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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another new project

OK, so this isn't an art quilt....I stopped at one of our local knit shops on Wed. (you can read why here!) and saw this really cute knitted cover.

The pattern is on Ravelry but they are having a class starting next week for 3 weeks so I signed up!!   Could I knit this by self...probably, but there are some tips and techniques I'll learn so I am looking forward to the class.

Sally Melville, who created the pattern, said "no one knows what to call it".  She said "it's not a cape, not a poncho, not a shrug, shawl or cowl".  I did try one on that was already knitted up at the only put one arm and your head though!!

I think it's really cool and I know I'll use often in Florida as well as in the spring and fall in Michigan!  I purchased a really nice gray yarn, since I wear so much black and gray.

You can knit this in either the Garter or seed stitch.  The sample in the shop was in the seed stitch, which I'd prefer to do.  Just looks different.

So, this weekend, I need to work up my swatch - no, I'm not always good at doing that!  But it is our homework assignment to have ready for next week...and since I'm there to learn, I'll be a good student and do the swatch!!

Yes, I am still working on my Tiffany piece...that's good hand work at night..and I have started using the yarn (yep, that yarn that got me into all this trouble!) to knit a lace scarf.  I'm only about 2" along so I have a ways to go with that.  The yarn is silk and using #7 needles will take awhile.  But worth it in the end,right!  Gotta keep those hands busy!!!!  Isn't there a saying "idle hands are the devil's workshop" or something to that effect!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hex Horse Finished!

I finished the binding on my hex horse piece today.  It measures 16" x 20" and that small 'wave' look on the bottom isn't really there...there was some fabric under the piece when I took the photo.  It's pretty straight and right on the measurement!

Yes, I did add 2 small beads for the eye...but that was it.  I decided adding beads for the mane and tail would be overkill.  This isn't suppose to be pictoral art quilt of a horse.    It's suppose to be based on the work of Ugo.

The piece still needs a label and sleeve, but I have a few other quilts for our exhibit that  need labels and sleeves, so, that will be a  project in the upcoming weeks.  Sleeves and labels make for good production work!  I usually print out my label then fuse on.

Now to work on the next projects!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Behind every great knitter....

 So the finish to my post title is:
So I guess I must be a great knitter (NOT!).....Geezzzz  I purchased this silk yarn about two years ago in Florida when a few gal pals and I headed to Lake City to a huge yarn shop.  To be honest I forgot all about it until I started looking for needles to make the knitted cowl.  So I unwrapped the yarn and TRIED to find the end(s) so I could put into a ball to work with.  I have a lace pattern for a scarf and this yarn would be perfect for it.

Well, I've never, never had such a problem (1) finding the ends! and (2) just trying to unravel the mess of yarn I ended up with!!

 UGH.....I worked on it for over 20 min. the other day and honestly, I just got discouraged.  Now for those who know me, know I do have a lot of patience....but this frustrated the heck out of me.

This is a skein of silk yarn so I didn't want to throw it away and one skein isn't enough to  make anything with (unless I made lace bookmarks again).

So after we got home from Nick's game last night (more on that later in this post!) I grabbed that mess and started to attempt to unravel.

WOOHOO!  I did it!!!  It took me until 10:45 p.m. to finish but it's in a nice ball!!!

Needless to say, I am not attempting to wind the other skein myself.  I'm going to head to our yarn shop and have them use their handy dandy yarn winder!

Geeezzzz  Talk about a waste of time.

Anyway, yesterday was Nick's football teams 2nd playoff game and they won!!!  So now they are on to the Super Bowl!  How cool is that!  They play at Rochester High School next weekend.

Not sure we'll be at the game in person but certainly will be rooting for them in spirit!!  The kids (& families!) were so excited for the kids.  Both teams played really hard!  They played as a team and celebrated as a team!  So cute!!!  We won't tell Nick I said 'cute'!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just another Sunday...

