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 sew be it. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sew be it. Show all posts

Thursday, January 16, 2014

butterflies for bernie ~ repurposed? {not yet!}

hi there ~

here's a sweet remembrance {from over twelve years ago} of patiently stitching {over forty} butterflies...  and especially patient given it's the triple-stitch version of the blanket stitch applique.  {and nine pieces for each butterfly} but! that was exactly what i did, because i had a new sewing machine, and {nothing better to do, apparently!}

but i was thrilled to use my new machine!  i remember coming home on my lunch hours, and spending 20 minutes stitching a butterfly or two.

and that is what i recommend to every student i teach who has a new machine. get to know your machine and all it's functionality, taking {what you love} a pattern, fabric, thread, and enjoy watching your knowledge confidence grow and build so you can enJoy it!

in this project, i focused on my love for batiks ~ it was very  appealing to use batiks, mixing and matching them. Each butterfly is completely different and has it's own personality.

and my quilting?  not so hot.  but i loved doing it!!  once again, it's rather humorous, looking back at it... and that's just fine, really. 

alot of folks have commented to me: "oh, i wish i was that talented" ... but do not always realize... that it has been years, and thousands of hours {mostly} happily stitching away... and learning to troubleshoot all kinds of issues... learning, growing, and learning... growing!

there are lots of big, jumpy stitches, then little ones in my fmq. frayed threads.  but it's still pretty, and i loved the process.
... about that blanket stitching... it would have been so much easier had i placed the horizontal stitching off the edge, instead of trying to place it exactly on the edge... and so here are some hints and tips for applique stitching i've learned:

1. use an open-toed foot {love my bernina #20} and be sure to use the inside edge of the right side toe, as your guide.
2. change needle position to the far right
3. use a topstitch needle 90/14
4. stitch slower {machines don't like to do decorative stitches at high speeds, and you won't have a good-looking, perfect stitch.
5. match your bobbin thread color if you are seeing bobbin thread come to the top and/or  lower your top tension {most newer machines automaticall do this when you select a decorative stitch}
7. keep your eye on the edge of the fabric, not the needle, and keep the edge of the fabric/applique aligned with the inside {right} edge of the #20 foot!
these following pics are from the back side:

and these days... i would probably not choose to free motion over the top of the applique {usually}.
 this was one of my favorite batik combos:
and yes, even back then... i was using superior threads.  {they're just one of the best!}
and a pattern  {like you'll be surprised} from SEW BE IT.  i don't think this one can be purchased anymore, unfortunately. it is so sweet, isn't it?  

"sew" now... what i am going to do with this quilt?  {i'm not sure!}  each one of these butterflies is supposed to have antennae, which are made up of beads, sewn by hand.
i think i'm only interested in two options. either i finish it {not likely} or... cut it up. my first idea is to cut out the center square - the largest inside one, finish and bind it as a smaller, square runner.  theat leaves the remaining 'outter' squares of butterflies to deal with. 
i want to save them...
but for what?
{i don't have a clue} 
got any ideas you'd like to share?
thanks for hangin' out here with me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

sew be it ~ beautiful patterns ~ giveaway

hi all ~

cleaning up {just a little}.  actually, i've had these ready to give away for awhile ... just getting around to it now.

and... i loved each and every one of these patterns.  some i made once, some were made twice.  and a couple... not at all!

and i realize i will probably never ever make them again.  {but i loved the trip}.

i hope someone "out there" will be interested... maybe you know someone who would like them?  or perhaps yourself?  

i hope so! because "sew be it" patterns are super easy, have well written instructions, and are a fun patterns to not only piece, but to quilt as well.  one of the best ways to learn, is to start with a pattern you love, first. {i did ~ i still do}

just leave a comment.  i'm sending all seven cool patterns to one person, whom will be chosen randomly on sunday, january 5th.  

"Sew Be It!"

thank you!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

glitter snowblossoms ~ giveaway


...from the frozen "snowblossoms" of montana!  i love highs of -8 wintery weather.  it makes me appreciate 20 degrees {above zero}. lol

speaking of snowblossoms ~ how i loved making this quilt.

i really did. 

{but} ... i knew i wouldn't  finish it ~ {until now}. it has been tucked away in a closet for over ten years.  motivated by recently having to move all my mother's stuff, {and store it all} i was reminded of how much 'stuff' i have. and that i need to use it or lose it!  {wish i could say the same about weight loss?!!} 

anyway, it was time to make a decision.  that decision being to not ignore it {again} and shove it back into the closet!  

and while contemplating how & what to do, a divine resolution occurred in my overloaded brain.  make it into rounds. do placemats. or a centerpiece. {or several of them!}

so i cut it up.   because i was excited about the prospect of doing that, i forgot to take a picture of the whole thing.  but you can get an idea of what it looked like in it's entirety from the pattern, below.
every snowflake edge was {patiently} free motioned, zig-zag style.  somewhat an overly ambitious task, but i actually had most of them finished.  good enough to begin for what i had in mind.

now let me say the star of the show on the snowflakes is really all about the thread.  {i know you're not surprised}.   this time it's glitter. made by superior threads.  {you know how much i love their threads!} a flat, hologram {100% polyester} filmy, highly-reflective thread.  and it's a wonder!

here's why:  
1.  it adds sparkle and dimension.  {i'm so there!}
2.  it's washer, dryer and iron safe on medium heat.
3.  it's a metallized polyester thread.
4.  it's available in 24 colors.  {no i don't have them all}
5.  it's ideal for embroidery and quilting.

but ya gotta know how to play with it if you wanna have fun with it.  and it's pretty simple, really.  

