Then I quilted the borders with dragonflies.
It is backed with flannel.
Some of the colors in the backing are similar (but not identical) to the solids on the front.
Some of the colors in the backing are similar (but not identical) to the solids on the front.
I am officially caught up with all of my UFO quilting and sewing projects.
The fabrics for this quilt were pre-cuts from a fabric line featuring a garden theme. There weren't enough strips for the pattern so I added in a few from my stash and also provided the creamy background and border from the stash.
The pattern is from a book on quilting with precuts and I cut it down considerably to end up with a lap quilt size.
I quilted with an over-all pattern of vines and leaves. I love using this when I am working with garden or flower fabrics.
I won't stay without projects for long though. I already have fabrics and patterns set aside and can't wait to get cutting again. And then there's that big fabric sale going on this weekend....
ANOTHER FINISH! I'm on a roll now.
I did a repeat of the Twizzle pattern used for Pixie Sticks - this time using Teal, Green and Purple. This gave it a tropical look to me leading to the name 'Tropical Twist'.
I gave this one a wide border matching the background and used that for the binding as well. This makes the pattern float above the background.
Here is the background fabric. It reminds me of coconut husk so fits the tropical theme.
Because of the pattern on the background it did not lend itself to the converging lines quilting that I used on the other quilt. So I just did stitch in the ditch quilting and called it good.
This quilt will go to the hospital Passages program.
Today was an all day (9 am to 4 pm) quilting session at the church. We do this two Saturdays a month September through June.
My project for the day was to work on quilting one of my donations quilts that will go to the hospital's Passages program.
The pattern I started with was a free download from Craftsy.
Although it was designed with four sections of color running top to bottom I didn't want mine to be that big so I cut only three colors. When I laid them out in these vertical bars I didn't like it so I mixed the colors all together.
This has such a modern, graphic look that I decided to quilt it with converging lines running top to bottom. It really reinforces the modern look.
The name came about because these colored bars remind me of those sugar-filled straws that children so love.
I've been working hard on getting caught up with quilt projects that just need the quilting and binding done.
The one I finished today was made from a pattern I tore out of a magazine soon after I started making quilts. When I bought the main fabric with those swirls of teal and brown I went right for this pattern even though it was featured in purple and black.
This is actually a very simple pattern - one big block in the center with 4 snowballed corners - 8 squares around the sides with one snowballed corner each then joined into pairs - 4 squares in the corners. I alternated between the teal and the cream in placement.
The sashing in stripe has all the other colors in it and I used the same brown in the cornerstones as the snowball corners.
When I was ready to quilt I designed some art deco corners and a scalloped center motif. I made 36 copies of the line art. I would pin one into a corner and free-motion stitch through the paper and then tear it away. It took a lot of practice to figure out how to stitch the corner without too many back-tracks.
I did the same with the centers.
I am now down to 3 'Works In Progress'.
Some quilts I absolutely fall in love with before I even start stitching on them. That was the case with this one - just because the fabric was so yummy!
I bought a wide stripe black floral from the bargain bin and realized that at home I already had a black with little rosebuds that would look great combined with it. Once I found a pattern I liked, I chose the yellow, green and coral in the florals and in my stash. I added in a white with tiny dots in yellow and coral for the background.
Before I even started sewing this, I realized I had enough of the floral, yellow and green as well as the rosebuds and big florals to make another quilt and cut this one to sew up (showed back on August 14, 2016):
So, I got sidetracked and made several other quilts along the way but I finally got around to finishing up this originally cut one!
You'd hardly know they were the same fabrics, would you?
The coral and white really changes the feel of it.
In the original wide stripe fabric there was a funky separating stripe running lengthwise. I cut that 2 1/4 inches wide and used it for the binding.
For the first time, I bound from back to front so I could topstitch the binding. This left the back binding with a narrow black stripe that helps separate it from the large orange polkadot backing.
I call this one Grand Floral Parade because the large blossoms remind me of the Rose Festival.
