Thursday, February 26, 2009


At our art quilt group, MARTHA showed us how to do Zentangle. This littel diddy is my first attempt! You can google it to read all about it. The basic idea is to DOODLE...constructive, therapeutic doodling and it is FUN! Remember in high school doodling all over your folders? Boyfriends names, Greek sorority letters, inspirational phrases, friends names in hearts of who was going out with whom that week~
You use an 01 or 25mm pigment pen to get a thin, defined line and a heavier paper, I think it's watercolor paper.
Try this. Just make a wild TANGLE and fill in the open areas with various designs. It is mesmerizing and truly interesting to see how it turns out.
Google images of Zentangle to get a plethora of ideas!
This weekend I have grand plans to complete or at least work on...
  1. mini quilt for swap
  2. Red Door art quilt
  3. journal page for Feb. (already printed cool image of heart & wings, and lyrics)
  4. Fiber Art for a Cause Collage Mania piece
  5. stitch on my current CRAZY quilt RR block
  6. knit more GREEN sweater

That's my list of current obligations to creativity! I will let you know how it goes by Sunday night.

Today I learned...

  1. How to repair a plastic gas service line with a stab coupling! REALLY. I can get in a ditch and proceed using my little notecard with step-by-step instructions and repair a ruptured line! Really. really....
  2. my cats DO get on the ledge of the cistern in my basement. Must be where they retrieve and play-to-death the baby snakes they annually lay on the kitchen floor for our enjoyment!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Finished Mermaid Crazy Quilt Block for RR

Here is the finished pieced block. I went for under & over the sea idea and think it will turn out some interesting embellishing by my RR mates. There are two mermaids printed on fabric..

I sewed the fabrics down using invisible thread figuring the crazy quilted stitches would camouflage it. It doesn't bother me either way though. I thought a MOON in the sky would look cool...maybe before it goes I will add it.

I also met with the girl I am co-chairing the raffle quilt for next guild quilt show. It's October 2010 but it takes a surprisingly long time coordinate everything. We have a design sketched out (original) color pallet chosen and approximate size. Shopping for the fabric in a month and then get things moving along. I have worked with TRACY on a raffle quilt before and she is fun & easy to get along with...a great collaboration!

Knitting at the library tonight! We have been meeting for 3 years now! I have learned so much from them and truly enjoy their company! LINDA has designed a knit top down sweater for American Girl Dolls....her & BARB were working on them. A-DANG-dorable! I will try to get a picture of them next time we meet. TERRY gave me a prayer shawl she made my friend thoughtful and appreciated.

Today I learned...

  1. 54% of properties in my little CITY are rentals.
  2. Two occupants in the crash of Flight 3407 were members of Chuck Mangione's band. I listened to him back in the day. Jazz.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mermaid CQ....the beginning

I am in a CQ RR with 5 other ladies and we are mailing for 1st round NEXT Saturday! Of course I am just starting on my piece. It is to be around 24" square. We have to have a printed image of a mermaid as the one prerequisite. The first time I printed on fabric I printed on the paper side (new printer feeds differently). Got it RIGHT the 2nd time.

I decided to print this vintage image of 2 girls in a rowboat. This will serve as the top of my piece, above the UNDERSEA fauna that is yet to be imagined!

The color of the fabric is actually soft pink, an old skirt from Salvation Army....affectionately and from here on out to be referred to as SALLY ANN'S. I originally cut many pink fabrics and auditioned them but in the end I really liked how that one played out.

I will piece the bottom and sew them together.

What must be remembered (and REALIZED by non CQers) is that a naked Crazy Quilt block looks rather like a newborn.....unadorned & simple. Over time, with much attention and creative thinking and love it becomes what it was made to be!

I will post the entire block before I mail it.

This awesome piece was in the background of a previous post but I wanted to show it up close. My friend SHARON made this beauty using watercolor wax crayons. What fun. She used real leaves as a pattern. The RAIN is a decorative stitch and was just the right touch to finish this off. Sharon gave our quilt guild a demo on this today. I BOUGHT them and look forward to trying them out.

And my friend MELANIE gave a demo on making purses from place mats! This is my favorite one. She made it for her Mom. The fabric is gathered on this one and has a gorgeous beaded trim sewn on the seam. Those handles......Curtain tiebacks!

SO as you can imagine I learned ALOT today..

  1. Besides the above mentioned we learned how to do invisible machine applique. Using invisible thread and dinky zigzag stitch.
  2. A foolproof way to finish your binding. I NEEDED to know this...!
  3. George Washington was 6'2". Never would have guessed.....on the coin he looks short!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Red Door

This door is awesome! I wish I knew where it was, who painted it, when, why RED? I could be this door! I am going to be 48 next month and truthfully I feel peely and warped sometimes!! My joints ache (peely) and I am definitely gimpy in the morning (warpy) til I work all the kinks out.....BUT still it is an appealing door and oh so interesting!

I have printed this image on fabric and plan to make an art quilt using it as my main bit. As part of my Art Girlz Quilt group, we use the http:// this book as a guild line for learning a few things. It has chapters dedicated to different design issues and homework to inspire you to make an ART QUILT.
I missed a little on my "perspective" lesson from the 2nd chapter! I may redo it. If I do I will take a picture & post.

