Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Don't know if I will have time to post again before Christmas so just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We will finally have a white christmas like I remember from when I was a kid! It's been so long. This is what it looked like from our deck after all the know we got Thursday when the kids had the day off of school.
I don't have anything quilt related to post about. I gave myself permission not to work on anything until after Christmas. Just too much going on. Also gave myself permission not to stress out over not doing anything!!

Hope everyone has a fun day with their family and friends!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Stopped to check the mailbox on my way to the christmas party today and this journal was in the mail. It was from Sue Bleiweiss. She had a drawing on her blog and I was picked for this one. What a nice suprise!! She had so many people enter that she picked 3 winners! I love the button!
This is the inside. There are 3 signatures of different sizes and a pocket on the cover with fun paper stuck in. Some of the pages have pockets and the pages on the middle signature fold out. Now to figure out what I'm going to use this for.
The Christmas party was really fun. We had lots of food, talk and presents. Of course, I forgot to bring my camera. We decided on a what to do for our next round robin. We used the idea from the Frayed Edges of their five artists five views grid display as a starting point then we changed it to fit our group. We are each going to pick a photo and a maximum size we want the pieces to be. Each person will make their interpretation of the photo and make it the size they want up to the maximum size. So when I get my round robin back, I might have 8 pieces that are all different sizes. When I get it back, it will be up to me to put the quilts together some way to display them as a unit. We are hoping to have a show to be able to display them at.
Now to pick a photo and make my quilt from it. We don't meet until January 25 so we have time to get started. I'll miss that meeting since I will be taking a painting class with Jane Balshaw that day. I'm disappointed that I won't be at the meeting but I'm really looking forward to the class. It was my birthday present to myself since my Birthday is Jan 27. She also has a class on color theory that I want to take when she offers it next. I had a hard time choosing between the 2 classes and only picked the painting one because it was closer to my birthday.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blue Box

I haven't had much time to make anything lately. Been too busy!! I did manage to make this box last week. Used the pattern on the Fiber and Stitch site. It will be filled with chocolate and given as a gift. Tomorrow my quilt group is meeting for our Christmas lunch. Wish you could be here Geriann!!! I'm really looking forward to this. I always look forward to our meetings. I'm making a spinach salad with pecans, dried cranberries, red onions, and crumbled bacon. I have poppyseed salad dressing to go with it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Fridays meeting was fun. We had show and tell. All I had to show was the pieces that I made for Fast Friday Fabric Challenge. Lynn E. showed us some experiments she had done using the new paints she bought when we went to Lowell. Susan, showed us the new quilt she is working on based on dance. It is a lovely quilt. We made plans for our Christmas party in 2 weeks. Wish you could be here Geriann!!!!
After dessert we went to Susan's wet studio and played with Shiva paint sticks. The jagged stripes were done using torn pieces of paper as a mask. Before I went over, I cut a couple of small paper stencils to use. The vase was made using the stencil cut out as a mask.
These vases were done with the stencil onto painted fabric.

These were done using the stencil cutout on darker painted fabric.

I had seen the stencil idea in Linda and Laura Kemshall's book "The Painted Quilt". The torn paper idea I saw in Ruth Issett's book "Print, Pattern & Colour".
After playing with some of these ideas, I came home and ordered some paint sticks. Told Gary they were one of the Christmas presents he was buying me. This way I will get what I want!! He doesn't know what to get me in the way of sewing supplies, mixed media supplies, etc unless I go and show him or buy them myself. The hard part will be waiting until Christmas to use them.
Speaking of Christmas, it looks like we will have a white one unless we get a lot of really warm weather to melt the snow. School was cancelled today and both Gary and I just happen to have today off of work. Good thing, I wouldn't have been able to get out of our driveway at 5:15 this morning!
We are also hoping that our oven will be working by Christmas or we will be thinking of alternatives for Christmas dinner. Gary and my Dad think they know what is wrong and have ordered a part. It's been interesting to come up with easy meal idea that don't involve the oven!! I keep wanting to make something and then realize I can't because I have to bake it. Today, I even looked up a no bake cookie recipe and made those. I knew Kara would like them because they used chocolate and peanut butter.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This piece I did for the November challenge of the Fiber & Stitch Yahoo group. This group is for anyone who has a subscription to Fiber and Stitch online magazine.
Novembers challenge was to make a piece showing what home meant to you. To me home is a place where you feel safe, loved and accepted. Something I try to pass on to my kids. The background is a piece of paper fabric that I made, then painted. I then stamped on top of it. The heart is from a piece of silk paper that I made. I may try to stamp a few more words around the heart. When I did the stamping, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it and now there are some empty space.
Tomorrow my art quilt group meets. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Challenge Postcard