I finished my New Year's Day mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) today. She calls this pattern En Provence for the colors she witnessed when she travelled there last year.
I kept her color scheme and dug deep into my stash for the colors I needed. She had designated Sherwin-Williams paint colors to set the palette and I used their ColorSnap tool on my phone to create a color bar for reference.
I could carry this right to my drawers and pull fabrics to build the scrappy units. Totally scrappy is SO not my style but I persevered and I am happy with the result.
The cutting and sewing of units were clues released over the course of several weeks - x number of neutral 4-patches, x number of tri-recs squares in dark purple and neutral, etc. I made only 9 of the 16 blocks she designed it for so I was making half the stated number of units for both the blocks and the sashings (which make up the magenta stars).
When she got to the reveal I counted the actual number of each type of unit and made enough of each to fill out the design.
I used different free-motion quilting on various elements: stalks of lavender through the purple chains -
roses, leaves and vines in the yellow block areas -
leaves and vines along the borders -
and echo quilting on the magenta stars -
The backing is purple marbled fabric and I added a binding of dark purple.
I'm so glad I discovered this form of art. I had read a lot about art journaling and viewed others' work but the multi-media, and mostly abstract, stuff I was seeing was just not speaking to me.
Then I saw some Bible artwork by Sandy Allnock (she used to run Operation Write Home for whom I made cards for servicemen) and knew I had found the focus I wanted.
The key for me is that I have a verse in mind and can draw artwork specifically for that page. It doesn't have to be frame-worthy nor does it have to be hidden away in an art journal with other random art. It has purpose - a devotional focus.
I experiment with lettering styles that I would have no reason to study were I not trying to marry the text to the illustration.
For this page I reflected on Isaiah 35:1.
I wanted to illustrate the profusion of blossoms so drew (from memory) a wide variety of flowers. I also made the desert cactuses bloom in the mid-ground.
I searched a font library for 'flower fonts' and sketched several to use, repeating them down the text for continuity.
I came upon this scripture by thumbing through the concordance in the back of my Bible the other day. I'm going entry by entry making a note of phrases that evoke an illustration in my mind. In the first session of this cataloging I have reached the middle of the 'C's.
I signed up for a mystery quilt for New Year's Day.
Prior to the day of, we were provided with guidelines on selecting 6 fabrics that would contrast and blend well in the pattern and how much of each to have on hand.
Then, over several days we were given cutting instructions for various colors and instructed on labeling them.
On New Year's Day the designer released instructions every few hours - 'stitch A1 squares to B2 triangles to create X number of usits that look like this' (for example).
Of course, nobody could actually sew as fast as the instructions were published as many steps were time-consuming or complicated.
It took me about a week to finish, including layout and assembly of the quilt top. I then had to wait for the next quilting get-together at the church to use the big tables to sandwich the quilt. That caused another delay as bad winter weather cancelled the first scheduled session.
Finally, I got it all together and then this week I got to quilt it. I did this with loopy vines and leaves all over the top.
The name fo this quilt has a two-fold origin. One is the arrows pointing this way and that over the pattern. The other is the fabric selection.
You can see in this close-up that there is a leafy forest floor, a wood grain and a sweet little country plaid. I also used a green and a blue as well as a dark brown with gold circles.
I used the dark brown for the backing and the little plaid for the binding.
On to the next.
When I have read through this section of scripture in the past, I have always zeroed in on the phrases 'the hairs of your head are numbered' and 'fear not'. This time I wanted to focus on the fact that God treasures us and finds us to be of great worth to himself.
I looked up photos of sparrows on the internet to get their shape and coloring right. I wanted to make sure they looked like sparrows and not like robins, hawks or parrots! Good photo reference is essential.
I had just thumbed through a book on botanical drawing and took a few photos from the back pages. In that, I studied the structure of a branch that I could incorporate into the drawing for the birds to perch upon.
