About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

simple sewing ~ kitchen towels

simple sewing.

i love it!  and lately, that's exactly what i've been in the mood to do.  these classic kitchen towels are simply one of my all-time favorite items to "just sew." then ~ just add pretties to a pre-purchased towel.  what could be simpler?!  :)

i keep these practical, basic kitchen towels on hand as i am always falling in love with the new colors, styles, or patterns, purchasing them from my favorite quilt stores here in great falls.  they cost around $5-$6 a piece.  

and then ~ when the mood strikes, the fun begins!  and it's time to dive in ~ {and play}, with the gorgeous stash of trims i've collected to come up with a 'specially designed' towel.  

with a few simple designs, ribbons, fabric and trims, you too, can create a 'custom' and very sweet-to-give, gift!














and next time... i'll share some of those very basic processes, with helpful hints and tips and placement secrets.
{i've listed the extra towels in the etsy shop!}
enJoy!  
and thanks for coming on by!
blessings ~
xo

leslie

Thursday, April 10, 2014

the timeout room ~ spring 2014

hello ~ spring!

spring? really?  i think so...  i think!  at least there are buds on the tree branches!  

it's coming.  it's coming!  of that i am sure... with mud... and mud puppies! 
me?  i've taken a bit of a break from blogging lately, and slowing down to take in... 
we have a spare room at work, which functions as an extra 'guest office' when travelling staff from other offices visit, and it is also a storage room. it has no windows, just a hard tiled floor, storage cabinets, bare walls, and a desk with the bare amenities. so... we call it the "timeout room!"  

a bit of a timeout... {kind of like me} kind of like our spring! but see that green grass...?  well, it's pushing it's way through, reaching for the light, and that's kind of how i feel.  it's been darker, gloomier, and colder than i prefer... but the green continues to push...

and push. 

and push ~ its way upward...
and so am i!  

taking some time out.  inside and out.
psalm 23 tells me He leads me to lie down in green pastures... and still waters. spiritually. mentally.  physically. 
would that also mean 'out to pasture?' hmmm.  i don't think so.  at least ... not yet!

but i am {and have been} taking a 'timeout'  of sorts. to think. contemplate. read. gather up, look inside... think about some goals.
i have been creating.  it's sanctuary for me, whether taking photos, writing, drawing, watercolors, sewing and quilting... 
a time for every season.   
and a timeout so i can... pray more.  nearly. clearly. and dearly.
listen.  And give thanks. in all things. 
i also turned 56 this april. and i am excited about that.  it also means in a mere twenty eight months i will retire!  at least from my current career.  i have serious thought to give this... and i truly look forward to it.  after thirty years working in the federal court system, i have other ~ more artistic goals, dreams, plans, and hopes to pursue.  to go running after. to begin new plans.  a bed and breakfast out in the country? perhaps?  summer art shows?  volunteer?  illustrate?  become a professional photographer?  and... pick and choose my work hours... perhaps learn about what it takes to give and teach online classes?  teach more in person even! [love that!} and...  to dive into a body of work i truly am excited about. 
to learn anew. {and to learn ~  h o w ! ...} 
but for now.  but for God.
i will bloom.  

even in the timeout room!

blessings to you all,
xo
leslie

Thursday, March 27, 2014

a little flower and a whole lotta peace ~ watercolor

a new 8" x 10" original watercolor, {newly listed in the etsy shop} too:






yesss... still lovin' my microbeads!  and the mighty power of a simple black "dot" ~ and a squiggly line ~ of any kind. 

i used the white signo uniball pen um-153, a pitt pen, or unipen, microbeads from both martha stewart and michaels craft store brands, and twinkling h2o's on strathmore hot press watercolor paper.

inspiration: from the word of the Lord, the Book of Numbers 6:24-25.

i love the bright spring color {go figure} and I'm dreaming spring, big time! 

