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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 Laura Heine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laura Heine. Show all posts

Thursday, January 29, 2015

frankie the fox joins the forest crowd ~ finished

good morning ~

"frankie" the fox is finished and has found her way into the forest, too!  {hanging with the gang at the quilt shop}  and she is pretty dang cute... 

first, i'd like to show you how i decided to change up the quilting and thread choices for this piece.  in the previous five collages i've quilted, just one thread was typically used, and one motif too, quilted over the entire surface of the quilt.

not so this time.  i switched it up a little; deciding to "be brave" and use a 24 weight, cotton thread.  this is a much, much thicker thread than any 30 or 40 wt cotton threads.  note: in the thread world, the lower the number, the bigger {or thicker} the thread is. 

i've had "fusions" a 24 wt. cotton, variegated thread, {designed by laura heine} in my thread stash for awhile now.  i had tried it a few years ago, but it was not fun.  everything get getting tangled up underneath and i couldn't seem to get it to work... until i realized it absolutely requires a larger needle ~ size 100, and a 50 wt cotton in the bobbin. {trust me} so with with masterpiece cotton and the 100 needle... it worked soooo beautifully!  i really dig the thread presence and the texture it brings to this piece.

i began with fusions thread in the body of the fox, and then in the gray, outer part of the background on this quilt, i chose a shimmery sulky rayon, in a soft white.  i do like the sheen of this thread, and it brings a subtle shine, and soft texture, blending into the background, letting the polka dots have a bit of 'hey, look at me" too! 
 i always appreciate the qualities a good needle brings to the quilting... yup.  i'm using superior threads topstitch needles. the left is the {green package} 100/16 size, and the right {pink package} is the 90/14 size.
 as you can tell from the label in the photo above, this is a 24 wt, 3 ply thread, 100% cotton.  it does leave a goodly amount of fuzz in your bobbin area, so be sure to be diligent and clean it out often.  otherwise, it's a beautiful thread!

i switched to yli 40 wt cotton {another thread i've had for over 10 years} only because i wanted a variegated thread color, and one that was light, for the facial pieces of "frankie's" face.    {and this was all i had on hand, believe it or not!}  no heavy thread here, as i think it would have been too much for this light colored facial space.  i could have used the white sulky rayon.... but it doesn't cope really well with fusible web as it frays and breaks easily.
 and so this is how the three threads look in the palm of my hand.  you can easily see the difference in thread thickness.  the fusions 24 weight to the far left, yli 40 wt in the middle, and the sulky 40 wt on the far right.  even though 40 wt threads are the same weight... their "thickness" factor is a matter of material make-up, {how much 'space' they create when plied together}... whether cotton, rayon or polyester, all of these have different thicknesses even if they are the same weight... so pay attention to how they look off the spool, unraveled onto the quilted surface, as well as the weight on the label.

and they are all beautiful together, in my opinion!
frankie's face quilted with yli 40 weight, a lighter twist of variegated thread... softer, yet a dab of color and quilting dimension, compared to the thick thread in the leaf below the eye
the thicker look of the "fusions" thread, also by yli... the 24 weight thick thread. must use a 100 size needle!
the lighter thread of the sulky rayon 40 weight in the body of the gray fabric... love how it helps the polka dots keep their subtle texture and movement within the background fabric!

 i chose a simple loop-da-loop quilting motif... slow and steady wins the day with fusions thread, as far as quilting speed goes, so let off the pedal a bit!
 and instead of quilting the loop series through the flower motifs in the background, i changed up the design as the mood struck me for quilting each individual flower. 
 and for frankie, it was time to add a bit of extra zing to the binding, couching free motion style, with a hand dyed piece of rayon yarn from my stash... once i had the binding attached i applied the yarn as a perfect finish for framing this piece in a fun, slightly elegant, and yet casual look, too.

and... don't forget the butterflies, too! {be on the lookout for butterflies, bees, and hearts in your stash}  i love using these sweet little motifs.  

well, i hope you enjoyed seeing 'frankie' and reading about  the quilting process. thank you so very much for spending a few minutes here!  

