Monday, April 28, 2014

Pink is back!

It's all about pink for me right now! I thought since I love color, and flowers, and art I would share some of the inspiration I find in pink. I used to buy into the idea that pink was for little girls. Either I am still a little girl inside or I finally got old enough not to care what some people think! I love pink! I used to study ballet, so I even miss ballet pink, tights in a delicate pink that allowed me to lift my legs into a split while leaping through the air.
One of our neighbors planted these little flowers one year and now I get to enjoy the burst of hot pink every Spring. I planted some that promptly died.

There is a color quiz here (just for fun! ) and among other things says about the person who enjoys pink:
"You are friendly and approachable with a warmth and softness others are drawn to" I'll take that.

 Color vibrates on a wavelength, similar to  music.

People are drawn to certain colors and that attraction can change according to your needs at the moment.

 I love most pure colors. I'm a bit hard to pin down on a quiz. I am totally drawn to yellow and coral, I work mostly in blue/green/aqua, I'm drawn to all white kitchens, aqua appliances, red objects and  I look good in black clothes. I spent some time exploring neutrals last year. Lime green resonates at a fabulous wavelength. Mr. Walks-With-Poodle is an electrical engineer and has studied color at it's "molecular" (my words) level but I just like to look at it.
Back to this day's color study. These little watering cans were sitting out on a wall:
One might as well enjoy the process, right?

Make a party out of every day life!

Now I want one. I like everyday objects that make me laugh. Hmmm, that 5 year old me is still alive inside!

The cherry trees are awesome right now!

Just look at those blossoms! I am so inspired by color. Note, they are pink.
Pink, but not just pink. They have brownish green leaves with hints of yellow, to  support  the star of the show. The brown trunk also sets off pink. Within each blossom is a range of white to light ballet tights pink, to dark pink. That robins egg blue sky helps by creating a background.

Do any of you that work with fabric to make art, see nature as colors you would work with in the studio?
I will look at the sky and think of painting it, what colors I would choose, how they would blend, the influence they would have on each other as colors change according to ones they are next to.
I'll leave you with this little one exploring her world. She is obviously new, as a big poodle lives in this yard. One that enjoys the thrill of the chase. 

So tell me...What kind of pink resonates with you?
linking to a new party

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sew first, ask questions later

 This will be filed under, "what to sew when you don't know what to sew but want to sew now" discussion
See the pile of little scraps all in shades of purple??

All of them represent old projects, favorite fabrics, and possibilities. It feels good to me to make something from scraps someone else wouldn't think twice about tossing away.

Today I needed a break from the decisions about my challenge quilt but still wanted to sew.

My plan was to sew dark shades about the same length, together in a row. Didn't worry with grain, or straight lines too much.
After I had four strips, all wavy and messy, I put them side by side til I liked it. I then used free-form curved piecing techniques to sew the columns together. It needed something... I tried several items, insert circles, smaller finished quiltlets, single fabric inserts, then decided to be influenced by nature and cut a raw edge flower out of one of the little scraps. Layered it, used a bias strip left over from the mermaid quilt. A little quilting, a little paint, a few beads and it'll be a cute little project. I had fun, and that was the purpose.

You don't always have to know what you want art to be, when you make it! 

Linking up to  and

Thursday, April 24, 2014

surfs up!

I am deep into the process so I haven't been writing lately.

If I am ever missing in blogland like this again, feel free to look at a label on the side for topics, or blasts from the past to enjoy. There are some funny bits back there!

