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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

white buffalo collage beginnings ~

i know.  
someday.

someday... i'm gonna move on to other projects, techniques, and fabric goodness... but maybe in a 'couple somedays' and whatever that means, i am not sure?!    and so... the more you do... the more you wanna do... and that's how it's been with me in this super technique.

and who wouldn't want to play with a "white buffalo" ~ a new pattern just released a couple weeks ago from, yes, you guessed it ~ laura heine.  just look at those cool arrows on that fabric {from art gallery fabrics} on the left border?!  i think i fell in love more with the background fabrics at first, than the buffalo ones.  but it's all good!
buffalo... yes it's been a design i've been purveying across the web, so right away, i had to dive into this baby!  the color theme is burgundy reds, mauve pinks, corals, and sage green and of course, brown.  i also took creative license to change up the legs a bit, adding a fourth one in the back, and straightening out the front just a bit.
i have also found it's a bit difficult to find large, creamy, and also brown themed florals ... but i worked with what i had, and i think it's going to turn out!
and i'm using brown silk velvet for the horns, tail and some of the hooves, too.
i'll be showing some close-ups, and some other fun design details and more in this very montana-esque fabric portrait of our iconic {montana} white buffalo! 

enJoy!
xo
leslie

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"potpourri" giraffe collage finish ~

hi there ~

he's a tall one, right!  and now he's hanging out with all his friends at the quilt-a-way shop here in great falls, montana.  i so enjoy this shop, {and i'm working one day a week there, so i can hang out too!}  what a fun, super group of people, there.  


i'm playing with a new idea, from a drawing out of my sketchbook... it's a bighorn sheep. {with a heart nose!}  yes!
have a wonder-filled day!
xo
leslie
soli deo gloria!

Monday, February 23, 2015

"potpourri" ~ details of a giraffe collage

hellloooo ~

yup. you guessed it  ~ the collage bug still has me in it's grips! this time it's the giraffe, titled "potpourri." another creative and playful pattern by laura heine.  i have not been paid by her, {or received a special price either} to feature any of these fyi...  but i have been a big fan of her style and quilt shop for a very long time; since i first walked into her shop a little over ten years ago! 

you know, i have been cutting and fusing flowers for many years, to embellish with... and what really appealed to me with this particular animal, is the landscape of the giraffe body... what a great space to use super large flower motifs in!  i was a kid in a candy store, for sure!  and i had a terrific "already waiting" stash of flowers to apply.  i believe one the key elements in this giraffe design, is to put a very, very large flower on the flank... and build around it.  i chose a big big sunflower shape.  

the pic below shows how i started out... many things get changed around, tucked under, and placed over... as you play, play, play!  note you can also see some of my tiny scraps, leftover after cutting flowers out from the main fabric, and they make great "sideliners" on legs, n such!
i always start by grouping all my flower motifs by color, and then by scale/size, and i usually just stack them like decks of cards, surrounding the image.  this image was traced from the pattern, using a large sharpie pen, and i also used a fusible interfacing.  if you don't have voile, this type of lightweight interfacing works super well, too. or use a light muslin. either one is good.
i really wanted to use this flower, but it didn't work overall into the color scheme.  but then... it would have made a great mane for the giraffe.. but the background i chose would have made it disappear, but the lace edge on this flower would have made a great mane... maybe next time?!

below is a closeup of the eye, which is two halves of two different flower motifs.  i thought it was a fun combination that really helped the eye to pop.  giraffe's are generally heavy-lidded looking, at least to me... and that is the look i was going for.  the first pic is the "before" and the second is the "after" ~ the makeover, essentially:
 notice there is a tiny bit of polka dot fabric, and layered it with a very small, but oh~so~very~pretty piece of blue silk velvet for top half of the "horns." i also used it on the lip area, {but it's a bit blurry}.  and a paisley print motif on the cheek area, to accentuate the curves...
and rather than quilt the same motif over the entire quilt surface, i chose to define the leaves {very loosely} around the head of the giraffe just a tiny bit more, adding a different thread color and a different design. there's no need to get too much detail as it won't really be all that noticeable. but i loved the thread color, and i wanted to use it up... and i love this newspaper print fabric as the background, too.  i was happy that the quilt shop here carried it!
so i couldn't use my lacey edge for the mane, and instead, i chose to emphasize the mane of the giraffe with a striped style of floral fabric, one that had the same size motif in a repetitive, parallel line.  as you can see, i cut around the top edge, to emphasize the curve of the mane:

 and a close look at the details of the long neck, below, and a few smaller motifs that are of the light value, mixed in as i worked into the upper neck area.  it pays to keep smaller flowers grouped together... don't cut them apart until you need to, but it's easier cutting to leave them attached, in groups of two or three.
the shoulder area... notice how a pop of white and light, makes everything else come alive, just a little bit more. i enjoy adding tiny detailed flowers on top of larger motifs.  
below is the detail of the belly where i began with a large poppy, tucked under the sunflower, and then added a pop of turquoise in the butterfly, which was deliberate as to bring a bit of the blue colors from the lower leg, all together into the whole piece.
 and more butterflies!  and as you can see, i quilted the grass in straight lines.  easy-peasy.  i didn't need to go into a lot of detail on the hooves, as they get covered up {for the most part} with the grasses.  but because i used dark fabrics, you can see the dark shadowy illusion of them.




