Sunday, December 27, 2009

After Christmas Frenzy

How exhausted are YOU? I'm walking around like I have a hangover which I think is impossible having had 1 glass of wine 3 days ago and thats it. It's time for that after Christmas shopping frenzy thing and believe it or not, SO FAR, I refuse! Instead yesterday, I had lunch with gal pals Karon Cornell, and Janmarie Halliday, and grandaughetr Kaley at The beautiful and historic Mission Inn in Riverside California. It's like a step back in time. We had a lovely lunch of Monte Cristo Sandwiches and celebrated how much we were saving by going to lunch rather than going shopping. This may become a regular holiday plan. Hope yours is going well! I SOOOO need to sew though. SOON!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Birthday

The wonder of family and new birth is indescribeable. I wish you all a warm and safe holiday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We are all flyin' now

These last few hours before the official start of Christmas are hectic. I hear Santa has had to employ extra help to get everything delivered in time. Hope your holiday is a happy and safe one.
CONFESSION! I know you deeply addicted quilters will understand this. I NEED quiet time with my sewing machine.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The GRAND grandaughters are here!

Granddaughter Kaley arrived solo from Denver on Saturday.

Today the 'girls' spent time with my hairdresser getting a trim...
and matching Shirley Temple curls. Grandaughter Morgan has a lot of hair to curl. Kaley on the left and Morgan on the right. They ARE pretty cute!

Lookie what I got

Last Friday was a wonderful annual luncheon with my friends from the Wanabe Quilters... you know the group that has been together 20 years and knows their stuff. I'm glad they let me join later. Here's the gift I received from Nancy Mastroianni. She knows my favorite flower is a dogwood and wowwww I got a whole quilt full of dogwoods.
What a lucky gal I am. This is a wonderful group of 'talented' and thoughtful women.
The wheels are already turning for next Christmas. We have drawn names for next years secret Christmas Pal.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Time to Party.... and snack

I at least pinned a quilt yesterday, but it's party time and this is my contribution to the appetizer menu.... a turkey cranberry wreath. This takes two 8oz crescent roll packages laid out with half crescent points headed inside the wreath, the other half pointing outside with the two sets of FAT ends overlapped on the perimeter of the wreath. Then a turkey, mayo, dijon mustard, dried cranberries, swiss cheese, coarse black pepper, parsley, chopped celery salad is scooped around the center of the wreath. I placed this on a baking sheet with two overlapping half sheets of parchment. This will be handy later.
Then you bring crescent points across salad and tuck under ends. First one set of rolls one direction.
Then the other direction. Brush with white of one egg for browning. Then in to the preheated oven 30 minutes 375 degrees F.
Pretty huh? You can then slide the whole thing including parchment onto your serving platter and carefully remove parchment sheets .

I'm hungry. I must get to this party and chow down. Car is packed. I'm outta here. Happy Friday all!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Liquid Amber "Gold"

Things are heating up for hectic holidays... so I wanted to STOP for one second to appreciate nature. At home up the mountain it is definitely WINTER... COLD and snow. 15 minutes down the mountain, just outside my studio door is this exquisite FALL colored liquid amber. Pictures don't really do justice to this breathtaking tree. Click on photo for enlarged image.
I am not a botanist but 'am fascinated with the dangling pods on the liquid amber tree. Anybody know what they are called?

I must admit, I'm glad I don't have to rake up the leaves that will soon be falling off this tree. STAY WARM all.

Posting Update: THANK YOU for the comments about the name of this tree and the name of the hanging pod. It seems this tree has different names in different parts of the states as this is also known as an American Sweet Gum.... and the hanging pods are also known as .... go figure "Monkey Balls!" I love Google!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Where is that DAY Stretcher???