Can you tell the state now?
Does that look like a surfboard?
I'm going to try and make it look like it's embedded in the sand.
Isn't the pic to the left gorgeous? I found it on google images (visualphotos) and fell in love! It's sheet music from 1925, a glorious period for art in my opinion. So until I am farther along in my challenge quilt, I might not be around much. Please enjoy topics from my almost year in blogging. Keep making stuff!
There are several other posts on this quilt and it's components so please, keep scrolling down for the lowdown!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Saturday trip to Annapolis

The day was mild and sunny, so we took our morning walk in Annapolis. Cole contemplates the Capitol.
Here is some of the loot we bought (instead of fabric).
This, along with a bottle of pre-made mimosas and some greek feta with red pepper dip.
The pink poodle in a french maid's costume, and the lovely cream pitcher were half off, the doggie treats were full price and more! We all enjoyed shopping while people watching, on a crowded morning in the old town.
I didn't buy this card... yet. I figure I need the reminder that I'm not too old to do something stupid.
The other cards fit me too, click on the picture to enlarge and read them.

We saw a lot of flowers emerging in the Spring sunshine.

Aren't these tiny grape hyacinths cute?? One might step on them they are so tiny but so rich in purple color with each petal forming a little balloon.

We spent about 2 hours strolling around with periodic breaks for people to admire and pet Cole.
I swear we'd be ignored if it weren't for that poodle!
 He is having joint issues and not doing well on regular walks, so we like to visit other places on the weekends to jazz him. 

Our neighbor puts out this plastic bunny every year, so I thought I would leave you with this image. Imagine biting the chocolate ear off this guy!
I miss getting an Easter basket of treats, don't you??

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Purple Post

 This is my weekly purple offering to the soscrappy QAL color challenge. All month, quilters around the world are making purple blocks. See her blog (HERE!)
 I did one post on purple (See it Here!) with the block I plan to do monthly in each month's color scheme.

This weekend I decided to make the block from quilt doodles (link is here!) but in purples. I have done her other blocks and plan to quilt as you go by sections. The strip of stars goes across the whole quilt size 6.5"  X 58.5"
I also printed out a paper piecing block from SewPrecise software, to use a few purple bits. This block finishes at 6 inches as well.

Just for fun I took pics both ways and am not sure how I might want them set. I kind of like the on point look. It's fun to use scraps, to make something from nothing, and to see color emerging.

I might be focusing on purple but I can not stay to one color family completely. I shaded it to blue and to red violet just to keep me interested.

Check out that black and white scrap of body parts! Bwaa-ha-ha!

tomorrow, the Easter pics of Annapolis

Friday, April 18, 2014

State Flower of...

  When I get stuck doing a challenge piece, and I'm stuck real good right now, I make a component.  I made the paper-pieced pineapple blocks. I made the willy-nilly pineapple itself. I made the sun.
 I am still figuring out the central figure and background fabrics, how large it's to be, etc.
 I'm in a panic.
The State flower for my challenge piece is the hibiscus.A YELLOW hibiscus. Not red as some adverts would lead you to believe. Just so happens this flower was one of my faves while living in Florida.
The pieces in the two above photos became this:

 I pieced little batik scraps into petals.

Whee!! What fun! sewing! Colors! Curves and straight line sewing.( I needed that)

They were cut into hibiscus shaped petals. 

The yellow hibiscus might  look way too much like my sun.... however, there is no threadpainting yet. No leaves or stems.

In my mind it looks very exciting and pretty and funny and cool. I'm still in the "I can do this! I can make this cool quilt and finish on time and it will come out just like I see it in my mind!" phase. I haven't hit the phase where I think I just wasted countless hours and yards of fabric on this but it almost always comes in the middle of the process. Then by the end, after threads, beads, paints and binding I love it again.
This is what the petals look like, un painted, not quilted without leaves and possibly too large.
I think they look very painterly right now. I can just imagine them all quilted! Keep scrolling down to see the other components.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What does he want?

What does he want? What? He stares at me often now. He wants something and believe me, I'd love to give it to him. The staring is driving me bonkers. He has eaten, he has water, he's been out, he's played with toys dumping out his toy basket. He has a cute quilted bed.

Does he have ennui? Is it Spring fever? Does his head hurt as much as mine does from the pollen? If so I wish I could relieve both of us!

I have heard people say they wish they knew what their pets were thinking.("this is an amusing little cookie, not as good as the bunny poop but better than kibble)(this place is a dump)(open the door, let me in, let me out, let me in, let me out...)