Coffee, stitching and football..although, it's weird to be watching football at 9:30 in the morning.  I still don't get the football "across the pond" but if the Lions are playing,  we'll be watching regardless of the time!

I did finish all the hand stitching in the blocks on 'hex horse' last night.   I'm pleased with the stitching and think it worked much better than doing any free motion work on the piece.

I'm leaning to not put beads on my horse!  Duh!  What, you say!  I'm afraid it will be overkill and based on the work of Ugo who is the inspiration for this piece, I'm not sure yet.  I may try some but who knows.  I also am thinking of binding it rather than facing but again not sure!  I have a nice golden brown piece of batik that may look good and pull in the colors of the horse.

 So what to work on as I'm deciding!  Start hand stitching on my Tiffany peacock, of course! I've already quilted the background and now it's time to start stitching the feathers.

My thought is to hand stitch small feathers inside each of area of the bird. I can see it in my head but....I just penciled in what I consider to be feathers!

So while the Lions are trying to get some points in this game!  I'll start stitching to see which threads I'll use.  I have some Aurifil 28 wt, Maderia Lana and,of course my go-to, embroidery threads to try.  This may take awhile just deciding which thread to use!  Decisions, decisions......

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I'm a Cover Girl!

How exciting!  I received an email a month or two ago stating my patchwork quilt (you can see detail pics here) was accepted to be part of the 1000 Quilt Inspirations book, to be published in 2015.

 Well, I was pretty stoked with that email but then yesterday I received another email that included a picture of the cover for the book!  And guess who's on the cover!!!  A big WooHoo from this gal!

Yep, that's my patchwork quilt on the bottom left!!!  I am so excited....who knew!!!!  Here's a link to the book, which will be published February 2015, and a description of the book:

"As one of the core, traditional crafts, quilting is enjoyed by countless enthusiasts around the world - and its popularity is only growing. This collection of one thousand quilt DETAILS builds upon this interest, showcasing some of today's most innovative and beautiful WORK. See how others utilize color and design elements to craft creative pieces. Gain inspiration from their variations and intricate techniques. Maybe even CONSTRUCT your own original quilts. Whether YOU ARE a quilter or a collector, a craft-lover or an art enthusiast, 1000 Quilt Inspirations is sure to inspire your admiration and appreciation of the art of quilting. It's also likely to get you itching for some fabrics of your own!"

I actually have the 1000 bead books...I know...go figure, which I do enjoy looking through for inspiration.  I have to say, my inspiration for this quilt came from Linda Kemshall from Design Matters.  Linda had a video on using up your scrap fabric pieces.  Well, you know how much I love hand stitching and after making my 'base' fabric, I thought the piece was perfect for hand work!  You can see the original base fabric and my drawing process for the circles here.  So, thanks Linda for the inspiration!!!  It's so nice to be recognized for the effort we artists put forth in our work (and yes, I just called myself an artist!).  The hand work on this piece took quite a long time but the end is always in sight!  I also hope I do inspire just one person to create a piece of artwork and perhaps even add some hand stitching!  Now to get my hex horse finished!

Monday, October 20, 2014

12 inch block exchange

Tommy had her 'challenge' again this year with four of us participating.  We each made 12" finished blocks to exchange with each other.  They can be the same, different...whatever.  I'm really so pleased with the blocks I received!!  Check them out!!!

This is Gayle's block!  I love her use of different quilting designs as well as the use of silk!  It's quite stunning!!

And this is Tommy's block!  So "Tommy" like!  I love how she creates her block to look like a piece of art work you would hang on a wall.

I just received MaryAnn's block today!  How cool is appears she screen printed fabric then sponged metallic paint on a piece of fabric for the leaf!

You have to see this in person...

And as an extra bonus, MaryAnn  wrapped the block in piece of the original fabric she used!


And this is the piece I made for myself!  You can see the ones I made for the other ladies here.   This is always so much fun to do!  Sure hope I can get my name in hat again, if Tommy decides to do this next year!

I love all of the blocks I received!  Thank you each!!!!  They'll be going in my 'quilt block book'!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stitches, stitches and more stitches!

