Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Studio Table

I'm taking  Seth Apter up on his challenge to post pics of your studio table in it's "real" state - not prettied up for a blog post photo.  I love seeing people's work spaces - whether neat or not - so thought I'd share mine.  I am sharing two photos from two different times related to two different media. So I guess you could say it's a two-for-one deal.  ;)

I do a variety of different creative things and right now I am making a quilt. This is probably not what most of you are into creatively but maybe you'll still be interested in seeing my work table. The messiest part of quilt making is the stage where you are selecting and cutting all the fabric pieces. I've passed the point of cutting fabric so most of the mess is gone.When you are sewing your blocks together you have to be organized so you get the right pieces in the right places.  I just have a few block pieces waiting to be sewn and a stack of completed blocks on my table at the moment.  But this is an honest shot of what it looks like in there right now.

 A year ago this month ago I was knee deep in an art journaling/collage project for an online class I was taking - Mermaid Circus with Teesha Moore and Jane Davenport - and things looked like this:

I love being in the midst of creating and making all the mess. But I have to admit I DO like to clean up and have everything in order again, too.   What about you?

Visit Seth's blog for a list of all participants so you can visit all the studio tables!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quilt Progress and Cre8ive Klatch

Quite a busy week around here and rain over the weekend - so no outside shots of the quilt progress. But at least I did not have to battle the mosquitoes this week. Just a tiny bit left to do to finish and square up the blocks.

I do like seeing them spread over my sewing table.  It gets exciting to see more and more blocks piling up.

In other news, the collaborative project I am involved in is moving forward. Cre8ive Klatch is a group of artists and creatives, working in a variety of media who have come together to share creativity, tutorials, inspiration, gratitude and connection.  If you'd like a little creative inspiration I invite you to head over to the Cre8ive Klatch blog and check it out. You can also join the Facebook page.

Hope you have a colorful and creative week!

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday,  and Freemotion by the River, WIP Wednesday, Let's Bee Social

Sunday, September 7, 2014

AB Quilt Progress

I've made progress with the blocks for my new quilt - only four left to go.  Going to have to piece some of the white strips together to have enough, but can totally make it without having to buy more fabric! That was part of my plan - use only supplies that I have on hand.

I braved the mosquitoes to get some outside shots. Mosquitoes are TERRIBLE here right now. Are you having that problem? Probably not since all the mosquitoes seem to be in my backyard!

I'm planing for four blocks across and five rows down.  Simple with eight inch squares surrounded by white.  I think I like the big squares showing off the prints.

Only four more blocks to make, then it's time for the design wall and determining the layout for the quilt.

What are you working on?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Quickie Mixed Media Tag Tutorial and The Cre8ive Klatch

Wow! What a week it's been! I've been rearranging my studio, started a new quilt, and a new collaborative project launched.  I still found a little time to play around with creating a  mixed media tag - the first one I have made(!)  It was really quick.  So I thought I'd put together this "quickie tutorial" to share.  Hope it inspires you to play!

I started with a piece of watercolor paper that I had previously painted a background on with a couple of colors. 

 I stamped letters on a piece of canvas, cut some circles from fabric and some ribbon.  Just playing with things in my scrap drawers.

Then I added a stitching using my sewing machine and black thread all around the edges.  

Next I stitched down the fabric circles and the canvas strip.
Lastly, I added the bow and voila! a cute and colorful tag.
Quick and easy.  This was so much fun and the designs you could make could go in all kinds of directions.  A great way to use up scraps!

This week also marked the unveiling of a collaborative project I am involved in.  The Cre8ive Klatch. 

 Head over the the CK Blog to read about it and meet Susan M Walls of Susan's Art Circus. Then check back each Monday and Thursday to meet all the Klatchers! There's bound to be something to inspire you.

Hope you have a great and creative weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Quilt Beginning

I'm calling this my Amy Butler quilt.  I ordered a couple of AB fat quarter bundles a while back, so I have decided to make a simple quilt to show off the prints. I've included some other fabrics, too, and the whole challenge is for me to use only things that I already have to create this quilt.  I have enough batting and I plan to use an old sheet for the back.  I have enough of that Michael Miller "Feeling Groovy" print to make binding. Need to use up what's in the stash! Here's what my table looked like when I was choosing fabrics.

