Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Good Weeks Work

This has been a week for wrapping up projects and some quality time in the studio. One of my assignments was to make some fabric postcards for the Wish Upon a Card Project, a fund raising event for Wendy's Wish and sponsored by the popular Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon.

This was my first experience with Timtex and it was a blast. No raw edges to worry about or layers to cut away and the threads were a cinch to bury in the spongy material. It was so much fun that I am planning some larger panels for framable wall pieces. To learn more about the sale and silent auction of the fabric postcards visit

The next project was to bind the two LeMoyne star quilts which I had sent out to be quilted. They both returned home from different quilters on the same day. Some days are just packed with nice surprises! And I loved the way they each turned out.

I had the Turquoise Star quilted by Jean Leeson of Park Ridge, Illinois in a neutral "flame" pattern to blend it all together. The back of the quilt is done with a mixture of Hothouse fabrics and fabrics from the archives. It is essentially a simple log cabin block arranged in a light and dark checkerboard pattern.

The Cosmic Star, which is the most dramatic of the two, needed more detail in the quilting to define areas instead of blending them. Jean Shute of Blackbird Quilting in Otis Orchard, Washington did a beautiful job, as always!

I really like the back, too. Clean and simple and not a flower in sight.

Then I needed to finish quilting the Folk Art Silhouette quilt because it is going to hang on our living room wall and because I plan to publish it as a commercial pattern and need a finished piece to photograph.

It is the sister quilt to Spring Divas and is made by combining four Simple Silhouettes into one quilt.

All together it was a very satisfying week. Next week I am going to the North Carolina Quilt Symposium in Wilmington. Hope to see some of you there!

Friday, May 16, 2008

May Dance

Each year we learn more about our eccentric little plot of land. It is easy to see it's "bones" in the bare winter, but now the earth is truly quivering with life and we are snapping on our seat belts because there is no turning back once the growing season begins! Native mayapple, trillium, bluebells, shooting stars, bloodroot, Solomon's seal, bleeding hearts and columbines are a few of the regulars that are dancing in clusters all around us. The air is fresh and clear with an occasional whiff of lilac... thanks to Greg who regularly renews the fragrant purple bouquets throughout the house.

So, of course, the girls have to get into the spirit of the season with outfits perfectly suited for a Maypole Dance. Both skirts are made from an original pattern with elastic waistband, three gathered tiers with pleated details and a finish of ruffles at the hem. Although both skirts are identical in construction, the choice of fabrics contribute to a unique statement... but they are both undeniably "over-the-top" with optimism! 

I've become very fond of combining contrasting prints to create "misfits" with unexpected energy. So, of course, the happy prints paired with the striped socks and boots just make me SMILE!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Reversible Wrap Arounds

This weeks news is all about "tightening our belts" because of rising prices and a fluctuating economy. Although in our household of freelance artists, frugality is old news to us. But as long as belts are being tightened they may as well be good to look at!

So this week we are featuring some thrifty fun belts which will make you feel extravagant and look fabulous. This design is not only economical because it is reversible, but because you can finally use some of those fancy fabrics in your stash. 

In truth, I designed these belts to save space. As a traveling teacher, I prefer to fill my suitcases with quilts instead of clothes, so I try to keep my wardrobe simple and compact. These wrap around belts pack easily and two belts give me a weeks wear by mixing and matching them with solid colored skirts and shirts.

Here Fair Claire is  wearing the belt wrapped and tied in the front, but they can also be worn cumber bun style and tied in the back.

This belt was made from two colorways of the Freckled Lily fabric from a few seasons back. The body of the belt is 3" wide and the ends made to meet or gently overlap. The ties are approximately one and a half the length of the belt body.

Here is the reversed belt. I like the look of the two different fabrics working together. The contrasting patterns and colors make it more interesting.

Here is another nice combination of complementary fabrics. This tiny creature really needs a belt to hold up that skirt.

 Yes, that feels better. Those were the days! One of the many nice things about having a daughter is living vicariously in those young bodies.

Here is another reversible belt in a simple slimmer style. These would look great with jeans, Capri's or a wonderful June Cleaver shirt dress.

So "tightening your belt" can be an act of creativity , if you let it be!