My Favorite Books

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I'm a Cover Girl!

How exciting!  I received an email a month or two ago stating my patchwork quilt (you can see detail pics here) was accepted to be part of the 1000 Quilt Inspirations book, to be published in 2015.

 Well, I was pretty stoked with that email but then yesterday I received another email that included a picture of the cover for the book!  And guess who's on the cover!!!  A big WooHoo from this gal!

Yep, that's my patchwork quilt on the bottom left!!!  I am so excited....who knew!!!!  Here's a link to the book, which will be published February 2015, and a description of the book:

"As one of the core, traditional crafts, quilting is enjoyed by countless enthusiasts around the world - and its popularity is only growing. This collection of one thousand quilt DETAILS builds upon this interest, showcasing some of today's most innovative and beautiful WORK. See how others utilize color and design elements to craft creative pieces. Gain inspiration from their variations and intricate techniques. Maybe even CONSTRUCT your own original quilts. Whether YOU ARE a quilter or a collector, a craft-lover or an art enthusiast, 1000 Quilt Inspirations is sure to inspire your admiration and appreciation of the art of quilting. It's also likely to get you itching for some fabrics of your own!"

I actually have the 1000 bead books...I know...go figure, which I do enjoy looking through for inspiration.  I have to say, my inspiration for this quilt came from Linda Kemshall from Design Matters.  Linda had a video on using up your scrap fabric pieces.  Well, you know how much I love hand stitching and after making my 'base' fabric, I thought the piece was perfect for hand work!  You can see the original base fabric and my drawing process for the circles here.  So, thanks Linda for the inspiration!!!  It's so nice to be recognized for the effort we artists put forth in our work (and yes, I just called myself an artist!).  The hand work on this piece took quite a long time but the end is always in sight!  I also hope I do inspire just one person to create a piece of artwork and perhaps even add some hand stitching!  Now to get my hex horse finished!

Monday, October 20, 2014

12 inch block exchange

Tommy had her 'challenge' again this year with four of us participating.  We each made 12" finished blocks to exchange with each other.  They can be the same, different...whatever.  I'm really so pleased with the blocks I received!!  Check them out!!!

This is Gayle's block!  I love her use of different quilting designs as well as the use of silk!  It's quite stunning!!

And this is Tommy's block!  So "Tommy" like!  I love how she creates her block to look like a piece of art work you would hang on a wall.

I just received MaryAnn's block today!  How cool is appears she screen printed fabric then sponged metallic paint on a piece of fabric for the leaf!

You have to see this in person...

And as an extra bonus, MaryAnn  wrapped the block in piece of the original fabric she used!


And this is the piece I made for myself!  You can see the ones I made for the other ladies here.   This is always so much fun to do!  Sure hope I can get my name in hat again, if Tommy decides to do this next year!

I love all of the blocks I received!  Thank you each!!!!  They'll be going in my 'quilt block book'!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stitches, stitches and more stitches!

I really have  made progress on the hand stitching for the hex horse.  And thank goodness for the gals at our fiber meeting.  I took the hex horse with me to the meeting yesterday showing the stitching I had done.  You can see some of the stitching....

Now, look closely for some 'plain' areas, which are mainly in blue.

And yes, his legs are upside down...and his butt is sideways in the pic above...just look at the plain areas.

 Someone asked how or what I would stitch in the 'plain' squares - or I should say the non stamped pieces.  I said I wasn't sure if I would do some free motion quilting or hand work.  They suggested that I continue with the same line type hand stitching and carry that theme in the plain areas as well.  What a great suggestion!

They also gave me the suggestion to use some rust/gold threads, very small amounts, within the piece.  How great to get the input from talented friends!!!  Now I'm anxious to get needle and thread back to this piece...BUT first....

I'm also hand stitching on my Rick Loudermilk piece.  I've only stitched two of the ovals and three of the triangles.  This will go on the back burner...hex horse is calling me first!
Well, maybe not first....I get email blog updates from Simply Maggie, this is the same young lady who showed us how to 'arm knit'...remember that!  Well, she posted a free pattern in that email for a cute chunky cowl, which I just had to make!

FREE Tri-Style Cowl Pattern
So yesterday I picked up two skeins of Chunky Wool Ease yarn and today I started to kit the cowl.
This is how far I got today...I have about nine more inches or so to go.  But I think it will be cute to wear.  Now it's off to watch Survivor!  Yes, I'm a die hard Survivor fan...never missed a season yet!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop Part 2!

I did a blog post on the World Wide Blog Hop last week.  If you missed it you can read about here!  I don't want folks to miss meeting the ladies I noted in my post.  So make sure you head over and meet  Cyndi and  the 3 ladies she selected!

What a great way to meet new fellow bloggers and be introduced to new works of art!!