I drew with a pencil, traced with fine-line pen, erased the pencil lines and added colored pencil to the drawing.
Various lettering styles were pencilled in, inked and colored before I added lots of doodle swirls and colored them.
I used my favorite color to lightly color the sky as my finishing touch.
I trolled Pinterest for Bible Journaling ideas when I first started and have combined several for this scripture. Some used the keyboard or the staff for other scriptures.
The roses were sketched in from memory of some I once saw. I used the lines in the journaling border as a guide to drawing the keyboard - very handy. I looked up 'treble clef' to get the shape and shading right.
The handwriting on the scripture is my own and I used notes for all the dots over the 'j' and 'i's.
My extra-fine line pen is getting low on ink so I moved up to a wider tip for the inking. It lends more weight to the drawing over the coloring.
The colored pencil work was used primarily on the roses, leaves and goldenrod, but I did use some smudged color on the staff, treble clef and scripture.
You'll also note that I started dating the artwork above the reference at the top of the page. I went back to my already-posted pages and added the dates on them as well.
As soon as I started considering this scripture for Bible journaling this was the image that popped into my head (no pun intended). I had to do some searching to find a reference photo for it as I could not remember what it was called.
I made the colored areas match the lettering on the scroll, used a variety of greys to shade and model the head, and did the same for the scrolls.
Because the phrase 'whatever is' was repeated over and over in the scripture I turned it into a simple bulleted list with this phrase as the header.
I put the reference into a 3D box to mimic the sculptured head.
This will be a scripture that is familiar to most, although I learned it in the KJV when I was a child and this version sounds 'not quite right' to my ear. But since I am doing my work in an NIV Bible I stick to that in the art and quotes.
I first drew the lantern in a sketchbook and then looked up a photo to see where I had gone wrong. It was mostly right, though I had forgotten those supporting bars along the outside.
After the lantern, I drew in the path and followed that by the various roadside materials.
The lettering is my own invention, too.
I went back to a single page illustration as this called for a more vertical layout.
Ooooh, I love it when a project comes out exactly like I planned it!
Last time I had my Bible journalling out I made a note of several scriptures I wanted to illustrate and did some rough pencil sketches in a notebook. So, when I got ready to work today, I already had a starting place.
I selected Psalm 139:17-18 to illustrate with a beach scene.
As usual, I completed the sketch in the Bible with fine-line black pen and used colored pencils to finish it.
I don't know why the photo does not show it, but on the lettering (the wider parts) are double lines with purple colored between them to match the distant hills.
This was drawn and colored completely from the imagination. The only reference I used was a look-up of a photo of a sandpiper so I could get the pose correct.
I added lots of little dots around the critters and around the last words in the quote, "the grains of sand", to join them to the illustration.
And so ends another year...
This year, instead of reviewing only my 10 favorite projects of the year, I decided to compile a list of accomplishments for the year on the blog.
First I ought to point out, as a reminder, that this was the year I stopped creating art to 'feed the blog' and started using the blog only as new art was completed, letting it happen in its own time. This began the first of June just as I had completed 9 years of posting art daily. It was a milestone moment and I chose to make the change that would allow me to relax a bit and let the art develop on its own schedule. The result was 69 blog entries June-December rather than the 217 that it would have taken to fill every day. I like it!
So, what did I do with all that time?
Quilting: completed 20 (baby quilts and lap quilts), 1 tree skirt, 6 placemats (retro campers), pieced 4 tops (lap quilts ready to be quilted), cut all the pieces for 1 quilt, started 2 mystery quilts (in progress).
Sewing: made 6 microwave bowl buddies, 1 small boxed bag, 4 pairs of pants, 2 pillowcases, 2 fabric origami boxes, 9 woven fabric ornaments, 2 zippered makeup bags, 1 insulated lunch bag.
Bible Journalling: This was a totally new endeavor started in September. I have 9 pages completed (pen and ink with colored pencils).
Artwork: 1 colored pencil drawing.
