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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Uniform Challenge

Here's my 'Uniform' challenge for the Art Quilts Around the World online challenge.  I actually started sewing the hex's at our 'weekend at Tommy's'!   The piece measures approximately 11.5" x 16". piece is not crooked as it looks here!  I admit I'm not a good photographer!!  Sorry!!!

What can be more 'uniform' than hex's!  OK, that was my thought!!    I started out cutting 2" strips as well as cutting out the paper hex's; sewed the hex fabric to the papers, then sewed the piece together.

Next up I made a template from freezer paper so I knew the size of hex's I needed as well as my pattern for the border.

I cut the border fabric and fused to my hex background...yes, I'm lovin making hex backgrounds!  HA
The piece was sandwiched and I used a triple stitching around the hex's.

 Because I didn't quilt any of the border, I thought it needed something I painted a few hexes in the border then hand stitched around them.    And that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

TBT - Thread Quilting

Here are two of my quilts that were 'thread quilted'!  Guess that's better than thread painted!  These are each 20" x 24" and were made for the Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational.

Aisha-She is Life
Theme: Africa

 I found a picture of a pattern which was about 1" x 2" in an embroidery/needlework catalog. Well, I didn't want the entire kit, so I just took the picture and enlarged it, traced onto my fabric and then painted the fabric (excluding the borders) with thickened dyes.  I had taken a class by Hollis Chatelain on painting with thicken dyes, which was great!  She was a great instructor and I enjoyed 'painting' this piece.

 Of course after quilting, I had to add beads, right! I also took a huge assortment of fibers and braided them to stitch down for her hair. You might see detail if you click on the picture.  This was a fun piece to work on.  But aren't they all! 

Theme:  Italy

I made a drawing of Leonardo DaVinci onto a piece of plain background fabric.  Then I followed Anna Faustino's method for weaving quilts. Kinda tricky as I wove part of the background fabric after I had traced his face onto the fabric. Cutting just up to the edge of his face and hair!  Next up I did the thread quilting for his face and then quilted around the woven ends to secure.

 This is one of my hubby's favorite quilts.  He doesn't like my contemporary or abstract quilts.  He's more into pictorial since he used to paint himself.  Wish he would again as he was good at it.  He said it gave him a nervous breakdown!  

So that's it for Throw Back Thursday for my art work!  Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday #18

Weekly Pattern Wednesday #18
Well, it is the first day of fall!  Only problem my leaf was so big it didn't fit too well!!  And I just couldn't squeeze in a 3rd one!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Birthday Time(s)!

Yesterday, we had the kids up to celebrate Dawn's BD!  I enjoyed having them come up for brunch as I  love to entertain (Bob, not so much!  HA)!  This is our BD girl!

 I think the kids enjoyed the menu:  Hash Brown Casserole; Egg Stratta; Quiche Lorraine; Orange French Toast; sausage links; Pancakes (mainly for Nick!); six different fruits (I had individual fruit trays so they could pick and choose!) and home made Cinnamon rolls (Barefoot Contessa's recipe which is the best & easy to make!).  Yes, a lot of carbs but isn't that what a  BD is all about!  I also made cherry chip cupcakes, as that was Dawn's favorite and I think she still enjoys them from time to time.  She did text me this a.m. and said they were good!  Kids took them home as we were all pretty stuffed from brunch.

I don't remember the name of this type of decoration but from what I understand they are Dawn's favorite!  She'll be decorating her office at work soon for Halloween and now she has a head start on Christmas, a gift from her SIL!  She also received another Pandora charm from Kris/Darrin/kids...ok, who are we kidding!  Kris picks out all the gifts!  Isn't that what wives do!

Yes, all the men look quite ambitious!  HA...just to stick up for Darrin, he had to go into work at 5 a.m. and was headed back to work after taking Nick and Amber to a few stores.  So he was tired..and we did eat all those carbs!

