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 placemats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label placemats. Show all posts

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Placemats ~

Hi everyone!
UPDATE 11/27/12:  Joining what looks to be a wonderful Christmas Show at the Blog:  Quilting Tutorials... go check it out!  {Door Prizes... too!}
I got quite a few fabric Christmas projects done over this past, wonderful, long, weekend!  Sooooo nice to be home.
I only had four finished when I took the picture, but I have actually made six as I stuck it out! Yahoo!  And they are now listed in the etsy shop.

Making these placemats seemed to take a long, long time, but I just had to 'go with' what I thought was a grand idea!  I started it, so I needed to finish  {this year!}  I believe I spent about two hours on each of these. I think I've "over" the round placemat thingy in my head for awhile now! {Til Spring ~ maybe?!}
I cut the shapes with my sizzix cutter, using a poinsettia die.  I couldn't believe that I didn't have enough white buttons on had, but then again, I needed at least five for each so I had to go out to buy white buttons.  These are fused to Steam-A-Seam Lite, first, then stitched with just a simple, raw edge applique, via free motion quilting.
And of course, more swirls.  I'm getting a little tired of them, too...  but it's all good.  Especially since  my machine needs a tune-up, so I must part with it for awhile. {so glad I have my old girl ready to come to life ~ just like Frosty!} lol.  :)

Have a great week!
Soli Deo Gloria!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Grip & Stitch ~ Give A Way

Happy TUESDAY Give-A-Way! 

More round placemats~love the round~but a different design~a pattern of my own imagination. A good time was had by all!  That'd be me! {and that's really all that counts!}
What better time to try out the GRIP & STITCH quilting disks?

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I would be interested in giving these quilting disks a try.  I had heard about them, and truthfully ... was slightly skeptical.  I am a 'glove girl' and I mean, seriously, what serious quilting gal quilts without her "white gloves" I ask?  Well!  {in all seriousness}... 
I was pleasantly surprised how versatile they were.  Easy to grip - easy to manuever --- way easier than I had imagined.  And they are really quite grippy, perhaps even more than the gloves... but in a good way. And more comfortable.  When teaching free motion classes, I have heard students sometimes complain the gloves are too hot, making their hands sweaty. Although that was not my issue, the bulkiness did get in the way at times.
I was intrigued with the two different sizes that come as a complete pair.  The smaller size is for the right hand, to fit in what is usually a smaller space in the sewing machine, but of course, you can switch that up if you'd like - and I did, just to test them out.
It did take a bit of time to get the hang of it, but I'm tellin' ya - it's a tiny learning curve - like 60 seconds.  But what I love the most about this CLEVER CRAFT TOOL?  I don't have the inconvenience of taking my gloves off to re-thread my machine, troubleshoot any quilting issues, and they are super-easy to manipulate on the quilt top.  {and they are made in AMERICA the BEAUTIFUL!}
Georgia also gives them a 9.50 out of 10 rating!  {being a super athletic Border Collie, she was a bit miffed that she couldn't try them out herself} ~ {yikes} ~ but since I was excited... she told me that works for her, too! {such a smart & clever dog!}  Savannah was too shy to come downstairs, so she waited for the results in the bleachers with baited breath! 
And I really do give them a TEN.   Now, let me say too... I have not yet tried them on a large quilt, where I wonder about all that bulk of the quilt, but if this test is any indication, it should be just fine.  They are proving themselves to be a handy tool I am loving using.  And I quilted six of these placemats with them, and a new Christmas wall quilt: "Nuttin' for Christmas", to be posted soon.
What it really means is this, ladies and gentlemen: you have {more} CONTROL!  {you wanted some didn't ya?}  Well, I stitched around all of these little flower petals free motion, and really enjoyed putting the disks to the test on this project.  I really like just being able to let go, lift my hands off, and do whatever I need to do with my fingers, {like drink my cup of tea}, or change threads... and not have to pull my gloves off to do so.  Nor lose them in the fabric, like I sometimes did with my gloves.  {ahem}

Clever, yes. But more than that, I really do appreciate GOOD {useful} tools! They make the beautiful things we love to make even more enjoyable. And I think the Grip & Stitch disks are a cool {and clever} tool. While I may not give up my gloves entirely, I say these are a worthwhile investment.  If you would like to see a video, visit Clever Craft's You Tube site, here. I asked Georgia to take a video of me using them, but she got bored and decided to go sniff at the kitty. Silly dog! {quilting disks are for people ... not for dogs!} LOL!
Thank you Clever Craft Tools for asking me to do this review!  I am honored, and it was fun to try them out. I like them ~ lots, and will use them... more!

