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?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Announcing my new website: MarveLes Art Studios. COM ~

hello friends ~


oh my goodness ~ so much going on in my artsy life now!  
i'm very excited about it!

my biggest news is this ~ 
a longtime goal has been fulfilled; 
my new website is almost live!  
my wonderful website developer and i have been hard at work many weeks, getting the details nailed down!  


many, many thanks to 
for her listening, patience and savvy technical, 
design and savvy advice!
{she is magnificent!}


 soon folks ~ my new website is pretty... functional, will have more content, and be easier to navigate in.  it  will contain my new blog, shop, photography, local class announcements, and online class content eventually!  woot woot!!


just click on the link below, and sign up to receive notice when the website goes live ~ any day now!!  :)
i won't be posting here anymore...
 thank you blogger, it's been a fun ride but the new adventure awaits!


with Leslie McNeil


see ya over there!

soli deo gloria!
xo
leslie


Friday, December 18, 2015

reverse applique snowflakes ~

snowflakes galore ~ a sweet snowflake inspiration most definitely!  

and so, here is the reverse appliqué method.  simplicity, and effectively accomplished with my accuquilt snowflake die and gray and white fabrics:


 i carefully laid my solid piece of silver gray sparkly fabric on top of the die, being careful to fold a center line, which then was centered in the middle of the middle snowflake!  sounds complicated {but it's not}.  just measure. and take your time.  and this is what it will look like after you're done:
 i placed the die-cut silver gray fabric on top of the white fabric, which is a soft pearly dotted fabric, making the white fabric slightly larger so i could center the gray fabric on top.  this method uses two fabrics, which may seem wasteful, but it adds stability, and keeps things nice and neat.  
 the next thing i did was to use the glue-baste-it to lightly dap dots of glue on the snowflake edges:
and of course, i always prefer to press fabric with mary ellen's best press starch product to keep the fabric from being too flimsy.

and then i began to quilt the outside edges, using white thread and an open toe free motion foot.  of course, if you aren't comfortable with free motion this can be done with a walking foot, too.  but... much easier, and lickety-split with free motion.  i'm stitching with about an 1/8" distance from the edge.  it's just eyeballin' it ~ no need to get trapped into perfection here.  the overall quilting will take over your eye anyway {once you're finished!}


and i love the added texture of the reverse appliqué edges, too.  i also added free motion stitching lines to the inside of the snowflake, to give a bit more added dimension:
now let me answer a question you may be asking: will it fray when it's been washed?  yes ~ a little bit.  although metallic printed fabrics tend to fray less than others.  and also, that's why i stitched close to the edges. to minimize any fraying, it will also be helpful to wash this using the delicate cycle setting {or hand washing}, and then absolutely drying flat {not in the dryer}. 

if fraying is something you can't live with, there are two things i say:  1.  this is not the method for you! and, 2.  first, fuse the snowflakes down with steam-a-seam { i prefer lite steam-a-seam2}.  steam-a-seam most generally effectively prevents  edges from fraying.  

below is the method for fusing the entire piece of fabric i'm going to cut.  i will further cut it into squares to fit my die {to minimize fabric waste}, cut it out, and then fuse the shapes to the quilt/fabric top.
it's not reverse appliqué, but is what we call "fusible appliqué" ~ easily accomplished by pre-fusing the fabrics, and cutting any shape out individually, and fusing on as you like!

reversible applique ~ above; surface applique {or fusible applique} below: 
 here's a picture of the reverse side: {which also makes this piece reversible, as well!}

whichever way you decide to cut, fuse and apply... 
it's all really, really beautiful!!  
and it will be a treasured piece
for time to come.  

merry christmas!
xo
leslie

soli deo gloria


Monday, December 14, 2015

oh~-so~elegant gray and white snowflakes ~ and christmas tidings to you!

oh goodness ~  and happy monday!

today, a snowstorm is blowing' ~ and yes, it's cold outside~
and i so love being retired... and staying off the streets, content to be at home on a snowy, blowy, wintery, cooooollllish day doing what i love ~ designing, quilting, and enjoying the Christmas season!  

but i'm keeping nice and cozy!  to help celebrate the season, i've designed  a quick little  elegant sparkly snowflake table runner, perfect for our coffee table.  

it was pretty quick because ... i used my accuquilt snowflake die, and i cut it using reverse appliqué, which means i cut the whole rectangular top on the die, so it made "holes" of snowflakes, and layered it over white fabric.  here it is:





i'll share more of the design details and process in a couple days.  i actually am making a couple, they were so fun, and so beautiful!

gray and white keeps it simple.  easy, and elegant.  and perfect for your holiday frame of mind!

blessings, and christmas tidings of great joy!
xo
leslie
soli deo gloria

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

customer {custom quilted} christmas projects ~

hello everyone ~

i'm thinkin' many of you are happily ensconced in multiple projects for christmas, huh?  ... me... too!  not only my own, but for others, too, at least on a limited basis.

i've taken on a few custom orders lately; these two smaller quilts for my friend mary, featuring a navy blue, red and green with white ribbons... and i decided to add gold thread to bring out the fabric's gold stars, and for the first time, i tried a bit of double needle stitching, free motion style, in the dark background of the trumpet wall hanging ~ fun!  

i also added lyrics from some favorite christmas hymns for the quilting, and because one was a table runner, it looks backwards here, but that way everyone on each side of the table will be able to read that side...