Today I attempted another quilt for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge. This challenge was to use size and/or proportion in your work. I used a photo that was provided and attempted an abstract from it. I find it very hard to make abstracts. Pictoral quilts come really easy but working with abstracts I find very difficult. I keep second guessing myself and questioning my decisions. I even question my color choices. The landscape I showed in the last post came much easier.
Wish I had the original photo to show but that is on our yahoo group.
I had planned on doing alot of things but sad to say this little post card took most of my time. I did paint and stamp some paper fabric for another project but that is it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fast Friday Challenge #15

Fast Friday Fabric Challenge, isuued it's new challenge on Friday. Make a quilt keeping scale and proportion in mind. I made this in response. I still need to add some details like grass around the fence. I also think I will crop out some of the sky. I really wanted to do something abstract for this challenge but I really have a hard time making abstact quilts.
Right now especially, I seem to be in a funk. No matter what I start working on, I keep second guessing myself, telling myself it's not good enough. I had so much I wanted to get done today but it was so frustrating to have to clean an area off to work in and move my ironing board and table to get to my fabric cupboard. Now that I've done that, the livingroom is a mess and the kids will be coming home and messing everything up since this is where they do their homework and watch tv. Just really frustrated. I even got the new Quilting Arts Magazine, which usually inspires me but this time I leafed through it and just got depressed. Made me feel like I'll never be good enough. I know that I shouldn't be comparing myself with others, just focus on myself. But today I really feel like I should just stick with crafty stuff and following someone elses patterns.
Sorry about the ranting, I'm just really in a funk and can't seem to get out.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Motion Quilt

This is a journal size quilt I did for Fast Friday Fabric Challenge. At the beginning of each month we get a "theme" for our challenge and then have a week to make a quilt. Some, like me don't get it done in a week. This months challenge was to make a quilt that showed motion and use some type of embellishment technique. The quilt itself looks nicer than this picture. The yarns I couched down have gold metallic threads the sparkle more. I wanted to try something abstract instead of making some type of pictoral quilt.
This gave me a chance to practice my quilting and I tried a facing for the binding so that the binding didn't show on the front of the quilt.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Field Trip

Yesterday the ladies from my quilt group and I went to Lowell for a fun day out. I was finally able to meet Geri, who joined our book round robin this past spring.

We went to Western Avenue Studios and met Maxine Farkas and Karen Bettencourt. We had a nice visit. It was exciting to see and hear about Maxines art. Then we went down the hall to Friends Fabric Art and met Ann Lee. We had fun looking around her store and studio space. I did find some new things to play with. It was a very inspiring visit.

We had lunch at the Athenian Corner, a great Greek restaurant near the Lowell quilt museum.

Didn't have time to visit the museum.

On our way home, we stopped in Nashua to see the Quilter's Gathering quilt show. It was a quick run through. I did find some fabric and a book I've been wanting to buy. My big splurge for the day was a piece of hand-dyed fabric from Elin Noble. That's it in the poicture above. All the fabrics in her booth were gorgeous.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Journal Quilt

I can finally show my journal quilt: Colors of Autumn. I took these pictures before I sent it out to Houston but the picture of the whole piece didn't turn out that great. The colors in the close-up are more true to the actual quilt.

