Friday, May 26, 2017

Camels hump fabric landscape

There is an iconic mountain in our area that looks like a camels hump.

And here is the fabric version

Love those batiks!

I'm making a pattern to sell of this so will be making a few more to get the kinks out.

What I would do differently on this one is about color choices.

This my original layout before sewing.

I thought the camels hump blended to much in the background although a couple people on Instagram commented that they liked it better that way - more realistic, giving you a surprise looking closer so something to think about for future landscapes.


Sorry for the sideways photo but you can see where I stuck a moon color behind the mountain to get an idea of the look and I liked it so went with it.


The other thing and I didn't realize until it was sewn so I left it but there should be more contrast between the road and the hills next to it. The bottom one is fine and even the faraway brownish one but that dark green in the middle road should be lighter. Not the end of the world but I'll take note for next time and put a note in my pattern. That's why I like to make a few of these before publishing any pattern. I think this would be a good basic beginner pattern to learn the technique and people can alter it for any mountain in their area. So stay tuned for more camels hump landscapes. This allows me to play with my beautiful batiks.

My favorite part is going thru my stash auditioning each color and petting my fabric.

How big is your stash? In my opinion one can never have to much but variety instead of quanity is the key.





Thursday, May 18, 2017

laurel burch

I am participating in the art with fabric blog hop. (click on the button on your right for details)
The challenge is to make an art quilt inspired by another artist be it painter, sculptor, writer - anyone in the arts and must be related to women. I choose Laurel Burch who's designs ended up being licensed to big manufacturers and are on a lot of commercialized items. Some say that's selling out and I don't really care. I just like her designs :-) They are cheerful and upbeat.
I'm sure you have purchased something with Laurel Burch's designs on it.
I think I made a vest out of this fabric  back in the day.
and the dogs! how did I miss this?

In her early 20's Laurel was a single mom with two children to care for. She supported herself by claiming welfare payments and making jewelry and occasional help from her loving mother Ann.
Her mom was a sewist and taught Laurel to make outstanding dolls and sewn art.

  Her mother was seamstress and designer for the singer Peggy Lee . Laurel's mom Ann described a strange moment where she had spent weeks shopping for shoes, ribbons, hat, fabrics to make an Easter outfit for Peggy's daughter. She sewed all night before Easter morning and drove the beautiful outfit to Peggy's home in Beverly Hills dragging Laurel and Suzi out of bed before daybreak. As she returned to the car seeing her girls knowing they had no Easter outfits waiting for them, their hair all messy with sleep Ann felt heatbroken and vowed to encourage her daughters to have a better more successful life.

Well it must have worked because Laurel went on to launch her own business, now called Laurel Burch Artworks, in February 24, 1960. She began making paintings and was commissioned by restaurants, businesses and private collectors. "I found metal in a junkyard and hammered it out on the back of an old frying pan", she stated during an interview with the Marin Independent Journal in 2005.

She began making jewelry and selling it on the streets of San Francisco from tackle boxes. Some local stores began stocking her creations, and a businessman, Shashi Singapuri, took samples of her work to China. She went to China in 1971 and discovered cloisonné, a kind of enamel work, with which she designed paintings and had the designs made into earrings.

With Mr. Singapuri's financial backing manufacturing began. Burch went on to work on cast metals and wood, and to include spinoff products on paper, porcelain and fabric. In 1979 she split with Singapuri, and started Laurel Burch Inc. She was president and chief designer. In the 1990s she licensed her designs to a dozen or so companies that now make and distribute her creations worldwide.

Laurel Burch passed away in 2007 at the age of 61 from a painful bone disease but left us with her beautiful and vibrant art work to enjoy for years to come.

 Now on to my creation
this is the inspiration made by Laurel Burch

and mine made of fabric
 the quote is from another strong woman whom I greatly admire.

I started out by out by making a drawing of the face and doing my usual fusible / freezer paper applique. The tricky part was getting the words printed out on the right part of the paper to land next to the face. Lots of experimentation later I had it right so ironed fabric onto the back of a piece of freezer paper and trimmed it to 8.5 x 11 inches, then ran it thru the printer. This works pretty good although the type does come out a little faded. If anyone has any ideas on how to do your own printing on fabric I would love to hear. I'm using a laser printer at my work so maybe that has something to do with it.

To the right are more photos that I took along the way as she progressed. My version is pretty heavy handed on the under eye liner - makes her look like she has a mask on or something. But let's just go with the fact that she is going out on the town in New Orleans and it's Mardi Gras. Yes, I like that.

