Thursday, July 30, 2009

Revisitng My First Blog Post

I wanted to re-post my first blog post since I am not sure anyone saw it :) !!! This was originally posted on July 30, 2008. Hope you don't mind......

Artist That Has Influenced Me The Most

Since this is my first blog post I thought I would start with something personal about me and my art. Recently I was asked what artist has influenced me the most in my life. I have never really thought about this but when I did I realized that it would have to be my Dad. He was not famous but he loved to paint. Most of his paintings were given away to pay for things that our family needed. When my brother broke his leg, the doctor was paid with a painting. I remember going to the doctors office as a child and being very proud that my Dad’s painting was hanging there.

Working mostly in pastels and oils, he did incredible landscapes (gee..Wonder why I love landscapes...) He was 52 when I was born and I would get so angry when all of the kids at school called him my grandfather. He used to take me to the closest woods and we would spend hours looking at trees and plants. He especially liked orange milkweed and we would dig it up and take it home to plant in the yard. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and watching him paint. I even remember when he showed me how to draw a tree ...I still do really good trees :).

He was always telling me to look at the sky, birds, plants, trees and all of the beautiful things around me. I still get teased by my family for always talking about how beautiful everything is. I am following his lead and am constantly telling my 5 yr old granddaughter to look at the beautiful things around us. I think only about eight paintings are still in the family, I have two plus his sketch book.

He was a barber by trade and had to retire at 60 because he developed Parkinson disease. After a few years he could no longer paint and we had to sell our car since we could no longer afford it. He never complained and always had a positive attitude. He died at 72 when I was 19 (39 yrs ago). He also played five musical instruments and had his own band in the 40's. Writing this has made me a little sad since I haven’t thought about my Dad like this is quit a while . . .

And The Winners Are............

Thank you so much for all of your well wishes on my blogiversary. I have been out of town so I haven't had time to visit all of your blogs yet but I will soon. Here are the winners of the prizes:

  • Original art 'On The Mediterranean' - Vicki W
  • 2 yards each of 12 different yarns and trims - Vivien
  • 2 yards each of 12 different yarns and trims - Sue Krei
Congratulations to all of you and please email me with your contact information at:

I will be home on Sunday and will be hoping to send your prizes on Monday. Thanks again to all.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My First Blogiversary Giveaway

I can hardly believe that I have been blogging for a year. My blogivesary is July 30 and I though this would be the prefect time to have my first giveaway. I have had so much fun sharing my work and 'meeting' so many great artist.

This process has also let me learn a lot about myself and I can't tell all of you enough how much your feedback and comments mean to me. Thank you so much for taking time to visit my blog and letting me know what you think. I hope someday I will be able to meet all of you in person.

Now for the giveaway. Enter a comment and I will enter your name in the drawing. If you are a follower of my blog or sign up to be a follower this will triple your chances to win (yes, I will enter your name 3 times!). Now for the prizes.

The first prize winner will win my original art work 'On The Mediterranean'. This piece is approximately 7 1/2 inches wide x 6 1/2 inches high. The second and third place winners will win a selection of 2 yards each of 12 of my favorite yarns and trims that are great for embellishments.

So please sign up! I will be posting the winners on July 30. I am really looking forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On the River Bank

I finished quilting this piece today and as you can see I have gone with just one bird. I moved it at the last minute and wish I would have stuck with my original position but I really don't want to take it off and redo it. I added a lot of detail to the plants with my fabric markers, paints and pastel pencils.

I like heavy quilting so click on the image to see a close up. I almost chickened out and used a stipple done with clear thread on the turquoise/green area (the river) but got brave and used a Superior Rainbow variegated turquoise thread and kind of made up a stitch. I really like it and it is much more interesting than just a plain stipple.

The bird is lightly stuffed so it stands out just a little. Some of the leave on the bright green plants have 3d leaves also. I have really noticed lately how detailed my work is. I would love to break out of this just a little but whenever I start a piece with the intent of keeping it simple I seen to go into a zone and can't help myself. Maybe the next piece........

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another small tree quilt

Here is another small tree quilt from my scrap box. This one was super easy since I found the piece of sky and water fabric that I had painted with Seta color paints. I did have to add the land. The tree strips were also already cut and I just used a black fabric marker to add the small branches.

I also used the marker to add shadows to the right side of the tree and my soft pastel pencil to add highlights. As you can see the quilting is very simple since I didn't want to take away from the base fabric. This one is a little bigger at about 12" x 9". Hard telling what else is in my scrap box.

Friday, July 17, 2009

From My Scrap Box to Quilts

I made a couple of small quilts this week. These are samples for my Joggles class. First is the inspiration photo for my first quilt. This was taken at the lake we go to on a regular basis. I love the shape of the tree trunks.

Here is the quilt that I created. I used fabric markers and soft pastel pencils to shade the tree trunks and limbs. I also used the soft pastels to doctor the sky and water. All of the fabric and batting was from my scrap box. I save anything that is bigger than about 2" x 2 ". This little quilt is about 6" w x 7 1/2 h.

I love this next photo that was taken on the west coast of Italy in a small village by the sea. I love the shape of the foliage and how the trees are leaning towards the sea.
This is my quilt again made from scraps. This one was pretty simple. I used the same fabric for the sky and water and used Shiva paint sticks to add clouds and change the color of the water. I also used fabric markers to add the shadows under the trees and at the water edge. This one is about 7 1/2 " w x 6 1/2 " h.

I love it when I use up some of those scraps. I could probably make 100 small quilts from all the bits and pieces that I have..........

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do You Wear Gloves While FMQ?

I have been doing quite a bit of free motion quilting lately trying to complete some of my UFOs. I've found that my quilting comes out better if I use quilting gloves. I like the extra grip it gives me and it makes it a little easier to move the fabric around. Above is a picture of two styles. The first is the stretchy knit with the rubber coated fingers. These can be worn on either hand. They are light weight and not too hot to wear. This is a new pair since I actually wore holes in a couple of the fingers on my last pair.

On the next pair, the gray area is rubber and the blue is the top that is supposed to breath. I really like the grip these give but they are very hot to wear for a long period of time. Do you wear gloves and what is your favorite kind?

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Got A Karma Award!

Scrappy Cat was kind enough to give me this award:

The wording for this award is as follows:

The Karma Award: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kinds of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

So here are the blogs I would like to award. All are so interesting and I found several of them when they left comments on my blog. Please give them a look and don't forget to check out Scrappy Cat also.

fiberfabrications - Yes, there is another blog called fiber fabrications!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quilting Arts Calendar - My Month is Finally Here!!!

If you have the 2009 Quilting Arts calendar then you are looking at my quilt 'It's All Relative'! I was so excited to be selected for the calendar and finally my month is here. I really feel this is one of my biggest accomplishments to date.

The theme of the 2009 contest was Celebrating Home. When I think of "home" many memories come to mind. It is not so much about a place but thoughts of my family that make a house a home. In creating this piece, I tried to think of a way I could show family and relationships. When you look at the shapes you can see that they are related even though each one is unique just like the members of a family. Each could stand-alone but they work better together and each has something special about it.

I painted the swirls using puff paint straight from the bottle on a single piece of fabric. Once dried and expanded, I applied several types of paint randomly over the surface. After quilting, I used Misty Fuse to add areas of Angelina fiber. Finally I added different yarns, threads and beads trying to add something to each shape to give it its own interest and beauty but not so overstated to upset the balance of the quilt.