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Friday, March 31, 2017

Communication - Janet Hartje- I love you

When I heard the theme for Art Quilts Around the World was communication, sign language immediately popped into my head.  I taught preschool children with special needs and our main communication was sign language.  When my own kids were little, as I turned off the light in their rooms each night we would sign 'I really love you" to each other.  I considered trying to create my own hand signing I really love you but then I saw this button.

This pin was created through PINCAUSE  It features the ASL sign for "I Love You".  with every pin sold a donation is made to Deaf Women United, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and I believe a portion also helped fund the women's march in D.C.  Not sure about the statistics for just this pin, but this one and their Rise for Refugees pin have raised over $100,000 in 3 months for Planned Parenthood, ACLU, International Rescue Committee, and the Syrian Civil Defense known as The White Helmets.(Info obtained from  Now they have a third pin!  It is the Official Pin for the March for Science on April 22, 2017.  All of these causes speak to my heart!

These pins communicate in more than one way, on more than one level.  I knew I wanted to use this pin.  I wrote to Kate + Nate and asked if it would be ok to recreate their pin for my little piece of fiber art.  So, long as it wasn't being sold they very generously let me use their design.  Thank you!

Here is my process.  First I copied the pin with my printer and enlarged it.  This made it easy to create a pattern.  I cut the pieces out with freezer paper and ironed the freezer paper to the right side of my fabric.  I roughly cut the fabric for each shape and than ironed Misty Fuse to the back of the fabric.  

From there I could easily place my pieces together to create the I Love You sign.

I wanted it to look like an actual pin so I cut a circle using peltex for stiffness and a circle of batting for a little more dimension.

I took a little artistic license when it came to the actual quilting and I tried to add a little more dimension in the way I stitched the hand.  Not sure if I succeeded but it was fun to try.

For the quilt itself I wanted it to look like the pin was pinned on a shirt.  I had been saving this one because I thought I could use it to make a small clutch one day.  It seemed perfect for this as I wanted the pin to be the focus and the shirt to be background.

 I quilted with circles to play more with the pin shape.  I just left the center because I knew it would be covered by the pin.
I was playing with the idea of adding a scarf at the neckline because it almost looks to stark.  I found this little bit of stripped binding and decided it might add just the right amount of color.
Don't forget to go to the Art Quilts Around the World blog and see the works of art created by the other women in this group.  Each one is an entirely different interpretation of the word 'Communication.'
Have a Creative Day

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Project Quilting Season 8-5 Well Dressed Man

This is the fifth challenge for Project Quilting season 8!  That means there is only one more this year.  Time flies when you are creating, right.  When I heard the challenge was, "Well Dressed Man", I had an idea right away.  My husband was throwing a couple of his shirts away last week and I stopped him..because...well...Pinterest!  That's right I dig things out of the garbage because of ideas I see on Pinterest!  However, I realized I want to give that to someone and don't want to put it on the blog yet.  In looking through my photos I realized I had the perfect well dressed men at my house.  I had foot surgery the week before Thanksgiving so my son cooked and my husband did the dishes.  So, at my house apron's and dish towels are what the well dressed men are wearing.  Sounds good right?  It makes it even better to know my son is a chef!
I printed a photo on to a prepared fabric sheets.  This one has my son in an apron and you can see my husband in the background with a dish towel on his shoulder.  I made it the pocket for my bag.
The other side of the bag has a chef as well.
The fabric is all of course cooking related.  When my son graduated from Cordon Bleu I made him a chef related quilt.
Here is the main fabric for the bag.

I kept the quilting simple, straight lines about an inch apart.
Next steps were the pockets and straps.
Finally the bottom and stitch it together.

The pattern is a free tutorial from The Inspired Wren.  I have to confess I goofed and mine is oriented different than hers.  My fabric is directional because of the words, I cut it so the longer side is opposite what it should have been.  It was a "make it work" moment and I had to recut the bottom but it did work so all is good.  Don't forget to pop over to Project Quilting beginning Sunday at noon until later in the day on Friday and pick your favorite.  I guarantee you will be inspired by all the fabulous creations.
Have a Creative Day

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Project Quilting Season 8-4 brighter the better

First is a big Thank You to Studio Cherie!  She gave every person who participated in the third challenge a free downloadable pattern!  So awesome!  I haven't had a chance to make mine yet but I plan to very soon.  Thank you!

The theme this week for Project Quilting is brighter the better.  What is brighter than Cherrywood Fabrics, right!  I had a few bits left from another project and they seemed perfect to make a bright springtime pillow.  I already had a pattern.  I found it on Maudie's Cottage Design (I think it was through Craftsy, not positive) but here is a link to her webpage.

