Sunday, December 29, 2013

CHALLENGE: Love is at the Heart of all Things....

Write it on your heart 
that every day is the best day in the year.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our quarterly challenge topic is LOVE!  When I think of love, I think of hearts, in this case LOTS of hearts (64 to be precise).  This piece definitely took much, much, much more time than anticipated. The first picture is of the entire piece and each subsequent one is a close-up of a portion of it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

LEARN: Silk Unraveled

This is re-posted from two years ago.  I recently wore this vest and it is still one of my favorites!

Nearly everyman who develops an idea works at it 
up to the point  where it looks impossible and then gets discouraged. 
That's not the place to become discouraged.
                                                                             ~Thomas A. Edison     

From my library....   I have a section in my library that is just all my favorite art-related books. These are the books that I can look at over-and-over again. Silk Unraveled by Lorna Moffat is one of those books. The above quote reminds me of how she was able to finish this book because her mother, Liz, took care of the kids. this allowed her to go into her studio and close the door- what a gift!

The vest above is one of the projects in the book.  It is made by layering different silks, stitching the motifs and then cutting away varying layers.  This book helped give me a different perspective on how to use silk in my projects.  I enjoyed the process and especially the end product!

What are some of your favorite art-related books?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

CHALLENGE: Travel Dreams

Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
~Dali Lama

My local quilt guild had its biennial quilt show this fall. My favorite part of the show was the challenge quilts...I love, love making challenge quilts. The theme this year was Travel Dreams. I decided to make a postcard with postcards quilt from places I had visited. 

I printed postcard images from the internet onto fabric. Once printed, they seemed a bit dull so I got out paints, colored pencils, beads, crystals and glitter and 'went to town'. I satin stitched around the edge of each postcard. I assembled all the postcards to the quilt below:

The next few pictures show a quick tour around the edge of the piece.

Here are a few of my favorite postcards. 
Kalamazoo has real birch bark on the canoe, feathers for the indian's headdress, and a cloth loin cloth. 
It is tough to see here, but all the black lines on the Charleston card are machine stitching. 

Look closely and you will see that the thatched roof is made with long embroidery stitches. 

Enjoy my travels!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

INSPIRED...iPad Case

“The creative process takes its own course. 
If it did otherwise, it would not be creative.”
P.W. Martin, Author 

I made an iPad sleeve two years ago when I purchased my iPad, here is what the end product looked like:
The source of inspiration came from Sue Benner; the first time I saw her work, I fell in love. Here is her website: And here is a sample of her work: 
With this information in hand, I decided that I would make two mini quilts (one for the outside and one for the lining), adhere them together, and hopefully have an iPad sleeve stable enough to protect my machine.

As shown below, I started by penciling a grid on muslin as a template for the outside quilt.
I put Steam-a-Seam on the back of cool-colored fabric, cut the fabric into 1 1/2 inch strips, and then cut the strips into squares. 
I painstakingly placed the squares onto my penciled-in grid.
I created the same squares and layout for the warm-colored fabrics and created the decorative ovals. After spending hours to get to this point, it was tough to take that first brushstroke of paint onto the fabric.  I had to play a bit with colors before I became comfortable with it. 
I did echo grid-like quilting around the ovals for the outside.  The inside lining has a beautiful citron colored silk that I machined quilted with a pattern. 
 I even have a convenient pocket for my stylus made out of ultra suede.
I used binding once the two quilts were adhered together with a large button as my closure. 

So fast forward two years and this is my iPad case...still looking good!  Before I started using my case two years ago, I brushed a wax on the outer quilt, it worked surprisingly well.  The outside looks like a fine leather that was used for a couple of years.  My regret is that I did not wax the binding and eventually the corners began to wear. I decided to wax the binding in order to save it.  It appears to be working though you can see a little wear on the corners. I bought a skin for the outside that compliments the sleeve.

 Inside lining also still looking good!  I still love this case!