Category Archives: small works

Return to the Land of Art Making

Vermont Sunset tonight

Vermont Sunset tonight

Well, it went from manic holiday making which I found more fun than I ever imagined to manic holiday fun cooking, shopping , wrapping and family celebrating. ¬†My husband and son left the day after Christmas for a soccer tournament at Disney so I hung out with my girls and purged my house and studio. This was an epic manic event which involved several trips to the recycling center and Goodwill but all the mania was wearing me out so I needed a sense of control again. ūüôā I am sure if you are , in any way, a manic maker, you understand exactly where I am coming from. (Otherwise this is a ludicrous post and you can enjoy my pictures. ) The house and studio were more than out of control and I wanted to start the year out – in control.


Another one for you visual peeps

Another one for you visual peeps

Once my son and husband arrived home, we loaded up the car and drove 14 hours in bitter cold to our house in Vermont on New Year’s Day. I arrived here realizing I had a horrible sinus infection so laid here in front of the fire for the last three days. My neighbor brought me this concoction and I tried it. But also with an antibiotic.

My neighbor's cold remedy

My neighbor’s cold remedy

I was not at all listening to my body which was getting really tired after all the manic making and holiday stuff. Lesson learned once again: If you want to make holiday gifts, start early in the year and have fun making gifts year round rather than during December which is one of the busiest month’s of the year.

I returned to the land of art making today. I was kinder to myself. I played as I felt rusty.¬†¬†I took out a set of fat eighth’s I had dyed during a class last winter.


I just started mindless piecing and really enjoyed drawing fine little lines in my fabric.


mindless return to art

mindless return to art

It felt really good to return to the land of making. What are you working on?

Looking Ahead

¬†¬† ¬† I went upstairs to work this weekend and I reached “it”. “It” is my acceptable limit of the number of pieces sitting in my workbasket. Works in process or, quite bluntly, works unfinished. I get so excited about trying something new, that I just don’t finish things. I didn’t even start a list of finished quilts in 2010. That’s another topic called neglecting the blog and how it looks. But one feeds into the other. So, a list and it might even be added to . Accountability. Why I decide this during the holidays each year, I have no idea. Ah yes, the list.

Works in process
1. Loving Lucy
2. The L series -#1
3. The L series- #2
4. The L series-  # 3
5. Australian scrap quilt
6. Red/Blue quilt
7. Charity quilts-2
8. Crinkle quilt
9. Silk Quilt
10. The Moon
11. Joy

Impressive, isn’t it ? But I ¬†know you have a similar place where you peek into with horror every once in awhile. Or maybe not. If you are very good about finishing things, don’t tell me please.

Goal: By the end of the year have 7 done, photographed and entered into a page type format on my blog.

Plan: Lots of machine quilting needs to be done. FOCUS. With a clear vision of the goal.

Another goal-shoot in manual rather than auto mode-bear with me.

                                                                      Joy, 2010
¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 8.5×13

One done , 6 more to go.

Off to volutnteer and pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child this week. Posts will be lighter but still there.

Be creative, my friends!

Stitch Sampler #2 and a Giveaway

           Stitch Sampler #2, November 2010
      acrylic on cotton, hand-dyed embroidery thread
       machine quilted and hand embroidered

¬†¬† ¬† ¬† You must be sleeping or just not reading until I have a picture of a completed quilt. ūüôā I do the same thing
and just look for the pictures! I have been carrying a few hand pieces with me and finally just sat here in the sun and finished it!  It should be turned so it hangs vertically but you could see the stitching better this way. I just keep trying new things.

¬†¬† ¬†I am having a giveaway. Check last Friday’s post and leave a comment. I’ll pick on Friday otherwise, I have a new sketchbook.

    Be creative, my friends!

Free Friday Inspiration

¬†¬† ¬† I do love the end of the week. And as promised , I ¬†have a giveaway for you. It’s a thank you for being faithful friends for the past year while I learned to blog . You have inspired me. So now to pass the inspiration back, or to let you inspire someone else, I have some freebies for you. ¬†On each Friday for the next four weeks, I will announce a give away. You need only to comment and let me know about one creative thing that you did in the past week. Maybe it was taking a great photo of your kids. Or you finished the binding on a quilt. Or a painting in a journal. ¬†Or drew a sketch of something you intend to make. You certainly know what creative is!