I really have  made progress on the hand stitching for the hex horse.  And thank goodness for the gals at our fiber meeting.  I took the hex horse with me to the meeting yesterday showing the stitching I had done.  You can see some of the stitching....

Now, look closely for some 'plain' areas, which are mainly in blue.

And yes, his legs are upside down...and his butt is sideways in the pic above...just look at the plain areas.

 Someone asked how or what I would stitch in the 'plain' squares - or I should say the non stamped pieces.  I said I wasn't sure if I would do some free motion quilting or hand work.  They suggested that I continue with the same line type hand stitching and carry that theme in the plain areas as well.  What a great suggestion!

They also gave me the suggestion to use some rust/gold threads, very small amounts, within the piece.  How great to get the input from talented friends!!!  Now I'm anxious to get needle and thread back to this piece...BUT first....

I'm also hand stitching on my Rick Loudermilk piece.  I've only stitched two of the ovals and three of the triangles.  This will go on the back burner...hex horse is calling me first!
Well, maybe not first....I get email blog updates from Simply Maggie, this is the same young lady who showed us how to 'arm knit'...remember that!  Well, she posted a free pattern in that email for a cute chunky cowl, which I just had to make!

FREE Tri-Style Cowl Pattern
So yesterday I picked up two skeins of Chunky Wool Ease yarn and today I started to kit the cowl.
This is how far I got today...I have about nine more inches or so to go.  But I think it will be cute to wear.  Now it's off to watch Survivor!  Yes, I'm a die hard Survivor fan...never missed a season yet!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop Part 2!

I did a blog post on the World Wide Blog Hop last week.  If you missed it you can read about here!  I don't want folks to miss meeting the ladies I noted in my post.  So make sure you head over and meet  Cyndi and  the 3 ladies she selected!

What a great way to meet new fellow bloggers and be introduced to new works of art!!

This might not look like much...but it's a start for my piece I'm going to attach to canvas.  
Our fiber group decided to use Rick Loudermilk as our inspiration for a small art quilt which we're each attaching to a gallery wrap canvas.  I did start some hand stitching on this piece embroidering around the oval stamped areas.  Yes, I'm still doing hand stitching on my hex horse!  But it's so much fun to work on more than one project at a time!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Well, lots of congratulations this weekend for the grand kids!!! 

First up, Kayla and Nate are engaged!!!!  We are SO happy for these kids!  Does Kayla look surprised!  I dare say she is!!!!
Nate is a delight and such a nice young man.  He and Kayla have had a long distance relationship due to schooling and jobs but I think they see the finish line!  They are so cute together and are such wonderful couple.  What an exciting time for the family!

Kayla called and talked to Bob yesterday but I'm sure we'll get more detail on how this 'surprise' happened when he talks to Ron tonight.  Can't wait to hear the details...I was out walking Kalee or I would have inquired!

And congrats to Nick and his team...they are 1st place in their division and are now on to the championship games!  Woo hoo!  Proud mom and dad!  And Nick's even smiling!  Auntie is the team's photographer and I'm not sure how she got Nick to smile, but she did it!!  Way to go Auntie!
We are so lucky to have such great kids!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop

Do you know about the 'World Wide Blog Hop'?  Well, because I live in a cave I wasn't aware of it until Sherrie (Sherrie Loves Color blog)  contacted via email.   Sherrie nominated me to take part in this bloghop, which sounded like fun.   There are 4 questions to answer in addition to nominating other bloggers to participate!  You can see Sherrie's answers by going to her blog post here.  And are my answers:

What am I working on?  

Well, I'm always working on something....I love having some hand project to work on at night while watching TV (I can't just sit and watch TV) or sitting outside on the deck!   Hand work or beading is perfect TV work!  And I always have more than one project to work on at a time...before I'm finished with one, there's another one in the works!

So 'one' of my current projects is my Tiffany Peacock for our 'Masters Exhibit'.  

