My Favorite Books

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Flights of Fantasy

Our reveal for the Flights of Fantasy online challenge is today! Having raised birds (Cockatiels) I knew my Flights of Fantasy piece would have a bird in it!  And I've been wanting to work in bright colors of late.  I found in my stash this bright pink cotton velvet that I dyed several, several years ago!  I think it was the perfect background for my green bird!

I enjoyed creating my green bird....actually, the bird started out as a lighter lime green BUT....I  drew the circle of the eye  with a Micro pen.  All was good except I had to 'unsew' one area of the wing (I wasn't happy with the direction I had quilted) and after removing the threads I sprayed some water on the wing to help close the needle holes that remained.  Guess what!  Some water got on the eye and the black ink RAN!!, I got out some Setacolor paint and painted my bird!  He's a little darker than the original fabric but turned out ok!

This is a closeup of some of the quilting.  I used orange, lime green and a variegated thread to fill in the wings and tail feathers.  This was a fun piece to create.

Our next challenge is 'Structures'...I have an idea making use of a piece I started a  year or two ago!  Looking forward to starting on it!!

I hope you check out the online blog for all the other quilts that are being shown today!  They are wonderful!!!  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bichon Rescue

Well, my house will be minus five of my art quilts within another week.  All of my donation quilts were sold through the Bichon Rescue online auction.  I am happy I was able to donate and help contribute to the $13,174 they raised!   This was the 1st quilt sold which I've mailed today.

It is one of my painted Tyvek pieces that was free motion quilted onto a background piece then burned with an iron and soldering iron.  I love this technique and will miss the piece but now it gives me a chance to work on another one!  like I need an excuse!

Yes, I did get to my knitting class on Tuesday and our instructor showed us how to interpret the pattern diagram!  So much easier.  I did start on the cap type sleeve but I'm not happy with how it looks so guess who is going to 'unknit'!!!  I haven't yet and decided I will stop by the shop on Tuesday when our instructor is in.  She may be able to give me words of wisdom or encouragement!

I am also working on my Flights of Fantasy piece for our online challenge group, Art Quilts Around the World.  Actually, it's been basically finished for about two weeks.  I think I may add some paint or stitching and then the binding (or facing) and label.  Not sure if I'll get to it tomorrow  on Friday after cooking for our company on Saturday or Sunday a.m.

 It's due on November 1st so pics can't be posted until then.  This is just a sneak peek!

So now I'll look up 'unknitting' on google!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankgiving Eve 2014

A really busy day today...started off making a pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow...then Kalee and I took a walk, just a little under one mile.  After getting cleaned up, Kalee and I headed off to the Assisted Living home here in town then went to visit another one about 20 min. from home.

You can read about our visit(s) on Kalee's blog here.  She was a doll and wait until you see what she rode while visiting there!  You have to check out the video I put on her blog.  She has become a really good therapy dog.  She loves the people and can't wait to get inside!!!

A few weeks ago, Cherie Burbach sent out an email stating her "newsletter was back".  She was also having a giveaway for one of her wonderful prints from her Etsy shop.   And you'll never guess what I won!!  YEP!!!  I won the print and received it this week!!!!  I love it...not only is it a great spiritual piece of art work, it's a great piece of art work!!!  I keep looking at all the different elements in this piece.   THANK YOU AGAIN, Cherie!!!

You need to visit Cherie's Etsy shop (yes, I have ordered something  from her, but it's for a gift so I can's show it to you until after Christmas!).   Then go to her web site here.  Cherie's site is full of inspiration, not only in artwork but in her writing.  You need to read all about her and you will be inspired in so many different ways.  I'm still working my way through some of her writings!!

 I'll be cooking for the next three days (prepared or finished up most of our dishes for tomorrow today!) as kids are coming this weekend and I'll be cooking for just Bob and I on Thanksgiving.  I do love every minute of it!!   I get so excited about putting together a menu that sometimes I do go overboard with preparing food...oh well...just leaves us lots of leftovers and stuffed bellies!!    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes...twenty four little hours...Before I get into some art work/knitting....we're having a warm up in Michigan so our 6+ inches of snow is now gone!

