Friday, December 29, 2017

Leaves sketchbook cover

First my whine it is friggin cold here! Third day of temps that don’t go over zero even during the day. Oh, pardon me, yesterday it hit 2 degrees for an hour. I can deal except I can’t take the dogs out for our daily walk. My little dog can’t take the cold. 

Looks like I need a new kitchen window. That ice is on the inside😩
Ok, enough whining- on to the quilting

 Made another sketchbook cover. I’m selling these on Etsy which is why I’m making a few. Have only sold one but I’m making them cause they are fun and don’t take that long. This one is machine appliquéd leaves. These sketchbook covers are like making a new quilt that I can actually finish in a few days. 
 Here’s the back

Still on the leaf theme, this will be a wall hanging. Should come to life when I quilt in the veins.

 Then there is this. Scary, huh. This might take awhile . I guess I shouldn’t bitch about the cold since it’s making me stay inside. More time to quilt! 😉

Have a happy new year! Do you have a New Years goal? 
Past years I have picked a word “to live by” but then I forget about it after a month or so. It is kinda fun to think of a goal though. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

quilted cookbook

I’m really getting into making these journal/book covers.  

It’s like making a mini quilt with a purpose. 
This is a cookbook cover I made for a present to a co worker. Here it is laying flat before making it into the cover - mini quilt!

Front - her name is Ann Marie (look at the hat) and she has a black cat

Her husband on the back. This just goes to show how important a good sized fabric stash is. I had the perfect fabric already for her.

Inside - a slow cooker book. 
We eat lunch together at work and I bring a lot of slow cooker leftovers. She needs help in the cooking department so she will love it.

Happy holidays to all! 
Relax and enjoy, don’t stress. Christmas should be fun, not perfect 😉

Friday, December 15, 2017

Fabric snack bags tutorial

Have you ever made your own snack bags? I know, I know you use a baggie but how cool would will you look when you whip out this fabric bag holding your snacks? In my case it’s going to be dog treats. They also are good to organize all the junk in your purse or in my case a big ol’ honkin’ tote bag filled with many of these little organizer pouches. Of course I forget what I put in them, but I digress.

Here’s how you make them.

First find a lining fabric. Remember if you use this for your snacks you will be putting food on it. A vinyl or that type of thing is best. Something less porous with a very tight weave. You want something washable because you will throw these right in the laundry to clean. For the outside use some of that stash of quilting fabric that I know you have.

All you need for this project is the lining fabric, an outside fabric and a package of the sew on hook and loop tape (Velcro) that is as close as possible to your lining. Use thread that matches your lining fabric as well.

Cut 2 each of the lining and the outside fabrics. You can do rectangle or square any size you want. In this case they are 8”x7”.

Sew the Velcro 3/4” from the top of the 2 lining pieces. 

With right sides together matching a lining with an outside fabric, sew a 3/4” seam along the top. (The Velcro side of lining)

Open and finger press the seam open.


With right sides together sew all the way around leaving a 2” opening at the bottom of the lining edge.

See the opening at the bottom? Turn inside out thru this opening. Push out the corners.

After turning, sew the opening shut. You could slip stitch this part by hand but nobody will notice inside the bottom of the bag if it’s not perfect.

How did I get all those scratches on my sewing machine? I don’t even notice them but in this photo - wow! 👀

Push the lining inside and make it nice and neat. You might need to iron it some but be very careful if you are using vinyl or anything that will melt.

One final note. If you make a bunch of these at the same time don’t do like I did and sew the loop side of the Velcro to both sides of the lining one one bag.

Did I rip this all out? Hell no! I cut it down smaller and just made a smaller bag 🤗

I hope I was clear on these directions but please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Sketchbook for quilter #2

Another free motion quilting sketchbook cover - same style as last week but all different designs.

Enjoying the practice and the whole “zen” of doing it. With this one I tried using a ruler to make the straight lines for the grid for the first time. I’ve had one for a long time but thought it was a hard thing to do. Doing this small quilt, it was easy! I first put some little sandpaper dots on each corner so it wouldn’t slip and I think that might have helped. 

Where to find all these designs? I use two sources mainly. First Leah days free gallery of 365 designs here and Pinterest. Search for not only free motion quilting on Pinterest but also zentangles will give you a lot of ideas as well. But. BEWARE Pinterest is a time suck -it’s easy to spend way to much time there but you can get a lot of inspiration and it gives you a place to keep all the internet found ideas in one place.

You still need a sketchbook though for practice. Never try to quilt any design without drawing on paper first. Ask me how I know 😇

And this one is for sale on Etsy here in case you need a good Christmas present for yourself 🤗

Friday, December 1, 2017

Sketchbook for quilter

I made another sketchbook cover. These are so fun to make, it’s hard to do just one. This leaf came out really nice.

Since I have a few of these now I put some up on Etsy to sell. 
Go here to check it out.

Next a sampler of free motion quilting made into a sketchbook cover. This will be for keeping all those free motion doodles and ideas in one place.

This is on Etsy also and if it sells I will make another for myself because I would totally use this.
(Post note - someone bought this a half hour after I posted it)  yay! 

