Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hot Air Balloon Quilt

I have loved hot air balloons since I was a little girl. I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up! Fast forward a few years, and both my engagement and honeymoon involved hot air balloons. The pattern from this was from the SnapShots quilt for St. Judes. I had made this  block, but then changed my mind and wanted to use purples and teals for the quilt. This lonely block got bookmarked for a baby quilt and I’m so happy with how it turned out. 

 The borders are 2x4” rectangles from Bonnie and Camille’s Moda Line with some happy little houses added in.

The backing is a navy polka dot. The balloon is free motion quilted, with some of my machine’s decorative stitches for the quilting, along each border. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fall Leaves Painting Class

Our local painting studio had a “Fall Leaves” painting class. It was a 2 hour class with acrylic paints on canvas. I went with a handful of family and friends and some wine and we had fun (I’m in the back row, right about in the middle). 

Here’s my finished painting. 

Happy Fall, Y’all!  ; )

Monday, September 5, 2016

Gallery Wall with a Tiny Quilt

I almost forgot to post this little guy! It might be a stretch to call it a finished quilt since it’s so little, but I haven’t felt well, so a finish is a finish! This is made from some of my Farmer’s Wife quilt blocks, as an addition to a gallery wall in our hallway. It felt like it needed a quilt.  : ) 
 And here’s my version of the famous gallery walls I see on Pinterest. On the top is my first ever art quilt (in the frame).

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A little of this, a little of that...

It’s been a busy summer! Not busy sewing, but busy none-the-less!

The first picture is actually sewing! I made this pillow for my friend Patti. She helped housesit for us while we were on vacation, which is no easy favor since we live pretty far out in the country. She loves B&W and red, so I made her a little pillow. She’s a truly great friend to me. She always says yes when I ask for help and has even driven me 45 minutes (one way!) to my treatments and waited patiently while I am poked and prodded. Most visits take between 2-3 hours, plus travel time, so this is no small task! She’s also babysat my kids, picked us up from the airport, and countless other favors. She’s a rock star! I wish I had the energy to make her a whole quilt. 

If you’re curious about my MS and clinical trial story, you can read more here:

Speaking of vacation, while we were away, I took some time to paint with watercolors. Here are a couple of my creations... 

 We camped for a couple of weeks, during which time I had my birthday. We went whale watching out of Santa Cruz. I painted this little whale on a thank you card for my dad (who was able to meet us for the boat ride) and step-mom.
While we were in Santa Cruz, we also took the kids to the Boardwalk (of course) and played mini-golf, too. I spent most of the day in my wheelchair, which made it much easier so I didn’t get fatigued or end up in pain by the end of the day. 

My husband surprised me by extending our camping trip to include the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Sonoma County (my family lives in Santa Rosa). I LOVE hot air balloons and this event is very special since that is where my husband proposed to me a little over fifteen years ago. 

This balloon reminded me of a quilt with it’s cute star in the middle. I definitely have a hot air balloon quilt on my to-do list once I’m feeling a bit better. 

We actually went back to Sonoma County for the 3rd and 4th of July with my family. It was lovely to wear sweaters and coats while watching fireworks! 

The kids and I made some new 4th of July shirts (they sadly outgrew their old ones...). We used homemade stamps and fabric paint. 

Fun weekend, great weather, and lots of amazing fireworks shows. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Quilt #73

Quilt #73 needs a better name. But, it’s finished! Purple and turquoise chevron pattern made using half-square triangles. 

 I think some of the blue fabrics are from the Moda Spa line. Most of the rest are from Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. 

The binding is a black and white moroccan print. 

 And the backing is a B&W print from IKEA, probably about 5 years ago! 
Thanks for looking! You can view all of my quilts on this page... 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Catching Up...

I didn’t really intend to stop blogging, but looking back, it’s been 4 months! 

A lot has been going on. Lots of medical stuff, which you can read about here:  As much as I don’t want to admit it, MS has really slowed me down. I’m trying to keep up with my art projects, because it makes me feel like me

Moving on and catching up... we spent a few weekend in the mountains enjoying the snow with friends.

