Lectures and Workshops

Sunday, March 31, 2013

an Easter Llama basket!

Miss Ally has always had a thing for Llamas. I think mostly because they are different (and hard to find I might add!) When most of her friends were loving unicorns and butterflies, she chose llamas. Who am I to argue? So, when I saw the llama fabric in the Modern Home line by Mona Luna I decided to make her a new Easter basket. Something she can use for storage in her bedroom (and in her dorm room, sooner than I want to think!)

I lined her basket in little leaves in green, with a nice sturdy layer of batting in between. And I had some extra fabric, so I decided to make her a little wallet to coordinate...


 Add some peeps and Easter couldn't be much better. I hope you all have a blessed day. We will be celebrating the risen Lord with our church family in worship.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

barn raising (yes, again)

Today I built barn three in Lori Holt (Bee in my Bonnet)'s barn along....

I am loving building these barns! Part of the fun for me with each one is deciding what to put in the window....
Doesn't this little girl look happy swinging away? What a great daddy she has to have hung a swing in the rafters of the barn for her. So here are all of my barns so far....
One reason I am really enjoying this is that my piecing is getting more precise with each barn I make. Barn #1 has some wonky parts, seams that don't quite match, etc, but each one gets better and better. Yay me!

In case you've been wondering how my circle stitching is going, I'm making progress....

 Are you doing something fun and crafty today?

Monday, March 25, 2013

circle stitching

I've seen a few places online where people are embroidering random circles just for fun. I thought this would be a fun way to try out different stitches. I decided I would stitch one circle a day just for fun. Gathered my supplies.....

I really love the grunge fabric and wanted to do some embroidery on it. This is leftover from my last quilt. Perfect! I ironed a piece of shape flex on the back for stability (this also prevents wandering thread on the back from showing through), drew me a circle and chose a stitch.....

This was yesterday's circle. I have these plastic circle templates which are supposed to be for creating perfect circle appliqué, but I find they are useful in so many ways! I traced circles around them with a sharp pencil (I always do my embroidery with a sharp pencil. Have never had any trouble covering the lines with my stitches. Oh, but if you are stitching a running stitch where there will be empty places you don't want to draw a line that will show, does that make sense?)...

  Oh my, do you see what happened there? My "circle a day" accidentally turned into five circles. I really didn't mean for that to happen....

I'm not sure where this is leading, but I am enjoying the process!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

doodling

When I was a teenager (back in the stone age!) I was a master doodler. Nothing escaped my little drawings. Most of them were unrecognizable mind you, but I loved to doodle. Recently I have taken up doodling again, only much more intentionally this time. I find that it really enhances my creative process. I purchased these 2 books to help me start this little journey...
I have this bin full of pens, markers, pencils, rulers, etc.....
 I am a huge fan of Prismacolor pencils. Several years ago my hubby gifted me this enormous tin of their colored pencils which I absolutely love.
 Since my word of the year is strength, I recently started doodling some Bible verses that use my word. This one from Proverbs is my current favorite verse....
 You might notice, I love a good curlicue! Lots of those in my doodling, along with checkerboards and other squiggles....
 And I do love color! This one I just did has lots of color. Oh, and those yellow dots across the center? That's a strip of washi tape I found on clearance at Target. Gotta love a good deal!
I must say I am really enjoying this re-found hobby of mine. Sometimes I have to force myself to put the markers away and do something constructive (like housework!). Are you a doodler too?

Monday, March 18, 2013

quilt photo shoot

I told you in my inspiration day post that one of the things Melissa and I did at the Arboretum was take pictures of my most recent quilt. I always enjoy seeing creative quilt photo shoots that others do and I wanted to try to get some different shots. Some of these Melissa took and some are mine. First off, a full shot so you can see the whole quilt...


I love this next one of Melissa's with the twigs in front of it...

















And this one with the pink tulips and the shadows...


There was a neat play area for kids with old fashioned buildings. I saw this washtub and thought it would be fun to stage a photo there...


Funny story. While we were shooting that last picture a little girls came up behind us and said "mommy what's that blanket doing in the bucket?" Posing for a picture silly girl! Here's one in the window too...


This quilt is for my sister-in-law, recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I hate cancer! I think I have made 8 quilts in the last couple years for friends and family with cancer. I'd much rather make quilts for well people! What I really mean is, I'd love to make quilts for these SAME people but I wish they were well. Does that make sense? I hope she finds some comfort in this one.

