Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Crafts 2009 and Blue Willow installed

I made this for my step mother, I am not sure if she looks at my blog but if she does.....Merry Christmas. I try to make her something every year. I got this kit from a friend in my guild. This is the site grabngokits. They are so fun to make. She gives you everything you need in the kit to work on it, anywhere. She even encloses a little pair of scissors.
I didn't pay attention to where the leaves would fall and realized that when I put the red petals on. I ended up doing this one on the machine but I am working on one by hand right now. I have enjoyed sitting by the fire and the Christmas tree working on it.
I finally put my quilt under the table and here is why. I was lecturing at the Hannah Dustin Quilt Guild in Hudson NH last week and brought this as part of my lecture (you can see more photos of it if you scroll down). I told them that it was to put under the glass of my dinning room table. One of the questions at the end of the lecture was "Have you put it under the glass yet?" and I had to admit that I hadn't. I guess I wasn't ready to commit that it was finished and that now one will spill something that seeps under the glass.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Chistmas Crafts 2009

The tree is finally decorated! It was up for a week undecorated. It was very nice actually. We live across the street from a Chistmas tree farm. We usually go over sometime around my birthday 12/3 I just turned 44. It was a beautiful day this year, 65 degrees and sunny:)

I love the tree with the lights off. We have a wonderful mix of old ornaments, hand made ornaments and pretty ones bought from the Mendon Country Gift Barn and places like it.

Below is a wreath Paige made in Kindergarten ~ she is so artistic, all of my kids are. I attribute that to putting a marker basket and paper on the island since they could hold a marker. I have encouraged play-dough, finger painting, shaving cream...all the messy stuff.



I made some fiber postcards for Christmas. I like to send them to family. We haven't taken a family shot yet. I must take one, even if it doesn't go out the public, I need to record this Christmas.

Here is a shot with the postcards on the Christmas tree I bought with some $ my step mother sent me for my birthday. I bought it at the MCGB.


I bought to display my bags for the Handmade Holiday event at the Franklin Mill. I will use it for my breakable ornaments in the dinning room.



Below on the left is a new bag design I am working on. The fabric is corduroy and I just love it~

I hope you are all enjoying your decorating and creating for the Holidays, if you blogged about it, leave me the link in the comments so I can check it out.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christine Fries Workshop

I took a workshop with Christine Fries in September (I am program chair of my quilt guild, thimble pleasures) and I loved it! She is the best lecturer and speaker~ I learned so much from her workshop. She is knowledgeable about everything; thread, tension, applique...
I bought her painted background at the workshop. She sells everything you need during her workshop. She has specific things she likes and she has good reason for liking them. Her quilts are just amazing. I feel lucky to have something of hers. I will admit it is tough to make a piece that looks just like someone else's work. I will continue to take classes though because I learn so much each time.

You can click on the pictures for a closer look....

Making the hedge hogs was so fun, we used water soluble and tulle in a hoop.

We also made the butterflies with water soluble and fabric. Her butterflies were gorgeous.

I love the 3D effect of the leaves and grasses.



I had the perfect color thread for quilting...always a good thing.


My daughter Jillian wants this quilt so she will get it for Christmas:) ssshhhhhh don't tell her.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Morgan!

Morgan (my oldest) turned 18 last week! I can't believe it. She is a remarkable girl. I am very proud of her. Whatever she does in life, she will be successful. She is planning on Nursing school and has all her college applications in...now to see where she will go. She will make a great nurse. I love this picture of her (she is the red head on the right and that is Paige on the left). It was taken at the Frog Pond at the Boston Common a few years ago. She is brave enough to try anything but smart enough to be cautious. We used to build a skating rink in the back yard - fun for the whole family.
I sold this bag last week, to a wonderful client in Florida. I hope she likes it:)
I made this Christmas tree skirt during my weekend get a way with my quilt guild. I saw the pattern here at sew4home which I found through Vicki Welsh's Whistlestop Web Tour.
I wanted to buy new fabrics for it but I am trying to use up what I have. My friends at the GAW thought it looked like something from the new Dr. Seuss' Grinch movie...that was the goal:)
I did a little quilting and added some Swarovski crystals.
Here is a postcard I made for a friend who just had surgery. She is a quilter so I knew this would be perfect for her. It is a Michael Miller fabric called Dysfunctional Family:)
I made and sent 4 postcards the other day. These are the simple type just fabric and crystals. Everyone seems to enjoy getting them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall 2009 Get A Way

I went to my quilting get a way last weekend and had a blast as usual. It was so nice to sew from Friday morning till Sunday afternoon. There were meals and shopping trips in between but most of the time is spent creating and laughing. The group I go with is such fun. We have a remote fart machine that we plant around the room it is so funny to see the reaction. It never gets old! I bought a bag of plastic cock roaches this year and they were fun too.
There were several of my closest friends missing this year due to all kinds of reasons and they were missed.
Here is my new light box I bought at Ocean State Job Lot - I really like the results.
This is a bag I made for myself for the Christmas season. I made it while giving a tutorial to my friend Gail. She is an excellent quilter and her bag came out beautifully, wish I had a picture.
The inside is fun!



