Friday, July 31, 2015

Sewing Room Update And Another Giveaway

As you may have guessed, showing the interior of my sewing room was a bit humbling. I tend to keep it much neater than yesterday's pictures showed. Some very targeted time has been spent cleaning. My first idea was to just get everything into some kind of container. Then I came to my senses and realized that I didn't  want to do this all over again! So, a little more time, a lot more decisions, and a trunk full of goodies leaving my environment! Here are a few pictures from around the room. More cleaning to ensue,,
This was taken from the same view point as the one from yesterday's post. 
And from that opposite corner. 
Inside my 'stash' closet. 
Too many lamps sitting on my sewing table. You can't tell there's a machine back in there!
This is behind my cutting table and generally can't be seen in any picture. Hopefully showing all these pictures will give me the push to continue decluttering and getting rid of the periphery!

And this final picture is of the quilted pieces that need bindings. 
There's 10, ranging from lap covering to oversized twin. Some are pieced, some are whole cloth. And there's one table topper that needs mending! These are hitting the intention list for August. 

How do you deal with a mess when it happens? 
Leave a comment to be entered August giveaway. Your name goes in every time you comment between now and the end of the month. Just remember that if you read the post as an email, you need to leave your comment on the blog for the drawing. 

May God bless the work of your hands,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July Where Did You Go?

I can hardly believe that July will be over in about 28 hours! Where did it go? This isn't the first time I've gotten to a certain point and wondered what did I do during the previous month. You've probably had this sort of thing happen too. Well, I decided to do a little research. I checked my little day planner. Then I reviewed what I'd written here, on my blog. Next I went through 31 pages of posts on a 'virtual retreat' thread I've been involved in. To tell you the truth, it was a rather eventful month. Just not a highly productive one in my creative studio. 
I made a journal cover for my friend Regina. 

I had a couple of dye workshop days. 

I hosted a fabric giveaway and sent out a total of 12 packages to various addresses around the world. 
I attended several church related meetings and guild programs. Visited my MIL and picked 16 pints of blueberries. 
I spent two days traveling to a shop to check out the HQ Fusion longarm machine. 

We did purchase it and spent three more days throughout delivery and setup week. I started to become familiar with it. 

And I'm learning how to navigate the various softwares that came with it. 
Don't forget the emptying out of the room
The mess that got put into my sewing room, which still needs some help!!

And all the rest of what one does to navigate through life. Dishes were washed, laundry was taken care of, floors cleaned, etc etc. 
So, even though it seems like it flew by and I didn't get much done creatively, I progress forward like a canoe going against the current some days, and with it on others. All in all, God has blessed me tremendously and I am grateful for it all. Yes I am even grateful for the dirty dishes. It means we have food to eat and something to put our food on. Not everyone is so fortunate. 
Coming soon, another giveaway!! 
Starting today, every comment gets you an entry into my giveaway!! Make sure you follow by email, as I will be posting more info about the giveaway and the lucky winner's comment at the end of August. 

Thanks for stopping by,
May God bless the work of your hands. 
Let's Create Today

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Longarm, The Frog, and The Happy One

The longarm quilting machine today is waiting to be installed. 

The Frog (finished room over garage) has been readied. 

And a very happy me!

Friday it gets installed. Saturday I will have my first training session. 

I thank God for having this all come together. I know He is in control. I trust Him to make sure that I use this machine to accomplish His will through me. 

May God richly bless you as you carry out His purpose in your life,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Miss Lila, length 24", weight...

Weighing in at,, well no lady no matter her age is giving up that information!
24 inches, arriving Monday early afternoon. 

This all sounds a bit strange, wouldn't you say? Not giving the weight, and knowing the inches before the arrival actually happens?

Oh, but what you may not know is this. Lila is the name George and I have chosen for "our" 
HandiQuilter Fusion 24, longarm quilting machine. 

Yep, that's right. Tomorrow, just after lunch the Estes Delivery truck should be bringing my little, well not that little, baby to its Momma.  Oh ya, and Papa!  We have both been watching videos about all the cool stuff Luann is going to try. 