Thursday & Friday this week - 6+ inches

Today with 48 degrees!!

Some snow left in our neighbors yard!

At least by staying inside for a day or two, I do get lots accomplished!  I moved all the furniture in the downstairs/family room and also did the same in my dye/work room area!!!  I have a few items to take to Goodwill and filled up some of our recycle bin!  So that's a good day's work!! 

I've also finished the front and back of my knitted project BUT  I don't know how to put the front and back together...It's quite confusing, well at least for me!  I can't grasp what it is I'm supposed to I'll just wait until our last class, which is Tuesday.  We still have to make a sleeve for one side but until I get the front and back together, I don't even know where that sleeve should be!!  Geezzzzz

I'm also working on attaching my Loudermilk piece to the canvas.  My fingers get a little sore so I take a break after working a side.  I still haven't decided whether I'm painting or attaching the circles I have cut for the borders.  The hot glue gun may call to me yet!

And now for TV work, until I find out what to do with my knitting project, I'm still hand stitching the peacock.

  My fiber buddies suggested using some straight lines in some areas, which I did and I quite like it.

The lime green area is where I'll add straight stitches.  I'm using some hand dyed turquoise thread so hope I don't run out!!

Tomorrow I'm off Christmas shopping with my bud, Alice and of course we'll have a nice lunch too!!  Tuesday will be a busy, busy day...Kalee's spa day, then I'll head to the grocery store for the rest of my dinner items (I'll be cooking Wed., thru Saturday!), then after I make Bob and I an early dinner, I'll be off to see one of the patients from the Assisted Living here in town.  She's moved to a new facility where there are more activities and the building is on my way to knitting class.   Then off to knitting class to see how dumb I am for not figuring out the pattern!!!  Let's hope!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let it Snow...let it snow.....

OK, I don't really feel this way but...nothing you can do about the weather!!!  Bob and I hibernated today just watching the snow fall since early a.m. and at 4:15 p.m. it's still snowing!!

Of course, the dogs love it!!!

Yes, it's Michigan so you don't know what to expect day to day or minute by minute...we haven't even done any shoveling's still snowing so no point!!!  UGH....looks like we've got between 4-6 inches...we're thinking closer to six!

But it's suppose to warm up next the 40's!  Woohoo!

I did get furniture moved in our family room, swept, dusted so it's all ready for our company next weekend!  Some decorations upstairs but main decorations are in the family room since that's where we spend our time with family.  Well, except when I'm in the kitchen cooking, which I love!!    Back to watching it snow!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Baby, it's still cold outside!!

Kalee and I just got back from our 2nd walk of the's now 23 degrees and very windy.  Actually, it's the first time I got cold while walking...just because of the wind.  Doesn't seem to bother Kalee!

Yesterday, I cut down (yep, couldn't figure out what else to do with the piece) my hand stitched background piece.
Before chopping down!

This is the one I was going to use for my beaded leaf.  Problem was the two pieces were of the same value so I've opted to make another background for the beaded leaf.  That will be a Florida project.

Looks a little wonky here but blame that on the photographer.

One of the artists in Master's exhibit we've selected is Mary Ann Beckwith.  She creates and teaches watercolor and lives in Michigan.  I love her work and I think this piece fits in with her artwork.  Hence, I had to cut the piece I made down to 16" x 20", which is the size of our exhibit art quilts.

16" x 20"

One of these days I'm going to hire a good photographer!!!!  Geeeezzzz...the pictures always look good inside the camera!

Pictures that follow are detail of the piece.  I love hand stitching...have I said that before!!  Well, it's true!!

I just need a label and sleeve on this one too...they sure are piling up those quilts waiting for labels and sleeves!  But I might be saving them for Florida too!  My machine is acting up again!  It went crazy yesterday...all the lights went out but the machine kept humming!  Do you think it's just getting tired!