 I usually know or think I do. My husband will ask me, "what does he want?" Poodle turns to look at me, send his desires telepathically and I interpret. After I finish speaking he turns back to DH to carry these out. This process has worked for us for years. Today, with just the two of us here, I don't know what he wants.

 Wait, maybe I do.       He wants... something.     Something undefinable.
So do I.
We both will settle for a walk. In the pollen-laden air.  
I have a splitting headache and am missing deadlines right and left. I should be sewing. Just to give you another clue as to the state of my challenge, this was what I made yesterday:

I made this free-form willy-nilly using  my beloved scraps.

Just working in these colors is awesome.

Then I tried being a bit more, orderly and made this
And I dragged out many fabrics to be unfurled, placed under the components already made on the design wall.     The process.
 Place, pin, stand back, reject, refold, unfold another, place, pin, stand back, reject...

 A friend of mine once said, "I thought you artists just knew what to do"


(Feel free to tell me what Cole wants)
you might enjoy other posts on poodle-puppy ponderings here

Monday, April 14, 2014

some yellow

Guess what I'm making?
Finally moo-ving forward on my guild challenge quilt. The challenge is to represent a State. I knew what State. I knew what elements I wanted but not how I wanted to lay it out. There are many decisions to make when working  on an original design, how many of this, how large to make that, what fabrics, what to do with borders, etc.
   I saw this advert in our local magazine and loved the sun behind the wording. And the palm tree fronds.
You never know where inspiration will come from.

 I wanted to use an idea like this behind my focal point. So I got out my wedge ruler and some of my gold and yellow batiks.

 Aren't they pretty? I have collected a lot of yellows over the years. Some people are reluctant to use yellow or orange but I find them stimulating. I once did a very traditional basket quilt with trapunto and lots of quilting almost all in yellows. It showed in many quilt shows and won a lot of prizes despite my friends saying I couldn't put all that yellow in one quilt.
My problem is not in using yellow, but in allowing myself to cut into fabric I love!

  I haven't done a sketch this time but started with one little element.
I made 8 of them, unfinished size is 3.5 inches each.
I plan to put them somewhere in a border. Getting an idea what State yet? No, not that one.

I made them from teensy little batik scraps. The flamingos are less than an inch, perfect.

Once again, I am working under pressure to meet the deadline. This plus the pollen giving me a headache. Plus the recent change from cold weather to hot so that I had to take three hours yesterday to change out the closet from winter to summer clothes so I wouldn't melt on walks!
Wish me luck in finishing!

Friday, April 11, 2014


This is the finished work. It is small but finished and required creativity to make. As I said before, the background is from gifted scraps not what I originally intended but it's different from my usual. I went with the flow of creation.
 I chose to frame it with a binding. I originally chose black but changed my mind when this scrap introduced itself by laying around all, not-put-away and all. It brought some brightness and whimsy to the piece.

I wasn't going to put any metallic threads in this time, but the shiny sparkly side of me insisted the flower should have some.
I free motion quilted around the oak leaves and note the little feather quilted into the leaf next to the crocus.

I like texture and it has texture.

My original photo (CLICK HERE TO VIEW)  has some straw and large oak leaves around the crocus, and I thought that was a charming contrast to the sweet purple and white of the flower. I added in the texture of the straw with double needle and oliver twist threads.
I am content with this interpretation although I do still want to do another version with the free formed background, and paint another crocus.
For now, on to the next challenge.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

crocus experiment

  I took advantage of the sunshine and warm weather today to go outside and paint. I am loving my picture of the crocus in our front garden. So, today with way too many deadlines to deal with, I decided to paint on fabric. I woke up thinking about how to do the crocus and the fan brush was involved.

 I have painted on paper with this brush but not on fabric. The above pic is with two purples on the fan brush dragged from the center out. When it looked a bit flat, I looked at the pic again and realized the lines are different than I thought. The purple ink pen was used to feather in hard lines. The pic at right is with white paint dry-brushed on with a round brush. Shimmering white on top of that.

