Showing posts from August, 2009

Freehand Quilting

Here are a couple of photos of a quilt I completed recently. This is the back of the quilt with some freehand feather designs and my own original scrollwork.

A Day at the Beach

My family has a favorite beach destination - Dauphin Island, Alabama. It is a small island, but we love the ability to rent a private home and spend all week on the beach. Dauphin Island has been hit with all the Gulf hurricanes the past few years, so there aren't as many beach houses as there were when we first started vacationing there back in 1997, but they are rebuilding.

These photos were taken 10 years later in 2007. The seagulls were a favorite of the kids. We would spend hours watching them and trying to get the perfect photo.
Sand crabs were also a favorite of the kids. Dusk was the best time to find them.

The water was really shallow for quite aways out that year.

Watching the shrimp boats coast along is always fun. If we watched closely enough, we could see dolphins following behind the boats.
We are planning a beach vacation later this year. We're looking forward to unwinding at the beach and checking out the wildlife. Instead of putting away the swim suits and beach to…

Thread Painting on a Longarm Quilting Machine

Thread painting is a technique that I am not comfortable with yet. I'm still in the learning - beginner - stages. The photos below are of the Southwest Landscape that I am making through Shirley's Learning Fiber Arts group.

I started thread painting on my domestic sewing machine, but had difficulty moving the fabric due in part to the Decor Bond that I fused to the back of the piece as well as being too used to moving the machine instead of the fabric - that due to my longarm background. So I loaded the piece onto my Gammill and started in on the thread painting. Now I'm in my comfort zone.

All the thread painting and couched yarn is done on the longarm machine.
I still have more thread painting to do, as well as adding some appliques to the borders.

A customer quilt is currently on the machine and there are several more in line to be quilted, so for the moment, this quilt is on-hold, folded up on my cutting table waiting for a free day to be embellished some more.
By the wa…

Amateur Watercolor Artists

I believe I've mentioned before that my oldest daughter is really good at drawing. She is always drawing on something even while she's in the middle of another task. Two years ago she enrolled in a watercolor class and made two paintings. One was an owl in a tree and the other was of a historical building in our city.

With school starting up again, I wanted to encourage her to keep up with her watercolor painting for art class. On Friday's we concentrate most of our school time on art. This Friday she did this painting of a rowboat.

This afternoon, I asked her to show me how to paint with watercolors. I have been painting with acrylics for years and years, and I've also tried painting with oils, but I had never tried watercolor. I also thought it would keep her interested in watercolors if she had a "student".

I froze up with her first instruction - "Draw a basket of fruit!" I have no talent in drawing, so I talked her into drawing for me. She decided…

The Next Generation & Scheduling Update

My oldest DD has been interested in my quilting machine from day one. She doesn't get to quilt on it much because I always have a customer quilt or one of my own quilts on the frame.

This is a small landscape quilt she made a year ago or more. She chose all the fabrics after drawing her design on paper. I showed her how to make freezer paper templates and how to put the quilt together using a glue-basting technique. I hand appliqued it for her and she machine quilted it.
She has shown some interest in joining me in business lately. I'll have to give her more time to practice as well as upgrade to a stitch-regulated or computerized machine if she continues to show serious interest. Right now she's so young - and a teenager - that she could change her mind several times before she decides what she wants to do with her life.

Scheduling Update

I'm looking ahead on my quilting schedule. With Christmas coming up and our guild's quilt show just around the corner, I'm tak…

Log Cabin

Time for more quilt photos.

This is a Log Cabin quilt made by my sister's FIL. He is a budget quilter and uses whatever fabric he can find that is the color he wants, so his quilts can have anything from cotton to upholstery fabric, to double knit polyester all in the same quilt. One quilt top of his that I quilted had over 10 different fabrics in it! That can make quilting a challenge, but they all turn out looking great in the end.

This quilt had a dark green, double-knit backing fabric. I wish I had taken a photo of the back after it was quilting because it was gorgeous! I quilted it with feathers in the blocks and border with circles in the sashing. The batting is a 6.6oz. poly, and the thread is Signature 100% cotton.

Petrified Colors

DD #1 says I take photos of the strangest things. I'd say she has a point at least in regards to these photos. While on our Canyon Tour, we stopped at the Petrified Forest. The kids were less than impressed. They were expecting standing, living trees. The heat didn't help their 'tudes much either! I took advantage of the hour or so that we were there snapping as many photos as I could, not only of the landscape, but also close photos of some of the petrified wood.

I love the color and texture in these pieces of wood.
I was thinking of inspiration for color combinations and textures in quilts.

None of these photos have made their way into a quilt, but maybe some day.

And the Answer Is.......

Devil's Tower, Wyoming! The photo I posted yesterday was from several miles away. This photo is still a few miles away. All of these photos were taken in 1994.

This is a close-up shot. The "Tower" is so large that I couldn't get all of it in the frame. This photo really distorts the shape of the Tower.

