Saturday, December 22, 2012

A festive vintage photo

I am so tickled by this photo, I just have to share it with you. A cousin posted it on Facebook, and it depicts my family plus relatives on my mom's side. Wow, aren't we colorful!? Click on it to see it a little bigger.

My oldest brother and my Aunt Dorothy are missing, but everyone else is included. My parents, my grandparents, all my cousins, and their other grandmother. Judging by the youthful look of my brothers, I figure this must have been taken about 1963-4, when I was in high school. Can you find me? I'm wearing green. (but I have no recollection of having a sleeveless green dress) Mary, the blond girl in front with the bright green pants, is a doctor living in Montana. Mike, the blond boy to her right, used to have a tour boat business by the Balboa Pavilion. My mom is in green on the extreme left, and my father is in back on the right.

Wishing you a happy holiday!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hello again

My goodness, I've been AWOL from my blog. Sorry about that! I've been busy, caught up in the holiday frenzy. I have lots of things to share, but I don't want to spoil surprises.

Family members will be arriving this weekend - we are excited! I am still doing a bit of knitting, but otherwise Christmas gifts are done. Also, this afternoon I cut into some fabric for a new art quilt. It's kind of a scary stage - hope it all pulls together soon.

In the meantime, this very same anthurium from last Christmas is still blooming like crazy! I've never kept an anthurium alive for this long, and I am not doing anything special to it. Lucky me...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

red dog

I made this dog on a whim for my friend Jamie's new studio, where I visited yesterday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"puppy dog dreams" quilt

Here are Bob and Suzanne at the baby shower I went to last weekend. Suzanne is holding the little stuffed dog I made, seen in a recent blog post.

Now they're about to open up the baby quilt I made for them. You can see the Lotta Jansdotter fabric on the back.

Oh no! My memory stick ran out of room, so I didn't take any more photos at the shower.  I didn't take any formal photos of it at home either, but Matilda posed nicely for a Cat-on-my-quilt shot.


Here's another one.

Even Ginger got in on the act!

Here is a detail on the embroidered puppy dog faces that I did. I call the quilt "Puppy Dog Dreams," and yes, Bob and Suzanne have dogs. One's a corgy - see him in the lower left corner?

Here are the other embroidered puppy dog faces. The one in the middle is an approximation of their other dog. I lightly quilted the zig zag block pattern in the ditch (that's quilting lingo, for you non-quilters out there) and tied it throughout with yellow embroidery thread.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

first snow of the season 2012

It's the first snowfall of the season in North Brookfield, NY. That's my daughter and granddaughter enjoying the white stuff. The barn is in the background; the fencing is around one of the planting areas.

I can't believe that green hat still fits. I made it for her when she was just a little baby, my first try at circular needles if I'm not mistaken.  I was thinking of making a new, bigger hat to replace it, but it looks like I don't have to quite yet.

Watch out, snow ball coming your way!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Doggone Gift topper

I made this little dog to go with a puppy dog-themed baby quilt I just finished.  (Photos of the quilt are still in my camera, I will liberate them soon ;-)) The baby shower is Saturday, for the granddaughter-to-be of a family friend.

Here's a slightly different view. The pattern came from Molly Makes, a British craft magazine, Issue Eighteen. It's a fun magazine, full of cute ideas, not just sewing. There's a cheeky crocheted scarf and glove set, for example. The head is much bigger than the body, which is strange, but it turned out cute. Maybe I'll make one for my granddaughter, in another color scheme, just for fun.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

works in progress


The Cookseyville workshop is in full swing! Here are a couple of works in progress, two of many. More later. Can't show everything, so as to not spoil surprises. :-)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I'm published again!

I was very surprised to learn that one of my quilts is published in this book. I wouldn't have known if my friend Andrea hadn't bought the book and seen my name inside!

Here's a photo of my quilt, which Lark Books calls "Hearts on Fire." This quilt was already in "Pretty Little Mini Quilts" a couple years ago, and also "Simply Mini Quilts." Lark photographed the quilt and paid me to publish it. I'm just surprised it made it into a third book. It's called "100 Pretty Little Projects." Check it out!

Friday, November 16, 2012

'rituals' exhibit news!

I am happy to say that the 'Rituals' exhibit, curated by Jamie and Leslie of Dinner at Eight Artists, was well received in Houston. IQA has invited the exhibit to show in Chicago, too, late June 2013. That's my "Rituals" quilt above, entitled "Photo Booth Hijinks." It was inspired by a photo booth strip of me and my husband, circa 1970. My first Spoonflower order.

The biggest news is that the 'Rituals' exhibit will now also go to Open European Quilt Championships in the Netherlands, May 3-5 2013. It's so wonderful when my quilts get to travel to interesting places!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Belated Halloween Greetings!


I've been trying to send this photo from my phone ever since Halloween afternoon. Why do you suppose it took so long to arrive?

