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, December 31, 2010

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I hope you enjoy these photos that I've taken, that capture some of the essence of this scripture as we look upon the past, and gaze to the future.

"To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 
A time to kill, and a time to heal; time to break down, and time to build up; 
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
A time to rend, 
and a time to sow; 
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak, 
A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)
Photos by Leslie Vaskey McNeil 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"JOY" Art Quilt

During the Christmas season we celebrate the grand night God came down to earth as baby. And perhaps to the rest of the universe the event looked merely like an astounding humiliation...

God, the Creator of all, became man, taking the form of a human body; a somewhat ordinary and perhaps unimpressive thing to some of us. He endured life as we do; he knows our sorrows, our temptations, how broken we really are... He came to us both as God and as a man.. enduring a confining life, and more importantly, as the ultimate sacrifice for us, dying a grisly death on the Cross.  The Apostle Paul points to this death to show that God can take even the darkest moment in history and turn it into JOY.The cross, and Jesus' triumph over death, prove that nothing is powerful enough to stamp out a reason for joy. "JOY in the LORD" as Paul says. 
And so, "Joy Comes in the Morning" is the inspiration of this  art quilt. 
Razzle Dazzle in gold, on top of the painted and stamped tissue paper surface
Heavy bobbin play really lends itself to this detail of "pebble stitching" giving it much presence and... impact!

 Psalm 30:5 "... weeping may endure for a night, but Joy Comes in The Morning."

SAVE... and savor the flavor of those beautifully tinny foils leftover from candies... they are part of the fun and joy of this little art quilt, and notice them peeking out from under the fabric paper?!  I LOVE it!

My husband really thought I had lost all my marbles when I scolded him (well not really) when he wadded up the foil wrappers from the chocolate candies as he ate them... I saw all these tiny balls of foil rolling around on the coffee table, and brought them to his attention, saying: "No, No! My love, you MUST flatten them!"  Now I have to just find a place to STORE them!!!
Little Quilt... BIG joy!
This technique is part of a book "Mixed Media Explorations" from Beryl Taylor, also available from Quilting Arts.... and yes, I have found joy also in making "Fabric Paper Quilts." Can't wait to make more!  Save those gum wrappers, letters, tissue papers...what a great jumping off point in this new year for more embellishment fun and joy...
May your faith increase as you look to a new year...  knowing your JOY will come in the morning! 
Happy New Year!
May you know and live in all of God's blessings today, tomorrow and forever.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TNT Thread NeedlesTension

Very Important:  With threads, the bigger the number (weight), the SMALLER the thread is. With needles, the bigger the number, the BIGGER a needle is.

Once you get those two concepts in your mind, you can really begin to understand what will work for you in your machine, with the process or product you have.  It's all about the basics!

So here are some pics I took of some lovely labels!  Reminds me of a jingle and commerical (we're going back to the 70's folks!) If it says Libby's Libby's Libby's on the Label Label Label...you will like like like it on your sewing table table!!!  Ring a bell with anyone?!  It wasn't really about sewing - I added that part... just my wacky sense of humor.  I think it was about vegetables, but I can't remember for sure!!!  :)

Anyway!  LOVE the Superior labels...finally, thread company Superior Threads is giving us the proper INFORMATION and education we need! Look at this label, and not only will you see the the yardage, but you will notice there is a weight, ply, and size of needle to use!  Wait!  You mean they say what size NEEDLE to use?  Yes!  What a great idea! !

