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Monday, August 31, 2009

Newbie quilter

I am very much a newbie when it comes to actually quilting. I am much better at piecing now than I used to be but quilting and deciding what to quilt where, I have a lot to learn. I've been practicing on muslin on my new longarm which helped somewhat but still doesn't give me confidence as to what design, that I can actually create at this point, goes where.

I've been finding where to buy needles, making new leaders and enders, watching videos and practicing on muslin. Now, it's time to jump in and really learn. First quilt is on the longarm. I decided to use a better quality thread for this. I haven't had any trouble with tension and thread breakage while practicing, but today with the real quilt and different thread it just keeps breaking. So, already my experience level is going up, learning how to adjust the tension. I'm using a panto for this quilt because I just couldn't figure out what to do with it. I like the panto but I can see there is a learning curve here too (at least for me). There is more of a gap than there should be when I roll my quilt. I didn't think thru the alignment part before I started. It still looks good to me for a first try but another thing to add to the lessons learned list.
Have a creative day! janet

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First costume

I mentioned before that I have made quite a few costumes over the years. I'm hoping to get my photos organized this year. One of the scrapbooks I want to make is a Halloween book for each of my kids. I know not everyone likes this day but we all love dressing up as someone we aren't even if it is just for a day. So as I sort through my photos I will occasionally add a photo of a costume I made over the years. This is one of the first costumes I made. Not sure if it is actually the first. It was quite a few years ago. She loved watching Rainbow Brite and the Care Bears on tv. So, when she could actually be Rainbow Brite she was pretty excited. Here she is with her two friends, Brian and Joel. (Master's of the Universe and a bug.) They were all in the Aquafest Parade in Rice Lake, WI where we lived at the time. So, of course she wore this for Halloween that year.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Picasso for my mom!

I was looking for ideas for thread painting when I came across this Picasso. I've seen it before but never while I was thinking about thread painting. I tend to look at things differently when I'm looking for something specific. I immediately thought this would be great to send to my mom. Not sure if I will make this for my group cards, I'd rather make something a little more original. I'm sure my mom has seen this painting at some point in her life so hopefully she will be able to see it in her mind.
I got a little carried away with the stems but otherwise it's pretty good. I brightened up the color choices a bit too. Have a creative day. Janet

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Forgot to mention in my last post, my Split Rock Lighthouse framed quilt didn't get accepted in the Fine Arts division of the State Fair. Luckily my husband was able to pick it up for me as I was out of state at the time.

I went to visit my mom in the hospital and ended up helping her get settled in an assisted care facility.

There is a show for rejected entries and my wonderful hubby managed to pick up the entry for that show. What he didn't know was it had a two day window to enter and I missed it by half a day!

Oh well, there is always next year for the rejected show! Who thought of that name? Now I will have to go to both shows to see what I am missing in my work. Have a creative day. Janet

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I finished up some postcards. I completed my monochromatic postcards for the Valerie Hearder Landscape group. This one happened to be an international exchange as all five of us are from different countries. It is fun to get these little connections all around the world. Check out my postcards received as well since I am always adding to those. I just added 6 or 7 of the latest received cards. They should all be labeled now too. If you click on the slideshow of cards it will take you to my picasa site so you can look at the postcards in more detail. Here is my "Blazing Sunset." Remember you can click on the photos in my blog to get a larger image too.

I've also finished my leaves postcards for the Postmark'd Art group. I pounded leaves in the fabric. Discharged the spots with bleach. Couched a thread for the center vein, and did a tiny zig-zag stitch on the edge as the edge of the real leaf looked a little ruffled. I debated what to do with the white background because it seemed too plain to me. I decided to use another of those stitches on my machine that seldom gets used. Here is a photo of the original leaf and a photo of my postcard.

Now I need to make my tiara. I am doing Nancy Eha's challenge. I need to make a tiara for myself and come up with a name. Any suggestions for a name would be appreciated. For instance: "Duchess of Scattered Thoughts" as that is how I feel lately. It should be fun and she has great prizes offered. I also have three more sets of postcards to make. I need to re-create some bark, make some thread painted postcards, and an anything goes group. I've been looking for ideas for my thread painting. I have done a little thread painting but not a great deal so it won't be too elaborate but I think it will be fun. Have a creative day. janet

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monochromatic landscape

I need to make a monochromatic landscape for an exchange. I decided to go with a blazing orange sunset. At least that's what I hope it looks like. I was supposed to have it finished by the fifteenth but in my mind was thinking the end of the month. I apologize to those who are receiving the cards, I'm usually fairly prompt. I won't have time to sew or be on the computer for several days so they will have to wait for the stitching until I return from visiting my mom.
Here is what they look like so far.
Have a creative day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sun Prints

My quilting friends traveled across the cities to my house for an adventure with sun printing. Only four out of the seven in our group were there but we still managed to make quite a few prints. Here are some pictures of what we did.