Today I learned....
  1. READ all instructions to a pattern 1st, then read again! I have to rip out my green sweater AGAIN. I completely left out the *KNIT 2nd row* after the increase row on the yoke.... I totally missed it TWICE!! At least I am only on my 2nd sister ripped 5 x's and her friend Nancy ripped out 7 x's!!! Hope this isn't the way the MY story goes!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Black & White Challenge

I thought I would share my "Little Black Dress" with you even though it was my guild's challenge for 2007. YES, that is me at our quilt show last October....I received Most Creative award! I was VERY happy with that. The challenge was to use only BLACK & WHITE and one other color. I drew up the dress pattern and to get the gradated look on the skirt I cut long pointy triangular pieces of fabric, beginning with black on black, to black with a bit of white til I got towards bottom and the fabrics were white with a bit of black.
Fused to Timtex. Free motion quilted ALL over it to keep all those PESKY edges down.
Made the bodice out of black velvet and the bands from luscious red silk.
It hangs on a mini hanger I found at Salvation Army. It had an 80's rag doll hanging on it. Tossed the doll...the hanger was perfect. Thin satin ribbon attached to dress....and all set to go.
I had FUN making this piece!
My dress is surrounded by my Art Girlz group members. We are a small group that formed and meet once a month to indulge a more creative itch, ala Quilting Arts magazine.
The one in the left corner is Martha's. She took a Jane Sassaman class and her flowers have a definite Sassaman flavor. It is gorgeous!
The one to the upper right is Elaine's blow-up of a particular part of a flower. Really cool!
The little leaf piece on my head is Sharon's. She played with watercolor wax crayons and what great results. I love it! She wrote that she gave herself permission to play and this was what came of the play session!

I learned today:
  1. 1 million Earth's would fit inside the Sun. It's true. I doubted Chicken (aka Jason). I asked Jeeves. It is TRUE!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

CQ Project & a Few Thoughts

I came up with this idea of a crazy quilted flower over a year ago. I made the petal & center patterns and pieced them up thinking that if I had THAT done by June of last year, I would actually have all the embellishing done and ready to enter in my LQG's quilt show last October! I neglected to take into account LIFE! I am now shooting for October 2010. I have a few close-ups (I can do that now that I have a new camera with the capability to MACRO) to share with you and will keep you apprised of my turtle-paced progress. I DO ascribe to the "Slow and Steady wins the Race" addage however.

On another note.....BLOGGING....I already love the process and possibilities that this holds for me. I am attracted to blogs for the inspiration and motivation to create and realize it can be a great tool, like a DAILY magazine. And for those of us who are "magaholics", you know the excitement, the momentary adrenalin rush when you see that new issue of your mag of choice on the newstand! There are endless blogs with limitless information that fit any interest and I hope to be a blip in that world.


I have ALOT to how to post blogs I follow; how to have my own designed banner (although I kind of like my first attempt);how come my profile pic and little blurb don't show; how to actually control picture placement within my posts; can't I include verbiage next to each pic. These are just a few things that I know I DON'T know. Is there a DUMMIES book for BLOGGERS!? I need that!

As I like to say one should learn something new every day.....TODAY I learned:

  1. How to take close-up-macro-cool pictures
  2. Count your stitches often , so you don't have to rip out 5 hours worth of knitting (yep, that green sweater I posted!)
  3. Sr. dog food works to slim your dog down by increasing elimination from 1-2 x's daily to 4-5 x's daily....good thing I have 6 acres to spread the "goods" around!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Flight 3407

I woke up this morning to the news that a commuter plane from Newark to Buffalo had crashed into a house less than 20 miles from my here. Ice may have played a part. We have had a harrowing winter really, but earlier this week we had mild temperatures. Yesterday was back to winter however, with more snow & wind.

We just never know what each day will bring. Cliche? Yes...But so very true.

Thinking of the families affected by last nights event.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Knitting & Crazy quilting

When my sister showed me the sweater she and her friend were knitting I knew I had to make it for ME!! I chose Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in my niece's favorite color, Lemongrass. It is so fast & easy & the yarn is perfect for this sweater. The website on the pattern

I am also participating in a Crazy Quilt Round Robin (CQRR) with 5 other talented stitchers. We are to create a mermaid themed 24" square pieced block but in a more "arty" way, which is to say no rules! I have an idea sketched out, just need to figure out how to get it down in fabric. I have chosen this fish-chick to be my main maiden...

I will to print the image onto fabric and get sewing. I have to be ready to mail my pieced block by 2-28. I am really excited about this since everyone working in this RR is very artisitic & creative. I look forward to getting to know them through stitching!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Art Quilt

I am part of a small group that meets monthly to indulge our art quilt tendencies. Our first challenge was to interpret a photo into 15"x15" quilt. The hardest part of the challenge was choosing a photo! I went through pics from my childhood..nothing inspired me. I went through more current pics and still nothing excited me. SO I took my substandard digital camera to my little CITY and snapped this one of a church window on Main St.

I was reminded to not be owned by my photo when I read a quote from Ellen Lindner....and I came up with this.
I did my first bit at free motion quilting with pebbling in the background...FUN! I thought it needed something else so I dry brushed gold over the pebbles. Then I had to come up with away to finish the edges since I had used shirtailor interfacing, very stiff, and wrinkles if bent, so I couldn't turn inside out. I mixed Tacky glue with the gold paint, spread it in a long ribbon on a trash bag and dipped the edges so it resembles a soldered edge! I love it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time to stop thinking & start doing

I have been thinking of blogging for over a year, ever since I happened upon my first BLOG. I do remember realizing how much information, inspiration & motivation could be gleened from this new world. I am a fan & follow many blogs with anticipation.

That said, I will share a project with you! My LQG had a workshop last month & one of the members taught us how to make a jacket from a deconstructed sweatshirt. I had just found out 2 days before, that my very good friend, Sandy, had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She has been a hospice nurse for many years.

I made it for her, to HUG her as she goes through aggressive chemo treatment beginning tomorrow.