Lectures and Workshops

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

watercolor inspiration

My friend Kathie is a fiber artist, she weaves the most amazing pieces. You might remember that I visited her last year in Asheville, NC. Well, in the process of moving to a new city with her hubby, Kathie had a bad fall & has been off her feet for a bit. With her studio packed away in storage, Kathie has resorted to watercolors to explore color theory. Recently she posted this picture on Facebook and I commented that it looked like a quilt...
Kathie commented back "go for it" and I couldn't resist! Never mind that I should have been packing for our recent trip to NYC. I grabbed my notebook and a pencil and made a plan...
Dug into my stash and started cutting...
By the end of the day, I had this mini, an interpretation of Kathie's watercolor, ready to mail off to her...
I hope it brightens her day and helps the healing process somehow! It was a fun little project to tackle.




Friday, September 25, 2015

spice of life crochet along

Something fun and new for me! I've never done a crochet along before, but when I saw this gorgeous afghan on the Cherry Heart blog it was love at first sight! As soon as we got home from NYC I scurried off to to Hobby Lobby and picked out my colors....

I'm using "I Love This Yarn" I love the way it feels and it was on sale this week. Bonus!

I'm all organized too! I made myself color swatches...
And put together a notebook to put the pattern pages into each week...

When the instructions came out on Tuesday for the first 18 rows, I got right to work. By Wednesday morning I had them finished....
Now I am impatiently waiting for next Tuesday when the next set of instructions is released. I can't wait to see where this goes!





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Inspiration everywhere!

I love finding inspiration every day in my normal environment. But when I travel I enjoy it even more! This trip to NYC was no different...
Check out this fantastic painting on the side of a building on the lower east side. It just made me smile and offers so much color inspiration! Wow!

I love markets too... always find inspiration there. Check out these beautiful veggies at the Chelsea Market...
Hubby found some inspiration of his own at Chelsea Market. He wanted to buy this....
And while he has turned into a wonderful chef, I'm pretty sure we don't need a pan that big now that it's just the two of us at home!

On a walk near our hotel we saw this amazing sculpture on the side of a building....
I'm not sure if those are real instruments (Cellos? They looked huge!) but it sure did make for an interesting display.

No matter how many times I go to New York City, I'm always seeing new things!

Monday, September 21, 2015

NYC Adventure 2015

Sorry so quiet over here. This handsome guy and I took a little vacation... 
We headed off to New York City for a few days. So many fun things to do in New York, best of all, meeting up with Leigh Anne, our oldest who is living her dream life there....
We crammed a lot of adventure into just a couple of days. Top on our list was visiting the Freedom Tower. I took this picture of the tower from a park along the Hudson River, just behind our Soho hotel....
And this picture of the park on the Hudson from the top of the Freedom Tower!
If you are in New York, do head up to the top of the tower. The views are amazing!

I'm happy to be back home.... I'll share more later, but now I am off to tackle piles of laundry. Such a glamorous life I lead!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

bee blocks

I realized I had some bee blocks I hadn't shared with you yet! Last month we made butterflies for Joy...
 They were fun and quick to make.

This month we are making trees for Joellen. She drafted different paper piece patterns for us to use and boy were they fun! I really love the ones I made & now I want to make a whole quilt of them too! I can't wait to see everyone elses in October....
October is my turn to request blocks. I thought I had a color scheme all picked out but I can't seem to settle on a block and now I'm questioning my color choices. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

ellyn's tidy place

I have a confession to make. I'm a slob. Seriously, I work so hard at being neat and tidy but most of the time it just doesn't happen. But today, for at least one day, my studio space is clean and tidy! I thought it was a good time to take a few pictures to share. I love this little corner behind the door....
 Check out my new scrap cart! I got it at Walmart and it's perfect for scraps. I have them all sorted by colors and type (solids, low volume, etc)
 My new mini from Mahriam is hung and looks awesome above my cutting table...
 And my fabric is all neat and tidy too! I bought some additional baskets to match my new cart for the rest of the scraps. Fabric pieces fat quarter and larger are all folded and sorted....
It may never look like this again! I think I'll just go sit in there and not touch anything. Maybe. For a minute....