I don't want to think what it would or will cost to repair...especially, since I'm thinking it's the computer...I bought the machine new in the spring of 1996 and I've taken good care of it with yearly cleanings and in between projects.

So now it's back to working on my peacock hand stitching.  I'm at a good point in my knitted project but I'm not totally clear on the next step.  I'm going to stop in the yarn shop tomorrow and talk to our instructor.  I don't want to be ripping out knitted's not as easy for me as ripping out quilting stitches!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Baby it's cold outside!

Kalee and I just got back from our walk...which ended up being a mile and half!  She didn't get to walk this morning so guess she wanted to make up the time!  Fortunately, I made sure to bundle up really good..ear muffs, snow pants and boots!  It's only 27 out but I wasn't even cold.  Kalee had on her winter coat too!

So lots going on project wise...I have four projects I'm working on, although, the only project that made any headway this week was my knitting!

Where you see the red marker, that's where the neck opening will be.  I think!!  There's only one arm opening, as the other arm side just slips's so complicated to explain.

I have to have the front part (it will look like the pic above) finished in two weeks, which shouldn't be a problem.

I did play with putting some circles on my Rick Loudermilk piece.  They are just stuck on with double sided tape.  I'm not sure if I'll paint them on the canvas or use the fabric.  I have a concern because the quilts travel so much that the fabric may not stay adhered to the canvas.  The main body will be attached with hand stitching on the edges like I've done my other pieces.

And our online blog challenge for Art Quilters Around the World is due November 30th, so I've been working on that piece as well.  I can't show much except snippets until the reveal time.  Here are some snipes!

Our theme is Flights of Fantasy so that can be anything!  The pink fabric in this picture is some cotton velveteen that I dyed several, several years ago.  I love the color and wanted this piece to be bright and that is it!!  

I'm having fun with it so far..except...not to reveal too much...but I was doing my normal 'unsewing' (I had free motion quilted an area that turned out the direction was wrong!  UGH), so after removing all the stitches I sprayed water on the fabric to help the needle holes disappear...well, some water got on an area that I had used one of my micron pens on and guess what!  The ink ran!  Go figure!  Now I have to think how to repair or come up with a new 'design' opportunity!  Not sure who came up with that word...but guess I'll try to figure it out!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Small Paws Rescue Online Auction

It's that time again...the Small Paws Rescue Online Auction is on!!!  Please check it out...there are some nice items and you just might find that special Christmas gift for someone.

 I've got a few small art quilts that I've donated to the auction.


My pieces are in the Home & Garden section....either way this Bichon Rescue does some great work throughout the year.  Now to finish watching the Lions!!  So far so good!  WooHoo!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rick Loudermilk

Who you say??  Rick Loudermilk is one of the artists our fiber group selected for us to use as inspiration for creating an art quilt.  A few weeks ago I posted  a quilt I started based on Rick's inspiration.  You can see it here.   This is a closeup of the piece.

Our fiber group decided to use Rick for creating a quilt that we'd attach to a gallery wrapped canvas (I've shown some of my pieces using this process on my blog).  Well, I just wasn't able to get the stitching right on the piece so it will turn into an end table topper! I decided to start over!

 Here are a few of Rick's paintings I wanted to use as inspiration.

So off to my fabric stash to see what I could find.

I decided I liked the oranges and greens in his pieces so that's where I started.

I found a commercial piece I purchased quite some time ago as my base and I started to draw and stitch circles.

For some reason, ok...blame it on old age!, I forgot about doing my normal circle stitching and ended up just free motion stitching around the circles.  I can't even stitch a straight line let alone follow a circle line I've drawn.  Geeezzzzz

Any way, I finished with some free motion quilting and then I cut a hole in the piece so you'll see the canvas through it.  Keep in mind this piece will only fill about 75% of the canvas. I'll be adding fabric circles and/or painting on the white edges to tie it into the quilt.

Next up I fused some circles in lime green and I found a small purple dupioni (which looks blackish here but it's really a nice purple) for other circles.

