Sunday, December 28, 2008

Two Finished in December 2008

Here is Sarah's quilt. I designed the quilt and cut all the pieces of fabric from my 2006 stash in a kind of double-charmed style (2 triangles of each piece of fabric in my stash). Recently, the pieces were sewn together by my mom, Sarah's mother-in-law, and her mother. Pretty much this quilt would never have been finished without help from these ladies. I got extra-wide batik backing from Sewbatik on the internet and shipped the top and back off to a quilter to be long-arm quilted with variegated thread since the thing is king-size. My mom graciously agreed to handstitch the binding.
I finished Izabella's Puzzle today, binding finished. This is one of my favorite quilts so far.

Izabella's Puzzle

I have finally finished the binding on Izabella's quilt.
It seems like binding always takes me forever. And here is detail on my favorite quilting motif. I need to have someone show me how to properly adjust the tension on my machine.

I'm still working on my Art/Gratitude Journal in December. I'm getting the ideas on the page but embellishing them is another story. Here is another one I like. I affixed a strip of lovely fabric to the left side, then drew out the rest of the design, expanding off the strip inspiration.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Flyes

I'm having fun with these butterflies. I did a few using watercolor, but they didn't have the same color intensity. I'll do it again once I get a brush suitable for watercolor. I should take some kind of course on brushes. I've got about ten different brushes, all good brushes, but I think they are more for acrylic and I need one with a finer point that can hold all the water that loads up onto the brush when I'm doing watercolor.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More ART, fish STAMP, and BUTTERFLYs

12-06 (this is an awesome photo of Sophia at the zoo - I love her carefree-ness):12-05 (one of my favorite poems, a Robert Frost classic):
I carved this fish stamp out of a pink eraser (very pliable, moreso than the linocut stuff I had been using - pink eraser is my new favorite substance for carving). I got this idea directly from Geninne's Art Blog, who is very creative with stamps and has a lovely tutorial. I have wanted to make more stamps but generally feel stumped as to what to carve, so I found a fish on her site I liked and drew one like it on the eraser, then carved away: And another butterfly (I love watching the process by which these little guys come about - it's probably the first thing I've ever made where I actually like the product better than the process or the idea, unlike most every bed-quilt I've ever made, where I usually hate the thing by the time I'm halfway through, which either has to do with the loathing of the work aspect, or the creating a sense of hate towards it so I can bear to part with it when I'm done aspect):
The butterflies are quite homely until their final stage of creation: the black ultra-fine sharpie marker over the colored pencil color. It turns out you can go through quite a few sharpies this way, as the wax in the colored pencil seems to destroy the tip of the pen.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


So I've started drawing butterflies in the last few days - wild and crazy colorful butterflies. And then I use them in my collages, and on envelopes that I'm mailing to people. What fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ATC Factory

Tonight I decided to make some ATCs. I started by free-motion quilting on a piece of pink batik fabric and a layer of batting underneath.
Then I whacked the quilted piece into 3"x2" pieces, and cut up some of my favorite scrapbook papers (as I do not ACTUALLY scrapbook, they were available for me to use for this other, non-scrapbooky project), and printed up some "good words." I wanted to use happy words, so I typed out the first 12 or so that came to me, printed them, and sliced them into strips, along with my contact info for the backs of the cards. At this point it felt like a little factory:
I stitched the edges of the little quilted pieces down to the paper. The first one came out at an angle, but then I decided I liked it better that way so I did the same thing with the rest. Then I glued on a word:
And glued the labels to the backs:
And I have a series of 12~!
This project was a lot of fun. Now I need to find something to do with them. Anyone wanna trade?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ATCs and a Novel

I recently joined an ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap for 2009. It is international so it will be very cool. I'm really excited to exchange with artists in other countries. Meanwhile, tonight I made my first ATC, and surfed some cool sites with ideas. Here is a great Squidoo site you can check out. I cut out some of my favorite scrapbook cardstock into 2.5"x3.5" pieces, then sewed on fabric/batting, and embellished lightly with square beads, then added my blogsite and a stamp I made to the back. I'll call this one "Number One."
The whole working-on-ATC-bit-while-watching-House-on-Fox probably WAS just a procrastination measure against writing - but I'm at 36,000+ words this month for my NaNoWriMo novel, so it's coming along and I should definitely be able to eek out the 50,000th word by the end of 11/30/2008.
I ordered some mini-cards from Moo and I'm totally excited. I uploaded 50 photos of my art, quilts, and flower pictures I've taken in the last few years, and some trees, bugs, lightning, and some family members. I think my only problem will be actually forcing myself to use them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nine-Patch wall hanging, and, Pumpkin Loaf

Yesterday, a review of the contents of my fridge indicated I had enough eggs to make pumpkin bread; grapes well on their way to bubbly fermentation; a green pear that was looking more like a purple plum; and two lonely, cooked chicken breasts that had been hanging out in the cold darkness together for weeks waiting in vain to be chopped and eaten as part of a sandwich.

There is nothing quite like a cold orange, quartered, and hacked at by the teeth to allow the tingling, acidic juice slide down the back of the throat.

