Saturday, October 22, 2016

We all live with a Yellow Sewing Machine!

I wish I had a bright Yellow sewing machine. I saw a yellow featherweight once but it was over a thousand buckeroos. That would buy lots of supplies... the color of the month at RSC  is yellow with orange.
I forgot to get a finished pic of the whole machine but this gives you the idea. The white block is 14" square.
I start by going through the scrap bin, pulling out little pieces I really like and sewing them together like a puzzle.

I keep the general shape going of the pattern so it will be big enough.

Then I place a layer of fusible interfacing, fusible dots side to the right side and place pattern on top.

Sew all the way round. snip the interfacing, and carefully turn right sides out. This leaves the applique with dimension, but gives a fusible side to attach it to the background for decorative sewing around. This time I used a yellow variegated Oliver Twist hand dyed cotton thread and a buttonhole stitch.

Let's take a closer look, shall we??
I love the sparkly dragonfly piece, that was about 3" X 4". The musical notes have found their way into so many quilts.
The wee pink flower was appliqued on after piecing, as it was just a cutout without fusible backing.

Yep, I often lay out non fused pieces over others and sew them down, allowing for a tiny bit of fray.

Keep looking, you'll see the buttonhole stitch and...

the special hand dyed sun from another quilt I never showed you. See the little colorful hands? Love those.
Wish I had a bolt of the spool background fabric.

It's all gone with this machine quilt.

See the cockatiel?
tiger lily under him?

Stars, and pretty florals? All stuff I like.

It might look like a yellow machine, but it's full of fun. Just like a real machine, full of fun!

Check out my blog  (  for the giveaway... and lots more creative ideas.
 Glad you stopped by!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Riddle me this... a giveaway

Okay, ready for the riddle?
Your goal is to entertain me by answering  
(No need to show your work)

* A woman leaves her home at 2 pm traveling on average 45 MPH to her local quilt store in order to buy fabric for a quilt border. She needs fabric in a certain color, and she owns conservatively, approximately, a meeelion yards of fabric in that color already. If she spends approximately an hour shopping there,  how much does she leave with at the end of the shopping trip and how much has she spent?  

Take your time.
I already tested my husband with this and he said whatever she buys will be a quarter yard too little.

He's not wrong, but he's not winning any of this loot.

Disclaimer, some of this is not new, in fact you will be winning "RESCUE" items.

Let me know if you have a yearning for anything in particular. I expect to choose several winners, one for each of the numbers,  and will end the competition on Tuesday Oct 25th. I may give preference to anyone who follows me regularly so feel free to tell me how you do that.

Good luck.

Put on your thinking caps.

Make sure you leave a contact email addy if you're a no response blogger like I am, ( thru no fault of my own as I've tried, I really have, to correct the problem, and no tutorial shows the buttons I see on my screen)

Ready to see the loot?
1. first of all, nearly 200 vintage hexies. They were not done with EPP they are seamed. LOTS of them.
They were given to me, and I cannot take on this project despite LOVING a hexie. I need to wash all fabrics before using, and wouldn't wash these.
These need a home! 
Anyone out there love vintage items and want to give these hexies a good home?? 
2. This little book by Robbie Eklow sharing her life as a quilter
3. packet of scraps of truck fabrics, perfect for someone... want to receive these??
4. Almost a yard of fabric, pin cushion, pattern and reproduction civil war button
Who wants this??

There you go... answer the riddle even if you don't want any of the loot (although they all need a new home)

Looking forward to creative responses to the riddle! 
New around here?? my last post click here  is on puzzles & links

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Things I Like" thursdays # 6 Puzzles

Welcome back to "things I like" and this week it's puzzles.
I not only like puzzles, I LOVE puzzles. (quilt making is a type of puzzle)
Before I go into the specifics, isn't that a cute little carrier with a great message? I got it recently because I love a cute little container. Here look inside before I stuff it full...
Made of some kind of stiff cardboard but looks kind of quilt-y right?

I have a giveaway for tomorrow's post, a riddle to answer not a puzzle exactly but.. you will have fun with it
Back to puzzles...
One of my earliest memories is doing the big wooden block puzzles as a little girl. Over and over again.

I branched out to crosswords, math, jigsaws (the more pieces the better), those little ones kids push around within a plastic frame, and well, just about any puzzle but the following in particular...

1. I used to get this kind of puzzle in the  Dell vacation puzzle books, but there were never enough. The whole book is my kind of math puzzles:
Yep, I do them in pen
1.2  And I do like sudoku but they are usually too easy. Now I only like the ones that are five puzzles overlapping...
Like this
Luckily my husband located these books for me and I get them as extra gifts at Christmas.

