Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bags and More Bags

I made time yesterday to set up a photo shoot of all the handbags I've made. There are 10 of them here. 

I have four more bags started but they might have to wait several days as I am in the final days of prep for my classes this weekend. I need to gather up all my supplies and get everything packed up and then go over my class notes, while again, hoping I do not forget anything. Oh and then, just yesterday, I realized I still needed to write up the pattern instructions for the zippered pouch we will be making in class. Yikes!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Trying to Surface

I feel like I've gone underground lately...especially when it comes to blogging. As mentioned previously I'm busy getting ready for some classes I will be teaching at a local quilt show and I am in the final week of preparations. Next weekend we go live!!!

As I write this the printer is busy printing pages of product info, patterns, and more for my classes. I've been busy ordering supplies that will be used in the classes and trying to think think think, in hopes that I don't forget or overlook something.

I've also been busy making lots of handbags. I will take some with me to the show next weekend and then I'll add any that are left to my Etsy shop. I hope to get photos of those this week so that I can share them here.

In the meantime, I have to share something new that I got. I purchased a used rigid heddle loom from a lovely couple that advertised on Craigs List. The loom is somewhere around 20 years old but in beautiful shape. It is a 24" Beka Rigid Heddle loom. There are many items/tools that go along with the loom that are not shown in the photo.

I have been wanting to try weaving and while I did, at one point, have a loom, it was not the right type of loom for the projects I wanted to make. The loom I had, and have since sold, was a tapestry loom. I want to make scarves, kitchen towels, and placements. And who knows what else, maybe handbags?

Well the loom arrived this past week and I was getting a little burned out with my class preparations, so I took one day off to get the loom warped and started weaving.  I warped the loom with lots of different novelty yarns I had in my stash. And then I wove with the yarn shown here. It's Noro Chirimen and is a cotton/silk/wool blend. I found it at a local yarn shop and don't know if it's still being made. It has a wonderful range of colors in it.

Here is my finished scarf. It took only the one day plus an evening to weave it. I was surprised at how quickly it went. I love how it turned out! 

Here is a close up.

 And here you can see a better view of the novelty yarns in the fringe.

I am looking forward to my next weaving project, but for now it may have to wait until after the quilt show.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Production Line

I have been very busy lately. In one month I will be teaching at our local quilt show, and I'm creating handbags and painted canvases to have for my Product Table. 

I've got about ten handbags started and they are all in the stage you see below. I'm currently quilting them and then they move on to the bag construction step.

 Below are several painted canvases I've completed. I'm working on these in stages too. Right now I've got blues, purples, and reds done and next up will be greens and yellows.

I also squeezed in some piecing. This will be a baby quilt for my new grandson, due in December.

And while busy with all this creating, I've been learning how to sew on my new sewing machine. I recently sold my Bernina 440 QE and purchased a 710 model. This new model has a larger throat space and I'm loving it!!!  I was worried that I would miss my 440, but so far I'm really enjoying the new machine and I'm glad I made the switch. My hubby will be cutting the hole in my counter larger so that I can drop the machine down flush with the countertop. Hopefully that will be done within the next couple of weeks.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by and shopped my rummage sale (previous post). It was a huge success and everything sold quickly. I can't thank you all enough for helping me out, although getting rid of those items really didn't seem like it made a huge dent it opening up space :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rummage Sale

Wow, I can't believe it's been just over three weeks since my last blog post. I guess I have been a little busy. Yikes!

One thing that has been keeping me busy is I've been doing some deep dark cleaning. In my studio and slightly beyond. I feel like I just don't have any room for anything anymore. I am guessing some of you can relate.

So in my quest to clean I decided there are some things that I just don't need/want anymore. These are all things that I Just Had to Try Out. Does that happen to you? Some of these items are a few years old but I think they will still work well and hopefully give someone else a chance to Just Try Them Out. I know I am always curious about new art supplies.

So I decided to have a rummage sale. Here. On my Blog. Is that weird? Anyway, listed below are the items I would like to clear out with prices listed. I prefer Paypal as the form of payment. Buyer pays for shipping--either the cheapest route or Priority Mail. If you might be interested in anything, please email me @ I would prefer you email rather than leave a comment about your interest.

I will respond to you on a first come, first serve basis. Thanks so much and I hope there is something here that you may want to play with.

Oh, and I keep forgetting to mention...I have several books for sale also and you can see what's available here:

Shiva Paintstik lot - $8

Twinkling H2O watercolors - $12

Speedball block printing ink - $12

Tsukineko inks and markers (I cannot guarantee the life left in the markers) - $12

Soy silk roving - $10

Silk throwsters waste - $8

Angelina and Fire Star fibers - $8

Assortment of laces and trims - $15

Assortment of hand painting cheescloth like fibers and papers - $8

Dr. Ph. Martin Bombay inks - $15

Thanks for looking! Tell your friends!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day

I hope you are having a lovely Labor Day Holiday.

Here's a couple photos of what I've been doing in my studio. The first one is a work in progress. It will be a small art quilt...a special request from a client.