This piece will still be about an inch or two smaller all around. The canvas is 16" x 20", which is the size of the finished quilts for our traveling exhibit.

Only problem I ran into today was my machine froze up as I was trying to attach the circles with a button hole stitch.  I would stitch then all of a sudden my machine would switch on its own to another embroidery stitch!  This isn't good...this is my favorite Bernina's a 1090 and a workhorse.

 I'm going to research on Google and see if I can find out anything...otherwise, I'm going to wait until we get to Florida and have them take a look at it.  There's a Bernina dealership 5 miles from our house, otherwise, I have to drive an hour to and from to the nearest dealership here in Michigan.  That would be four hours dropping off and picking up and I'd rather wait until January.  I have a backup Bernina that I can use while here in Michigan.  Thank goodness Bob suggested I keep my 1090 when I purchased my new machine.  This way I always have a machine to work with.  Now to unpack my Florida machine and get busy stitching away on this one!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A long way to go and a short while to get there!

 I'm still working on hand stitching the feathers for my Tiffany peacock piece.  I've had to rip out some of the feathers multiple times until I found just the right color and weight of threads to use.  I'm a happy camper now so it's just a matter of getting busy and finish the stitching.  Then onto binding and label!

We have seven artists that we're creating art quilts for our traveling exhibit for 2015-2016.  So far I have one Tiffany finished,  and my Peacock will be the 2nd, a Peter Max, two Ugo's (I'm using my Talk of the Town as one and Hex Horse as the 2nd) and of course my Zachery for Dr. Seuss!
I still have to create something for Blue Dog (by George Rodrique), MaryAnn Beckwith (a Michigan artist) and Rick Loudermilk.  Actually, I've been working on my piece for Rick Loudermilk.  I'll be posting progress on that piece in a day or two.

Yep...I do have a lot of projects to do and a short time to get them done...but I will!  OK, I hope I will.

Here's the start of my L'Enveloppe shawl/cowl piece I'm knitting!    Yes, a girl has to keep busy!

I had my first class on Tuesday afternoon...we have a really good instructor, Marsha Stauffer,  at Beyond The Rainforest in Grand Blanc.  They don't have a web site but do have a FB page.   Marsha is quite good at making sure everyone is comfortable with following the pattern and showing new tips/techniques.

I have a long way to go but it is pleasant to be back knitting again.  The yarn I'm using  is really soft and a tad darker than what shows in this picture.  I wear a lot of black/gray so I think I'll get a lot of use out of this 'Enveloppe' top...especially in Florida.  You always seem to need just a little something on your shoulders when eating out!  Or is that 'drinking' out!!  Either way...I'll use to finish it before we get to Florida!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Winter is here!

Well, it really is almost winter...we actually had snow showers yesterday afternoon!  It's hard to see in this picture but those tiny white dots are snow showers!  OK, so you can't see the white dots...but we did have snow!

It sure didn't stop the Trick 'N Treaters last are resilient that's for sure.  Bob was complaining all night about how cold it was but not all the kids complained.

I think he forgot what it was like when you were a kid...cold never bothered us especially when there was a reward like candy!!!

Kalee was a doll again for Halloween!!!  She would sit at the door but never venture out on the porch.  She just looked at the kids and waited for the next group.

  We ended up with 177 kids...and yes, I keep track each year.  The least amount we had was 99 and the most was 298 in 2006.  I refuse to buy more than 200 pieces of candy.  We did have candy left over but Bob will take care of those!

Today I did some laundry and cleaning then off to start another project.

Nick was playing in their Super Bowl today.  I decided I was a wimp and didn't go.  It's only 34 degrees out and windy.  I can sit in the rain or cold and watch Nick's games....but I sure pay for it the next day.  The old bones can't handle that cold and wind.

Nick's game didn't start until 3:30 so we are waiting to hear if they won the Super Bowl...if not, they've had a great season!

Off to put dinner on the table then more sewing!  Love staying inside!!!