Tag Archives: just for fun

Our Special Halloween


Halloween is an important day in our family.


It’s my husband’s birthday and our anniversary.


AND there is trick-or-treating with the grandson! I can’t think about sewing today…all I want to do is hit that candy!!


But tomorrow….I have beading waiting for me!


Filed under Life

Zen Fun Day

Zentangles are not new, but I love ’em. Today I went over to USArtquest and took a class from a Certified Zentangle Teacher! Like most everyone else who has done a zentangle, I’ve looked at info online and watched youtube and tried to do it on my own. Having a chance to learn from someone with a lot of experience was well worth it!

First, let me show you a couple pics of USArtquest. It’s a true feast for the eyes, everywhere you look!

artquest-zenday-2 artquest-zenday-1

In the classroom, we got a kit of drawing material and we were off tangling!


It is absolutely amazing to me how different everyone’s work can look. Same designs, same materials, and the hand of the artist! Totally unique.


And the same effect with the second set…


I didn’t try to get close ups or details on these for you. It was simply another fun time out day.

Looking forward to doing more of these, probably in fabric and stitch, too.



Filed under Learning New Things!, Life

Slow stitch and strange flowers

I’ve made quite a bit of progress on my vintage napkin. The lacy effect looks really good to me.


Not finished, but so far I’ve been able to restrain myself and only use little tiny beads that give just a hint of sparkle.


The unfinished areas may get more beads and less lace for contrast, but I’m going to stick with only that one same tiny bead. Restraint–I may have finally found it!

I’ve also found some more Florida flowers that I’ve not seen before. So many of them look similar to what we have in Michigan, but the tropical climate makes such a difference in size alone. This one looks like it has the same floret as phlox.


But what I’ve seen is in big tall clumps like a hedge, so it seems a lot sturdier.


And then this flower looks like a petunia


but it’s sparse on the plant and it grows on tall woody stems.


And then there are those that look totally unlike anything we see at home!


Pretty, but also pretty unusual. The flowers grow into pods, maybe like lillies or rose hips.


Orange and red attract me as if I had hummingbird blood in my veins. The red here looks like a regular honeysuckle or trumpet vine, but tropically large.


There is another plant with a very similar flower that grows on a delicate fern like stem, much, much smaller.



If I ever intended to spend more than a short vacation down here, I’d probably want to learn more about all of these plants. In reality, I’m happy to look at them from an air-conditioned car or building and never learn how to grow or plant anything in the heat! Home soon and looking forward to it being fall and my favorite season. I even like the cool and rainy days they have had lately.

And, I’m sure, I’ll be snapping some photos of glorious fall leaves, sparkling in the sunshine!



Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Learning New Things!

Holes in Quilts part 3

One more hole today–I want to do a triangle. Same method–main fabric and facing right sides together, stitch around the shape and clip the corners. Turn and press.


I’m feeling very confident with this technique now and this only took a few minutes to do. Seriously, it was about 5 minutes!

Decided to forge ahead and try to finish this one. Placed it on a variegated wool square, at an angle.


Rather than keep it all neat and tidy, I decided that I wanted frayed edges. And that I would do all my stitching by machine, not hand embroidery.

This is as far as I got—close to done.


Of course I want to add some beads, in and around the center section. I may add some hand stitching before I’m done, too. Don’t know that yet, but I’m happy with it so far.

All in all, I’m quite pleased with my hole-y quilt experiments. Lots of fun and I’ve increased my confidence in creating holes by quite a bit. I think there will be more holes in my quilts in the future.


Filed under Designing Quilts, Learning New Things!, Non-traditional Quilts, Thinking About Quilting!, Weekly Special

Holes in Quilts part 2

Circles! I want to make big hole-y circles! More than a single hole in my piece of fabric, like the rectangle I just did.

Dark fabric is attracting my attention today, so I started with this.


I cut a bunch of squares (about 3.5″, but remember that size is optional–whatever you want to work with!) and placed them on the main fabric where I wanted my holes to be. And that’s where I made a rookie mistake.


