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 McKenna Ryan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label McKenna Ryan. Show all posts

Monday, January 12, 2015

deer in the velvet ~ sweet beginnings

hi monday morning souls ~

if you read the recent posts regarding my new love of collage, well, here is a "vintage" piece ~ not quite the same style, but one that is more of what i would call a "silhouette" type of collage.

and it's one of my very first quilted wall hangings ~ like maybe the second or third one i ever completed and quilted, dating back to 2002. it's a pine needles pattern, designed by mckenna ryan.

i love velvet.  {still do} and that year i had made myself a blue crushed velvet dress for christmas, and so the leftovers became fodder for a quilt border and even binding. definitely a naive and somewhat uneducated choice and most certainly a big challenge!  after this piece was finished, i never again used velvet as a border. that was enough for me!  but now, i may go back to it again...

regardless, and still today, i take joy in this quilt, and it's hanging in my home, albeit in our porch entry.  not that it is outcast -- it just fits the decor there nicely.  even though it's a tad faded now. 

as i was taking photos of it, i was reminded about the mono-filament thread that was used in the quilting.

and when i began quilting 'back then' ~ the very late 90's, quilting with monofilament-type thread was the common approach to quilt these types of wall hangings.

today, i almost never quilt with it!  with the coming of better quality and variety and color of threads to choose from, i've not given it a second thought.  however, today's monofilament thread is a far better product that the original ones, to be sure!  one of them is shown below:  
and the only choice i will use {if i need to} is superior's mono-poly.  the most important reason? it's a non-nylon material, because nylon will melt under the heat of an iron.  {not very pretty!} and monopoly will not.    

below is the quilt. now as i take a look at this piece, it totally appears there are just "holes" in the quilt where the needle pierced the fabric.  which is where the clear thread is. {second photo down shows it best} 
i don't really like this effect, but it's kind of due to the lighting, and it's very strange-looking!
and it's kinda odd to see that "huge" wide binding too!  {cuz I didn't know better!} but that is just fine and okay with me.  it's a sweet treasured memory of first projects.  i sometimes forget the excitement i had of just getting it finished, and simply ~ enJoying the process.
it's a great example of sweet beginnings, and i do treasure this piece, as it was a great place to 'jump off' into the free motion quilting world, and i've loved every minute since!

i still think the "pine needles" patterns are appealing, charming, and simply beautiful.  like many of us, they continue to bud, bloom, and build skills and inspiration aplenty. they are perfect for a beginner... and i know that it was a greeting starting point in my own journey.

and as always ~ enJoy your journeys and consider it all joy, my friends!

soli deo gloria!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nuttin' for Christmas ~

Hi there and Merry Christmas! 

Why not?  You know that as a quilter-sewer, November is pretty last minute for this kind of stuff!
I had a little help... from my UFO pile, {and more thoughts that go a bit deeper when it comes to UFO'S!} Anyway, I made this a couple years ago.  And as a side note, I cut my free motion teeth {so to speak!} on  Montana's designer McKenna Ryan's Pine Needle patterns... back in the day! {1998}. I made lots of these kinds of wall hanging quilts as a beginner, and loved every one of them.  Still do!
I was totally delighted to also find the two little stockings, cut, and mostly finished, just needing to be stitched up.  {I had forgotten I'd done them}
 I quickly edge-stitched most of the pieces, all free-motion, of course.  I added silver GLITTER for some of the snowy pieces {love it}.
 YLI in a soft, pastel variegated cotton, for snow and sky.

 And Superior's Tri-lobal "Rainbows" in a very woody, variegated tan, black and brown, and another in a golden-rust color for the quilting on the nuts, wood fence, and tree  branches.
 Then to quilt the border.  I did loose, wide-open poinsettia shapes, taking my cue from the batik border print.  But... it did need a little somethin'-somethin' don'tcha think?!
 Wasn't too thrilled with the solid red thread in an attempt to make it look like  berries... so they were ripped out.
 Didn't care for the red buttons, either.  They were way too distracting, as they were too large... if I had had maybe teensy tiny red buttons, and grouped them in three's... but after a thorough search through the button jar... no go!
 So, yes, the final result is beads.  I love them~ they are my favorite thing about this quilt, well... besides the super-adorable Christmas Stockings!

