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?
Showing posts with label Give-A-Way. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Give-A-Way. Show all posts

Sunday, March 16, 2014

a bloom to give away ~

hi friends,

i had a productive weekend, and it was all mostly spent in a little spring cleaning and reorganizing, a tiny bit of spring decorating, and light, fragrant candles in lime and lemon to brighten the place up...  and guess what i found?
 a bloom...
but it's not just any ol' bloom.  it's a  "bloomin' pin" and i'm giving it way today.  actually, i had intended to do just that last summer, {but i forgot}.
 made specially by my art teacher, the wonderful and fabulous, Katie Twedt!  
 it's has such gorgeous texture, dimension and all of these papers are hand painted, or stamped, and hand cut by her talented designer hands! {and a little tiny bit of bling added too!}

and now that i've found it, i'm tempted to keep it... but i think not.  it's too pretty not to share!  
i hope you like it as much as i, and because i have been blessed with so many beautiful things from katie... heck, even her packaging is extra sweet!

just leave a comment, tell me if this is something you would like to have, or perhaps even gift away to someone special... for easter... mother's day... or just for any ol' day would be the perfect occasion to give this bloom!

i'll draw a winner from the comments {please leave a way for me to contact you}... and that will happen this friday, march 21st ~ the first day of spring!

happy spring!

Friday, February 14, 2014

happy valentine's day ~ winner!

hey all you sweets out there ~ !

happy valentines day!  i sure enjoyed reading all the comments for the giveaway of this little gem of a book from laura heine.  and...

the winner is paula who wrote
"It's so funny that I just discovered your blog. I picked up an armload of FMQ books at the library yesterday but none of them spoke to me. Based on your reviews I've ordered Machine Quilting Made Easy from Abe Books and will get Kathy Sandbach's book from the library. Now I just need "My Little Book of Quilting Designs" to see each author's approach. Sure hope you pick my name!"

okay paula ~ please contact me {leslievaskey@msn.com) and put in the title of your email "i want my book!" and i'll get this out to you. {caveat:  if i don't hear from the winner by sunday evening, i will draw another name!}

thanks everyone for playing, and taking time to read the blog. have a sweet and loving day {every day of the year!}

Thursday, January 2, 2014

sew be it ~ beautiful patterns ~ giveaway

hi all ~

cleaning up {just a little}.  actually, i've had these ready to give away for awhile ... just getting around to it now.

and... i loved each and every one of these patterns.  some i made once, some were made twice.  and a couple... not at all!

and i realize i will probably never ever make them again.  {but i loved the trip}.

i hope someone "out there" will be interested... maybe you know someone who would like them?  or perhaps yourself?  

i hope so! because "sew be it" patterns are super easy, have well written instructions, and are a fun patterns to not only piece, but to quilt as well.  one of the best ways to learn, is to start with a pattern you love, first. {i did ~ i still do}

just leave a comment.  i'm sending all seven cool patterns to one person, whom will be chosen randomly on sunday, january 5th.  

"Sew Be It!"

thank you!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

decorative thread applique ~ and a giveaway


since recently becoming enamored to magnifico thread, i've been itchin' to stitch! that is, to see how it looks with decorative stitching techniques ~ and it's also a good reason for me to play with some of the thousand+ decorative stitches on my bernina 830 machine!  i love this thread so much, but sadly, i cannot purchase it locally.  but there's no reason for a sad face! 

tada!  thread of the month club is here to save the day!!  {sing it mighty dog!}  lol  ... {in case you don't remember that cartoon!}

anyway!   i {finally}  signed up for a wonderful offering that superior has implemented; it's called the magnifico thread-of-the-month club! 

did you know that they have a thread of the month club for every type of thread they sell??!!!  it goes for the spools, and the cones, too!  there are pretty sweet advantages to joining up with a club like this:
like free shipping, {including add-on items} for one!

FREE SHIPPING to U.S. and Canada addresses. See below for details.
each month, we will send a different selection of our threads personally chosen by Mother Superior.
Open enrollment. Start anytime. Cancel anytime. No sign-up or cancellation fees.
Members-only specials offered each month.
and with my free shipping, i added a set of twelve spools  called 'crayon', seen below {love the selection of colors!} 
i'm also trying "so fine" thread for the first time, too; a 50 wt polyester instead of the 50 wt masterpiece.   it's $3 less than masterpiece.  and i'm using it in my bobbin:
this is the pattern; it's by laura heine of billings montana, who owns and operates a gorgeous quilt shop "fiberworks" ~ i do so look forward to going into this shop; the sad truth is that i just don't get there very often. {a good thing for my pocketbook!}  i'll show the pattern when i finish the quilt and post about it.

then it's time to stabilize, stabilize!  without a good stabilizer, decorative stitching, especially with heavier motifs, just does not stitch out nearly as neat and nice. 