Rainbows (top): 40/3=40 weight 3 ply thread.  A lovely variegated pretty polyester, with a extra bit of high sheen, only because it's a tri-lobal  polyester, which means it has three sides (you can't tell with your own eyes).  It's been specially created that way so that it will reflect light, and that is why there is three 'sides' so to speak. Don't even try it without a 90/14 needle... it will shred if you don't, and that won't be much fun. 50 weight cottons are a good companions with it in the bobbin, as would be a solid colored 40 weight polyester .  I don't usually put variegated threads in the bobbin, unless I know the back will be seen, or the quilt is reversible.
Masterpiece - 50/2 = 50 weight cotton thread, and two-ply means it has two strands twisted together.    Because it's a smaller/thinner thread, it takes up less space in a seam, laying flatter which is especially important for intricate seam piecing, or multiple points that come together or for precise placement.  Primarily it was created for those specific needs.  Use Masterpiece in your top and wind it on the bobbin for the best results in piecing applications. For this kind of application, use an 80/12 microtex needle, or 80/12 HE for best results.
King Tut:   40/3 = 40 weight cotton thread.  What's so great about it? As a 3-ply thread (3 strands twisted together), it's smooth, strong, and has beautiful, but also fairly subtle color variations.  Use for decorative stitching as well as beautiful free motion quilting.  I like to use masterpiece in my bobbin when King Tut is being sewn from the top.  Smooooooth sailing!
  • Notice also that because Masterpiece is s a finer weight, you get more on the spool, and can wind more on your bobbin.  Love that!
    • What kind of thread is it?  Well, many companies may say"Egyptian thread" but if it's TRUE Egyptian extra long staple cotton, they will be HAPPY to say exactly THAT--- and  the acronym "ELS" will be printed, not something just generic. Buyer beware!  Superior labels it exactly what it is.  Yes, ELS will cost more... but it will also save you much in time and frustration.  Buy the best quality you can afford, but know the difference!
    • ELS: That means it's NICE... and you pay for what you get.  Ever touch the Egyptian cotton sheets that are for sale in a department store?  Fabric is so incredibly smooth, and they're usually a very  high thread count which gives them that extra satiny feel.  Same deal with Egyptian cotton thread! 
    • Why buy Egyptian extra-long staple cotton?  1. It's stronger; less breakage.  2.  It's smoother, which means less fuzz in your tension discs and less cleaning in your bobbin case.  Both Masterpiece and King Tut threads are "ELS!" It doesn't need alot of fancy 'treatments' to make it good, because naturally, it's already the best.
    • King Tut and Rainbows spool will also say: "Use Topstitch 90/14" for the needle ---using the right needle is what will make this thread sing to your machine!
    Here's some very good thread... in fact, it's one of my top favorites!  I encourage all my beginning free motion students to use the YLI "Variations" thread (the pink spool and the bottom label in picture below).  Why?  Because it's strong, as it is a polyester.  And... it's pretty!  Because it's a mid-weight thread - 35 weight and two ply, and it's a great value for the money you spend.  It's good not only in the top of your machine, but if you need a pretty thread on the back, it's wonderful in the bobbin, too.  Use a 90/14 microtex, topstitch or metallic needle with it for best results!
    Notice there is a thread from YLI called "Machine Quilting" (spool on the top far right below) and this is 100% cotton, but it is only "LONG staple cotton" - not Egyptian EXTRA LONG staple cotton.  It's still a very good thread, but does have a few more slubs and fuzz on it, as the strands are not as long and smooth. Pretty good as opposed to VERY good (ELS cottons) in the thread/cotton world. You may find you have to clean your tension discs or bobbin area more often with this thread.

    Bottom Line -- well, here it is!  Beautiful and strong polyester 60 wt thread.  Remember, the bigger the number, the smaller the thread... and that is why you can wind 40% MORE on your bobbin!!!  That is a BIG YAY!

    It is absolutely my first choice in the bobbin when I have any type of metallic thread in the top.  Why?  Metallic thread is rough (like a man) and the polyester... smooth... (like a woman!) Less friction, great marriage!  Great compatibility! They get along WELL together; less breakage, smooth interaction...you get my point!  But don't forget to loosen up tho (the top tension that is!)   Bottom Line is also the embroidery maven's choice because it has great VALUE, great STRENGTH, you can wind 40% more on a bobbin because it's so thin, and you have a fabulous COLOR selection.

    Then we have the much bigger topstitch variety of threads.  I've given you samples of two that I have used, and enjoy.  First picture below is the Caryl Fallert BRYTES thread (pictured above and to the right) by Superior threads.  The second picture below is FUSIONS.

    Fusions thread to the left, designed by Laura Heine for YLI threads.  Both of these thicker weights require a 100/16 topstitch needle.

    You can order Fusions from Fiberworks, Laura's beautiful quilt shop in Billings, MT.  I do LOVE the rich colors of this variegated cotton thread.  The label on the cone says it's 24/3, so it's even slightly thicker than a 30 weight.

    Note that the Superior Threads spool cap tells you what needle to use:  100/16.  Actually, the other end of the spool gives you the size, but I'll just tell you cuz I forgot to snap a shot on the other end; it's a beautiful topstitch thread at 30 wt.  It certainly will give your stitches PRESENCE!