I'm trying to work on some new pieces but am still having problems working. I have ideas in my head and the pieces I make just aren't turning out like I want and then I get frustrated and don't know what to do. Maybe I'm just trying too hard.
Maybe it's time to work on a scrappy bed quilt that doesn't require any thinking and will use up fabrics that I don't use in my art quilts any more. I've been wanting to make one to replace one I made when I was a junior in college and it has been used and used and used. I hate to say it, it's 21 years old and is falling apart enough that I can't repair it anymore. Though my daughter did grab it the other night and has it on her bed again even though the batting is falling out!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

I can't believe that it has been over a month since I posted. Where has the time gone?? I think I just sort of lost direction for a while. I had so many projects I wanted to work on, I couldn't decide which one to work on first. I was also procrastinating about finishing up these two projects I've posted. I kept putting them off because I kept worring that I would mess them up. So instead of working on something, I did nothing. Finally last week I just took a deep breath, told myself I was being rediculous and started working on the birch tree piece.
It looks better in person. I like the way it came out. I want to keep experimenting with making backgrounds the way I did for this piece. The only problem is, I'm running out of strips in my scrap bag and I'm afraid if I tear strips from fabric just for a background, I'll try to plan it too much. Won't know till I try!
This is the second piece. I love the way the sunprinted fabric went so well with this small piece I made in Myrna Giesbrechts class at Quilt University. My art quilt group met last Friday. It was nice to visit and catch up. I finished up the binding to the birch tree piece while we chatted and planned a trip to Nashua and Lowell on November 9. I think my mind is going, there is a quilt show in Nashua that weekend and I can't remember the name of it. I will also finally get to meet Geriann who lives in Mass. She was part of our round robin book project.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I finished my journal quilt and sent it off last week. I was beginning to wonder if I would get it done. Just have to wait till it debuts in Houston to put it up here.

I subscribed to the on-line magazine, Fiber and Stitch. The first issue came out at the beginning of the month. It has some really great articles. When you subscribe, you can also join an on-line group. This group had a challenge called Lutrador and Lace. This is the piece that I made up for that challenge.
It's lutrador with cheesecloth and lace sewed on top and layers of paint on top. I started out by picking out the colors I was going to use but didn't like how it was turning out so I just started pulling colors out of my paint box. I think I will make a notebook or journal cover out of it.
Here's the new quilt I'm working on. I started it in Myrna Giesbrecht's "Self Expressions" class at Quilt University. The trees are just pinned up right now. Need to get them sewn on and add leaves. I think I will make some of them 3-D. The colors in these pictures aren't quilt as bright as the real quilt.

For the background, I fuse strips of fabric from my scrap bag to a backing fabric. I painted cheesecloth and put that on top. It blends the colors of the background. I decided to free-motion quilt leaves to hold the cheeselcloth down. Don't know when I will have a chance to work on it again. Work is still busy and Gary will be having his 2nd surgery on the 5th.
I've finally put my round robin book together. Don't have a picture of it yet. Will get a picture taken and get it posted soon.
Tomorrow my art quilt group is meeting. I'm really looking forward to it. These meetings really get my creativity going and it's just fun getting out of the house with other ladies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Work

Here is a quilt I made in Myrna Giesbrecht's "Self Expressions" class on Quilt University. For this exersize, we took a piece of fabric we didn't like and used that in a quilt. The blue background fabric was my ugly fabric. It didn't look like this when I started. It was a piece that I had folded into squares and dyed with a dark blue. The folds ended up dark blue and the rest was a very light grayish blue. Not very inspiring. It had been in my closet for ages. I painted it with bright blue and turquoise fabric paint. Now why I didn't think of doing this ages ago? I don't know.I still think it needs something but I'm not quite sure what at this point. Maybe some quilting with blue threads or maybe some beading.

I finally finished my journal quilt. Just need to make the hanging sleeve and get the artists statement laminated. We do have a laminating machine here at home but I don't know how to use it. Who knows where the instructions are!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My art quilt group got together yesterday. It was a nice time catching up and seeing what we had all been up to. Marilynn showed us some pieces she had done in a class with Velda Newman at Quilting by the Lake. The were really nice.

Lynne Rand made it to the meeting and showed us some of the things she has been printing. Really nice mixed media. I love the texture she gets. We had a new lady, Anita. She showed some applique pieces that were really nice.

