Thursday, December 30, 2010

Drawing 26

plastic cup, plastic bones, plastic tag

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010


Two holiday gifts:

My oldest gave me this sea anemone shell

My youngest hand-carved this tiny squirrel from scrap wood
Another cool and unusual gift we each received were a set of 2 padlocks with these inscriptions, engraving done by our oldest.  We plan to begin a tradition of taking them with us when we travel together as a family.
Isn't this super cool?  Images of love padlock sites in various places linked below the photos.....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Drawing 20!

tiny hand-made journals stacked on a strip of quilted cloth

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Drawing 16

bent ribbon spool atop 2 rolls wrapping paper..

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Drawing 14

Inspired by holiday wrapping paper

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Spoonflower fabric

I used the coupon from my Spoonflower "meet-up" in Houston to order a few pieces using different types of cloth.  Today I will post the image (mirrored) of my dog sitting on a chair, legs crossed.  This print is on heavy upholstery cloth.  I'm planning to construct a couple of pillows to use of these chairs (2 swivel gliders) to keep the dog off!   I wouldn't mind it so much if she would just jump up and lay down.  The problem is that she digs first!  Ugh!  Good thing she's so cute and lovable...
 Here is the repeat.  It is a 2-yard length

Drawing #12: Shadows only

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quilting Arts TV Season 7

Quilting Arts TV - Series 700

Series 700 Episodes 1–13
Episode 701: An elegant portrait finish for small quilts with Jean Wells Jeannie Palmer Moore shows how she stitches first, then paints with water-soluble crayons  Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal introduce a quilt exhibit and share tips for shipping quilts
Episode 702: Inspiration, techniques, and “Boro Bobbles” with Victoria Gertenbach • Transforming commercial fabrics and free-motion quilting with Deidre Adams • Tea bags as imagery for mixed-media art quilts with Judy Coates Perez
Episode 703: A messenger bag with Candy Glendening • A painted, collaged, and stitched tote with Valori Wells • Save My UFO (UnFinished Object): Pokey and Susan Brubaker Knapp address a viewer’s design dilemma
Episode 704: A kitchen ensemble with Pearl Louise Krush • Unique, colorful scarves with Diane Gloystein • Hanging sleeve how-to with Leslie Tucker Jenison
Episode 705: Surface design with Kerr Grabowski demonstrating the permanent application of pastels, charcoal, and water-soluble crayons Pokey monoprints with oil paint and transfer paper • Screen printing using dye and facial cloths with Leslie Tucker Jenison
Episode 706: Pokey and Pippa Eccles discuss fabric choices and show how to create a table runner for all seasons • A simple Y-piecing technique for machine stitching with Malka Dubrawsky • Save my UFO with Pokey and Leslie Tucker Jenison
Episode 707: Free-motion zigzag stitching and zippers with Jamie Fingal • A stenciled and free-motion stitched business card holder with Susan Brubaker Knapp • Save My UFO with Pokey and Beryl Taylor
Episode 708: Piecing techniques with Jean Wells: gentle curves, narrow inserts, and detail piecing • Mary Hettmansperger uses metal and found objects to enhance beautiful fabric choices • Pokey and Helen Gregory share 10 time-saving quilt tips
Episode 709: Mod house ornaments with Candy Glendening • Art dolls from found objects with Mary Jane Butler • Save My UFO with Pokey and Judy Coates Perez
Episode 710: A reverse machine appliqué series with Beryl Taylor • Judy Coates Perez uses oil paint to create and enhance imagery on fabric for art quilts • Save My UFO with Pokey and Helen Gregory
Episode 711: A mixed-media shadow box combining freeform strip piecing and knitting with Valori Wells • A potholder and trivet set from improvisational piecing with Malka Dubrawsky • Contemporary fabric beads with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
Episode 712: Pokey demonstrates a reversible dog jacket • Susan Brubaker Knapp makes a quilted dog bed • Pet portraits with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
Episode 713: Dyeing embellishments (from buttons to raffia and fabric trim) with Dianne Giancola • Art quilts that incorporate zippers with Jamie Fingal • Shelley Brenner Baird discusses her techniques and inspirations
You can pre-order your DVD today

Drawing #11: over and under

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Join the Alliance For American Quilts tomorrow and get "Voice Quilt"!

Join the Alliance for American Quilts this Wednesday, December 15 2010 and you’ll get FREE toll-free phone recording time – enough to record a new kind of holiday music. Capture grandkids reciting lines from a holiday play, singing a favorite Christmas carol or sharing a favorite holiday memory. Surprise everyone with a new kind of holiday music – a VoiceQuilt -- by joining AAQ today. Click here to find out about VoiceQuit.

Could this get better? Yes! Your contribution will be doubled by a foundation that has generously agreed to match all funds we receive through December 31st!