Another finish {just a mere 3-4 years later!}
 "Nuttin' for Christmas"
pattern by McKenna Ryan
Quilting and embellishments by Leslie McNeil
Soli Deo Gloria! 
Don't forget to enter my Give-A-Way from yesterday's post.. and yes, I used them on this entire project, too. 
See more... right...here!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pine Needles and Beginnings

Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts with the passing of our dear Pappa.  Your prayers are treasured, and we have felt them! We miss him terribly, but we have also grown closer to our heavenly Father, and our family, and felt his healing touch through it all in myriad ways.  Heartfelt thanks from us both.

So we are getting back to the 'norm' as it's said - the new normal, I guess you'd say.  While it's been really good to be back home for the past day, to catch up... sort mail, laundry, dust bunnies, and kitty boxes! Onward and... upward!

Some of you have asked me about 'how I do what I do' kind of questions.  One of things that helped jumpstart my own creativity, and the passion and love that I have for machine quilting started... way back when, when these "Pine Needles" patterns, by Montana artist, McKenna Ryan were quite popular, in the early 2000's.  They were the jumping-off-point for my quilting 'experiments' as I look back on it. I have quite a few of them, and I made several of these types of quilts as gifts, and for my sons.
At that time, I was encouraged by the quilting 'people' - stores and such, to use invisible thread, and although I faithfully followed the directions, it didn't take long for me to become bored.  AND... I was none too pleased with the high maintenance of using it, tension and otherwise.  One day, after I saw how I got tangled up in it, (without knowing it) and made a web of invisible thread across my sewing room -- I soon left it behind, and so began my interest in using metallic threads...

Since then, however, there are better choices in invisible threads.  My preference, if I use it at all, is Superior Threads, mono-poly. Note to self about labeling, here.  It's a 'polyester mono-poly' - which means it's a polyester fiber - it will melt at very high temperatures, but not normally at average temps of your iron.  Also, it won't turn yellow or brittle on you, either.  Superior Threads has truly wonderful videos and great explanations about the difference between 'mono-poly', and those labeled 'polymide' -- which is the chemical name for nylon, or nylon monofilament which are NOT the same thing as polyester monofilament.  Seems like a lot of confusing language to you?  Check it out on their website by clicking here to see the info about this type of thread in particular.

The quilt above is also one of my first ever quilts.  I'm quite fond of it, and I can appreciate looking back on it, and seeing how my quilting has evolved.  As you look at these pics, you will notice I used a metallic thread, instead of invisible thread.  If I'm going to quilt something, nearly 99% of the time I want my quilting to show!  Yes... even though it's noticably 'wobbly' it was great fun for me to make this quilt, 'way back when!'
 I still have this quilt, hanging in our guest bedroom.  The velvet paw prints were my inspiration that the pattern did not call for.  Yes... it was a bit tricky, as they are velvet, and have a nap, and it was a stretch velvet to boot.  So... gentle with the iron and fusing, which I did at that time because I didn't know how better to do it.  I'd use a needle board and pressing cloth, and perhaps a bit of a glue stick, too...

 I stippled the background trees with metallic thread (then it was the Sulky brand, cuz that's all we had).  It broke alot... but I stuck with it.  That's when I really started learning how to handle it better, using lower tension, and a metallic needle. 
This quilt is a sweet reminder to me of beginnings.  I still enjoy looking at it, at the the tiny little velvet paw prints I painstakingly cut and placed on it.  I dearly love the background fabric, designed by Nancy Crow.  And what I love even more is remembering the sweet time of learning about something I love to do even more now.  Although I'm tempted to go back and 'fix' this little quilt... I won't.  It has more value in it's originality than anything I could do to it now. 

EnJOY the process!  EnJOY the life we live, today and every day.  Blessings to all of you, my dear blog friends, and to my pen pals.  We treasure your prayers and friendship.

Love and Blessings,

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