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, March 30, 2012

Live Radiant ~

This quilted journey began with a favorite thermofax screen from Margaret Applin's Etsy shop.
and really, what could be called 'simple math' --- ala journal quilting style.
 Add a beautiful screen print on fabric~~~

Add a scrap or two, or three.  Or take it away...   
 Add a word.

or two.
Adding bits of leftover strips of patchwork.

add a fun flower...
quilting fun...

Add.  Subtract.  Quilt.
Simple math. 
I adore the KISS method:  Keep  ISimply Slanted!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Getting My Spring On!

It may be too early for most of Montana flowers to show up yet, but never too early to doodle them! 
 I like shiny, sparkly, colorful pens!  Above:  Sakura's Gelly Roll metallic pens. And below: The Glaze pen.
 My satchel bag with many of my favorite pens and pencils ~ ready to go with me.
Some of the doodles below are the result of using the Souffle and Glaze pens; both made by Sakura. I love their raised, textural look and feel.
And I love to doodle!  
And color. Hours and hours. Since I was a small girl.  Didn't you?  I still do! It has changed forms however... be it stitching, sewing, or coloring!
Glaze pens leave a shiny, raised texture and the Souffle pens leave a chalk-like, raised texture. They are very fun Easter basket gifts -- for anyone --- younger or older! 

As I was going through my sketching & scrapbooking supplies, checking my pens to see which ones still worked properly, I practiced some designs and doodles in my big sketchbook...
This is a so relaxing for me, and great practice.  Works out for some fun ideas;  for envelopes, cards & quilting motifs!
I've always loved the simplistic style of of these adorable, tiny pink roses... an easy quilting motif, really.  Nothing but an egg shape with a swirl on the top.
On to blue flowers with nothing but simple little circles that form the cone shape.  I also thought that this  hyacinth shape would be a fun quilting design...

I always have a fun time when I make time for a play date with my pens and sketchbook!

How about you?
Have you got your 'spring on' yet?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Heartful Finish

Several weeks ago, I posted about my Graffiti styled fabric, painted with acrylic paints, applied via the bubble wrap... and some fun writing with a large Sharpie pen. This is how it began:

I was tired of moving this piece around in my studio, wondering what it should be.  So... it was time to 'cut-it-up!'  A dance party with my scissors... but no need to cut a rug! 

Ribbon selections:
Finished with a zig zag stitch on the edges...
And wildly quilted in plain black thread.
Further embellishment with Jones Tones silver, copper and gold foil...

This fabric was heavily painted and dyed to begin with, when I began by applying the Jacquard Dye-na-flow paint/dye.  Then the further addition of the acrylic paint using the bubble wrap as a print.  That made this fabric a challenge - one in which the needle didn't always penetrate well, even tho I used a 90/14 Titanium Topstitch needle (from Superior Threads).  But I kept at it.  I'm determined that way.  And mostly it worked out, and when it didn't... I traveled that road again!  And it worked just fine; some of the zigs missed... but I'm okay with it.  It goes with the graffiti style!

For now.
All of the hearts are backed with cardstock, for durability and stability.  They are great as bookmarks, graduation or anytime gifts or thank-you's.  They are wild - but that is precisely the point!  ALOT of fun!
Orange and red are hard colors to photograph.  They tend to look garish-like. 

Although I am a little tired of hearts... having this piece of fabric result in a finished project(s) feels dang good!!
Praises for another project that crossed the FINISH LINE! YAY YAY YAY!
What are you planning to finish today?
JUST ~~~ Begin!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Marching Through The Spring Snow

Ahh.  Friday.  5pm.  It's time to go home.

Snow has been falling ~~~ all day long. 

The kind of snow that says, "Won't you come out and play?"

View from the eastern side of the river --- looking towards the Federal Courthouse where I work
Yes.  Yes I will!  

Ahh.  The Crisp.  Freshness.

Clinging to the ground in a thick carpet. Not the thinly veiled, soft, floaty-flimsy, hit-the-ground-as-you-melt snow...

