Friday, May 27, 2016

Inspiration photos


It's been a busy week so not much to show quilt wise. So will share a couple of photos that I took recently.

I had to say goodbye to my Collie dog Abby this past week hwho was to the point that she couldn't walk and was in pain so I hope she is now running with glee through a field of grass and dandelions. She was a sweet girl.


The good news is that a relationship I have been in for way to many years has finally ended and he has moved out! Yippee! I can now unfurl my wings and enjoy my house and do what I want. It feels great!


I am now the lawn mower and weed wacker and have learned that dandelions grow faster than the speed of light - pretty things that they are.

I hope you enjoy the holiday week end - here it's supposed to be very hot and humid which I hate but I will leave you with this "cooling" photo of a glacier someone posted on Twitter that Really caught my eye.


Friday, May 20, 2016

The agony of defeat

You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

Kenny Rodgers



I blanked out the words I expressed after sewing this project together

after weeks of working on this ********* thing. I obviously didn't add enough for a seam allowance on the trees. This is for a challenge I was going to participate in that requires making a row quilt that is 40" X 12" and pattern of the project to give away of the area where I live.

My thought was to do this landscape and make 4 of them, each in the different seasons of Vermont colors.

Sewn together in theory they would make the 40 inches.

Includes a barn and a little house. Separately they aren't bad but trying to get the pattern to come out measuring 40" after sewing together is not working. I suppose I could add a half inch or so to the trees but then I have to go thru changing the pattern which is a process since I don't do these in a computer program plus, I've been working on this way to long and am beginning to hate it so it's going to be banished to the shelf. Time to walk away and move on.


I think a lot of people participating in the row challenge have EQ, the quilt computer designing program. EQ wouldn't be worth it for me because I do mostly applique although I think they do have an applique feature.

Do you have EQ? How do you like it? How is the applique feature? Do you draw your own designs with it?


Friday, May 13, 2016

Late Afternoon Sun Lake Champlain

There is a blog hop this week at tweety loves quilting called Art with Fabric and since that is what I do, of course I wanted in. She asks we pick a favorite "traditional artist" 
(by "traditional" I mean anything that a non-quilter will label as art, like paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture from all countries and all time periods) and make an art quilt inspired by that artist.

My all time favorite landscape artist is Lawren Harris of the Canadian group of Seven - his use of light and shadow is a beautiful thing to behold. He also does landscapes of woods and lakes which are both near and dear to my heart. 

This is the inspiration photo called Afternoon Sun, North Shore Lake Superior.
It was pained in 1924.

And this is mine called Late Afternoon Sun, Lake Champlain South End.
In the master's piece I am drawn to the way he has the light coming in from left and illuminating
the rocks and other elements.
 I had a hell of a time trying to get the light right. I used fabric paint and you can see above, first it was to light, then I added more, then more, then some purple, then more white. With paint I like to go gradual because you really can't erase it.

My first instinct was to have the light continue over the mountains on the left side like a wash but luckily didn't get to far before I realized it didn't look right. Then looking at Lawren's (yes, we are on a first name basis now) painting, his light on the islands and land masses is on the right. Sort of a reflection of sorts. I used to much paint and inktense pencil's on the land masses on the right because it started to get all bubbly but I was able to iron it out. Thread painting trees on them also helped.

I do love how these dead trees came out. What a difference just a little bit of shading with my beloved Inktense pencils makes!

check out the other art quilters today that are participating in the blog hop
Friday, May 13th, 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

Refillable starch brush for applique'

If you do appliqué with freezer paper you probablly use starch to get a nice crisp turn that stays. This can be done either by spraying on from the can which is the lazy easy way that I have always done. This method results in getting way more starch on than you need, gets both the paper and the fabric way to wet causing the paper to bend and get wonky. Now, I know a lot of people with more patience than I , spray the starch into a bowl and paint it on the edges with with a paintbrush. This is really what you should do.


The other day I came across this watercolor paint brush that I bought when I had a short interest in watercolor. You put water in the pen, then just dip in the watercolor paint. What if I put starch in it?


The top comes off like this and you fill the blue part.

The problem is, I only had spray starch in a can and while it did spray in the hole really well, it comes out all foam. Pretty messy.


Eventually I got enough in there that wasn't foam to work.

And work it does! Squeeze the blue part and it comes out like you are using a marker or pen.

I've used it for 3 days and it hasn't clogged but I don't know if it will after awhile but I think I like this and it is easy and quick. Also if I used spray starch in a jug it probably would be so much easier to fill as that seems to be the only drawback so far.


So Here is what to look for in the store

I think I bought mine in Micheals for about 8 bucks.


Next week on Friday I will be posting about my "late afternoon sun on the lake" art quilt for a blog hop called

Art with fabric. Check it out here, there are art quilters each doing a quilt inspired by a traditional artist of their choice all week starting on Monday. I am doing Lawren Harris of th Canadian group of seven.

You may remember the beginnings of it.



Stay tuned next week for the finish!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fabric basket tutorial

Who doesn't love baskets? Use that novelty fabric that has been sitting in your stash to make a unique gift for a friend or for yourself. Make them big, make them small, make them for absolutely no reason at all!

Warning - making these baskets can become addicting :-)

This tutorial is mostly pictures as they are worth 1,000 words and I know you don't want to read 1,000 words.

First cut two squares - one for outside and one for inside. Any size as long as it is at least 10".

I like the 12" to 14" size but also make whatever size my scrap is as long as it's over 10"

Cut two layers of batting the same size as your squares. Here in the photo I used red felt instead of one of the batting layers just because I have a lot of red felt to get rid of. The felt is alittle hard to sew thru so do as I say and not as I do and use two layers of batting.

Lay the two squares on top of the batting and sew all the way around leaving one side with an opening.

Trim and clip corners.

Turn inside out, use a blunt instrument of non destruction to poke out the corners.

Turn under where the opening is and sew closed by hand.

Quilt - great place to practice your free motion quilting.

Fold in half with the inside of the basket facing out.

On the folded side, mark with pencil 2" up from the folded edge and the same along the folded edge.

Sew from mark to mark. Do the same on the other edge of the fold.

So you have two corners sewn, now open it up and fold in half the other way. Mark and sew those two corners the same way.

It should look like this.

Now turn inside out and poke out the corners

Fold down the flaps and sew down with buttons.

The inside of the basket will have these little flaps which you can sew down flat by hand or just leave them.

Voila! You have a basket!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fabric baskets

I've been really enjoying making these fabric baskets that I saw Alex Anderson make on one of the quilt shows (the week end it was free). They are quick, you get to play with fabric and practice free motion quilting plus there is couch time hand sewing on the buttons.

What's not to love?


You use two colors that play well together.



Make them big


Make them small


You can even make one to hang on the wall!

Think I like this one the best of them all!

The next one I make I will take some photos and show you how to make them.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Words to live by

This little art quilt is only 8"X11" so the words are written in with a marker but I would like to try a bigger one and try to FMQ in the words. That would be cool.


Even with the marker I made a mistake by first putting a line at the top of the T , then putting a line in the middle also. Since the writing was the last thing I do, I either have to live with it or chuck the whole thing. I decided to first out white paint and then shade that as much as I could with Inktense pencil.

I still see it and now so do you since I pointed it out but it's ok. I wouldn't sell this because of it but will look fine in my office at work.