Thursday, July 24, 2014

I still do...

Contra dance
stolen kisses
leads to love
and marriage
This is for my dear husband Drew on the occasion of our 20th wedding anniversary. I still do... love you.

These photos are from dusty framed snapshots that sit on our shelves every day, so please excuse the graininess or reflections. Look at the love shared.

This in on the coast of N. CA

We met at a contra dance in Fl, and spent the week basking in each other's company.(check out a contra post here!) Despite Drew telling me he wasn't good at letter writing, we kept in touch. So much so that we were engaged within 3 months and married within a year.

Ah San Fransisco, look at those newlyweds! So glad the wedding is over and they can start their lives.

 Both relieved to find the person who wants and supports and cares for them so very much. A place to belong. A family. These two didn't think about 20 years from that date and all they would go through together in the mean time. They just knew it was good to be together.
We still prefer each other's company.
We've traveled many places, including this birthday trip for me to Newport RI when Cole was an infant.

We have experienced loss and wins and daily life together.
Drew is the one I want to tell my story to at the end of each day.
During our courtship, which was long distance MA to FL, we spoke nearly every day, wrote letters, one of us received flowers regularly, and saw each other when we could. All looking toward the day when we would live together.

We have a few pictures on shelves, but we have many more mental pictures of the moments that make up our life together. We have many stories to share at the end of the day.
I am continually grateful for our love.
 Love, LeeAnna
look at this cute picture from last year  click here!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Walk Softly...

"Walk Softly..."   12" X 12"     (c) LA Paylor 2014
I got behind in my work.
I just finished the STAT project... for last month!  Our  focus artist was Jacob Lawrence, and you'll have to google him to see images of his artwork.
When I approach these exercises I try to look at the artist's  whole body of work and decide what characteristics I see. In Jacob Lawrence I saw simplicity of line, gold red and blue, and political statements against oppression.
My poodle has found an enormous tree limb, taken up the battle against injustice in his world: Bad food, leashes, rules about furniture, and lack of autonomy.

My group is called STAT and you can see a few of my other pieces under that label   click here!

The group studies a different artist and makes a textile piece inspired by said artist, with an emphasis on textures.

now for a few comments on materials

The tree is from a Rennaisance vest I made dh. It is wonderfully shiny textured and fun to manipulate. You'll notice how I sort of pushed it into mounds while stitching. I couched a hairy yarn over the bark. 
All stitching was done in the quilting stage. I felt Jacob L's words would have been roughly cut, so that's what I did, and I wanted the viewer to fill in the blanks (carry a big stick) of the quote by T. Roosevelt.
The letters are held on by echo quilting with madeira twist metallic threads,same with the poodle curls. Free motion, fun, create as you go. The grass is var. YLI cotton 40 wt. Thick. The nose is inked on.

As a pup, Cole was president of the stick relocation team in our neighborhood. He attempted many a limb, because he always felt you should reach for the stars and he has a healthy ego.

Our next artist is Edward Hopper and due in two weeks. Wish me luck! LeeAnna

Monday, July 21, 2014

The batik explosion

I am in the process of re-washing my batik fabrics. I love batiks for their painterly effect but the chemicals used to process them give me big allergy problems. I know people who cannot even touch them in a store, in fact I have trouble walking past the row sometimes. But I want a piece of all of them.

These neutral batiks were washed once already but I can't piece with them because when I press them I get sick.
So I took out the drawer and it took two loads, two HOT water washes each, to start over. 
I thought, there! Three hot water washes! That should do it!
I still smelled about 6 of them while pressing.

WHAT does it take??

This is why I have trouble in classrooms. So many people do not prewash, and if the batiks still have that smell after three washes, imagine my reaction when someone is piecing with unwashed fabric.
Also a note: Check out how massive that pile of fabric is! It came out of the drawer on top of it in that top picture. This is the reason my drawer stays full no matter how much fabric I use!
The other note: After refolding it all went back into the drawer like this
It's only one of my four batik drawers. While folding I wondered how many yards are in here. YIKES!
(dh stop reading right now!) It might be about 70...although some might not be whole yards.
 I've been collecting fabric since 1985! I also seldom turn down fabric given me by friends.

I sure hope I can use them now that they have been washed two more times. Anyone else have sensitivities?
How do you deal with them? Is there a special soap? I already use unscented.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

the winners are...

The winners of my one year anniversary giveaway are... Angela and Kaja!  Congratulations!
Originally I was going to give away one hexie pincushion but in my heart of hearts I wanted to make one for everyone! I just couldn't but I did make another one so I could draw at least two names.
I always want everyone to win, so hopefully I will be able to give something to each of you over the years.