Digital projects: 3 calendars from Shutterfly, 5 books from Shutterfly, 10 cards from Shutterfly.
Challenges: 16 projects using Tim Holtz's Twelve Tags series for inspiration.
Gardening: A shared endeavor with Mom.
In the Kitchen: 26 Freezer to Crockpot meals (haven't sampled all of them yet but we're making note of the ones we want to make again), Preserving from the garden to go in the freezer (corn on the cob, breaded scallop squash, butternut mash, diced tomatoes, roasted summer squash, diced peppers).
Jewelry: 1 bracelet.
Cards: 143 hand made.
Travel: California coastal cruise, Riverboat cruise, Omaha NE, Lynchburg TN, Ephrata WA.
Miscellaneous: 2 watercolor pieces (using stamps for the sketch), 1 decorated blank book (for use as a travel journal).
Grand total: 288 items plus travel and gardening.
I also read 195 magazine issues and innumerable books (including all the assignments for a 16 in 2016 challenge)
Yep, I keep busy!
I would point out that, this year, my very favorite art-related activity is not something I created but a place we visited. We only scheduled a few hours for our visit to The Getty Center (Museum) in Los Angeles. We were mesmerized by all we saw but had to pick and choose as we rushed through. We had to totally skip the Maplethorpe exhibit, the sculpture gardens, and entire centuries of artwork. I loved standing in front of original paintings and sculptures by the world's renouned artists throughout time. I want to go back. I want to spend days there. I want to see it all! I also want to visit other museums like the Smithsonian, the Louvre, the Metropolitan, etc. I LOVE ART!
So, goodbye 2016. Hello 2017, here's to another art-filled year.
I did it! I really, really did it! I finished all of the 2016 12 tags in 2016! LOL.
I wasn't sure I was going to get this last one done but when I realized I needed some 'thank you' cards for Christmas gifts received.
Here are the techniques that Tim Holtz combined:
And this is the tag he created:
I made cards this time out and here are the steps I used (I left out some of Tim's process):
- apply versamark ink to the inside front of a word embossing folder
- put colored cardstock in the folder and run theough the Cuttlebug
- scoop gold embossing powder onto the versamark ink
- melt embossing powder with heat tool
- select metal embellishments including some with text
- use wet glue to apply metal embellishments to colored cardstock. trim
- use Xyron to adhere text paper to a colored base card
- use wet glue to adhere the mounted metal embellishments to the card front
- use Cuttlebug to cut out 'greenery' from colored cardstock
- adhere to card front
- add rhinestones to serve as berries in the greenery
- glue a white card liner inside
Here are the four cards I made:
With the best of intentions I selected an assortment of Christmas fabrics and cut 5-inch squares to follow a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Comapny.
I went off the rails on the very first step! We were supposed to construct a 9-patch like this (the colored patches are all different though):
Instead, I made ALL my 9-patches like this:
You gotta understand that the blocks are a variety of colors. On mine, though, the centers are all the same (I'll show you later why).
Then the instructions showed to slice the 9-patch blocks like this and swap the cut-off sides to antoher block:
I realized that with my four white corners, the swapping out of the cut-off sides would bring back more white corners. Shoot!
So I sliced mine all ther way to the sides in both directions like this:
When the tutorial swaps out the cut-off sides with another block they get this:
Mine was NOT going to work that way so I swapped out those white corners for 2 1/2 inch colored squares (using all the same ones) and then added 1/2 inch sashing between all the elements. Mine looks like this:
Put 12 of their blocks together and you get this:
Here's a picture from the tutorial:
I decided mine needed 2 inch sashings and cornerstones so the layout became like this:
And here is the final result:
So, here's why I used the same center block in all the 9-patches. I had this adorable chickadee fabric:
Here's the block:
Beautiful gold metallic sashing with block corners and red cornerstones:
As I was working on the blocks I had every intention of finishing this off with cheery prairie points around the edges. But I put in that shiny gold sashing and it threw a little tantrum and declared itself much too sophisticated for those country-style trimmings.
