Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ho Ho Ho Blog Hop

See - I still quilt!  :)  I am participating in another Sew We Quilt blog hop, this time hosted by Carol!  This time around it's Christmas in July - oh my!

Here is what I have to share...

This is one of my favorite Christmas quilts...I love the way it is quilted.

It was all quilted on my Simplicity Quilters Classic...though this was before the long arm came into the house...

Those swirly borders are still one of my favorite designs to quilt.

This is one of my favorite things to make for gifts for friends and my Husband's coworkers.  These little candle mats...and we give them with a small candle.  I usually make them in a Chinese coin style with borders, do a quick stipple, bind, and then wrap them around the candle in the gift bag.   

Here's another favorite made of Minick & Simpson charms that comes out every year, I love this quilt.  Just a quick and easy one to sew together but it serves many uses and who doesn't love to decorate for the holidays?

Thank you again to all those who made this blog hop happen!  It is always fun to participate...wheew and can you believe that Christmas isn't really all that far away...oh my!  I better keep working on gifts!

Scroll down to see all the other bloggers and leave them nice comments too!  :)  Thanks for visiting!

July 31
Pumpkin Patch Quilter  (You Are Here!)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

S is for Synchronicity

Synchronicity - "is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, whereas they are unlikely to be causally related."  (Click to read more about Synchronicity via Wikipedia.)

Odd but wonderful things have been connecting the moments of my life lately.  Too many to go into great detail of here, but I tell you, when you are on the RIGHT path, the Universe sure lets you know it.  Recently I had a monumental (to me) revelation in my life and my artwork.  I let go and decided rather than to direct the path of my creativity, I would let my creativity direct me.  Since making that conscious decision, my eyes have been open and my heart has been open to so many wonderful new ideas, thoughts, and people!

Creatively speaking - here is the reflection of where I'm at.  I know I'm losing some of you with my less than traditional work, and gaining a few of you with it as well!  This may not be where I stand forever in my work but it's where I'm at right now.  It's what I'm compelled to make and I'm going to let it take me wherever it shall take me!  :)

Buddha painting has to become a quilt, don't you think?  LOL  Well I do!  Above is the beginning layout of my Buddha quilt.  It is super meaningful to me - and I'm over the moon at the thought of merging this idea onto fabric.

More painting is happening and I'm itching to blend painting with fabric.  I want to continue with airbrushing because it is so fun but I don't know if I have the room to do it.  I may be forced for now to work with fabric paints and a brush.

One of the nice things about painting is it is something I can do at the kitchen table...and my kids can sit at the table and do it with me.  When I pull out the acrylics and play my daughters usually go grab some computer paper and water color paints and become very inspired to paint themselves!  I love that we can share this together.  I think of growing up and standing by my own father while he painted or worked in his workshop.

Good things have been happening and lots of inspirational things too.  Today is a much needed family day after a week that seemed like it went on FOREVER!  :)

Oh and before I run off I did want to share - I'm sure you've heard me go on and on about my nerdy quilting fan admiration for Karen McTavish.  She is a bit of a quilting world rock star and I'm a shameless groupie!  LOL  I just really love that she's rebellious but still a master at whole cloth quilting which is a very traditional art - and that despite all the quilt world fame and recognition she remains very down to earth and accessible to people.  That is probably what I admire about her most of all.  

In any case it's wonderful to know that the Husband really listens.  My Husband asked me a while back, if I could meet or have a class with ONE quilting artist, who would it be?  Well I have so many favorites - oh my gawsh - how could I choose???  Well this was before I discovered Susan Shie - who would make my top picks a trio rather than a pair - but I had in the past always said either Karen McTavish or Sharon Schamber.  Well who knew he was actually paying attention to the answer???  I just sort of thought he was indulging me with quilty chat but really watching the baseball game!!!  LOL*  
The day before yesterday this arrived for me in the mail...  

...he had asked her if she might be able to send an autographed picture to me.  I am not one to really collected autographs but it's a huge past time for my Husband as he's a big sports enthusiast.  So the fact that he would go out of his way to contact her and ask for such a gift - and that Karen responded so kindly - now how sweet is that???  I feel blessed and loved.  :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Buddha Painting and Charity Quilt

I'm still discovering a process that works for me.  Because I'm moving into art quilting and blending my love for painting with my love for quilting - it's all new.  It's like starting all over again!  Right now it seems I get an idea or a style or a thought stuck in my head and then I want to recreate it in different ways.  I want to paint this Buddha a few different times, a few different ways.  Then I will take it to fabric and create it in quilt form - at least that's the plan.  You know how well I do with plans.  Not.  :)

Did you catch my Susan Shie inspired eye?  Part of what I love about her work is her figures always have a third eye - the inner eye.  Well, though it was extremely difficult after looking at all her work NOT to paint in a third eye, I chose a bindi and put my eye in Buddha's hands.  It's kind of symbolic of having the power to SEE the TRUTH in your own control.

