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Friday, January 27, 2012

Occupy love#1

 I saw a call to artists in the paper with the theme being occupy love.  I kinda liked the idea and this quote by Indira Ghandi has always been one of my favorites so I thought it appropriate for the non violent protest movements that have been going on in this country. The zentangles quilts are really good practice for my free motion quilting skills. The wording was probablly the hardest - it's a bit shakey but I think I pulled it off. I'm working on two more for the occupy love show that are both similar and will post those two when done.

Happy Quilting!

And Occupy some love in your life!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Free motion quilting challenge January

I'm participating in a free motion quilting challenge. Basically each month a different teacher shows a video to show you tips or a motif to practice. January was a heart shaped leaf. First I practiced on paper and then practiced on a piece of fabric backed and batted as a quilt would be.

What did I learn? Well first of all practice, practice, practice. After awhile you feel more confident and it shows in the quilting. When I started it was tight feeling but after awhile my quilting flowed and the stitches were better. I was able to quilt the leaves upside down and sideways. - no problem.

 The biggest thing is to get a practice piece before quilt on your project. It takes some playing with the tension to get to right to say nothing of getting the right needle for the thread weight. Above is where I started and you can see the pulls, snags and general nastiness on the back. You don't want that on you good quilt that you spent many hours piecing together.



 After getting all that down I was off and running, pedal to the metal! After the practic piece I used the motif on everything that I quilted this month. Above is part of a valentines zentangles art quilt.

  Another zentangles - this one for the tangerine tango challenge.

 And last but not least - a mug rug made with scraps and a big ol button from my grandmothers button box.

I'm looking forward to february to see what the next motif will be - join in if you dare!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

trout fishing in america

trout fishing in america
17" x 15"

I finally finished my rainbow trout quilt! for some reason this has taken a while, maybe because it was one among about 5 other projects going at once and thru the holiday season there are gifts to make etc. 

this was fun to make after the initial putting the fish together which was tedious. I like how the river weeds sort of twist and turn - a method I learned from Christine Fries. At the lover right hand corner (the actual quilt it's middle lower) I put some yarn fibers to look like the bottom of the river.

I don't really like the way the photos came out but with no natural light to be had lately I have to rely on those energy efficient bulbs that cast a weird glow. I have lots of them but it's a strange light. So the quilt actually looks better in person. I will try new photos soon. 

I also made a tutorial and pattern for trout fishing in america.  I'm going to be selling on etsy and pattern spot for only 5 bucks for the downloadable PDF. such a deal!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

sewing machine needle organization tip

" And now for the quilting part of our show"

this is a tip my mother showed me and it's a good one for keeping your sewing machine needles organized and at hand - label a tomato style pincushion with your different needle types. Stick a pin with a large head so you can see it in the section of pins that you have in your machine. When you switch needle types just move the pin to the section that is in your machine and you will never forget what kind of needle you have in your machine. 
Pure genius!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

tangerine tango challenge

orange zentangles art quilt

This started with a yard and a half of bright orange fabric that I got who knows where (and why?)
Orange is normally not my go to color and this thing was .......... well so orange! I'm sure my reason for buying it was because it has some lighter cloudy possible sunset looking areas but I've had it for 3 years and never used it for a sunset as is. I came across it a couple of months ago forlornly cast aside one of my fabric storage areas and vowed that I would find a way to use the sorry yardage. I did use some of it on my view from the barn window project (I have a blog post about that if you want to see it) - I used bleach to try to get rid of some of the overpowering orange of it all in that one. So that went pretty well, but still about a yard to go. 

Then someone on twitter tweeted about a tangerine tango challenge for quilts - how tangerine and orange is the color of the year and aren't I the out of the loop, not in the groove, fashion no - no for not embracing the orange! That's it, said I - I will embrace and love the horrid beast   - if you got a lemon - make lemon aid!
If you got an ugly orange fabric - make an orange zentangles quilt!

So I started with the orange (I started to make a tangerine, but looked more like an orange when I was  done so I went with it). I drew it out on the same fabric as the background and then used fabric markers and paint to add highlights and shading. Using fusible web I attached it and a leaf and a stem (from scraps of fabric with fusible on them already)

Then the free motion quilting - you basically just draw out different sections at random in a way that looks good to you and then go in and fill each one in like you would when you doodle. Haven't we all sat through hours of boring meetings perfecting this art? If you say you are not a good enough machine quilter - this is the way to learn, I'm telling you right now. You don't have to be perfect and you can cover up if you make a mistake with something else or if your loop goes awry - make that your doodle. 

On the back is my favorite method of hanging sleeves or in this case - triangles. You take squares, fold in half, then sew to the corners before adding the binding. Then you can insert wooden dowels in them top and bottom, making the quilt lay flatter on the wall.

