Saturday, May 29, 2010

Quick Update

Mom's surgery went well (partial shoulder joint replacement). I'm making myself useful and eating like a little piggie! Two quilts are done, two to go. Home in another week -- until then, I'm enjoying the lazy, sunny days.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Signs of Withdrawal?

I love this picture of Jake trying to fit his ample girth in a box a wee bit too small... He doesn't look pleased that I took it, does he???

Two whole weeks without a sewing machine will be interesting. I sewed the binding on four quilts so I have lots of hand finishing to do, plus some beading, books and magazines to read, but we'll see if that is enough to keep me busy. I can always mess with Photoshop Elements on my laptop, but that isn't as easy to haul places. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Working Through the Backlog

Now that I've started teaching, I end up with oodles of tops (since I rarely have time to get them quilted before they need to hang in the shop as samples). Now I know how some of the really productive people in our guild manage it! My friend Tammy does a wonderful job turning tops into "quilts that just need binding." They sit in that state until I need something for our quilt show or a gift. The pile was up to 8 until I started working on the backlog, and by the end of the week there should "only" be 4!

Except for the border, all the fabrics for this one came from my stash. A smaller version in cool colors did as well, since I try to actually use scraps in my scrap quilts! It will look great on the new couch, so hopefully Chris won't mind flowers...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Fly!

Doesn't this little dog look happy? Mickie, the flying Pom, belongs to my friend Juli and she sent the picture since I don't have one of my flying boys. I made this little quilt for a fundraiser for the local dog agility club -- the "real" quilt will be done with a photo of the winner's dog.

The background is another digital collage. My paper below just didn't work because the colors were too muddy (all the agility equipment seems to be white and primary colors), so I used a gradated digital "paper" instead. I can't wait to paint some of my own... I had to grunge up the paper with a few digital stamps of water spots and chalk rubbings. Because agility is timed, I used a clock overlay as well. Keep your fingers crossed that this will be a popular item in the raffle!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Playing Like Pat (sort of!)

On the left-brain/right-brain continuum, I am pretty far out there on the logical, methodical left-brain way of working. I adore foundation-piecing -- I get nice sharp points, my blocks finish the correct size and one step follows another. Sewing intuitively the way my very right-brained friend Pat does it (where rulers are banned) makes me crazy, to say the least! I love the serendipity her quilts have, but her style of working will always be a stretch for me.

Here's an interesting twist, though: I let loose once I start messing around at my workbench. I mix paint colors very intuitively, and if I run out and can't quite replicate that first color, oh well! I love paint splatters, "ooops, I dunked my cup in the paint" rings, painted bubble wrap texture, a bit of grunge here and there. I may not be able to Sew Like Pat without much angst, but I can Play Like Pat and enjoy almost every minute of it (I'll admit that if I'm stamping or stenciling and want crispness, it is hard to embrace "blurps" and smears...).

I painted this on paper to match some clipart. The colors go well and I like the texture, although it doesn't work at all with the photo I have. Oh, well, I will use it for something else one of these days.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pine Burr

I'm working on my Pine Burr quilt again (gotta get it done for Quilter's Affair! EEK!!!). I've had "help" with it -- heard a funny sound from the closet and found two little dogs removing the paper from the back of the block...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Running Start

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Today's title has nothing to do with art but everything to do with a most excellent seminar I took. We (hubby, dogs and I) have been taking agility classes for several months now, and we're starting to get it! Chris and I are learning how to reward the dogs to get the behaviors we want ("take that jump") and tell them where we're going next. Considering how green we are, the dogs and I did quite well. We've got a lot of work to do on our sit-stays (they sit, briefly, but "stay" ain't happening!), but "toss a cookie and run to get in position" worked well today. I think the instructor was pleasantly surprised...

We don't get a lot of flowers in my neighborhood -- if the deer, gophers or squirrels don't eat them, the frost could kill them, or they're not native enough -- but daffodils are on the list and they do well. I had fun getting "up close and personal" with my macro lens on this one, and then had real fun tossing it in a Photoshop blender! I'm going to print it on photofabric and use it to practice my free-motion stitching. Cheers!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fashion Plate

I absolutely love messing around with digital collage -- I can stamp and stamp (in any color I choose!) and never have to worry about smearing the ink. Isn't it funny, then, that I like messing with stencils as well? I thought it was a bit daring to stencil on my printed collage since a "blurp" would make me very crazy. The answer: use an almost dry brush (or in this case, dry cosmetic sponge) and make a couple of passes to get the color right.

This was my "quilting line" homework from Art + Quilt, and definitely wouldn't be the way I would approach the quilting if I did it again. We were supposed to use a variety of thread weights, and I don't like the heaviest ones. They are also the darkest so they really show up. I also didn't like how puffy the stenciled elements were until I quilted along the stenciled lines in matching thread, but now it is growing on me. Now the big decision is: to bead or not to bead! I have some bright pink seed beads that would follow the stenciled lines in spots. Hmmm...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I'll admit it, I poach other people's Facebook friends. Mostly my hubby's, but other friends as well. I found an old friend from junior high that way, and just this week an old pen pal from ages ago. You might like her new website: Marlis Egger Textile Art -- lots of interesting surface design, digital imagery, string piecing, hand-dyed fabric. Plus she's a cat person...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pollen :-(

Ugh, LOTS of wind and pollen. A gust almost blew the dogs away on our walk this afternoon, and my poor eyes would be swollen shut without the aid of modern pharmaceuticals!

Enough whining -- let's play! I treated myself to a download from ArtChix and whipped up this little collage. I picked one image that worked with my background and here you go -- a little Monday Funday in spite of the pollen!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Crabby Crabby Grump Grump!

Translated, that means "I need to write my handout for tomorrow's "Simply Charming" class and I don't want to do it but can't put it off any longer"!!!

Since handouts don't make for pretty pictures, I thought I'd show a page from my workbench "sketchbook" (I don't sketch in it, but what else to call it?). It is a 6" x 9" spiral-bound book with heavyweight pages that I use to test paint colors, decorate with left-over paint, etc. I scan the pages at high resolution and then can use them as backgrounds for postcards, digital collages, etc. I used to use fabric to wipe my brushes clean, but the colors get muddy and the fabric too crunchy to work with. Now if I decide that last color was a really bad idea, I still have an intermediate fabric scan to play with. Pretty smart, eh? :-)