1. always use a metallic or topstitch needle 90/14; 
2. always lower my tension {always} down to a 1.0, {and superior threads tells you this, too}.
3. always use superior's bottom line thread, for your bobbin thread {in a matching color value}.  it's a sweet 60 weight, so it's nice and thin, and balances the tension play with the glitter queen!  and finally,
4. slow down your speed

this thread will kick up your holiday stitching a notch or two, for sure!
let me say my beginner quilting skills on this piece weren't all that consistent.  but it's certainly good enough to finish making something of it, where it can be used and loved,   and worth the effort to finish and not to stash it {again!} 

to enJOY.

to come on out of the dark and into the light!!

yes.  that's it! that's  what i'ma talkin' about! 
and i remembered using many different colors of the glitter thread in the stitching.  i do have to say, that zig zag stitching i did free motion style...was awesome!  so pretty. it just bounces with light.  i'm feelin' the love and the rejuvenation!
i'm going to add more free motion quilting around the snowblossoms, and then bind them with coordinating batik fabric. i'll have enough for a set of placemats, or just a decorative table accent with a beautiful angel, candle, or just for gifts!  yay!

here's the pattern from sew be it.  cool, huh! these snowblossoms would be super cute pattern to use on pillows, or three of them together for a patchwork table runner, too. i'm sure you have lots more ideas, right?!

i'm also going to give one away ~ if you like the remake of my snowblossom that is... let me know that when {if} you comment.  and since it's time for our december superior threads giveaway, if you'd like to win the $25 gift certificate from superior threads, then let me know that, too. so, there will be two winners this time around! 

deadline is sunday, december 8th, at 5pm mountain standard time.  hopefully, you can still get your prizes in time for christmas!  i'll post winners on sunday evening, or monday, december 9th. if you are 'no reply' please leave a way for me to contact you in your comment.

thanks so much!
merry merry {glitter} christmas!
soli deo gloria!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Leftovers ~ Pattern & Magazine Giveaway ~

A few weeks ago, I spent an afternoon going through the  leftovers.  {kind of like the frig too!} ... Although these happen to be the fabric kind... ya know, those  blocks that didn't make the cut when you were making a larger quilt, or were slightly askew, etc.  This is the pattern from which I first saw the acronym, better known as the KISS method! In other words, "Keep It Simply Slanted!" Many years ago, I made three x-large twin sized quilts, and one king size quilt from this pattern: {and one of my favorite Montana quilt stores as well}
These particular blocks were 'cast-off's' from the king-size quilt I made as a special order for a friend of mine, who gave it to her husband for Christmas. I also quilted it for her too.
These leftover blocks reminded me of a scene from that Christmas movie, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reinder, you know ~ the part about the the Island of Misfit Toys ~ anyone hear me on this?!
Well, I just decided right then and there, to sew up as many as I could. No procrastinating, no more storing, no more 'i'll think about that later' kind of stuff!  It's the Nike thing: "just do it."
So I grabbed up those that kind of coordinated, and put them together in sets of three or four, or five blocks.  They will be simple tablerunners, or something... !

So I pieced a few together, pressed them, gave them all the BB & B treatment (border, backing, batting) ~ now they are ready for quilting.  I think I may  need some inspiration on the quilting... Anyway, I made five of these little runners from the leftovers. 
These curvy bright leftover blocks are from a quilt I made and sold, called, "Curvalicious," the pattern from a Montana company, "Sew Be It" by designer/owner, Cheryl Wittmayer. I like how this pattern also incorporates ribbon as part of the design element, and it was totally alot of fun to add that to the quilt I made.  {I think I may have to do another!}  And the process of just cuting/making your own curves on the fabrics was totally addictive!
I think she has a very a very fun design sense.  And... to finish these off, I am thinking of adding some fringe... we shall see how that may turn out!
And speaking of patterns... I have some to give away.  Anyone interested?

And a copy of the newest "STITCH" magazine by Quilting Arts.  I found when I got home one evening, that I had accidentally grabbed two... and even though the gift-giving season is over, this is still a terrific resource for anyone, for any kind of gift-giving throughout the year

Just leave me a comment.  I'm giving out the trio of patterns as one give-a-way, and the magazine the other.  
 Have a great Friday~and joining STUDIO JRU, of course!


