Thursday, December 17, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

I spent the month of October and some of November working on a new flower pattern, a Poinsettia. During the process, I was lucky to get to visit a warm, sunny beach in Hawaii over Thanksgiving, which I highly recommend. Unfortunately, my tan is quickly fading.

So, when I got home, it was back to my new flower. I was asked by RJR Fabrics to use some of their beautiful batik fabrics, which I did. The pattern and fabric kits will be available through Keepsake Quilting around the first of the year, in plenty of time for you to get it done for next Christmas.

I documented the building of this quilt with a video and set it to some Christmas music to show how I developed this quilt. I even show how you I quilted it so you can see how easy it really is (but don’t tell anyone)!  I want you to have the thrill of your friends and family saying  I can’t believe you made this!  That’s why I make patterns.

I made this flower 3 times in different combinations of fabrics and also in my hand-dyes. I love to see how my patterns can be translated into a variety of fabrics and still look great.

As I said, around the first of the year, Keepsake Quilting will have this pattern and fabric kits available for you to make for next Christmas.  Hey, Christmas isn't just for December!
In fact, I'm thinking that if I keep the tree up all year I will be so ahead of the game.

Oh, no!  Now I'm sounding like my mother, who did keep the tree up all year long back in the 80s.  She would redecorate it for each month’s holiday.  Her thought was that the tree represents Jesus so why not celebrate Jesus by keeping the tree up all year, not just at Christmas time.

We had a Valentine’s Day tree, 4th of July tree, Easter tree, and Thanksgiving tree. The Martin Luther King Day tree was a little tricky but she pulled it off.  Did I tell you she was an interior designer?  I guess that proves that the nut, in fact, doesn’t fall far from the tree!

On second thought,  I'll just enjoy my Poinsettia quilt and take down the tree until next year - it's easier to explain.

Friday, December 4, 2015

My iQuilt Class

Turn your favorite flower photo into a master piece art quilt.

For the next few days iQuilt will be offering a great deal on my online classes. Check it out by clicking on the word iQuilt above!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gulf Coast Quilters Here I Come!

In January I will be traveling through the Gulf Coast reign of the United States teaching and lecturing for a large group of quilt guilds spread out along the Gulf Coast.  Then I will end my trip in Venice Florida for the last of my classes.  

 This is going to be an adventure because it will be almost 3 weeks on the road.  But I have never been to these great places and I get the thrill of checking these states off my “how many states have you visited” map.  Looks like I have been to almost all of them after this trip.  Still haven’t been to North or South Carolina or Maine? That will be something to look forward to.

Some of the quilt guilds are doing my hibiscus pattern. So I thought I would show the student’s and you the hibiscus in varying stages of completions to give the kids an idea about all the colors they can make this flower in.  

 Hibiscus come in a wide verity of colors. So pick your favorite color and use the color chart as your guild when choosing your fabrics. Here is how you do this.
The body of the flower is made up of fabric A, B, C. They are arranged from the lightest to darkest. All other pieces are laid on top of these base petals.  D, E, F make up the center and they need to be darkest of color with D being black. Then notice on the color chart how color G H I J K L M N O P run from dark to light also? These are the showdowns and highlights.  In class I help you make a color chart with the fabric you being.  So pick your favorite color and bring lots of fabrics to choose from.

The more fabrics the better.  You can also order a fabric kit made from my hand dyed fabrics.  $65. Order through your guilds program chair.  Hope this helps. This is a stunning quilt. And bring a verity of backgrounds to choose from and greens.  I have a trick on how to pick the right background for your beautiful flower quilt. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My iQuilt Class is Here!

I will remember November 3rd for a long time. It felt like Christmas this morning when I woke up and knew that today is the big launch day of the new online classes brought to you by iQuilt and BERNINA.

American Quilters Society is the developer of this exciting format that will fill your creative minds with great quilting classes that cover every technique the quilting world has to offer. Many of your 
favorite teachers and authors are on the list.  Oh, and I am one of them. Yippee!

Now you can take my “Fabulous Flower Photo Quilts” class that I developed to help my students learn how to make their own flower masterpiece art quilt from their own flower photo.  And yes, you can do it!
You can follow along once you download the class into your computer and it’s yours.  It’s like I’m there with you only you don’t have to feed me or pick up after me.

You can ask me questions, take notes and view the class as many times as you want. 
So check it out.  More classes are coming from me - I just got done filming Renegade Thread Play!

