Friday, December 25, 2015

Just another day at the beach

Finished my second beach scene. Each time I see something I soil change if it wasn't fused and sewn down solid and since it is, it's staying put :-)

The sailboats are to dark for my liking. I think I used a purple but should have lighter. The rest I love. Especially the sky. Letting the fabric do the hard work again ;-)


These thin grasses frayed while quilting but I just went over them with a lot of thread. Again I learned that this might be better with a darker thread. Next time doing that. Being to lazy to change my thread for the fence posts, I see I will need to color over it with a dark marker. And that's ok, it will work.



I hope you all are having a Happy Christmas if you celebrate and if you don't - Happy Friday! I hope you have day off and do something special. For those of you that are on Twitter or Instagram some of us who quilt and tweet will be sewing and sharing tomorrow on Boxing Day with #BDSI

Join us - sort of like a virtual quilting bee.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Puffy fabric boxes

I used to make a lot of these about 20 years ago. They take a lot of hand sewing but I like to sit with my feet up on the couch and sew - very relaxing. It's not finished yet but you can get the drift.

They are nice and puffy, being stuffed on all sides and top with fiberfill.

The sides are sewn by machine, turned and then stuffed first inserting cardboard then fiberfill.

After stuffing you sew each edge closed (see the side under the button)

Then you slip stitch each edge closed.

I may try another and figure out a way to make a tab thing for a closure.


I finally finished quilting my beach scene and have started on another. Am making a pattern for it so will do at least 3 with some variations. Wish I was on the dunes right now.

Christmas next week already - have a Happy Christmas!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Fidget quilt

A fidget quilt is a small lap quilt for a person diagnosed with dementia or alzhemers. The idea is to attach things on the quilt that can keep the hands busy doing a simple repetitive thing. It's also a good conversation piece for people to be able to talk and ask questions of the patient as well.

I had made this falling charms quilt and have a co worker whose mother has been diagnosed and she has been going thru putting her in a facility and caring for her which is extremely hard. This is for her to give to her mom.


The quilt itself has an all over meander so after washing it is all nice and crinkly. That alone has a nice texture.


The back is a nice bright cheerful print. There is a metal ring attached to one corner so it could be hung up or something Sarah may want to attach that means something special to her mom. The big zipper opens nothing but is fun to open and close.


A Velcro pocket


Another pocket - with a big button


On the bottom edge and a heart on the front is a soft buttery, velvety feeling suede.


I love how this came out. This year I am not spending a lot of time making gifts for people at work like I usually do. Most of them do not appreciate the time spent on a handmade gift anyway so I am choosing to instead spend the time on one gift that I know will be loved, used and appreciated. And yes it has taken me 20 years to come to this place with no pre Christmas deadlines and stress.

I love it!


Do you get that feeling that you need to make things for everyone around Christmas time?


Friday, December 4, 2015


My internet isn't working again so this will be short since I'm typing on my phone with an app but I wanted to show you a finish 😀
The sky and water is one piece of purchased fabric and really makes this landscape. A case where I let the fabric do all the work.

And a WIP - the weather lately here inthe northeast   has been dark, dank, rainy, yucky. So yesterday I made myself a trip to the beach😎

Here's a close up. I used some yellow and white inktense pencils for the footprints. I like ! Need to quilt and maybe add a shell or two here and there, maybe a stick, maybe a ..........

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


I found these huge acorn caps the other day- mostly the double ones.

 The Squirrels took all the bottoms but I can make those!

 I made these little fabric acorns. How cute are they!
Here is how I did it.
(sorry I didn't take any pics while in the process but you can get the drift.)

I made a circle of fabric about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, did a running stitch by hand, gathered it up and stuffed with fiberfill. then tacked it down closed tight. You could now glue that into the cap now and be done with it but oh no! I had to do more. I wanted to be able to hang it or stick it somewhere.
So to go that route you need to resist the temptation to glue the fabric to the acorn first. I know it's hard, you want to see the fabric acorn cuteness but hold on!