And a few weekends in the foothills during Spring at my husband’s family’s cabin near Mariposa.

It was a very good year for wildflowers (and my favorite barn in the background, it was the star of my first pastel painting). 

Lots of pretty sunsets set against the oak trees.

I worked on some knitting by the creek. I was trying to make a hat. First attempt was a bust, but second try worked out well! 

I have a quilt that is done, just waiting for binding (hopefully this week). 

And... I took a watercolor painting class and came home with a pretty picture.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Swoon Baby Quilt

Somehow, somehow (?), this is my 72nd quilt! I miss making quilts so much. My health has been crummy (you can read more about what's happening here), but I really am hoping to get the strength and motivation to quilt more often. Quilting makes me feel like me

Here's quilt #72... a single swoon block with a few borders makes a cute little baby quilt. 
 I especially love the tree border and the gray swirly binding. 
 The back is a fun bird and leaf pattern with a pretty turquoise background. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Scrappy Quilt for Melody

One of my oldest friends welcomed his first child a few months ago. I made this baby quilt using my favorite string blocks.
They didn't know if they were having a boy or a girl, so I started by making the blocks gender-neutral. Once the baby was born, I added lots of pink and purple to make it a little more girly. I love the result! Lots of colors, and lots of memories, too. I see scraps from my own kids' quilts and lots of projects I've loved over the years. 
I was also able to do some fussy cuts around cute prints. Love! 

The binding is solid gray, as to not compete too much with the busyness of the quilt. 

And the back, oh! the backing! I love this fabric. I saw it at Hobby Lobby and knew that I loved it, but it is SO perfect for this quilt because the baby's father is a photography teacher! Perfect! 
I hope baby Melody loves her quilt and uses it for many years to come. I think babies sleep better under homemade blankets. 
Welcome to the world, Melody!

You can view all 70+ quilts I've made by clicking this link:

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Starting the Snapshots Quilt

I finally had a chance to start the darling Snapshots Quilt! I have been eyeing these blocks for a few months and I love them. And I LOVE that the cost of the pattern is a donation to St. Jude's Children Hospital - such a wonderful organization. 

I started with the hot air balloon block. I have loved hot air balloons since I was a little girl. This pattern warmed my heart and made my week, which is saying a lot because it's been an awful couple of days for me, healthwise. Sewing this block was exactly what I needed. 
Next I made the camera block, which is actually intended for the back of the quilt. But, since I am also a photographer, this block will definitely be included in the front. LOVE this little camera!
 My third block is the sewing machine block. Obviously this one speaks to me as well. 
 Here's my three together. I love that my blocks are pretty different from the others I've seen (although I love the red/teal/green color combinations, too). I cannot wait to make more of these blocks and see the quilt come together.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Learning Pastels

I took an pastels art class at my local art center. It was taught by LaVone Sterling, who is an award winning artist. I've tried pastels in the past but never really gotten the hang of how to use them. 
This is a photo of LaVone's pastels pallet. Isn't it beautiful? I love COLOR! 

We started with a photograph (I chose one that I took my husband's family cabin) and did a pencil sketch.

After the sketch, we used watercolor underpainting to provide a background to build on. 

Then we started at the top and worked our way down, adding layers of pastels to be blended together.

LaVone showed us how to use stryofoam packing peanuts to blend the pastels, which worked so well! I was amazing! We also used plain white bread - like Wonderbread! - to blend and remove color when we had added too much. 

I tried to take lots of photos along the way to document the process. I was amazed at how quickly it went from scribbles of color to looking like real artwork. This is with the trees and sky blended, but still just the watercolor background on the barn.
 And as much as I tried to take photos, then I got excited working on the barn and grass and didn't take any more photos until the end. 

Here are the other pieces made by the rest of the class. I was so impressed! 
And here's my finished piece. I hope it doesn't sound too braggy, but I am SO happy with how it turned out. I keep looking at it, amazed that I made it! 

LaVone is planning to come back for a second class in the fall and I hope I can attend. She was a great teacher and I loved learning all of her tricks. I can't wait to try another one!


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