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?

Friday, November 21, 2014

red and white snowflakes ~ placemats

good morning all ~

i am enjoying a burst of happy contrast using white on red, and of course prepping for christmas, and since i'm enjoying using my die cutters... {accuquilt go! and size big shot} it's the perfect time to put them all together and make fun stuff:

it's been a madhouse of fusing and cutting! how fun it is to play with these pretty puzzle pieces and combine them onto holiday-styled placemats. (and coasters}
and while all that red and white is super for christmas and holiday decorating, the quilting with white thread totally makes my bells jingle!  {sorry - very corny!}  it just becomes dynamic, slightly graphic, and really very pretty to me:
{they are listed in my etsy shop too} 
it was easy-peasy to outline each snowflake quickly with white thread, and then move into the overall quilting:

and i have a new thread to play with; this is a wonderfil brand, "dazzle-dazzle" ~it's a bit of satiny rayon, combined with silver metallic; a very thick thread, which i couched into the binding seam, and it was the perfect choice for the fabric snowflakes as each has that little touch of sparkle and silver:

happy day to you ~

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"joy" coasters with snowflakes ~


it's a simple formula.  red christmassy print meets silver white snowflakes in a joyful match.

this pretty red christmas fabric was quickly fused, and even more quickly cut with a round 5" die shape from the accuquilt "go" system.  round two; repeat with white christmas fabric for snowflakes and the word "joy" and there you have it...

joyful red and white.

and it becomes a simply charming set of coasters:

 "quilt as desired."

fast and sweet.
blessings on your day~

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

minkee blankets and baby stuff ~


i have a small pile of minkee and flannel goodies finished, at last!  i believe many of the fabrics from this pile are at least 5 years old, probably alot longer.... and so alot of washing, trimming frayed ends, and pressing flannel fabric has taken place, with a good deal of reassessing, too!

i had to do some reorganizing of the 'minkee stash' in order to find some of the fabrics i knew i had {and found others i had forgotten i had}, and like many other things we start... well, it leads to other things!  while i know it's popular to do all that "clean out" in january after the holidays, it felt right for me to do it now, so i can relax, plan and enjoy my own holiday sewing, too.  when i can't find {quickly} things i know i have, or buy/remake things i already had, it's time to take matters into hand and re-think about how i have things put together in the studio.   

one thing is for sure.  it's always good to take stock of what you have.  and i am glad i did, because it motivated me to use {and enjoy} what i have, but more importantly, to share the excess of things i likely won't use, and pass them on, or donate.  that's always a good thing.

and as long as you're making a mess... make it a good one, and then clean it all up at once!

and... i do have some tips for sewing minkee.  look for those at the end of this post.

i not only made blankets, but with the scraps, i made matching little burping cloths too.  {they are in the far right pile in the photo below}
i also used up some soft, luxurious cotton velvet in a rich, dark brown.  i think this material is beautiful, and while the photo doesn't show the rich color of the matching birdie flannel... it was real pretty, and great for a boy, too.
and one of my favorite edge treatments, a scalloped effect occurs using my bernina #10 edge-stitch foot, and a simple hem stitch function. just click on those links to see more tutorials and how-to's on this lovely foot, or use the search button on my blog ~ search bernina #10}. i love teaching this class, too... and then i finished it with a serpentine stitch instead of a straight stitch trim.
the stringy yarn seen below on the edge of this flannel blanket?  it was a pain to sew!  it kept getting caught, and well... lots of thread fraying, etc... although i do love the look... not sure i will try it again!
sometimes i round the edges of my blankets... sometimes i do not!  {aren't these little monkeys so cute?  i wasn't that thrilled with them, but one of my girlfriends thought they were adorable, so i took her advice, and i am glad i did buy it!

and new fabric, purchased for a baby gift, the ever-popular dr. suess; this is cat-in-the-hat minkee with a matching cotton for the other side, and finished with a white chenille yarn on the edge.  soft and cuddly, that's for sure. 

hello little monkeys...!
more of that birdie print, only this time with a dark green minkee.  love this combo, too, and this time i added a double topstitch on the edge, which is a nice finish, too.