My plan is for eight inch squares of the prints surrounded by two inch strips of white for a finished block size of twelve inches.  Four rows across by five rows long so about 48 X 60 inches for the quilt. Colorful squares on a white background.  I always love a white background.

My twenty squares all cut and ready.

Next job is to cut the white 2.5 inch strips.  But not tonight.  ;)

Playing with the squares.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday and Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

10 Quilty Little Secrets

13 Spools

I just ran across this tonight and have had such fun reading through all the posts!  Amy at 13 Spools posted about her quilting secrets and others have joined in.  I am a little late to this party but wanted to share my secrets, too.  If it's true that confession is good for the soul, then this should make me feel better.  On some of these I am not alone.

1.  I only change my needle when it breaks.

2. I am not interested in traditional patterns with lots of points that have to be all matched up exactly perfectly.  Ugh. This is supposed to be fun. LOL.  And while we're on this topic I don't want to make the exact same block over and over, but I can totally appreciate the work and craftmanship that goes into these quilts. It's just not my thing.  Now if I could make each block using different fabrics I might get somewhere!

3.  I love most of the modern quilting esthetic, but also love some stuff that is SO NOT modern. Like Baltimore Album Quilts, Mary Lou Weidman's happy whimsical stuff and some stuff that is really girly and cute and sweet. I seem to love quilts from the 1930s and fabrics in that vein. Not as serious as some of the modern quilts out there.  So I guess I like some things modern and some things traditional. I suspect most other people fall somewhere in between, too.

4. I love the look of hand applique but have no desire to do it.  If I applique it is on the machine, with raw edges.  When I am in the mood I find it really fun to use a bold blanket stitch to machine applique.

5. I use Coats thread for piecing. If it's good enough for making purses or clothes it is good enough for quilts.  I usually quilt with Mettler because my LQS/Bernina dealer carries it and it is a bit thicker than regular thread so it shows up more in the quilting and I like that.  Maybe I'd like some of those pricey threads if I tried them.

6.  I have done "real" binding that I hand stitch to the back of the quilt and that's OK if I am in the mood for some hand stitching. ( I prefer the ladder stitch for this.)  But I like machine binding, too. and I am not averse to doing other types of finishing - like folding the backing fabric over to the front the enclose the edge. Or doing a turned edge.

7. I can FMQ well enough to suit me - meandering. But I'm not interested in all those fancy schmancy FMQ designs.  I really don't like much quilting "messing up the beauty of my patchwork." That extra money I paid for my walking foot was money well spent!

8. I prewash.  Sometimes the dyes and things in fabric can make me sneeze or make my eyes burn.  Seems like I am in the minority on this one.

9. I iron, not press. And I LOVE to iron. I love to iron my freshly washed and dried fabrics. It gives me the chance to admire the pretty patterns! I have never used any starch.  I love to iron the seams in the blocks and then turn it over and iron the front.  I press seams to the side in most cases.

10. I have no desire to wrestle a full size quilt through my little machine, so I make smaller quilts. Although I have recently seen a tutorial for a QAYG method that sounds feasible.

11. I never follow patterns - I make it up as I go along!

What are your secrets?  Leave them in the comments and follow the link at the top of the post to read all the other entries.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mermaid Mini-Art Quilt

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday!

I have a small mermaid art quilt in process.  It measures roughly 11 x 17 inches at this stage. I'm really just getting started here, still have a lot to add - fish, seaweed, underwater critters.  I am planning to add some hand embroidery, and who knows what else.

Her tail is made from a bunch of little bits of fabric held down by random machine stitching.  (Yes, there is even a use for those teeny tiny scraps!)  These bits are loose on some sides in some areas. I have not decided if I will embroider her facial features, or use a fabric pen.  I may add some beads here and there. It's fun to consider the possibilities and try different things.

I have not made one of these little quilts in a while and it feels good to get back to it.

What's in process in your studio?

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday and Freemotion by the River and Needle and Thread Thursday and Sew Darn Crafty