    You'd better be sure your stitching looks good when there's this much thread as it will show up big time on your quilting project! I recommend a polyester 40 weight in the bobbin, so the weights are matched and you don't have make such an extreme adjustment in your top tension. 

    Hope this was informative.  Let me know what questions you have!

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Embellishment - "THE FLATHEAD" Art Quilt

    I was born and raised in Montana; my father's family homesteaded on the northern border of Montana, near the Canadian border, in the Sweet Grass Hills. My mother's family homesteaded in western Montana, on the Flathead River.
     For many summers, I would pack up my boys and we'd travel 240 miles to go to the Flathead Valley, and spend a week with my Gramma Ila, enjoying the family farm, and picking what seemed like tons of raspberries, strawberries and more! My Aunt Vi had the most incredible Raspberry Patch... her huge yard was encircled with 4-6 rows of raspberry bushes that surrounded their home!  Fabulous! Sometimes we had time to go through Glacier Park too... but we always had to get those berries home into the freezer!

    "THE FLATHEAD" landscape art quilt is lovingly dedicated to my Gramma Ila, who passed away in 2002. The Flathead Valley is shimmery lakes, sparkling rivers, lush fields and purple mountains majesty.

    This impressionistic journey began by thinking of those beautiful images and sweet summer memories with my Gramma. This fabric has three color gradations; a mauvey pinky (berries) color on the bottom, then a periwinkle purple (mountains), blue and soft gray/blue/green (sometimes rainy skies!) on the top.

    Here is a detail of the 'feather' motif I added with a free motion couching foot.  (The Bernina #43).  I loved this yarn, and it was a fun thing to do... and a bit unexpected!   The other embellishment I enjoy using is foil.  This happens to be silver leaf, the flimsy stuff, usually for wood crafts, and the like.   

    How I love couching free motion style!  Such creative freedom it brings me.  To add more definition and presence to the silver leafing, I couched a deep purple yarn, which had a bit of golden flecks in it, and I loved the contrast and dimension it brings to this piece.... reminding me of those lovely, tall shining mountains, with rays of sun reflecting on the sparkling lakes and the cool breezes in the evenings.  (Not to mention the color of the berries!)  In the picture below, bobbin play detail.  See
    Blog entires on December 15:  Bobbin Quilting and December 23: More Hints if you'd like to know more.
    Hint:  I used white thread on my top so the silver bobbin thread would be dazzling...
    My favorite silver thread was just calling to me!  And I decided to let it meander... just like the Flathead River through the steep mountain gorges... and of course, (below) there has to be just a glitzy touch of angelina fibers... it just reminds me of the sun and water, and fresh air!
    In the pic below you will see a zig zag stitch; this is traditional couching over a fiber or cording, or something thick that cannot be sewn through the eye of the needle.
    The picture shows where I've couched on wool roving.  The beading you see here was done by machine, without a foot... yes you can do it that way!  The exception however, is the triangle silver bead in this picture.. it was done free motion, but I did have a foot attached; the #29 (Bernina) clear free motion foot, which I turn to constantly!  I just set it for a zig zag... and carefully... ensure your stitch width accommodates the width of the bead hole to the edge of the bead by using your hand wheel first!  Then, at a slow speed, stitch your zig zag 3-4 times to secure the bead.
    Questions? Please let me know and I would enjoy answering them! I love to demo this fun technique in the free motion classes I teach. I will be posting instructions specific to this technique in the New Year!

    Beading by MACHINE... "look mom, no hands!"  Well.... not quite!  There is no foot, but I can bead faster this way than I can by hand, actually.  It takes practice of course!  Sooner than you might think, you can add a great many beads in a small space of time. It's a big plus to know your machine, and have good knowledge of threads and needles.
    HINT:  I always use polyester (Isacord brand) for strength, and size 2mm beads with holes that will accommodate a 90/14 needle, which in my opinion, has to be a microtex needle for sharpness.  An advanced technique, it also requires a great deal of caution and focus as you certainly don't want to put the needle through your finger, (No, I haven't done it with this technique!).

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    Merry Christmas!

     I hope you all had a great Christmas!  Ours was great!

    I loved being able to make these quick ornaments with my new Sizzix machine; the "Big Shot" and am anxious to try out more new shapes.  This year, they adorned Christmas packages of quick breads, and pretty glass jars of homemade hot fudge sauce!  Woohoo!

