My happy place…

Background beading is boring! I wanted an instant gratification project to offset that slow and boring stuff, so I headed to the studio and grabbed up a couple of the little pieces that I put together while on vacation. I decided that I would combine them rather than make 2 smaller pieces. Quick and easy, right? Actually, yes it was!

And then the ‘bright idea’ kicked in and I decided to place the piece on a large background. I pulled fabrics and played for well over an hour, and it’s always so much fun to be reminded of what you have in your stash. And when I finally did make a selection, it was hand dyed with lots of visual texture and I wrestled with orientation for a while!

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Sooooooo, I got that settled and ready for stitching and you’d think it would be go-go-go. But nooooooo! I had to pull more fabrics for a backing and that led to more fabric discoveries and time wasting.

I had such a delightful afternoon!

In the end, though, I got my little quilt put together and ready to stitch.

Even got a little decorative stitching on it before I spray basted. See that little decorative edge around it? I’ll show you how I did that on tomorrow’s blog.

Maybe not instant gratification, but pretty darn enjoyable!


Winding up…or is it down?

It’s kind of hit or miss around here as far as studio work goes. I took some final photos of work after sleeves and labels, but not sure I ever posted them for you. And if I did, well, here they are again!

Renovations 28 x 29

Mountain Sunset 17 x 25

Fall Fire 15 x 26


And I may have found a stone to use for the focal point in the one I set aside!

Now to get that silver bail off and decide how I am going to attach the stone to the piece. Shiny and bright and I think just right!

My Knot Even Quilters group is working on a new challenge. We talked and talked and made so many suggestions and I think we finally worked our way around to an idea that will work! Fall leaves on a black and white background.

This is my attempt at the concept, even though I don’t need it for a few weeks. My friend Gayle said that she calls this kind of work ‘procrastination work’ and I have called it ‘avoidance work’ because I’m avoiding what I should really be doing!

Graphic, improv and simple to execute. Then I laid on the oddball collection of leaves I have accumulated through several projects.

I really think this can work!

Did I tell you that I had a few pieces sell over the weekend? That means a slight adjustment to what goes to which gallery for the upcoming shows and the Artisan Showcase here. Administration duties, cleaning and organizing for the next week!

Good thing we have Halloween in there for some fun before the show! My favorite holiday–looking forward to it.


Mountain fun

Most of these pictures are from the top of Bell Mountain, which now has a steep, paved road to the top, with a nice little parking lot and an observation tower. When my family first started coming to this area, it was a dirt road and a steep climb. I’m glad we are doing it the easy way now!

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Looking forward to our next hike…whether it’s high up in the hills or down in a deeply shaded valley!

A festival of…fiddly bits!

Of course, I spend a lot of time watching paint dry when I’m mounting work on canvas!

But I’m pretty happy when it finally dries and I get that piece mounted!

Today I thought I might do some more pieces with this type of string background, but I couldn’t make myself work with those strings. I decided to look through my unloved, previously quilted pieces and maybe cut them up for coasters. Thankfully I don’t have too many of those, but the first one I came across is not going to end as coasters!

It was pretty unattractive as a whole piece but when I cut it into smaller chunks—well, it will do! Two larger and two smaller pieces that look so much better in tiny doses!

And then there’s this–

big, very bright, in your face red and stripes. Don’t have a solution yet, but I’m pretty sure there are some coasters coming out of this!

And there is always more quilting to be done. In fact, I thought this piece would be finished with some straight lines in an afternoon. But noooooo–it needs much more stitching than I originally thought.

It really does. So it will take quite a bit longer, but I simply cannot be satisfied with it as it is here. Yep–quilted to death on this one.

All of this is in an effort to organize myself for three–yes, three–upcoming shows! And some of my stuff is out at yet another show now. Usually the shows are one at a time and what doesn’t go in one will go in the next. This time though, there are applications and photos, so some items have to be reserved for each show. I know this is normal for most artists who regularly enter shows, but I haven’t done this many at once before. Lots of fiddly bits to work out and forcing myself to finish all the way–including labels, sleeves, hardware, photos, and inventory sheets!

