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 31, 2013

Sketch ~ Hope via Romans 15:13

Happy Morning ~

... it's been exciting to explore the digital sketching in my new app "Paper 53" on our iPad.  I'm thrilled with the idea that I can duplicate, add to it, and save again, as a different sketch, but hang onto the basic background...  

Sometimes I make a background I love, but then I make a change to it that I do NOT love!  So, if I save prior to making further changes, I haven't lost anything in the process.  It's interface is easy for me to manipulate, and easy to share, as well in many of those social medias we like to be on these days.

Although it will not replace the joy of using real art supplies, water, paper, paints and pens, it's an amazing technology, no doubt about it  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In The Pink ~

Hi and good morning everyone!

I've been playing with those little fusible flowers from the Stencil "Flowers 20" by Terri Stegmiller.  This piece is a pale pink fabric... and bit of a change for me, as I don't often gravitate toward those soft, pale, {but very beautiful} pastels in my quilting.  These little flowers, though, just seemed to belong there.
 After printing through the stencil onto fabric, I ironed to set the dye, fused the entire piece of fabric, and then cut the flowers out; fusing them onto the quilt top, and then appliqueing them free motion style, to the quilt sandwich.  Free motion applique is quick!  Easy!  and ... more FUN.  Of course, you could also choose a decorative stitch to accent the edges of those cute flowers...
I added extra motifs, painting them directly to the fabric, with Jacquard Lumiere paints, such as the leaves and berries you see that are painted on.
 This time it's Basic Grey's pink grunge fabric instead of aqua...
 After quilting, and adding the binding, each flower was beaded with at trio of silver beads.  I like to trim and square up my pieces after quilting, and add the binding because if I bead them first, it's nearly impossible to get an accurate cut, as the beads get in the way of being able to lay the ruler flat against the edges by that time.  So all my quilting, and even the binding, is added and finished when I start my beading {by machine} process.
 This quilt also features words in a soft variegated pink thread: "plant your hope... nurture faith...  in Christ... sprout... renew.  Perfect for Easter, too.
It's 7.5" wide x 33.25" long, and for sale in my Etsy shop
I chose a variegated thread, in pretty colors of brighter pinks, blue, and greens to accent the flowers, and 'bring them to life.'  This is a 40 weight tri-lobal polyester on top, and 50 weight Masterpiece 100% ELS cotton  on the bottom.  Here's a picture of the back of this piece, which  shows the thread tension, and also how it looks after beading, which I do by machine, {without a foot}.
These are tips I share when I teach class {and often here on the blog}.  I own a Bernina sewing machine, and these two threads just play super well together! Want to know more? SEE MORE about thread play, tension, and needles, in a post I wrote: Learning the Thread Tango!  Just a little fun I had with a "dancing with the stars" theme... I hope you'll take a few minutes, to ... well, take it in!

I try to be really particular about {always} tying off, neatly; clipping threads.  That way, there won't nasty 'thread nests" on the back  If you look closely at the thread tension in the picture, you can see that the top thread shows a little bit on the back ~ that is exactly how it should be.  I do NOT want to see the thread from the bobbin on the TOP of my quilt.  {no no no!}
So what do you think of my "light pink" pastel piece?  
Kinda different for me, huh.
 Thank you Terri, for the great inspiration.  
I sure do love your designs.  
Soli Deo Gloria!
~Thank you so much for coming by~
EnJOY your day

Monday, January 28, 2013

Plant N' Grow ~ Winner{s}!

Hi there everyone!  

Have you have a good time at the Stencil hop?  I sure have.  It's been so fun to 'see you' all in the coments! Terri's new line of fourteen stencils are seriously cool; the results amazing, are they not?  And remember, you still have time to enter a comment on the other blogs ~ until Feb. 3rd. To see a list where you can enter to win {still} on those other blogs, go see Terri's post here!
Today's post has a theme. {tongue in cheek here}
 "No flower left behind... !"  
and of course... to announce three winners...
So I'm taking advantage of all my little flowers that I've been piecing up from those cute stencils, combining them with other scraps, in that 'springtime' theme.   
This is "Plant." It's 7.25" square.
{love that cute flower print}!
And "Grow" ~ slightly smaller at approximately 6" square.

They are just a couple of simple, sweet little samples that I so enjoyed putting together.  A great {winter's} activity!  "Dream a little... quilt a little... do this every day!" {or something like that}.
Spring-like, of course!
So WHO are those WINNERS?
Did I mention winners?  As in plural? Yes!  
  Runner up: June, who wins "Grow"
  Runner up Susan: who wins "Plant"
  Stencil Winner: Donna!
{just click on the links/names to see who you are}
Winners, please leave a comment on this post, and I will contact you from my email for your addresses.
A big THANK YOU to Terri, and to all of YOU
 for making this so much fun!
Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, January 25, 2013

From My Studio ~ City Lights ~

Good Friday Morning everyone!

Today I want to show a new piece I designed last weekend.  I'm calling it "City Lights." The base fabric is, once again, my stash of aqua "grunge" fabric from Basic Grey for Moda.  It came together almost by accident, as I was cleaning up in the studio. As I was folding up fabrics, I began to think about how some of them really were quite intriguing against this aqua color...