There will be a link to a shop where you can buy your supplies for class. this is going to be so fun.

Monday, October 19, 2015

American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast

Like my day isn’t busy enough with getting ready for IQA Houston. today I’m going to be interviewed by Host Pat Sloan who has a cool Podcast on American Patchwork & Quilting Radio.

You can listen from your computer, subscribe by iTunes (search American Patchwork& Quilting) or download to a player …  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Rose at AQS QuiltWeek® August the 12-15 2015

Summer Rose Movie

Grand Rapids, Michigan -August the 12-15 2015
AQS QuiltWeek in Grand Rapids is coming up quickly and it will be here before you know it.

One of my classes still has a few openings. Its the Summer Rose class on Wednesday Aug 12th. I have hand dyed 4 rose colorways for this class and i make extra so you can have your favorite rose color.

I am also doing a lecture on "The Power and Secret of Color" on Aug 15. This lecture is designed to build more confident in choosing colors.

I am very excited to be doing a Wearable Fashion Show which is a evening event on Thursday 13 at 7 pm. I haven't showed my wearable art at a big show ever. I will be bring them all for  this fashion show! I cant wait.

So pack your bags and join me in Michigan.  Its a beautiful, very artsy city with great restaurants right on the river.   What could be better?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Today's Tip

I’m working on a new sample quilt that was inspired by a student.  She had incorporated three of my patterns in one awesome quilt which I am in the process of making. I’ll show you the finished quilt later in my next blog.

Three patterns is a lot of cutting and my cutting arm/hand got tweaked by all the 50 pound bags I cart around the country.  I was cutting out 45 small green leaves and I ran out of straight pins, which always happens. I don’t know where they all go, I just bought a new pack. I think they are friends of that odd sock that keeps disappearing in the dryer.

I don’t really like that the pins also keep bending as I push them through the pattern paper and the fusible web.  I hate bent pins. Plus, when the pieces get really small and they do get really small, the pin are in the way when I cut.  I need the pattern pieces to stay with the cut pieces until I lay it in its proper place on the pattern background fabric or layout guide so I know what number it is. 
Light bulb moment! I jump up and grab my Wonder Clips!  So much easier.  Here is a short movie on how I use them. Give it a try.   If you can’t find the Wonder Clips I am expecting a shipment next week for my web shop.  $19.00 for 50 clips. Click on the Shop  link above.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Quilting Adventures in Arkansas

OK, I have been in 7 cities in 40 days and that doesn't include the 14 stops in Denver along the way.  Yes, I am tired but it’s been so fun and very exciting.  When God answers your prayers you'd better be ready. It's all good! 

Yes, Joe has no underwear, as he told me today but he is getting so good at shopping and laundry these days. Yesterday, the checker at the grocery story referred to me as “Oh, you're Joe's wife!” 

Hey, I've been shopping there for the last 18 years and now I’m somebody?

But I couldn’t do any of this if Joe wasn’t 100 percent behind me - plus he loves that I make money now, so it all works out. 

So here is a short video of my adventure in Arkansas. I was there twice in 2 weeks.
When I got home, I went online and found that my grandmother and her sister and their father, my great-grandfather Isaac Standlee, were all born in Arkansas.  
Lois and Ruby Standlee
Enjoy the clips and song and I'll have more of my adventures to come and, if you like BBQ, I highly recommend #Lindsey's in North Little Rock. Awesome food.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Dogwoods Are Blooming!

Well, spring is finally here and for most of last winter, when I was not in an airplane flying off to teach and lecture,  I have been in the studio working on my new pattern idea.  The idea came after visiting in Paducah, Kentucky in April when the Dogwoods began to bloom.  It was breathtaking!
They even have a Dogwood Trail, which I followed (and it's beautiful).

 This really is a lesson in values.  How many values of white can you find to make a white Dogwood?But first, start by looking for the lightest colors you can find of the pink, blues, greens, yellows and so on.
By the way, my drawers are not always that neat!
 Now I have my painting palette. But don't worry, the pattern comes with a color chart and if you just get close to the color it will work.  It's more important to have the right value.

I built the flower first on parchment paper, which is laying over my drawing. I have found some great thin parchment paper which is larger than the product we have been buying at the grocery store. 
See my web store for this product.