And I'm so proud of Gigi!  She was a doll as this was only the 2nd time she's had any real company in the house!  What a doll!!!  I did pick her up and put her in Amber's arms and you can see from the pics, she settled in quite easily!

Gigi was actually sitting up on Amber's lap!

Gigi was starting to fall asleep when I took this picture!  She would walk beside Amber and we took the dogs out in the yard for awhile.  Nick was racing one of his cars in the street, which drove Gigi nuts.  She wanted to go after it so we ended up in the back yard!

Gigi also just laid by the patio door while we ate (she and Kalee do this when bob and I eat too).  I was so happy with how well behaved she was.

And here are the two other excited party goers!  Although, poor Nick is getting over a cold so he wasn't up to par.  Not sure what Kalee's excuse was!  She most likely wore herself out when everyone got here.  She loves people and gets so excited when anyone comes over!

All in all it was a really nice time with the kids!!!  Just need to do this more often!  Busy schedules and lives does interfere but we have to just make it happen!

AND today is another BD in the family!  It's MaryJo's BD!  Hope she has a great day as well!  This is Mary Jo and Ron (Bob's son) while in Florida this pat spring.  What a great couple and family!
Off to do some weeding then get dinner ready and hope to finish the inside of my hex horse tonight while watching FOOTBALL!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

TBT - Thread Painting

At one time, BB (before beading!) I would play around with thread painting!  I thought for this TBT it would be a good time to show one of my quilts I thread painted.  This piece is 20" x 24" and were made for the Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational in 2009.

Who's Watching Whom?

Theme:  Art of Nature

My inspiration came from a photo my daughter took at a wolf preserve photo shoot she went on back in 2008-2009.  I loved this picture so I scanned it in and then printed out (poster printing) , then traced onto a piece of cheap fabric!  I don't remember but I'm sure I put some type of stablizier on the back!

I started the thread painting trying to follow the picture o ensure I got the movement of the fur.  I don't remember the number of different color threads I used but there were a lot!    All thread painting was free motion quilted...I don't have an embroidery sewing machine.   

This is the piece in progress and it was so cool to see them come alive!


Once I finished all the thread painting, I cut around the stitching and then attached to my hand dyed quilted background by going over some the areas I already stitched. One the main piece was attached I cut close to the edge (yes, scary!) and made sure the edges were all attached securely as well. 

I have over 80 leaves, some fused but most dimensional that I attached to the piece. 

So that was my first 'real attempt' at thread painting!  Next week on TBT, I'll show some other pieces that were semi thread painted or thread quilted!  I've not done anything to this extent since the wolves were finished.  Just never found the right subject matter.  Hope you enjoy seeing my piece and my process.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We interrupt this reguarlly scheduled program!

Yep...I am not posting my Weekly Pattern today...instead it's a WOO HOO! time for me!  I had an article published in the Oct/Nov issue of Quilting Arts magazine!  It's Painting with Beads!!  Go figure, I know!

I am really so excited to see my work published but to have a four page article along with my work is beyond anything I expected!

This is the highlight of my art career!  Hope my readers and those who subscribe to Quilting Arts enjoy the article and actually try my beading technique!!!  Oh, the article is on page 68 in case you're looking!!  And when the issue is at stores, they will also have some of my art work, along with other contributors from the magazine on the web site (Free Rresources/Online Extras).

And a huge thank you to Nancy, my Florida quilting friend, for her Editorial assistance in proofing my article!!!  Nancy was great in taking her time out of her busy schedule to make sure I didn't leave anything out and that I made sense!!  THANKS again, Nancy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Busy! So what else is new!

Really, not much else 'new'!  Just working away on projects!  I finished our online challenge for the Art Quilts Around the World blog, which is due Sept. 30th.  I can't show it until then....but at least that's one project checked off my list!
I started working at 7:15 today on laundry, made some homemade applesauce (I made an apple pie yesterday!) and some cleaning.  Now to pay some bills then get back to hand stitching!