This might not look like much...but it's a start for my piece I'm going to attach to canvas.  
Our fiber group decided to use Rick Loudermilk as our inspiration for a small art quilt which we're each attaching to a gallery wrap canvas.  I did start some hand stitching on this piece embroidering around the oval stamped areas.  Yes, I'm still doing hand stitching on my hex horse!  But it's so much fun to work on more than one project at a time!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Well, lots of congratulations this weekend for the grand kids!!! 

First up, Kayla and Nate are engaged!!!!  We are SO happy for these kids!  Does Kayla look surprised!  I dare say she is!!!!
Nate is a delight and such a nice young man.  He and Kayla have had a long distance relationship due to schooling and jobs but I think they see the finish line!  They are so cute together and are such wonderful couple.  What an exciting time for the family!

Kayla called and talked to Bob yesterday but I'm sure we'll get more detail on how this 'surprise' happened when he talks to Ron tonight.  Can't wait to hear the details...I was out walking Kalee or I would have inquired!

And congrats to Nick and his team...they are 1st place in their division and are now on to the championship games!  Woo hoo!  Proud mom and dad!  And Nick's even smiling!  Auntie is the team's photographer and I'm not sure how she got Nick to smile, but she did it!!  Way to go Auntie!
We are so lucky to have such great kids!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop

Do you know about the 'World Wide Blog Hop'?  Well, because I live in a cave I wasn't aware of it until Sherrie (Sherrie Loves Color blog)  contacted via email.   Sherrie nominated me to take part in this bloghop, which sounded like fun.   There are 4 questions to answer in addition to nominating other bloggers to participate!  You can see Sherrie's answers by going to her blog post here.  And are my answers:

What am I working on?  

Well, I'm always working on something....I love having some hand project to work on at night while watching TV (I can't just sit and watch TV) or sitting outside on the deck!   Hand work or beading is perfect TV work!  And I always have more than one project to work on at a time...before I'm finished with one, there's another one in the works!

So 'one' of my current projects is my Tiffany Peacock for our 'Masters Exhibit'.  

I've finished all the quilting and now the hand stitching and possibly beading will be the current TV work!  

Also, my Horse Hex quilt needs  to be quilted and  perhaps some beading for the mane and tail.  Most of my work have beads on this piece won't be any different!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?   Why do I create what I do?   I combined both of these questions!

 Seriously!  I am not a professional quilter so I can't say my work 'fits' into any specific genre!  I create my art when and if idea hits or I see a bead or picture I'd like to make into a quilt...whatever hits me!  This is why I have some many projects that I'm working on at one time.

How does my creating process work?  Let's be honest here folks!  I don't really have a creative process.  I may have multiple projects I'm working on and I'll grab a piece of fabric or see a new technique and off I go!  I may sketch out a quick drawing, print out a coloring page from the web or trace something onto paper or in my notebook.  From there, depending on the size I need, I'll enlarge it to size then decide if I'm piecing, beading, painting or dyeing!  

For example, this was my inspiration for creating my hex horse quilt.  I loved this picture and of course, because I love hand work, I thought making a horse out of hexie's would be fitting!

So off I went looking for a horse coloring page, which I enlarged to 16"x20".   Once I had the hexie's made I started to work on the background.  I knew the colors I wanted but since I only had a few pieces of hand dyed fabric, I  had to piece the background.  Worked for me!  

So that's a little insight to my so called 'process''s not exact....not what perhaps others do but it is me! 

Hope you will enjoy meeting some new bloggers on the World Wide Blog Hop!!!  These are my nominee's!   "Hop" over and you will definitely enjoy reading and learning about each of them as well as perhaps learning some new techniques!!  ENJOY!

Cyndi (and her bettr half, Mike!)
From Beading Arts

 Cyndi Lavin is a mixed media artist, jewelry designer, and writer living in central Massachusetts. She strongly believes that life and art are intertwined, that we are all works of art, designed by God to be creative beings, and that part of our purpose in life consists of discovering the things that we were meant to create. Cyndi's work appears in many art and jewelry books, as well as in popular magazines.  She enjoys sharing her art adventures and tutorials through her daily blog,

From Artsy Chick Quilts

Laurie Ceesay is a fiber artist, national quilting instructor, quilt pattern designer and hairstylist with a degree in Clothing, Textiles and Design. Her specialty is portrait quilts and she is inspired by the hair and fashion industry, pop culture and retro looks from the 40s-70s. Her award winning quilts have been displayed at national juried and invitational quilt shows and art galleries, in published books and magazines and on Season 13 of Quilting Arts TV on PBS.  Laurie lives in Menominee, Michigan and you can see more of Laurie's work on her web site,

From Ladybug's Cabin Textile Art & Quilting
Monique was born in the Flathead Valley and raised on the same farm where her grandfather grew up.