soli deo gloria!
xo
leslie

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

twice quilted ~ and more favorite free motion books ~

hello ~

as i was making notes, prepping to teach free motion recently, i came across {more} of some really terrific resources {and more few thoughts} to share with you about free motion.

the first resource, from one of the best professional artists out there in 'quilt-land'  ~ is karen mctavish.  i added her book to my collection many years ago, and although it was published in 2005, it is still just so relevant today.  if you want to be a master quilter... this is one lady you can learn alot from.  ask your quilt store to order it for you... it is worth it ~ i promise!

this is mastering the art of mctavishing.

one of the tips i share when teaching, is simply this.  "do what you love."  and the photo below, showing her quilted jacket, is exactly what i did.  i picked a favorite fabric, and favorite threads, and made myself a jacket.  this was such a great way for me, to get to know my machine, not to mention, practice my free motion skills.  and even better ~  i had something to show for my effort that was fun to make, helped me feel like i was accomplishing something worthwhile, but also practical, beautiful, and fun to wear!

my second favorite resource, are the "twice quilted" titles.  last i knew, there were only two, and i love how glorianne cubbage goes about teaching simply delightful, and easy-to-do design images, just by thinking "twice" with two passes of the quilted needle!  it's really quite brilliant, and i love her teaching methods.  i had the privilege of learning under her tueledge, when i attended a bernina university event {2007}.  it was an amazing experience, and i loved every minute!!
and while we have all had our fill of snow and mittens this winter... they ARE quite charming aren't they?  {as a quilted motif that is!}
and if you want to get good and be a really great free motion quilter, you have to learn to troubleshoot, and the first step in that skill building exercise is getting to know your tension ~ inside and out.  and outside and in!  {there great tips here in these books!}
glorianne's designs come super-full-size, like 18" x 24" or so {i'm guessing}, so you can trace them on your quilt, just by placing them on your machine, if you want.



couldn't agree more {photo below}.  the best thing to improve quilting?  choose the right needle.  and more importantly?change it often!

great, clear instructions!  the writing of this book is well done.
and a shot of her book #2, "more twice-quilted designs."  {i found a you tube video here}

these are two "must-have" resources for me, that helped me in my journey and ongoing passion for beautiful free motion quilting!  although likely available at amazon, ask your local quilt store, and try to support our local "sweet spot quilt shops" whenever you can!  

and remember ~  there is truly nothing like practice, and experience to build your free motion skills {and knowledge}.

enJoy

be blessed ~
xo
leslie

Saturday, March 22, 2014

blue bayou beginnings ~ choosing colors {and a winner}

hi there everyone ~

speaking of blues... {!} for most of the past week i've been coping with the flu + cold bug! wowzers, what a rough week. 

despite our montana wintery weather {to be expected} and chilly 15-20 degrees with a fresh couple inches of new snow... our spring will get here on it's own time, and in it's very. own. way!  but happy spring to all of you who are enjoying blossoms and green grass!!

so... this is where "blue bayou" starts. as i begin to think out thread choices and colors that will complement the gorgeous hand-dyed gradient fabric from vicki.  the beautiful, and yet-ever-so-elegant, basic curving center-drawn spine line will be the base for the feather quilting:



all of these thread colors in magnifico are wonderful choices! there is no wrong color, in my opinion.  it's more a simple challenge of just this. 

make.  a.  decision.   :)




with choices made, the beginning stitches look like this: 
a periwinkle blue purple for the initial quilting of the traditional 'heart-shaped' feather, and then the second pass is to echo with bobbin threadwork, using a bright twinkling royal blue.

and... the winner of the fabulous pin: 


as it turns out, found by the random generator to be commenter #8 ~ miss vicki welsh!  that brings a happy smile, and the perfect ending to this post.  thanks to all of you who so kindly commented, and loved this truly beautiful, amazing work of heart from katie's wonderful paper style.  i hope to have more of those to give away, once i get connected to the art gallery in my hometown chester for more of her delightful treasures!  so fun to give away ~

bless you all ~
leslie
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