2. I still like jigsaw puzzles but now I do them online (less spillage and fewer back aches)
the link is:  jigsaw planet
The link I gave you is to the first of many pages of quilt puzzles but they have all kinds of images. To navigate, you can click on 'explore' to find another category. Then when you choose one to do, you can hover over "play as" to choose how many pieces, or just do the puzzle as is.
The cool thing is you click and drag pieces around, and they make a satisfying click when they connect, and they are oriented the right way. Makes it a little easier. You can click on an icon at the bottom that makes it full screen. Another icon shows you the finished image. FUN! Warning, a real time waster.

3.  Wooden block puzzle is a free app for the ipad.... I have a really old IPAD but my husband has a smaller version (a year old) and that version has this app. Free! I follow him around the house in the evening to snag his device so I can play this puzzle game over and over. It's a tiny bit along the lines of tetris. Addictive.
There are ads... it's annoying but it's free.

4. Of course, quilting is the ultimate puzzle. When I piece odd shaped little pieces into a bigger piece of fabric, it's like putting a puzzle together. 

Then there's paper (foundation) piecing. I have gotten some terrific patterns for free by following        Janeen designs block of the months, mystery blocks, and most recently a lot of little ghosts for Halloween. Paper piecing is just like a puzzle!

5. Puzzled about dogs? I couldn't waste a chance to talk about dogs. I am watching (on Netflix) A series on dogs by Martin Clunes...
I love dogs, and I love Martin Clunes. He loves dogs, has two cocker spaniels and a lab. He did some fascinating video research on dogs who share 99% DNA with wolves. If you like dogs, watch his two part show. I was laughing and crying, missing my boy Cole...
We said goodbye three months ago this Friday. I cried a little when Martin Clunes showed his dogs, introducing his lab as his son. It was also fun to see him with wolves being nipped on the nose.

Speaking of dogs... my husband bought me a bracelet to remember Cole by, from
The artist added a charm for me... so special. She has lovely jewelry and I like that the little silver beads move around the spiral... like worry beads...

So that's it for this week. I am trying to focus on the good things in life, so I will keep doing this on Thursdays. If you do a post I'll add it in to the bottom of this so check back as people add to the good things. Love, LeeAnna

Check out these fine bloggers:
little penguin quilts

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ain't Nature Grand?

Isn't this gorgeous?
Nature is the best Muse.
Like me, do you find yourself wanting to paint this? Make a quilt of it? Write a song or story about this particular turtle?
We met him on our recent beach stay.
So much squeezed into three days.

About this picture, there were lots of turtles on the culvert, and water birds with them, all getting along, all peaceful til we walked near...
They all lived in peace but alas, they didn't trust us to do the same so they plopped down and swam away.
Imagine living in harmony with nature?
Well, the circle of life is such that birds and turtles eat something in nature that once held the energy of life.
That's reality here on Earth.
Still it's nice to stop a moment, watch a view of the world getting along peacefully. And imagine it happening among people too.
My friend Glen at quiltswissy   asked if we went out to see the full moon Sunday. At her suggestion we did and it was glorious!
I didn't get a picture. My husband and I just watched it do nothing more than be there.
It gave me a sense of how grand is nature. How large, and bigger than any strife going on here on our puny planet. It was grand, and glowing, and of the moment.

The business card of Bella Luna store in Rehoboth Beach DE

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Be Natural Not Normal

You never know where you'll find a change of mind...
Our recent three day trip to the beach gave us a break from routine. I found two little home stores that were full of inspiration.
Would you just look at those round happy faces?!
If they don't make you smile... think about this sentiment:
check out that giraffe wearing a tiara!

Be Natural not Normal
 I want that to be my motto for a while! Or life! 
Adolescents strive to fit in with peers, which is probably an old survival instinct. We separate from parents and pretend to be original while doing  what our friends do.

 I expect some people never outgrow that as well, hoping to find a place to fit into the world. 
That's natural too but carried to an extreme we could lose our unique selves. 
Flowers are natural. 

These flowers are so interesting because they show the maker in them. I recognize them as flowers, but the whimsical aspect shown is from an artist sharing themselves and their view of the world. 

It's really why we make art. 
Self expression. 

Sensing life in some way, visually for instance, and interpreting it from within oneself. 
This little lady doesn't scare me, she intrigues me.
 She says, "don't judge me on looks! I have a baby here, who looks different, like I do. So what?!!"  
Many people will judge a woman's value based on looks, and it makes me furious. 
Okay, it's just a whimsical doll, and I am aware some people don't find Halloween as enjoyable as I do.
 I can only be me, and...
Be natural, not normal
warts and all. 


