Just Doodling

I felt like drawing today.  This started as just a black on white doodle.  I discovered how to add some color in PicMonkey.  It’s needs to be cleaner, but it’s a start.  One of my goals is to do more art on the computer.

Enjoy Today by Pam Schoessow

Enjoy Today by Pam Schoessow

Making Progress

Just wanted to let you all know that I have made some progress on at least one UFO this week.  You might remember this Halloween quilt top from my last post.  Well, with the addition of some wide borders, it is now a little lap quilt! Now it’s ready to pull out for the Fall.IMG_0568With addition of the orange and green borders, it measures about 58″ square–a nice lap size.

IMG_0560At first I didn’t think that the darker green border was a good choice.  But my main goal in finishing this projects it to use fabric that I already have!  I probably would have gone for a lime green or purple, but this fabric is growing on me.  Who says everything has to match perfectly?  Hope it makes it more interesting.  I picked up quite a lot of this fabric at a guild sale years ago.  I loved the little ravens (or are they crows?).  It’s an unusual print and I finally found a place to use it.  I made the binding out of another Halloween print that I had around.IMG_0561Also right out of my fabric stash I found this orange diamond fabric that looks great on the back.  I added some extra blocks (and more of the green) to make the backing wide enough.  Pieced backs are always more interesting just using one fabric.  I quilted it with an all-over spiral pattern as you can see.  Nothing fancy.  Got to get these projects done!IMG_0564I find I do have  quite a few Autumn fabrics and colors in my fabric stash.  It’s obvious it’s my favorite season and now I have another Fall quilt project to add to my collection!

 

 

Judy’s Quilt

I finished quilting this beautiful quilt recently.  It was pieced by Judy, who did a fabulous job.  It’s always a pleasure to quilt a well pieced top.  I believe this is the Hunters Star block.IMG_0488

I used some circle templates to get the nice curves.IMG_0491IMG_0493The feathers and pebbles are all done free-hand.  That’s the part I like best.IMG_0495I put feathers in the borders also.IMG_0492This quilt actually took quite a while to finish, but I am happy with the results.IMG_0496Purple lovers enjoy!

 

 

American Flower Pot

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend here.  Warm weather has finally arrived!  The trees  just about have all of their leaves and the world is glorious.  Our little town of Antioch, IL (pop. 8500 or so) has put up American flags on all the light posts downtown.  It’s a little slice of midwest Americana.  That’s probably what inspired this  piece.  Flowers and flags put a smile on my face!

ImageThis is just one of several paintings I have added new to my Etsy shop today.

 

Block of the Month Beauties

Recently I quilted 3 quilts made from the same pattern. They were sent to me by friends Randi, Maritza and Pam.  The pattern was offered as a Block of the Month last year on the internet show “The Quilt Show” with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.  The quilt features some New York Beauty Blocks and some gorgeous applique.   All three of my quilt top makers did a fabulous job.  With varying fabric choices, and with some variation in the applique, each looks totally different.  My challenge was to do vary the quilting as well.

This first one was pieced and appliqued by Randi.  Her colors are bright and cheerful.

ImageImageImageImageImage

Maritza’s quilt (except for the borders) has much lower contrast giving it a softer look.  I quilted a lot of pebbles in this one.  ImageImageImageImageImage

The fabric choices in Pam’s quilt achieved high contrast.  I would have never thought to use these colors, but is works!

Very striking.

ImageImageImageImage

It was a fun challenge doing these three quilts.  But I am also glad they are finished and out the door!

Lil” Fox

I have several drawings that have been languishing in my sketch book for a few weeks.   I have just been too busy to get out the paints!  I’m going to try to do more art this week.  Here is the first.  This little fox is enjoying time outside with his ladybug friend.  Today is another glorious day here–sunny and in the 60’s! (though I hear is is supposed to rain/snow tomorrow).  Oh well, I will enjoy it while I can.  Had a wonderful walk and now it is time to do some quilting.

Image

 

You can find this little guy in my Etsy shop.

Fabulous Quilt in Blue and Purple

I recently quilted this wonderful quilt for Abby.  It’s a pattern by Judy Niemeyer and was mostly paper pieced (how else would you get those marvelous points!)  Abby did a fantastic job piecing this beauty.

Image

I did some  free motion “wavy” quilting on the background  and stitched around the pointy border to give it more definition.Image

The center circles seemed to speak “bubbles” to me, so that is what went into the turquoise “water”.  Don’t you just love those circular flying geese?!

Image

 

Again, one of the best things about being a Long Arm quilter is that I get to put my creative quilting juices to work without having to do the intricate piecing.  I love this quilt!  It truly IS fabulous!Image                                         It’s fun to look at the back too!