{and still... more to come!}  am i crazy?  yes!  love this technique and i'm revved up ... ready to explore a couple different directions with subjects and background ideas, one of them featuring the talented vicki welsh and her hand-dyed fabrics!  and... be sure to come back, because we're going to team up with a giveaway for valentine's day, too!!  yay!

reminder: if you are local, {or not} the two-day class on collage is set for february 21st and 22nd!  $60 is a great price for a full weekend class, at a really fun shop, the quilt-a-way of great falls, montana.  i know we are going to have great time together creating wonderful, one-of-a-kind forest friends.  {woot!}

soli deo gloria!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

frankie beginnings ~ the fox collage

good day to you all ~

yesss... "freida" has arrived on my cutting/sorting/musing table ~ such a fun pattern!  and we have become fast friends, so i have named her "frankie" instead. she's all rusty golds, rich reds, dark maroon browns, and golden yellows with a hint of peachy pinks, purples and turquoise blues.  it's a plethora of pattern and a really fun color puzzle!
like any puzzle, it would seem it's best {and easiest} to pick out and place the pieces that first identify the main features of the animals; the ones you recognize the best when you see them in nature... their form and shape; eyes, rump/back, nose and ears... and then just "fill the blanks!"
hint: while the pattern calls for a lightweight 'voile' fabric as the base, {which you get in a kit}, i have also found that a lightweight muslin works really well, as does a fusible cotton interfacing fabric, both of which i've used.

 this darling frieda kit that laura heine puts together includes a 'panel' type of background fabric, and i had the best time playing with it.  while i loved the print itself, i also liked the flowers, which in her version are actually cut off, and then fused back on, as separate flower focal points.  i also cut off the uneven stripe on the bottom part of the panel, and fused it to the bottom of my background piece...  i could have sewn it on {always the best option} but i wanted to see how it would work out.  and it did.  but it still would have better to sew it on instead.  {sew} it goes.  below is how the whole panel which is officially called "magical prairie panel in moon gray" and although i forgot to take a picture, here is one from the internet, and how it looks before cutting, except that it doesn't show the bottom stripe:

note:  the kits now sell as "starter" kits.  you will most definitely need more florals than what is included in the fabric kit, should you have it.  personally, that's great for me!  and i am smitten with art gallery fabrics, and some of their fabrics included in the kit are from the fabric line called "littlest" by art gallery. they are very charming!  you can find them at hawthorne threads.com, {use the search box and type in "littlest" as well as on etsy by searching "littlest by art gallery"  or preferrably at your favorite quilt shop!
 and never underestimate the charm of a small motif, whether a bumble bee or a tiny flower!  worth the time in cutting out the tiny, intricate details in my opinion.
i decided to also add eyebrows to frankie, just for kicks and giggles!  also, i try to keep the fused layers to no more than 'three fabric deep' for quilting.  

more to come!
blessings on your day
soli deo gloria

Monday, January 26, 2015

meet "rocky" ~ the great northern rocky mountain goat

happy january greetings ~

i'm pleased to present to you, "rocky" the rocky mountain goat!  he hails from the northern rockies, and wilds of glacier national park, montana!

from the replays of my memories, here is the scene:

"we find him posing for us, across the canyons of the green-jeweled, roaring flathead river, set against the dramatic backdrop of impossibly steep cliffs, high mountain fir trees, and big blue skies... where rocky so easily balances on the precarious sheer cliffs of the centuries old gray rock, getting in his "licks" {of salt} ~ at the "goat lick" ~ a favorite stopping place ~ for montanans, tourists, and goats alike!" 

this is the time-and-time again memory embedded in my heart which is at the genesis of the inspiration for this quilt. moments of precious time spent with my sweet gramma ila.  the "goat lick" was {and still is}, a special stopping spot on highway 2, heading to the park, and western montana. over the years, it also became {and has become} a treasure of memories for my two little boy's {now grown men} as well, who would travel with me and their great gramma, too. 

so from those memories, and more, "rocky" is also inspired from a photo i took many years ago, actually on brian and i's first date!  definitely founded in sweet memories! and so i've created my very own pattern, which i've named, "rocky, the mountain goat." {under copyright}

this was a very special quilt for me to make, and i've enjoyed every second!  i'm still... cutting, fusing, cutting and fusing!  {the more the merrier as far as i am concerned!!}

a tiny swatch of bright pink embossed velvet becomes the perfect "beard" for rocky!

