Little bits of finishes

This year’s Artisan Showcase is fast approaching and I need to finish up whatever pieces I can. Occasionally I mine through the stacks of fabrics that clutter up my worktable and organize what I find. A pile of ‘to be finished’ pieces grows on one corner and I sometimes admit to myself that there are pieces that will never make it to a finished afterlife! Deadlines are the motivators for going through that pile and actually doing the final finishes.

This piece is the cornerstone of  my unfinished pile.

It was a challenge piece from my Knot Even Quilters group and was finished for a show deadline. Unfortunately,  it was too big to be hung in the available space. I don’t want to take it apart and return the sections to their owners yet, because I would like to find at least one venue for it!

I got another piece close to the finish line…just needs a label and the sleeve sewn down!

It was originally going to have a bunch of beads on it, but I fell out of love with that idea. I finished it up with machine quilting, sewed a sleeve on it and now it only needs a label. Done!

And I can’t resist one more photo and a detail of my little village. It’s actually hanging on my  wall as I’m writing this. It’s just so cute and I really, really love it.

There will be more of these little villages in my future!

But it’s the weekend which is grandson time. I’m much more concerned with quality time with him than I am with any pile of unfinished art pieces or deadlines!

But those deadlines are still there, so I do hope to have a few more finishes next week….



Village ready to quilt

My little improv village is all ready to quilt. I selected the border that is the same as the background fabric, but threw in just a bit of whimsy!

I toyed with the idea of piping or multiple borders with this fabric, and another that I didn’t take a photo of.

I liked the look of the black/white and decided to use the colorful fabric as a binding. It will be just wide enough to act as a tiny border with color. I think that’s all it will need.

This weekend we also had a discussion of batting basting tape. With our little smart phones, we looked it up and found that there are several brands and sizes from which to choose. I happened to have some that I got in a gift basket at some point so I decided that today was the day to use it.

Totally simple to butt up those straight edges and iron on the tape. It holds, it doesn’t make a stiff line and it’s super easy to use. I will be using it again–I like it!

I’m eager to get this project quilted and finished. It has been pure enjoyment from start to finish. Should be able to get that done tomorrow and I’m looking forward to some quality time at the machine.

Step by step assembly

Yesterday was a guild workshop day with Barb Vedder. We created Liberated Houses, totally in the way I usually work. On my own, I most likely would not have made these with fussy little details, but it’s great to now confidently know how.

That means that these lovely little blue flying geese blocks are completely on the back burner until this house piece is done!

A little warning–I’m going to take you through my assembly process, weird thoughts and all and this post is going to be kind of long!

In class, I got to the point of trying to select my color(s) for pulling all the blocks together into a final product. I really thought I had it narrowed down to turquoise or black and white.

When I got back to my studio, I tried all kinds of blues.

Nothing spoke very loudly to me, so I tried greens.

Really thought I had it with this cross-hatch fabric-

but it wasn’t quite right. Searched the shelves a bit more and came up with this gold fabric and it shouted at me!

Of course, when fabric starts shouting at you, you must listen! But every little step of putting unequally sized blocks together takes quite a bit of thought. You start by figuring out easy-to-balance sections.

And then the question of…gold on both sides of that top section or only one side?

You have to do that section by section and finally get to a point where it’s all assembled!

Except it really needs to have gold all around, no b/w left to drift off the edge.

And now I have to decide if it needs another border…the b/w of the background?

Or maybe another option?

I do have a few other pieces of fabric to audition before I make that final decision and then I have to think about stitching, quilting, embellishment…

You know, while every bit of this process is enjoyable to me, when I write it all out like this it seems exhausting!

But it’s such a good exhaustion, when you know you have created something. Now back to the studio and the rest of those decsions!

Time to finish

There are a ton of unfinished projects sitting around my studio. I seem to get them almost done and then a distraction pops up. It’s really time to buckle down and have a pile of finished projects sitting around for a change.

This series is first up–because it was at the top of the pile! Need to decide on background colors. I am not using the fabric I show in the pictures, but I will paint the canvas as close to the colors shown as possible. Navy blue paint is hard to find, but I guess that’s what black is for when mixing!

Just like at the eye doctor—which is better, number 1 or number 2?

DB Grid 1

DB Grid 2

Number 1 or number 2?

DB Third 1

DB Third 2

DB Line 1

DB Line 2

DB Mod 1

DB Mod 2

DB Dance 1

DB Dance 2

DB Land 1

DB Land 2

And finally, there are actually 2 that I’m sure of, right from the beginning!

Tomorrow I have to go out and get the size of canvas I want to put them on, find the paint and get the job done!

Hoping that as I look at these pictures, all my decisions will become obvious…though right now I’m leaning very heavily towards painting all the canvases navy. Maybe. I think. Possibly.

For sure, this is the hardest part for me!

Blue Lake 2017 Report 2

In addition to the design project, the art majors had to make an art doll. We had them displayed en masse at the final art show, so the pictures don’t single out any dolls.

The students were shown some examples of art dolls and then pretty much turned loose to design and create a doll.


We also had a class where the students were music majors and took an art class as an extra. We taught them needle felting and there were just a few super-duper spectacular pieces that I have to show you!

Bringing new skills to young people is so very rewarding. It’s what keeps me going back to Blue Lake!

And that’s the end of this year’s Blue Lake Report! Back to reality again…which includes going to the gym first thing in the morning. I eat ALL the desserts when I’m at camp!

Blue Lake 2017 Report 1

Just in case you haven’t read one previous word that I have ever written, here’s what this is all about. In the summer, I go to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for 10 days and teach middle school kids fiber arts. We do different projects every year, because there are repeat attendees and we want them gaining additional skills all the time. Many of the students come into fibers not even knowing how to thread a needle or tie a knot, so what they accomplish is always impressive.

Let me show you the design phase of what the students did this week!

They were exposed to the design guides of Deborah Boschert, and totally understood the concept behind each one. I wish that I had learned some design principles in middle school!

They had to sketch out some possibilities and then make collages, starting with the one they liked the best. Most only completed one collage, but the time was very short for a project of this type.

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Tons of details, color choices, stitch notes–they planned well! I’m not going to try to match any of these design pages with the finished product, but you may see the matches as you see the pics.

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I am so proud of these young artists!

There will be one more Blue Lake post to touch upon a couple of other projects and then we can call Blue Lake done for another year!

Planning time

After my QU class, I decided that I am totally in love with the navy fabric that I dyed and that I MUST create something using it. However, this is a time when I am not at my studio and don’t have any of the fabric to play with. So it’s all a mental game for planning.

I do have some pictures of what my first idea would use. The navy fabric, of course and then this.

Blocks that I have made from mostly turquoise scraps and then not done anything further with. I have enough fabric and scraps that coordinate with this to make probably 3 full quilts, paired with that navy.

However, I want to start with these blocks and cut some silhouetted shapes of leaves or flowers out of them and place them on the navy background. Or perhaps the reverse–the navy placed on the scrap blocks. Probably some of each.

I really don’t want to make full size quilts anymore, but I can’t see any other way to use up all the fabric that I have. Using this planning time to develop ideas for reducing my stash could be the best outcome.

And I DO have these lovely blocks to play with also…

Hmmm–since this stash is obviously weighing me down, my next priority is to use, use, use it!

Quiltmaking, back to the basics, here I come!