I took the top that I made in Carol Taylor's class. Still need to finish it. I also showed this piece that is above. I'm taking a class on Quilt University with Myrna Giesbrecht called Self Expression. I still need to attatch the small quilt to the background fabric. I want to mount the fabric to a canvas first before I put the small quilt on.
The background was one of the pieces I sun printed before we went to Cape Cod. I just happened to set the small quilt on top of it when I was done working one night and the light bulb went on in my head - the 2 pieces were made for each other.
Now that Labor day is over I hope I can do a little more quilting. Work should be slowing down - I hope!!!! Most of the tourists have gone home.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm Not Lost!

I finally have some time to post. Been really busy at work since I got back from the Mancuso quilt show in Manchester. I had a great time. I arrived Thursday around 11:30 and walked around the show and vendors. I really enjoyed the exhibit by SAQA and the one by the European quilters. I ran into Susan and Marilyn there. I was finally able to get into my room about 3:00, so I took everything up and then went to the talk by Carol Taylor. It was a retrospective on her quilting career. It was interesting and I really enjoyed being able to see her quilts up close. I went to take a picture of one and the strap on my camera caught on something and it dropped and broke. I was so upset, but was determined not to let it ruin my time away by myself. That night, I put on my jammies, turned on the tv and worked on my journal quilt.
Friday, I had the class with Carol, it was fun. This is what I have made with some of the pieces from the class. Because it was just a one day class, she showed us different improvisational blocks to make but we didn't have time to put them together. I didn't use all the blocks that I made. Some of the techniques I had done before. I really liked playing with couching yarns down. She also showed us a technique for inserting really skinny lines (less than 1/4") into blocks. I will be trying that in a quilt sometime. It was nice just to be able to go and play with my fabric for a day and not be interupted!!!
Then it was back to the real world, I had to be to work on Saturday at 5:30am. YUK!! I can't wait till after Labor Day when work will slow down some!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Bags are Packed

No quilt pictures yet, but I do have some of Newfound Lake just down the road from us.

I'm off to the World Quilt and Textile Show in Manchester tomorrow. Tomorow, I will do the show and visit all the vendors. Friday, I'm taking "Improvisational Scrap Quilt" with Carol Taylor. I was supossed to take a class with Rosalie Dace from South Africa instead but she had to cancel her classes. I've heard that she has had some health probelms.
I'm looking forward to my class. I was having a hard time choosing between Rosalie and Carol to begin with but I enjoy taking classes from teachers from other countries - you learn alot about quilting in other places. That's why Rosalie ended up being my first choice. Maybe she'll be here next year.
I found out that there is free internet connection in the rooms so I'm taking Gary's laptop to keep up with my e-mail.
I'm also bringing my journal quilt to work on tomorrow night in the room. I'm really looking forward to having 2 days off on my own with just myself to worry about. I can do what I want when I want!! Be as messy or as neat as I want. No dinner to fix, house to clean, laundry to wash, kids to get after.
Better get some of my stuff loaded in the car tonight.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back from Cape Cod

I don't have any quilt pictures but I have some pictures from Cape Cod. This is my favorite picture. I think I will eventually use it for a landscape.
I took these pictures after playing on the beach at low tide. It was a very fun day.

I though the marks the water made in the sand was neat. Reminds me of a tree or maybe roots.
This was taken after the tide went out. It's hard to show but there was water still running through this and it looked cool.
The next two pictures show the ripples that the water made in the sand as the tide went out.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Vacation Time

Just a quick post. Tomorrow we leave for Cape Cod. Gary's parents 50th wedding anniversary is this year so everyone os going to Cape Cod this year. Gary has 2 brothers and a sister. They will all be there plus kids. It will be nice. We haven't had a vacation since before we had kids and that was only a long weekend. I have put together a small journaling kit to take with me. I have a small journal, some watercolor pencils, markers, paintstick, a few papers and small pieces of fabric, some tissue paper and a few paint brushes. I have no idea what I will do with these but I'm going to try and do something creative.