there was a great deal of time and debate going on in my head about the backdrop... cliffs... rivers... forest... mountain lakes.  all of which i've seen the goats in my forays into the park... but in the end, i decided on the sweetest one of all, that which is a gray background, featuring the salt lick memories.
i found the tree fabric {a batik} at the Quilt-A-Way, and it was difficult not to want to buy the whole bolt, it is so cool, and such a great motif, perfect for these kinds of quilts!  the orange flowers are also from a batik i purchased there {seen below at his feet}
... so much fun to add his name to the bottom!
"rocky" is 26.5" wide and 46" tall
while i just had to make myself make a decision... and i know i could probably have adjusted dimension better, but after several afternoons of playing around with the final layout, i'm really satisfied with the overall look. he's now residing at the quilt-a-way so stop in and check out his fellow counterparts: olivia the owl, paisley bear, and soon... frankie the fox!  {coming soon to a blog near you!}
hope you enjoyed meeting rocky!  and oh boy... i'm excited to pursue other design ideas... hope you'll come back and see "frankie" later this week!

and!!  i'm so excited to be teaching this as a class: "collage quilts"  at one of my most favorite stores of montana, the "quilt-a-way" here in great falls.  choose from from one of laura heine's patterns, {which i've featured over the last couple weeks} and then come and have a great time playing with us, utilizing your fun stash of floral fabrics... {or pick up some new ones}, and create your own fun original!  

we will meet for a two-day session, on saturday and sunday, february 21st and 22nd, from 10:30 am to 4pm on both days. we will have time to discuss and choose fabrics, fuse and cut, explore creative options, feature details, color, value, contrast, scale, and layering... we will get a lot of mileage from our fabric stashes! fusing techniques and quilting ideas will also be demonstrated.  class fee:  $60, plus pattern; choose your own pattern {even rocky will be available for purchase at class}. and be prepared for a couple little give-a-ways at class, too!

blessing upon your day ~ thanks so much for stopping in!
soli deo gloria

Friday, January 16, 2015

paisley bear ~ collage quilt finished

hi folks ~

collage. collage. collage! what is revealing to me in the process of puzzling out placement... is now when i'm sorting, looking, or cutting fabric, my "collage eyes" have been opened into a broader landscape of hips, shoulders, bellies, eyes...ears...horns...fur, paws, and claws! 

as i have said, one needs to be patient to cut many, many pieces.  you need lots of pieces just to begin.  {i do mean lots!}  what you do not need is lots of yardage. fat quarters, and fat eighth's are usually plenty; you can also sometimes just half of those pieces, too...depends on the print.

update: just for christine who posted a comment{whom i cannot answer as you are no-reply} with a question on how fabrics are fused, in whole or in part: i fuse the whole fabric piece; fat quarter/fat eighth.  it's much easier to do it in this manner, {using my teflon sheets}, vs trying to fussy cut shapes and place them on fusible. either method seems to use the same amount of fusible, but the whole cloth method is much less messy, besides, it's pretty cool how you can use much of the surrounding area, such as the leaves that are attached to flowers, or even smaller flowers or vines that surround, which helps you to use them as separate pieces also.  {hope that helps christine!}  i'll show pics of my fused fabrics in a later post.

i tend to lean toward modern prints.  i love fabric designer styles such as kaffe fasset, amy butler, kate spain, and more.  companies such at art gallery fabrics, westminster, free spirit.  of course, there are many other great choices.  

just keep in mind a couple things in picking out fabric for this technique.  color theory, specifically color value of your selections; you need both light and dark values.   and then there is scale of the size of the motifs;  large, medium, small are fun to have, and needed.

below is the pattern for 'paisley bear' by laura heine.  this is one of her earlier patterns, and there was no kit to purchase.  i chose to create this one after i played with the two i had the kits for, as it taught me a lot about the color placement, theory, design and scale i mentioned above.

