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 masterpiece. Show all posts
Showing posts with label masterpiece. Show all posts

Sunday, June 1, 2014

my log cabin roses ~ finished

hi everyone ~

hope you had a great weekend.  we had lots of stormy skies, lots of rain, but beautiful sunshine in between!

and in a sunshine moment, it was fun to take this log cabin rose quilt out onto the patio for a photo shoot!

this is a smaller, modified version from the original pattern, and makes a lovely tablescape all on it's very own.  full of life, color, and sparkle!

i'm still in the process of editing photos for my upcoming post on my placement technique for the bobbin quilting on this piece, but i hope you will return to see how i did this.  it's not a big secret... just a few simple tips. so come on back ya hear?!

 i decided the beautiful blues would look perfect as 'spacers'... straight from my stash of hand dyed fabrics from the talented vicki welsh!  i love the varied blues, which in my eyes, adds some movement, depth, and interest, but also doesn't overpower the flowers...and brings your eye to the roses with the navy blue centers... hopefully?

 each corner has a few words quilted, with a scripture verse:



"i have found the one my soul loves"  
{song of solomon 3:4}. 
amen!
soli deo gloria
xo
leslie
p.s. linking up with "free motion by the river" too!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

make life sweet ~ sweetwater placemats



hi everyone ~

i finally had time to delve into this charming yardage i've had on the back burner; it's "noteworthy" by sweetwater for moda fabrics.  and so i combined my love of writing and text onto the classic round placemat shape:
when i was teaching recently, at the local Quilt-A-Way quilt shop here in Great Falls, this book really caught my eye: "Sweetwater's Simple Home."  i've always liked their style, and i was tickled to come home with the book after a wonderful day of teaching there.


the threads i chose to put to the task at hand, are left to right: razzle dazzle {for couching}, magnifico {for quilting} and masterpiece {for bobbin thread} for both construction, quilting, and couching.
once the fabrics were layered with the batting, i loaded up the machine with the 40 wt pink-red magnifico thread {100% polyester} with white masterpiece {100% ELS cotton} in the bobbin.  i lowered my top tension from a 4.0 to a 2.5. i could have used matching red thread for the bobbin, but i chose not to because i wanted it to be subtle texture from the backside.  lowering the tension also helps that balance of colors from the top to the back, and keeps the threads more in the middle of the batting and fabric quilt sandwich .

 i also used my fave needle; the 90/14 titanium topstitch needle {all threads and needles by superiorthreads.com}
and i found this page in my new book to be inspiration for the quilting motif:
to start, i folded the circle in the center.  i used a pressing tool, like the one shown below but of course, your finger/nail works fine, too!
my reason for doing this is to have a crease to mark the center of the circle, so i could get a pleasing placement for the writing lines, and hopefully eliminate any slanted lines/stitching.
my favorite pen, the "frixion" pen, that writes like a pen, and erases magically with the touch of an iron:
i marked 3.5" from the top of the center line, to make my top line, and the same to go below the center line.  i just wanted three lines, fairly centered within the circle of fabric, and also, you can audition your writing if spacing is an issue you are concerned about.  and i am.  i don't mind a bit of a slant, or whimsical altered letter, but i did really want it to be pretty much centered, but also very "light and free-styling" {if that makes any sense!}
i quilted the words first, and then a random type of "scribble" and "sketchy" straight stitching around the perimeter. {i also altered the straight stitch to a longer length so the stitching would "show off" too.


as i've said before on the blog, my go-to starch is right here, and i use it at these stages of quilting, too:
{it helps to make my sewing life sweet!}

to make the straight lines stay flat and where they belonged, i engaged my handy-dandy dual feed on my bernina 830.  love it! {and looks like i need to clean up a few fuzzies, too!}
i also used my #37 patchwork foot, too, for the quilting around the perimeter, as it has a place for the dual feed to attach too {it's not just for your patchwork ya know!} but you could also attach a walking foot which would work just as good:
i'm going at a pretty good clip, making sure my lines cross, and around and around... i go!
i cut bias fabric for the binding, and attached it, using my patchwork foot.  