    I fused white fabric, which already had beautiful silver sparkly snowflakes as the pattern, and fused it to timtex on both sides, then ran it through my Big Shot machine, presto magico!

    A bit of angelina fibers, button and a bead, and DONE!  LOVE it!

    I am looking forward to using some more dies in the quilting related arena when my budget will allow me to try one or two more.  Although I bought my machine/dies from Patsy Thompson's website, you will also find additional items and great information from:  IHAN (I Have  A Notion). Both of these ladies are great to answer questions and I can't wait to see what they will bring us in the New Year to whet our appetites!  I'm really hoping Patsy will bring us some FEATHER designs!!!!

    I enjoyed using some of buttons in embellishing these ornaments... and loved also that this cool red batik with white 'snowflakes' looked quite charming to me...
    Here's praying you find a year filled with God's love, and the JOY of Jesus Christ.  May all the work and play! of your hands glorify Him.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    BOBBIN PLAY- Hints and Tips

    BOBBIN PLAY Hints & Tips--- the following information is copy and pasted from a handout I give to all my students in the classes I teach on free motion and more... a continuation of tips in a previous blog post on 12/15/10 on Bobbin Quilting.
    From "Frost on the Zinnias" by Leslie Ann McNeil
    — Use a loosened bobbin case (for Berninas or for any machine with a separate type of bobbin case). For drop-in machines, by-pass the tension disk entirely

    — Adjust your upper thread tension.  Normally, this will mean you “tighten” it by going to a higher number, testing on a sample as you try out different tensions until you like what you see!

    — Wind a bobbin with thick thread. By-pass one of the two thread pass points, or “tensioners” and then, using your forefinger, apply tension to the thread strand as you are winding the bobbin at a lower speed. You may need to loosen your grip with your forefinger as the bobbin fills up. Do NOT overfill!!  You can wind the bobbin “by hand” as well, keeping the thread nice and evenly applied as you fill up the bobbin.

    — Top thread.  I recommend a quality strong polyester for the top thread; a 40 weight is best.  You may also choose a 50 wt cotton, and even a 60 weight bobbin weight thread will suffice, but in such a case as the 60 weight thread, you will have to remember to allow for more adjustment, and there will be quite a disparity in the “tug of war” that will occur between the two threads. Adjustments must be made in the upper tension to accommodate such a difference in those type of thread weights.
    Flower in heavy Bobbin Play -- Detail from "Sunset on Highway 2 - 1976"
     — See the chart/handout on tension! You will find it here from Superiorthreads.com 
    Detail from "Frost on the Zinnias" by Leslie McNeil
    — Use a needle that best suits the top thread you use; usually an 80/12 topstitch for 50 weight cotton, or 90/14 topstitch for a 40 weight polyester.

    — Stitching.  In free-motion applications, stitch slower, using a longer length stitch. Be sure to drop your feed dogs and use the proper free-motion foot attachment of your choice. If you are applying decorative stitches, choose one that has a fairly open motif

    – in non-free motion, choose ‘open’ designs in decorative stitching motifs.  For regular straight stitch or zig zag stitches, you may find it best to  lengthen the stitch as well.

    — Sew from the BACK side of your garment, quilt or fabric item!
        ♡ Define your area from the backside of the quilt or just... 'wing it' and let yourself be surprised. If you want more exact placement, use pins carefully placed from the top of the quilt, in order to “see” where you need to go from the back...don't hit the pin with your needle; that is not a fun surprise!  You could also use chalk to draw the space around your pins; then remove the pins.

    — Have fun!  This is a creative process.  There is no “bad” tension except where it either causes your machine problems, or in that you don’t like it!  Notice how the top thread loops on top of the bobbin thread... I LIKE IT! It makes me 'happy!'

    — Keep in mind that some of the top thread will always show, and depending on the look you desire, so either blend your top thread with bottom thread or choose a contrasting thread if that is what you like!  I am not a fan of the 'clear plastic-like' threads... but there is only one I would recommend, and it's made by Superior Threads.  Bob Purcell has an excellent DVD "Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob" so check it out! By the way, sign up for their free newsletter... it's EXCELLENT.  And no, I'm not paid anything by Superior Threads (how I wish that were true!) HA.  EnJOY.