Also, I've noticed that the Blogger interface is suddenly totally intact via Internet Explorer. For several months, the toolbar was obscured. This is another thing that I don't understand why it took so long. Anyway, it's all good now.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween in central NY

Sammy couldn't wait until Halloween!

She looks cute in the butterfly wings I made for her.

Luckily Sandy blew by south of North Brookfield, so my granddaughter got to go out trick or treating with her friends.

The pickings were good in nearby Hamilton.

Mom had to straighten out the wings from time to time. The batty antennae came from Target.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

butterfly wing tutorial

I made a pair of butterfly wings for my granddaughter to wear on Halloween. I thought you might like to see how it was done, so here goes!

First of all, I bent four coat hangers into wing shapes. I used both my hands and a pair of pliers for some of the sharper corners. Then I tested some of my filmy fabrics for paint/dyeing capabilities. After that, I proceeded to cut out fabric with at least 1" excess fabric all around the wing shape. I folded it over the wire with clothespins, then with pins, making a smooth, neat fit.

I took some matching thread and sewed the fabric layers, as close to the wire as I could, wrapping the thread around the neck of the handle as I went along. Then I carefully trimmed away the excess fabric.

Sharp corners were trickier to navigate. I stitched around as well as I could and used a little fray check on the inner corners to secure.

This is how it looked after I sewed it and dabbed on a tiny bit of fray check. So far so good.

Painting was fun! I used Setacolor transparent fabric paints, which are colorfast. Other fabric paint would also work well, just make sure it's transparent and not opaque. You also don't want the paint to rub off on clothing. This is my fancy hanging system just outside my art studio, overlooking the living room. After I painted on the basic colors, I embellished further with fabric markers. This was my favorite part.

I also painted some "streamers" with lengths of the same fabric.

Okay, here's what NOT to do. I cut off the wire ends so that only the part where the wires wrapped around each other on the hanger were left, then wrapped the wires with duct tape. Then I used more duct tape to connect one upper wing and one lower wing. I attached all the wings together, criss-cross style, but the problem was that the wings became too floppy. So I removed the duct tape and went on to plan b.

I wrapped the wires together with batting and a sturdy glue. I think it was Gorilla Glue, but any strong glue should work. I further strengthened the connection with some selvedge strips I had on hand and more glue. I let this dry for a day before I went any further.

I arranged the wings criss-cross style and connected both pairs with more batting and more glue. No sharp wires will scratch my granddaughter, no way. I let this dry for another day. This made for a much sturdier set of wings. Hurray!

This photo is on its side, but as you can see I added some sheer matching layers over the batting. It was actually the fabric scraps I used to test colorfastness. Then I simply tied  the streamers onto right and left upper corners, to stream in the breeze.

At this point people often add straps of some sort, usually made with elastic. Living on opposite coasts from my granddaughter, I wasn't sure how big to make them. So I sewed three pinbacks to the center area. You can buy pinbacks at craft stores. This way the wings can be attached to any clothing. I also made a 4" padded square, made of fabric and batting, which can be used as a stabilizing base on the inside of thinner clothing, such as a t-shirt.

And there you have it! If I get a photo of my granddaughter wearing it (hint hint), I will post it here. Let me know if you try to make your own butterfly wings! There are all sorts of tutorials online, and this was my own take.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

prayer flag from Vickie

Vickie made this beautiful prayer flag for me, to add to my collection. The theme is "Time to Shine," isn't it clever? The letters and number are made with rhinestones on an invisible sheet. I'd never seen that before.

I've been hard to work on multiple projects. Today my focus has been on an upcycled wearable art project, and a Christmas stocking for my guild. Pix soon. Ack, too many things in progress: two quilts, a toddler sweater, a prayer flag, Christmas ornament exchange gift, plus the two things in the previous sentence. Who has time to post when there's work to be done?!

The butterfly wings got sent off earlier this week. One of these days I will post a tutorial. They turned out great!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Samantha has so much to say

Today's post is short and sweet. Chatty Samantha in the car...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

in the studio and out and about

I've been busy up in my studio. My granddaughter's butterfly wings are almost finished - they just need a little tweaking and means of attachment. (the directions I've seen are vague) I can't wait to show you! I'm also working on a small art quilt that I can't elaborate on yet. Both projects are fun.

In the meantime, I have a few more photos to share from our trip to NY. Have you ever heard of ground cherries? This is what they look like with their hulls on. I bought some at the Hamilton farmers market.

They look a little like a yellow tomato and taste a little like a cherry. A very healthy munchy!

We stayed a couple nights in Saratoga Springs, NY. Sammy is standing by one of the many fountains in the town. She was a real trooper, walking all over with us.

She got to ride on a carousel horse for the first time.

After our visit with them, we went to the Wentworth Inn in New Hampshire for one night.

I took a walk on the grounds and was inspired to take these photos. Does this qualify as an artful tour?