P.S. This offer is good for one day only: Wednesday, Dec. 15. Just join online here (, or email us if you’d like to mail in a check. Then we'll send you a coupon code for calling in holiday greetings, songs and favorite memories!

Drawing 9

referencing an African batik in one of my quilts

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Drawing 5

Again, technical issues with the watered-down paint.  Still, it was fun!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Stamps

I finally tested some newly created stamps, made from various things.  Check them out!
 acrylic eraser stamps glued to clear scrap acrylic
stamped onto white muslin
stamps created from soft erasers glued to scrap acrylic
stamped onto white muslin
and here are other stamp marks created from scrap acrylic-stuff:

Day 4-Ruched Ribbon clusters

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Sketchbook Challenge!

So, you want to start keeping a sketchbook but every time you sit down with your book in front of you and pencil in hand you freeze up and just can't seem to get started.  Wouldn't it be helpful to get a glimpse inside another artist's sketchbook and see how they use theirs?  Well, you are in luck because help is on the way!  I'm excited to tell you that I have been invited to join an amazing group of artists in The Sketchbook Challenge.  The Sketchbook Challenge is a new project launching on 1/1/11.  Follow along with us as we fill our sketchbooks based on a monthly theme that will be announced on the first of each month.
You will be sketching alongside:
Jill Berry
Sue Bleiweiss
Laura Cater-Woods
Jane Davies
Jamie Fingal
Judi Hurwitt
Lyric Kinard
Jane LaFazio
Kelli Perkins
Carol Sloan
Carla Sonheim
Susan Sorrell
Melanie Testa
Diana Trout

Each month we'll announce a new theme on the blog and will be showing images from our sketchbooks
and talking about the intention/inspiration behind them.  We hope to inspire our followers to keep sketchbooks of your own.  Please visit the blog for more details, as well as to pick up a badge for your own blog.  We hope our followers will post comments on our blog, as well as images on your blogs of your pages.  Along the way we will be doing some giveaways and special offers!  I hope you will join us!

Studio companion & "helper"

My studio assistant is of the 4-legged variety:  great for cuddling, and always doing something worthy of a chuckle.
 tending her "rock-baby", harvested from the garden 
snoozing while I blog

Drawing #3

This one actually took almost 30 minutes.  I had some technical issues with my ruling pen today.
crosscut mesquite wood embedded in pebbles

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thread Tension questions and answers: 2 wonderful sources

Since I recently taught a free-motion quilting class, thread tension is on my mind more than ever.  Tension issues were front and center for several people in the class, either because they had not experienced free motion work, or they were working with a new machine, or both.
I received the e-newsletter from Superior Threads today which is always a great source of information about thread, but the theme was machine tension, so I am printing part of the email, with prior permission from Bob.  The second source of fantastically thorough information about thread is Sarah Ann Smith's book, "Thread Work Unraveled".  Please stop by both sites for information and inspiration!
Here is what Bob says about threads and machine tension (& a few other things):

WISE WORDS FROM MOTHER SUPERIOR Thank you for being part of our family this year.  We love what we do and have many exciting new products and projects in the works. To show our appreciation and in celebrating Christmas, we are offering a FREE spool of MasterPiece (600 yds.) or King Tut (500 yds.) or Kimono Silk (220 yds.) with orders over $30 through the end of December.  And you can chose the color.  If you order online, please write thread and color number in the Comments box during checkout.  Merry Christmas.   
starburst shipping (Small)
$3.95 SHIPPING ON ALL RETAIL ORDERS CONTINUES within the U.S. 50 states.  You choose the products, we’ll choose the shipping method.  (Wholesale and business account orders have different shipping rates.)  You have the option of paying extra for faster shipping methods.
International orders: We now offer low airmail rates on international shipping to most countries.  Airmail rates are available for packages up to 4 lbs.  International packages over 4 lbs. sent via the Post Office require Priority Mail or Express Mail rates.  UPS is also available.

EDUCATION: Top 10 Questions of 2010
1. Q. I'm new and do not know what thread to use. Do you have a guide? Needles are a mystery to me also. And tension settings.  Should I use a different thread in the bobbin?
A. We have great Reference Guides.  The Thread Reference Guide provides needle, tension, and bobbin thread recommendations for both home machines and longarm machines.  We also have a Troubleshooting Guide, a Thread Index, and a Thread Selection Guide.  All are available free of charge on our Education page.

2. Q. I never touch the tension on my machine.  My dealer said I shouldn't need to.  So, what else can I do to get a perfect stitch?
A. Adjust the tension.  It is meant to be adjusted, even on automatic tension machines.  Many machines are coming out of the box with tighter tensions and are factory set to sew with a strong, polyester sewing thread; not to quilt or embroider or piece.  Experiment with tension settings. This is the key to being able to successfully use a wide range of threads.
(quality thread) x (the proper needle) x (correct tension) = success
3. Q. Can I use a polyester thread in the bobbin with cotton thread on top?
A. Absolutely yes.  The first rule is that there are no rules but hundreds of myths and traditions.