     Samples of threads that work great in the bobbin!  YLI Shimmer or Candlelight, YLI Ribbon Floss (you must wind the floss by hand).  Superior Threads Razzle Dazzle.  Valdani #8, usually a hand stitching thread is quite lovely in the bobbin, but you will want to wind it by hand.
     Notice how Superior labels their spools  (LIKE THIS ALOT!!)   Type of thread:  100% POLYESTER.  What's it for:  "For Bobbin Work, Couching and Serger."

    Know of other types of "thick threads" you could have fun trying in your bobbin play?!  How about some of those silk ribbons!  Yup!  And other serger threads, like pearl crown rayons, are quite wonderful. Most serger threads will work, but eliminate those that have ... s-t-r-e-t-c-h!  (NOT fun!)

     Ahhh...yes, don't stop there with the bobbin play... adding a bit of silver glitter (for the frost) adds another dimension of extra eye sparkle!

    All the beading you've seen in these pictures was done by machine.  I love it!  More to come in future blogs!


    P.S. I'd love to read your comments!

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Free Motion Motifs or KISS = "Keep It Simply Stunning"

    CUTE AS A BUTTON Baby Jacket!  Just a little sample of a great way to apply a bit of free motion ... with a few simple little swirls you can add such a special touch of pizazz to this sweet little jacket, pattern by Jackie Clark.  (I've made at least ten of these now!) Keep an eye out for how you can make any garment simply stunning with a few free motion stitches!  Notice the little swirls coming from the cute pockets...

    Keeping it simple... really!  Nature inspires! My inspiration with this quilt:  Flathead Lake. Water bubbles made me want to try and emulate them with stitching! The little "thread buttons" of silver thread meander in and out from the feather motif, into the outside border of this quilt.  You can easily just overlap them... no worries about not crossing the lines! This is creative play!

    The center circle of a large flower is pictured here.  Not only is it surrounded with bobbin play in a zig zag (in the dark blue outer circle) and a straight stitch (the silver stitching just next to the dark blue). The center itself (yellow) has a fuzzy yarn free motion couched into the very center & a  bit more bobbin work surrounding it, just for added sparkle and bit of depth... take a look at the stitching of the stamens...I used a variegated polyester (YLI Variations).
    This detail shot from Santa Royal   shows one of the ways I applique free motion style off the edge of fused pieces.  The purple fabric in the top half of the picture has a beautiful variegated cotton (King Tut from Superior Threads) just off the edge, in a free motion zig zag, 'herky-jerky' kind of style...  the country bumpkin to that very perfect programmed buttonhole/blanket stitch that most of us have as a decorative stitch in our machines. There is also a free motion zig zag on the boots (bottom half)

    How simple is this?!  Picture on right: Quilt in "e's" on the edge as seen on this wool applique flower (picture right).  How many different patterns can you think of to put on your  appliques?

    Have fun creating some of your own!  Be sure to loosen your top tension, get a 90/14 metallic or microtex or topstitch needle... and go to town!

    Of course, I've added free motion couching to the flower petal edges, with the #43 Bernina Free Motion Couching foot... it just plain makes you look GOOD!  (Yeah baby -- If only facial make-up was this easy!)  You may also want to slow down a bit with the speed... smaller motifs generally require a slower speed for accuracy as you are working in a smaller space for the most part...  Take your time... and if you get stuck... stop... think... make a plan... and BREATHE!

    The next picture is a detail showing what I call "Thread Buttons"... just a little free motion circle in place, using variegated thread, but not for long!  KISS... "keep it simply stunning" and... simply fun! There are also motifs of "pebbles" and then bobbin play on the far left, in gold thread, which is usually either Razzle Dazzle by Superior Threads, or YLI candlelight.  Both are wonderful!  I like to add just a bit of it - a teaser if you will, for added interest and texture.  EnJoy!
    Detail from "3D Delightful" Art Quilt

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Sheree Nelson BRACELET and CHRISTMAS Tag

    It's been looking alot like Christmas in our State this past month, and actually we've got 6 inches of NEW SNOW as of this moring!  But yesterday, we decided to brave the cold and get out and go see "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" - the third movie made from the classic C.S. Lewis books.  I hope you will see it, and better, take your family out!  We LOVED it!  We can't wait for the next one!