my favorite is this one: a heavyweight tear-away by oesd {sold at my local bernina shop in great falls}.  i lightly spray 505 on the back of the fabric, and then pin the stabilizer just in the corners, to keep it from getting unruly on me as i slide it under my needle.
and once again, it's time to audition threads. blue, red, orange, purple!  which one{s} will i choose?
the orange is pretty and since it's a neon color, {yes, i love these, too!} ~ it will highlight the flower petal edges... which appeals to me.  i kind of have a creative notion that they are 'glowing' against a dramatic sky, highlighted by the sun... {indulge me, k?!}

now, which color of superior's razzle dazzle?  hmmm... blue or orange?  the orange will blend with the petals... the blue will stand out a bit more, and it will also bring out the tones of the background blue/sky feel of the fabric.  {as i see it!}  regardless of the choice, it will ALL be pretty!

and ya gotta have an open-toe foot! visibility, and ease of use make this the bernina #20 foot the champion of decorative stitching enthusiasts! {like me!}
i chose decorative stitch #419 on my bernina 830.  i'm going to taper it to begin with, which means that as i start at the tips of the petals, i begin with a 3.0 width, and as i am stitching, {no need to stop with berninas}... i gradually widen my stitch out to a 6.0 {or so} width.  i could go up to 9.0 on my bernina 830, but i decided against that. the look i want is just for accent - not to overpower. and that... is what it's all about ~ what i like!  

notice too, i've changed my needle position so it's oriented in the far right setting. {that is key to achieving easy and  exact placement of the stitching}
starting at 3.0 width, and turning the knob as i am also stitching, tapering to gradually increase to 6.0 width {seen below}
engaging the needle position to the far right enables me to achieve perfect alignment along the exact edge of the applique fabric, seen below.  i also use the #20 foot to guide my stitching placement as i sew, by keeping my eye on the needle, and the edge of the right-hand, inside edge of the toe of the foot!  {that's a mouthful!}.

in hindsight! i believe it would have been more attractive {and professional looking} had i thought to begin part way up, in the middle of the shape... not at the point.  it's a smoother transition, and one will avoid nasty bulk at the points as you start and stop with your stitching.  and because there are so many threads in play at those points, it can get bulky, and a tad bit unsightly.  oh well.  that's how i'll learn! 

and another hint.  switch to a small straight stitch and adjust the length to a very tiny length, such as 1.0 to  begin and finish your stitching.  

and once i've stitched a half-inch with that small straight stitch to start, i then touch the decorative stitch, and start into stitching it.  that way you won't have thread unstitching itself... and it also looks far more attractive than backstitching with the decorative stitch, which is unsightly, and messy-looking, i think.  i do the same thing when i end, too, or when the stitch breaks and i need to start again.
once the petals are all stitched out, i flip over to the back. one of the best aspects of using a heavyweight stabilizer, is that when you stitch a heavy decorative stitch, it very easily tears away!  {love}

not necessary to tear away the stabilizer on the inside of the petals... although i could, {but i won't!}
and i won't because it's also going to get a layer of batting, and then some more stitching.  this second round of stitching is done with razzle dazzle, and my #39 clear motion embroidery foot, as i outline the shapes with the beautiful blue-aqua-pinky color of razzle dazzle thread.

{i almost changed my mind and went with that red thread!} it would have looked really good with the orange, too...

did you know i have a tutorial published about using the bernina #39 clear embroidery foot with the sweet couching technique it performs? 
view the tutorial  here!

my pictures don't do that neon orange thread justice!  it's much brighter with good light.  but hopefully that will happen when i'm finished.

all done.  for now!  {i love~love the blue thread!}
so... what do you think of my thread choices/colors?  i hope you found some inspiration, and hopefully some good information, too.  

thanks for hangin' out with me and my pal, 'magnifico' ~ and now it's time for the monthly superior giveaway too!

to enter, first, go to superiorthreads.com, and tell me {by commenting on this post} which set of 12 magnifico threads is your fave, or, if you'd like, let me know which thread of the month club you subscribe to, or would like to.

winner announced next monday ~ november 11th {veteran's day}. the prize is a $25 gift certificate to spend at superior threads

yay! it's good  for everyone, including international readers! {beautiful!} share this post on your facebook, website, or blog for an extra chance to win, and leave a comment here with the link that you did so!

joining up with  linky tuesday with free motion by the river, today, too!

thanks so much!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Midnight Autumn ~ Winner

hello and a super snowy autumn day it is here in montana ~

so i'm calling this runner "autumn's midnight" which reminds me of those shorter days and nights of autumn into winter...  

i chose the following threads, as seen below, to begin the quilting on this piece of hand dyed fabric by vicki. and i began with my newest thread-fave, 40 wt magnifico {by superior threads}, in a bright pink for the initial pass of feathers, a bright lime green for the hyper quilting. 