You will need a little magnet. and a thin piece of ribbon or twine.  Make a simple bag to fit the magnet  but first fold the ribbon in half and lay it between the two fabric pieces for the bag- you know how to do the bag - by sewing 3 sides, right sides together. turn inside out and fold the unsewn edge inside.  The ribbon should be laying with the fold just peeking out of the opposite side of the unsewn edge. The tails of the ribbon would hang out thru that edge you will now be sewing. You really need to sew this closed by hand after turning if you don't want to see the stitching. I tried the machine but it didn't look right. 

Now you need to drill 2 small holes in the acorn caps - a dremel tool will do this nicely. If you don't have a dremel tool ....... well why don't you?
Now thread the ribbon ends thru the acorn cap holes using a yarn needle since it has a huge eye and can take the ribbon and tie to secure. If you don't have a yarn needle ........... well, why don't you?

NOW you can glue those fabric balls into the cap, sew a button on the top of the magnet bag and look at all of that acorn cuteness. I like to wrap the ribbon around the button so they don't flap around and will use as a pincushion but need to make sure it is well away from my little dog. that's why the magnet as I can keep it high in a secure location.

So there you have it - 
now you can put a dremel tool and  a yarn needle on your Christmas list

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

140 prompts - spring, lush, daydream

More sketching - I am learning alot and getting better I think and finding this most enjoyable even though it's taking time from my quilting life. But really alot of these can and will be used as art quilt ideas down the road, maybe.

Spring - pencil, pen, hightlighter pens, crayon
(you use what ya got) - 

Lush - I've always wanted to learn to draw leaves that curl and you can see the underside. this one took alot of practice but I love it - I found a guy on you tube that is a really good recource for learning to draw who helped me with this. here it is

If you are interested in learning to draw I suggest his videos - excellent!

and last but not least - what I do when I am sketching


Friday, November 20, 2015

A bunch of WIP

The only thing finished is a sketchbook cover


Nothing fancy but I do love the fabric


Started quilting the brightly colored baby size quilt. I found an electric yellow thread that works perfectly and am just doing a meander all over.


Slowly putting together a disapearing 9 patch in flannel. This will take awhile. I cut it out like two years ago then put it away. I'll work it for awhile then probablly put it away again.


This is going to be a beach scene


This will be a snowman tote bag. It's cut out and am following a craftsy class instruction.


Last but not least, another blackbird but see how the fusible shows thru on the moon?

Don't like it.


So I took out my inktense pencils and aloe gel to cover and blend. This is wet still.

Stay tuned next week to see how it came out :-)

Next week is thanksgiving already! I hope you are spending the day with someone you love.

I heard a story on the npr show on point yesterday about a documentary being shown on November 24th and again on thanksgiving about the real story and history of the pilgrims. We think of pilgrims as being those people in the brown plain clothing all happy eating turkey. In reality it was a horrible time for them and for the poor Indians whose land they stole. I'm looking forward to watching and I hope you can too. I think it's on the show American experience.



Monday, November 16, 2015

140 prompts - fountain, nest, zig zag

I'm still drawing :-}
the words or prompts last week were 
I drew this while on the phone or similiar down time at work and is done with only the office supplies at hand - who needs a whole art supply store (yes, I know we do need it) I used pencil, regular ballpoint pen and a yellow and blue highlighter pen.
last spring I was obsessed with watching a live eagle cam of an eagles nest and the little eaglets as babies.I like how they look kind of fluffly but not happy with the nest itself. I tried out watercolors on this one and had fun playing with them.

 zig zag - Mondrian style
Have you ever heard of Piet Mondrian? He was a dutch painter back in the late 1800's, early 1900's and he evolved a non-representational form of art which he termed neoplasticism. From what I can tell he painted straight black lines on a white background and then colored in some with primary colors.

  this is one of his

very simple but pleasing in an odd sort of way

Friday, November 13, 2015

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night


I do love this quilt probablly because I have always loved the song. The blackbird is drawn with inktense pencils and the rest is fabric. The moss was some ugly green fabric with an identity disorder that I had for years in my stash that works perfectly for moss. Never throw away ugly fabric! Some fabric just takes longer to find it's identity. The words are printed out on batik ironed to freezer paper then cut to printer paper size. Goes right thru the printer fine.