So yesterday, apart from staring into my fridge, I stood at the back door looking through the glass at the weeds where no less than 14 birds were foraging at the base of the weeds. I was wading through my joyful eagerness to decide whether to weed the backyard or drag out the ladder and replace exterior lightbulbs, when suddenly I was seized upon by an imminent necessity to run to my art room and make a wall hanging from scratch, though I had not turned on my sewing machine or cut anything with scissors for the better part of a month.
By the time I finished the wall-hanging (15"x15"), it was dark outside, too dark to weed or change light bulbs.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Izabella's Puzzle

Here are the borders for this quilt. It has been a nightmare - no, that's extreme. Rather, it has been like a bad dream. It was hard to figure out exactly what size to make the pieces, especially since I determined the Fiskars mat I've been using for 15 years is not sized correctly - 20" on the mat is equivalent to 19.75" on the ruler. I told Fiskars about it and they apologized and sent me a new one but the packaging said the mat was hazardous and could cause cancer so I haven't opened it yet. So, anyway, the difference seems miniscule over a 7" stretch, but multiply that by 10 and it creates an issue.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Izabella's Puzzle

I finished piecing Izabella's top. I've got an idea for the border - we'll see how it works out!

I've been reading The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George Johnson. It is very interesting and well-written. He talks about experiments such as Newton's discovery of the properties of light, Harvey's understanding of heart function, and eight others.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More puzzlework

And yet another version (this could take awhile). It really is like a big puzzle. It's like one of those 5x5 flat boards with the plastic chip pieces (5 by 5 minus one) that you move around until it forms the picture, like a 2-D rubix cube.

Izabella's Quilt, puzzlework

I've finished the pieces for the main body of the quilt. Now I'm rearranging them to maximize the pleasing-to-the-eye factor. After I'm done with that, I'll have to figure out what to do with the border. I'm already liking this quilt a lot.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Izabella's Quilt

This weekend I have been working on Izabella's quilt. I'm using the orange/blue triangle/squares I made earlier, and I've added the other colors too. I'm still thinking about what to do with the border so the squares-on-point flow smoothly into the border.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Baby Quilt for Denise

Tonight I finished the baby quilt for Denise. She wanted pink, orange, purple and yellow. My favorite part of this quilt is the quilting detail I did in the little square pieces inside the squares:
I followed the motifs of the fabrics for most of the quilting which helped me practice some new 'moves.' There is one fabric with a lot of swooping 'leaf'-like motifs and another with circles that I played with. I see, as with all things, the more I practice at free-motion the better I am getting, and the easier it is to come up with fun designs on the fly.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Started in 2008, blues and oranges made from half-square triangles, based on a quilt I saw in APQ magazine:
"Charmed" - a bunch (1000's) of 60 degree triangles. In 2006, I cut all the triangles (no three are alike - ie, I cut two triangles from each fabric). I put it all on a design wall, then removed each row and packaged for sewing. This is larger than a king, and it is still sitting in the bag, fermenting for the day it is completed and enjoyed.
From the Indian Orange Peel class I took, I made many of the arcs but was unable to attend the last several sessions of the class, so I remain intimidated to complete the top (especially the border which is a daunting, seemingly impossible task in itself - much like a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, only this quilt's border requires perfect attention to detail). Began in 2006:
I thought of another, 'easier' way to arrange the arcs. Could also be pretty:

Baby Quilts 2007-2008

For Tiffany's baby, 2007:
Adam and Laura's baby, 2007:
Adam and Laura's other baby (twins), 2007:

Dave and Amy's baby, 2008:
Sophia, 2008 (for her 3rd bday), larger than a baby quilt, more like a small twin:
All these quilts were machine-pieced and machine quilted on my Bernina.

Wall Hangings 2006-2007

In September 2006, I attended the Quilter's Unlimited show in Dulles, VA, and saw some really delicate and beautiful flowers cut from fabric adhered to a wall hanging in one of the booths. The vendor told me the quilt was made by McKenna Ryan, and encouraged me to sign up for a class later that day - I did sign up. The project was a really goofy fish, and not the intricate flowers I so wanted to learn how to make. Nevertheless, I learned about fusible web and how to use it, and I started making wall hangings after that. The class opened my eyes to a new technique and I, having always abhored traditional needle-turn hand applique (having attempted to learn it from a woman who taught me Hawaiian applique), now felt free to put imagination to fabric and let loose my design and creativity muses. The wall-hanging above was made for Rachel, who loves sunflowers. It was my first attempt using fusible web. I also used my then-new Bernina to embroider-stitch around the edges of the fused fabric pieces.

This was my second wall-hanging using fusible web. I entered it into an exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum where it hung for a few weeks. How exciting! (2007: The Mentor) This wall-hanging (2007: A Bird's Paradise) used fusible web as well as paper-piecing (the sun, the curving 'birds' and the triangle fish below):I had learned paper-piecing first at a beginners class at the Quilted Apple in Phoenix in 2005, then at the Cotton Patch in Lafayette, CA in 2006, where I took Karen K. Stone's Indian Orange Peel class taught by Vicki Wind; and finally, I took another paper-piecing class, Judy Niemeyer's Raindrops at the Quilt Patch in Fairfax, VA in 2006.
Wall-hanging made in 2007 - The Old Tree and the Wall, Longtime Friends in Granada: