My Bernina

I've mentioned on occasion that I have the Bernina 440 quilters edition. Yes, Yes, I do love to piece my quilt tops and even do the quilting on the small ones. I can even use the embroidery attachment that I purchased with my machine. But it also does other types of sewing too. It actually can sew garments. Two years ago I made a pair of pants...too large. I cut the pattern down and made another pair...too small. I cut the pattern up. Trashed it. I cut the two pair of pants up. I put the great cotton fabric into quilts! The failure had nothing to do with the Bernina, just its master.

Which brings to mind something I wanted to share. The other day, Holly was having a little problem with a sewing technique and asked for help. I knew I had viewed some of these free tutorials Bernina offers before, but had not gone there in some time. Holly, this is for you. The tutorial of October 10, '08 deals with the problem of sewing on the edge of thick and thin bulge. Here is the site for more videos.



From sketches to fabric to art quilts

Often times I just throw something out there and see where it lands. Sometimes on its feet, often on its backside. But backsides are fun to work on.... when you're not afraid of making a mess of something, you can just do what you want. You just kinda go 'oh well' ...this is called practicing!

I've read about artists who keep journals of sketches and think how wonderful it must be to have such talent to pick up pen and ink or watercolor or paint and let it flow. Oh, and then to put that onto canvas. While I don't have that much talent to put it on a surface, my imagination lets me see what I want to convey on fabric. Well, the other day I sketched (like the real folks), then recreated that image on fabric....two times even. They aren't really alike even though I was looking at the same pencil sketch as I stitched. Well, the stems kinda resemble!

Anyway, when dearest got up this morning, his first question was "What are you making today?" and I was able to proudly display this little arty quilt. You see, I thought it was one of those things that had landed on its backside so I wasn't afraid of wasting my time and thread on it. Well, yes I did have to add the Swarovski crystal to the center of the flower to hide the stitching mess I had made . (You wouldn't have known if I hadn't told you). So, now my little quilt is standing on its feet and I've already told it how much I care that (it) was thoughtful enough to just lay there on its backside and let me practice 'til perfection.
, here's the second little work in progress. Coordinated fabrics are selected, now what shall I do to get this one standing!!!

I may not invest in a sketchbook...but I'm sure I'll just keep throwing things out there just to see how they land!

xxx's and ooo's

Purse with photo transfer...what fun

I've been thinking....I have transferred the images of some of my original art cards and art quilts onto fabric...primarily to sell. But, marketing my work has been a real challenge without having to spend an arm - then a leg - to do so. I really don't think craft shows are for me, but I am getting a vendor booth at a local quilt show in September. Planning ahead, I made a list of what I might offer for sale.

Small art quilts (have plenty of those)

Doll quilts - have only made two, but more are in the works. Hope folks are thinking of Christmas gifts (in September) Here's my latest. It's 17" x 21" - dolly will snuggle nicely.

Then, there are the wool munchkin pillows (see pics from previous posts, fabric art cards - holiday, pretty ladies in smart hats, tiptoe thru the tulips. And also greeting/note cards. I can display them for sale individually, or, in the case of the calendar Sunbonnet Sue series (12), I can bundle and make available as a group. I'm thinking bundled with grosgrain ribbon will display nicely. Already have a lot of them printed and ready with envelopes. Hopefully I can find a nice ribbon sale before September.

But now how to make the photo transfers marketable? Folks often ask "What can I do with that??" So, I'm putting together some examples to show them. Putting them into small art quilts is a given. Here is 'tiptoe thru the tulips' for example. I'm hoping to have several of these ready by show time.

And here is "Peaches" photo transfer put into a purse. I might even put together a pattern of how I made it and have available for sale! The possibilities are endless.

Then, there is always fabric bookmarks...and the list will go on (surely). Plenty to do to get ready for all those buyers (that I have yet to find), but will...I think I can, I think I can, I know I can.

Not a wordless Sunday...hugs til later


Pictures...lost and (not) found

When the picture albums are all sorted....don't resort them. Some of my pictures were not in the correct folders nor in the chronological order that I wanted, so I decided a computer clean up was in order. Should have cleaned the house instead. If I first combine them all to one folder, then I can resort... so I thought. So I merrily went about my work and on completion, opened up the one remaining folder. But, lo,there were no pictures!! I searched furiously for my pictures to no avail. Everything goes to the recycle bin...doesn't it? Nope, not my pictures. Little did I know that instead of combining the folders, I was stacking them one on top of the other. I can get the pictures from yesterday, but cannot turn the virtual computer page to the next group, nor the next group. %$()@^^ and the words continued to spew.

Well, by the time dearest arrived I was in quite a stew. He had a few suggestions (1) clean the house, or the oven, the toilet, just about anything - but not the computer (2) leave the technical stuff alone and (3) too complicated to explain. But anyway, we're trying something different to see if those pictures can be retrieved. If you hear me scream, you'll know they are lost in the system. Thank goodness I have most of them stored on a CD, but what about all those I've taken and edited these past several weeks!! So much work may be down the drain...I can't bear to think of it.

So, now, as they say, it's time to take a step back and punt....Moral "Never, never resort a sorted picture album." (Sorry, no pictures in this commentary)


He took his afternoon constitutional and figured out how to solve the problem. Thank goodness I had already put all my pictures into the new Adobe Photoshop....(that program paid for itself today). It was just a simple matter of selecting the pictures I needed today and transfer them back into a new folder in pictures. How simple was that?? Now, how can I plug my hair back into the roots??

Favorites, Feeds and Follow

I spend a few minutes each morning catching up on my favorites, feeds and those I follow. And its fun to find new blogs to keep in my feeds and web pages to keep in my favorites. Pink Chalk Fabrics and Pink Chalk Studio are great views. Take a look at the great fabrics and how they are used. Also found Valley Fiber Life. I've been following Dancing Threads Studios for quite a while and found a great interview Valley Fiber Life did about the work Cindi Huss is doing. Networking is a learning experience. When someone knows more than I do, I like to take advantage of their knowledge and experiences. Cindi's needle felting projects are grand.

I'm just now beginning to explore needle felting. I posted these pics on the blog the other day, but had problems, so deleted. So, here is my update. I decided to do more outline quilting around the leaves on the silk and like this version of "Robin's Nest" art quilt better.

I needle felted yarn on wool, then quilted into a piece of silk dupioni. Sapphire Swarovski crystals were added as the robin's eggs.

Duct Tape or Glue?

Received my new Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 yesterday. It's installed, I played with it this morning and quickly discovered that it will do great things as soon as I learn how to do these great things with it!!

And kitty is better this morning. She hit me up for a road trip again yesterday. I noticed she was kinda favoring her left hind foot. Figured it was a hangnail or something. I work through my hangnail problems...decided she could do the same. I'm still paying for photoshop....and really don't think she deserves a pedicure. Anyway, she kept limping...less noticeably as the evening wore on. But dearest did get the BIG spotlight out so we could check for blood, swelling, or broken bones and we found nothing. Told kitty what the diagnosis was and that she would not be going on road trip. Well, kitty always has a retort...this time, "and where did you get your medical degree?"

Well, dearest had the final word on this argument...he threatened her with Oh No, not DUCT TAPE. I finally convinced dearest that GLUE would work just fine.
Kitty went to bed and woke up with no ailments this morning. I love it when we all agree....

Needle Felted Art Quilts

Here I've made a flower garden by machine needle felting wool and yarn onto wool then added free motion machine quilting.

Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder???

Me thinks me spent too much for this squirrel proof bird feeder.....

More Tulip Fabric Art Cards

If the day were a blank slate, I would plant tulips. Here are the ones I worked up yesterday....a continuing saga of "tiptoe thru the tulips". With enough fabric, tulips can be any color - and plaid, oh my! I'll probably put these little pretties on note cards too.

Now, I'll continue to fill my day....

A few of my favorite yard things

Yesterday was so gorgeous, dearest got out after church and took pictures of a few of my favorite yard things....Even the angel with broken wings is smiling on such a pretty day. Bumblebees were everywhere, but were in such a frenzy over the nectar, they would not buzz in one spot for long enough for a picture. Anyway, the warm sunshine on my skin felt very much like spring.

I've ordered an abbreviated adobe photoshop, was hoping it would get here today...will wait (impatiently) until tomorrow. I'm thinking it will help me make great note cards so when the CD comes in, I'll edit some of these pics and see how they work on a note card for spring.

Off to the dentist....I planted??? more tulips this morning but am out of time for now, will picture them and hopefully post a little earlier tomorrow.

A New Day Has Dawned

It's not perfect, but it's mine....and now I'm making greeting/note cards using the photo images of some of my one-of-a-kind, original design art quilts. Here's just a sampling. I edit here to correct an oops....the sunbonnet sue's are not my original design. I made a quilt using a Betty Alderman design. These three Sue cards were made from pictures I took of my quilt.

I took Holly's advice and am fine-tuning my photos. Still taking baby steps, but I'm seeing an improvement. The light bulbs arrived last week and they really make a difference as does the steadiness the tripod gives the camera. Just haven't figured out where to keep this stuff stored. It's now in the living room...the 4"x8" foam board is propped up against the front door. Dearest is objecting strenuously. He is such a neatnik. But, we only go into the living/dining occasionally, so I really don't see the harm. Never mind that the top half of the door is see through (and now you can't see through). He says we (meaning me) will work it out. I've asked for his suggestions, so perhaps that little gesture of compromise will warm his cold, cold heart just a smidgen.

Anyway, I had a strong urge several months ago to get serious about photo transfer. I first photo transferred the art cards "Pretty Ladies in Smart Hats" onto fabric sheets and want to make purses and use their fabric image on the front of the purse. Will get there someday. Anyway, I did get my "tiptoe thru the tulips" art card photo transferred onto fabric sheets and am now putting that fabric into art quilts. Here's my first. Not yet quilted...that's a tomorrow project.

I was inspired to do this after seeing the beautiful work Gunnel does. Check out her blog. A real treat.

And, finally, the genius continues to work....No, I'm not the one who came up with this ingenious idea. Saw this on one of Nancy's Notions programs. But I think it was very clever of me to try this idea. I have so many scrap fabrics from other quilt projects that I just cannot bear to stow or throw away. They are gathering and gathering, and etc and etc and etc.

So, Nancy's ideas was to take various strips of fabric (my 12 strips were 12" to 24" long and 2" to 6" wide) and sew them together in such a fashion that you can cut on the 45 degree angle to make bias strips. I then cut 2.25" wide bias strips then sewed them end to end. I like the double folded bindings, so the final picture shows the binding folded and basted and pressed ...ready to be sewn around a quilt.

You can see from the picture a general 45 degree layout. Can you believe that I got 280" of bias binding from these 12 scrap strips of fabric. That's enough to bind a 70"x70" quilt or (3 ) 20"x20" doll quilts! I think my pink and purple combination will be just delightful for a little girl's doll quilt. And look at the reduction in fabric scraps.

I think I'll try a blue/green combo next! That too is a tomorrow project. Mondays...never blue around my house!

A great knit pattern...a freebie

Just gonna take a minute here to pass along the information for this great freebie knit pattern.
I've already printed a copy of this pattern for myself. Hope you do to. Let's share the fun!

What an easy, fun pattern to make for your leisure bath time or to make for your best friend. Or, you could make it for an enemy and then you'd have another best friend!

Hugs 'til later. Genius is at work now!!

Quilts, Quilts, and More Quilts

Yes, I'm still here and have been very successful this week.

I aged by one year and survived! I'm sure the skin has aged too, but I'm not looking.

Made several sales from my website (happy, happy day)

Had major discussion with the dear one, then kitty, this morning.

Dear, dear one cleans the litter box each day. Yes, I said dear and dear. So, since I paid a huge sum for hairball remover medicine for kitty the other day, I wanted to know if the cost was worth it. So after a couple of days, I asked dear if he had seen a hairball and I was informed that he wasn't checking!! Well, my and my. So, I gave him a day to get his act together and asked again this morning. You already know the answer. No, no sign of said hairball.

About this time, kitty snickered and in her "I told you so" voice, really told me so! I know I heard a very bad meow word. Not very lady-like either. She is very tired of being propped up and spoon fed a dose of foul every morning that's not clearing out what apparently was never there! My ears are still burning. Should I ask for a refund? I'd even take office credit to be applied to next visit. I'm sure kitty will hit me up for a road trip again. The little trickster...

Had two big projects to sew this morning so pulled out the extension to my Horn sewing table. This gives me another 4 feet of work space, but it really cuts into sewing room space when extended, so I save large sewing projects to do while it's out. Got the bindings sewn onto two large quilts. I'll get better pictures later after I've finished the hand sewing.

Now have a stack of four large quilts to finish binding. Need to get to work on that since I have four being longarm quilted that will be ready next month. I'm in quilt deluge heaven!! Not complaining one bit.

I finished binding this little doll quilt yesterday.

Oh, and did I tell you that I bid on a piece of wool on Ebay the other day and won the bid. Received yesterday and it is beautiful. Just perfect to back my wool square quilt. I'm loving this work-in-progress.

Have already spent my birthday gift certificates. Was in a very "i need a spring outfit" mood so invested in white linen skirt and blouse. Was just about to check out when I spotted those just to perfect to pass up shoes. (I had to pay for those myself) Gift certificates only go so far..

Kitty is also enjoying my trip to the store....hey, if the shoe box fits, wear it!

Birthday lunch out with friends was delightful. Here we are....I'm the one seated in the know the one with no birthday earrings on!!!

I Think It's My Birthday.......

The telephone rang really early this morning....that means either bad news OR dear sister is calling. She has two times to call - before church, before work OR during dinner. Never fails.

I woke up this morning with a little tune running around in my head....I hear it's your birthday, we're having a party. So, when I was distracted from my task of sewing yarn around a picture...more on that later....with the ringing telephone, it hit me. It's my birthday. Oh, boy. And, it's true what they say "another year older and deeper in debt." Yep, dearest made the trip to Lowe's yesterday to get the final purchases to set up my photo studio. Now, I'm waiting for the light bulbs and we'll be set. I'm hopeful that with these initial purchases, I'll be set for a lifetime of good pictures of my quilts. And...kitty had to go to the vet yesterday. (cha ching)
She has been really lethargic the past two days (that means she hasn't been pestering me when I'm at the computer), so, being mother hen that I am about my animals, off we went. By the time we got in to see the vet, she was the same kitty as she always is. I decided she must have just wanted a road trip! He did prescribe medication, just in case she has a hairball! Like I said, cha ching!! .... deeper in debt

But anyway, dear sister got my day off to a great start. She makes me laugh, especially at myself.
Received her card in the mail yesterday and she mentioned the perfect earrings she had bought for me to go with the perfect blouse (to be purchased when it went on sale). But to her dismay, the blouse was already sold when she went back to make coveted purchase. Thus, a gift certificate was taped to the birthday card. And, I'm still searching for the earrings. I was trying to be very discreet this morning by asking her about the earrings. She, of course, had the perfect answer for my not receiving said earrings. They, of course, were too bulky to go through the mail and she didn't want them to get damaged. So, guess who's wearing said birthday earrings this morning!! I'll have to remember to buy MYSELF some great little earrings come HER birthday in September. Sounds fair to me. Can't wait to go cash in on my gift certificate. I'll probably do that today right after lunch with friends.

We have a fun restaurant I love to visit. Back patio/balcony overlooking the water. And, the weather is suppose(??) to be warm enough for us to sit outside today. Plus, they make a complimentary picture of the birthday group and in lieu of singing the embarrassing birthday ditty, the birthday child gets a slice of cheesecake. We just pass it around the table until it's all gone. That way, there's not too many calories allotted to each of us.

Now, back to my sewing yarn around a picture....I'll clue you later on this latest project.

Have a great birthday for me.


New best friend

I have found the most fun place to visit....the name says it all....check out This That and The Other. What a great giveaway! Now, if I can get a rhyme arranged in my brain, perhaps I'll be the winner.


Defrag..ed the computer, then myself!

OKokOk, I haven't blogged in two days. I've been feeling a little sluggish.

When the computer starts to run sluggishly, we are told to go in and run the "defrag". I did that, even deleted all the recently visited sites. I deleted all the unnecessary (unwanted) and already read emails. Filed the keepers in their proper folders. The computer is now running with rapid speed. So, why am I still feeling sluggish?

I almost had a wreck the other day....passed a sign that advertised "Colonic Hydrotherapy!!!" for quick weight loss. WELL. hello. I guess so! Back in my day we called this an enema and it was included free any time you checked into a hospital! There are people starving out there.....and some are paying for an enema to lose weight?? I have this to say about that....these folks have more dollars than cents. I'll deny being sluggish before I'll voluntarily submit to this little number.

Now, I'm getting warmed up and feeling a little less sluggish. I've been whining more and more about (l) not having room for a design wall and (2) not being able to take good pictures. I found this great friend website, Holly Knott, who has helped me tremendously with the problem. After reading her "how to" notes, Dearest and I made a trip to WalMart (yes, together). He bought the grocery/toilet tissue/dish soap needs and I bought a camera tripod, yards of flannel, white knit polyester and light clamps. Ordered the light bulbs from Tabletop Studio as Holly suggested. Dearest will go find the lumber and feet and foam board to complete the project.

Wow, I just lost another pound of sluggish..Can't stop now...

Reorganized the storage space in my sewing room last night. My clutter was weighing me way down. I now have a delegated space for yarn and knit projects. There is space for fabric-cotton, batik, wool, drapery/upholstery. Magazines and patterns are organized by type of project....quilting, purses, needle felting, knitting, home decor. Oh yes, the cotton fabric (of which I have the most) is sorted by color. One bin holds the neutrals/browns and yellows, one the reds and blacks. Blue has a place as does green. Cannot begin to tell you how buoyant I'm feeling.....just about to float from this very, very organized space.

I've been invited to make a presentation (do the program) at one of local quilt guild chapter meetings. Any time I'm asked I just say "YES, I CAN" then agonize over what I will do. Finally, Finally my thinking is beginning to clear and I have narrowed my demo choices to two.

See, the less cluttered and sluggish my mind and body, the more focused I become.

No pictures today...just a musing, but can't you just see the creative gleam back in my eyes.

Sunday, what a fun day to blog.


All the Accoutrements...

I see and hear this all the time..."IT comes with all the accoutrements." And, I'm thinking why does it always have to be an "it" that has all this good stuff.

So, can people have accoutrements? In order to answer this question (to myself), I first had to find the definition. Merriam-Webster online always gives me a very brief define...they(?) said accoutrement functions as a, trappings. OK, I had to step back and think about this. Now, I can envision a bathroom with all the accoutrements....a towel warmer, terry robe, deep soaking tub, oversize shower head for different water spray choices. Dearest and I live in a 50's era ranch so my only taste of these accoutrements must be envisioned!!

Rather than dwell on that, I'll just continue to add accoutrements to my art quilts and art cards. So easy to do these many buttons and beads and yarn and crystals and wool roving and angelina fibers and........(whew, I'm out of breath)
Swarovski Crystals..

Button face and yarn hair! Oh my

Novelty yarn decorates these Christmas trees

So, back to my original question...Can people have accoutrements? We hear that he or she comes with baggage...and trappings (children, oh no!!) So why not he or she coming with accoutrements? Novel idea? No, just a redirection of thinking...

Equipment might be good health, an education, resilience, independence, happiness, smiling face, kind words

Now trappings...I think of trappings as a wish list. For instance mine might include always having a clean car, having time alone to sew, ready access to how-to tutorials, just to mention a few. Well, now, what are my accoutrements I have more equipment? or more trappings?

Hopefully, it's a nice mix. Hugs 'til later


Art Quilt, Art Card, Bookmarks and more

Where, oh where do my mornings and afternoons go? It's way past lunchtime already and I've only just finished my creations.

I get my inspiration from lots of places, sometimes it just an advertisement in a magazine. Such as the case's the ad. It's a large scale print created by Sally McQuillian of Raoul Textiles. Loved the look of the deep lush brown on natural linen. And while I was deep into the web to locate the link to Raoul Textiles, I ran across The Fabric Guru, a wonderful site to purchase fabric (let's not limit ourselves to quilting cotton only!!)

and following is my interpretation of the large scale leaf. I thread painted the leaf on natural muslin then made two bookmarks. One measures 1.5" x 6" and the other 1.5" x 8".

And on I went. What a lark I had "painting" the mini fabric art card. It is 3" x 6". I think I'll call these my "California Dreamin" series. You know how the song goes...."all the leaves are brown on such a winter day..."

And, finally here's something I did with an ugly piece of fabric I won somewhere as a door prize. Killed two birds with one stone (as they say) by using ugly fabric and practicing my Karen McTavish style free motion quilting at the same time. Nothing really lost here but some time. I pinned snippets of fabric down then quilted with a lime green thread. Now I have a piece of art!! Of course, it's ready to be hung. You can see from pics of my sewing room, I display my art quilts everywhere.

xxxs and ooos