Anyone remember those stretcher frames we used to put our freshly washed jeans on.... so we'd get nice creases front and back? I wonder if someone makes a DAY stretcher for this time of year. I need one... we'll we probably all do this one week before Christmas.
Last night, I made 4 Christmas flannel pillowcases for grandkids... and must mail some today ( some live in Colorado and New Jersey... SOOOOOO Far!) :-( I added notes suggesting these snuggly pillowcases would provide a great nights sleep on Christmas Eve.
Today, I finished the binding and label on a secret pal gift for my Friendship Group.. the Wanabe Quilters. Believe me, they ARE quilters.... the group began 20 years ago and has most of it's original members. I came along much later and have to catch up with this talented crew. So, what do I make for my secret pal who is an expert applique queen, and precision piecer? Ofcourse, something I'm not all that good at.... A pieced/appliqued quilt. This baby is called FROG CABIN.. ie.. not quite a real log cabin block plus an extremely large frog (a creature fancied by my secret pal)

Now to quilting....I'm also not a stencil user, but a traditional quilt calls for some... so I gave it a shot. For the frog, I thought the fabric was my built in quilting pattern. Following the plan already in the fabric is sometimes the perfect choice. Click on pics for closeup.

Can't wait to see if she likes it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boxed 3 quilts for Road To California today

My big job of the day:
1.Finish adding sleeves and labels to quilts for Road To California show in January
2.Box all 3 accepted quilts up for delivery to the Road office in Upland Ca.

First time I've entered more than 1 quilt, and 'am really thrilled all 3 were juried in.

the newest... Bailerin Linda (a.k.a Proud Heritage) category: Art People

Winter Hunt... category : Art Pictoral
and lastly...In The Beginning : category Art People

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ready for your Closeup Mr. Tims

One of my all time favorite Ricky Tims pieces is Bohemian Rhapsody. BREATHTAKING!
Here are some rare closeups of his work.

Not my work... is this not spectacular quilting?

Last weekend I somehow managed to spend a few hours at a Ricky Tims Super quilt Seminar. What a delightful and talented human being is Mr Tims. Click on photo for closeup view. We seldom get to get so close to quilts hung in shows, but we could here. This is a new "photo printed/quilted piece by Ricky. The price of the 64" wide Epson printer would gag a horse, but as Ricky said, he's not buying a long arm. The background quilting on this piece knocked me out. With his quilting alone, he made a static floral image "MOVE"...

All Painted! Quilting in Queue!

Egads.. what a busy time to have so many projects in the mil. This piece is finally painted..... It's all about how males change over time. All in fun ofcourse. I hope to start quilting before the week ends as I must have this completed by year's end and "family" is coming this Saturday.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The difference between men and boys

There are many who say it's the size of their toys. Not exactly true in my hubby's case... but he definitely has a bigger TV. Anyway... we are getting close to finishing this piece.. the painted part that is.
Gotta love 'em!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cutting (in) a Rug for Baby Boy

I've added the rest of the rubber duckies, tug boats and bubbles on the left side ( the little baby boy side) of this piece. Now to begin adding the background of the rug on which these ducks, etc appear. Click on any picture for a closeup view.
ALL of the rubber duckies are looking up at the sleeping baby.
Now the prepare to work on the right side of this piece.... with the same baby boy 6 decades later.

Whoa.. It's Snow!

Well it's true... Southern California CAN get snow. These pics are from the very beginning of an expected week long storm on Mt. Baldy. The pic below is just outside the house. The single lane/tree covered road ices up. I'm not fond of a multi thousand pound SUV sliding down a road adjacent to a stream bed several feet below. So, we'll stay down the hill a few days. The place down the hill is my studio anyway. :-)

Let's just say, I am grateful to have a small home to stay on flatland at the base of the mountain. This is not a poor quality photo below. It's really starting to come down as I head down the mountain. There are so many quaint village homes along the main highway.

Stay Warm..this storm is everywhere.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Back at it! Gettin Ready for Road

I'm working to finish up a painting for my annual traveling exhibit with the Noble Seasons group. I did part of this this summer in Cabo San Lucas... but now my 2 figures(one shown here) are floating on a large piece of fabric so I need to ground them. So I drew some simple drawings of tug boats and rubber duckies as part of a nursery quilt design. Because I am working on a skin tone fabric ( not my normal sheer white) I placed the drawing atop my large glass dining table which I will turn into an oversized light box so I can see the drawing more easily. NOTE: If you create an original drawing on paper to lay underneath fabric, make certain you have used a permanent marker so as to avoid the marker bleeding thru when things start getting wet with ink or paint later.

