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 landscape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landscape. Show all posts

Saturday, January 15, 2011

West to Glacier

I'm still re-visiting summer days in the dead of winter; we have wind chill advisories in many areas.  Here is a photo I took late last summer... one of personal favorites. I was on my way home from teaching in Big Fork, MT, hoping to get across the mountains before dark to avoid as many deer as possible.  Oh my, the weather had been so incredibly... spectacular all weekend long!  I had such a fun road trip, stopping to take pictures the whole way over.  It's usually  four hours just to drive straight through, and I took almost 10 hours to get there, it was so beautiful!  I have some wonderful shots from all over, along the Swan River, Flathead Lake ... but this one... the last one I took that day.  It's special to me because it reminds me of my childhood, as a horse-crazy girl who wanted to be a race-horse jockey.  I nagged my parents until they finally caved in and got me a horse.  She was a PINTO too, and had one glass eye (a blue-clear eye), and her name was "Spook."  We had such great rides, and made my childhood a sweet one in many ways. I've had a deep fondness for pinto ponies everywhere, ever since... Funny how this guy, met on the windy prairie, was a moment in time I won't soon forget.  HE too, had a glass eye! I call him "Buddy" - as I stroked his nose, and he then followed me around as I snapped pictures!  I really wanted to get some close-ups of him, but he wouldn't give me enough space! 
An unexpected friendship with a Painted Pony on the Prairie  --- Rocky Mountain Front
 And here is the landscape quilt I had made prior to this weekend, as a sample for the classes I was teaching that very same weekend.  It is called "West to Glacier." 

Commercial batik; all one piece in light yellow, green, and purpley-blue.  A bit of a "western" flair with a yarn that looks just like a rope or lasso.  I wanted to demonstrate to my students that a few very basic  drawn shapes... circles, curvy lines, straight lines, and basic straight stitching... all free motion, and 'free drawing' style, can result in a fun project that is abstract but also impressionistic, very personal, and creative!  I loved  creating this piece, as I remembered what it feels like to me when I see the prairie and those incredible Rocky Mountains ... meet... collide... blend...and are completely... spectacular!

Bobbin Play, Paintstiks, threads and cords... To me,  "Purple Mountain's Majesty" is in my backyard, Glacier Park ...our Montana Treasure...  Green-blue for those incredibly clear and COLD mountain rivers...  light green for the green grasses, or newly planted spring wheat out on the windy prairie, and for the forest, and all the beauty surrounding us, everywhere...

 Simple details..... smooth, repetitive lines, meandering, reflecting the soft, gently sloping fields of wheat, summer fallow ground, and flat of the prairie in rich browns, and greens.

Yellow Gold for the ripening wheat... the grass turning in late fall... and a softly curved binding... not 'square' seemed be the perfect fitting touch...  EnJOY and may God Bless you as you... "plow" - and survive! through your winter.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands
~ Psalm 19:1

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Embellishment - "THE FLATHEAD" Art Quilt

I was born and raised in Montana; my father's family homesteaded on the northern border of Montana, near the Canadian border, in the Sweet Grass Hills. My mother's family homesteaded in western Montana, on the Flathead River.
 For many summers, I would pack up my boys and we'd travel 240 miles to go to the Flathead Valley, and spend a week with my Gramma Ila, enjoying the family farm, and picking what seemed like tons of raspberries, strawberries and more! My Aunt Vi had the most incredible Raspberry Patch... her huge yard was encircled with 4-6 rows of raspberry bushes that surrounded their home!  Fabulous! Sometimes we had time to go through Glacier Park too... but we always had to get those berries home into the freezer!

"THE FLATHEAD" landscape art quilt is lovingly dedicated to my Gramma Ila, who passed away in 2002. The Flathead Valley is shimmery lakes, sparkling rivers, lush fields and purple mountains majesty.

This impressionistic journey began by thinking of those beautiful images and sweet summer memories with my Gramma. This fabric has three color gradations; a mauvey pinky (berries) color on the bottom, then a periwinkle purple (mountains), blue and soft gray/blue/green (sometimes rainy skies!) on the top.

Here is a detail of the 'feather' motif I added with a free motion couching foot.  (The Bernina #43).  I loved this yarn, and it was a fun thing to do... and a bit unexpected!   The other embellishment I enjoy using is foil.  This happens to be silver leaf, the flimsy stuff, usually for wood crafts, and the like.   

How I love couching free motion style!  Such creative freedom it brings me.  To add more definition and presence to the silver leafing, I couched a deep purple yarn, which had a bit of golden flecks in it, and I loved the contrast and dimension it brings to this piece.... reminding me of those lovely, tall shining mountains, with rays of sun reflecting on the sparkling lakes and the cool breezes in the evenings.  (Not to mention the color of the berries!)  In the picture below, bobbin play detail.  See
Blog entires on December 15:  Bobbin Quilting and December 23: More Hints if you'd like to know more.
Hint:  I used white thread on my top so the silver bobbin thread would be dazzling...
My favorite silver thread was just calling to me!  And I decided to let it meander... just like the Flathead River through the steep mountain gorges... and of course, (below) there has to be just a glitzy touch of angelina fibers... it just reminds me of the sun and water, and fresh air!
In the pic below you will see a zig zag stitch; this is traditional couching over a fiber or cording, or something thick that cannot be sewn through the eye of the needle.
The picture shows where I've couched on wool roving.  The beading you see here was done by machine, without a foot... yes you can do it that way!  The exception however, is the triangle silver bead in this picture.. it was done free motion, but I did have a foot attached; the #29 (Bernina) clear free motion foot, which I turn to constantly!  I just set it for a zig zag... and carefully... ensure your stitch width accommodates the width of the bead hole to the edge of the bead by using your hand wheel first!  Then, at a slow speed, stitch your zig zag 3-4 times to secure the bead.
Questions? Please let me know and I would enjoy answering them! I love to demo this fun technique in the free motion classes I teach. I will be posting instructions specific to this technique in the New Year!

Beading by MACHINE... "look mom, no hands!"  Well.... not quite!  There is no foot, but I can bead faster this way than I can by hand, actually.  It takes practice of course!  Sooner than you might think, you can add a great many beads in a small space of time. It's a big plus to know your machine, and have good knowledge of threads and needles.
HINT:  I always use polyester (Isacord brand) for strength, and size 2mm beads with holes that will accommodate a 90/14 needle, which in my opinion, has to be a microtex needle for sharpness.  An advanced technique, it also requires a great deal of caution and focus as you certainly don't want to put the needle through your finger, (No, I haven't done it with this technique!).
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