I've finished all the quilting and now the hand stitching and possibly beading will be the current TV work!  

Also, my Horse Hex quilt needs  to be quilted and  perhaps some beading for the mane and tail.  Most of my work have beads on this piece won't be any different!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?   Why do I create what I do?   I combined both of these questions!

 Seriously!  I am not a professional quilter so I can't say my work 'fits' into any specific genre!  I create my art when and if idea hits or I see a bead or picture I'd like to make into a quilt...whatever hits me!  This is why I have some many projects that I'm working on at one time.

How does my creating process work?  Let's be honest here folks!  I don't really have a creative process.  I may have multiple projects I'm working on and I'll grab a piece of fabric or see a new technique and off I go!  I may sketch out a quick drawing, print out a coloring page from the web or trace something onto paper or in my notebook.  From there, depending on the size I need, I'll enlarge it to size then decide if I'm piecing, beading, painting or dyeing!  

For example, this was my inspiration for creating my hex horse quilt.  I loved this picture and of course, because I love hand work, I thought making a horse out of hexie's would be fitting!

So off I went looking for a horse coloring page, which I enlarged to 16"x20".   Once I had the hexie's made I started to work on the background.  I knew the colors I wanted but since I only had a few pieces of hand dyed fabric, I  had to piece the background.  Worked for me!  

So that's a little insight to my so called 'process''s not exact....not what perhaps others do but it is me! 

Hope you will enjoy meeting some new bloggers on the World Wide Blog Hop!!!  These are my nominee's!   "Hop" over and you will definitely enjoy reading and learning about each of them as well as perhaps learning some new techniques!!  ENJOY!

Cyndi (and her bettr half, Mike!)
From Beading Arts

 Cyndi Lavin is a mixed media artist, jewelry designer, and writer living in central Massachusetts. She strongly believes that life and art are intertwined, that we are all works of art, designed by God to be creative beings, and that part of our purpose in life consists of discovering the things that we were meant to create. Cyndi's work appears in many art and jewelry books, as well as in popular magazines.  She enjoys sharing her art adventures and tutorials through her daily blog,

From Artsy Chick Quilts

Laurie Ceesay is a fiber artist, national quilting instructor, quilt pattern designer and hairstylist with a degree in Clothing, Textiles and Design. Her specialty is portrait quilts and she is inspired by the hair and fashion industry, pop culture and retro looks from the 40s-70s. Her award winning quilts have been displayed at national juried and invitational quilt shows and art galleries, in published books and magazines and on Season 13 of Quilting Arts TV on PBS.  Laurie lives in Menominee, Michigan and you can see more of Laurie's work on her web site,

From Ladybug's Cabin Textile Art & Quilting
Monique was born in the Flathead Valley and raised on the same farm where her grandfather grew up.

"Just as my father took up the plow from his father, I learned to love and work with fabric from my mother. An avid quilter and teacher, mom's works lit my creative fire, and much of what I've learned has come from our playing and experimenting together."

Her introduction into the arts began at age 3 with ballet.  Dance soon opened the door to theater, and after college she worked as a professional performer and director based out of Seattle--traveling across North America and as far away as Australia. 

Monique's flair for the dramatic fused into her quilting after attending a class with her mother taught by thread artist Ellen Anne Eddy.  There, she learned the basics of dyeing fabric, and the joys of layers upon layers of thread.

Now, living on the Swan river, Monique draws a lot of inspiration from the natural beauty around us; the constantly-changing seasons, and the majestic (and sometimes humorous) animals that wander by daily."

Monique's work includes traditional quilting techniques, appliqué, bobbin work and thread painting, along with hand-dyed and hand-painted fabric. Many compositions include three-dimensional objects with a variety of fibers and textures. 