Friday, September 4, 2015

Text me mini

I've really been cutting back on internet swaps lately, but when the Text Me Mini Quilt Swap was announced, I couldn't resist! I love me some good text prints. Now that Emily (macaroni mustaches) has received her package, I can share it here. I went with my favorite arrows, graduated solids with text print background and big funky polka dotted sashing...
 Someday I'm going to make some of those arrows for myself. I also sent Emily a bunch of fun extras, but my favorite was this texty/low volume Lola pouch. She seemed to like it too! Again, I need to make one for me!

 Meanwhile, back at ellyn's place, I'm hanging out by the mailbox waiting for my Text Me Mini to arrive!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bookmark swap: a tutorial

This month the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild held a book/bookmark swap. The idea was to bring a book from your crafty library that no longer interests you, but might interest another modern quilter. Then, make a fun bookmark to put with it. I was lucky to receive this awesome book and beautiful bookmark, made by my buddy Joellen, though I didn't realize that when I chose it!

The bookmark I made received quite a bit of Instagram attention and several people have asked for a tutorial. Martha took this one home and seemed to really like it.
The center of my bookmark is English Paper Pieced. I started out with 22 1 inch 6 point diamonds....
I had some leftover strips of Hello Darling fabric from the dresden mini I had just made and they worked perfectly for these diamonds. Baste the fabric to your diamonds. I'm a glue baster, but do whatever makes you happy...
Sew your diamonds together in rows, then sew your rows together.
After you get it all sewn together, remove your papers and press well, make sure all of your seam allowances lay nice and flat on the back. Now trim it with your rotary cutter into a perfect rectangle.
Cut 2 pieces of felt, 1/2 inch bigger than your rectangle all the way around (I used 2 pieces just to give it stability). Lay a piece of pretty ribbon down the center and your rectangle on top. I used my glue stick to make sure everything stayed straight. Now machine appliqué your EPP piece onto the felt. I used a buttonhole stitch but a zigzag would work just as well. When you get to the ribbon at the top and bottom, just stitch straight across, attaching all of your layers together.

Trim the edges of the felt evenly around the center. I did mine about 1/4" away. Don't trim the ribbon here! Make sure you lift it out of the way when you trim the top & bottom. Cut your ribbon ends on an angle to prevent fraying.

There you have it! A beautiful bookmark to tuck in a friend's birthday card, a special child's backpack or your latest read. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

swapping with a friend

I love to swap! Instagram swaps are fun (I just popped one in the mail yesterday! As soon as it arrives at it's new home I'll share it with you.) but swapping with friends is better yet. Friends really "get you" do you know what I mean?

Yesterday my friend Mahriam and I swapped minis to hang in our sewing space. We haven't known each other for a really long time, but are kindred spirits when it comes to our sewing. We have the same loves, same creative process. I knew I would love whatever Mahriam made for me... and I was right! Check it out....

the medallions are all English paper pieced, from Diane Gilleland's book, All Points Patchwork.  I really need to get this book! Mahriam's EPP skills are through the roof & this gorgeous mini will be very happy hanging in my studio! And it will make me happy every day.

Here's the mini I made for Mahriam. I've really been loving adding foundation paper pieced words to my quilts lately. And I love the Hello Darling fabric.... the orange grunge background is a little outside my box. Luckily Mahriam loved it!

this is my first ever dresden, made using the Piccadilly Circus pattern by Thimbleblossoms... not perfect but not terrible, right? I enjoyed making it so much. Do you like to swap?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Celebrating three years of Crafty Tuesday!

Three years ago I had this crazy idea, that if I invited crafty people from all different areas of my life to come together once a month they might actually end up liking each other and having a good time! Selfishly, I decided to host it at my house every month (that way I don't have to pack up my stuff and go somewhere! Ha!). Well, they fell for it! And Crafty Tuesday was born. The first Tuesday of every month, a group gathers at my house to craft, gab, eat and enjoy life.

It's amazing really, and way better than I ever imagined. New friendships have been formed, new crafts and skills learned, new foods devoured!


September was our founding month, so the first Tuesday of September, every year, we have a little birthday party of sorts. You can read about our first birthday here, and our second birthday here. Today was birthday number three. Here's our obligatory group photo complete with balloons and dog.....


Thank you Stephanie for finding a video to teach me how to work the self timer on my camera! A new skill for me.

We had a wonderful time, complete with tacos and cake. Because, well, seriously, what's a birthday without cake?

Happy Third Birthday Crafty Tuesday! Here's to many many more.