Friday, February 29, 2008

New extension table

TJay, the love of my life, built me a very nice extension table for my sewing machine. At least someone is getting something done. I have accomplished absolutley zero in the last week or so...just working for someone else sucks the creative life right out of me. Next week will be better.

Birch - 30 x 24

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Vikki Pignatelli - beautiful and moving work

What a great evening!
I just had the great pleasure of attending a dinner, lecture and trunk show at Lake Farmpark tonight. Vikki Pignatelli did the lecture on '10 Attributes That Make a good Quilter Better'. She's been teaching at the Farmpark this week and I found out too late to get into a class, (total bummer), but it was really wonderful to meet her and see her work in person -- lots and lots of it! Blew me away -- I'm so in awe! Her work is so beautiful and she also talked about how she started Sacred Threads. I was very moved and a bit teary-eyed at the stories she told about some of her pieces. Came home feeling all warm and fuzzy! LOL.
And of, course I HAD to buy her books... : )
If anyone has the opportunity to hear her or take a class, I highly recommend her. Lots of people that were there tonight were also taking classes and they raved about her.

Vikki Pignatelli and her quilt 'Blacklick Pond'

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

TJay ALWAYS does amazing things on this special day for us. Every year he really outdoes himself. And I'm always clueless...
My friend (and neighbor) Alex has family that lives out in the country and we've got a couple of burls from her, for TJay to use on his lathe. A couple of weeks ago she said her brother had more burls, but they wouldn't fit in her car, so I'd have to drive down with her in my truck to pick them up. Okay, cool, I could do that. Wednesday night I realized the day we had set was V Day, and told her we would have to reschedule for the weekend. A little while later, my phone rang...over and over. Friends and family, from all over the country were calling and telling me they knew people that needed burls. Huh??? Okay, I can take a hint -- hubby wants me out of the house, right? NOT!
It turns out that the outing with Alex had nothing to do with was a trick to get me to drive out to where she took flying lessons and my V Day surprise was getting to FLY A PLANE!!!

Here's the plane we used -- Dan, Alex's flight instructor was awesome.

Here's Alex, who was in cahoots with TJay

Tjay had insisted that I take a camera (thank God!) to take pictures of Alex's brother's 'cabin'. This was the only cabin I saw!

Ohio farmlands

The icepack on Lake Erie looked way cool from above!

Cedar Point amusement park was the most colorful thing we saw on this snow-covered ground.

Marblehead Lighthouse from above was awesome! This one may have to become a painting...

The gracial grooves on Kelly's Island -- we landed there for just a minute -- but not in the grooves. After we left Kelly's Island, I got to fly back to shore and a little farther before I got nervous and gave the controls back to Dan...

Last look across Lake Erie

The landing and the finish to an amazing surprise.

I love you TJay!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The end-tables are talking To TJay

TJay's working on the end tables to match the coffee table. I'm afraid the wood is 'talking' to him again...

Here is with just the lone star.

Here is with the corner pieces started
And when the wood started talking, here's waht it said...LOL!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Applique wallhanging using EQ6 as a design tool.

It's my neighbor's birthday -- well, yesterday was. As usual, I'm a day behind...
I walk her dog, Buck during the week, so I decided to make her a little wall hanging of Buck, as a birthday gift. I actually remembered to document my process, so I'm blogging it, in case someone else can use these steps.
Hers's a photo I took of Buck -- dontcha' love that face? He's a Weimaraner and he just loves to talk and sing...he's very vocal!

I wanted to do Buck in 3 shades of fabric, so first I used photoshop to darken the shadows and midtones.

Then I opened EQ6 and started a new block in 'patchdraw,' and imported the new and less colorful Buck. Under 'options' in the Drawing board Set Up, I chose 'auto-fill when patch is closed.' That's not what they recommend, but it's the only way I can tell that my drawn patch is closed and exactly the right shape. I started with the very smallest pieces -- the pupils of his eyes. As each patch fills, it blocks out whatever is behind it, so keep that in mind when drawing. (do all the little bits first!)

Still in EQ -- all the patches are now drawn. There are several that you can't see behind his paw, eyes and ears.

Then I went to 'print templates' and got this. Now this is one of those annoying little things about EQ. Why does it spread all these little itty bitty pieces over so many pages and split-up over pages?? What a silly use of space... Luckily you can rotate and move the pieces. This started out on 6 pages and by the time I got rid of the 12 inch square template (duh) and moved the rest, it took only 3 pages to print. I'm doing raw edge applique, so I don't need those seam allowances either. If I had been thinking a little harder, I would have printed these on freezer paper...20-20 hindsight!

After printing, I cut everything out and sorted the pieces by the fabric they would go on.

EQ6 does print out this neat thing that's numbered along with the numbers it assigns your applique patches. It comes in real handy when you're trying to figure out what some of those weird little pieces are and where-the-hell-do-they-go!

After sorting, I traced everything onto freezer paper. Did I mention that I should have just printed on to freezer paper? Let me reiterate that... I ironed the freezer paper templates onto the right side of the fabric, then ironed the wrong side of the fabric to heat-n-bond lite. would have preferred Misty-fuse, but was all out.

Then cut out all the pieces...

And started laying out Buck on the background.

Here he is, all fused to the square. That's his left paw sticking out there, because when you tell him 'Southpaw' he gives you his left paw.

I put some stabilizer underneath to keep the fabric from puckering and then I machine stitched around the main pieces with a blanket stitch.

Stitched some more around the larger applique pieces and added Happy Dog in the corner

His nose is several layers of satin stitch -- reminds me of a teddy bear nose.

Laid out backing and batting and pinned. Did some free-motion stitching on the face and a stippled background. Jeez, I totally suck at stippling. Well, it's a little better with this different FM foot and my stitch size is getting more consistant...but I still suck at stippling.

I folded back the backing and rotary cut off the excess batting. I'm bringing the backing around to the front to use as the binding, tucking it under, pressing, and machine stitching with a small blanket stitch. Quick and easy.

Just a couple of little embellishments. Small pearls for the gleam in his eyes and some bleached coral for his little doggie claws.

I added a couple of loops to the back of the top and he's all ready to hang.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lucky me!

I won a collage by Virginia Spiegel from a random drawing on her blog - She is celebrating over a million hits on her site...closer to 2 million! Lots of wonderful information there.

Virginia also started Fiberart For A Cause , which raises money for the ACS. She and participating artists and doners have raised over $140,000.00 so far. She's also hosting Collage Mania II, and there's a Call to Artists at

I am working on a couple of collage pieces for CM II, to honor my Dad's passing -- hopefully done this weekend. In the meantime I will frame and hang this in my sewing studio. It's colors are warm and soothing to me (especially during this freakish winter) and it's titled July 26

July 26