If you want to make a sketchbook cover for yourself there is a free tutorial right here on my blog. Check out the pages for it. It’s a fairly quick project that you can do just about anything your imagination brings for any size book, journal or sketchbook.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Heat set and WIP

Nothing finished this week except a set of curtains for my bedroom that I won’t bore you with. 

I’m working on a goat. It’s almost done but I will keep you in suspense until next week 😆

Started another landscape, same pattern as the last couple. This time in November like colors. I always pick the sky and water first cause skies are the impact. I love this fabric combo.

And I tested acrylic paint mixed with textile medium to see if it really does set it enough to wash. The left is washed and it seems to actually work! It was put in with a regular load of clothes on a normal cycle. Air dried. I don’t have an agitator as I imagine that might rub it to much but this worked great! 

 Next week is thanksgiving already! Have a happy and healthy thanksgiving everyone - we are blessed to be where we are what ever circumstances that may be.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Leaf printing

I’ve been playing with ferns, leaves and paint. See the video from the slightly mad quilt lady on last weeks post to see how. Don’t forget to use the paper over the painted leaf like I did in the lower pics. Paint went where it shouldn’t have, thus the futile attempts to wipe it off (lower right)
They got better as I went along learning not to put to much paint on so it doesn’t glob, adding some aloe gel to my paint mix to soften the look a bit and using a sponge craft brush instead of the roller. 

Now Glen, of quilts and dogs fame has been doing the printing too and she not only did some beautiful prints, she whipped up a journal cover using the prints in no time flat. I don’t know how she gets so much done. She has been on fire lately, finishing quilt after quilt. My hero! 

So not to be outdone, I quilted this one up with white thread in the leaf veins and a basic meander on the background.

And made a sketchbook cover. The two I tried were to small but this one I quilted first, measured later and it fits perfectly!

Here’s the back                                                                            And the inside.

I love how it came out. ❤️❤️❤️  

Friday, November 3, 2017

Pastel landscape

Finished today. 19”x16”
I’m making a pattern to sell for this one so plan on seeing a few more with variations. I want to see what size different enlargements of the basic fit on a regular 8.5x11 pattern will get you. This one was enlarged 175%

Oh! I do want to share a you tube video by Charlotte from New Zealand on how to print leaves on fabric with paint. I want to try this for sure although most of our leaves here in Vermont are gone. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sketchbook covers or storage bags?

My intention was to make a sketchbook cover out of this wonderful fern fabric that I scored recently. 

And yes, it did come out really good

The problem is I misjudged the size and cant fit the sketchbook inside. It’s to small.

So I made another and did the same damn thing! To small!

So what do I do with two book covers that don’t fit a book? 

Storage bags of course. One can never have to many, especially ones with fern fabric on them.

The moral of the story here is always make bigger, you can always cut it down but you can’t make it bigger after quilting. Dense quilting  makes the piece shrink a bit as does piecing which these have a lot of. Next time I’m giving myself two inches all around, then will measure the book after quilting and see how that goes. 

Live and learn

Friday, October 20, 2017


This week I have another landscape to show. I just love making these. They are relatively easy and I get to okay with my “good” batiks. I tend to collect sky and water fabrics and this yellow is lovely. Remember when doing a landscape the sky and water should be similar. When you look at a lake from far away it generally reflects the sky whatever that might be. At least in my world it does. 

I’m off to enjoy the last of our beautiful fall days here in Vermont. The weather this year has been just perfect. We are truly blessed. The color isn’t as good as some years but sunny and in the high 60’s very day? What’s not to love.

Does anyone use blogo for posting on blogspot? I had been using it and loving it bu for the last two weeks it crashes when I add a photo. Has anyone else had this problem? I am using another app but it’s not very good. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mother Earth is in our hands

I am participating in the art to fabric blog hop where for a week lots of quilt artists are making an art quilt having to do with mother earth and it also being inspired by another artist. That artist can be one that creates art in any form.

My mother earth was inspired by this photo taken by the Deep space climate satellite in 2015 using a special camera NASA uses combining a camera and a telescope. So the artist here would be NASA and the scientists.
You can read about it here.
and if you ever want some inspirationor just enjoy looking at cool photos, go to the NASA images site here.

To make the earth, I took a couple different shades of blue acrylic paint and poured it over a scrap of fabric, then rolled it around so it mixed but not to much. Then white paint was poured from a small cup over it, then swirled and rolled until I like the effect.

It was then set out in the sun to dry. Being so thick it took a long time to dry - like days, but eventually it did.

The painted earth was appliquéd to a background fabric and the hands were cut from a suede like fabric and attached using a fusible. After layering with a cotton batting, the whole thing was then quilted with an airy wind like design. I’m very happy with the quilting.

After binding the edges, the back was cut behind Mother Earth and stuffed with fiber fill to make it puff out. All in all it came out pretty although getting the paint to look like earth had more to do with luck rather than skill. I doubt I could make another.

But thats ok, we only need one mother earth - let's keep it around for awhile

Here are the other quilt artists posting new today so go check them out. The hop started monday so click on the art to fabric button on the right to get a list of all the participants. Definately worth a look. I love seeing how everbody chooses different art and ways to convey “mother earth love” all creative and unique. Thank you Aida for getting this all together.