I kept the big leaf Judy brought with her, so I could try it today. I wanted to try without watering down the paint. The instructions we had looked at suggested using a mixture of half transparent Setacolor and half water.

I worked a little more on my leaf postcards. I used a bleach pen to try to create the white spots. Here is a photo of the actual leaf.

And here is a photo of my pounded leaves with bleached out spots.

I think it's getting closer.
Have a creative day. janet

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Recycled postcard

I finished my 14 recycled postcards. The yarn went from my mom, to my sister, to me so maybe they aren't exactly re-cycled if you want to be technical but it works for me. This is made with old yarn, old felt and thread. The fabric for the address side is new. Maybe if I do this again I will find an old shirt or something to use for the address side of the postcard. This is my first attempt at re-cycled art.

I'm having my quilting group over to my house this Sunday to do sun printing. (Hope it's a sunny day) If it isn't sunny we will find something to play with inside or I could put them to work on my patio. Who knows what kind of pattern we could all design with those paver blocks. So, today I'll make sure I have my materials gathered for our creative group. Here is an example of a sunprint I made in the past. This was just experimental, trying different objects to see how it worked.

My sister and husband are stopping on Saturday for a quick overnight visit. My daughter will be here Friday night to go to a benefit concert and stay overnight. Friday I am going to try to get my Split Rock Lighthouse into the Fine Arts competition at the State Fair. I've heard it's a lot of standing in lines. So, trying to get everything ready for the weekend today.

I also want to try to pick a design for my thread painted postcards. They are next on my to do list. Have a creative day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New from old

My sister just sent me a box of yarns, and patterns and tabelcloths etc. Some like the pattern above I'm not sure whether I will be able to use, but than I look closer and think look at all the designs in this pattern.... The timing couldn't have been better. I'm in a postcard group called Postmark'd Art. We sign up under different themes for choices of postcards to make and send to the others on the list. One of the groups I am in is recycled art. The cards need to made from recycled materials. So I am using some of my yarns along with my embellisher to make these cards. There is a technique I have been wanting to try, that I have learned from both Dale Rollerson and The Workshop on the Web. I find I don't like to make things for a class just to learn something when I am taking classes online. There is good and bad to that. Good because I am not wasting materials, I rarely use something I have made just for class. Bad because it doesn't always work out the way I would like and I need to re-plan at the last minute. These cards aren't actually due until the end of October but, thinking I had plenty of time, I of course signed up for several groups. I like experimenting with new techniques, I should qualify this, new techniques for me when I make postcards. There is so much I don't know and the 4" x 6" size let's me try lot's of different things. Here are some of the things in my surprise box.

patterns and such

and more

even some chip bags

Here are some of my little squares of yarn embellished felt just waiting to be pieced back together into some semblance of a pattern.

This is the first pattern I tried, but it is only 3" x 5" and I didn't have enough of one of the colors to finish all fourteen cards. So, back to the drawing board.

I decided to go with the 3" x 5" format and add a half inch border all around. Here is my 3" x 5" with some stitching. I'll show the rest once they have been sent. Still stitching today.

Reading patterns comes in handy for many things that I do. My husband and son are making a paver patio this summer. I wish I had taken photos of the start of the patio because there was a lot of work involved. Digging down, leveling, adding drainage pipe, moving tons of rock and sand etc. They are finally at the 'use the paver bricks stage.' My son caught that flu that has been going around so I had to be the helper, which is not good, since I can't lift much. I was able to keep my husband on track with the pattern of the stones. It was easier for him just to work on automatic and let me tell him which size stone went where next. I think it is going to be great once it is finished.

Mocha was supervising from a safe distance.

My mom went into the hospital yesterday. Luckily my sister had gone to take her to an appointment. She was mostly dehydrated and very weak but she is considering an assisted care facility now. Say a prayer that all goes well for her if you think of it.
Have a creative day everyone. Janet