Not creative, maybe, but necessary.

Busyness abounds…

Have not spent any time in the studio this week! Grandson and friend here Tuesday, so I got to watch the race cars racing and the nerf guns shooting and listen to their lovely laughter.

Got some new shoes, though. Aren’t these perfect for a quilter?

Wednesday was lunch with friends, drive to Grand Rapids and dinner with other friends. A totally wonderful day.

Thursday–AQS quilt show in Grand Rapids and that is always a delight. Hubby went to the Gerald Ford museum right across the river and he had a good time, too!

Got to check out my friends working on an Art Prize neighborhood project…really cool! All four sides of the building will have a mural in this style.

Home again and an extra baby-sitting night with the grandson. BONUS! And then our regular summer Friday with him. Loved that he climbed high up in a tree…look at that smile!!

High enough to make me nervous, but also made me remember how much I loved to climb trees, too.

Maybe sewing time on Sunday, or maybe one more lazy day!


Oh, purple………….sigh!

Using a color that is far from your favorite is difficult. Purple is that color for me and I seem to fight it every step of the way, even when it is the only right choice for the project.

And perhaps you have had the experience of putting in a lot of work on a project, thinking you may have made an error…and you keep right on going, trying to convince yourself that the wrong choice was actually a good one?

That’s right where I’m at with this project.

I was too impatient to wait for the purple wool that I first thought I would use on it. I went ahead and used the purple silk I had on hand instead. Laid everything out, pinned it, added batting for stability, sewed it and selected beads and embroidery threads……………and absolutely could not make myself start on the additional handwork.

Deep down, I knew the silk was the wrong color. Yeah, it was purple, but NOT the right purple. Too bright, too shiny, fighting with the red….so it sat. Took it to my Knot Even Quilters group and asked their opinion and they totally agreed with my deepest gut feelings.

I even shocked them by grabbing a pair of scissors and cutting into the piece, trying to figure out an easy way to  rescue it. There was just no way to use that bright  purple with the darker purple wool.

And I have plenty of red silk to re-do this if I simply remove the rust fabric squares and start again. But I really didn’t feel like totally starting over so I deconstructed and trimmed this block.

Turns out that the red squares CAN be 1/2″ smaller and still work! And this looks so much better on the darker wool.

And here we are–lots of deconstruction and back where I started several weeks ago. A big pile of pieces, ready to be set together on the background.

And another pile of bright purple pieces, ready for someone to play with! I don’t think it will be me. I’m not a good fighter with purple!

Hopefully now, though, I can sit down with those beads and threads and do the handwork I originally intended to finish this piece.

Gosh………..purple! Sigh!

Hockey quilt

Since AJ made the travel hockey team for the fall, I have an excuse to make a hockey quilt! There is definitely a reason that I have held onto this hockey fabric for so long without using it. I can’t come up with a pattern idea that I like to use it with!

I originally had three different hockey prints and used one to make that bag, which has never been finished! All it needs is a button or piece of velcro for a fastener. It may get that now. I had the second print, a lighter blue, just recently because I was going to give it away. AJ saw it and said he’d like a hockey quilt and now I can’t find that particular piece anywhere! Doesn’t matter that much because I have almost 2.5 yards of this one. Plenty enough!

It’s a big busy print and I certainly don’t want to cut it into small pieces. That would defeat the purpose of using a themed print! I pulled tons of fabrics that coordinated, and got it down to this pile.

Not a huge amount of contrast, and I may stick with only the black and white prints. Plain white looked good, but…white is not my thing and it’s a quilt that I intend to drag around to hockey rinks. So, white….not. It’s really figuring out some kind of pattern that will feature the fabric and that I’d LIKE to make that has me stumped.

I keep telling myself to simplify, simplify, simplify, but the right idea has not crept into my brain’s idea box yet. I’m confident that it will, but I may have to surf through a lot of images before the right spark hits.

Guess Google and I will spend some quality time together today!