I have  a pair to give a way, too, of course; {free shipping by MarveLes Art Studios}.  Retail price is $29.95, where you can purchase them at Clever Craft Tools , or get them on a great sale price at Fat Quarter Shop, or Amazon.  

Just leave a comment on this post ~ {a clever one if you want} or just say hi to Georgia, and you're entered to win!  If you tweet it, post to facebook, or pin this post on pinterest, or any other social media of your choice, or become a new follower of the blog, I'll give you an extra entry for each "thing you do." {whew - that was a mouthful}.  Pretty please, leave a comment each time you do, as that will make it easier for the random generator who will pick the winner.  

Winner announced Saturday  November 9th by noon Mountain Standard Time! Thanks for coming by, and for being a faithful reader and encourager here on the blog!  I have more to give ~ "MarveLeslie" more!?"

Come back soon ya hear? {insert voice of Jethro of the Hillbillies}

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Classic Round Table ~

Hi there ~

It's been a rock n' roll week... but I've tried to be diligent in my sewing studio these past few weekends... preparing for my art show in November, in my hometown of Chester, MT, and cleaning up, finishing up!

I have very much enjoyed a bit of 'traditional' sewing and quilting in making fourteen turkey placemats!  I'm tellin' ya - sewing a bunch of straight lines takes a bit of discipline for me! But even better news, most are sold!  Thank you Donna and Ann!  I'm so grateful for your support, and encouragement!

I've become quite fond of this classic round shape, and decided to get out some beautiful {older} fabrics and make an original design, using some easy-cut die shapes, some crocheted 'stuff' {cuz I don't know what to call it}, and a BIG BOLD BEAUTIFUL red button.  {Love this button!}  
I bought this crochet piece from a seller on Etsy, and it came in a bunch of vintage linens I purchased.  You may recall that I used this as trim for my mixed media owl's eyes.  

 Which I have now hung in our living room with a fall silk flower arrangement to enjoy together.
 And a bit of an update about our sweet puppies:
 They adore coffee.  Or make that coffee CREAMER in the coffee {just like me ~ imagine that!} and now it's  become part of our weekend morning routine. I can't imagine how they became so fond of it... :)

No surprise ~ Georgia will do anything, to get her large nose  - err - make that tongue - into the cup to slurp up some creamy goodness?! 
 And no, I don't drink it after they do!  This is my second cup... and I'm not always much a 'full cup - second cup' coffee drinker.  It's just for "the girls!"  :)
Oh... yeah.  Back to the quilting!  I happily free-motioned the edge of the crocheted flower piece for a fast and simple attachment.
And as I dived into my button jar, I renewed my love affair with big bold buttons!  Isn't this red one a beauty?!!  The dimensional accent of the crochet flower and button just seems to finish it off perfectly.  I think of it not as a placemat, but as decorative, and beautiful autumnal centerpiece, and I like it!  A little bit of old... a little bit of new!
And it has inspired me to do more pieces!

Just a bit of a teaser... October is my Blog Anniversary month!  That means I have several giveaways planned! It may take a couple weeks until I get it all together {ahem!}... but I've been asked to do a couple product reviews, which will include giving away one of each of those products, and even an interview, {whew} and I've got a few things to give away myself! 

I'd better get BUSYIER  {i know it's not a word - just to emphasize double-busy!}

I pray you have a great big abundant day of love whatever you're doing!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Placemats

I've really enjoyed making these placemats!  What I really love the most about making them, is writing the words of the Christmas carols, and bible verses that run through my head this time of year!
You might think this is curved piecing, but it is NOT!  I simply free-cut with my rotary cut, a soft, undulating line on a piece of fabric, rectangular in shape;  placemat size, about 13" tall, and 18 inches in width.  Cut two curving lines, and remove either the two sides, o rthe center piece, depending on your preference.  Place either the center, or two side pieces (one or the other) and place it atop another solid piece of a coordinating fabric rectangle.  Using a straight stitch, sew those contrasting curving pieces to your rectangle, and once done, turn it to the backside, and cut away the bottom fabric.  Save that piece, and use it for the 2nd placemat!
If you'd like to see more, check out an earlier post from last Christmas, with different placemats, and instructions!  You can view it here.  And you can always type in the word 'placemat' in the search box on the right hand side-bar of the blog, and it will take you any of my placemat posts!

Merry Christmas!
And using a fusible web (I choose Steam-A-Seam 2) and a rotary cutter with a wavy blade... I fuse the binding for a quick edge treatment that is fusible, hardy, washable, and easy to do!
Ah... and the embellishment with a bit of velvet rick rack and then a little couching with my Bernina #39 foot and silver Razzle Dazzle thread on top for a 'bit of shine' for that extra element of 'so pretty' I think we all love.  It really does lend itself to giving that UPSCALE and special look that says WOW.  At least... I think so!  And since I sew what I love, it's... well, what I love!  


Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Miss Betty"

Miss Betty is a true delight!  I am so excited to share a bit of her through today's post. When I see Betty walk through the door, my heart leaps with joy!  Not because she's a student in a class (although that's very nice!) but because she exemplifies tenacity, a willingness to keep learning, to try new things; coping with new machines, gadgets, gizmos and techniques!  She NEVER gives up - and I adore that about her!  I'm so proud of her; not that it has anything to do with me personally! She is such a lovely model of learning to love... and loving to learn!

I am tickled pink to be able to share Betty with you.  This is one of her beautiful placemats she was playing with.  When I asked her permission to take a picture and put her in the blog, she was so THRILLED!  Big smile!  You  gotta love that!  And I just love the JOY you share with me Betty!   It's been a privilege and honor. 
And that is just one of the greatest blessings
of teaching. It's not about machines, techniques, beautiful fabrics or threads.  

It's about learning, loving and serving one another the very best we can.
Betty loved learning about the Bernina #39 foot; applying it to her velvet trim
Betty loves using her new skill with the 'triple stitch!'
Betty learned to apply a basic utility stitch that is often overlooked... and quite elegant really --- it's the "triple straight stitch" which is a standard stitch on machinesThe key to helping it to have more presence and impact is to  LENGTHEN your stitch length.  Betty has a 5mm machine, so she lengthened her stitch 'all the way' out to 5.0... instant FABULOUS!

My dear Betty, may God continue to shine his love and countenance upon you, give you strength, peace and rest.  EnJOY your granddaughter's wedding this summer, and all the blessings of family.

Thanks for blessing mine.  Amen.  XXOO

If you'd like to learn more about this foot, visit my blog post here.  Other placemat ideas can be viewed  herehere and here!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Welcome in Spring! Okay.... maybe NOT just yet...blizzard conditions here in MT yesterday.  Nevertheless... the time is to sew for it is now! Soon it will be here, (truly!) and y'all will be wanting to be out in yards, gardens, and smelling that new grass!  So it's more than a couple months off here in Montana... but why not DREAM BIG?! Yeah, Baby!
And it feels good to have a small project done... set of two doncha know!

Crochet trim... 
a bit of rayon ribbon, 
silver metallic thread... 
beautiful batik fabrics...
finished quick as a bunny with fused steam a seam binding...
cut with a wave-edge rotary cutter!

Gotta have a pretty thread, too! Mine was a pretty pink pastel tri-lobal from Superior threads.

 I  sure enjoyed placing the silver metallic thread (YLI candlelight in silver) easily centered all around the outside edge!  Used that sweet little Bernina #39 Foot  See the 'how-to's in an earlier post here!
Gotta love just a bit of free motion... the flower motifs provided instant inspiration... EASY BREEZY  
free motion girls!

Notice too, just a bit more of silver metallic thread on the outside edge of the ribbon... love that little red guide on my #39 foot! Did you see the project I posted here... pick-up stix glitz?  Check it out!
For more inspiration... see the blog of Bon Bon Aelier here!  They just featured yesterday, a wonderful store in London, called "V V Rouleaux" that is amazing... a store that has ... nothing... but .... ribbons... and more ribbons, trims... embellishments.  See their blog spot here.  I want to go!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bernina Foot #43 Free Motion Couching

So... we visited yesterday with a quilt using more "traditional" type of couching, with the blog the day before on the #39 foot.  Tomorrow I will be posting a small project showing this technique, and I hope you will check back then!
And TODAY... more couching!  How I love a free motion foot of any kind... but this #43 free motion foot from Bernina is particularly FUN and one of my most favorites to use.  The foot comes with three pieces; the foot itself, a thread guide (that you load onto your Bernina thread cutters), and a small wire that is a threader that helps you insert cords/yarns through the holes of the foot. Ask your Bernina dealer to demonstrate it for you!  I will be demonstrating this at the placemat class at "The Quilt A Way" on February 15th 5:30 - 8pm.  Class fee: only $10 - come join us!
You can see the stitches 'pulled' a bit... so lower the tension!
  • Lower your top tension at least 1-2 levels
  • Lower your feed dogs
  • Use a 90/14 microtex  needle
  • with foot #43 from Bernina, the needle stitches through the center of the cord, so it's important to get it stitched down, but keep the foot moving evenly over the fabric.
  • just like any other foot, you can make circles, stitch over previous lines, and etc.
  • keep an even speed; not too fast, not too slow
  • tie off like you normally would 
  • cording or yarn you choose for this particular foot is approximately 2mm in width, or roundness.  Too big, a cord won't fit properly and will plug the holes in the foot.  Too loose, and it won't stitch down at all.  So find something that 'fills the hole' but feeds smoothly & evenly through the hole.
I am showing some basic placemats above, previously cut with free hand curves, and then those curved pieces have been edge-stitched down, and are now ready for stitching, couching and decorative stitch accents.  Here's the link to a previous blog that featured Christmas themed placemats. Hint:  Look at your needle as you gauge placement... it's in the center of the foot, so placing your foot, and watching the needle will take some practice, in order to get exact placement.