LILA is an acronym for Luann is long arming. Well it was that or Lulu and I just don't want it to think it is not thought highly of. Yes I know it's a machine and not a person. I've heard so many people refer to there machines by name that I decided to do it too. Guys usually name every vehicle they've ever had. I know some that have named their roto tillers and lawnmowers. So, considering how much time I will be spending with this piece of equipment, it got a name! Why a feminine name? Because I had not seen Dusty Farrel's videos in time! Maybe it will get a middle name of Dusty.
Lila Dusty ??? Would it need a surname too?

What do you think? Pictures coming soon,,,

May God bless your week with unbroken stitches,

Friday, July 17, 2015


Yesterday's post ended with this piece of fabric in a quart sized canning jar. 
All washed out and pressed! 40" only shrunk to 39 1/2" yeah!!

And for some close up shots. 

I read about this method in the Fall 1995 issue of American Quilter. The article was written by Vimala McClure. Here is what the lead page of the article looked like. 

It was the top picture of the "batching" fabric in jelly jars that first caught my attention. The rest, as they say, is history! It's definitely a part of MY story. If you have any questions about this method, leave a comment and I will try to answer quickly. 

And King Tut thread, by Superior Threads, to use with my longarm machine. Arriving any day!📦🚚

I am such a happy camper. 😎🚎

The Lord has blessed me greatly. May He also bless you with people that make your heart sing. 

Remember to create a little something every day. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Giving Myself A Headache

I don't know why but it seems that sometimes I just give myself a headache.

Early this morning I was up and rinsing out fabric I dyed yesterday. I had used varying colors on 20 oversized fat-quarters. Most of them turned out just as planned but there are always a few that surprise me. And I have gotten to a level in my dyeing adventures that I document the 'lesson learned' when these nuances happen. One of today's notes was that Strong Navy will pretty much take up every fiber molecule it can touch and other colors will only have a stand if put on the fabric first, allowed to absorb for a substantial amount of time, then add the Strong Navy dye stock.

So, let's get to the headache of the day. After getting everything thru the final wash, rinse, dry, and pressed sequence, this is what they looked like.

I then realized that I didn't have any samples of a new 'black' dye I had gotten a few months back. I also wanted to put a 1 yard piece of fabric into a quart size canning jar and do my low water immersion method of turning the container upside down every 20 minutes for the first two hours. This is a take off from an article I had read many years ago. I used fat quarters and jelly jars at that time. So, I snipped my fabric at the 40" length, tore it across, placed it into my soda ash solution and off the the studio to mix up 1 cup of dye stock. I don't know why but I just could not wrap my head around how to find the grams for weighing out my dye powder. I could find the oz measure on my scale but the gram icon was eluding me. But the strangest thing was that where the g for gram should have been, was this weird squiggle mark. Well, I spend considerable time figuring out just how much in ounces 5 grams is. Made my dye stock, put it into the jar, squeezed out the soda ash solution, and then pushed the fabric into the jar. I spent the next 2 hours flipping the thing. 

The quart jar is now sitting on the window sill waiting for tomorrow. That's when I will do the warm water rinse, ice water soak, hot water soak, and then into the washer with the hopes that just one time through a hot water wash, and two cold water rinses will take care of all excess dye. There really shouldn't be much excess as I used the amount that 1 yard of my fabric should need for the proper depth of color I was going for. But, tomorrow will show me it worked, or what I need to adjust.

Oh, about the HEADACHE, that squiggly line that was where the gr belonged, it IS a lower case g. 

Funny how not having that r after the g made me think it wasn't what I needed. Like I said, Sometimes I give myself a headache!

May God bless you common sense to look closely when you think something isn't as it should be,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Composition Book Cover

I started this project a while back and knew that when it was finished I would know who it was to be given to. This is the front cover. 

And the inside front flap. 

And a closeup of my go to decorative stitch. 