I added my little spinning triangles by appliqueing them to the pillow front which I think makes me eligible for the challenge.  I didn't actually do any quilting this week!!!  (Hey, I have a nasty cold, cut me some slack) I fused them and stitched around the edges.

Almost every year for my birthday we go hang out in antique shops.  Not everything in the shops is antique but I love browsing through all the memory inducing items.  Usually I end up with a tiny bag of odd scraps of fabric or buttons.  I bought this bag of buttons on one of those trips, no they were not $35.  I think they were maybe $3.  The bright colored button was the reason I bought this bag.  I had no idea what I would use it for but I knew someday it would speak to me.  It was screaming at me for this project.

I had everything I needed for this project except the zipper.  Yes there is a zipper in the back.  I love the rainbow colored rickrack on the edge too.

It is just a small decorative pillow, 12" x 16" but it is brightening up my house and putting me in the mood for spring!
Have a Creative Day

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Project Quilting Season 8-3 Texture

Front of The Quilter's Planner
It was another busy week at my house.  I joined the League of Women Voters yesterday!  I went to a meeting to find out more about it and discovered they do so much more than I knew.  Look into it if you have a chance, they are bipartisan, they are big on educating voters and getting people to vote.  Considering how many people did not vote in our last election I think this is a very important group. 
Back of The Quilter's Planner

Anyway between that and several other activities I didn't start my challenge until late Saturday afternoon.  I have been wanting to make a cover for my planner so I combined two projects in one here.  I bought The Quilter's Planner this year, a couple of weeks late, but better late than never.  I am hoping to keep myself on track with my quilting and other activities.  I do get things done each year but have some older projects I want to finish and somehow keep pushing to the side.
place markers

There is an excellent video and download available on The Quilter's Planner website for how to make this cover, so I won't go into the details.  (It does have three layers, including batting) I was not terribly creative this week with adding texture so be sure and go to the Project Quilting site to see the amazing entries.  Kim Lapacek does a wonderful job creating inspiration for week long challenges.  After noon today (Sunday) you can vote on your favorites.  Well worth the time to get inspired to make your own creation.  These women blow me away with their ability to create such works of beauty in only one week.
inside front cover pockets
inside back cover pockets

I added texture with different trims and by using a variety of fabrics.  I was thinking of adding some big buttons on the front with some hand embroidery too, but decided I like it just the way it is.
buttons I thought about adding

I love all the pockets!
zipper pocket on the front
I really like how this turned out and the pockets will come in very handy for all those odd bits and pieces.  I already put a couple of pens in the zipper pouch.  I create in Minnesota.
Have a creative day

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I believe Janet Hartje The Fractured States of America

"I believe" is the theme for the group Art Quilts Around the World. (Click the link to go to the Art Quilts blog and see the wonderful entries.) This year has been a rough one for myself personally.  I've missed a couple of art quilts because I had too much going on and had to shift my focus for a little while.  A couple of bouts of therapy and a foot surgery to try to correct a problem I was born with.  I'm not running any races yet, but doing much better. 

I decided to focus on adding mixed media to my quilt this time.  So, I started with a map from an old atlas.

I wanted to use crackle paste so it would have a cracked look when it was finished, much like my country right now.  The book I was using suggested using gesso first.  The gesso made the ink run, which was ok since I knew the crackle paste I have is opaque.  

Next I added the crackle paste

Here it is dried.  It really worked!  It did shrink up a little though so I decided to cut around it because the background was rippled.

Now is the fun part I decided to use alcohol inks because I thought they would fill in the cracks and make them stand out a little more.  I looked at a topographical map while I was coloring.  Not perfect but not to bad.

So I had to audition new background fabrics.

Finally decided on this one.  The blue seemed to make the map pop and it has the names of the states!

The next decision was a saying.  I wanted to use one to encourage all of us to work together to mend our country.  It is difficult for many of us to admit we have trouble seeing different points of view, myself included.  This is what we need to work on to mend the fabric of our country.  I draw the line at anything which will harm another human being, physically, mentally, socially.  Here are a few sayings I found the most appealing.

I settled on the one by Desmond Tutu.  I could only fit a portion on the quilt since we are restricted to 16.5" x 11.5". I like that this saying encourages you to do what you can with what you have and all of us together can make big changes.  I decided to add black fabric behind the words because the background is a little busy for more words.

I added the broken heart for us to stitch together.  This has been a little bit therapeutic for me.  I bought a small piece of leather, cut out the two halves and used a paper punch to make the holes. Finally I loosely laced it with a leather strip and put the needle on their to show we still have work to do. (The photo is a little dark, Once again I was working to late to get a photo in the daylight!)
 I kept the quilting fairly simple, mostly straight lines although I did add a statue of liberty on the side of the map.  Hard to photograph so you could see it.  but here goes.

Have a creative day and do one good thing each day, we've got this. I believe we can all work together to mend the heart of America.