Here is a custom Murphy Bag I made for a woman in Florida as a Christmas present to herself.
This bag has a cute handle...It's adjustable:)

We have a lot of birthdays in the next few months and Kevin's come first - he turned 45! He is so happy with his new dirt bike:)


Monday, November 09, 2009

Thankful Everyday...

Here is what I did with my painted pieces from one of my classes in Houston. Look at the post below for details. I had fun (most important part) and did the whole thing in about 2 hours. I am under the gun to finish something for a challenge. I needed a 10" x 10" piece about being Thankful ~ this represents so many things to be thankful about but the one I wanted to express was my trip to Houston. I am so lucky to be able to go away and do what I love with the full support of my family. I wake up thankful everyday!

This picture was taken inside and the colors are true. I used my hand dyed fabric for the borders.

This picture was taken outside (beautiful sunny day) and you can see the quilting a little better. I tried to add ghost black eyed susan's in the quilting and some meandering for fill. I know people say it's overused but sometimes it's the right choice...like today when time was short:)

I took this picture about a month ago...before I went to Houston. I think it would make a great painted piece....I am looking forward to using acrylics on fabric again.

I am participating in Art Everyday of the Month and so far it has been wonderful. I sew everyday but doing it purposefully to be creative has be great.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Houston IQF 2009 part two

While I was in Houston at the International Quilt Festival I took a class with Patt Blair Her quilts are beautiful! The class was called "portraits eveyone can paint" We used tsukineko inks. I LOVED it. I can't wait to play with them again.

I chose to do a portrait of myself because I figured if it didn't come out good the person I chose wouldn't be happy:) I am pleasantly surprised at the results. It isn't easy to look at yourself and embrace how you really look!

This is how it looked right after the class.

I did added some more detail to the eyes and the teeth...
I added some borders...I used a piece of Christine Fries' hand dyed fabric...it was the perfect color wave for this. I only wish I had inked the background with another color. I could take the borders off and do it but I realized this is only for me, next time I use this flesh color fabric I will make sure I do something in the background. The dilemma is how do I quilt it?? I have to do some research on the best way to quilt the face, I don't want to ruin it!
Below is another class I took was called Magic Garden 3 D taught by Traci Lyn Huskamp and her mother in law Marilyn. They were great teachers and I learned so much in thier class. We used acrylic paints and a light table. Traci is a wonderful artist and photographer, too. I bought her book and I am so glad, it has tons of information in it.
On the left are the photo copies we used in the class ~ on the right are my results.

Here is the latest practice piece on chameuse with silk thread and silk batting. I have learned a lot doing this type of intense quilting. I hope to make a bag using this technique, the texture is so pretty. I am not sure what I will do with it.....



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Houston IQF 2009 part one

I had a fabulous time in Houston. The Festival Director Karey Bresenhan, and her staff, are doing a wonderful job of bringing over 50,000 people together to share in a common interest and have a blast while doing it! If you want to see all the winners from the show and a whole bunch of other cool stuff go here and click on the winners button on the left side of the page. I took awesome classes and went to a terrific machine quilting forum. I met lots of cool people and had a nice little break from being the mother of four.

This quilt is called My Quilt Room by YASUKO ITO and Oharibako of CHIBA CITY, CHIBA REF, JAPAN and it is one of my favorites!!!

The Japanese do unbelievable work! They are extremely clever with fabric (much of which I consider ugly) Their quilts are just amazing...This one is a group quilt of their sewing rooms. They won second place in the group category.
This is such a clever way to join their blocks!!! Little slippers attach the blocks and you can see through the quilt...
Another group quilt I loved (of course because I grew up in Melrose and live in MA) is this one of Fenway Park...so cool - they got third place in the category.
The details of the Fenway Park quilt are below...



My friends and travel buddies...Terri, Tammy, me, and June. Missing from this picture is Sue and Elaine. My friend (and roommate last year) Cathy took this shot. We were having A drink at the hotel and had a super time catching up. I saw lots of friends I met last year...so cool to see them again. I think it safe to say that we had a great time together. I brought 5 friends along this year. A couple had been to market years ago but none had ever been to festival. June was the perfect roommate:)

I donated this quilt to the IQA auction and I was thrilled to see the bid sheet (posted below with the names spray painted out) That made me feel good:)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Black and White Diaper Bag

I have a bunch of pictures to upload from my trip to Houston (I had a blast) but until I do that here are some shots of a commissioned bag I made. They wanted a diaper bag and wallet made from the same black and white fabric I used in a bag I made last year for the recipient. They wanted the J added to personalize it. I made the changing mat out of some soft white fabric I had and white Naugahyde.
I used metallic thread for the quilting on the J...always a challenge but with nice results.

It measures 20"x15"x4" - it has a zipper closure and 10 pockets inside.
I used a cute black and white polka dot for the handles and a hand dyed (purchased in Houston) turquoise for the welt and J.

The wallet is a design by June Peckingham...I have made it several times and it always comes out nice. I added an outside pocket for a cell phone. I also did a velcro closure instead of a snap.
Swarovski crystals added to the bag and wallet give it that special sparkle I love:)
The inside has a 6 credit card pockets, a check book and cash section and a zippered pocket for change. There is also a spot for recietps behind the zippered section and a wristlet. I had fun pulling fabric for this one.
I delivered it today and they loved it:)