Making some progress.  I decided to work strictly in this piece before doing any more stitching on my Patchwork #2 quilt.

I'm happy with my circles on the horse...I only have 3 and think I will stop there.

The circles are hard to see in the first picture but when it's hung up you can see them.  Well, I can!  HA

I'm about 25% finished with stitching the horse fabric.  I should be able to get a good bit more finished today as the Lions play at 4!  My pork chops are marinating, applesauce made and dessert ready! So all we'll have to do is grill chops during half time!  Woohoo!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Still working away on hand stitching projects so thought I would post a few quilts from the past.  Isn't it always fun to look back on your work and think "how did I do that!"  or "why did I do that!".

These first two are from the Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational 2010 - Theme: South of the Border.  Yes, I completed two for this was jut way too much fun!


This quilt is 20" x 24".   I had a picture from the movie poster printed on fabric (I did get permission to print the image, after intensive research!).  You may have to click on the picture to see the hand stitching.  Yep, it is all hand stitched with a stab stitch and of course I had to add beads to make the cactus!  


Amate is a Mexican and Latin American art form that is painting on bark.  Amate has been passed down from one generation to the next and by the 50’s was starting to die out but rediscovered in the late sixties.  I got permission from the Mexican Folk Art web site  to use Tomas Ramirez’s painting as my inspiration. 

For this 20" x 24" piece, I painted Tyvek fabric then sandwiched and free motion quilted the Tyvek on hand dyed fabric.  To represent bark, I  burnt the edges and design using both soldering iron and a household iron.  I really do enjoy this process and I'm thinking of doing a tutorial,  per suggestion from a blog buddy!).  I'm sure there are others out there that have already played with this technique and perhaps we can all share!

This next piece is a real oldie!  Back in 2006, I was invited along with 30 other artists from the area to create a piece of art work for the Genome Project.  Our art work was going to be on display at The Whiting Auditorium in conjunction with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.,  where they presented the "Ferocious Beauty: Genome" dance program.  It was a pretty cool program and the art work was amazing.  Our group of seven were the only art quilters.  The rest of the artists did sculptures and lots of 'things' hung from the ceiling to represent DNA!  

We were each 'assigned' a particular section of DNA/Genome. I was given Chromatin Fiber and here's my piece. It's 20" x 24" and the circles were from fabric I had screen printed. Only problem, I ran out so I scanned in a piece of the fabric and printed it out so I could finish the piece!  What would we do without our computers/scanners/printers!

I hand dyed the cording and filled the circles with beads, which were glued down.  And yes, it is heavy!!!

Also, check out Lynn's blog post!  I have supported Bernie in the past and Lynn has a great idea!  So check it out!!!  Now back to 2015 projects!  And of course dog walking/training and donating to a good cause!  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday #17

Weekly Pattern Wednesday #17

You can also check out some of Lynn's designs on her FaceBook page here.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Yep...I'm still stitching!

Well, I'm stitching if not cleaning, cooking, walking dogs (4 x's a day!), laundry, dog lessons and of course  going out for lunch or dinner!  HA

I did get some input on my hex horse while away at my sewing weekend.  So this week I decided before I add another circle or two (good input from the ladies) I ran some darker thread through the stitching on the outer circle.
Yes, this picture is upside down!!  But you get the drift!

This was before I added thread on the outside...sure gives more definition to the circles and I'm happy with that change.

Now to add one more circle to the bottom area and finish the stitching on the horse, which I did work on this week as well.