I haven't had much time to work on things what with work and Gary's surgery stuff. I have worked some on my journal quilt and I think I now have it worked out and will be able to finish it when I get back. I was really starting to wonder if I would be able to meet the deadline. I really like the way it looks.

Since I can't show you that, I will show some fabric that I painted today (should have been packing!!!) and put ferns on to sun print. This first one is a piece of fabric that was dyed green. I painted over it with blues and a leaf green. I like the lacy look to it. I may add some stenciling or stamping. The colors are brighter than they show in the picture. This piece will make a great background piece.

This piece was a piece I had taken a second print from a monoprint. You can just see some of the leaf shapes from the monoprint. I used ferns that weren't so feathery for this one. I wish I had picked a few more but onece again I will problably stamp or stencil on it.
I liked sunprinting on fabric that was already dyed or painted. Before I had done it on white fabric and the prints of the plants were just too white against the painted background.
Well, I'd better go pack.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Grab Bag Challenge from 2006

Gary had his surgery a week ago yesterday. I'm exhausted. Everything went well, although there was more infection than the Dr's thought so he will need more surgieries than they thought. We are looking at 2-3 months if everything goes well. Last week, I would work 8 hours (work for me starts at 5:30 am), travel to the hospital (1 hour one way) see Gary and then come home eat dinner and go to bed to start it all over again. Gary came home on Monday and I am still trying to catch up on rest.

I don't have anything new to show but I don't think I ever showed this piece that I made for the 2006 Grab Bag Challenge, hosted by Tomme Fent. I really enjoyed making this piece and it was really hard to send it back to the owner.

For this challenge, we put together fabric and embellishments that would fit in a priority mail envelope and then we each recieved someone elses "stuff". With this "stuff" we needed to make a quilt. We could add some of our own to it.

I never would have picked the black background on my own but it was one of the biggest pieces and I was trying to use as much as I could from the envelope. There was some shiny sheer fabric that I use as a cloth for the vase to sit on. I love how that came out.
Close-up of the flowers

I added random cross stitches on the batik borders. Included in the bag was some shiny bluish black thread which I used for quilting in the black. I used big running stitches.

For the vase, I fused small strips of fabric together and overlayed them with some sort of purple sheer. It reminded me of a dryer sheet but slight different and it was bigger. This purple sheer helped to go with the batik border. I cut out gold leaves from another sheer fabric and sewed them to the top.

For the center of the flowers, I took all the scraps of orange, red and gold pieces and cut them up, added pieces of thread that was included in the bag and covered them with netting and quilted them down. There were also some beads that I used on the leaves.

I was trying to use as much stuff as I could from the bag. But I kept wondering if I was just adding some things just to use it or if it really added something to the quilt. We had to use a certain percentage of stuff from the bag, I forget what it was. I finally decided enough was enough and stopped here. My daughter thought it was one of my best pieces and wished we could keep it.
Out of 80 some quilts, 41 were chosen for a travelling exhibit and mine was one of them. It was really exciting. They even travelled to an exhibit in Costa Rica. The odd number of 41 came about because we all insisted that Tomme include her quilt.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Not Much Quilting Going On

Well, I haven't had much time or energy to work on anything quilty. I have worked a little on my journal quilt but of course, I can't show you that.

Last monday Gary, Kara and I went on a hike looking for a geocache. To learn more about geocaching, go here.
It was a nice cool, breezy day for a hike. The cache was half way up a mountain not too far from our house. Miss long legs (Kara) was way ahead while I was taking my time so I didn't kill myself. Bet I saw a lot more than she did!! We brought Ginger with us - she loves hiking in the woods. Here are Kara and Ginger near where we found the cache.
On the way down, I saw something jump out of the corner of my eye and found this little guy. If he hadn't jumped, I wouldn't have known he was there. He really blends in with the ground.