Last week I had three works in progress and the blackbird is the only finish although guys little notebook cover is almost done. Here is a refresher on how to make a journal over.


After you have quilted the size you need, if you want a closing tab sew a piece of Velcro on the tab and on the opposite side as shown. If there were words or anything directional test first. See where the tab will go and which side will be the front. You want the tab sewn on what will be the back side of the journal.

Cut a piece of fabric the same size as the quilted piece. Cut in half, sew hems and lay like this.


Cut another piece that overlaps the hemmed sides and is the same width. Sew all the way around.

Turn inside out . That's as far as I've gotten so far on mine but you would now iron it flat. Then you can slip in the purchased notebook. I always sew a button on the tab front.

I sell a detailed tutorial on this in my craftsy shop here if you want more details. They make great gifts, are a good way to use ip scraps and are pretty quick to do.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

140 prompts -learning to draw

I've been learning to draw for a while now here and there doing sketches but not enough to do it right and actually learn and get better. So when I saw on the Craftsy Blog that they gave a list of 140 prompts (words to give you an idea to draw whatever comes to your mind from that word) well I thought this might be the jump start I need. I know that an online art quilter and artist, LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color has recently been doing alot of drawing so I asked if she would want to do the prompts too and share our drawings. Doing something like this with another like minded person keeps you on track and I've found it to be just the thing I needed. LeeAnna teaches and she asks me what I liked about the drawing and what I would do differently which is a great way to look at a sketch.
So here is what I've done so far

This is Grow - I've always wanted to do a quilt like this, which is why I wanted to try the rings as spirals (easier to do in thread) and I think it's ok ..... but not to thrilled. I like how the outside bark came out but am thinking the circles would be better than the spiral and the colors should be more varied. 
 this is bloom - I drew this from a photo I cropped and I like the middle fuzzy part but the triangle middle doesn't look right somehow. The shading is good but the color to faded looking. I would use paint instead of pencils next time.
 This is flutter - I thought of a flag but had no clue on how to draw one so found this you tube video and it gave me an Ah! Ha! moment. It shows how you draw first a curvy wave like line (the bottom) and draw lines straight up and go from there. easy peasy!

 I didn't do the stars because I was originally going to paint it and it would have been to hard to get all those little stars in there so left it. Spent the time drawing the eagle. He is kind of squat and not very regal eagle looking but for my first hand drawn eagle - not to bad. I watched another you tube video to learn how to draw him.
Since I was so jazzed about learning that curved flying in the breeze thing I thought I should try a curtain fluttering in the breeze. So here is that. I like how the curain can out. It took me a few tries to get the curves going in the right direction. The open window didn't come out very good though. I tried to follow the perspective horizon line and all that but it looks off somehow.

I will be posting my drawing progress hopefully once a week and will still do my quilting projects on friday. If you want to practice your sketching / drawing skills join us!
the craftsy blog post is here with the prompts in case you are interested

Friday, November 6, 2015


Works in progress this week


Quilting a red winged blackbird in front of a moon. Blackbird is inktense pencils. There is more to this quilt that will be revealed upon finishing but I wanted to show you the quilting of the moon. McTavishing works really well on moons ;-)


Finished piecing the tumbling charms. That flowered fabric on the right will be the backing. Quilting may take me awhile even though I'm sure I will do something easy and basic but that means boring and I tend to put those projects on the backburner but we shall see. I am listening to a good audiobook right now called the Kraken Project so it just may get done. How should I quilt this though - I'm thinking just meander in the white but the colored squares? What color thread would you use?

And a small, really small notebook cover. This will be folded in half so the notes will be on the front and the pencil on the back.


We are enjoying a streak of warm weather for November and sun which is unheard of for us in Dreadvember. Usually dark and dreadful - this year so far it's been divine! I wish that was me in the kayak but I was gazing at the glorious ness of the lake and sunset the other evening (or late afternoon, really since sun sets around 4:45pm) and just wanted to share