"Just as my father took up the plow from his father, I learned to love and work with fabric from my mother. An avid quilter and teacher, mom's works lit my creative fire, and much of what I've learned has come from our playing and experimenting together."

Her introduction into the arts began at age 3 with ballet.  Dance soon opened the door to theater, and after college she worked as a professional performer and director based out of Seattle--traveling across North America and as far away as Australia. 

Monique's flair for the dramatic fused into her quilting after attending a class with her mother taught by thread artist Ellen Anne Eddy.  There, she learned the basics of dyeing fabric, and the joys of layers upon layers of thread.

Now, living on the Swan river, Monique draws a lot of inspiration from the natural beauty around us; the constantly-changing seasons, and the majestic (and sometimes humorous) animals that wander by daily."

Monique's work includes traditional quilting techniques, appliqué, bobbin work and thread painting, along with hand-dyed and hand-painted fabric. Many compositions include three-dimensional objects with a variety of fibers and textures. 

Her work can be seen regularly at Paint, Metal and Mud Art Gallery in the historic Kalispell Grand Hotel,  the Bigfork Art Museum, and Palmer Union Design in Great Falls and on her website:


Quilling...really...another technique to fill up my day!  And no, I didn't misspell 'quilting'....I meant QUILLING...don't you remember this little craft we did about 40+ years ago!  Well, I fact, I still had some quilling papers from who knows how long ago!  I remember doing this 'craft' when my kids were babies...they are now 45 & brought all this 'quilling' back into my life!

I follow Eva Maria Keiser's blog which isn't a blog in the sense of some blogs...she posts on different artists, different art forms,  some of her own work and just really interesting links.  Last weekend she posted on "quilled paper illustrations and sculptures" by  Yulia Brodskaya.  You have to check out her web site and her work.  This takes the work "quillling" to a whole new level.  Just amazing work!

So...I had to look and see where I had stashed some quilling paper...I never throw anything out, right!  Well, I found it and started playing!  

So what am I or what did I do with these little lovelies!

Talk about mindless work...I love it.  I've had hearts on the brain the past few weeks thinking about the 25+ fiber cards I need to make for February.  Seeing the qulling made me wonder if I could make some cards using some of the pieces I quilled.  The only problem I see is they would not withstand being put on fiber cards being sent through the mail.  I could put on card stock and place inside envelopes, so that might work...who I need another project, right!  But what else would I be doing!  As long as my 'house' chores and cooking are done, my time is my time!!  And best be busy, rather than sitting around eating bon bons and watching TV!

Works for me!  Although, the bon bon part does sound really good!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Still working away

I thought I was making quite a lot of progress on my hex horse hand stitching but golly!  This one is taking some time!  I looked at it closer and I'm only about 30% finished!

I machine stitched some of the hex lines and there is some 'loft' to the horse as I used wool batting.

You can see a slight 'puff' can't you?

On the pieces that I stamped with my circle/line stamp, I'm stitching cross ways then outlining with small stitches.

I think these two pictures show some of the stitching and the stamped line. Obviously, I'm not stitching each one of those lines!  I'm nuts but not totally crazy!

There will be some stab stitching and who knows what other pattern I'll end up doing.  But at least it's keeping me busy at night!

Today is Kalee's 2nd day at her job!!  Let's hope it goes as well as her first day!!  So off I/we go!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Busy week but still working!

The week started off just great with Kalee having her 1st day as a therapy dog here in town!!

She did so my friends know I've been working on this for quite sometime!  We'll be going to the Assisted Living facility once a week until we head south.  When we come back in the spring, they should have the Memory Assistance building, just next to the Assisted Living facility, open so we'll either combine visits or visit twice a week.  I am a proud mom!   You can see more pictures on Kalee's blog here.

In between hand stitching on my hex horse, I have started on another project (machine work this time!) for our Master's Exhibit.  Our fiber group of six decided last month we would use a gallery wrapped canvas to put art work on.  This is the technique I've shown before on my blog and the most current post here.

We also decided that we would all create the art work based on the inspiration from the same artist, Rick Loudermilk.  His work is quite pleasing and I think adapts well to an art quilt.

Yesterday, I sewed strips of fabric (brown and white) together and today sandwiched the strips so I could machine quilt them.


I should have turned this pic as my strips will be vertical!  I stitched in the ditch then did some free motion quilting....which I didn't like!

So I spent about 20 min. ripping out all the free motion work!

If you look close you can see the stitches or should I say 'holes'!  I just sprayed with water and ironed the piece so all was well.  Then I stitched the triangles above...I'll be doing more of those or at least outlining the tri's.  I want to paint one of the sections in the triangles to match the brown in the other strips.

I'll also be adding some circles using some painted fusible or painted webbing in circles....I know..hard to picture what I want to do.  Bob didn't get it either!  But I have the pictures in my mind!  Now to transfer to my quilt!