I saw a butterfly I wanted to get a picture of but it just wouldn't land where I could get a picture. It would have been a good picture for my idea notebook.
Hopefully I will have something to show you soon but I'm not sure. Gary goes to the hospital on Tuesday for some major reconstructive surgery. He had had radiation and surgery for cancer and now areas around his nose and sinusses are deteriorating so he needs surgery. The Dr's are planning for an 8 hour surgery - it all depends on what they find when they actually start. They are planning for him to be in the hospital 7 days and it will probably be a least a month for recovery. Since I don't have anymore time off, I will be working 40 hour weeks during all of this!
And I think I'm tired now!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Had today off of work. It was too hot to do much of anything! I HATE hot weather. I did finish these up for a swap I'm doing. I learned last night not to try and sew while you are tired! On two sets of these inchies, I finished the edges. Then as the last one was almost finished, I realised that I hadn't fused the backing on! I fused backings on after and didn't bother with restitching.
Now to get started on my journal quilt. The only problem is, I have more and more ideas that I keep thinking of that I want to start and don't get older, already started projects finished.

Kara gets back from England tomorrow night. Can't wait to hear about her trip!

Too hot to post more. Time to go plant myself in front of a fan!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Finally, Something to Post

I haven't had much time to do anything lately. The kids are out of school and I had to help Kara get ready for her trip to England. She left last Wed and will be getting back this Thursday. After she gets back, Alex goes to camp for a week starting July 1.
Alex and I have had really bad summer colds. We are finally feeling better but I still can feel it in my chest. I hope Kara doesn't get it while she is in England!!

I did manage to get some postcards made for a swap I'm doing. The theme was triangles. They are all similar so I'll only show 2 of them.

I have to finish up some Inchies for a swap then I have to buckle down and get to work on my Journal Quilt Project. I got to a point where I was stuck and haven't done much with it. I've just been staring at in on my design wall. I think I have an idea now. Time to stop procrastinating and get to work!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Nuthatches

This spring we have been watching mama and papa nuthatch. This bird house is right off of our deck so you can sit on the deck and watch mama and papa come and go with food for the babies.
Don't have any quilty stuff to show.
Alex and Gary's birthday was Thursday, so yesterday Alex had a party. Luckily he only wanted 2 boys over.
The kids only have 1 week left of school and Kara is getting ready to leave for England on the 20th. Three teachers are taking a group of high school kids over. They do this every 2 years. I really wish I could go too. I spent 11 weeks in England in college(1986) and loved it. I would like to visit again, especially with Kara. Oh, well, I'll get back someday and Kara needs to do things without us all the time. It would be interesting how differently, I would look at things now. I wasn't into art quilting back then. I think the pictures I would take would have a completely different focus now.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Round Robin Page and Some Inchie Pins

This is my page for my round robin book. This is a picture I took and printed onto fabric. I showed the actual picture in my last post. I was trying to do things too fast and used the wrong setting so my fabric print ended up too short. I didn't want to waste it, so I added some fabric to the top and fused on some leaves.
After I made the plus size inchies, I decided to make some into pins. The one on the left, I made a little bigger to fit the bead better. I also added some gold beads to the edge. My daughter says it looks like a postage stamp with the beads. Just need to put the pin backs on. I thought it would be much easier to take photos without the pin backs on. Haven't done much else. Been too busy and tired!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Where did my days off go?

My 2 days of have just flown by! I didn't get to alot of the stuff I had planned. Part of it was that Gary had today and most of yesterday off of work so we ended up doing what he had planned. Add to that the kids, housework, etc. and my plans were put on the back burner.

I did get to work on my journal quilt a little bit but then had another block on it.
I did work on a page for my "Nature" round robin book. The one that I made to start with, will be the cover but I also want to make an actual page. I decided to try printing on fabric for this page. I printed out this picture that I took the other day. I had it all cropped and set to be printed at 6"x9" and in my haste printed it out full size. It's fine width wise but 1/2" short in the length. Since I only prepared one piece of fabric with the Bubble Jet Set, I'm now thinking of ways to add some green fabric to the length. I don't want to waste the piece I printed!

Our side yard is full of lady slippers this year. More than we ever have had. I counted between 60 and 70 of them the other day. This year we don't have so many of them in the woods around our house, just in the yard.
These 2 really caught my eye. They are such a deep pink.
I can't believe how well these pictures came out since I wasn't using a tri-pod.
Hopefully, I will have more quilty things to show you next time I post.