So I added a gold over-printed red backing (it is of the same line as the featured chickadees).
Then I used the green holly from the block corners for the binding.
I call this quilt Christmas Surprise because it surprised me from the very first step where I went wrong.
I'll be keeping this one for myself.
I needed a card as an encouragement for someone going through some tough times. My immediate thought was the phrase 'hold it together' and I had a flash of all the things we use to do just that.
So I layered a patterned cardstock on the front of a base card and went to town embellishing it with fasteners of all sorts. I included: stitching, binder clip, bobby pin, knotted ribbon, clothes pin, paper clip, padlock, brad, button, hair clip, safety pin, bandaid, staples, washi tape and velcro!
I used different sets of letter stickers to spell out: "when you know where to look"
Then the message continues on the inside: "you'll find the way to hold it together"
You can see in this view where the velcro was used - to hold the card closed.
I used more knotted ribbon, stapled on, to hold a charm of praying hands.
The white block is just where I covered the personal message I added to the bottom of the card.
This project will almost catch me up with the 2016 tag series - though I chose another display piece instead of a tag.
I also changed the theme from 'Thanksgiving' to 'travel' for my project.
Here are the two techniques Tim combined:
And this is the Tag he created:
These are the steps I used to create my project:
- Apply rubons around the edges of base piece (I used landscape themed and postal images)
- Color background with Distress Stain - blending colors and adding water to mottle
- Distress edges with tool and ink (I used walnut stain)
- Stamp a 'blueprint image' on the background - set aside
- Stamp same image several times on watercolor paper
- Watercolor these using Distress Marker as watercolors
- Deboss from the back to create 3D image
- Trim to colored image size
- Deboss 'forward' elements of other images and trim them out for 3D elements
- Mount layers together using foam tape
- Use Glossy Accents on the areas of the image that are 'glass'
- Use diecut words on the background
- Back the cutouts with colored cardstock
- Use Distress Marker to add drop shadows inside the text
- Layer the watercolored image stack over the stamped image on the background
- Spatter the whole piece with black Distress Ink
- Use brad to attach a charm
And here is the piece I did:
One more 'tag' project to complete and my year will be done.
I realized I got way behind on completing the projects Tim Holtz designed for his blog. With three projects left to do and only 11 days to get them done in the year assigned, I decided I had better get crackin'.
I had written out the steps Tim used when the bog posts first appeared but it had been so long that I had to look the post up before I started so I could refresh my mind on what the goal was!
Here is the techniques Tim combined:
And here is his project for October:
Tim went all out for Halloween in the October tag but, it being so late, I decided to go in a whole different direction. Here are the steps I used for my project:
- On a base surface create a patchwork collage of various elements according to the desired theme, using a matte medium as a glue and a sealant.
- I started with two papers with cutout sections. These I overlaid with printed tissue paper, then I went to town with all sorts of butterfly stickers, staying with the more realistic-looking ones.
- Allow the collage to fully dry
- Lightly sand edges
- Apply Picket Fence Distress Stain over surface and wash/wipe away some to create a shabby effect
- Use Distress Ink pad in Black Soot to darken the edges of the panel
- Use Distress Marker in Black Soot to create a drop shadow under all the butterflies and immediately smudge with finger to soften
- Spatter with black ink
- Use word dies to punch out the word 'beautiful' in the background
- Back the work cut-out with bright paper
- Stamp hand-carved butterfly on bright paper and again on shimmer paper
- Carefully cut out both butterflies
- Stamp just the antennae on the background
- Glue the shimmer paper butterfly to the background, aligning with the antennae
- Use wet glue to attach only the body of the bright butterfly to the shimmer layer
- Fold up the wings on the bright layer and then attach to the shimmer layer using a small bit of foam tape
Ready for the reveal?
You can see I once again made a display piece instead of a tag. I chose to make this one for use in the Spring.