October 29, 2009

Gourds are weird and a pin....

Have you ever looked closely at a gourd? Weird looking, but fascinating.

And somewhere along the years I acquired this pin. I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, but I love the detail of this. When I turned it over there was a website printed on the back. I don't know anything about it, but if you are into pins.... check it

Posted by Picasa

October 26, 2009

Pencil Kit

One of the finished pencil kits

This pencil kit has slots for pencils and pens only and no pocket. The zippered pocket is shown here.

The material on the outside of this kit is recycled grocery bag. I saw a similar technique used here. Above you see what the bag looked like when the paints were drying. And below is a close up.

I'm not sure how this will hold up over time, but it was neat to try. I used fusible interfacing on the opposite side of the painted grocery bag. I think this gave it some additional stability and allowed the paper to be sewn without too much perforation on the edges.

Below are two more pencil kit covers. I'll post the directions for the kit- one with a pocket and one without.

October 24, 2009

Sampling some green squares for the background of Mulligan Lake.
-boring work-

A recent finish. Linda's quilt- she does nice work, great colors and the prairie points add a nice dimension.

Being inspired by her bright colors against black and using my original kit for a pattern - I went to work on another. I was asked a few times for the directions, so I'll take measurements along the way and post later. There are many ways to make an art pencil kit, mine is really easy and can be tweaked to any size.

-In other news-
We had winter, spring, fall and back to winter wrapped into this week.
The Yankees play the Angels tonight. In case you didn't know... If you are not a true Yankees fan you are an Angels fan by default. That's just how it is even if you don't care. Long live the Rally Monkey. (though, I think that's the stupidest thing....)
I think Nicholas got voted off of PR, I didn't see the whole show. I'll have to watch next week. Where is the drama this year, btw? My interest is wavering.
-happy weekend-

October 21, 2009

Mother Nature's Treasure Chest...

-clear blue-
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- a 12 inch leaf-

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

-a surprise flower on a plant which otherwise had died off a month ago-
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

-bright green leaves-
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

-another unexpected - in real life the color is the most magnificent shade of pink-

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

-vibrant orange from the shade garden-

Posted by Picasa

October 19, 2009

Look~ quiltlet

Using the creative prompt Look and mostly recycled items, I finished my Look quiltlet.

If you haven't been reading along - click the cow in the sidebar and you will find info on the creative prompts. I've challenged myself a step further to take my responses and create a 12 x 12 quiltlet, using found items in the sewing room or a previously collected stash - nothing will be purchased specifically for this project.

The pair of glasses are my original doodle. For the quiltlet I painted them and added the lenses from the plastic bag the Boston Globe is delivered in. The letters were cut from various quilting magazines - it says Look what I made using recycled stuff.

The small pieces of metal are from some type of broken hand held device found in the junk drawer and soda can pulls. Christmas tree lights wrapped with wire are hung from thread scraps. There is a dial from something, a spring from something else and a circle cut from a Fiber One bar.

The round balls are the beads I made from newspaper and there are two water bottle tops. The plastic looking strips are from recycled food wrapping that was washed, dried and used under a painting project to protect the counter. Once I was finished with the painting project I used a heat gun and the plastic wrap shrunk up and created a cool texture.

Posted by Picasa

This is probably my least favorite quiltlet to look at, but my most favorite to make. Funny.


Oh, and my husband was wondering why he hadn't received a 'shout out' recently on the blog..... -so here you go honey-

Over my longarm is a row of lights. They are bright, so I can see what I'm doing..... He wondered if the lights were too bright, and maybe I should wear a Minor's visor to protect my eyes. (?) Thanks honey. I'll consider it.... and offer your suggestion up here for any other longarmers who might want to invest in a Minor's visor.


October 15, 2009

recycling in progress and Mulligan Lake

~A continuation of look what I can make with recycled cr#%!~
Using cut shapes from: sample paint strips, expired raffle tickets a fluorescent warranty card (the Spanish version), painted coffee filters and dryer sheets, I glue stuck them to the dork foundation. Over everything I put a layer of black organza and quilted it down.

I didn't want the quilting thread to be another element in this already mish mashed piece, so I went ahead and used clear thread. Clear thread is not a preferred thread of mine, but it does have it's place for stitching in the ditch and invisible applique. In this instance, however, it worked fine for quilting.

The layer of organza changed the look of the colors completely. I never would have tried this had I not been doing these quiltlet self challenges. For an art quilt, it gave a a neat translucent look. I will try it again.