Originally I planned to randomly sew odd tiny pieces in brown, black and greens for the background. When I was sorting some gifted scraps yesterday,  I cut them into 2.5 inch squares and had enough for a 16 patch. Piecing in the scrap of batik made this look a bit like my photo.
The whole thing is salvaged bits of fabric, a tiny bit of paint, and my experience in painting, mixed together in an experiment.
I am pollen challenged today, cloudy thinking, and facing a lot of deadlines. I can't focus but know I need to get creative and quickly. My next challenge quilt is due in three weeks.

So for today, a bit of a tiny challenge. Here are the petals cut out and placed on the background. No stitching yet but that will add a lot of depth.

 It's not the way I thought it would look but got me moving. What do you think?? LeeAnna

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

connections: whales, people, dophins to people

As you might know, I have been interested in connections for over a year now. Actually,  much much longer, but for the last year and a half I have actively been discussing them, making quilts for my connection project,(see this page for the scoop) and listening to people tell me  their connection stories.

 The first video is of the connection between whales. The baby rests on the mommy, she takes care to protect her baby. If it doesn't open on your reading devise: link to youtube
So for today, no sewing, just a few touching, connection stories on video. Please enjoy.
This one is such a good example of parenting, and teaching a child that they are connected to others and it's a good thing to feel empathy for others. We are never too young to feel connected to others. link to youtube
The next video is the connection between dolphins and people.
You can watch these right from my blog or go to youtube to see them. click
Love makes the world a better place. Think about what the word "connection" means to you, and...
Sewing is good too! Sew Chat again tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2014

after the grooming is over...

We are tired around here and took a moment to regroup and reboot.
Cole: I underwent the terror that all poodles face... grooming. The dreaded bath, where the daddy touches my feet, soap that smells of nothing natural, water in my face. Then they don't want me to lick myself dry. The brushing, the shaver, the indignity of being shaved in certain places, the scissors held by mom who has that intense look. The one where she snips here, looks intently, snips there, sighs, says she just can't get the tail poof right! Oh for Pete's sake, just cut off a small poodle's worth and lets play!

Drew: The dissertation is in the hands of the committee after years of work! I've pushed so hard for so long that the moment's respite feels wrong somehow!Now I only have a hundred things to do and it feels weird.

LeeAnna: I have a hundred things to do and don't feel like doing any of them. Some of them are creative, some of them are nebulous like clean the house. As if. I just feel so tired.  And the grooming... oy!

 We opted for a Spring-time walk Sunday afternoon.
Cole was so pent up he kept grabbing dad's arm.
I convinced him to take out his frustrations on a stick.

Since puppy hood, Cole has been head of the "Stick-Relocation Program"

 Today he was more into mulching them. Grrrr, soap, grrr, shaving grrrr, "Cole stand still"grrr
On the walk, I told Drew about my walk's goal of finding something big to take a close up pic of to study texture. I love tree bark, and he suggested bark too. So I took this pic of lichen growing on some particularly rough tree bark. You should know, it looks like a tree. Few people would stop, stand inches from a tree and look. I'm pretty sure our neighborhood thinks I'm coo-coo. But look!

Anyway, we all needed to just hang out and gather our strength for the coming weeks. Drew is coming into the final stages of his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. (I married a brainiac) I have a lot of creative deadlines approaching. After the walk, we got carry-out for lunch and watched the next episodes of our current dvd series, Murdoch Mysteries made for CBC (Canada). We have watched many a British series together and are now into this one set turn of last century, with intriguing characters and story lines. The costumes are wonderful to me. Drew almost always figures out whodunnit before the end.
We needed down time, and were so happy to have each other to share it. Cole chewed on two more bones during the show, and chewed off the tops of two bottles. He might need a bit more time.
ps want to see more poodle stuff? click on these posts!  or look at the p-pod page for pics only

Saturday, April 5, 2014

purple fits right in

It's purple month over at super scrappy and the link party is in full swing just click here!

