Living This Creative Life

I have two favorite quotes. The first one is by Emile Zola, "If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I would tell you that I came to live out loud". I don't know who the second one is by, but it goes like this, "If you're not living on the edge then you might as well jump". Both of these sentiments sum up my personal philosophy of this experience we call life on earth. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

More Explorations with my Stamps - Pretty Bird

Good Morning All,

Just so you all don't get the idea that I do nothing but machine quilt, here is a small quilt that I recently made all by hand!

I've kitted the whole thing up and am calling it Pretty Bird. It features one of my two bird stamps. I printed the stems and leaves first in a dark green, then added the bird in blue with violet highlights. Then I added the flowers. It is all stamped on a piece of shot cotton by Kaffe Fasset.

Next I used some Misty Fuse to stick a layer of Hobbs Thermore batting to the backside to give the fabric stability and I hand stitched and embroidered. All of the shapes are outlined with a backstitch and details were added to the bird, flowers and leaves. Then, I added curly-q's in some of the negative space.

Once all of the decorative stitching was done, I added a backing. For that, I just cut a piece of fabric the same size as the top and turned the edges under then I top stitched it to the quilt top. I went back and did a blanket stitch all the way around to cover the machine stitch then frayed the edges of the quilt top.

I just love the results and it was great fun to hand stitch.

Till next time,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Morning All,

Ain't change a kick in the head?

I've just returned from a teaching and vending at a gig in Oklahoma City and I'm preparing for the grand opening of the Golden Fiber Arts Studio this weekend. I had a ball in OKC! It was the last time I'll travel with the lovely Judy. She has taken on a new full time job back in the real estate industry and I'm extremely sad to see her go. However, my great friend I.V. went to the show with us to see how she liked vending and she has decided to help me out with some of the upcoming shows I have scheduled. My younger daughter, Haley, will be taking over scheduling for me and I'll continue to dye fabric etc. on my own (with a little help from some very willing friends!).

This quilt, which I call " Here & There" is the first in a new series of Images & Pieces designs that I'm creating using simple pieced blocks in conjunction with some of my stamped designs. I'm having so much fun coming up with different ways to use the stamps. It's fun to quilt the quilts too. This one is quilted every 1/4" with a tiny stipple around the flowers and straight lines that echo the accent strip in the pieced block. You may be able to see the quilting if you click on the photo to see it larger.

I have shown you all some great quilting designs here on my blog, but sometimes, the best quilting for a quilt is the simplest. Remember, when you're choosing designs for machine quilting that if the colors and piecing of the quilt top are interesting on their own make sure that the quilting does not compete with them. However, if the top lacks interest, then you can add more decorative quilting. The quilting should always augment/support the piecing, not compete with it as a focal point.

Hope you're having a fabulous day,

Till next time,