Her work can be seen regularly at Paint, Metal and Mud Art Gallery in the historic Kalispell Grand Hotel,  the Bigfork Art Museum, and Palmer Union Design in Great Falls and on her website:


Quilling...really...another technique to fill up my day!  And no, I didn't misspell 'quilting'....I meant QUILLING...don't you remember this little craft we did about 40+ years ago!  Well, I fact, I still had some quilling papers from who knows how long ago!  I remember doing this 'craft' when my kids were babies...they are now 45 & brought all this 'quilling' back into my life!

I follow Eva Maria Keiser's blog which isn't a blog in the sense of some blogs...she posts on different artists, different art forms,  some of her own work and just really interesting links.  Last weekend she posted on "quilled paper illustrations and sculptures" by  Yulia Brodskaya.  You have to check out her web site and her work.  This takes the work "quillling" to a whole new level.  Just amazing work!

So...I had to look and see where I had stashed some quilling paper...I never throw anything out, right!  Well, I found it and started playing!  

So what am I or what did I do with these little lovelies!

Talk about mindless work...I love it.  I've had hearts on the brain the past few weeks thinking about the 25+ fiber cards I need to make for February.  Seeing the qulling made me wonder if I could make some cards using some of the pieces I quilled.  The only problem I see is they would not withstand being put on fiber cards being sent through the mail.  I could put on card stock and place inside envelopes, so that might work...who I need another project, right!  But what else would I be doing!  As long as my 'house' chores and cooking are done, my time is my time!!  And best be busy, rather than sitting around eating bon bons and watching TV!

Works for me!  Although, the bon bon part does sound really good!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Still working away

I thought I was making quite a lot of progress on my hex horse hand stitching but golly!  This one is taking some time!  I looked at it closer and I'm only about 30% finished!

I machine stitched some of the hex lines and there is some 'loft' to the horse as I used wool batting.

You can see a slight 'puff' can't you?

On the pieces that I stamped with my circle/line stamp, I'm stitching cross ways then outlining with small stitches.

I think these two pictures show some of the stitching and the stamped line. Obviously, I'm not stitching each one of those lines!  I'm nuts but not totally crazy!

There will be some stab stitching and who knows what other pattern I'll end up doing.  But at least it's keeping me busy at night!

Today is Kalee's 2nd day at her job!!  Let's hope it goes as well as her first day!!  So off I/we go!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Busy week but still working!

The week started off just great with Kalee having her 1st day as a therapy dog here in town!!

She did so my friends know I've been working on this for quite sometime!  We'll be going to the Assisted Living facility once a week until we head south.  When we come back in the spring, they should have the Memory Assistance building, just next to the Assisted Living facility, open so we'll either combine visits or visit twice a week.  I am a proud mom!   You can see more pictures on Kalee's blog here.

In between hand stitching on my hex horse, I have started on another project (machine work this time!) for our Master's Exhibit.  Our fiber group of six decided last month we would use a gallery wrapped canvas to put art work on.  This is the technique I've shown before on my blog and the most current post here.

We also decided that we would all create the art work based on the inspiration from the same artist, Rick Loudermilk.  His work is quite pleasing and I think adapts well to an art quilt.

Yesterday, I sewed strips of fabric (brown and white) together and today sandwiched the strips so I could machine quilt them.


I should have turned this pic as my strips will be vertical!  I stitched in the ditch then did some free motion quilting....which I didn't like!

So I spent about 20 min. ripping out all the free motion work!

If you look close you can see the stitches or should I say 'holes'!  I just sprayed with water and ironed the piece so all was well.  Then I stitched the triangles above...I'll be doing more of those or at least outlining the tri's.  I want to paint one of the sections in the triangles to match the brown in the other strips.

I'll also be adding some circles using some painted fusible or painted webbing in circles....I know..hard to picture what I want to do.  Bob didn't get it either!  But I have the pictures in my mind!  Now to transfer to my quilt!

Nick's football game is tomorrow but rain is coming..actually, we had lots of rain today.  Temp was warm (mid 60's) but heavy rain.  I just came back from Kalee's walk and it's quite decent  out now that the rain stopped.  Just wet...but guess I better get used to it!  They don't play football inside do they!