Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rubber Ducky You're The One...

You make bath time oh so fun!  My good friend Amber is having a baby and her shower was last weekend (hosted also by me and another one of our friends).  I am not really a pastel girl, I wonder why people think pastels when they think of babies?  Anyway Amber's nursery is Rubber Ducky themed.  Perfect, bright yellows, oranges and blues.  I found the perfect ducky fabric and then used a simple quilt pattern to showcase this theme.
The quilt pattern I used was called attic windows and here's how it turned out:
I free form quilted it
And for the backing I used the same ducky fabric:
For the baby shower I was in charge of either making or buying the corsage.  I love a good challenge so I made it.  I cut out one of the ducky's from the fabric then I used fabric stiffener to help it keep it's shape then worked around that:
I can't wait till "mini-Amber" arrives so I can give her lots of kisses and help out "first time mom" too!  Congrats Amber and Tommy I love you all so much!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The start of my Nutcracker Art Quilt

I love art quilts.  I love making them and I love looking at them.  Sometimes an art quilt contains embellishments such as beads, ribbons, found objects and things from nature.  A few months ago I started hand sewing beads onto one of my art quilts and I LOVE how it is turning out.  Granted it is taking a while but it is totally worth it!  

After deciding to embroider the centers of my Block of the Month blocks (see last post) I have really embraced this type of needlework.   I love it because to me everything about embroidery is creative, I can draw my own pattern and I can use any colors I want.  If you can't draw, or need ideas, all you have to do is search "coloring pages+mermaids" or whatever you little heart desires.

About a year ago I found this Christmas fabric on sale.  I traditionally like red and green but this one really grabbed my eye.

I had not known what I was going to do with this fabric until a few days ago.  Along with peacocks, mermaids and Halloween I also like nutcrackers (like mother like daughter!)  I found a line drawing of a nutcracker online and have decided to embroider him in blues and greens.  He will then be the center of one of my art quilts with this fabric being one of the borders and maybe the backing.

I love adding sequins and beads to make it really "sparkle":
I purposely did not sketch in the eyes because I was going to use black beads and I didn't want the pencil marks to show but last night I had an idea, I may paint the eyes so I can get the tiny details.

This may be for sale at the Newport News Fall Festival next year or it may not depending on how much I fall in love with it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM (#1)

I'm taking a break from making fabric bowls to refocus on quilting.  I found this wonderful lady by the name of Jacquelynne Steves on Facebook who just started a 6 month BOM quilt along.  I am so excited because I've always wanted to do a Block of the Month quilt but I didn't want to commit to 12 months.  Well Jacquelynne has created a 6 block quilt.  It has a large center piece that you can create your own pieced or appliqued design or you can use the design that comes with the pattern.  This is perfect for someone like me who likes to create her own look.

Jacquelynne Steves website is called Jacquelynne Steves: The Art of Home . You can either visit her homepage with a link to the block of the month: Sew Sweet Simplicity or click here .
This is what the original quilt blocks look like but we can choose our own fabrics and color combinations:

I have never been one to follow a pattern and that's why I fell in love with this quilt!  The possibilities are endless as far as fabric combinations and also the fact that you can put anything you want in the center.  

This quilt along started right before Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, so I was going to do a Tim Burton Nightmare Before Christmas themed quilt but changed my mind at the last minute and decided to go with a peacock theme instead.  

Here are my fabric combinations:
And before I even started cutting the pieces I got started on embroidering my peacock for the center.  I used beads and sequins as well as metallic embroidery floss:
Then I started cutting the rest of the fabric:
And here is my finished first block:

I've done half square triangles before but I've never done the flying geese pattern so this was a lot of fun.  I've already started embroidering my second peacock for the center and can't wait to get the second month's pattern so I can put that one together too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Art Quilting and Kaffe Fassett

Now that my "once-a-year" art show, the Newport News Art Festival, is over I am now focusing on a another one of my passions: quilting!  I really like traditional quilts but recently I've gotten into art quilts.  It stands to reason that I would like art quilts because there is really no right way to create an art quilt.  By definition an art quilt is "an art form that uses both modern and traditional quilting techniques to create art objects. Practitioners of quilt art create it based on their experiences, imagery, and ideas rather than traditional patterns.[1] Quilt art generally has more in common with the fine arts than it does with traditional quilting. This art is generally either wall hung or mounted as sculpture, though exceptions exist"(quoted from Wikipedia).

