I took before I washed out the stabilizer. The how-to instruction below is a copy of what I had posted in the art quilt class that I'm taking. One thing I forgot to mention, is that you need to make sure that you have the threads locking with others (you can stitch a grid in the area you will embroider to help hold it together).

My trees were free motion embroidered on Romeo, which is a super heavy weight water soluble stabilizer. I drew what I thought I'd like with a sharpie on the stabilizer, and then hooped the stabilizer and stitched with lots of thread, changing the colors from darkest to lightest. It's kind of like scribbling with colored pencils to fill them in, except you're holding a hoop and stitching with the machine. The trees were still on the stabilizer in the photo that I posted, so today they had a nice bath in very warm water to wash it out, and now they're drying. Once they're dry, I'll take another photo with them on top of the quilt, but I'm seriously considering cutting it into two sections, putting the two trees that are close together towards one side and the other tree on the other (but opposite of the way they are now). They are not wide enough to fit all the way across (would have when I was going to do the quilt in a portrait format), and I think they will cover the valley between the hills if I don't cut it. Anyway, I'll find out when it's dry.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Landscape mini quilt

This is another of the projects I'm simultaneously working on. It's homework for the art quilt class with Jane Fazio at joggles. I haven't made much progress on this landscape in the last few days, although I did get the trees sewn down. I tried adding beads to the tree on the left, but they were too large and I ripped them back off. I've pulled out some embroidery threads to add some french knots and maybe some other stitches. At this time, I'm unsure if I'll add hand stitching along the mountain / hill crests. I'm also considering adding shading with markers, all purpose ink or paint. Maybe if I let it rest a few days I'll be able to make a decision.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

quilted book cover progress

While I was finishing up my class lessons, I wanted to have a trapunto sample. Another thing I wanted to have time for was making a book cover with a piece of my sun printed fabrics that has been hanging around my sewing room. So, here is my combination project! The large leaf is actually a trapunto leaf, and there is both a layer of batting and fast to fuse between the top and back. It is in colors that I normally wouldn't use for leaves and landscape, but that was what my fabric dictated I do. The cover still needs to be assembled and edges finished, but I'm making progress. The lessons are now finished and sent, so now it is time to do some of my regular chores caught up so that I can get back and finish this book cover.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

quilting samples

While writing up the free-motion quilting class, I decided I needed to have some new samples that will eventually be bound together into a fabric book. I've intentionally tried to stitch them in a way that a student might be able to follow my stitching, instead of back tracking as much as I normally would. I thought you might like to get a peek, so here is part of a page with few leaves. When I teach in person, my plan is to bring the book along so that it can be passed around for reference when I'm busy helping someone else.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Artistic Free-Motion Class Going Online!

On October 12, my Artistic Free-Motion Class will begin at, so all of you that have been wanting to take the class with me, but haven't been able to make it into class, can come to my virtual classroom. This is the first session of online classes at Quilter's Threads, and with the possibility of having students from all over the world, it's going to be exciting! Before I forget, the charm of online classes is that you can work at your own pace, from anywhere in the world, and in your jammies if you want!

If you've never taken an online class before, you'll find that there are a few differences. The obvious one is that the teacher isn't in the same room with you, so to make up for it as best as I can, there will be lots of pictures to go with the written lesson. I'll be talking with you through the use of a forum, and we'll have a gallery that's not just for finished work. The gallery will also be the way that we can show each other additional pictures, such as a place that you need help with.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Beautiful Bargello II

Somehow in the midst of everything else I've got going on right now, I've managed to finish the second version of the Beautiful Bargello pattern that I'm working on. Don't fabric choices really change the look of a quilt! This one started with one of those jelly roll fabric bundles that are popular right now (the roll has more than enough strips to make two of these quilts). The roll is from Moda's Roman Holiday line of fabrics, and I purchased coordinating yardage for the back, borders and binding. I'll let you know when the pattern is finished and available (should be this fall).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Flower and Bird collage

Well, this collage is about finished, although I do think it needs something more, and I'm not sure what. The background has many layers, starting with buff titanium gesso, quinacridone nickel azo gold acrylic paint and quinacridone crimson. At this point I felt it was too bright, and I also wanted some texture, so I collaged on some natural colored japanese tissue paper, which I scrunched first. This was dry brushed with titanium white, and a bit of raw umber. The bird (from the same collage/ wrapping paper sheet as my last bird collage) and flower (The Vintage Workshop) were added. Shadows and corner shading were done with a thinned wash of raw umber.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Birds and Music

So far my collages have been on the small side, mostly 4" x 4" chunky book pages, but I've been wanting to do larger ones, so this one is 12" x 12". First I applied one coat of buff titanium Gesso (yes, colored gesso that I discovered during one of my visits to the local Daniel Smith store), then the vintage music sheet was added. Since the music didn't stand out as much as I wanted, paint was lightly added (I think it was Quinacridone Gold). Two birds were added to fill it out. The base is an almost ready to hang (just needs the hanging hardware) hard surface from Ampersand, called Clayboard smooth.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thank you

No pictures to post today, but I want to say thank you to everyone who has left a comment. Amazingly, all have been compliments on my work, especially the beaded projects from the Sumptuous Surfaces class. I've tried responding to them, but most bounced, and I was told by others that it usually doesn't work and I need to respond on my blog, so again THANK YOU!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sumptuous Surfaces seashore finsihed