I wasn’t going to try any overlapping or partial circles, but notice how I artfully angled each of the squares? Didn’t want everything facing the same direction. Forgot that I was going to do circles…duh! no angles in circles! I was originally thinking square holes and the angling would have been cool. However, this is only facing, so it really didn’t hurt anything.

Created the holes the same way as the earlier rectangle. Stitched around each drawn circle and cut out the centers through both layers. The main difference with a circle is that you need to clip all around the seam allowance, not just a clip in the corner!


Circles done and now to decide what I want to see behind them.

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All those above were single pieces of fabrics and this next one has patches from a charm pack.


Don’t know yet what one I’ll go with but I want to try one more hole before the end of the day…holes today, finish later!



Filed under Designing Quilts, Learning New Things!, Tutorial

Holes in Quilts part 1

Nope–not horrible accidents with your favorite snuggly quilt, but deliberately creating holes while you’re making a quilt. I was reminded of this technique last week and it’s been nagging at me until I did some today. If you have ever sewn clothing, it’s simply a facing, like a pocket opening. If you haven’t done that, here’s how to make a hole-y quilt.

There was a scrap of wool that jumped out of the scrap basket, begging to be used, so I obliged. Partnered it up with some squares of African fabric that I had and I was ready to go. By the way, size doesn’t matter with these…you can make the hole any size or shape that you’d like. I’m working with pieces here that are in the 5-10″ range.


You need a main fabric and a facing fabric. The brown wool is my main fabric and the facing fabric is the light brown print. Put them right sides together, where you want your hole to be. Then draw your shape on the facing fabric. Or draw your hole shape on the facing first and then put the fabrics together!


Stitch completely around the shape, directly on the line. The next step is to cut through both layers about 1/4″ inside that stitched line. Don’t be shy now–you’re trying to make a hole!


You will need to clip the corners right up to the stitching–be careful not to cut the stitching! All that’s left is to turn the facing all the way to the back and press.


You can see that my corners aren’t very smooth, but I worked them a bit more after this pic and got them nice and flat.


Now you do have a couple of options. I wanted a teeny bit of that facing fabric to show on the front, so I pressed it to show. You can press so that none of your facing fabric shows. You can trim the facing fabric smaller or it can actually be the same size as your main fabric. After you fill the hole, you can choose to topstitch around the edge, plain, fancy or by hand! What’s missing in this picture, though, is what I want to have show through that hole!

It can certainly be a single piece of fabric, but I wanted to have a little pieced design inside that dark color. And to refresh your memory, my most basic improv block is stack-slash-move—stack your fabrics right side up—cut through all layers with angled cuts–move the fabric in each stack to a different position in the stack.

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Then stitch each layer back together. So, I pieced together a little block and put it behind the hole!


It worked! And I like it! So now I’m not simply playing with scraps–I want to finish this! Time to audition background fabrics. But first I had to audition beads, of which I knew I had quite a few that would work with these fabrics.


Yep–beads will be added!

First I tried a dark background, discharged black.


Maybe light would be better.


Not horrible, but let’s just say that I tried many, many more and I think I have decided on this one.


The entire piece will be another of the 12 x 12’s that I do, but further work will have to wait because I want to make more holes!!!

Next time will be all about circles…and a rookie mistake!


Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Learning New Things!, Weekly Special

Geodes again

But I’m not talking about those lovely geodes that come from the Gem and Mineral Show.

Pink white 2

One of the things we did with the kids at Blue Lake this summer was to make geodes out of wool roving. It’s pretty easy to do. You make a super jumbo stack of roving, any and all colors. Then you roll and stuff it into a small bag, tie it tightly and run it through the washer and dryer.

I used a lot of the brightest colors I could find and the unsplit geode came out pretty darn lovely.


Now you generally only split a geode into two halves and enjoy the loveliness of the inside. And it was indeed lovely. But my plan was to make several thin slices–harder to do than I thought–and use them in a similar manner to the stone slices.


They are bold and bright and they can be sewn through or have beads added or…or…or…


I love new and exciting possibilities!


Filed under Art Quilts, Big Wool Adventure!, Color, Contemporary, Learning New Things!