I clipped a portable light to a dining chair which I move about as I need it.

It's pretty hard to see the lines without a light underneath.

The light underneath sure helps.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The finished product - Prayers for our Children

This piece is packaged and shipped to Kaufman for it's Solid Expressions traveling exhibit next year. Click on photos for detail view. (c)

All of us who have lived a long life feel concern for our children: our future citizens and leaders. The world has become more complicated than most of us dealt with in our youth. They need our love and concern. I truly enjoyed the quilting of the solid areas of this piece. It turns out a bit complicated pattern, much like the world that surrounds our youth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Signature

The signing of a quilt is fun because it means you are done quilting... and can move on to binding/finishing. One could surely sign 'later', but since my label and/or bottom weighted sleeve are often directly behind the signature, I do it now. I usually choose a color thread that won't distract from the quilt top. I'm proud of my work, but don't choose for my signature to be "in the viewer's face." To each his own. That's just my way. Here's what I do to sign.... I first draw 2 horizontal lines using a blue wash out marker...the lines represent the top and bottom edges of the planned cursive. I load my machine with 40 wt thread, and put my feed dogs down. I then position my needle at the starting point. After I pop up the bobbin thread as in 'Starting Anew", I'm ready to go. Click on any picture for detail view.

Give yourself permission to go slow, and write your name in a simple cursive, stopping in a needle down position at the end of your first name. You'll note that while you can see the cursive, it's not terribly visible.

That said, I then quilt my name backward atop what has already been done, this time ending where I originally began. This both emphasizes the signature and allows some minor corrections if needed.
I add the last name the same way.... starting anew. Don't forget to dot any 'i'. Mist the blue lines so they will disappear and allow fabric to dry.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Starting Anew

Happy Sunday all.... I'm picking up where I left off yesterday.... starting a new quilt line or picking up from a broken thread.... same approach either way. This might seem a strange thing to post for some, but I was amazed how long I had been quilting before I learned this, so here goes. The idea of what we're going to look at is how to bring your bobbin thread to the top surface as you start quilting so there will be nothing to snag or clip on the back... yeah!!! First holding your top thread slightly taunt, position your needle exactly where you want to start your stitching. Send your top needle down through you fabric!
As you bring the needle back up, you'll note your top thread remains beneath the fabric surface.
A slight tug on your top thread and the bobbin thread will pop through to the upper surface. I used my curved fiskar scissors to slip into the resulting loop and pull the loop forward so that the entire bobbin thread pops up top.
At this point... hold your top and bobbin threads together and begin stitching at the desired starting point. After a few stitches, you may trim both threads (YEAH) from the top surface!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pinning and Planning

Most of my quilting is unmarked textures and fillers. The first part of this piece had wavy continuos line scrolled in and out squares, triangles and rectangles. It's a fun and fast filler. This time, I noted I had a more open space than I wanted... albeit small.... so when I note such a thing.... that's all I do is note it by placing a straight pin in it and know I can/ will rectify that later. I find if I stop and fix something right now, I often lose my rythym. I can come back later.
The other time I drop a pin in is when I break or run out of a thread. I place a pin where I stopped to minimize the potential to unravel and so if I take a break, I know exactly where to begin again.
Working this piece, I got to a point in the wavy scrolled fillers, I decided I needed a different texture, different feeling and decided upon an irregular 'channel' of small meandering. In this case, a straight stitch outline on both sides of the would-be channel was desirable. A rare occasion... I blue marked (the washable marker) the outside channel allowing a unquilted tufted area to be saved as a separation between one quilted area and another.
Doing so made it easy to efficiently fill the channel. I also changed thread for interest.