 now let me tell you that i didn't always "get it right" to the extent of color value, and scale.  but i'm happy with it overall and ready to try again, and see if i can affect a better balance of shading, and scale of fabrics on the next one.  sometimes i just don't know when to stop!

i like the face, the shoulder and butt/tail areas the best. 

 and a charming print on the backside makes for a nice finish.
have tentative plans to teach this as a class locally {for february/march} and i'm gradually working out a pattern of my very own, too.  i'm excited!

thanks for stopping in ~ 
soli deo gloria!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

bear in mind ~ collage quilt beginnings

good morning friends ~

here's the next piece in my series of quilted collage with flowers, and we're getting close.  she is {almost} ready to come out and play!

playtime = lots of pieces from  many fabrics, but not lots of yardage... but lots of cutting and fusing:  

i am hoping to show the completed piece by end of the week!

{and i'm having a great time!}

Thursday, January 8, 2015

olivia ~ a {un}common owl collage quilt

hello ~ 

as i said in my "oh deer daisy" post ~ this collage creating is just one of the funnest techniques i've explored in a long time, and i am diligently {and one-track minded} searching out fabrics in my stash, and setting them aside to fuse and cut them up into shapes. this pattern is again, by laura heine's talented design; from the quilt shop, "fiberworks" in billings, montana.  {see more of the patterns in her online shop}

my sweet dear b-man helped me out ~ he had a few quiet days at home over the new year holiday ~  and he is a great hand with the scissors ~ very precise!

 the pattern "Cora" ~  "Common Owl" by laura heine of the quilt store, fiberworks is a pattern i purchased, and bought the separate kit, too.  as i said in the earlier post, laura's eye for design, scale and color very much resonates with me, and i {wisely} chose the option to buy the kit which helps to put all the pieces together, and get a sense for shadow and dimension.  the kit is a real deal when it comes to time. 
but ~ for this piece, i changed things up and added a completely different tail than the kit or pattern suggestion... because i had the most amazing fabric in my stash that was nothing but feather patterns in bright colors that fit my style just right.  and it was pure joy to let them have a "voice" in this cute owl! 

about the fusibles i've used...  i've used all kinds, because i've had to, especially since the past year, my favorite, steam-a-seam lite, was not available due to a problem in the factory/production.  but it's back in production, so i have a box of it on order!  i also like the product misty fuse, which is very light, and doesn't affect the hand of the fabric so very much.  

for this type of project, i prefer a fusible that is a re-positionable, and more sticky backed base once the paper backing is removed, so that before final fusing, it makes placement a whole lot easier as well as changing it {constantly!} until i am totally satisfied with the overall look. also, i've used the pellon fusible products as well, which were what most stores turned to when steam-a-seam was unavailable.  each one has their advantages, but i recommend steam-a-seam lite.  the heaviness of this product vs misty fuse for example, isn't a factor as these are wallhangings, and i don't mind the extra bit of body at all.  in fact, i like it better.

and... it is truly essential to have great scissors.  these are my most favorite, by karen kay buckley, as they have a serrated edge, and grip wonderfully not only on the blade, but in the hands.  as you can see i have them in three sizes, that is how good they are.
 i chose to quilt my piece with floriani, and followed laura's suggestion for leaves as the motif, and quilted them all over.  not the best choice of thread types, to be frank.  it frayed quite a bit in the fusible web, because it is rayon and poly blend, and in order to make it work, i had to       s l o w down... lots.  my next thread choice will be different; either a cotton or polyester.
so ~ i named my final piece "olivia," but this is the cover of the pattern for cora: 

i begin with many pieces... and began with the major elements of the owl shapes; the eyes, belly, and tail, first, using the cotton voile provided in the kit, and traced my shape with a frixion pen:
it is so helpful to have lots of pre-fused, cut shapes to play with... to begin!  i organize mine by color group... {most of the time!}
it's all cut out {painstakingly}, and ready to be layered onto the background fabrics {of which i loved; {one of the reason i purchased the kit to begin with}.
just a little topping of a flower.  i love the details.

i love her!  and i'm off to finish up the next one; this time it's a paisley grizzly bear, and i'm hoping to put it on a longarm quilting machine here locally, and see what i can see... and learn!  

thanks for stoppin' by!
enJoy ~
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