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 velvet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label velvet. 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!

Friday, May 18, 2012


I love to quilt with unusual fabrics - make that more 'unexpected' than anything.  In the last few years, these beautifully smooth and satiny cotton sateens have come into the quilt shops, and I LOVE Them!  This beautiful fabric really just showcases quilting, as well as looking like silk ~ dreamy beautiful! I wish you could feel the hand of it once it's quilted...

And I for one, love-love-love to mix up fabrics and textures and try something unexpected!  Who doesn't love batik fabrics? And speaking of mixing it up, multiple thread use is a favorite way for me to kick things up a notch on my quilting.  It keeps me focused, challenged, and more interested in what I'm working on. Same goes for pretty trims, too.  The flower in the picture below could use a bit more detail, right...
And let's not forget a little "fuzzy wuzzy" in a soft, textured cotton velvet.  One of the unexpected results of adding my free motion applique stitching around the edges of the brown velvet, is the surprising textural look it gives to the outside edge.  Makes it look a bit more complicated, and more depth... and well, 'edginess' to it.  I LIKE that.
I named this piece "SUNSHINE and SATIN"  as that is the feeling it evokes for me!  And... I believe that says alot about how, why and when we quilt... 
Flower above without stitching on the petals.  Flower below WITH stitching on the petals. 

Ahhh... that is much better! But I do have to say I wish I had not 'travelled' with the yellow thread around the flower center.  Pure laziness, I guess, as I did not want to tie off each time, and now I find it's distracting...
It's easy to make any pattern or design in a book very special and unique to your own sense of style and color.  This is one of my favorites; from Sunflower Hill Designs by Julie Popa:

And it's even better when you know your feet, tension, needles and threads! Check out the  TNT Post on December 28, 2010.  I just love this pearl crown rayon thread in creamy white, by YLI Thread Company.  Beautiful results on this cotton sateen!

Tension issues?  Check out my blog post here regarding stitching and "homework!" I tighten my UPPER tension, usually at least two whole settings (from a 4 to a 6 for example), when those thick threads are in my bobbin.

Bobbin Play anyone? It's easy with a just a little practice.  The leaves were first FUSED on (with steam a seam fusible web).  A 90/14 microtex is absolutely essential when working with any fusible product, in my humble opinion.
Hints and Tips on Bobbin Play are posted.  That lovely YLI pearl crown rayon in a beautiful soft white has such an attractive texture in the swirls... and they don't steal the show from the design and the flowers since they blend in with the background - just kind of add a 'wow' factor (in my world, that is!) 

I chose to do a little meandering, add a few pebbles, quilt in a few smooth, soft undulating lines... all in white.  I love the changing shapes; it's rather magical on a sateen fabric.  I also added little buttons of thread color using a Rainbow tri-lobal polyester for a little pop of color and texture on the white surface.   
Joining one of my so very favorite artists - Jennifer of Studio JRU today!

Happy Friday Everyone!!! 
Here's to creating with some wonderful textures!  

Monday, January 10, 2011


Good morning!  It's cold out there... we have 3 above with a wind...brrrrr! Here is a project that I hope... will  warm your heart! "Bird in the Velvet" --- Pattern and inspiration courtesy of Sue Spargo, a designer whose specializes in folk art and wool, and more... I just love her design play, colors and textures; they just completely pull me in!  Check out her website (link above). This was a free pattern she did for a magazine article... but it was for a pillow, which was quite charming... but me n pillows just don't hit it off right now.  (If you're interested in the pattern, just leave me a comment, and I'll go and look it up - I mean dig for it, in my studio!)  This piece is for SALE at GALLERY 16.
I'm always loving pillows, but decided instead a wall hanging suited some of the creative touches I wished to add....like...
  • a little folded edge just for dimension, and because I have a thing for polka dots!
  • Ahhh... Kaffe Fasset fabric!  "It's in there!"  Binding, and it ties in with the velvet birdie (detail pic below), and with the leaves
  • adding a hand-dyed orange colored yarn in the border for that "framed" look
  • it makes me happy! 
Just look at the possibilities you can do, to add your own personality to a published pattern...
  • what about that triple straight stitch that is almost always underused on most machines?!  I love how it looks on the petals....but only on the solid ones!  And ... those solid petals are of flannel!  Another texture... I dig that!
  • velvet... yes, a bit high-maintenance.. but oh so worth it!  I love it!  Fuse them.. ever so gently!  Each one is free motioned with a stitch on the outside edge of the circle. 
  • notice the petals are couched with a variegated hand-dyed yarn... and again, couching on the inside yellow oval also, and I let my couching bunch up just a tad... so it created a deliberately wavy line that I really dig!
  • Velvet... my love!  Love the brown cotton velvet in the pod on the flower... edged with a dark brown yarn too.  Green cotton velvet in the stem... again surrounded by a light turquoise chenille... and my free motion applique in sweet little swirls... (I teach this in my Beyond Free Motion Class!)
and more!  Ohhhhh I love chenille... especially when it's so purty!!  Kaffe Fasset again... pulling together a bit of a theme in pattern... notice the quilting background is subtle... in a pastel thread that compliments the leaves, but doesn't overwhelm them... and so they stand out! I have to say that the little circles I quilted on the petals were fun to do... but don't overdo it.. they just don't really show up on such a busy fabric, and I knew that, but wanted to add a little 'somethin - somethin'!

And... I'm probably sounding like a broken record... but I fell in love with this velvet rick rack, available at The Quilt Away quilt shop!  Lovely colors... and this brown was just the ticket to give a little visual interest and another piece of texture on the bottom of the quilt... overlaid with a bit chenille of course!

Chenille, velvet, rick rack, flannel, rayon yarns... silver metallic threads, tril-lobal polyesters.... "these are a few of my favorite things!"  I like that song!
As you know by now, my adoration of velvet never goes away... and this luscious silk rayon velvet, hand-dyed is no exception.  I had so much fun playing with Kaffe Fasset  fabric for the wings, auditioning until I got just what I wanted for whimsy and pattern, and that "stand out and take a look" quality  that attracts me.

It also made for a creative eye on him, too.  Sweet!

The top white portion of the quilt is done in silver metallic by Yenmet brand thread, in a diagonal pattern.  I really like the movement of the quilting... and I had no hesitation to add the red thread, (crossing all those lines!) in a beautiful  variegated polyester tri-lobal from Superior Threads "Rainbows."  Here's the quick recap:
  • I chose three different background fabrics, but neutrals.. all play well together, but the white adds that "crisp" factor, while the beiges help the other components of this little quilt stand out.
  • Three different quilting motifs... done in three different threads, but all accent each other without overwhelming
  • color.... texture... and unexpected touches of free motion couching on the outside binding and around the flower petals
  • USE that triple straight stitch... WOW those petals look magnificent in that yellow/orange/coral variegated polyester tri-lobal thread!  
HAVE FUN!  Explore!  Mix it up a little.  And whatever... you....do.... do it with all your might!
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