and nice little cotton patchwork leftover pieces... stitched together, right sides together, and that's it.  simple, and practical use for those leftover blocks, they make handy burping or "anything" cloths for a mom or dad {and baby!}

~  i like to sew with the minkee fabric on the bottom when i am sewing two layers together
~ a walking foot or a dual feed foot is absolutely essential for sewing with a stretchy fabric, and especially one with a thick pile such as minkee
~  i like to use a basting spray, which helps to keep the minkee from shifting so badly when sewing
~  i also pin "lengthwise ~ that is to say, parallel along the raw edge, and pull them out as i am sewing 
~ some people like to use a narrow, sticky, water-soluble tape along the raw edges... {but i haven't tried that yet}
~  a ballpoint needle is helpful
~  a zig zag stitch, lengthened to 3.0 to 3.5 is sometimes a good alternative stitch for stitching stretch fabrics
~  sew more slowly!  this is probably the one thing i have found that helps the most!  it really helps  to be able to manage the layers, and keep the shifting of fabric to a minimum, as you sew with raw edges together
~ increase your stitch length when topstitching.  it looks so much more professional, and ... beautiful!

soli deo gloria~

Monday, November 17, 2014

a rose... is a rose gradient ~

monday greetings to you all ~

well, it's definitely not "think pink" weather... {but it is warming up!}... good thing there is always sun shining in warm, vibrant and luscious cloth in my world!  

and i count myself blessed to have received a 'special' piece of dyed fabric from miss vicki welsh.  it was kinda a happy accident, as when i ordered it, it had gone a "walkabout" in miss vicki's studio {i totally get that!} and so i purchased other fabric instead, and then... later, when the lost became found, vicki sent it on to me, and i became the welcome recipient of nothing less than a custom-dyed piece of fabric happiness!

with this particular piece, i tried to add feather lines, that 'grew out' from the original feathers curvy lines... sometimes it was "ok" and others times... not.  

so i get to continue that lesson in my feather adventures, and i look forward to figuring it out with needle and design.

this is my favorite picture of all the gorgeous colors in this piece:

soli deo gloria

Friday, November 14, 2014

a flower festival ~

good morning friday ~

it was the dead of winter, errr, uhum  make that a beautiful "fusing" day ... when a hot iron meets hand dyed cloth, velvet, and fusible web!  and... an accuquilt die!  this die is new, and i love how it turned out. i do really like love the color action all the way around:
once i 'get in the mode' i usually fuse a bunch of fabric at once.  for the next idea, i turned to one of my favorite quilt designer authors, and her book, "flower festival." 

a beautiful palette of color, and a terrific block make for a lovely surface begging for thread play.  these will likely turn into table runners, but maybe a nine-patch dual duty runner or wall hanging?  we shall see!
no one told me retirement days would equal "double time" and i cannot believe how fast the days go by now!  
time to organize, re-fold and re-group my little {big} studio! next up:  minkee blankets!  it's a good time to make a stash for gifts, and to give to young women's shelters, or wherever there is a need.  

happy blessed sewing, stitching, quilting, organizing days!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

a whole latte two good dogs ~ georgia and savannah

we had our coldest night so far {-15 or so} and a slight breeze, in the november polar vortex, brrr... it's cold out there!  but after today... it is going to warm up.  that would be warming up alatte... or alittle?!!

good thing there is hot coffee {latte}, and warm doggies! and they do love their coffee!!  lol  {they really only get a sip or two!}

and... they wait patiently. {sorta}
hey missy!  whatcha got there?
oh yes...they can smell the vanilla and the milk!  pretty please mom?!
when i've had my sips... it their turn.  and for those {dogs} without long, narrow noses... there is always the incredible long licking tongue of a border collie!  gracious!
does georgia's face give her desperation away?!  lol  ahhh... we humans know that same 'gimme coffee ~ then we'll talk' don't we?
and we learn to take turns...

savannah's tongue isn't quite as amazing {or long}, but what one lacks in tongue length, is made up in nose length!

here's to a day with a couple good dogs, a {one} cup of coffee... and a warm home.

i'm thankful!
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