Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Definite "Bit of Bliss"

'Bit of Bliss' is the pattern name for this BOM Block/Pattern 1 of 12 (by Pearl Louise Design). It's a pretty darn cute pattern. Some members of my Friendship group are starting this BOM pattern in February (each interpreting their own way). Mine is already looking way different than the patterns photos, and even different than the one I saw in a classroom.  It should be fun to see them develop over the next year. As you can guess from this first block, I'm thinking fresh black and white prints will be regularly involved.... fun polka dot or similar fabrics. Hard to see here, but I chose a Sew Batik background of their near white batik (Very soft lavenders and blues show up here and there).
click on photos for enlarged view
I have some art quilt projects I'm working on too, so I will be fusing this one rather than needle turn.
Love this birdie!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I seldom get a chance to quilt for someone else but a plea from a long time student/ now friend called for a positive response to do so. Terri Hunt from Apple Valley Calif. created this brilliantly beautiful  Black and White pen and ink quilt titled Buffalo Warrior. My challenge was to create a quilt motif that showcased her beautiful work. The piece was seen last week for the first time in public and Terry won a  Road To California Judges Choice Award and Ribbon.  Click on photo for enlarged view.

Can't express adequately how happy I am for Terri. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The creation of Windsong

I am still recovering from this viral thing going around. I got it 2 days after I got my flu shot. LOL!
As I was looking at my photo library, I realize I had these  never before posted images of the creation of one of my favorite quilts.  Here is the evolution of Windsong...

My black and white laser printed drawing is beneath the fabric and away we go beginning with that part we are usually most afraid of.  I do this for 2 reasons and this approach has worked for me every time.
Most important... 1) we are most rested and patient when we first begin... so why not tackle the important part of the important image right out of the gate.  2) The second reason which so far has not come into play... is that IF it just doesn't work ... I can begin anew.
This is a white horse as you see so to capture the white highlights at the topside edges of the horse head and mane, an edge of the brownish background negative space goes in to place
Ofcourse this horse is not blue... but since shadows are generally cool, I used blue and even a bit of purple to create contour and dimension. 
This piece was painted across several days making certain I took many a break to refresh my energy and patience. 
I think painting is mentally much like snow skiing in that I always knew in my skiing when my legs were getting tired and should not take on another run.  Skiing on tired legs and you fall. The same is true in painting ( or even quilting) .... if too tired, you will likely screw something up.
The background is to be a dense thicket ... and I am making it up as I go.  I layer colors and play with negative space where I can to keep lighter edges here and there.  
I carefully did some layered setacolor washes in the upper background.. eg put one down, let it dry and heat set... then layered another neutral color atop and water splatted for interest.  I always do this kind of thing with  an embossing or hair dryer next to my painting area to stop  any unwanted movement of paint into already defined image/s.  
He is unquilted here, but looks okay to me. This piece was done in recall of memories of childhood days on our farm in Oklahoma. We did have horses on our farmland and there were routine winds moving across the plains.  As such, soft winds seem a comfort to me.  A windblown mane of a horse is a thing of beauty to me. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wool Felt Candle Mat Travel Fun

Okay... I'm a painter and machine quilter but not so when traveling from place to place... so when recently traveling through Italy, I took this little handwork kit for wool felt. I'm not a wooly addict yet anyway but thought I'd do this to see what several of my wooly loving friends are enjoying. I must admit, it's perfect for traveling and E Z ... at least my way.... I wasn't looking to win any prize for perfection.
The pattern is available at    'Would be fun in Easter colors I'd think.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

How To Fall In Love with Venice

With only a short time in Venice, I first went to see the Grand Canal.... a wide canal snakeing through the city.
Street vendors, restaurants, and tourists line either side of the Canal. A bit overwhelming though exciting. 
I was on the lookout for one of the gorgeous boats like used in the Clooney, Amal  wedding last month. Bingo!  Complete with handsome Italian.
another.... a piece of art in itself. 
The best part of Venice is off the Grand Canal to the smaller tributaries entering residential dwellings and small shops. 

and ofcourse... a gondola with young lovers. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Apollo and Daphne

The Borghese Gallery in Rome had many magnificent scupltures but NONE more breathtaking than this by Gianlorenzo Bernini.  The story goes that Daphne had shot Apollo with an arrow that made him stupid. She wished to rid herself of him and her father set about to turn Daphne into a tree. Okay... sounds pretty crazy... but this is what is seen here. Daphne is starting to become a tree.... bark beginning to cover the front of her body, tree limbs/leaves sprouting from her fingers. Daddy had a strange way of helping!
The delicate details Bernini achieves in this marble are indeed remarkable... leaves almost translucent  where light can be seen through them.

 WOW... just  wow!!! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Pieta... Mary holding crucified Jesus

In Rome, at the Vatican, we entered St Peters Basilica where Mickelangelos "Pieta" is displayed beneath a cross. Onlookers  do not speak in this reverent place. It requires no words. It is beautiful in it's own way.