Thursday, December 31, 2015

My great grand mother used to say

whatever you are doing when the new year comes in is what you will be doing for the rest of the year.  I guess that is why there is so much kissing. 
Anyway since there is no one here for me to kiss at midnight, I think I will set my alarm to wake me a little before just in case I nod off,  then get myself to my studio and put a few more brush stokes to this piece.  No wait, if I take that literally does that mean I will be working on this same piece for a year.... nah!  I've never worked on any thing that long, not since one of the  first quilts I made way back in 1986 when I was still working full time , had a husband and  had two of my four kids still at home.


After I finished painting the last piece I thought I would put a little order to my paint inventory.  I don't have as many different colors as it looks.  Because I teach, I have several tubes  of the same colors to pass around during classes.

It's been a while since I painted a yellow flower.  And I don't think I have done ones that overlap,  Will give you another look see maybe at the end of my painting day tomorrow. 

Happy New Year.  Here's to piece, joy and creativity.  And be mindful of where you are, and what you are doing and with who... or is that whom.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

About ready to paint

Worked on this painting this morning and it is about ready to quilt, but I think  I will live with it a day or two on the design wall before I do.  .  I have the other half yard of silk that is  ready to paint on and I have selected several flowers for another composition so I think while I have the paints out I will do another painting before settling myself into quilting.  Will show you this piece when it is quilted, possibly in a few weeks.
This afternoon I am going to check my Isacord thread inventory.  I am out of several colors that I use a lot.  Most of the time I order what I need online and wait for the Postman or UPS guy to come.  But this time I can buy local and bring it home immediately.   
 The Sewing Studio, a mini-version of  the now out of business Baer Fabrics in Louisville, KY is having their New Years Day 40% off sale.  Brings back memories of when I was first into quilting, and how I  was willing to stand in a block long lines to get that same percent off at Baer's on Super Bowl Sunday. Baer's had an efficient systems of getting you served and so does the Sewing studio especially if you are not wanting fabric cut, which I am not.

Thread, just the thread and maybe some other notions that I can serve myself to.

Wishing you peace, joy and a very creative New Year

Monday, December 28, 2015

You never can foretell the weather.

Yesterday started with really bright clear sunny skies and I rolled out of bed ready to get started on a new painting, but thought I should finish the last facing one of several pieces I had finished quilting several weeks ago.  With that done, I set up a little space in the studio to paint, but by then, nearing lunch time  the sky was clouding over and rain fell.  I had to set up a light to keep painting during the afternoon. but stopped at 6 when even the lamp and the overhead lighting wasn't enogh

This is the line drawing I am using

This is where I  was when I decided it needed more leaves.
This morning I woke to a cloudy day and I wasn't in a hurry to get to the studio space.  The sun is coming a going behind, big white fluffy clouds that are moving quite quickly across the sky.   I added more leaves before calling it quits  last evening.  I am going to paint the flower today. 
The piece will measure about 20" x 30" when finished, although there is about 3 inches top and bottom that is folded over behind the painting board,  So it could be a little longer than 30 inches when it is quilted and faced.
 Going to go now, before the sun decides it is going to go too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Universe heard me whining and thank goodness

 thought I was wishing I guess and guess what.  I was in my studio when something big and white fly passed my window and came to perch on the fence almost at the spot the vulture had stood.  It stayed on the fence  long enough for me get over my surprise, grab my camera and snap a picture and like that, it was gone.  Hummm, let me thing about what else I'd like to whine about. 

I gifted myself a small GoPro camera and spent part of yesterday learning to operate it was so easy.   The turning it into a cohesive video tutorial to upload to Youtube or upload to my blog  is a little more work.  When I get the bugs worked out I'll attach at short clip to my blog.

 Today (Monday) I became one of thousands worldwide  who have crammed into the theatre to see Star Wars.  I went with my daughter Rene to the sold out  11:30 am show then I did a little marketing on the way home.  I am so glad I don't have any Christmas shopping to do, because the streets and the market are crowded.
My Christmas cactus is blooming
And my azalea bushes along side my condo are just beginning to bloom too.
I am surrounded by this lovely shade of pink.  It's no wonder why I so often reach for, pink, magenta and rose when I begin a new painting. 
I decided to put the facings on all four  of the small pieces before I get started on painting a new piece.  Finished two of them yesterday.   Two down with two to go, so maybe before Christmas I will have a day to paint.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