I dropped what I was doing {go figure}, and didn't even take time to fuse these scraps to fusible.  I just decided to go for it, and audition those scraps, cutting them into narrow strips, and it started to look like a cityscape to me.  It kind of started with the grey and white print, which reminded me of a skyscraper... and then I saw the lime green modular batik print, and it looked like windows... and then other, more geographical prints, as well as the flowered ones.  When the flowered ones are cut up, they resemble foilage, trees, and greenery, against a backdrop of blue sky, or buildings, or well... your imagination!  And they are even more interesting in little slices...
I pinned each strip, and then began to stitch them down with the white thread.  While I was doing that, I knew it 'needed more' and I thought how cool it would be to add a bit of silver Razzle, you know, like the sunlight streaming down on the shiny skyscraper buildings and reflecting?  And of course, why stop at just one?  I added lime green, and aqua Razzle Dazzle or YLI Candlelight threads to further add sparkle and shine.
The picture above is the best rendering of true color of the piece.  Good light in the winter can be elusive in our house.  The picture below shows it hung on our living room wall, which faces the south, but it was a cloudy day outside, so there was not much light.  I'm sad that the sparkles and colors don't both really show off, but hopefully, you get the idea.
It was designed it to be hung horizontally, and I wanted the left side edge to have the feeling of kind of 'falling away' into the distance as you leave the city {at least that is what I was going for}. I used two different fabrics for the binding, too, and deliberately placed the blue one on the curvy left edge.
And I also hung it vertically, to see how looked.  I prefer it horizontally I think.  The next day the sun came into the house, but it kind of washes it out, but you can see how it will really sparkle and shine for real!
My Bernina 830 has a walking foot built into it; it's called the 'dual feed' and it just flips down from the back of the machine, and attaches to any dual feed foot.  {these are marked as "D" feet in case you ever want to know}. I used my patchwork foot #37D for all the straight rows in white thread.
Rows upon rows of straight stitching, unevenly spaced apart, and parallel to each other.  Right up my alley. haha.  And the fabrics are fraying a little bit too... which also appeals to me.  If I do another one, though I may take some time and fuse, as it's less hassle than pins.
See that little slice of text print above?  That's leftover from my stencil printing.  {cool!} And yes... I'm still lovin' that lime green and turquoise together.  I deliberately left the green top thread on my machine as I couched the aqua thread down, using the Bernina #39 foot.  I just really dig that contrast.

I hope you're looking forward to a nice weekend.  Terri's Blog Hop has sure been fun, huh!  I can't wait to see what Vicki has to show us today!  There's been such fabulous ideas for using them, you're bound to find something that will surely appeal!  

Thanks for stopping by; it's been a great week!
JOINING my sweet blogger friend Jennifer at Studio JRU for her Friday "In the Studio!"
Soli Deo Gloria! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Live In The Spirt ~

Hi all,

I've been working ~ playing hard, trying to keep up with all those beautiful prints I've made from Terri's NEW stencils!  A delight, truly!  {i'm not complaining}  I'm really so excited not only about creating with these unique designs, but even more ~ to use them in my own style...

It will likely be no surprise to you; 
this piece continues with my theme... s p r i n g t i m e !!  

It's "Live In The Spirit" ~ partly based on the fabric from the border; "Sunshine" by Sweetwater for Moda, and I've been adding it to almost every piece I'm putting together ~ I like it that much.
And that's where I took my free motion inspiration for this quilt, too, quilting words into the inside border.  I probably could have chosen black thread for the word quilting... but I felt it might take attention away from the flowers {and we couldn't have that now could we?} 

The center stenciled fabrics is a good representation of the classic primary colors from the color wheel; blue, red and yellow, as you see it, left to right.  The blending of the colors is always fun.   That is what happened when I flipped the stencil over, as it was the spray that was already on top.  I then oversprayed a tad with a 'sky blue' color, as well, and you will see that aqua shade pop up in a few of the flowers {which is why I chose an aqua-colored inner border}.  And then the strong orange, wide border to help those flowers contrast and pop, all at the same time.
You know I love the close-up photos.  The ones that show the detail of texture, the quilting, and those adorable flowers in all their lovely colors.  And as much as I love writing-quilting ... I also love straight line quilting ~ I call it 'row quilting' ~ maybe it's the country girl in me?
And this time I didn't want to cut up the beautiful flowers, as the colors from the s.e.i. spray dyes were just so gorgeous, and that garden of beauty just had to stay together in the center of this piece.  There is a time to cut up... and a time not to! This was one of those times.

