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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Piecing,piecing and more piecing!

Trying to finish up many half finished projects this summer. Here is a photo of the quilt I told you about in a previous post, (found at the back of the spare bedroom closet.) This was a block of the month from JoAnn Fabrics quite a few years ago. I finished piecing this one a week ago. I think it is called A Year At Home. Here is a link to some they have at JoAnn's now, Meadows in Bloom looks cute.

This next one was a free pattern last year on Nancy Rink's website. It is called Building Blocks. She made hers with all hand dyed fabrics that really were gorgeous. I wasn't sure about some of the fabrics I chose when I started, but I like how it looks now that it is complete. I just finished this about an hour ago. Her free design for this year can be found here. It's called Galactic Explosion.

I have two other quilt tops complete already and two more that are almost finished. As soon as they are done I will have to get myself to a quilt shop for some serious investment in backing material. After those are quilted it will be time to get back to art quilts. I'm glad I like to wear different hats when it comes to sewing, quilting, crafts etc. I never get bored.

Have a creative day

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The winner!

My husband wants me to start buying lottery tickets! I keep winning!

I left a comment on Craftside blog and won a book. I'm just thrilled for more than one reason. First, I love the book, it is Susan Stein's newest book called The Complete Photo Guide to Textile Art.
If you click the book title it takes you to the Craftside post that talks about the book. (If you scroll down you will find Susan's other books) The photos in the book are phenomenal and the instructions are very clear. Detailed step-by-step instructions for more than 40 techniques with over 500 color formats. It is just inspiring to thumb through the book and drool over the photos.

Finding the Craftside blog is the second reason I am thrilled. She tells about many new books for a variety of art forms. There are videos on her blog, you can subscribe to her blog and get a newsletter in your inbox. I discovered 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun! by Carla Sonheim. I am not very confident in my drawing skills. I would like to improve and make some whole cloth quilts, that are drawn and painted by me. So, I bought this book and started a drawing journal with the 'lab' exercises in this book.

My first exercise was to quickly draw 30 cats. Next I pick a couple of favorites and expand on them by adding the medium of my choice. I think this will be fun. Here are my quickly sketched cats.

I started a journal about 15 years ago with some photos I like. I tried re-creating the photos with fabric and stitches. I only made about 10 pages before life got in the way and it fell by the wayside. I think I will continue this journal too. I may take it in a little different direction now as it was mostly handwork, it was easily portable, which I needed at that time in my life. The little stitched piece I entered in The Foot in the Door exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art was from this journal. Here are a few of my beginning pages where I was just trying to write my comments about the different landscapes.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I've been taking some time off to rejuvenate myself. I looked up rejuvenate just to make sure that was the word I'm looking for in this situation. The first definition is 'to restore to youthful vigor.' I'm not sure I will be able to go that far but I did need some time off to restore myself at least to my 1980's vigor.

I've been working on my house the last few months. We found in the past that moving has helped us get rid of the 'stuff' we tend to accumulate around us, frankly it is mostly un-needed for our lives. We have lived in this home longer than any other, about 12 years longer, so the 'stuff' was getting out of control. Of course my crafting, quilting, scrapbooking, art, etc is the area least in control. You never know when you might need that.... This is the mentality that gets me into this predicament. It's actually not as bad as I make it sound for now. If we downsize at some point, which is likely, than I will have to make some hard choices.

I've been going through our rooms one at a time, cleaning, deciding the best arrangement for how we use the room now, and most importantly putting things in a give away box. The craft, quilting, art area is where I have the most trouble with things sticking to my hands rather than tumbling into the give-away box. Last week, I dug to the back of the closet in the spare bedroom and found a quilt I had begun about 10 years ago. At first I thought it would be a perfect give-away because it isn't even a pattern I especially like anymore. But, it stuck to my fingers like glue. In the back of my mind something was telling me, you need this for practice! So, I took apart those first three blocks I had finished some ten years ago and re-pieced them, finished the other blocks, added borders and now I have a perfect quilt to continue building my skills on my longarm. I also have one less pile of stuff in my closet. When I am finished I can give the quilt to someone who needs it and may even appreciate the warmth it provides. This is why it takes me so long to thoroughly clean my house. Eventually I will finish that last room, look around and realize, I need to start all over again!

I just added around 35 postcards to my slideshows. Remember you can click on one of the cards and go to the picasa album if you would rather see them one at a time. You can also enlarge them when you go to the album. Hope I didn't miss any!

Have a creative day!