This was made from various pieces of my hand dyed fabrics. I decided to not embellish the cover. Trying to write in a journal with a lot of embellishments can be challenging.  So, simple construction with the ability to change out a filled journal was what I wanted to accomplish. I like how it turned out and I'll share my process if you want. Just leave a comment or send me an email. 

May God bless you with a pleasant day,

Lessons 1 & 2

I'm making some progress on my lessons with Linda Schmidt. Elements in Fabric is an online class on The Academyofquilting website. You may want to check out their offerings. 

Lesson 1 was about portraying water movement. It's ready to be quilted. 
Lesson 2 was dealing with the element of fire. I went for a forest fire. With the help of some online friends I arrived at this point. It's also ready to be put into quilt format. 

Lesson 3 is addressing movement of wind. If I utilize the instructors shared image it will be a thunderstorm from a cloud viewpoint. 
Lesson 4 takes us on the journey of depicting 'earth'. The instructor has provided an image we can work from for this lesson also. 

I will probably continue to use her images for these exercises. When I start making some wall hangings, I will be asking for permission from my favorite photographer, Mr. George!! And because he believes in me, he always says,"Of course!" 

Lots of news to share but for now I must get back into my studio. It needs a good going over!! I'd rather be quilting than cleaning. But it's all part of the process. 

May God bless your day with lots of creative adventures. 


Monday, July 6, 2015

And the winner of the hand dyed fabric is,,,,

Congratulations EVERYONE! 

Each and everyone of you that posted will be receiving hand dyed fabric from me!!  All you need to do is send your name and address to me via email.  I will try to get these posted by Friday. 

And,,, if a particular piece has caught your eye, let me know. That piece may be gone but I probably have something similar. Or, it could be the reason I use to have another day of dyeing.  

And a few more pictures of "dye candy".  LOL

Well, enough for now. Looking forward to sharing with those of you who took the time to post. 

And I may just need to do this again! Last week's lesson was a lightning storm in the clouds and this week we are onto "earth" in all it's splendor. 

May God Bless each of you,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Book Reviews to Aid Memory

This may all sound so familiar:

I go to the library, or over to a friend's house. I return with a few books or magazines that appear to have some information that will be of benefit to me, just as soon as I can alot some time to the genre it has to do with! Maybe not today, but soon, so I hope. I read, or should I say browse thru these morsel laden compilations of paper. Because I'm not going to actually do the technique now, I just want to see if I should revisit this publication when the timing works. So, I have spent, perhaps even wasted, a fair amount of time. I have enjoyed it, but I can only remember bits and pieces three weeks later, when I have returned from the library. Now I don't have the book, and I really don't want to purchase any more at this time. But two days later, I'm all up in the air because, NOW I have the time and inclination to utilize that information. Oh, I could return to the library, find the book, check it out and get back home in time to actually flip thru the pages to get to that elusive information. But, alas, I didn't pick up the right book. This one was about the 'other' type of shibori folding, or what have you! This was my dilemma in the past. No longer,,,

About three years ago, I was getting into surface design on cloth. I would come home with several books at a time from the library. Try to read all of them. Try to remember all of the information. Forget most all of it, and couldn't remember which book had what information! Yikes, this was irritating to say the least. Then a lightbulb moment! I hit upon a unique concept. Probably never before known to man!! Or, did I actually do this 50+ years ago, in school? Hmmm,,,

Well, I do them a little different now. You will tweak this for your own use if you choose to give it a try.

* Make a photo copy of the cover of each book, or scan and utilize your computer for as much of this as works for you
Make sure you get the title in case you want to look for it online, author's name might also be helpful
* I date this piece of paper. It's funny how I can remember that I read the book during the winter, but the name of
it may elude me totally
* I put the photo copy inside the book.
* I keep a pen handy for taking notes as I browse. I put pg# and brief description if I want to come back for
expanded notes. Otherwise I make notes as I go.
* I keep these in a three ring binder where I can browse thru them when I am looking for information. It's funny, but sometimes just seeing the cover of the book will jog my memory
* Now refer to the notes on the back of these when you can't remember which book held that special technique or instructions for a project

I have found this works for me in many ways. I don't bother with trying to get at everything as soon as I've read about it. I can enjoy browsing thru the book. When I choose to come back for more information later, I can find the pages I want to explore. Notes on some books read, No new info, but very inspiring pictures. And I think one of the biggest helps is this. Even if I don't get the chance to browse thru the book before it's return I will have a picture of the cover so I can look for it on a future library visit. 