so why lime green?  well, partly because it's just unexpected.  and partly because the leaves paling on trees in the past weeks have so intrigued me; in that faded and varied green-soon-to-be-brown-n-gone shade.  the green does look like it glows in the dark, {but that's just the lamp!} but really why ~  because i was just curious! i wanted to see how those two opposite colors {basically green and red} on the color wheel would "mix" when they come together into the spine area.  because they become to the eye, an altogether intriguing color story...
and as those two threads meld... the color changes, and it becomes a bit more complex; a richer, more visually interesting green, tones down the pink a bit, and 'appears' to be almost a golden tone, as it blends together.  {perfect!}

this is one of my favorite parts of stitching feathers!  and a fascinating effect.  i then began echo quilting the perimeter with two passes of the gorgeous red-purple in magnifico, and then a third pass with the hot pink, and finally the thick, royal blue razzle dazzle {from superior threads}, in bobbin play, echoing the feathers from the wrong side of the quilt.  it's so pretty, and it's one of my favorite techniques as a quilter.  it too, also adds depth and dimension, blending, but adding light, to the deep colors of the fabric; as it accents and highlights, rather than overpower. 

for the outside quilting motifs, i chose a magnifico thread in a periwinkle purple. i felt it had just the right luminosity to bring all the color elements together.  it also helps tone down the pink, yet complements it too. i love how it's brightness is visually pleasing, helping the dark-purpley colors of the fabric to pop, but lets the fabric shine with it's depth of colors in the forest green and teal blue-greens in this piece.

i was asked by one reader "how long does something like this take me?" usually, it's anywhere from 6-8 hours, start to finish; sometimes longer; sometimes shorter.  of course,  quilting takes the majority of the time, but it's more than that.  it's auditioning threads, thinking about the color focus, the varied colors of the fabric, and how i can change, enhance, or create a different feel just by changing up thread colors or texture elements. it's much the same process  for choosing backing fabrics, binding, couching, too.

i list my quilts for sale based on time & labor, and cost of supplies, but also it includes a proportion of my time shopping for those goods, to ironing, cutting, stitching.  but it doesn't end there, either.  i photograph, edit, and then list them for sale in my etsy shop. this requires writing descriptions, uploading photos, and when there is a sale, it's processing time; emailing the customer, printing care instructions, invoices, and packaging a quilt for mailing, as well as commission fees from both etsy and various financial organizations.  the price you see in my etsy shop reflects all of these things, but more importantly, the complexity as well as the originality of a piece.

 because many of you said "holiday" table in your comments... i chose a holiday-feel backing fabric.  this is a christmas batik fabric {that i have loved for many years!} and decided to bust into it and use some of it {that i have been hoarding - saving} for just such a special occasion.  it's berry red/purple, and teal and forest greens with highlights gold metallic stars and flecks in it.  one could easily flip over the runner and use both sides.
 i went with random.org for choosing a winner this time {as my favorite random generator-man was taking a nap!}... and it's commenter #1!  that would be... "barb" of mountain quiltworks ~ my idaho neighbor!  congrats, barb! 
 this one is 8" wide x 40" long.  now this is the deal, barb.  you get to choose which one you would like... either this one, or the one from the post announcing the giveaway {it's called bluegrass at midnight}.
all you's guys!  {she said with an enthusiastic new yorker accent} ... i read all your comments; loved them! i giggled, laughed, and smiled!  i was so honored to read your sense of humor, enthusiasm, support, and sweet friendship.  thank you!  {you bless my socks off!}

the wind is settling in on us from the northwest, {time to get the warm woolie socks on!}... as we say hello to snow and cold.... and likely say goodbye to the last of our perfectly beautiful autumn.

bless you ~ and soli deo gloria!  saddle up!  we're off on a great adventure together!
linky tuesday party with one of my favorite blogs

"Freemotion by the River
love and more ~

Monday, October 14, 2013

winner ~a fall decoration ~

happy monday morning!

i had a busy, productive, wonderful, and sweet weekend! baking... quilting... worship... and football {of course!}  i hope you did too!  i completed a special order for a christmas  runner, and enjoyed my time in the christmas fabric bin.  {now i'd better straighten it out again!}  yikes, but i made a mess, cutting, fusing and trying out different versions of letters, before i settled on these: 

i wanted the quilting to be subtle and blend in, so both the patterned/lettered fabric and the fusible letters would stand out more, so i chose to quilt this with superior's bottom line polyester 60 weight thread in both top and bobbin.  it was a dream to use.  i don't often use the lightweight threads in my free motion, as i like the quilting threads to show, but not this time. 
 i switched to king tut thread {40 weight, 10% ELS cotton} for the straight line stitching in the border, and then applied gold and red metallics {the thick threads} like razzle dazzle, couched into the seams with my bernina #39 foot.
 my pictures are not so great ~ one of those low light days,  and it's really difficult to photograph the color red.  so it goes!

and now to the business at hand... the winner of the posted autumn quilt:  happy cottage quilter!
happy autumn!  thank you~thank you for the wonderful comments.   

enJOY your day! 

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