Thick.  Wet.  Heavy.  Pure.  Sooo Soft.  

And So Quiet.


All dressed up for the Spring Prom... 

"Won't you come out and enjoy while I'm all dressed up for you?"


 Yes!  I will ...  

Stop being in a hurry. 

I will stop.

Breathe in.


Give Thanks.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ruffling a New Scarf!

I've had this gorgeous voile fabric since last summer. You may have read about my "Zippity-Do-Dah" scarf {make that scarves} in this post.

This Amy Butler cotton voile has such a lovely hand; so satiny-smooth!  And a beautiful print in those 'lift-you-up' spring colors!  It's so pretty, it's hard to tell the wrong side of the fabric from the right side -  so vibrant.
This is the prototype, where I first practiced finishing the edges of the scarf using the #69 foot, which is part of a series of feet, called the 'lap seam' or edge finishing feet I have.  I published the tutorial (same as for the scarf) for using these specialty feet here.
Now the fun begins -- it's kinda like you went through a Bernina drive-through and said "Supersize it!" LOL.
Don't be afraid! It's not a monster... but it is heavy metal!  Like you know, "Rock on Dudettes!"  (or dudes as the case may be)
Here's some great facts I am sharing from a page in my Bernina "Feetures" book. I use these books alot... they are such a great resource. (sorry for the glare)
How to put the foot on?  It's so big, it can seem intimidating, but it's pretty straight-forward, really!

See that horseshoe-looking metal piece below?  They call it 'the fork' and it slips over and fits on the needle bar.  In case you're not sure what that is - the needle bar is the metal piece where you loosen the screw to insert your needle.
I'm thinkin' I should win an academy award for best angle on a sewing machine (picture below).  But I wanted to show you underneath, and this is the underside view from the right hand side of my machine. See how that 'fork' or as I prefer to call it, the 'horseshoe' -- sits on my needle bar?  That's the screw that loosens and tightens your needle in place.  {Okay, forget the award}

It's time to---ruffle!  That would be the distant cousin to the Rumba! {Perhaps Dancing With The Stars should have a new dance routine with that name!}  

Ok - nevermind. 

I began to ruffle -- stitching down each long side of the scarf, which essentially means that the ruffle is centered down the middle of the scarf.  This foot is so much fun to use, and it's lickety-split!  As it began to ruffle, I kept my fabric edge, aligned inside the metal 'fold' piece, that extends to the right of the foot, using that as my visual guide for placement of the ruffles on the scarf.
"Ruffles have ridges."  
{Remember that commercial?!}

Don't ask me where I get this stuff... my mind is one big bag of chips... and some of them are a bit cracked!   LOL
Set the number of pleats you want... It is really sew easy to do!  You just lift up the bar, and move it into the slot that indicates the number of pleats you want per number of stitches the machine takes. 

I set mine to one pleat per stitch in the pic below.   
And this is what it looks like with one pleat for every stitch.  Hint:  Lengthen your stitch to stretch the pleats out a bit more.  I just love this 'perfect-pleat' look!  And bingo  ~  it's done in a flash!  And that's alot of pleats in no-time-flat.
Note on this scarf that the edge stitching/hem stitching was done incorrectly!  It's actually backwards... (That's why it's a prototype!) LOL
However, for this scarf, I actually selected #6 - to make a pleat every six stitches.  Lift and drop it onto the right slot. It's done!
There's so much versatility to this foot.  It will also ruffle a piece of fabric onto another base fabric, such as bed skirts.  Piece of cake!   However... because of it's 'heavy metal' it's a spendy one and they are now upwards of $200.  Sorry for the sticker shock. I am glad I bought mine years ago, when it was only (gulp) $80 and I've enjoyed using it every minute.  

Here's to more ruffles {and scarves} in your life! 

And in case you or someone you know is interested in buying one... they are for sale in my Etsy shop.  10% off with the code: MARVELES10.

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