mary will finish the bindings, so it's a treat not to have to finish that and i can move into the next project!  and georgia is hangin' out, happy not to move!  at least for the moment.. happy for the {rare} moment to be relaxing with  brian in the chair!

happy holiday {prep} days to you!
xo
leslie

Monday, November 30, 2015

sir frosty collage kits available~!

good monday morning peoples ~

it's been a bit "frosty" here, and what a great time i've had making my newest collage pattern.  and i've made a few "sir frosty" kits, too!  these kits are special... they include the pre-fused and actual cut-outs of flowers {at least 75 of them!} that go with the sir frosty pattern!  they are available in the etsy shop, or you can contact me directly on the marveles art studios facebook  page, too!

here's what's included:  a really beautiful, gray, silver-flecked snowy background, or a really beautiful, white swirly batik background {you can choose!}, with the snowflake border, gray woodgrain binding, birch trees w/cardinals, snowflake fabric, and all the components to make frosty's hat, hat band, eyes, nose, mouth, buttons, tree hands, and scarf, as well as the snowdrift foreground... the red cardinal bird is included in the birch tree fabric... and then add in all the flowers, ready~ cut and fused!  having these all ready for you is a huge, huge, time-saver, as i've done all the cutting and selection for you.  all you need to do is peel of the paper backing, and fuse down.  the birch trees and snowflakes in the background, you will fuse and cut out yourself, as well as the frosty components.

and the kit includes the "sir frosty" pattern as well.  {please note: the kit is not included in the shop sale}.



they are as charming and adorable as sir frosty himself!  hurry, i've only made a couple kits, and so when the snow melts... they are as gone as sir frosty!! lol

thank you so much for stopping in!
xo
leslie
soli deo gloria

Saturday, November 21, 2015

sir frosty ~ a merry old soul ~ newest collage pattern

hello everyone!

yes!  i'm excited about my latest collage pattern, "sir frosty!"  he's a jolly old soul, dontcha know?!  a classic childhood memory, created in collage...

the pattern is now available in the etsy shop, right here... and at a 25% discount for a limited time ~ until December 5th. that goes for any pattern, too!!  {this pattern is $20, which means $5 off}.  coupon code:  FROSTY25.  

update: in fact, heck, let's just have a big sale: everything in the store at 25% off, minimum purchase of $20!  {coupon code FROSTY25, until december 5th}

this is a smaller collage pattern, overall, so you can do this in time for the holiday, as a decoration in your home, or as a gift, too.  the overall size is 25" wide x 32" long.

and you know, {if you read my blog in the past}, that i love to add special little treats with all my etsy orders... and this is no exception!  as part of this pattern promotion, to each order, i'm including two, pre-fused, and pre-cut ~ the sweet little "eyebrow flowers" that add so much to his special "gentle old soul" look!

and how much would it be to add even more charm to his, by using a loved one's plaid or flannel shirt, plaid wools, or even a beautiful velvet for the scarf?  make it personal.  make it charming.  make it a fun memory, too.

of course, i add lots of hints and tips in all my patterns, including free motion and my binding tips.

for those of you who love to support the local quilt shops, this pattern is available at my favorite quilt shop here in great falls, too.




happy thanksgiving, and thank you to all of you who come by and read the blog, i appreciate you!!

xo
soli deo gloria!
leslie

Friday, November 20, 2015

cuddle up with a batik beauty on the prairie ~ {and it's for sale}

good morning my friends out there in bogland ~
happpppy friday!

yes... another "old" quilt top, from the good ol' ufo pile ~ is finished!!!  i do love how it turned out, and i'm so tickled to be able to do this on my new mid-arm.  feels so good! and i was also very excited to photograph it against the beautiful backdrop of the highwood mountains last weekend. always a perfect way to add color and drama in an otherwise slightly cloudy november day.  and the same is true when one cuddles up with it!! {this one is for sale, too and if anyone is interested, by contacting me directly, i can offer it at a lower price}  :)

i'm really putting my bernina mid-arm q20 to the test, and i can tell already, my stitching is much nicer than when i first began.  this is a fairly large quilt; 67" x 78" as i decided to add borders to it, as i couldn't wait to use a couple new fabrics, so what better way than to add them to this glorious collection of batik scraps in this quilt!

although the mid-arm comes with {two} bernina stitch regulators {aka "bsr"} i have chosen to use "my own" built-in stitch regulator of my hands and eyes!  {a novel concept i know!}  yes, the "bar" is quite nice, have no doubt.  but!  i want to be able to hone my free motion skills, and there is a time and place for everything... under the quilting needle!
this is a classic feather, with a bit of scallop surrounding it, and i quilted this in an all-over pattern ~ love the look of it!  i also used a variegated thread; this time a king tut, 40 wt, extra long staple cotton, with masterpiece 50 wt in the bobbin, another extra long staple cotton.  they just get along so very well together!  and, yes, in case you're wondering, the mid-arm has what is called an "m class" bobbin case, so it's fairly large, and holds lots of thread.  i also have a stitch counter, which i am using, which is an interesting feature.  i am amazed at how many stitches i take!  and i'm keeping track on each quilt i quilt.  the stitch total on this beauty?  it was 208,855!  


the prettiest shots of this quilt  were taken outside in the natural light, showing off it's real beauty in the great outdoors!







and our girls love it too!  of course, what they really love is their morning coffee {with creamer} ~ hey, who could blame them?  they know the good stuff!!
blessings abundant upon your day wherever you are,
xo
leslie
soli deo gloria!
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