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Canary Diamonds and a little demo

Continuing the yellow challenge this month, behold canary diamonds! One on the right is sewn and the one on the left is going to stay individuals for now... til I decide on a setting.
I had so many bitty scraps in the yellow bin, and threw them over to the machine as I sorted them...
Whew! That's a lot of puzzle pieces right there folks!
Sew a little piece to another, keep going, until you get some of these...
Hold up the template to see if they're big enough
Yep, so now just use that turning mat to trim them into tidy little diamonds
Arrange them on the wall then sew them in rows.

Oh you'll need more than that to make the large diamond... I used 9 smaller diamonds.

First offset the points by a quarter inch, and sew into three rows.

Some people like to trim little dog ears off points.
Not me, they help me line it all up when sewing the rows together.
I'll show you what I mean...

You have pressed seams going up on one row, down on the adjacent row so they will nestle.

When you place the rows right sides together to sew the long seam,  the points are next to each other.

To place them perfectly fold one seam the wrong way, just for a moment, til the points are directly on top of each other.

See how they now look like one point??

Good, hold this in place with your pincer finger grip, and lay in a pin, let the seam flip back over so the points look next to each other again, sew the long seam gently.

These are all bias (stretchy) edges.

And the diamonds are matched  perfectly in place when you're done!

Remember these bias edges when you press. Be gentle. Keep it all in line. Viola!
See what other people are making  with yellow over at so scrappy

Friday, October 14, 2016

"Disco Poodle" Matisse style

"Disco Poodle" by LAPaylor  12" X 12"
my inspiration for this artwork was Matisse's papercuts. My prompt to make this was from  Alida
for the artist's blog hop challenge. 
 Matisse is quoted as saying:
"creativity takes courage"

 "Painting in the style that came to be known as Fauvism, Matisse continued to emphasize the emotional power of sinuous lines, strong brushwork and acid-bright colors in works such as The Joy of Life, a large composition of female nudes in a landscape. Like much of Matisse’s mature work, this scene captured a mood rather than merely trying to depict the world realistically"

The image I used as my current inspiration at the top left of this picture, by Henri Matisse

 I also used the small poodle image I made for the Houston Quilt show SPCA donation (on orange above)
 I made one for myself and donated one.  It was bought off the wall within minutes of handing it to the organizers!!

For the current piece, I drew the poodle again but a bit thinner as the inspiration photo has a thin figure.

I interpreted the painting's diagonal lines by inserting a batik into the sparkly blue background. As usual it was a big decision with repeated auditions of fabric after fabric until I noticed this coral which reminded me of the papercut stars Matisse added to his piece.

To transfer my drawing to black fabric for the poodle, I traced over the image using saral chalk paper next to the black fabric. It transfers a line of chalk that can be brushed away after cutting.
I had to decide whether to keep the image completely inside the lines and after moving him around a bit, decided to engage the border.
All of my STAT quilts interpret famous painters, with an emphasis on texture. The texture here is embellishments. Faceted short bugles on the body, buttons, longer bugle beads and trinkets all add texture. 

We have artistic license to make art our way even if we're inspired by others. Not only license, but an obligation to make it your own.

Which brings up a question of art, inspiration and derivation. It's an ongoing debate among artists, a gray area often handled in a court of law.
This piece is obviously original yet derived, or inspired by, another artist and I give all due credit to the master Matisse whom I respect.
 I have made 16 STAT art inspired quilts, Please visit others  under the label STAT HERE

On to the making of this small work.
I quilted in lines with Sulky halogram mylar reflective thread. Hash marks and straight lines. There is peltex stabalizer instead of batting in all of my STAT quilts. I used rayon thread in coral and yellow to free motion around the batik print.
As for the binding... this creates the frame for my art. It is a very important element and I auditioned several choices finally deciding to insert a three dimensional black and white piping before sewing on the binding.

To reduce bulk I did a single layer of binding, pulling it to the back and folding under raw edges to whipstitch it down. Not double folded as usual, which makes the finish much easier but is quite bulky on a narrow binding.

Embellishments including the thread with little fiber squares, are attached by hand.

What do you think Matisse meant by creativity takes courage?

Unless you make original art, you might not be aware of all the decisions one makes while creating.
Of the need for inspiration, good art supplies, time, perseverance, and courage to put yourself into your work. Artwork is a little peek into a person's psyche.
We make art because we are driven to interpret our thoughts and feelings in a tangible way.
It is so personal and it takes courage to share it with others, leaving one vulnerable to comments and critiques. It takes courage to make your art, and courage to share.
Have courage to be original!

LeeAnna (missing her poodle Cole... play hard in Heaven darling)

complete schedule for artist's blog hop

Other Artists on Friday:
Andrée @ quiltinglearningcombo (