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, May 31, 2012

Jamaican Smiles

Although not one of my older projects, this is one begun this past January. I guess I kind of lost interest as I started the quilting in the center blocks, but didn't know what to do next.  Same old story, huh!  Anyway, I was motivated to move it off the shelf. 
 This square runner features stamping from my "Jamaican" styled flower stamp, carved last summer, which I used in lots of postcards.  (Still have some of those to finish, too!)  It also features one of my favorite things to free motion ~  a free motion zig zag, which I describe as the 'confetti' stitch.  When I taught a free motion class recently, I showed it to my students, using this piece to demonstrate it in class.  It's a very simple thing.  Fun!  Happy.  Colorful.  Easy to do.  I basically switch from a straight stitch, to a zig zag, free motion, and back and forth.  It's quite seamless with temporary altered stitch memory on Bernina machines.  Once the stitch width is set for the zig zag, it is just a matter of one touch on the button or screen, and going back and forth!
 Also, the stamped blocks are pieced with gold fabric, in which the center block has these words quilted, around the perimeter, with a flower in the center:
"She who trusts in God can do all things."
 It will be listed in my Etsy shop, soon!
 The outside border is hand dyed fabric I bought from Laura Wasilowski, of Artfabrik.com, several years ago.
And now it's finished!  Happy sigh!
 Thank you for stopping in.  Have a great Thursday!
XO
Leslie

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Watercolor Quilt ~

Eleven years have passed since I made this little quilt!  I do remember how many hours - make that weeks - I played with these tiny two-inch squares on my design wall - to try... to make them flow and ebb the way I wanted...
 My choices in fabric where rather whimsical... and bright!  Much brighter than most other student's in my recollection... confirmed by the remarks of the teachers in my book (see below!)
 It was so much fun to revisit these tiny little pieces of charming fabrics, that I enjoyed using... so very much!  Kind of like going back in a time machine...
And again, I did not have a CLUE as how to quilt it until after quilting Black Beauty...
I remember, too, the Watercolor Quilt was the second class I'd ever taken, out at a charming little country quilt shop where I worked at the time, "The Quilting Hen" near Carter Montana, where it lives on a working grain farm. It was a class taught by two ladies from Washington, who also wrote the book,  "Watercolor Quilts."
 And... Pat and Donna Slusser were gracious teachers, and sweet, and incredibly encouraging women.  I LOVED the class.  And I admired their incredible talents.  They even signed my book... and it was a blessing to me to read again this week, what they had written to me... way back when!
Encouraged I was!  And SO --- drum roll, please!  Donna and Pat... hope you're proud that I've finished this piece... eleven years ago!  Almost to the day!!!  I hope I can find them, and send them these pics.
 It was a a bit of a monster to quilt ... with all those seams!  I like the feather, and although I did two of them, it was rather wasted in the green/multi-printed fabrics.  But I love how it shows in the pastel white blocks.
 In order to give this little quilt a bit more impact, and as they sometimes say, "more importance" I decided to give it a 'matted' framed look, with TWO trims in the binding.  Above photo shows where I auditioned a flat ribbon-like yarn.  Good... but I went with one I liked even better; the variegated hand-dyed yarn seen below:
Honestly, some days I amaze myself with how ignorant I am about some of the tools I have and don't (forget to) use... Preparing to quilt this little darling, I SUDDENLY remembered (I was hit in the head with a baseball bat as a 5th grade girl - true story - another time!) ANYWAY --- look at my table extension!  I forgot about it completely.  And it works great --- uhh ... when you USE it that is.
 And I also added a second thread, Razzle Dazzle in green, stitched along the inside edge of the yarn. I love this look.  And it really does give this whole piece a more serious impact... which it deserves... after eleven long years folded away on a shelf!  

 It is now hanging in our living room, above the fireplace.
 and I really LIKE like like... how the feathers in white show up.  YAY!!
 It's a tad bit small for the wall space and so it will eventually be hung somewhere else. For now...
I'm enJoying the fruits of a labor of love begun ELEVEN years ago!  There really is a time for everything, under the sun.  
And someone else was enjoying their day. Bye for now from me n' Georgia!
XO
Leslie

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pink Paisley

I was happy to finish up one older project -- a pieced table runner made a couple years ago!  I loved this fabric line when it came out --- still do!  And I'm a fan of paisley, for sure.  Felt so good to finish, and love it all over again! This is fabric I believe was from a line of fabric called "Chez Moi."
It's for Sale in My Etsy Shop!

 I think what kept me from quilting it, at least in part, was that I looked at the print in the middle, and wondered, now what do I do to quilt it?  Some things... apparently need to steep in my brain for awhile. 
 I think I finally realized that it would be best to keep it simple!  The fabric says it all.  That was when I knew that a simple straight line through the patterned print would not distract, and probably would add some great texture at the same time.
 "Sew let it be done!"

With all the snowy and cold, rainy weather, I was able to almost finish another second older project -- from over ten years ago... a watercolor quilt I made when I first started quilting!  It was a bit of bear to quilt; will share with you later this week about that one!
Hope you and your family, and loved ones had a delightful weekend... perhaps a picnic with some sunshine in it?  We're getting some sun this morning, and it a welcome relief, although it's still chilly at 45 degrees. Maybe we'll hit 60??~!~ fingers crossed!

EnJOY!  I know I'm gonna soak it up as much as I can today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

While Waiting for the Sunshine ...