Friday, April 15, 2011

My Favorite Quilt

This is the second full size quilt I ever quilted  and it is truly beloved and very well-used, ten years later! Even though it is getting so worn, It is still my favorite, I think in part, because it seemed so large to me! You know, it was one of those 'first big steps' in accomplishing something that was a bit intimidating to me when I first began quilting.  I was so excited and pleased when it was finished. The pattern I used is no longer available, but it is from Sew Be It  and is called: "Folk Art Dresden Plate."  She publishes very fun and simple patterns where the fabric is really the 'star of the show.'

I quilted this full size quilt on my first little Bernina home machine, and I sure learned alot doing it!  The free motion quilting is fairly simple... wavy lines radiating from the center medallions and lots of swirly circles in the background.  The center medallions themselves were satin stitched with a variegated thread, and although my stitch quality left something to be desired, I enjoyed it so very much, and improved my skills by the time I was done!  LOVE that.

A reminder to you all out there in 'blog land' - my first-ever give-a-way ends today at midnight.  Anyone can comment on any post this past week, and I will enter your name into the drawing and post winners tomorrow.  If you would like more details, see my post at this link:  "MarveLes Give-A-Way" on Tuesday, April 12

The threads are wearing and breaking, the fabric is fading now.  I learned how to do a blanket stitch (better) later, but I certainly got in a lot of practice on this one quilt.  I learned the best foot was the #20, and have since also discovered a technique in using it specifically with the blanket stitch... another post in the future!  I love the Kaffe Fasset shot cottons that are a big part of the fabric choices here. I've always loved his fabric designs in plaids and stripes -- still do! And even better... I have some of those fabrics still in my stash...yay!
I painted the windows with the faux glass paint, (Gallery Glass) and I still love the way they look; especially in the spring and summer mornings when we can hear the birds chirping and the fresh breeze coming through the windows. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


One of the creative pattern designers I have been attracted to for many years, especially as a beginner quilter, is Cheryl Wittmayer's company  "Sew-Be-It!.  Her patterns are great for beginner quilters, and a wonderful 'jumping off' palette of designs to really help you get started with free motion quilting!  I hope you will visit her web site and see if there isn't something to suit your sense of design style!

Ahh yes... love the title ... who wouldn't?  It's just simply... "curvalicious!"   And feel free to add any other superlatives that rhyme!  It was not only fun to make, but challenged me a bit with curved piecing... and so I got to learn something new... and use a favorite foot to get those gorgeous ribbons stitched on it just right.  It's so easy to sew them on too... I used my edge-stitch foot; that would be Bernina's #10 foot! One of the most versatile feet you can put your money into... allows you to sew perfectly placed stitches along any edge or seam and don't forget to use the needle position to give yourself  "the edge!" (sorry - pun is intended!).  Stitch with confidence as the guide (blade) in the front of the foot serves as the perfect reference point as you guide your needle along the edge of any ribbon, seam, or hem.  Great for stitching in the ditch applications, too.  It's a MUST HAVE in your sewing accessories box!  I love to teach that foot in mastery classes at Bernina, and show all the fun techniques it can do.  If you're unsure... and don't know if you'd really like a foot or accessory?  Try taking a look at the Bernina FEETURES books.  There are usually at least 6-10 pages of color pictures, techniques, diagrams.... for each foot! Don't forget you can try out the foot at your Bernina dealer!  Take a look at the book in the store, ask the staff to attach the foot on a machine, and try it out for yourself, first!

Add your own special touch with favorite ribbons --- how about a bit of ...VELVET... anyone?!  (Smiles!)  They kind of end of look like their very own fabric!  (Which they are, of course!)

I hope you will consider taking a feather class, and I hope to teach one at Bernina Silver Thimble this coming February... stay tuned for details!
More fun threadplay... feathers anyone?!!!  What a wonderful way to practice!!!  The center line of the block seam is a great reference point... jump off into feathers!!!  Not sure where to begin, or how it flows together? It would behoove you to check out one of my favorite resources... and one of the best teachers: Patsy Thompson.  Her website is here. You will find that her videos are very well done, as are her books; her website is full of great, free information, as well as some introductory videos, just so you know what you're getting!! And that is how I began quilting this colorful Happy Excursion!  Now my feathers aren't anything to write home about.. and notice they don't show on the patterned fabric much... but that's a GOOD thing... as this was a learning project, and I had so much FUN!  And that experience... those happy hours applying my newborn skills were priceless in the confidence it gave me in my pursuit.. of excellence!

Brocade...narrow... wide... patterned... all things bright and beautiful... that would have been a great name for this quilt!

I kept the binding pretty 'plain' in comparison.  This quilt sure didn't need much more design, color or texture.  Just keeping it simply CURVY and DELICIOUS, soft and inviting! EnJOY.
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