Tag Archives: just for fun

Workshop weekend

My local quilt guild is The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild and this was workshop weekend. It’s so much easier than when I was the program director and had to take care of all the schlepping and details! This time I planned for my own selfish pleasure!

Our guest was Pat Pauly and Friday we had the Slash and Burn workshop. Totally improv, we started out with a couple of strip sets and attacked them with rotary cutters. I’m always so indecisive that it takes me forever to get to the finish line. Got this far, but I know what direction I’m headed, as soon as I have more time to play with it.

Pauly class 1

Sooooo much fun!

Saturday was the guild meeting and lecture by Pat and I did a basic beading demo for our before meeting demo. So I got a little bead fix this weekend, too!

Sunday–second workshop day! Template based, the Big Leaf workshop was hard for me. I’m not good at following patterns anymore! Fabric decisions were even harder…you never bring exactly what you need to a workshop and often there is a change of direction after you get started.

I tried a lot of different combinations…

Pauly class 6 Pauly class 5 Pauly class 4 Pauly class 3 Pauly class 2

I was happy with my choices as I was building the block, but when I was almost finished, I started second guessing myself. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with it or make changes. That’s what I have a design wall and studio full of fabric for!!!!

Pauly class 7

It may be a learning exercise that I finish up and move on from. I learned a couple of good new tricks and, while I love the pattern, I would probably piece it improvisationally rather than template based were I to do it again.

OR, I may make three more and turn it into a four block, larger piece.

It’s play time again!! Oh, except for Thanksgiving and a couple of hockey games this weekend…I may be out of the studion and off the computer for a few more days…sigh! I just want to sew!


Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Quilting


My computer is back! I can get and send email and post blogs again! Hooray!

It helps that I’ve been super busy while the computer was at the spa.

My Whacky Quilters (the Knot Even Quilters group) met this week. We had lots of activity planned, but we chatted a lot and some of us didn’t get much done…

We tried out foiling on fabric, with mixed success. Tried different glues, ironing on and burnishing on.KEQ Nov 2

I haven’t done much foiling and I’m not sure that I will. It can give a great effect but I like the glitter and sparkle of beads and will choose that first.

Diana brought a friend’s die cutting machine for our fused card making. Not everyone had played with one before, so that was a lot of fun.

KEQ Nov 1 KEQ Nov 3

We looked at stamp making ideas, too, but that was a quick show and tell. We’ll need to make a few and play with a little paint at another play day.

Mary Lee has been saving threads as she sews. She knew she would need them for a project sooner or later! Her little thread wreaths were delightful and I could see new ideas percolating as she worked with the threads.

KEQ Nov 4

And then some of us decided to go have some ice cream across the street at the ice cream shop! Perfect end to the day!

And then…guild workshop weekend! Stay tuned…


Filed under Art Quilts, Non-traditional Quilts, Quilt Design, surface design

Raku day

Spent part of the day Friday learning how to do raku firing for the clay pieces we made earlier this summer. It’s quite a process, but I loved every minute of it!

I believe there were 7 of us who made these little clay pieces, so we made LOTS of stuff!

Raku day 2 Raku day 1

Our expert host, James Freeman, walked us through all the steps. After we made these pieces, he fired them in his kiln so they were ready for us.

We had to glaze them, which is interesting. What you put on, is not what comes out!

Raku day 3

The raku firing is done in a kiln outside. The pieces are fired to about 1500 degress and then are dropped into a container with grass or straw. One of our containers had pine straw and even the smoke from that smelled good!

Raku day 4

Not fancy, but it gets the job done!

The kiln is small, so you can’t put too many pieces in at once. Our first load had no issues, but we had some explosions in our second load. James deduced that our glaze was still too damp. He prefers to glaze one day and fire the next, but that’s not easy with a large group! So we dried our pieces by the heater and soldiered on.

This is what we had after the first two loads.

Raku day 5

When you see these pieces up close…well, let’s just say that I love everything about raku fired pottery.

Raku day 6 Raku day 7

And what does this have to do with my fiber art, you ask? Well, I made flat pieces that I plan on using as embellishments. We will see how that turns out, as I have large pieces that need to be broken, painted, filed, shaped…it may work and it may not, but I’m going to give it a shot!

I do not have a good mind for envisioning 3D clay, so I’m definitely not going to be adding that to my list of hobby interests. But I have always loved raku work and loved learning more about how it’s done. Raku beads are on my must have list so I hope that what I’ve made with my own hands will be useable!

Thank you to my KEQ group for sharing their diversity of talent and letting us experiment with new materials and ideas!


Filed under Art Quilts, Learning New Things!, Quilting, surface design

Feel-good work

Being able to sit and sew…it makes me feel so very good!

Making progress on this little piece.

WS 20

I’ve only used black thread so far, but there are spots just waiting for a beautiful soft gold that I have. Don’t know if there will be beads, but I’m getting eager to do some beading again, too.

It’s great to be sewing again!


Filed under Art Quilts, surface design, Thinking About Quilting!, Weekly Special

This week…

Yes, this week is all about my Artisan Showcase. Mostly cleaning the house and garage from top to bottom. That means cobwebs in all the corners, dusting the baseboards, even behind the couch, and figuring out how best to display everything. So it’s really not a time to be starting new projects and I may not even get another blog written.

But I’ve always worked in stolen moments and it seems weird to not have something at the ready. So, simple things–I painted a few canvases so that they would be ready when I have a finished small piece to mount.

Black Canvas

No thought required and it was a snap to do two coats between loads of laundry.

And while I was in the studio, it was just impossible not to look around (through all the clutter!) and find a few pieces of interesting fabric and kind of play with them. I mean, the laundry was getting done, right? (as I listened to the washer fill and the dryer spin!)

Collage and paint 1

This little piece really made itself and now I have something ready to pick up and stitch and bead on whenever I have a few more minutes between chores…like when I’m doing the dishes. (Don’t you hear that dishwasher churning?)

Wish I could figure out a way to get that kitchen floor scrubbed while I sew!


Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Life

It’s a surprise!

But I’m going to spill the beans anyway…mostly because I don’t think our recent hosts read blogs!

Spent a couple of days making a thank you gift that I believe fits their decor. And it was a big bonus for me because I used some commercial fabric that I have hoarded treasured for quite a few years. Hooray!

Brion piece 1

And when I saw it, it made me think of my last hotel wallpaper inspiration!

Wallpaper flowers

Similar color and feel of the flowers…even though my picture doesn’t do it justice!

This piece just made me happy to be working on it. Perfect fabrics and colors for the beginning of fall. And now it’s on it’s way to the new owners.

Thanks, Gene and Janet!


Filed under Designing Quilts, Fabric, Quilting

Vacation photos

Yes, it’s What I Did on My Summer Vacation! If you hate all those vacation photos, run away now!

We visited friends in Springfield, MO and I met an internet buddy and she was a great tourist guide to shops…just a great vacation!

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And even though our trip home included a 3 hour traffic delay…there’s nothing to be done when you are stuck between exits and there is a bad accident!

It’s good to be home and back on the grid. Now to get back to some sewing!



Filed under Life, Quilting, Thinking About Quilting!