 detail of the legs, and i love the dark value fabric on the inside leg, compared to the right leg... i'm finding i'm getting the hang of this better, the more i do!  and i love that pop of white and black batik daisy the best!
 i really like the bit of sparkle the kaffe fassett fabric; those tiny little flowers on the leg area.  notice the tiny grouping, cut as one unit, makes for a lovely snap~crackle~and~pop!
 hope you enjoyed these details. 
i'll post the finished piece soon... 
as soon as i can get a picture of it, it is so tall! 
so. much. fun.  
and for those who have inquired, i'm working on putting together "rocky" the mountain goat pattern, very soon!

and i'm so excited by the response we've received, 
we now have a third class set up at the quilt-a-way.
date:  saturday-sunday, april 11th and 12th, 11-4pm.
thanks for coming on by!
xo
leslie
soli deo gloria


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

in the velvet ~ moose collage

hello ~

another collage, and my favorite part about this sweet moose?  the gorrrrgggeous red sunset gradient fabric ~ one of my personal favorites, {by hand-dyer vicki welsh} and... the hand dyed pinky red silk velvet for the antlers {from my stash}.  those two elements alone just thrill me to pieces!  and while velvet can be tricky to fuse, that's what i did, and i am "tickled pink" with it!

my goal in the overall imagery of this piece was to create a sunset effect... inspired by vicki's red sunset gradient; a subtle silhouette of a low-setting late summer sunset, where the warm glow of the light creates intriguing soft shadows, and dimension.
and this time with a pattern {from laura heine at the fiberworks quilt shop in billings, mt} that was just a bit different from previous patterns i've created from.  this one is more subtle, as you can see from the package cover.  it's actually made with squares cut from "solid-reading" batiks.  instead, i drew from my cut-flower collage stash of fused flower shapes!
and i added a bit of fancy ~ after all, who doesn't enjoy a juicy marshy flower for a snack?!

and lots of heavy quilting, {i used yli 'fusions' variety, a 24 wt cotton variegated thread} especially within the body of the moose, to keep the edges flat.  i used a pink-cream-yellow green variegated thread in the body, and a green-purple-turquoise that is just beautiful against the gradient fabric colors of red, gold and turquoise.
and the title of the piece, seen below as i quilted it into the bottom of the quilt:  "in the velvet"
the other thing i want to mention about heavier quilting in this type of collage technique...  the thread color and quilting style very much "marries" all the business of the large scale flower prints, too.  i like how it does that.  i only used two different quilting motifs; but they are also very much "kissin' cousins' in style, and are all about soft curves.
not a lot of details for the facial features, except the wide antlers, and a big roundish nose...
i deliberately placed the moose in the gradient fabric so it would be a soft silhouette blending, one into the other, with the velvet antlers fading into the bottom edge of the red portion of this gorgeous fabric. i did not want the imagery to be "stark" against it, but soft and subtle blending.  the effect on the antlers fades in and out; changing with the angle of light in a room.  the velvet definitely enhances that effect, taking on different shadowy looks due to the depth of the pile ~ truly fascinating to view.  

the golden yellow of the gradient is gorgeous, and i like how it keeps the body of the moose soft as it blends into the fabric, too.

and a bit of blue in the bottom of the fabric is perfect for the marshy forest scene in my imagination.  a curvy bottom completes the effect, and an embellishment of a hand dyed variegated rayon yarn along the entire perimeter in the same colors as the quilting thread in the body of the quilt contrasts and also accents the hand dyed fabric. i free motion couched the yarn into the binding, and i think it really puts the finishing touch for the overall sunset look i was going for:
soon to go to the quilting shop, to be on display.  i'm getting excited to teach this two-day class, for sure!  so much fun...!

and i've got another collage creation in the works, but this time in a table runner... and i'll be giving away some {newly dyed  gorgeous hand dyed fabric by vicki, to celebrate valentines day.  be sure to come on back, 
and see what it is, okay? 

enJoy the blessings of this day!
i'm thankful ~

soli deo gloria
xo

leslie

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!  {Update: due to scheduling conflict, class has been reset for saturday, feb 28th and sunday march 1st, same times!} $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!}

xo
soli deo gloria!
leslie

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!"
Frankie is sitting on the "voile" fabric as the base, which is what you place all the fusible flowers onto.  when finished, you cut away {from the backside} and then place it on the background fabric.  The voile is the very lightweight, base fabric that the design is traced onto. 
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
xo
leslie
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