quilting the last of the four little pieces I showed you in the last post.  Blocked and trued-up they have been added to the pile of pieces that need facings and sleeves.
Not sure why the fourth one won't educe so it is the same size image  as the  others.  Oh well here are the four of them. 
    It was a good day here in Central Florida, clear sky, a little wind, glorious sunshine.  Jeans and a long sleeve t shirt was called for.
My next piece will be a little larger.  In the 20" x 30" range.  Will give you a look as I get going.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Your would think Florida having an abundance of

pretty birds, ducks, and egrets, you would think some of  them would come to visit my back yard, but no, I get vultures
Was trying out different paint brushes today to see if the ones  I have used for years (different sizes of angle shaders by Simply Simmons)  are still the best choice for the painting I do and they are.  But I also found I like Rounds too in two different sizes and will be using them when painting small details.
All of these pieces are painted on 11" x 13" pieces of silk broadcloth.   I'll start quilting them tomorrow and add them to my vendor inventory. 

Sunday, December 06, 2015

It seems like forever,

and in a way I guess it has been.  I had a busy Summer, and an even busier Fall.
      Yes I have  been in my studio and produced a number of pieces. One large piece was sold almost as soon as the sleeves were attached.  For a time I didn't think I could make enough work to sell during this upcoming  quilt show season so I didn't commit to being a vendor next year at any of the ones planned,  except the one in Venice, Florida  next  March. 
     But I've gotten more done than I thought I would.  So I guess I'll see if it is not too late to get a booth at some of them. 

Here is what's on my design wall. 

I am updating my class and pattern sample using an ombre fabric and a commercial print.  So it is next inline to be quilted after the piece under the need is finished today.

This is the last  one of  three that I  painted using this design, Each a different color. 
When Josh, my oldest grandson left home last Spring, I didn't immediately claim his room for studio space, but after a while just letting it set there unused seemed a waste, so out with the bed and other stuff he didn't take with him and it became a cutting and storage area.  The windows on the front of the house provide great light, even on cloudy days and I foresee myself using the room to paint in as well.
     One week in December, gone.  Time is flying.   And while I have enjoyed being busy and traveling about teaching and visiting with family and friends,  at the end of the last trip home from CT I was ready for some downtime and then my friend Peggy from KY came for a week long visit  .And way to fast Olivia (the grand-daughter)  was here for Thanksgiving  and gone. Whew!   Soon it will be Christmas. 
     Thanks to my neighbors, Jen and Steve,  who hung the lights,  my house is lit up for the holidays.  We have a roof line in common on the front and to make their place merry mine needed to be somewhat merry too.  No Christmas tree for me again this year.  A wreath on the front door,  simple green bows and green bulbs in the coach lights and three candles in each window is as good as it is going to get here.

     Really green grass not covered with  snow... poinsettias growing outdoors... being from above the Mason Dixon Line, even after seven Christmases here in central Florida  I still  don't get the giant inflated snowmen, signs reading "Let it snow"  and  palm trees wrapped in lights. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Gave up on Windows 10

and reset my computer.  Of course by doing that and not thinking, I lost all of the pictures I had taken and uploaded this summer. 
I continue to be busy traveling about the state teaching.  My sister in law ( my late husbands oldest sister)  was here for a week long visit about  a week or so ago.  She is selling her home in LA and is planning to move near Rene' (my daughter) and I next January. I foresee some alterations in my life coming and I am trying to be positive about this development.
I taught a class in St Augustine that was held at the County extension office.  I took some pictures of the gardens that were all a flutter with butterflies. 
Seeing these cockscombs growing reminded me of my friend Marti's garden. 
Was home for almost two weeks then it was off to Appleton WI.
Did better with taking pictures of the class but not the sights I saw.  Sometimes I wish I was more of a shutterbug. 
Had 20 in the class which was held in one of the four quilt  shops in Appleton.  I visited two others while I was there and of course some pieces of fabric insisted on coming home with me on the plane.
Here's Kim, she used to live in Florida.  I remembered her face and was happy that she decided to come to Appleton for my class. 
Here's a really bad picture of  the  Lake Michigan/Wisconsin State shoreline as the plane flew south out of Milwaukee.  I enjoyed my time in Appleton, but as always, it is so nice to be home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I can't believe August is almost gone

