Balancing Act

I have been very busy for the last 2 months: writing a book, filling custom orders for t-shirt quilts, military uniforms (who knew every day camo uniforms would make a beautiful quilt!) helping judge a quilt show and the everyday work of long arming for customers.

I struggle to make time for what I love the most-creating my own art. I am passionate about quilting on leather. The landscapes scream to me “Quilt me! Quilt me!” In my head I have about 50 projects in various stages of design.

I usually set myself targets: Complete XYZ project then I can do my own ABC project. Except for this particular time period, I seem to be going from one XYZ project to the next!

So I decided to use a calendar and schedule my time. So far it is working well. Today, my book is ready to upload to Amazon, all my bookkeeping is up to date, customer orders are ahead of promised finished dates, with the help of grandchildren, husband and daughter #1 my house got painted….and my art projects????? I was able to finish one of them!

Do you schedule your time in a calendar? How does it work for you? What ever you do, make sure you take the time to create art in your life!

Dahlia Lap Quilts

I fell in love with this print the first time I saw it. The colors, the flower, the idea of dense quilting in each pedal… My creative processes going wild. I woke up in the morning thinking of designs in the pedals. I fell asleep at night to thoughts of tiny stitched pedals and artfully placed ruler work.

Getting the panels was at first hard. By the time I went looking for them most stores were out. When I ordered on line I had to wait a month because the store hard all the prints on back order.

Finally the day came when it arrived. I quickly added my borders and loaded it on my long arm with soft Shannon Cuddle on the back. Challenging myself to do something new and different in each pedal. The results were amazing! Yep, I’m in love!

Applique Art

I have been experimenting with different types of applique for my wall art. I thought I would start with the traditional "Needle Turn" applique. I joined several ladies from the Mt. Hood Quilt Guild in a "small group" quilt meeting to learn this.

I definitely felt like a newbie here - there were so many things I didn't know: how big should the stitches be? which ones are we taking out? which ones stay? how come mine stick out funny when I'm done and yours don't? 

The real trick for me was to do small stitches and if one stitch was off, take it out and make it right. This is not a fast process! I found it best to do at night when I was winding down for the day and under no pressure to "hurry up and get anything done."

The basic easy steps: 1. Cut the piece to be appliqued. 2. Draw a faint outline of where the item should go on the main fabric. 3. Baste piece to the main fabric. (I tried to skip this step and it actually took longer because the piece would move off the spot where it was supposed to be.) 4. Using thread that is the same color as the piece you are appliqueing, start to attach to the main piece by turning under a small seem and making tiny stitches. Your stitches should not show on the top of the appliqued piece. 5. Clip curves as you need to and clip corners to cut out the bulk. 6. Anchor at the end.

Practice! Have fun!


Wall Art

Wall Art

I love creating with fabric and thread - the possibilities are endless!

In my recent piece, I was given a picture of the night sky and asked to recreate it in fabric and thread - AKA - painting with thread. As with many things in life, once you figure out how to do it, it is not that hard. Well, as long as your not tired or hungry or stressed out. And as long as you have lots of time. I suppose I could add "it might be easy for you to say!"

The basic steps: Put the base material together with batting and  backing on the long arm machine. Start sewing with the thread colors that will be in the background. Then move to the colors that will be in the foreground. Use lots of thread to ensure good color. Remove and bind. Attach sleeve for hanging.

In the end, I found this quite fun to do!