I just went through my archives to find any pictures I've posted so far on my Kaffe Fassett art quilt but I don't think I've posted any!  If you haven't heard of the fabulous designer Kaffe Fassett let me introduce you to him here (click on his name to be taken to his website).  His fabrics are wild and whimsical!  I can only take his fabric in small doses but my mom has really embraced his style and has started a Kaffe Fassett quilt too. My mom is doing a traditional 9-patch but with these fabrics it is very modern. 

Here are some examples of his fabrics from his 2014 Spring and fall collections.  I really wish I could post all of them!

Last year at the quilt convention I bought a bundle of fat quarters not quite knowing what I was going to do with them:
I also saw a technique done there that I thought maybe I'd try.  There was no pattern which was fine because I don't like following patterns anyway.  This quilter sewed the fabrics into tubes then wove them together to make a pattern.  Hmmm, I could do that!

This would be the main focus of my quilt.  I then appliqued circles onto other parts of the orange background then quilted around the Kaffe Fassett fabrics:
I have only just begun to embellish!  I love beads and sequins and other found objects added to my art quilts so stay tuned for the finished product.

Close-ups of embellishing and following my 3 triangle quilting designs within the quilt:

Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Newport News Fall Festival

I have loved going to the Newport News Fall Festival since I was a little girl.  My mom has been doing this show with her artwork for a number of years (25+) and I have helped her set up since I was young.  Two years ago she suggested that I apply (I had to be juried in with my own artwork) and sell my stuff.  I was honored and humbled to say the least.  I have always looked up to my mom, she is an amazing artist and for her to acknowledge my work validated me.  I was accepted in last year AND this year and it was a total blast!  I love that it's the first weekend in October, the weather was perfect and because it's in a park the woodsy smell is just heaven.  

A big huge thank you to everyone that came out and supported me!  I was sad that my cousin Susan couldn't come down from Northern Va to help me out so my dad had to do double time between my mom and me (giving us potty breaks, etc.) 

Here are some pictures from this past weekend:

 On Sunday my creative juices were flowing so I sketched 3 pages of notes!  I am so excited to start my new ideas so stay tuned because next year's NN Fall Festival will be definitely be better than this year's! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

New ideas for my fabric bowls...

New fabric bowls that will debut at the Newport News Fall Festival held the first weekend in October.

I am now painting pedestals and attaching my fabric bowls to them.  If you are hosting a Christmas party and need more room on the table you could use this one to 1. give height to your table and 2. create more space on the table (mints could go in this basket)

But before Christmas let's talk about Halloween!   Here are two of my newest creations:
(I still haven't decided yet if I'm going to paint eyes on this cat, I kinda like it without eyes.  Can't you just imagine this on your dining room table with Snickers bars in it!)

You can't see the spiders legs too well from this photo but I made them out of wire and painted the eyes with a toothpick.

I have also come up with a new spin on the old jewelry box.  With this one I have incorporated my love of Zentangles.  In the bowl you can store your necklaces and watch and then on the hooks beneath you can hang your rings and bracelets:

 And with this one you can hang jewelry from the hooks at the top and store them in the basket below:

Here are a few more every day whimsical bowls I've created:

I have a lot more that will debut at the Newport News Fall Festival in Newport News, VA the first weekend (Saturday and Sunday) in NN Park so please come out and see me!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Throwback to my photography days

When there is just too much going on in my personal life to update my blog I will post some of my photography:
I hope everyone has a beautiful day!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I'm counting down!

When I was a little girl we would travel to Lancaster, PA to visit Amish Country.  I didn't really get it, or get them.  Why didn't they use electricity?  Why did they all dress the same?  And now over the past eight years I've been taking a much needed "mommy getaway" to Amish Country.

I started writing an Amish blog called Amish and English but haven't updated it in a while (a year to be exact) because there is just so much information out there and not enough time to write about it.

Here are a few photos I've taken during other trips:
At the quilt auction

At the horse auction

This is one way to keep cool (see the irony? They don't use automobiles)

A mom and her kids


A mom and her little baby boy

Innocent eyes

I know most people would be excited to vacation on an island in the water or in the mountains hiking or camping but me? I prefer Amish Country. 
So the countdown is on!! I leave in four days, YIPPEE!!