Remember, this is free motion, so feed dogs are down.  Lower your tension as needed, and match your top thread color to the cord.  I like 50 weight Masterpiece cotton from Superior threads in my top and the same in my bottom thread, but a polyester is good too, and I make my decisions based upon how much I'm going to couch, and the type of cord/yarn I am couching.  Polyester tends to be stronger, and for that reason alone, it can be a better choice especially if you are using 'tougher' cords/yarns with nylon or alot of density to them.

Threading the foot:  Begin with the side-entry, feeding your cord/yarn through the side, and then down through the top center hole.  Keep the excess cord/yarn to the left, ensuring it is tangle free and can feed easily as you are sewing/quilting.
Thread yarn through the side-entry hole first

The #43 Free Motion Couching Foot by Bernina is just a "must have" foot if you want to look like a STAR!  I teach and demonstrate this to most of my classes!  It's just too good not to share!  Note:  This foot has a shank that fits only the newer Bernina machines (10 years or more new), and it is not produced for the older models.  

Yarn completely threaded (left to right, through the center hole)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

QUILT-A-WAY CLASSES I'm teaching Jan, Feb, March 2011

All of the classes in this blog entry are scheduled at  the wonderful  THE QUILT-A-WAY  quilt shop, who made into one of the TOP TEN Quilt Shops last fall, in beautiful GREAT FALLS MONTANA!  I hope you can JOIN me for lots of sharing, spontaneous laughter, and tons of inspiration! Each of these classes are offered at two separate times  for flexibility!
 Saddle up -- let's ride!
 Festive Placemats: Cost $10.00
TUESDAY, Jany 25th, 5:30-8:00 pm OR
TUESDAY, Feb 15th, 5:30-8:00 pm
Simple and Festive!  Valentine's Day... Easter and Springtime are just around the corner! Create a set of two placemats for any place setting, holiday or "Just Because!" Using three coordinating fabrics,  a quick cut, a pretty thread and an edgy fused binding makes finishing this project a snap!  No piecing; you will learn a simple creative cut with a rotary cutter, add one simple embellishment, quilt it, and fuse - you're done!
Paintstiks: Cost $10.00
SATURDAY, Feb 5, 10:00am-1pm OR
TUESDAY, Feb 8th, 5:30 pm-8pm
Learn the ‘how-to” basics of using these remarkable crayon-like paints on fabric in a few short hours.  I ie will show you creative embellishment with this versatile COOL product using stencils, rubber stamps, texture plates, found objects and more. For beginners, seasoned quilters, fiber artists and the curious!  Hand-outs with basic info, hints & tips & samples with a hands-on demo for all students. 

Beyond Free Motion Cost $50.00
SATURDAY Feb 12,  9am-5pm OR
MONDAY Feb 21,  9am-5pm
Explore and enhance your skills of fundamental free motion quilting on your home sewing machine. Leslie will show you fun free motion applique styles, tips and helpful techniques. Learn basic design elements and trouble shooting common problems with needles & threads. LOTS of valuable resource info and handouts given!

Fabric Paper: Cost $15.00
TUESDAY March 1, 5:30-8pm OR
SATURDAY March 5, 10am-1pm
Make your very own original ‘fabric paper’ with muslin, batting, glue and tissue paper.  You will see how you can use found items to embed into the fabric you’ve made, and then how to turn it into a quilted piece of artwork.  Fun and easy!  Bring your basic fabric paper to Texture This! class, or to Bobbin Drawing to make it into a quilted art piece!

Bobbin Play: Cost $20.00
TUESDAY March  8th 5:30-8pm  OR
SATURDAY March 12th 10am-1pm
Learn how to take all your sewing and  quilting to that “next” level!  Techniques related to quilting and general sewing techniques, tension know-how and thread information.  For fabric lovers, sewers, quilters.  Garments, embellishment and samples shown. Practice in class under guidance of an experienced instructor.

Texture This! Cost $20.00
TUESDAY March 15th 5:30-8pm OR
SATURDAY March 19th 10am-1pm
With a small bit of fabric, adding textures of foiling, cording, couching and using the new “Texture Magic” you can create your own one of a kind art piece.  Lots of techniques and demos. For free motion quilting, and traditional sewing,
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