For some reason I thought Mulligan Lake needed a fence that ran on the right side at the bottom of the hill. Using an off white fabric I sampled a fence, thinking - quilting lines for weeds and vines. Maybe tiny beads for color. I realized the fence was a little too big, and totally looked like a juvenile barnyard fence.

A similar, smaller version of a stone fence (shown below) might be more appropriate. Oh, and I finished the left side of the 'inlet' but forgot the pix and I'm contemplating doing the background, behind the hills - as pieced squares set on the diagonal. Not sure. I hear this weekend's weather is supposed to be inside weather - good for sewing weather. So I will see what I can come up with then.

And tonight is Guild night which is always entertaining for a variety of reasons. I'm sure tonight won't disappoint.

October 14, 2009

Recycling Day...

...It really is and before I took everything out, I did some rummaging. Which then prompted a quick rifling through the junk drawer. Look at all the stuff I found, all to be used on the next quiltlet for the creative prompt look - look what you can make with recycled cr#%! (The other panel of the dork bag will be the foundation)

While waiting for the painted coffee filters to dry, I finished Dolores' quilt. A sweet lady who made two cute house quilts years and years ago. Her intent was to hand quilt them, but never did.... soon she will have her quilts to give as gifts.

Now back to finish the other while I contemplate a plan for my recycled cr#%.

For now...

October 12, 2009

A finish

The background of this piece started as a dorky looking bag, you can see it's before pix here. Using snips of fabrics, threads and tulle I modified the background. Some of the tulle was melted away with a heat gun and I used paint sticks, gold leaf and glitter to fill in the spaces. Because I quilted this with just batting and no back, I took a piece of back fabric the size of the front and attached fusible to it. Then I stitched the front and back together pillow case style. Once I flipped the right sides out, I edge stitched at 1/4" from the edge and ironed. Using clear thread, the flowers were attached. There are several crystals, but they don't show up in the picture.

October 11, 2009

A do-over...

...or a mulligan, as they say.

This is the swan quilt. It was posted awhile ago, and I think used as my blog header in the spring. I like it, but when finished, knew I would do it over. So, that is what I'm doing. And here you see it below, taped to the wall. I don't have a design wall, painter's tape seems to work well for short periods of time.

The water is painted fabric from when the first quilt was made. This time I'm not using a muslin foundation. With metallic threads and quilting lines about 1/8" apart the foundation made the piece thick and fussy for finishing. Candle light yarn was used through the bobbin and I would like to do that again.

The second piece- I would like it to have more color. I'm toying with the idea of four swans. The dock is going to show more. You can see below, on the first- I made some thread work trees with snips of green fabric for leaves. There is not a lot of contrast between the trees and the background. I'd like to work that out a bit better this time.

I like the swans swimming in the reeds. But this time I'm going to make them out of fabric and add just a few threads. Again, it needs more color in the foreground with maybe some flower branches and cat tails. On the first, the swans were made using different techniques each. This time I think I'll use a method similar to the swan below, using interfacing. But I will add some extra batting behind to make it more dimensional for quilting. That is my plan... for now, anyway.

And lastly, there has to be a fisherman. I sketched out a figure and shrunk it on the photo copier. He is still a little too big, so back to the shrinking machine for him. And he'll add a little pop of color somehow. Maybe a red jacket.

Just decided, this will be called Mulligan Lake.

....So that is what I have going....

-Until next time...

October 9, 2009

Creative Prompts and a recover....

Jaye at artquiltmaker continues to provide a creative prompt/week. This week she threw in a surprise prompt: Purple.

I was compelled to doodle out my memory of 'Harold and the Purple Crayon'. Great, little, first-reader books. My son loved them. Harold was always doodling out really cool adventures using only his purple crayon.


Who doesn't love a freshly sharpened pencil using a hand crank sharpener?



Admittedly, this was quick.(they all were, actually) But I do love the Crab Apple tree out the sewing room window. The birds stop to nest and sing.


And this was a rescue. The flowers and leaves were recycled from another project. They will be much happier here.

It started as the piece shown below- to be a handbag. Really. Where was I going carrying that? The dork parade? Thankfully I stopped myself... Anyway. The flowers are not attached, but in the coming days I'll work on it and post how I finished it off.

In other news...
I cleaned the sewing room and put up new lights. Tacky, but I can see. ya!
I counted my unfinished projects. Do you have a lot? ugh.
The quilt work is piling up and my head is swimming with ideas.
It's supposed to rain today and tomorrow.
Eperson is 'out' from PR. I liked him.
The Sox lost last night.