Image

 

Keep those quilts coming.  I’m having fun!

 

 

Speckles

I’ve been having fun with my watercolors today.  Lately it’s experimenting with spots and speckles.  I see others creating fabulous backgrounds with oils, so I tried to create something interesting with watercolor.  I first tried the technique with the background only, but then it spilled over into the bird and flower.  I’m not sure about the final verdict, but I think I will keep experimenting.  Any thoughts?

Image

More Quilter Eye Candy

I recently finished quilting a couple more quilts for Georgia.  She makes the most fabulous quilt tops, and these two are no exception.  I love the colors and oh the fabrics!  Each circle is made up of 40 different prints!  So fun to look at.

Image

I quilted each circle like a sunflower with “seeds”in the center with “petals”

Image                             Sometimes it’s easier to see the quilting from the back.  Image

What a gorgeous, FUN quilt!

Image  I especially love the arcs appliqued on the border.  I used several free motion quilting designs to give it even more pizazz!   Each quilt just seems to speak to me and tells me what it needs.Image

Another one just finished is a “cat” quilt.  It’s a smaller wall hanging size.  Isn’t it wonderful?!Image

The wonderful fabrics are really busy, so it’s difficult to see the quilting.  I wish you could see it in person.  I used a higher loft wool batting.  With the heavy quilting in the background around the cats, it gives them real dimension.  Image

It was hard to let these quilts go out the door!  They really brightened up my week as I worked on them.  I have a few more of Georgia’s fabulous quilts I have yet to tackle–so there are more wonderful quilts to come!

Happy Tablerunner

I attended a quilt retreat a few weeks ago.  The 26 of us brought our own projects to work on.  There’s nothing better than spending three days sewing to your heart’s content and having someone else do all the cooking!  I like to do  easy projects so I can go home with something finished.  I had a charm pack of 5″ squares (by designer Pat Sloan for Moda fabrics)  that I wanted to create something with.  I had also purchased about a yard of extra fabric that coordinated with the charm pack.  I decided to make a table runner for my long kitchen table.  I made up the pattern, which was quite simple.

Image

I made rows of 3 prints separated by 2″ sashing.  Then I added a wider border with the same fabric as the sashing.

The quilting was very simple–just straight lines.  I varied the spacing to add some interest.  I finished it off with an orange print for the binding.

Image

Though this winter seems never ending (a few more inches of snow today!), this table runner makes me happy every time I look at it.  And even though I didn’t measure beforehand, it fits my table perfectly.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

Image

Daylight Owls

I haven’t been doing much painting lately, and it shows!  I thought I would do something fast and simple to get back into the groove.  But then I agonized way too much over this one–the colors were all wrong!  I finally decided to stop fiddling with it and be done!

Even though owls are supposed to be nocturnal, these didn’t think their true colors would be appreciated except in the daylight!Image

Gwen Marston Workshop

I’m really fortunate to belong to a quilt guild that brings in fabulous teachers from all around the country.  This week was no exception.  I had the great opportunity to attend a day long workshop with Gwen Marston.  Even though Gwen has been teaching in this industry for 3 decades and has written 26 books, I was surprised to find her techniques to be quite fresh and modern.  I think she has changed my life! (well, my quilting life, anyway).  Her approach to improvisational piecing was truly liberating.  Here are some of the pieces she shared with us.

First, strip piecing with 30’s prints.  Notice how everything doesn’t need to match up exactly.  It’s OK!

Image

 

Those black fabrics really give this movement!

 

Image

 

It’s the use of solid colored fabrics that really give this a modern feel.

 

Image

 

Gwen often takes her inspiration from antique quilts.  Here is a new setting for strip pieced blocks.  

Notice how the borders get chopped off in the seams.  Just like they do with old quilts.  That’s  OK too!

Image

 

 

I really love this one.  Sewing fabric strips together is an old, old idea, but this looks like modern art!Image

 

Even though this one is made from 1890’s reproduction prints, it looks fresh and new.Image

 

 

So I had to try it.  I cut strips  any old shape and size and sewed them back together.   You may notice that                                      my fabric color choices are a lot like my painting color choices.  I do love pink!

Image

No measuring!  No worrying about points matching or using a perfect quarter inch seam.

I like this “X” block I made for the corners.  This is a 4″ block.  Notice the tiny pieced bits in the “X”.  Those are all different fabrics I sewed together and then cut into strips.  Really not that hard!

Image

 

I worked fast as I could to finish this little piece (about 20″ square) before the day is through.

Image

 I could quilt it now for a little wallhanging, or maybe I will turn it into a larger quilt.   You’ll just have to stay tuned

to see how it all turns out.  Just don’t expect it to be any time soon!