Friday, June 23, 2017

Wonder while you wander

I've had this on my design wall minus the hiking shoes, dog and sailboats for months just waiting for the right idea to come along to take it from an ok landscape to "oh! Cool!" Someone on Instagram posted a photo of their feet and a mountain vista and that got me going.


I traced the feet onto white fabric with a pencil, then layer it over black felt. First I tried with just the fabric and my machine would not accept that. She likes stability before she will free motion correctly so I obey. So then quilted over the pencil lines in black thread. Using my Inktense pencils I first painted clear hair gel all over it and then colored in. As you can see my first try was way to orange.


But once it dried the legs were actually perfect so I just browned up the shoes a bit. I think they came out great! The only thing I would do differently next time is use a different white base fabric. It frayed a lot when I sewed it onto the quilt. I need to use something with a tighter weave so it doesn't fray.

Since I'm doing a series of "wander quilts" I call this Wonder while you Wander which is another Instagram inspiration. Someone commented on a water quilt I posted that she orders while she wonders and I loved that - so thank you to both of the Instagram people who helped my get this boring landscape off my wall!

Go forth and wander!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The bear essentials

What do you do when you have the day off and it's windy, rainy and downright nasty outside?

Sew in your PJ's day!

I just got this beautiful batik on sale from Hancocks of Paducah - love that place.

So decided to play with that today so cut a square and sewed strips around it.


Then fussy cut triangles to go around that so the Bears wouldn't be upside down or sideways.

No undignified bear positions in my quilt.


Course that leaves holes all over my fabric but, oh well.


The sides will go like this.
Now what?

Let's make some birch, or actually bears like beech nuts so let's call them beech trees.


This is where I'm at right now. I have no idea where I'm going with this.

Just one of those figure it out as you go projects.

Hopefully I will have the finish for you next week so stay tuned ;-)


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trump Lunch bag

Jason,is a friend at work and we joke around a lot about the joke that is the current president of the United States. It was Jason's birthday so I made him a lunch bag with his president's face on it.


Jason, I hope you don't lose your lunch after looking at this face.

I didn't take a photo of the completed lunch bag but here is me almost done with the quilting. I took a strange perverse pleasure in watching the needle go up and down in his hair.


It looks pretty complex but not really. Found a photo on the Internet.

I could not find one of him smiling so apparently the man never has.


Then just traced the outlines with a pencil. After that it was just follow the lines doing free motion.

(The hair horns were a last minute decision)

He usually keeps them hidden



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