    On the following Friday, I will announce the winner and the next giveaway. The giveaway is something that inspired or prompted me to do something creative.

¬†¬† ¬† For this week, it’s a small journal, a Pitt pen and case for your pencils. I started using a journal about a year ago and can’t live without it in my backpack or purse. It goes where I go. Just like my camera, phone and car keys.

¬†¬† ¬† So leave a comment and let me know one creative thing that you did this past week. I’ll start. I finished a small stitch sampler on linen in which I practiced four of Leah Day‘s¬†¬†machine quilting fillers: etch n sketch, flame, bamboo and checkerboard. Small so I could actually accomplish something! A little imperfect work of the week.

                                                               Work of the Week #9
¬†¬† ¬†Be creative, my friends. Leave a comment on this post and I will enter you in this week’s giveaway.

The Beginning Work

¬†¬† ¬† It is very quiet here. Drinking my coffee and enjoying the peace, the ticking of the clock and the hum of the refrigerator. Not quite wanting my day to start without them -but it already has -at 6am. ¬†Missing them but relieved for the peace. Always kind of a push pull kind of thing isn’t it? Not quite wanting to start the list of things that is already there and wondering how it will all fit in. And then wondering where the art piece will fit in today.

 And wondering what to share of what I am doing. I did finish the memory quilt. A big yeah! I also pieced the first in my series/study.

It measures about 36 by 36 and I am not going to quilt it yet. I might add another to it but the next in the series…My parameters for the study: play with one block or motif and manipulate it as many times as I can stand it. Don’t need to necessarily like the outcome but just work the motif. Each piece will be individually cut freehand with the rotary cutter-just like this one. Looks like floor tile to me … oops I said no criticizing it , didn’t I? I will show you these along my way.

Also, I am on Work of the Week #2. Parameters on this project:

¬†¬† ¬† 1. 4 per month measuring 8×12.
     2. I will start with surface design techniques.
¬†¬† ¬† 3. Again, I don’t need to like it, just experiment.
¬†¬† ¬† 4. Start with a plain white “canvas”.
     5. No starting it over-finish what you start with.
     6. I may or may not show you them.

That’s it. I will document on the back what I liked and what worked.

This is actually the back which I liked more than the front-the way the paint seeped through the quilting lines.
The front was painted AFTER I did the quilting lines with some Jaquard paints I had in my drawer.

Odd I know . I am not a painter and don’t like the colors or my paintstrokes…oops again…what I do like…what I do like….

I LOVED stitching first and applying color second. Positive is better and makes me feel like I learned something. I guess I need to work on critiquing rather than criticizing my work. That might be the most painful part of this process. Ongoing and forever I guess. Critique rather than criticize.

Off to weed, shop, drive and go to a cross country meet. After I put my hands on some fabric for awhile!

Happy Sewing, my friends!

The Countdown Begins

¬†¬† ¬† I have three weeks until I go away for a week to my class. I have quite a few things I would like to accomplish before then. Every time I go away for a week, I make myself crazy trying to get all those unfinished projects done-house things, family things and sewing tasks. I am asking myself whether or not my list is reasonable. If I wasn’t going away, would I be as productive? Maybe it’s just the end of the school year looming overhead as well. Or the mounds of weeds growing higher than the plants….

Anyway, here’s my list. And I am joining one of those challenges again. It just seems to motivate me.
1. Commission quilt-sew together and approved
2.Vermont Sunshine-quilted
3. Loving Lucy-quilted
4. 2 more class motifs done
5.Dye lighter neutrals-20 yards

That seems kind of reasonable. I could add some other things but then I would drive both you and  I crazy.

I did finish one thing this morning. A small quilt that I tried fusing last week. I just don’t think I like the fusible with the type of machine quilting I am capable of right now. It all started popping up or fraying along the pieces as the machine went over it. But I finished it.

I think I like the flowering tree in the background better than the little quilt!

Happy Sewing, my friends!

Something Simple

     Life is picking up speed. My oldest came home from college on Thursday night for spring break. My husband took my eleven year old to Florida for Tigers spring training-baseball for those of you not eleven years old! It was his birthday present and the they had a great time in sunshine. I stayed home with the two girls and we had a great time too. Despite three soccer games in 30 degrees and snow (just a bad dream of winter returning for a short time), we had fun just not doing much.. Spring and  sports will make me very busy soon and I am just enjoying the peace before the craziness begins.