Here we are farther back at the entrance to the part. You can guess that we were in Wyoming during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. It wasn't planned that way - we aren't bikers, but it just happened that we planned our trip during the Rally.

Here we are in the parking lot with our mode of transportation - a minivan!

So Tracy, you were very close on your guess! Devil's Tower is thought to be the core of an extinct volcano. However, Sioux legend has it's own story about 7 little girls who climbed onto a low rock to escape attacking bears. The rock rose into the sky and the bears clawed at the rock trying to get to the little girls and left the ridges of rock in…

Guessing Game

Can you guess where this photo was taken? Look closely. There is a clue in the photo.

I used this photo as the inspiration for the "Little Red House" quilt.

Nature Close Up

I'm feeling a bit better today, and hope to be back to what is normal (for me) tomorrow. I need to get back to quilting on Monday. I lost 3 days quilting with being sick this week.

Here are a few photos I took with the macro setting on my digital camera back on July 4th. The photo above is a small bush in our front yard. I don't know the name of it, but I love the color. Evidently some bugs like this plant, too, from the looks of the chewed leaves.
This photo is some rain drops that collected on a leaf of one of our sedum plants.

This is the tip of a yew branch. I think they could make some interesting quilts for the "Color and Composition" book I have been working through.


I'm still under the weather with this virus, so here's another photo of our canyon tour back in 2006. This is a photo of the Wigwam Motel near Holbrook, AZ. These are motel rooms made out of concrete. They park vintage automobiles out front of some of the rooms.

This is nostalgic for me since my family stayed in one of the rooms back in 1962 on a family trip from Missouri to California. I believe we were on our way back home when we stayed here. I wasn't even old enough to go to school then, but I do remember these fun motel rooms.

My brother and I enjoyed spending a few minutes here on our canyon tour, visiting a place we remembered from childhood. Then there is the log bridge in the Petrified Forest. We were allowed to walk across this bridge back in 1962, but now it isn't allowed. We have home movies of all us kids being walked across the bridge by our dad and grandfather.
It's nice to see some things are still around.

Mesas for Inspiration

This week has been busy battling upper respiratory viruses going around in the family. In between bouts, I have been working on customer quilts, and I don't have any new quilt photos to share. Here are a couple of photos I took of some mesas in southern Utah. They gave me some perspective in the Southwest Landscape quilt I'm working on. I also like the sky in these photos. It was an early evening in June and the clouds were building up.

Vermillion Cliffs II

This is another quilt I made from a photo of the Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona. This photo was taken at a slightly different angle due to the fact that we were speeding down the highway in order to get to the north rim of the Grand Canyon before dark! DH didn't want to stop for a photo op, so I took the photos through the car window. It was a long, hot drive from Williams, AZ to the north rim, but there sure was lots of beautiful scenery along the way.

Rocky Shore

I tried to capture a shoreline with large rocks scattered at the water's edge.

This one is also hand appliqued and machine quilted.

Bryce Canyon

When we took a "canyon tour" back in 2006, Bryce Canyon was one of my favorites. I loved the different colored rock formations. The colors ranged from white to terra cotta, and the rock formations were numerous! There were some Hoodoo's and some arches, plus a zillion other formations that I don't know the names of. On top of that, you could see for miles and miles across that canyon! The air was so much clearer than at the Grand Canyon which probably accounted for the visability.

Interpretting this canyon in fabric was difficult for me. So I simplified it - a lot! Here is my simplified interpretation of Bryce Canyon. It is hand appliqued and machine quilted.

The South Rim

This is a third landscape quilt of the Grand Canyon. Does 3 make a series? This one is from a photo I took at the South Rim. It is hand appliqued and machine quilted.

Grand Canyon Quilts

Here are 2 quilts I made from the same photo of the Grand Canyon's North Rim.

This one was my first attempt. After it was all appliqued, I decided I needed to break up the right lower corner a bit more.

So I changed the landscape a bit and used different fabrics all around. I'm still contemplating adding some foliage to the right lower corner. The first quilt had too much green - this one not enough.
I was considering donating one of these quilts to AAQI, but I'm still not happy with either one. They are too large, also, so they would have to be cut down. I went ahead and sent the other 2 quilts in yesterday. If I ever get one of these to where I'm happy with them, I'll send one of them in.
Now to find the time to work on them!

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Donations

These are two quilts I am donating to the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative.

The first is "Autumn Sunset". Fusible applique, machine quilted, all commercial fabrics. This is from a sketch I doodled while I was working on some fabric PC's.

The second one is "Vermillion Cliffs". Hand applique, machine quilted, commercial and hand-dyed fabrics. This is from a photo I took of the Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona back in 2006.

I have one more quilt made from a photo I took of the north rim of the Grand Canyon that I am considering donating. It still needs to be bound. I'll post photos of it once it's done.