My Dad is going to laugh because I was raised with lots of Buddhas around and for the longest time I wouldn't have been caught dead with one in MY house!!  :)  I had been exposed to these things all my life and I was just Buddha'd out.  All things come full circle.  This is the theme of my life at the moment.  

Still working on my journal quilt and I want to finish quilting it today.  I also finished this charity quilt for Cindy from my guild - I love the swirls!  :)  Lots going on around here - and it's wonderful to feel inspired!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Journal Quilt Tutorial Part 2

   I went back and forth over and over again as to whether I wanted to add texture with quilting or add writing.  After all - this is supposed to be a journal quilt.  I decided because Susan Shie is my inspiration for this quilt I would continue on with the writing.  She calls these "diary quilts".  I am so glad that I filled in the words because this little piece is SO much more meaningful - moving - and healing.

I decided to fill in the petals - though I may leave some empty for stitching and embellishing.  Though the idea here is to journal on my quilt - a huge part of me is the quilting, so I feel like I need to make a place for that here.

I have a lot left to go - today was cleaning and catch up day.  I have another charity quilt to share after I gain permission from the owner to post pictures.  I am still looking for quilts to quilt so if you have been thinking about sending something - NOW is the time!  :)

Here is a full on view of how much I've written in.  You may have to click on the photograph to get a real idea of what's happening here.  It doesn't look like much but this is the time consuming part.  Susan uses an air pen among other methods to fill in her writing.  I don't have a lot of options so I decided to use my favorite Micron Pigma pens.

The drawback to these pens is I write once, then I have to go back over the writing to darken it.  The upside - it's in my true handwriting and that makes it more personal.

I am a fan of the .45mm tip - though these come in all sorts of sizes.  Heat set them with an iron and they become permanent.

I have so much to do today but I cannot get this project off of my mind and I am determined to get this finished!!  My goal will be to complete the writing today and begin quilting it tomorrow.

***I'm linking up with Nina-Marie for her Off The Wall Friday - visit her by Clicking HERE!  :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Journal Quilt Tutorial - Part 1

I took so many pictures while making this that I thought it might make a fun tutorial!

This is the start of a journal quilt.  My inspiration comes from artists Susan Shie (who's artwork I'm kind of obsessed with at the moment) and RicĂ« Freeman-Zachery (who's blog first introduced me to journal quilting).  I love the bright colors of the artwork from both of these ladies and that is what drew me to what they were doing.  The idea of journaling on my quilt just appeals to me on so many creative levels...so I really wanted to try this idea and make it my own.

Eeep isn't that color just amazing???  I love it!  I am so excited to quilt on this!

I used my Jaquard Dye-na-flow paints and they worked wonderfully.  I was amazed at how vivid the colors were.  They are opaque enough to completely cover the white fabric but transparent enough to blend and create interesting effects with the other colors.

My fabric began completely white!  I used readily available bleached white muslin cut into a small rectangle to play on.  I knew I wanted something with a sunflower or a sun or a similar shape.

I didn't take a great picture but I'm just using an inexpensive fabric pen from JoAnns.  This kind of fabric pen you don't have to heat set - though at the end I did to set the paint.  I wanted something thicker than my pigma pens so I could cover more fabric quickly.  I discovered pretty quickly that fabric is wiggly when you write on it, so I used the same trick I use when writing out quilt labels.  I ironed that whole sucker to a hunk of freezer paper!!!

The pen is not my favorite but it got the job done for this particular project.  Not a ton of accuracy because the pen I used is long and tapered - but the freezer paper made a huge difference.

I drew in the areas I wanted to be bold and anchor my painting.

More drawing...now we're upside down here but it was easier to reach this way!  :)

I used my air brush (once upon a time I used that air brush for makeup!!) but you could use any variety of methods to fill in your quilt.  Fabric paint, fabric pens, fusible applique - I just wanted lots and lots of color!  The cool thing about the Dye-na-flow paints is they don't drastically change the feel of the fabric - they are light enough I will still be able to stitch through this.

Adding more color!

Yay!  Here's the finished result of my painting.  I had so much fun with this.  Next I need to add words - and then quilt it!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lois's Veterans Quilts

Is that how I write it?  Oh my, with children in my ear my grammar has flown right out the window...

In any case I have quilts to show!!!  Not that I don't have quilts in progress at any given moment or quilts always in transit - but here are a couple that just left my home.  They were made by the sweetest lady from my quilt guild and they will be donation quilts.  Didn't they turn out lovely?  I would be honored to receive such a gift...

I didn't do anything really fancy just some free hand quilting - but I think they turned out beautiful.

These blocks are delicious aren't they?

This block (delectable mountains) was a demonstration recently at my quilt guild - the ladies got together and made up these blocks and Lois pieced them into a top.  That is team work!

Hope you all are getting some sewing done out there!  If you get a moment pop by my blogging friend Michele's blog - she has a wonderful new addition to her blog where she is sharing the quilting that has inspired her - and she was so kind to include the quilting I did on Sharon's quilt!