4. Q. Will polyester thread tear my quilt?
A. This is the most common and worst myth in the quilting world. It is perfectly fine to use polyester thread in your quilt.  Some cotton threads are stronger than polyester threads.  Most T-shirts are sewn with polyester thread (I called Hanes Company and asked them) and I've never had a seam thread rip through my T shirt. 
5. Q. Why don't we ship using Post Office Flat Rate boxes?
A. They are more expensive.  Flat rate boxes sound good but we have extensively researched every shipping option available. We choose the most cost effective and reliable methods.  (Want free shipping for a year?  See What's New section below.)

6. Q.  How do I get rid of the thread looping on the underside of my quilt?
A. When the top thread loops on the underside, either the top tension is too loose or the bobbin tension is too tight.  Adjusting either should correct the problem.

7. Q.  I want to use a small needle but the thread shreds when I do. I worry about a larger needle making a too large hole in the fabric.
A. First, make sure you use quality fabric.  Medium weight threads need a medium size needle.  Heavier threads need a larger needle.  Needle holes fill in with a good shake of the quilt. 

Here is Sarah's book:

Line Drawing Day 2

This one was done in about 16 minutes.  I decided to quit because I was just going to mess it up if I tried to put more lines in it.  Again, I worked by visualizing something on my table:  in this case, the face of a Catrina on my oil cloth over the table!  My goal with this drawing was to keep the lines as long as possible, all horizontal.  It got tricky around certain contours.  Also, the pen ran out of thinned paint before I ran out of real estate going all the way across the cloth.  I decided to put a small number in the corner to track them.
she has lower jaw issues.....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ruling Pen Drawing on Cloth-Day 1

I'm late out of the gate in starting my ruling pen drawing challenge, but I intend to do it, starting today!
Melly Testa started a challenge:  Create a line drawing in 30 minutes, one per day for 30 days, using a ruling pen, (paint, dye, or ink) on a 5.5 inch square piece of cloth.
I wisely decided to wait until I finished teaching my workshop.  I had too many looming deadlines.  I still have deadlines, but some of the pressure is off.  Plus, I had to order a ruling pen.
Now, armed with my shiny new (cheap) ruling pen, squares of cut bleached muslin, and some weirdly thinned acrylic paint (maybe I need to switch to ink, we'll see), I used painter's tape and set to work.

I have not been drawing for the sake of drawing in quite awhile.  This upsets me because I know that drawing opens up so many other things for me.

I have never used a ruling pen before this project.  I had to play with it a bit to figure out how to get marks, especially on cloth.

Using my iphone timer, I set out to draw the first thing I laid eyes on:  a plastic bottle.  Why pick the hardest thing to draw?  I guess I'm a masochist.  I think drawing clear plastic or drawing/painting a clear anything is very difficult.  I wanted to maintain a very small line, one-half inch or less, throughout the drawing.  I allowed myself some very small, almost dot-size lines to create the condensation at the top of the bottle neck.  I don't think this drawing is excellent, but it was a good exercise to open up my brain.

I encourage you to try it and follow along!  Melly is on Day 24 now.  Please stop by her blog and take a look at her progression, which is very inspiring.  Her blog will inspire you in many other ways, too.
watered-down acrylic textile paint, ruling pen, drawing of water bottle (partially crumpled)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shake Your Groove Thing........and we did!

I'm home with my feet up after facilitating a 2-day workshop on free motion quilting, free-hand cutting, and free-wheeling fusing.  I lured them in with the idea of free motion quilting, but little did they know that I was plotting other little things........
My students inspired me so much with their willingness to learn these new skills.  Many were learning on a new machine, so they had at least two new skill sets to wrestle.  As a teacher I feel fortunate to be in the presence of so much creative energy.  I know that learning how to free motion quilt is a difficult endeavor, stitch-regulator or not:  there is no substitute for "just doing it".  And "it" is frustrating at times.  I compare it to learning how to snow ski:  it just feels awkward at first.  Then, when you have an "aha" moment, and another, you begin to "get" why people really like to do it.  I'm honored to be able to nurture that in another quilt-maker.
It is uncharacteristic for me to forget to take many photos, but I only took 3 during the entire two days of class!  This is positively bizarre (for me, at least).  I'm counting on the students to send images to me so I can share their amazing work on the blog.
 here is a portion of the class, working on their small quilts
 progress, progress, progress....
look at those cute purple Grabaroo gloves!
Many of us tried them for the first time and they are winners!