I've shared the following four small art quilts here before, as I was working on them. They are done in this photo, all except for a binding. They all measure 12" x 12".

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oh Boy!

It dawned on me a few days ago that I need to make a baby boy quilt. Yikes! 

I started thinking about what pattern I should make and then I remembered a pattern I picked up while at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! in Portland. It is Kahakai by Beyond the Reef. I loved almost all of the patterns and quilt samples at the booth.

The quilt is made with 2 1/2" strips so I got online and ordered a strip pack. I wanted all blues but I couldn't find a set that had blues that I really liked, so I got this one. I will leave out the predominantly purple strips. I also picked up the black and white batik as the accent fabric.

Here is a better photo of the quilt. See those lighter blue skinny strips? That is where I will use the black and white. I will probably also use the black and white for the binding. I don't think I have a backing fabric in my stash that will be big enough, so I will shop locally for something to match.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Where is My Brain??!!

I can't believe I forgot to share this news here on my blog. I am going to have a new grandson in December. I shared the info on Facebook in July and then totally forgot about posting about it here. Yikes! I am very excited and have a baby boy quilt all planned. I ordered some fabric for it yesterday.

And here is my recent creative finish. I shared with you in the previous post how I wasn't sure how I was feeling about making this bag in this color scheme. Well, I'm quite pleased with it and surprised at how much I like it. Yay! Now I just have to hope my friend likes it too. :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

What's Going On In My Studio

In my last post I shared some batik knit fabrics I had purchased. Here is what I did with one of them. I made the scarf following directions from a free pattern received when I purchased the fabric. I didn't make it exactly like the pattern. The pattern was a no-sew pattern, but the width of the scarf was much wider than I liked so I folded it in half length-wise and sewed a seam down the length. Now it's perfect for my taste!

I've been working on some clothesline bowls. These are not wrapped in fabric. I used some Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow to color the clothesline and once it was dry I just started coiling and sewing! Quick and easy. I am teaching my quilt guild how to make the wrapped clothesline bowls and coasters in a couple of weeks and I wanted to share this unwrapped version as another option.

Here are some fabrics I have ready for making a special request handbag. A friend of mine asked for a dark colored bag for winter time and she said she likes burgundy, navy and black. These are not colors I would typically choose to make a bag with, so I'll be curious to see how it turns out.

And here is a page in my brown-paper art journal that I was doodling on. This is such a fun and relaxing way to sort of unwind and let your mind wander.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Home Again Home Again

Last week I flew to the West Coast. I went to Portland, Oregon, one of my favorite places. I went there to visit my Auntie Jude and also attend Quilt! Knit! Stitch!, a quilt show by International Quilt Association.

Besides having a great time visiting family, I did some shopping. One of the first places we went after my plane landed was Ikea. I had never been in one of these stores before and since Auntie Jude needed to look for something, I was very willing to go. I enjoyed walking through the store and one item that caught my eye was the round placemat below.  Made from a natural fiber, I thought it would be fun to use as a stencil.

Another stop on my list while there was to visit Allen Designs Studio in Vancouver, WA. I was hoping to get to meet Michelle Allen in person, but she wasn't there. :(  I did buy some wonderful items from her shop though and this kitty clock is one of them.  It is just too fun! The eyes and tongue both move from side to side and it just puts a smile on my face every time I look at it.

I also purchased these two bags with some of Michelle's fun and quirky cats printed on them.

Another day we went shopping at one of my favorite fabric stores in Portland.....Fabric Depot. I wasn't looking for quilting fabric though. I don't buy much of that these days. Instead I browsed the knit fabric selection and chose the following to bring home with me.

We spent one day at the quilt show and I didn't do too much shopping there. I did buy these two knit fabrics at the Indonesian Batiks booth. I have never seen batik knits before this and they had only a few colors/designs to choose from. The vendor did tell me they have a new shipment coming in soon and they should be on their web site within a month. They were giving away a free scarf pattern with the purchase of a batik knit fabric and I am going to make the scarf with the fabric on the left.

Another store I visited was Dick Blick. I bought a few small items, like pens and pencils. I knew I could order most anything from their web site so didn't make any large purchases because of luggage space. I love browsing through art supply stores because I have nothing like it where I live.

I hope to share some more photos from the quilt show soon.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Class Samples

Today I am working on four small quilts. These will measure 12" x 12" when done. 

I sandwiched them all today with batting and backing fabric. My favorite basting method is fusing the layers together. I cut up pieces of Mistyfuse and scatter them over the batting surface and then press the layers together. No basting pins to worry about!

I will have a lot of thread tails to bury but I don't mind. It's good hand work when sitting in front of the TV.

I don't do many dog designs, but thought I'd add one in the mix. I know not everyone out there is a cat lover, like me.

I am teaching a class on making these quilts at a local quilt show this fall. The students will get to choose one of the four patterns to use in class.  The quilt show is put on by my quilt guild and is called Capital Quiltfest. It is held every two years in Bismarck, North Dakota. The dates this year are Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2014.