Monday, July 28, 2014

Tiny Beaded Dragonflies



I needed something to fill up a corner of my next piece for Art Quilts Around the World, so I am making these tiny beaded dragonflies. Consider this a sneak peek in advance of the July 31 unveiling. 

My computer needed service after lightning struck the line outside my house last night, so I'm doing this on my iPad.  My apologies for the rather primitive post. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Woodland Ridge: The Walk



 Directly behind the building at Woodland Ridge Retreat is a path through the woods that leads to this beautiful lake.

I walked down there in the afternoon and, since I forgot the bug spray, became fresh meat for the local  insect population.

I heard lots of bird sounds, but it was hot and they were hiding in shady places.







On my last morning, I walked down the road to the trail.




I enjoyed the view of the river from the trail bridge.



There were interesting webbed creations on some of the bushes.

The view through the bridge coming back.  I am so looking forward to returning here and perhaps spending a day walking the trail.


And this is my unfinished piece.  That is a chalk outline of a heart at the lower right that I am currently cogitating.  It's for after the dashes in the upper right corner.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dots and Dashes at Woodland Ridge Retreat

 Last week I was fortunate enough to take a class with my friend Lisa Binkley (you can find her blog here) at my friend Chris Daly's Woodland Ridge Retreat in Downsville, Wisconsin.

Three days of stitching and fabulous food: all in a wonderful wooded setting in northern Wisconsin - as close to heaven as I've been lately.

We started with these hand-dyed cotton pieces layered over a thin batting and with cotton fabric on the back.   We had a pack of beads, some threads and a couple of needles.

You can see some of Lisa's work on the wall behind the ladies stitching.




I think these were taken after the second day of stitching.








That's mine on the upper right corner.



Here we all are at the end of the second day.

And after three days of stitching.

Next up:  the area surrounding Woodland Ridge Retreat.  I walked to the lakes behind the retreat and down the Red Cedar Trail a bit and I have some photos of the beautiful woods and water in the area immediately adjacent.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bollywood Challenge at Art Quilts Around the World


"Jazz Hands!  Bollywood Style"
11.5" by 16.5"

This is my finished piece for the Art Quilts Around the World Bollywood challenge.  I pieced the background with sparkly red fabrics from my stash, then machine appliquéd the hands.  I used a double layer of the sparkly gold fabric to make it show up well against the red background.  

I had planned on doing some work on the hands that would suggest henna designs, but I couldn't find a medium that would work on the gold fabric.  Paint didn't sit on top nicely (my original plan), machine thread didn't work at all, and hand embroidery didn't look right.  So for now, it's finished.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2014


"Spectral Chroma"
92" by 74"
Adapted from "Twisted Ribbon Sampler" by Brenda Henning
Longarm Quilted by Nell Coons

AmysCreativeSide.com

This is my entry for Amy's Creative Side's Blogger's Quilt Festival 2014.  I think it would be wonderful as a viewer's choice or ROYGBIV.  

I made the blocks as part of my first Thursday of the month piecer's group at Mill House Quilts a couple of years ago.  Last year, I finally finished sewing it all together and for the first time, I had a longarm quilter finish it.

 Nell Coons was a part of the piecer's group for as long as I was and I was regularly amazed by her longarm prowess.  Nearly every month, she brought in the finished quilts of group members and I longed for her to quilt one of mine.  I needed this one finished for Quilt Expo and she said, "No problem."

She was supposed to bring it to the meeting before the Expo entry deadline.  She called me the day before and said she wouldn't be coming to the meeting, but it was finished and I could come to her home and get it.

Nell was a long time breast cancer survivor.  Unfortunately, while she was in the middle of quilting my quilt, the cancer returned.  She still finished my quilt on time.  And I was thrilled with it.  Sadly, she passed away shortly after that and never got to see it hanging in any of the shows.  She was a wonderful person and I miss her terribly.  My life is far richer for having known her.  

 I used my own hand-dyes, some that I dyed especially for this project, and Laurel Burch fabrics.
It sat for the longest time with only the little orange border until I consulted with a friend and she helped me design the final border with EQ7.  I had cut the border fabric before I started making the blocks, but the quilt grew too big and my cut pieces wouldn't make it all the way around.  So the New York Beauty blocks took up the space and finished it nicely.


I don't have any pictures of the entire back, but here is a shot showing the block I didn't like well enough to put on the front.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Suede Clutch Bag

I fell in love with this bag I saw online.  It was suede and had lovely beading.  Sadly, it was too costly for my budget.  Even more sad, it was sold out.  So I thought, well, I can make one.  In better colors.  With better beading.  Right?

But it was suede.  Hmmm... haven't worked with leather before.  Well, except when it was still on the hoof.  And on the other side of the lens.


So what to do?  I got the bright idea of hitting the thrift shops.  I have seen lots of leather jackets, but maybe there would be some skirts.  They would have relatively large pieces of, um, material.  Right?  Well, I scored.  I found three fairly large-sized skirts and threw them in my washer and dryer.  Yep, even the one that still had its tags.  

I made a pattern with freezer paper and found this outstanding brocade for lining.  

I wanted to edge the inside pockets with the leather.  I discovered that paper clamps worked well to hold things together while I sewed.




I used a magnetic snap to secure the flap.

And made a large zipper pocket using some of the skirt lining for pocket lining.



Here is a view of the inside.  Fully lined.

And the front with the flap flipped up.



And the finished bag.  It's 9 1/2 by 12 inches.  I plan to add another tassel to the side -- can't have too much fringe.  And after I use it a bit and ascertain that I like the size and all, I'll make one with beading.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clara Ruth










For my January Challenge over at Art Quilts Around the World, the theme was Art Deco.   So I googled it and came up with lovely flowing images of beautiful women.  I got out my big pad and drew this woman.

I used a soft pencil and some Copic markers for the colors.

  

 I traced her onto this most excellent batik from my stash with a black Micron pen.  I layered it with wool batting and stitched over the lines.  I couldn't get to my paints -- we moved house recently, which should account for my lack of blog posting and internet woes -- so I used the Copic pens for her eyes and lip colors.

I wish I had used something other than black marker for the tracing because it was a laborious job stitching on the lines.




"Clara Ruth"
11" by 14"

I used copper Setacolor paint for her locks and Auriful threads for all the stitching.  Her name was chosen by googling the most popular girls names for that era.  My daughter and I agreed that we thought Clara Ruth was beautiful.