and I haven't blogged since the first of the month. 
     I've enjoyed my time at home but  my 6 week break from traveling and teaching is coming to an end soon.  With that in mind, I thought I'd catch you up on what going on in my studio and my  Florida life. 
 I gave up on the machine pieced half square triangle quilt I showed you in my last blog. It had been so long since I'd machine pieced something so traditional that I had forgotten how much I disliked doing so,  If I am going to machine piece something it has to  be  complex to hold my interest and challenge me.
     On the other hand,  I really like hand piecing so much  that the  60 x 60 inch hexagon quilt I started 3 weeks ago using the same fabrics is finished and  last weekend I began hand quilting it in the evenings as I watch uninteresting stuff on the television or while listening to a book on CD.
    Speaking of progress, I finally finished machine quilting the  painted quilt I started way back last Spring, a month before all the house renovations began.
     I can not think of any quilt I've every made since one or two of my very first efforts that has taken me this long from start to finish.  Of course it still needs  facing,  sleeves  and a-label. The painted piece is on the design wall now so I can decide how much to cut off each edge  before applying the facing.
     Sorry I can't show you the quilt along with some other images I wanted to post because for some reason Blogger does not like my new computer and Windows 10 or my new computer does not  like Picasa. 
     When I work out the bugs in uploading images I'll be back. 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Hello on this unsunny Sunday

     Having a little problem with stick- to- it -ness when it comes to this quilt.  I love the colors and  the fabrics I selected, it just the sameness, the repetitiveness of making one half square block after another.  Sameness and repetitiveness are   the reasons why I can recall only four quilts with repeat blocks that I've  completed out of several hundred I've made since 1983.     
     I took a few minutes to go weed my little patch of ground I call a garden this morning between the rain spells.  Everything is doing great except the Lilies of the Nile.  Not sure if they like drier roots than they have had this year.
     For several days I have been hearing a different bird call coming from the wooded area at  the back of the condo,  Today when I saw a flash of red, I grabbed my camera.  

Maybe I was hearing this bird's call.

  Still looking out the window a few minutes after the Cardinal flew away I say the Hawk that visits often. 
Got a good laugh when it was chased away by to smaller birds. 
Maybe they are protecting a nest nearby..
Putting on my movie critic hat, I went to see the overly long last offering in the Tom Cruise Mission Impossible series.  All I'll say is , it wasn't good.  The best part happened in the first few minutes of the movie. The part they run on TV as a preview with him hanging onto an airplane as it leaves the ground.   The  rest was ho-hum.
Blogging today is my  way of procrastinating, so I will go now and get back to making 1/2 square triangle block as I listen to the rain..

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Love what you do

Making quilts or quilt art or art quilts or  creating with fabric, all that mainly because I love color and flowers.  What I do not love is getting my picture taken.  But today I had to suffer through getting that done because the curator of an exhibit I will have a piece in requested a couple of images of me in my studio.  Lois came before
I had make-up on and came back when I did.  She was very patient with me making faces at her and was able to get one that I don't mind the world seeing.
Liz was with her the second time she came wanting to see my renovations.

This is Liz, she has the most charming British  accent,  Makes you want to sit for a spot of tea when she speaks.
Speaking of visitors, I  had the biggest spider I ever saw come for a visit yesterday.  I figured it came down from the attic through the hole that was cut for the microwave  exhaust pipe.  I saw it when it crawled out of the cabinet while I was heating my lunch in the microwave.  Once I got over the shock of seeing it, I couldn't move fast enough with my broom to smash it.  So it spent the night in my house hiding up in the area above the kitchen cabinet.  I had a light worrying sleep, imaging the thing coming to walking all over me as I slept.  But that didn't happen. 
All day yesterday and this morning when I  went to the kitchen I was on the look out for it but never say it again.  Today, just when I had not thought of it for a while it came walking across the studio floor. 
No longer shocked at its size I ran for the broom.  This time it did not get away.  Can of bug killer in one hand,  broom in the other, I tried to usher it out the door to keep from killing it.   You know there is this old wives  tale about killing a spider and causing it to rain.  Well it rained today, boy did it rain, thunder and lightening rain, now I am not saying it was because I killed the spider, which I did as much as I didn't want to because it refused to be swept out the door. 
I had to live with the bug spray smell for a while, but at least tonight I can sleep soundly.
And best of all  no more critter invasions, at least not though the hole in the cabinet.  My friend Lois's husband came this morning too and filled the space around the vent pipe with expanding insulation foam.  A husbands of a friends who is handy is a very good thing.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Every morning I wake up to this blank wall