After I  got the first flower halfway done, I started to audition background fabrics.  I tried at least 5 other colors before I found this one. I like the dark, woody coloration with the white flower.
Here I am adding more flowers and auditioning some greens for leaves. The greens you use can make or break your quilt.  These greens did not work, they were too teal.
 Here I have used one of my ice-dye green fabrics that has lots of sparkle and it works much better.
Now I am ready to quilt and sketch with thread.

 I love the shiny Sulky 30-weight rayon thread. This is also in my bobbin.
I am using a Top Stitch 80/12 needle.
 Starting to add the veins in my petal with thread.  I am changing thread color as I go.
I love the stitch I get with my #BERNINA 750 QE. 

 I add a little Sewer's Aid to my thread as I quilt to help it glide through the machine smoothly.  Rayon is a delicate thread, so if it hits a metal burr somewhere in your machine it will ravel.

I hope you enjoy working on your dogwood flower.
This pattern is now available in my web shop.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Keepsake Quilting Catalog

So excited about my quilt being in the Keepsake Quilting catalog. 
I got a call last year from RJR Fabrics about doing a pattern design for them using their fabrics. They wanted a pattern that was big and bold and thought of me. What an honor!  I don’t think they really knew what I do but someone dropped my name.

Texas Wildflower is on page 7.
They sent me samples of all their colorways.  You would think that if you had all those colors in your studio you could just take one of my flower patterns and translate it into their fabrics but that is not quite the way it happens.
 My Poppy pattern.
You see, I learned that I have a look which has its own color palette.  That is why I have been dyeing my fabrics.  I also use commercial fabrics when I can find my colors but for my quilts I want a certain color look.  Just like a painter mixes the right color, I have to find or make that right fabric color and value.  Remember, the fabric is my paint.  It is all about the color for me.

The first flower I wanted to try in RJR fabrics was my Poppy pattern!  It’s a show-stopper and the pattern has 3 different color charts for 3 different kinds of poppies so I thought this would be perfect.  But it wasn't.  Their red palette was not my red palette.  There was a big difference.  Who knew?
laying out the Texas Wildflower laser cut fabric kit.
The more I study and teach about color, the more I learn.  As I was making the poppy, it just was dead.  No pop, no wow factor.  I had to call RJR and tell them I couldn't do it.  I don’t care how much money (by the way, it wasn't that much) it pays - I can’t put my name on something that is not me and not my colors. At this same time I was making my Libby Quilt for the auction to raise funds to help Libby Lehman with her treatments. This flower, by nature, was in the RJR color palette with its orange reds and peach pinks.  

So I simplified the pattern so it didn't have as many fabrics as the original and started working on this new quilt.  RJR liked the quilt so we had a deal. Now you can buy my pattern and a laser-cut fabric kit with the RJR fabrics that go perfect with this flower. 

Just for fun I made the quilt in another colorway using RJR fabrics again.  I like purples but there is no kit for this one but there is a color chart in the pattern to help you pick your own colorway.  
In Purple and reds.
I have also put together a thread pack for the the Texas Wildflower that goes with the RJR fabrics. You can the pattern and the thread pack at my web shop.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Something Out Of Nothing

I made this soft and cuddly knitted shawl two years ago. I got it out to wear to dinner the other night and found, of course after I got home, that there were holes in the fabric. It looked like it had been chewed. I tried to fix them but another hole showed up and then another. It made me sick. This was expensive yarn!

With a disgusted look on my face I grabbed the whole thing and threw it in the trash.  I think I even stomped my foot as I walked by the over-stuffed trash can. By the time I got to the door of my studio I paused and went back to the trash can and pulled the shawl out.  It’s just so soft.  I know there is something I can do with this, but what? 
What if I used my sewing machine and zig-zagged with black thread over the holes?  How about doing straight lines of zig-zag stitches all down the shawl?  It needed more. And then I remembered I have a bag of laser cut wool circles I bought two years ago at Quilters Affair in Sisters, OR. 
I think they were made up for the Sue Spargo class. I had no idea what I would use them for at the time.

I started by laying the circles on the three holes to be fixed.  Then I added more and layered them randomly all over the shawl.  I stitched them into the knitted shawl.

Then I did some more zig-zag stitches up and down the shawl.  With an extra ball of yarn I crocheted a ruffle on the ends of the shawl to give it a nice finishing touch. 
Then added a big vintage Bakelite button.
I think I like this better than the original! I love creativity!