Nick's football game is tomorrow but rain is coming..actually, we had lots of rain today.  Temp was warm (mid 60's) but heavy rain.  I just came back from Kalee's walk and it's quite decent  out now that the rain stopped.  Just wet...but guess I better get used to it!  They don't play football inside do they!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monochromatic Challenge

 I can finally post my finished my piece for the Art Quilters Around the World blog challenge.  I finished it the end of August but I was not able to post until now!

This did turn out to be a fun piece to do...even though I'm not found of working only with one color.  Just to make something different, I thought I'd use the technique shared by Laura Kemshall (DesignMatters TV).

I started off with a piece of hand dyed lime green fabric, which I free motion can see somewhat of a plant/floral design in the quilting.   Look hard!  It's there...ha  I also use a darker shade of green so it will stand out.

Next, I took a gallery canvas (from JoAnn's) and painted Gesso over the entire front. This is just a you'll see later on the process.  Let the Gesso dry then we're onto the next step!

Now, cut to size your quilted piece keeping in mind you need to keep at least an inch border of the canvas.  You need this space to be able to sew through to the other side to attach your quilt.

Glue the cut quilted piece onto the canvas and then stitch through the edges to attach.  I used 12wt Sulky thread to attach, just because that was the color of green I wanted.

Next up, and this can be the scary part!! take acrylic paint and using a brayer, roll paint over the entire quilted piece...even onto your sewn edge thread.
Once your piece is dry then the real fun start paiinting in areas with the original color of your piece.  In my case, the original piece was more of a dark lime green.  I just happened to have on hand some lime paint.  I actually love this's very relaxing to just paint!!

You can see the part(s) that I'm now painting.

Next, I want some of the leaves to fall onto the canvas so I take a pencil and draw the placement I want.  This does take some time and I find myself erasing a lot until I get what I want.

If you find your pencil marks are  causing some dark spots, just paint over those areas with Gesso.  And...if you find your painted marks aren't excact you can use Gesso to cover your painted area or to  clean up an area.  Gotta love Gesso!!!

Just another picture of the edge...actually, this picture should be turned!  This is the lower left edge on my piece!

So that's the process...that's my challenge piece!!!  I do love attaching pieces of quilts to canvas.

I have made several of these and enjoy the are a few more that I've made.
This was for a fiber group challenge.  

This was a wedding gift for my great niece.
It was a picture I traced from
her wedding invitation.

This was the very first one I did.  Lots of fun!!!

Hope you get to try this!  It quite a lot of fun...scary at times...but can always start over!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Birthday, Nick!

 Nick's BD was last Friday, but the family celebration was held yesterday!  As usual, Kris and Darrin put on a feast as always!!!  It's always so nice to have the family together!!  Dawn just returned from a week out west, having a spa week with her gal pal! Great she and Jeff were both in town!

 Grandma Nancy made another one of her famous cakes!  Each BD 'person' gets to pick their cake and Nick wanted confetti!  Grandma even made these tie dyed cookies to put around the cake.  Nancy always out  does herself with decorating!  And the cakes area always SO good!!!

I don't remember the name of this tablet Nick got from Grandma Nancy!
He was SO excited!!

Auntie got Nick his Lego set!  Although, Nick did get to
carry it around the mall the day she bought it!  And she
wrapped it up for him to open.  We all made him work
for his gifts this year!

Nick had requested a Ripster (like a skateboard) from us ...but I told him they sold out so he'd have to buy it himself.  So what did he get from grandpa and I!  A pooper scooper!  HA  Nick is in charge of Brody's daily 'output'!  He thought the box contained the small Ripster!  Fooled him!

As I said, we wanted Nick to work for his BD presents this year.  I had cards made up and the first one told him he had to go on a scavenger hunt.  Amber handed him the 1st few cards and he had to read out loud.  Each card gave him a hint as to where his next card was hidden!

Nick's first card said "where do I have you go before you have a snack after school?"

Of course, he guessed it right off..."the bathroom to wash  my hands!" he said!  So funny...

His next card was "go to the room where the desert animal lives under a blue light."  Well, that's his bedroom where Spikey the lizard lives with him!

That card told him "go to the room where you 'google'".

So that was the downstairs computer area.  And yes, that large (understatement!) cage (right side) belongs to Brody!!

That card read "where does the UPS man leave packages?"

Of course, that was the front porch, where grandpa had already put Nick's gift!

Finally, Nick got to open his Ripster!

We were shocked that Nick could get up and ride this bugger!  It really is cool!!  I did try to stand up on it...but that was all I could do.  Must have been the sandals!  Next time I'll wear sneakers!  HA

Here's a video of Nick on his Ripster (which I'm sure I'm misspelling!).  Anyway, it was a fun day and great day for eats!!!  Thanks, kids!!  Hope you had as much fun, Nick, as I did!