¬†¬† ¬† I decided to pick up some scraps yesterday and just go backwards a bit. It felt good to just let what was there in my box of scraps come to life.I ¬†I just worked at my machine and didn’t even use a design wall. Simpler-one piece at a time determining the next with no big picture in mind. The scraps you will probably recognize. Old familiar friends they felt like. And I finished it. Even better despite the size.

¬†I think it’s about 12 by 14 and has no name yet. And it’s very happy to be outside-my first outdoor picture without snow. Spring is coming.

Happy Sewing, my friends!

West Michigan Fiber Arts Group

     I belong to a group that meets on a monthly basis called the West Michigan Fiber Arts Group. It meets ly at a local sewing store and consists of about thirty people.  We have been working through the book by Jane Davila and Elin Waterson called Artists at Play this past year. Lots of fun show and tell each month and also we have been working through all the techniques in the book. The group is led by our own artist Beth Williams, a very talented fiber artist.

¬†¬† ¬†We are having a small show during the month of March at the the Lakeshore Sewing Center in Wyoming. The theme is Artists at Play. It has been a good experience to prepare for a formal gallery show or other type show as we have had to develop an artist’s statement and work within a specific size-18×18. With that being said-you have to know there is some strange happening with my piece:).

I wanted to mount mine on a canvas. (Why do I try all these new things when there is some risk involved with the outcome? ¬†Gotta love a challenge!) So I painted ¬†my canvas before vacation. And of course, going on vacation I thought it would be dry by the time I got back. Plenty of time. It wasn’t dry on Friday night-and it was due on Mon. What’s a girl to do? I got out the hair dryer! Voila-it’s dry. I don’t know it that I should have done that. I used oil paints on the canvas because I wanted the texture but should have factored in a long dry time in the winter.

                                                        Missing the Mark
¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†14×18

Lots of fun things to play with but just couldn’t make it work- thus missing the mark. Had fun though. ¬†That sometimes happens,doesn’t it? ¬†I had plenty of time to do this but should have stuck with a method I was more comfortable with for this piece. Ah-the joy of learning!

Sorry about the pictures. It is snowing so hard here and I don’t feeling like dragging out my lights. Off to try again.

Happy Sewing, my friends!

Back Home Again

¬†¬† ¬† Well I certainly shouldn’t have said anything about how easy our trip was to VT. The trip back home was a bad dream. No, a nightmare. When we got to the ticket counter in Burlington after waiting in line for 30 minutes, the agent said our plane would be delayed. My husband asked why it show on the board that it was delayed. Listen to this ANSWER:

The departure board is only updated on a monthly basis.

So why is the board up there and why are we-all hundreds of passengers -looking at this board-like morons-every time we enter the airport? To this minute, I can’t believe the answer. And then they wanted to re-book us-three days later.No other flights available until three days later. ¬†Airline travel is just the pits. And the only way it will change is if we all stop for awhile in protest of the bad customer service you get these days. I understand why some things are done for safety’s sake but the rest is just stupidity of employees and airline companies. We missed our connecting flight and ended up renting a car and driving the last leg of the journey home. Very late.

Ok that was a big complaint. I am now ready to move on. A few more barn pictures for you which downloaded in record time.

Blue skies.

I did finish this small piece while I was there. It is made from bits of recycled silks and hand dyed linen.I don’t particularly like it but sometimes you just need to finish the project!

Falling Leaves- approx 18×24.

That’s Pesto and she is one of the cows my daughter chose to show for 4-H this summer. And my daughter is so happy when she is working at the barn. I guess that makes all the travel problems worth it to see that great smile!
Happy Sewing, my friends!

You Can See The Moon

¬†¬† ¬† Despite my post from yesterday, I had a great time when Paula ¬†from PaulaArt¬†recommended me for a Treasury at Etsy. It’s a means of putting together a group of items, displaying ¬†them¬†for a short period of time and having people vote on them quickly. Take a look at the¬†Treasury West¬†and see all the great items. You can then click on all the items and the treasury with the most votes gets to be on the front page of it-until the next round. So easy to get lost ¬†there that it was nice of her to look out for me. Thank you Paula!

I just wanted something simple. Any suggestions for the edge/binding? It’s over dyed upholstry fabric so I think it will be too thick for a flat art quilt binding. It’s for a simple home.

Happy sewing, my friends!