These are flowers from my patio plantings... planted a week ago... glad I snapped this photo before we got all the snow and cold weather yesterday; I think they survived!
(sigh) More snow showers forecast today.  
A rather typical Memorial Day weekend for Montana.  
We wait in expectant hope for the sunshine to return!

As we take this day to remember ... special thank you to our son, Doug, as a three-time war veteran at the age of 30, currently serving in Korea.  And a very special thank you to ALL who serve, continue and will serve ~ who have given their LIVES, so we could live ours in peace in this great country, and for all those who have left us whether they were family, friends, and sweet loved ones, we lift our hands and give thanks to God the Father.
In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Black Beauty No. 1 Finale ~

I began this piece recently, named "Black Beauty" which hopefully... will be part of a series. See that post here.  The photo below shows a close-up of the quilting after outline quilting (three times!) in a gold colored thread, and then a turquoise blue thread for the outer spaces, without any hyper quilting in the center feather shapes ~ yet!
I actually debated about whether to even add the hyper quilting, as I do love the puffy-looking texture of the feathers... perhaps another time?!
But I love free motion! So quilt the feathers, I did!  In a solid colored purple thread.  All of these threads are by Superior Threads from their Art Studio line of 100% polyester, tri-lobals.
I will also admit to you all out there, that the triple outline of the feathers, with the gold-colored thread... was very difficult to do!  Not in a bad way, necesarilly --- just something I want to get better at.  It will take a good deal more practice to get the spacing more exact, the curves a little smoother and prettier... and a good deal more patience, as well!  I can't wait to practice it again.  I love the looks of it!
The picture below shows one of my newer quilting motifs, which I call "the patched screen door."  What do you think of it?  Kind of looks like it doesn't it?  I like it that is NOT perfect...
and because it is fairly easy for me to get bored with one design, I chose many different 'fill-in' motifs.
I know I've mentioned her before, but if you don't know, or haven't seen Patsy Thompson's website or her books, or her videos... she is one superbly talented lady in teaching, and in her ability to show and explain the perfect execution of this style of feather, which I happen to love! 

The whole tablerunner, laid out on the patio table.  This runner was cut from basically the entire length of the faux leather fabric, so it is quite long; 50 inches.  I hand-drew the curvy lines for the two feathers, which meet in the middle, and form the basis of the feathers.
And it was the first time in a long time, that I have made rounded corners, which was requested by the person I custom made it for; my friend Annette.  I cut the binding on the bias, matching the turquoise and purple colors, and I love the black graphic print of the batik, too.  It's a little faded in the picture above, but brighter in person.

Hope you had a nice long weekend.  Counting down my days of vacation... make that "staycation!"  Sad face, but happy days!  Three... more... left!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Hope Quilt for Rowan

The quilting is finished. 
I laid the quilt out on the studio floor and pinned it to the pieced minkee backing fabric.  It does not have batting in it, which means it won't be really heavy or bulky, but will remain pliable, soft and cuddly
In my opinion, using a walking foot and a ballpoint needle is the best way to piece the stretchy minkee fabrics together for the back.
As for thread, I chose a bright golden variegated yellow, in YLI Variations, a 100% polyester, 35 weight, in both top and bobbin for the free motion quilting, with a 90/14 Microtex needle.
 I began quilting it two days ago, and when I came downstairs the next morning, Nicki, our black kitty seemed to think it was really soft and cuddly too! Love her green eyes and those long, elegant white whiskers!
I want to mention here, it isn't the easiest way (or my most favorite) to free motion quilt a quilt with this minkee fabric on the back.  However,  I chose to do it as most everyone who has ever received a quilt in this combination loves it.  This is the first one I've made that is so large, and in which I attempted this type of free motion without a batting in the middle.    
I employed my straight stitch plate, and made sure to engage my safety function, by choosing the symbol to match the plate I put on the machine.  I didn't start it out this way, but quickly found out it was needed.  The straight stitch plate will help keep the stitching from being real wobbly looking, due to the nap and thickness of the minkee fabric.  On my machine, you can choose from three different stitch plates.  I choose the 0mm picture, for this machine.
I ended up using 3 new microtex needles, as they dull rather quickly with minkee fabric, and 8 bobbins later, and about 12 hours later, having used a full spool of thread, and more, I was done.
I deliberately left the quilting as loose and wide open with soft swirls, which also emulate the pattern in the blue border fabric.  I felt this type of quilting motif was the best choice, keeping this twin-sized quilt feeling soft and supple, and also because it would have taken three times longer to quilt it! The word "hope" is also quilted  in many places throughout. And since this was rather short notice, I needed to quilt it quickly. It needs to be displayed locally in Highwood and Ft. Benton communities by next week, so we can sell the raffle tickets for it.  Did you see my Quilt Raffle and Giveaway post?  Check it out here if you missed it!!

I stitched a yellow binding from a batik fabric.  I cut my binding 2.5" wide, and used a 3/8" for seam allowance, to allow it to be folded over the thick minkee fabric backing.  The binding will be hand stitched by my friend, Lisa, which she will do this weekend. Thanks so much Lisa!!
In HOPE.  
Thank you for supporting Rowan
(click his name to check the his webpage)
Thank you for your prayers.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND to all!
Linking up with Studio JRU today!
 XO
Leslie
Soli Deo Gloria

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