Yesterday, Darrin and Kris had us, Auntie Dawn and Uncle Jeff over for ribs and salmon!  OMG!  Darrin made the BEST ribs ever!  Bob can't stop talking about it nor can I.  For some reason this was the first time in years that I even ate the ribs!  Delicious!!  Of course, so was the grilled salmon, twice baked sweet potatoes, corn/zucchini fritters (Dawn made) and warm bread.  YUM!  I made corn/bean salsa, bruschetta, Key lime cake and chocolate chip cookies for the kids...although, Jeff didn't want any of the lime cake he'll pay for that sometime in the future!  HA

It's 89 degrees at the moment and too hot to do any weeding or outside work (THANK GOODNESS!) so guess it's stitching time and perhaps a Netflix afternoon!  It's my day off...I did two walks with dogs early this a.m. but no dog lesson today either.  Yes, I'm being selfish!  It's all about me relaxing!  Oh, I did a load of whites and sheets today!  Does that count??

Friday, September 4, 2015

What have I been doing??

Sometimes I even question myself as to what I do all week long!  This week has flown by and I know I've been busy...but mainly working on projects that I can show yet!!!  So that does make for a quiet blog..and you know how I love to have pics on my blog!  I'll need something to look at while I'm at the nursing home!
Last Saturday I had lunch with my daughter at Victoria's in Oxford!  Dawn  bought me lunch, which was delicious, and it was SO nice to just sit and chat with her.  BUT I was so busy talking I forgot to take a picture of us! But I have the memory picture in my mind!  We also visited one of the local shops, Soothe Your Soul.  Lots of soothing items and I believe 99 or 100% Michigan made.  Check out their blog.  They have classes, essential oils, clothing and massage therapy!  Really a neat store.  So nice spending time with Dawn!

Then on Tuesday Darrin and I surprised the kids and met for lunch at Grand Tavern!  Another really good lunch!  WOW!  I had fish tacos, which were great!  Darrin had tuna melt w/bacon, which he said he gets frequently and the kids each had BB pulled pork!  Fun to be with my kids this past week!   School starts next week so I'll be going down and visiting the kids on Friday afternoons...that way I don't have to be the "homework police"...HA

Wednesday I met my BFF, Carol T., at Crossbow Inn, a local restaurant.  Carol had the fish that Bob and I had last week, which I thought was really good.  I elected to get a Cobb Salad which I won't again.  Why?  I am not a volume eater, although I can sure pack it away.  I'd prefer to get high quality food vs a ton of lower quality food.  Now I'm not saying the items in the Cobb Salad were bad...I just could have made this same dish at home in my huge salad bowl!  For some reason when the salad was delivered I was just turned off by the well as appearance of the quality of items.  Don't get me wrong...I really like Crossbow...but just not for the salad.

 This picture isn't the dish I had but it honestly represents the volume of food!  This was for one person!  I have the same salad bowl my lunch came in and it was filled to the brim!  I've had company over and haven't filled it as high as what my salad was!  Needless to say we had salad for our main course Wednesday at dinner, as well as leftover salad the next day!  Just sayin!

Last night Bob and I went to Applebee's for our Long Island Ice Tea specials.  Yep, we're all about the specials and eating early!  Well, we don't eat lunch and have a light breakfast so we can drink and eat on date night!  We had our fried green beans for appetizer and our Tequila Lime Chicken for dinner...and yes, we did have dessert...Applebee's Smoor's!  YUM!!!!  We needed our 'food fuel' to watch both the Lions (they won but I fell asleep!) and Michigan play (they lost).  Bob Tivo'd both games so we would flip back and forth.  Finally at midnight we went to bed to finish watching the Lion's!  Whew!  Too late of a night for me!
Tonight and tomorrow I'm cooking dinner!!  Sunday Darrin and Kris have invited Dawn, Jeff and Bob and I for dinner!  That is still home cooking so not as bad as eating out!  I don't plan another meal out until next Thursday!  Let's hope!

Guess I should have called this post "eating out"!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday #16

Weekly Pattern Wednesday #16

Still Missing You.....

November 3, 1999 -September 2, 2011
Not a day goes by that I don't think of my little angel...the tears still flow so freely...but the memories also make me smile.   I miss you so much.