     So I decided what it needs is a quilt.  Yes I have quilts, many of them, but not one I want to look at all the time.  Plus I have this thing about  my living space.  Stuff needs to fit, feels right and the work I do as much as I love it and love creating it, does not to my mind fit in with the feel of my bedroom, which is kind of  not quite country cottage.
    That being the case I got the bright idea to make a quilt, one I have no plans to sell, thus insuring it will not be seen outside my house where it will make those seeing my work think I have regressed to my beginning quilt making days.  Even back then I never made a quilt that will be as utilitarian as the one I have in mind.    Thinking that , I went looking for fabric I like, (1930's kind of stuff) to make a really simple block.  The quilt for the space can be between  60-80 inches square.  That means I will be making about 100 to 169 block  since  I decided to make it with 6 inch block constructed with 1/2 square triangle,  One half a solid color and the other patterned.  I have a pile of the patterned fabric 1/2 squares cut up and waiting.   I won't cut the solid color halves until I am ready to make the blocks. 
       100-169 hmmm.  Might have to change my thinking.

     I will be home for the next 7 weeks before I am off to teach again.  In that time with the condo all done I  hope to get a lot done with this quilt and others..
As I am putting this quilt top together I will split  my studio time with the piece that has been under the needle of my HQ 16 longer than any piece I have every painted.  I started on it way back in April...
     April, three months... man! 
     I tend not to pre plan the quilting of any piece I make but for some reason I am of two minds on this piece.  One mind is saying, send it out to a long arm quilter.  The other is of the opinion I should put up my floor frame, the one I transported from KY to MO and here to FL,  and hand quilt it.
I had a  wonderful time with the members of the Seaside Piecemakers on Florida's Space Coast quilt guild.  Another great group.
     Teaching in Florida has exposed me to many parts of the state.   On the way home  from Melbourne on Thursday in the middle of a rain storm  I couldn't help but stop by The Quilt Place, in Rockledge, FL.  .  It was a good thing for my checking account t that I got there 10 minutes before they were scheduled to close.  Despite that,  I dropped a tidy sum. 
Anyone who knows me would not be surprised at how much  damage I did in that little time, especially when there were three people cutting the selections I was  placing on the cutting counter..
     I promised myself that I was not going to whine about the weather, but why can't some of this cloudy rainy weather go visit the people out West where they would welcome a few inches of this stuff.
      I know,  I know,  It wouldn't be lush green tropical Florida if there was a draught, but really, everyday!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Got back last evening from teaching

a two day class to 11 fiber artist.  I think I was in Fruit Cove, which is somewhere  between St Augustine and Jacksonville, FL  right at 2 hours worth  drive mostly the interstate from my place.  I generally look up where I am going with Map Quest to get my mileage and to have some sense of where I am going,, which is a good thing.  Sometimes my GPS with a mind of it's own, sends me in the wrong direction.  Or tells you, " you have arrived"  and there is no there, there.
What a wonderful group.  Most of them were not quilters in the sense that you normally think a quilter is, as those who use the  quilting stitches for more than just holding the layers together or  who make quilts to sleep under.  There were several painters in the group but none who paint on fabric in the way I do, some had used textile paints. 
     I also had a very accomplish quilter in the bunch named Jayne Gaskins who has a piece in this year's Quilt National and in talking to her I learned that this was her second acceptance and that each time, she had submitted   only one piece, the one she felt was her best effort.  Interesting....
Here's a list of those in the class in no particular order, definitely not be seating order, Julie, Roz, Laura, Dana, Victoria, Susan, Jayne, Virginia, Gretchen, Amy and Ellen
     Here's  a look at every one's  piece as they were working on them and a few that were finished at class end, leaving them to go home and stitch (I am not saying quilt because some of them will not be doing so in the traditional sense. 
    Forgive me, if I give you the wrong name for  each class attendee.   I am awful with name,  Now faces, I will remember and their pieces I will remember, 
     Everyone was instructed to send me a picture of a flower they wanted to paint,  From those images I made them a line drawing and enlarged it to class size which was a maximum  of 20" x 30" I also made them a smaller version just in case they did not want to tackle the larger size.  Those were 15" x 20

Ellen, holding a copy of the photo she sent me of the flower she wanted to try to paint.

Susan and her Hibiscus
We had a lively discussion in class  about this flower and concluded it is an orchard. 
Virginia chose to draw her own design based on an enlarge photo of plants growing in her neighbors yard.
Gretchen, she too sent a picture of a Hibiscus that she chose to paint blue instead of red as her picture depicted.
This is Amy and her Passion Flower
My two hour drive that I planned to have coming home turned into one with heavy rain at time, thunder and lightening and traffic accidents with miles  long  backups.  3 hours and 30 minutes later, boy was I happy to pull into my garage. 
 No matter where you've been and how much fun you've had, it is always so good to get home safe.