We are encouraged to try out different blocks using our scraps in different colors each month. I decided to make the same block, developed by one of my hive-mates, in each colorway then try and make them into a whole quilt at the end of the year.Right now I am making four of each color.

It's fun to look through my scraps, to combine them in small amounts, then to see them in different arrangements. I took photos of them placed in different ways, together and apart,turned this way and that.
The original pattern calls for each block to be surrounded with the little black line but I don't know what I'll do after all the colors are made.

Here are the colors,
April- purple
March- teal
Feb- pinks
Jan- blue

They are all smooshed together here, and
I like it!

Here they are pulled apart a bit...

Just fun sewing on a Spring day. Next on the agenda is grooming Cole, a not so fun but necessary task.

DH got a haircut, so he told Cole it's haircut day.

Mine remains the same. Until I can find a haircut that will make me look younger and thinner, I'm just keeping it.

Next on the sewing agenda is, well, just know I am excited about it! I'll show you later, gator.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Is it Spring yet?

Is it Spring yet?? I spied this little fellow in the garden today. That bit of color amidst the brown yard was so, well, hopeful. The bits of purple and golden center are brilliant! I left the old oak leaves there just for the effect, ahem, not because I gave up raking last Fall. Then I saw this pretty little thing!
 Oh, it must be Spring if the daffodils are singing!  I like cold weather, I carry around this layer of fat just for such moments, but the season has stretched on long enough now. The first real hint of Spring came when my pastel needs appeared a couple days ago.
Can an Easter quilt be far behind??
Do you respond to the seasons?  Does your color palette change when the seasons change? I find myself wanting to use the colors around me in nature. What about you??
Want a tutorial on the inset circles? look here!      For part two click here! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cool Collections, "It's not tacky, it's Kitsch!

"It's not tacky, it's Kitsch!" 28" X 32" by LAPaylor
This is my Cool Collections challenge quilt made to showcase my collection of  Flamingos, cows, poodles and Betty Boop.
 I also collect fabric, ahem, so I included some of my vast fabric collection of flamingo/cow/Betty/and poodle related fabrics. Oh my friends, it was hard to cut up those precious never to be found again fabrics! As a wise quilter once said to me, if you put them in a quilt you keep, you'll always have them.

Anyway, I have included some close-ups of each area so you can enjoy them too!
I started by gathering a few of each items from around the house. I set up a photography area, with a drape of navy flannel and arranged the items in different groupings and took pics.
After looking through the many photos, I chose nine that most represented the collection, nine because nine fit on my three sheets of printable fabric. They faded in intensity during the printing, so I went back in with pen, pencil and paint to spruce them up a bit, note the sparkly red paint on each.
Arranged them on the swirly black fabric and couched around them with one of my collected specialty cords. A problem with this was the couching foot skews fabric but the walking foot doesn't have the hole to keep the cord in place.

I used a double needle on the inner border quilting to make it look kind of Fifties like. It needs more quilting but I quite like the line it has now. A judge would not be amused.
The silver flamingo broach is the one in the photo beneath it. The other embellishments are from old jewelry and broken stuff and buttons collected over the years.
Great to get them out of storage and into the open air so I can look at them!
The poorly done writing on the photos is to look like those Polaroid pictures from the sixties. The multi-colored rick rack is available at any store. The letter beads and sequins along the bottom represent my bead collection.
Straight line quilting in the border because that's what I like these days.

Moovers and shakers is a pic of some S&P shakers, couldn't find my flamingo shakers. The poodle walkers are two Christmas ornaments. Couldn't find my cow pen. DH was upset by the hanging poodle angel pendant. Don't know if that was because it reminded him of moving on, or if he knows Cole isn't an angel.

When I asked DH if the beads were tacky, he started chuckling. I said, be careful....
He said he wasn't sure if there is such a thing as too tacky for me, or if the quilt was so far gone already it didn't matter.

Well, it speaks for me, and I love it and I got to use my creativity and favorite fabrics and share it with my peeps! Winning!