I shall call her Eleanor and since it is one of my favorite quotes I think she shall reside in my home so I can be reminded every day not to give my consent to ANYONE to allow myself to feel inferior.

what is your favorite quote?

check out the other bloggers on this week long hop by clicking on the button at the top right . the others on today's roster are

- Kat:
- Jennifer:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Grow tall

Grow one step at a time and you will end up being the tallest tree in the forest.
I don't know where I heard this but it stuck with me and is one of my favorite quotes.
I thought I would try something different for shading the wood. I brushed on some old cake powder makeup. I thought why not? It's color, right?


The color worked ok but when I wet it to try to blend it in like I do watercolor pencils or paint, it bled into the background. Luckily I did have it fused but not sewn and only the dark ring of bark had the fusible so was easily taken off. To prevent further bleeding I painted a fabric paint medium ove it to sort of seal it on. That did the job without making the fabric feel stiff.


Quilting the words was scary because one slip up and I would have had to chuck the whole thing. Ripping out the black thread was not an option. It would ruin the whole thing.

So I put on my big girl panties, took a deep breath, put the speed on my sweet sixteen down to slow and went for it. It does help to have a copy of the words written out in front of you for constant reference. I've found that even the simplest of words can be misspelled easily when your writing with thread.

But I did it! Yay!

After that I highlighted the rings and went around the bark with dark brown thread.

You could probablly do the writing with a marker but I like it so much better in thread.

I will bring this to the gift shop at the Vermont Bird museum to sell. I think people like me that like the woods will really go for it. I have one hanging in my office and like to read the quote during my day.

Speaking of work, While I was writing this just I heard LL cool J on tv and he said a quote I want to remember so am writing it down here.

Teamwork makes the Dreamwork





Friday, May 5, 2017


I am stick obsessed.

I walk in the woods a lot and see so many beautiful sticks and I just have to take them home.

I have them in baskets.

I have them on the fireplace mantel.


I have them on the floor.


I have them on the ceiling.


I hang bird fabric art on them.


Just look at that lovely lichen on this one.

What do you like to collect and what do you do with them?

Friday, April 28, 2017

For the love of birds


A small local museum about birds turns 30 this summer and is having an art show with numbers as the theme. This is my art quilt for the show. The tree's branches are in a heart shape and there are 30 birds, one for each year of " bird love" that has gone into this gem of a place for bird lovers. It is situated on a dirt road near camels hump in Huntington vermont with loads of trails to go bird watching, a viewing window where you can see birds and frogs and a large collection of handmade carved birds with lots of educational material to learn about the different birds.


Anyway this is how I went about making " for the love of birds"

I had no idea what I was doing so am pleased that it came out so well

Started with this really cool suede like mottled fabric that had that eerie glow in it already. But I wanted the glow concentrated in the middle of the tree so needed to add white paint.

The only white paint I had on hand was regular house paint but figured what the heck, let's try it!


I took an old kitchen brush and stabbed and swirled.


Nice texture but I'm going for eerie.


Time for the big guns. Found this old huge paintbrush in the basement.

I wet down my fabric with a spray bottle of water first.





I pounced and swirled that old paintbrush and ended up with this. Love it!

Unfortunately it did dry a lot lighter but still kept enough of the effect to work.


The tree and the birds were added using fusible web, then appliquéd by machine with monofilament thread.

The quilting is sort of a McTavishing style (McDowelling)

I was surprised that I had no trouble whatsoever with the quilting using the house paint. I'm sure if I had laid it on thick there would have been issues but just changing the color to be lighter it was fine.

Have you ever tried house paint on fabric?



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hermit thrush

Spring is here! Birds are singing


And the wild crocuses are croaking!


Hermit thrush before quilting


And after.

Shows you how much free motion quilting adds to a piece.

Enjoy the spring!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Painting with a toilet paper tube

I saw a you tube video here where a woman showed how to make a fuzzy dandelion with paint on paper using a toilet paper tube so thought I would try it. Mine didn't come out as good as hers but I sure had fun.


First I had to mangel a roll of toilet paper to get the cardboard out since I didn't have any on hand. Then cut all around the bottom about 2" up to make it like a brush. Next I laid a piece of black fabric on some flat styrofoam , pinned in place and lightly sprayed with water.


After dipping my " brush" into some acrylic paint the dabbing and pouncing begins. First using a darker color and then going lighter. In the end I also added some purple - just because ;-)


The first attempt ( see top pic) didn't look very dandelion - y so I made another smaller " brush" out of a small piece of just mail taped into a tube. One mangled toilet paper roll is quite enough, thank you.

This round came out looking more like a dandelion in the fuzz stage.


The one on the top ended up getting mushed.

Someone on Instagram said it looks like a dr. Seuss truffula tree.

It was a mistake

Yes! That was what I was trying to do all along.