then, i couched on the razzle dazzle thread, right into the binding seam, using the Bernina #39 foot, which also stitches the binding down at the same time it adds the beautiful thread embellishment.  {see the foot, and #39 tutorial here}
and i decided to add a heart at the bottom, too, just for fun:
the back side:
"sweet!"
yup.  
make life sweet!
xo
leslie

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ponderosa pine ~ quilted

hi there ~  it's more feathers!

this time a new hand-dyed fabric in my studio, dyed by vicki welsh ~ she calls it the "woodlands" gradient.  and i called it 'mine!' {at least for the time being!} lol  

i used this quilting opportunity try a different type of meandering feather, quilting continuous 'branches' and hopefully... achieving a kind of 'flowing out' from one feather spine to another. 

definitely a work in progress, but a fun challenge for quilting...

accented with a dark green razzle dazzle by superior threads.  this spool is #254, named "irish eyes."  i love the emphasis this thread gives the feathers.

i put a warm golden brown thread of magnifico for the original feather shape, and then added a bright green for the hyper quilting, and deeper, 'forest green' for the outside motif quilting:




a pretty batik backing that will be a nice change if someone wanted to flip it over.  and... everything in my etsy shop is 20% until december 1st, with the code GIVINGTHANKS {all in caps}.  

And I pray we all do {forever and ever amen!}

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

'wild flowers' ~ hand painted ~ quilted ~ done!

hey there, and happy shining day to you ~

and a shining day it always is to finish a project... this one is not really a 'ufo' but definitely one i had hoped to have finished earlier this summer.  {didn't happen!}  sometimes that's how it goes, and i'm glad to call it finished.  looking at it now, i think it could have benefited from some extra details, but ... i wasn't sure what... and decided it was better to finish, than let it languish!

i began by painting a plain piece of white cotton fabric, using  the beautiful silks acrylic glaze paints by luminarte on white cotton fabric.  i added some angelina fibers on some of the flower centers, and petals.  and then ~ time to quilt free motion style! 
over the course of time, i've been asked frequently, being a bernina girl, "do i use the 'BSR'?" {which is the bernina stitch regulator}. my answer: "i do not."

why? well, because as the famous stockbroker commercial said {or at least alluded to} in it's ads: "because i learned {and earned my skills!} the old-fashioned way!"  let me explain. i do like the BSR ~ but i do not love it. it came along a little too late for me, and i had to learn without BSR all those years ago, and so that is what i am really comfortable at, and have honed my skills using and doing.

i love to teach the BSR techniques, and it's strengths.  but i  teach it as an enhancement to traditional free motion skills.  this specialty foot ~ a computerized, 'perfect stitch length' free motion foot, can be particularly 'freeing' for those who are new to free motion, and especially those who felt frustrated, and just could not master traditional skills of free motion.

there are tons of details and information, hints and tips i share when i teach it, but what it always boils down to is simply this:  time!  it just takes time to master anything!  and i believe that we spend time {on many things} when we are motivated to master a technique, or for that matter ~ anything in life!
and we are drawn to what we love!  that is why i teach, and say these very things:

~ start with fabric or colors, you love
~ start with a pattern or project you love
~ start with threads you love
~ expect to learn troubleshooting {needles, tension, thread weights}
~ expect to {lovingly} spend hours upon hours,  perfecting your skill, enhancing your knowledge, and finally, 
~ treat it as a great adventure! 
i often hear "i wish i could be as good as you." 

ahhh ~ but you can...  please~please... {i beg you!} do not rob yourself of the joy of learning, by letting the thief of your joy ~ 'comparison' ~ butt in on your thoughts and steal it!!

it takes time.  practice. practice. practice.  you know this ~ deep down in your heart.  and know i've spent thousands of {mostly} happy hours free motion quilting.

and not everything i do, am i pleased with.  in saying that, i realize too, that the bonus was in actually doing it - not necessarily in the final results.  we tend to base our expectations on what the final project looks like, rather than what was gained while we were doing it...




the backing {a commercial batik}




after all ~ it's the pursuit of excellence, not perfection.
{i repeat ~ not perfection!}
you can do anything ~ you want to!
~ soli deo gloria ~
enJOY!
xo
blessings,
leslie


 

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 ~
leslie

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