And sometimes you can let them inspire you to just create something,,,

Take a few minutes to be inspired by the cover of a book. The font, colors used, etc, etc, etc. 

So, with this in mind,

Let's Create Today,

Blueberries by the Quarts and More Hand Dyes

This morning we traveled to the MIL's house to pick some berries. We now have 16 pint sized bags in the freezer. And some for fresh eating now,

Next on the my 'activities for the day' was to press the 12 pieces that had been dyed a few days back. This is actually my favorite part of dyeing. I've said it before, it's so exciting and calming at the same time! I really enjoy watching the patterning that comes to life as the steam iron glides across the fabric. If I ever figure out how to do a very short video for my blog, that will probably be the first. And it would only be aimed at the ironing board, so you could watch the magic take place. I'm sure there is actually a scientific term and reason this happens. I just know I like the magic of it. 

And a few close ups of interesting textures that appear as the iron moves across,,

In the first image of the hand dyes, those four pieces on the left keep drawing my attention. What do they look like to you? 
Leave a comment and I'll add your name into the giveaway. Look back a couple of days to see the post about it. 
Please be sure to check on Monday for the winner.

Let's Create Today,

Friday, July 3, 2015

Another Day of Dyeing

A few days back I cut 3 1/3 yards of pfd cotton into oversized fat quarters. They measured 20" x 23". I over cut my pieces when I am going to be dyeing them. The process tends to shrink fabric and I want to be able to consider them a 'full' fat quarter. 

After spending a sufficient amount of time in the soda ash solution I squeezed them out. I put them onto a drying rack on my screen porch while I decided my specific plan of action. 

I finger pleated most of them, laid them along a side of the low containers I use for this, and drizzled dye onto them. I massaged them well and left them for almost 24 hours. My patience level isn't the greatest when I'm dyeing fabric. Definitely something I need to work on. When I first began dyeing I was able to leave them for days, but along the way I've become a bit impatient. 

Here they are in their tubs. 
And here is a peek inside some of them,

They have been rinsed and are in the first soak of ice water. Later I can start the true wash out with hot water and synthropol. 

So, now it's off to the picnic at Cornerstone Church. That should keep me away until the ice melts and all dye reaction has been thwarted. 

Have a wonderful Fourth of July,

For a chance to win some hand dyed fabric, leave a comment on yesterday's post. 

Let's Create Today,

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hand Dyed Giveaway

I'm taking a class on and it has stretched my comfort zone. This is good for me. My first piece was to be representational of water. I was very influenced by Linda Schmidt's example. We are only making the tops at this point and this is what it looks like today. 

In the second lesson, she has us investigating 'fire', as in forest fire. This is where I'd really like to hear from you!
A week ago my piece was at this point and I liked it. 

I had more to do, and I did! But it got to this spot, and I didn't like it. 

I thought I might just 'set it on fire' ! I had lost all the work that was behind these trees and it is beginning to get rather "thick".  So, out came my scissors. I trimmed out that red overlay from between the trees and even though I was happier, I knew it would need a final overlay and 'maybe' some filmy stuff across the bottom. The next three pictures are my options at present. Please disregard the excesses  that extend below the piece. Things are not trimmed to size yet!

Number 1: golden under lay piece and black tulle over

Number 2: a dusty mauve underlay and black tulle over

Number 3: no underlay, just black tulle over 

So, which one appears most like a forest fire to you?
Any suggestions?

Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for some hand dyed fabrics, similar to these,
Or these,
Or maybe these,

I look forward to hearing from you. Leave your comment, before Monday 9am, (July 6, 2015) to be entered into the drawing. 
Let's Create Today,