Quilt stats:
Pattern:Line Dance (yes, again. I know I know)
Fabric: charm pack of Jubilee by Bunny Hill for Moda
           pink grunge by Basic Grey
Backing: (which you can't see) Moda Marble blue flannel

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I made a turtle

I made a turtle today...
 Because Maria made this turtle earlier this week and I thought he was adorable. So I had to make one too...
 And since I already had the book (Anni Downs The Simple Life) I was able to jump in and make him right away. And when I finished him, I had some 2 1/2 inch squares leftover from my candy pack so I made a mugrug for him....
 Which of course he'll never use. But don't they look cute together?
I feel like I should name him. Maybe. Or not...

Friday, March 15, 2013

inspiration day

Yesterday, Melissa and I went on an inspiration photo shoot day. I had been wanting to do something like this, ever since I worked my way through "Finding your Muse" an online class by Alisa Burke that Melissa had told me about (it's free and well worth your time to explore!). I also watched all of the lectures from Craft Con on Craftsy (yes they are free too!). They were all so inspiring. I especially loved David Butler's lecture on Homemade Lifestyle Photography and Heather Jones Everyday Inspiration in Modern Quilts. Well worth my time.

So back to our inspiration day. Melissa and I tossed around a lot of ideas. In the end we decided to spend a good bit of the day at the Dallas Arboretum for Dallas Blooms. The fact that it was 70 and sunny here yesterday just might have had something to do with our decision. The flowers were beautiful. I found lots of color inspiration in them...


But I really tried not to focus on just pretty flowers and color. Between Melissa and I, we took well over 300 pictures.


 Can you see the two of us taking pictures here? That's my shadow taking Melissa's picture while she was taking a picture too. Pretty clever. I wish I could say I planned that but alas it was a happy accident.

I did focus a lot of my attention on shadows....


I also tried to find interesting architectural elements...




I plan to do more blog posts on how these photos are inspiring me. Oh, and there was a photo shoot of my latest quilt too. More on that later. 

We left the arboretum hungry and tired! I dragged (ok, she went willingly) Melissa to my favorite gluten free restaurant The Company Cafe which was not far away. I really did intend to take a picture of the incredible sweet potato fries but before I knew it the bowl looked like this...


As you can see, we enjoyed them. I'm looking forward to more inspiration days in our future.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

building barns again

So, Lori posted the tutorial for barn number 2 in the quilty barn along over at Bee in my Bonnet today and since I had nothing else to do this afternoon (can you say "housework avoidance"?) I had to build one right away!
I really took my time with this one, making my seams very precise and the block is much less wonky than my first barn block. Oh, and look there in the window... there is a mouse in my barn!


 Two barns done, and I must say, I am very happy with them!

What are you up to today?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

learning to sew... almost finished with their quilts!

The girls came to sew again today. They are almost finished with their quilts! Today we made binding. The girls stitched the binding on by machine....

And learned to hand stitch the back (hand stitching proved to be the biggest challenge so far.)

And, as always, there was a fair amount of clowning around and laughing!
 Soon I will be able to show you their finished quilts!


Friday, March 8, 2013

english paper piecing

Every month The Quilt Asylum has been featuring a different English paper piecing pattern by Sue Daley. They are called "Little things" fun little quilts just big enough to try new techniques each month. Last month I bought the clam shell pattern and did it in the Kaffe fabric that TQA had quilted up for us.  You might remember I worked on it on Crafty Tuesday.

Well I guess that is my new thing! This month the pattern is elongated hexagons. I worked on it on Crafty Tuesday again, and finished it up the other day...
This time I decided to use my own fabrics instead of the kitted batiks. I had a charm pack of Comma at home and decided to use it. You can get 2 elongated hexagons out of each charm square. I love the way it turned out! Can't wait to see what we get to do next month.

Monday, March 4, 2013

quilty barn along

When I saw the barns at Bee in My Bonnet I knew I had to stitch along! I made my first barn this weekend...
 I used mostly fabrics from my stash. The grays are new. Oh, and check out my chickens in the window...
I can't wait to make more barns!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

road trip

Yesterday a couple of my quilting buddies and I ventured north to Sherman, Texas (a little less than an hour from us) to see Becky Goldsmith's quilt exhibit at Austin College.
Fourteen of Becky's wonderful quilts were on display in the gallery. It was fun to see  them up close, examine her fabulous fabric choices and really study each quilt. This one is my favorite...
It's called Tree O'Life. If you look closely you will see this guy...
Little details like this really make her quilts special!
This quilt was another favorite of mine (probably because of the colors!) It's called Whirlygig...




 Blowin' in the Wind is the most recent quilt on display. The handout says the pattern will be in a new book due out this spring....

I think it is a perfect "modern" quilt. Here are some more random photos of what we saw....






If you are nearby, you really should go see this wonderful free exhibit. It will be there until March 15.