Originally, I had wanted to have more variety of stitches in this piece, and the whipped spiderweb sea stars just proved to be impossible (for me anyway) on top of the cheesecloth that I started with. Since I wanted the scrunched texture, the needle would catch as I worked, and many things were ripped out along the way, making me change plans and stitches used. Even though bouillons and cast on stitches were problems for me in the past (and in some places here - due again to cheese cloth), I found that if I worked them in the more open areas, before the other stitches were added, and used the right needle, I eventually got the hang of them. Many of the threads used in this project were hand-dyed by me in varigated sea colors. Of course, there are things I wish I had done differently, but in the end I'm happy with it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Butterfly collage

Earlier this summer I primed several pieces of canvas and clayboard with gesso so they would be ready and waiting for me. So yesterday I worked on this collage in between everything else, and was able to finish it this morning. The canvases are 5x7" and are hinged together so they are free-standing on my table. I thought about adding more layers but decided not to, as my husband liked it as is. The Images are from ARTchix Studio.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sumptuous Surfaces - shoreline

Last night I had a little time to work on my class project, and decided to get started. As I was going through my stash these fabrics were the ones that attracted me for the beach idea I had sketched out (so the grapes will stay in the sketchbook for now). The base is a 32 count linen, while the teal and white are cheesecloth. The teal cheesecloth is crinkly from being dyed, but the white is smooth and flat because it is new, and I've already manipulated the weave into a more holey texture in preparation for embroidery. At first I tried using the scroll stitch for the outline, but kept catching the raw edges of the cheesecloth, so ended up using a twisted chain stitch instead.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sumptuous Surfaces - new idea sketches

In between everything else I have going on right now, I did manage to create two rough sketches while riding in the car. While at first I thought about creating a water stichery to go with the shell, now I think maybe I should do a bunch of grapes. When translated to fabric and stitching they would come out different from the sketch, but I'm having a hard time deciding which one to pursue first. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sumptuous Surface shell FINISHED!

Well, I stitched in the car, and then I started adding beads, beads, and more beads. Tonight I really wanted to finish it, so I just kept going until it was finished (about 5 minutes ago)! My legs were stiff when I went to stand, because I had sat in the same position for so long. (When I'm close to finishing something, I like to keep going until it's done.) Maybe some will say I should have left it more open, but I'm happy with the way it came out.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sumptuous Surfaces - the fabric

I was asked what fabric I'm working on, and thought I'd answer here, just in case others are wondering. The fabric is a dark cream colored linen, and I want to say 28 count, but am not really sure since it was pulled from my stash.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sumptuous Surface more progress

Even though I haven't had much time at home to work on my class project, I have managed to move forward making a pulled thread area, buttonhole wheels, whipped spider's wheels, buttons and metal rings attached with woven bars. I still would like to add some suffolk puffs, and then I think I'll start filling in the rest with french knots, cast-on loops and other smaller stitches.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sumptuous Surfaces class progress

I'm taking another class at, this one being the Sumptuous Surfaces class with Sharon Boggon. Above are pictures of my journal, with today's notes and sketches of ideas for her class. It remains to be seen if this is the sketch I'll work with by the time we start working with fibers, but right now this is the idea that's calling me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

mermaid fatbook page

Well, I'm slowly getting all those paper swaps that I signed up for finished, and these are for a mermaid fatbook that I'm participating in. It took me quite a while to find an image that would work for this page, as I needed it to be the right size and shape, but I finally found this one on one of the image discs that I had purchased from Tuscan Rose. Once I had the background and the image in place, I made a template for the tail, which I made from a double layer of paper glued together for strength. It has a tab that is glued in place between the front page and the back page to make it very sturdy. I think I only have one more swap that's due in September, and then I'll be caught up!

CQ purse

This purse has been in progress for over a year. It all started with the flap, which was pieced by Maureen Greeson. She made the CQ backgrounds for a group that I was a member of, but has sadly disolved. (Previously, I had been working in a rainbow of colors on some very large 20" blocks, which still need to be assembled into a quilt.) As I embellished the rectangle, I thought I'd like it to be more than just a small framed piece, and the idea of a purse began. I cut a couple rectangles of cotton fabric for the foundation, and then used a sew and flip method to piece the rest, adding lace and ribbon as I went. The embroidery was fun, but I decided that a purse would have to be more durable, so tended to go with embroidery that would be more durable, especially for the back (although I didn't want it to be plain). Maybe someday I'll a trim around the flap, but couldn't find anything I liked, so for now this is how it will be.

my first paper dolls

Each one is a bit different, but I had fun creating them for an ATC doll swap.

Beautiful Bargello quilt is finished!

Well here it is, this is a re-creation of the quilt that was made for a gift in December 2006 that was never photographed. The other quilt has the dark blues at the bottom, however when I showed this one to my husband, he looked at the fan pattern in a couple of the fabrics and said the shape looked like mountains. Sooo, this one was turned 180 degrees to give the illusion of a bold, beautiful garden with mountains and a deep blue sky, remiding me of the tulip fields up in Mt. Vernon, WA. I'm planning to make more of these having various fabric styles and then a pattern, which I hope to have ready in the fall.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

blue gem and bead necklace

Tonight I finished this necklace, which will be mailed off as a gift on Monday (at least I'll have a picture). It is a mixture of sem-precious and glass beads, with a tiny bit of wire working (the first time I've made these swirled headpins (the first looked good, but didn't fit through the bead).