A 2013 'quilting' goal for me is to improve my quilted handwriting... and get more creative with it ~ it's something I totally love to do...
Again, I probably sound like a broken record, but I just had to stay with white thread.  It highlights the shapes, yet it is a subtle contrast too, without overpowering them.  Or something like that.
This one will have a label on the back, written in my 'penned' handwriting.  A sweet table topper, or wall hanging, too.
And... I'm starting to use straight lines a little more... mix them up with free motion.  Now I do NOT measure. I like the imperfect look, and basically, all of these straight lines ~ well, they LOOK straight.  Generally speaking. {and I do mean generally} I use my quarter-inch foot's edges as the guides for making the next line. This is part of my style... I do not get too caught up in making it absolutely straight ~ and perfect.  This is the pursuit of excellence, NOT perfection.  I'm pursuing texture, and 'pleasing to my eye' when I quilt, and that is pretty much what this piece is.
 Pretty!!!  And looking good from the back. {just the way I like it!} The bobbin quilting thread is Masterpiece 50 weight 100% extra-long, Egyptian cotton, by Superior Threads.
 Sweet color, pattern, texture, and little dab of glow!  Love all three coming together in this quilt.
And let that sunshine in! 

Thanks again, Miss Terri  for asking me to play in the hop.  My wish list at Stencil Girl Products is growing... how's yours doing?  Hmm?  She has so many cool designs.  {sigh}.  But I'm quite happy with the two I do have!  

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Flowers ~

Hey friends,

I have more to show you... been having fun piecing and quilting my new 'custom fabrics' I've made using Terri's Flower 20 stencil 
If you look closely you'll see this is the 'white on white' type of printed fabric onto which I applied the stencil, and then the s.e.i. dyes were sprayed onto it. Once dry and cured with an iron, I added fusible web, and cut them out individually.
And here they are... embellished with stitching. After I finished, it was time to ask the 'what if' question... and in doing that, I turned to the FW acrylic inks in pearlescent white.  I've had a few questions on the blog about the inks.  I bought mine online, at Dick Blick. {they were on sale 40% off} and are not available locally where I live.  After I inked them, I knew I wanted to use Jacquard Lumiere fabric paints, to highlight the leaves, also bought at Dick Blick, online. Of course, there are other sources I am sure, like Amazon, etc.  Remember too, both of these products leave a nice hand to the fabric, and are great to quilt on, too.  Keep in mind I ALWAYS use a 90/14 topstitch style needle, too, and lower my top tension at least one full notch.  King Tut 40 weight ELS cotton on top; Masterpiece 40 weight ELS cotton is on the bobbin. 
Sometimes I may put paint on the fabric first. This time though, I put it on after I quilted in the white thread.  It gives me a better visual, and it's helps me answer questions in my mind that say, "does this need something more" and "what would that be?"  The quilting is almost interactive at this point, giving the space definition, as it fills up the fabric.  I like to do just the opposite sometimes, too ~ just for the challenge of it.  I chose to highlight mostly, adding paint to the puffy part of the fabric.  I'm not too concerned should any paint make it's way onto the thread, either. 
Just using the paint in the lids; aqua and green lumiere
After quilting everything, I felt the leaves were just too dull; they looked hollow, flat, and ghost-like.  So they got a little shot of color, {just like we all need, from time to time}. I could have made some leaves from fabric and fused them, or even switched thread colors... but there are times where I just need to think about it as I go along; rather than toss it aside because I can't make a decision... {there's that UFO pile and it's big enough already!} And I do like that the white thread on the leaves keeps the entire quilted piece cohesive, too.
Ahhh ~ that's much better to my eye and sense of design. And then it was time to add the beads.  I chose silver, to go with the pearly paint, which really gives the flowers a 'frosty-like' appearance... and that's why I named this piece "Winter Flowers"  {... perhaps Mrs. Frosty's bridal bouquet?}
A happy finish!  Like earrings on a lady are beads to a quilt! And pretty threads in the borders ~ {they're the high heels}
I did a little sashaying back n forth, free motion style, for texture.  {i call this design the 'screen door'I am using Superior Threads 100% polyester tri-lobal thread, in aqua.  Did you know that tri-lobal thread has three sides?  It's specially made that way, as triangles reflect more light. {there's the trinity again!}  Yes!  Love that.  The fabric background is "Grunge" by Basic Grey for Moda.  {so glad I bought this is four or five colorways}.  Such great fabric for stenciling ...painting ...quilting ...you name it.
A side note, about how I thought about this process... especially about 'covering up' the pretty stenciled flowers.  I did think about this, and honestly was hesitant to cover them up at first... they are so pretty! But, no fear, right?!  It's a grand adventure! Besides, I put the pretty flowers on the border, so it all works for me.
The photo above taken from the ironing board station, and the one below, in the living room, on the coffee table, which gives a better visual of the texture on the piece.
 and now the cute, puffy flowers from the outside border:
 and I don't want to forget to mention the silver Razzle Dazzle Thread I used to accent the inner border, as well as the binding seam in the outer border.
 love the texture!
"Winter Flowers" will be listed in my Etsy shop ... soon!
 Pretty variegated thread was added in the center and just the inside perimeter, before beading, too.  Just for a little more color and dimension.
 This was alot of fun {as usual} for me ~ 
and it's a runner that will transition from winter into spring!

And... a gentle reminder:  
You HAVE entered the Blog Hop drawings, haven't you?  Beginning with Terri's kickoff
and my own,  right here.
Soli Deo Gloria!

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