So that's the saga of my beautiful orange fabric - orange you glad you stopped by? :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

My busty cup experiment

I finished my busty cup last night. Just wanted to report on the process. I made up my own basic cup sleeve but should have gone with a pattern (they are easy to find, there is even one on the loose fiber busty cup blog) so that I would do different but the rest worked out fine. 

I spied a bag of cotton balls in the bathroom - aha! Boobs

Wrap some pink gauzy fabric around and sew together.

For the sleeve I started with plain white fabric with a thin cotton batting. Then covered with lacy fabric, then added lots of bangles and stuff from my stash. The boobs I first sewed down to piece of sturdy ribbon with a rope like piece at the bottom. Think of those wire bras that jab into your own boobs and you'll know ;-)
They needed that for stability and then I covered them with that great sequined white stuff. Lastly crocheted some funky pink yarn into a string and tied it around the top. 

I hope that you try one for yourself and either donate it or give to a friend. I know you can do it!
Again the website for a tutorial

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Busty cups

I saw this idea on sewcal gals blog and wanted to share. They are coffee or tea cup sleeves that are all pimped out with a breast cancer awareness theme. So cool!

You could make these and sell them and donate the money

Or make them and give to a breast cancer fundraising organization to put in gift bags

Or just give one to friend to make her smile:-) is a link to the women that thought this up and they have a tutorial there to help jump start your creativity.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

vermont farmland quilt

vermont farmland

I just finished this landscape yesterday! I have been doing some different styles lately - patchwork, zentangles etc. so it was really enjoyable to go back to my first and true love - landscaping. 
(guess that's why they call me landscapelady):):)

anyway this was inspired by the view that I see every time I go to see my parents  - driving on route 22A just past vergennes you look out on this beautiful magestic farmland. So beautiful, with the adirondack mountains in the background.

this photo shows alittle more of the detail - of course - love the cows! - that was fussy cut from an all over cow fabric so I added the bushes to hide the cut parts that were from another cow.

the best part is the fence at the bottom - used locker hooking to add fabric strips and yarn to look like rocks and flowers.

all and all - pretty happy how it turned out.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wanted: more time for quilting

Thank you to Kate over at for getting me to think about how to get more quilting and me time. (which is one and the same) just as everyone else who quilts and blogs and tweets and all the rest - I spend way to much time on the computer. We need to look at the time and how we do it to see what can be done more efficiently. I don't want to say to limit or stop because after all reading blogs and twitter is enjoyable to me and so is creating my art quilts. I need to balance the two to be at least on equal terms each day. I spend 15 minutes on the computer - I have to spend 15 minutes in my quilting.
On work days when I get home, my guilty pleasure is watching General hospital, eat a snack and go on the computer. I will now do the snacking and computer for half the show and the other will be sewing.  Let's see how that goes:-) 
While I was writing this it finally started snowing! I live in Vermont and while I'm not a big fan of the 3 feet snowstorms - we do need enough to at least cover the brown ground and dead grass. We haven't really had much at all this year, so this bought of flakiness is welcome.
Well I have just spent a half hour writing this - so off to work on my rainbow trout art quilt!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

mariners rooster quilt

mariners rooster quilt
27" x 27"

  My mother showed me how to do this type of quilt using paper piecing for the inside star and then a freezer paper piecing method for the outer ring of the star. It is really fun and relatively easy. She suggested that for fabrics, first you pick your border fabric and then pull colors from that for the rest. Since I had this cute baby chicks in yellow I chose different shades of yellow and white for the background.

then of course I had to add something a little crazy so I made an appliqued rooster with the fusible method and quilted some texture making it look a bit like feathers with a variegated thread.

It's hard to see in the photo but I quilted the open areas with - well feathers of course!

This was really fun to make and I encourage anyone that is a quilter to try a mariners compass. They really are easier than they look - this one is a simple version for the beginner. 

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The zen of machine quilting

I am participating in free motion quilting challenge organized by sew cal gal and I entered the link to this blog on her challenge page. After I did that I started thinking that maybe I was supposed to wait to put my link there after I had posted what I did for the challenge - the fruits of my machine quilting labor, if you will.

So if you are looking at this post looking for that I apologize - I will have my practice pieces up later in the month. But I will share my zentangles quilting adventure with you so your trip to my blog won't be a total loss.

I heard about the zentangles craze and thought it was pretty cool, and when I saw people were doing it with machine quilting a light bulb went off - I could do this!
Basically I googled royalty free zentangles to figure out how to go about this and then drew out the image I liked with pencil on white fabric. Then draw lines to make separate little quadrants that then get filled in with the doodles of your choice. Having sat through countless hours of boring meetingss in my work life, I consider myself a pretty good doodler. Then just play! I must say they are right you can really get lost in this and it's very enjoyable.

So I guess I had better get going with my challenge practice so I can post something. If you don't know what I am talking about and would like to check it out go to

If you are a quilter you can't go wrong trying this challenge- it will only make you better:-)