    I'm not doing alot of sewing projects this Christmas week... but have LOTS of ideas and plans for more just after the new year.  This week I am making an effort to enjoy a relaxed pace as we look forward to the weekend with family, and contemplating the gift of Jesus's birth to us. 

    I am eager to share with you pictures I took of a beautiful bracelet I received from a dear friend.   I really admire handwork as a whole, and the hand-beading, lovely color and style of this bracelet made by local artist Sheree Nelson is quite beautiful to behold!  It is on a base of black wool, with velcro for attaching around your wrist.  I hope you will go and check out her website. I just recently meet Sheree Nelson briefly when I happened to stop in at our local Gallery 16, where I saw her working on some pieces.  Cool!  I was thrilled to receive one!

    And... an unexpected treasure that came with this gift was a most unusual, and incredible 'gift tag' that came with my bracelet, also made by Sheree.  Frankly, it's stunning in it's craftmanship... amazing!   Although I'm not entirely sure, I believe the tag was made by using recycled metal from pop cans... and detailed/embossed by Sheree... this tag is only about 2"x 3" long and the most amazing, perfectly intricate tiny cross; so tiny I'm not sure it's more than a 1/4" in size.  Then the word "Amen" is also written in the center of the piece... did I say amazing enough times?!  Judge for yourself, and I hope you... EnJOY, as always!  Here are the pics:

    Look her up! 

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Christmas Banana Bread Recipe EMBELLISHED !

    We LOVE banana bread... and this is our favorite recipe --- thought we'd share that with you today; I photographed the recipe for y'all in the picture below.  And with Christmas approaching, I decided why not embellish the loaves with a bit of green and red sugar crystals?!   Love it!

    This "Cream Cheese Banana Bread" recipe was published in a cookbook by two ladies from Big Sandy, Montana, entitled:  "Montana Legacy of Love" also pictured below. It too has been "embellished" with a beautiful "Blue Ribbon Fiber Scarf" I made because I thought the colors were so attractive together.  And I LOVE color! (even more than the Banana bread!)

     Directions on embellishment techniques, fiber scarves, couching and more to come in future blogs.


    Angel Tree and detail pic from art quilt "THE FLATHEAD"


    I have made a career  in Federal Court here in Great Falls for the past twenty five years, where  I have been a courtroom deputy, working mostly in criminal hearings, trials, etc.  Here is something that is so incredibly life-changing, HOPEFUL, and full of the Spirit of CHRISTMAS... the organizational link to ANGEL TREE is above.  This is the deal... these people deliver presents on behalf of prisoners; moms and dads -- to their children for Christmas!  What a holy calling, a great example of living our lives as the Church, and a wonderful, special cause I wholeheartedly support.  I hope and pray you will too!  Merry Christmas!

    Detail pic from my Art Quilt: "THE FLATHEAD"  I attached this because it reminded me of the sparkle and magic of a child receiving presents.  I had taken pics of our ornaments on the tree... but decided this was better suited to "Angel Tree" --- what do you think?  Blessings to you all!

    Friday, December 17, 2010


    "Orange Crush" - a quilt accepted into an Exhibition entitled "Stitch in Time" at Paris Gibson Square Museum Fall of 2009, in Great Falls, Montana.

    This piece began with a lovely gradient fabric by Caryl Bryer Fallert, bordered with a simple, beautiful  summery batik print.  Because the main fabric was such a striking color on it's own, I wanted the quilting to really enhance it, and not overpower it... so I chose feathers; specifically the style I just love, learned from Patsy Thompson's videos on Free Motion Feathers (worth every penny!).  I began with a soft green rayon thread from YLI "Designer 6" and quilted the feathers with bobbin quilting, from the back side, after chalking myself a soft, curving, undulating line.  I then added multiple quilting motifs in a coordinating orange variegated thread to compliment the background, and enhance the feathers.  The next detail was to add silver metallic thread (my favorite one of all is Yenmet brand) in the center of the threads for just a bit of "sunshine" in the feathers!  One thing I had to be a bit careful of, was when I was bobbin quilting with the thick green thread, and not building it up too much in the spine, which has a tendency to warp the entire quilt quite quickly!  (Ask me how I know this!) The final "framing touch" as I call it, is to add a lovely hand-dyed yarn to the binding edge, free motion style, of course!

    This quilt became a wedding gift to a dear young woman, who's wedding colors were "burnt orange" and "chocolate brown" this past September 2010.
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