I put your names on slips of paper, and asked Cole to leave the TV show and come pick one. He said he wasn't falling for THAT! He has gotten in an amount of trouble for eating paper including my watercolor painting over the holidays,  read all about it here so he wasn't even getting near to paper.
 In front of me.

Friday, July 18, 2014

red scrap sugar cone block

unfinished size 6.5 inches

As if the mugs weren't enough red, here's this month's scrappy star in red!
The color red stimulates brain wave activity. It increases creative energy on all levels.

I took a workshop in color vibration and it's effect on people. Fascinating! Apparently I need more orange/red in my life. A lot of my quilts have blue/turquoise/green/purple in them. I think I use
all the colors actually, except beige.
Red really resonates with me, how about you?

What will I do with this little rainbow of blocks?? 

I already made my stained glass blocks in red, but will put them on the blog next week to finish up the month at
Check out the other red scrap projects too!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quilted mugs

Aren't these cute?? There were times yesterday while making them I thought, this is a hot mess! I cut everything incorrectly, I had to rip out stitching, my colors looked like a dog's dinner.

 I know you can relate! We can all relate to those days when the universe decides to teach us patience or perseverance. I mainly just kept going, hoping that it would come together.

The lesson for me here was
1. Don't worry too much about following the pattern.
2. A mix of pattern, color, tint, and shade is not only okay, but preferable to me
3. Things are always darkest just before the dawn, meaning it will look so much better sewn together than all
      stringy and uneven like it looks on the design wall before being neatened up in the seaming. 
4. Keep going even if a cookie break is necessary midway
Look at those little chefs!! And the salt and pepper shakers!!

I LOVE fabric!! 

The pattern came from quiltdoodledesigns  an ongoing free monthly pattern for the year. I am behind a bit, meaning I haven't done the skates yet. She is doing a mix of some rows, and some blocks but all scrappy with a winter theme.
My plan is to quilt the rows then sew them together to make it easier on my back.

That all being said, I changed up the pattern, not using all 2.5 inch squares. I like to use some larger pieces mixed in with the little squares. I use a mix of blues, turquoise, green, and purple as my backgrounds. I am using my scraps which overflow their containers.

Next I need to replace the bulbs in my spotlights with the full spectrum
bulbs DH bought, then my pictures will look normal again.
On to the three small challenge pieces due soon.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I made you a little something

I made you a little something.... you know I love a pin cushion,  check out  a few of them In this picture and in This cutest little find. picture.
I also love a hexagon. I use the quilt patti's method of basting around a plastic template, then popping them out when they are surrounded by others.
When I first started sewing hexies, I bought a package of them. When I had used them all to make components but wasn't sure how I wanted to arrange them, I bought two more sets of templates.

The way I work is to make lots of components, then move the "units" around before sewing them into a top which requires a lot of templates. Soooo

I began cutting more from yogurt lids, using my quilt pattis as template. Since DH and Cole poodle eat a significant amount of yogurt I now have an unending supply, in any size I want! The hexie project turned into a king size project, more projects have come and gone--- and actually gotten finished--- using these same plastic templates I cut out of lids.
Which brings me to your gift.
I used the free pattern here: .victoriana quilt designs
It's pretty easy, a little fidgety to get fat fingers in after you start the final sewing, but really fun to make.
I made one also from a traditional colorway, but found there wasn't enough color change to show off the hexie design. If you make it, use a different color in each hexie.
Also, if you make it, beware of these...
bad bad pellets
Oh my heck. See that funnel? With the opening 10 times larger than a pellet? Well these annoying little pellets  clog it. Then they repel each other flying all over the place except into the pin cushion. I got a few in, packed in with stuffing. Ground walnut shells are supposed to work better.

I have been blogging for about a year now. I am a dinosaur, and there are still times I am stymied by computer issues but I have loved the connections made with you all.

If you would like to WIN the pin cushion, and some other surprise treat, here are the ways to do it:
1. Read an older post and comment on it on this current post, telling me when it was originally posted
I suggest you look at the labels on the sidebar; because they are categories where you can find something to intrigue you. Choose one that sounds fun, and click on it! It'll take you to a treasure trove of older, hopefully entertaining posts. I particularly like "If you want me to fetch throw a squirrel"  post is here under the label poodle puppy ponderings

I would be over the moon if you decided to follow my little blog by email or another method. To be honest, I don't know if joining my circles lets you know about posts! (Dinosaur)  I just hope to keep in touch with y'all.

I will draw a name, in old school fashion, by having Cole poodle choose, and since he can't read it's all fair.
We'll do the drawing at 10AM EST Sunday morning , announce the winner (and email them) so make sure I have your email address. If like me you are no response and just can't change it, leave the address in the comment.

Thanks for making this journey with me!