Sunday, January 29, 2017


I have lots to talk about today but first I want to show you what I have been working on:
I am really proud of this piece!  This is my interpretation of lesson #5 in Christina Cameli's Craftsy class Wild Quilting. The object of this lesson was to demonstrate that wild quilting is a continuous process-that is one stitches from one element to another rather than going back and filling in.  I started with the big curvy feather filling in the empty spaces with the little spirals gradually working outward to the next feather. And so on.  What I like about this piece is how nicely the feathers fill the space and the sense of movement which is echoed by the spirals.

Here is my work for lesson #4:
I personally think this piece is a bit stiff.  Part of the definition of wild quilting is spontaneity.  This piece was planned out.  I had a hard time with this lesson and sketched out the pattern to quilt.  Christina says she does this also especially when she was beginning.  There are several elements to this piece which I like:  I like the undulating lines which create movement (big movement lover) complemented by the rigid up and down lines.  I love the center motifs I created.  All in all, I think it is good for a beginning piece.   Lesson #6 is next where we put together all we have learned.

And finally, I quilted the pattern for the Arabesque which I will be painting:
The paints should arrive in the mail tomorrow so maybe I will be brave enough to get started.  Most of the quilted lines above are continuous lines.  You can see where I have improved my control skills to make more even, smooth lines but still have a ways to go.  The square is about 16x16 inches.

There you have it-free motion quilting-I am proud of myself!!

Update on the dreaded Sweet Surrender

Okay, I have done some work on this-all six triangles have their 10 diamonds and 5 triangles made and in individual bags to keep them separate.  Maybe this week I will do some actual stitching. 

Speaking of Sweet Surrender, Judi Madsen has very kindly given me permission to display her quilting job on a Sweet Surrender she did for a client.  It is stunning!!  She makes the quilt come alive.  Here are a few photos:

Isn't this lovely!!  You can see more on her blog Green fairy Quilts.  Also she has a new class thru Iquilt called Fabulous background for Applique  which looks very good.  I will probably take that class in hopes it helps me quilt SS.


It is that time of the year again.  No matter where you live in the world you can record bird populations for Audubon/Cornell University.  You can spend as much or as little time as you want-they appreciate bird info from all sources.  You can find more at: 
It is fun and you become part of something bigger.

Speaking of wild life, my husband saw an amusing sight on his walk in the woods.  He was walking by a frozen, snow covered creek.  There sat two beavers with their heads together over a hole in the frozen creek.  They looked for all the world like two engineers discussing how best to proceed with this important piece of work-how best to keep it open, maybe deciding work rotas or any improvements as this is their life line from their den to the world outside.


Your moment of Zen:
(Thank you John Stewart-we miss you so much but we are thankful you have bequeathed us Samantha Bee and the madman Steven Colbert)

I intend this new bit to be a look at some whimsical, natural, or other image which might give one a different outlook on life.  Last week it was the beauty of chrysalises. This week it is the unbelievable magic of this castle fairyland of the frozen north which takes us all back to our childhoods and being read fairy tales maybe the one of the Ice Princess!

So long and happy quilting!

I am linking up with:

Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Free Motion by the River, Whoop Whoop,
and Off the Wall Friday.           

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


No posts for one month.  I have been hibernating and as all of you who have experienced a total withdrawal from anything creative, it can be hard.

Mexican Tile
This time things were a bit different however.  Instead of the usual depression and anxiety (will it ever come back????!!), I became curious as to what was going to happen.  I guess I have been thru this grueling experience often enough to know inspiration does return.  So I peacefully sat with kitten in the recliner and played computer games (I like adventure puzzle games like the Longest Journey or Grim Fandango) and just generally chilled to wait it out.

What seems to have emerged is a new emphasis on free motion quilting and then to paint the quilted design.  I know I will never give up applique as this is my real love.  Just mixing it up a bit.  The block above is my first attempt at fabric painting which I finished yesterday.  I used Jacquard textile paint on Kona cotton which was prepared for dyeing (really just washed to remove some finisher).  The batting was 2 layers: cream warm and natural and black hobbs 2/80 with black backing.  Double batting makes a nice loft and the black absorbs any bleed thru.   Here are photos of the back and the front before it was painted.

You can see the little wobbles in the quilting but this were greatly minimized during the painting process.  I looked at Mexican tiles while thinking about this and worked on designs until I realized a continuous line pattern.

I have drawn out another piece to paint-in fact it was the original drawing I made to begin fabric painting-but I decided to start on something simpler for my first project hence the colorful Mexican tile.  I am glad I did this because I learned some pitfalls and techniques.  I had not taken a class or anything but watched a couple you-tube videos.

Here is my next piece which is based on Near Eastern design especially that of the Cairo Tentmakers. (Google this).

I am not quite finished with the design yet and am thinking of using jewel tones to paint it.  Pretty exciting!

Darn Quiltmania! I was so relieved I did not want to make this year's mystery quilt-I have enough projects in my mental list.  What did they do?  In the January issue they feature the most lovely pattern by Yoko Saito called Imaginary Garden which looks like she has tossed flowers onto the background.  It is just my style.  Maybe I can paint a version.

I have begun the process of quilting Chuck, Susan, and Me.  One of the problems with beginning this was the backing fabric was too yellow.  I overdyed it a bit to subdue it and it is usable now.  

What do you think?  I was trying to make the backing agree with the yellow in the border fabric.  The original is on the left and the overdyed is on the right.  

And finally, I have resumed work on the dreaded triangles for Sweet surrender.  I have had no choice but to take this to my sewing machine.  I form the fabric around the paper pieces and then carefully sew on the edges of the paper.  The results are not quite a pretty as when I did it by hand but there's exceptionally pretty and there is completed.  It was one or the other. And completed won out! I sewed the 6 edge triangles-all that remains is 6 big triangles.

While I was hibernating I explored being a chrysalis.  They are quite beautiful and I was proud to be a part of that. Which one would you be?

I am linking up with:
Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Free Motion by the River, Whoop Whoop,
and Off the Wall Friday.