Friday, February 27, 2015

More new projects and one old one

One might think, when they have a meeelion WIP's that one might consider finishing something before beginning another project.
I am teaching two workshops soon, "Words on Quilts" and "Binding 12 ways". When I am about to teach or do a presentation my thinking cap goes on and lots of new ideas flow thru to my brain. I can't ignore them, can I??
From Sew Precise software

The first picture will become one quilt, and these paper piecing letters will be a valance over the studio window.

Two new ways I will use words on quilts and I've already done it lots and lots of ways.
The point is, there is always a new way, if you listen to your muse.

I have not forgotten the really big winter quilt being quilted in sections.

This is one of two side borders, size 16" by 77.5", layered, ready for basting and quilting.

Then here it is quilted...

It's amazing how long it takes to sew straight lines. First there is the measuring and placement of masking tape to guide the lines.  I especially like lots of repetitive lines on a border but had to take care not to over quilt it, to keep a balance with the middle of the quilt.

Looks like it will match the center. That's a relief!! Measure 25 times, cut once. My plan is to go ahead and bind this outside edge now, leaving a long tail for joining to the remaining borders. Trying to put a binding on this long onto a quilt this big and heavy will be too hard so I had to invent a way to get 'er done. I think kind of a purply blue, double fold turned to the back and hand stitched. They look better for big quilts.

 Next I have to quilt the other side border, put them both on. Then do the final top and bottom borders.

My little niece Tiffany, the nurse, just turned 25 yesterday.

She has a picture of me holding her baby-self and says she'll send it to me.  She has 25 yo things to do first...

She wants a tote bag to hold her nurse stuff.
I asked, you have nurse stuff??!
Aren't these cute fabrics to make a little tote?

She has turned into a great adult. With stuff to tote.

I can relate, how about you?
All these fun projects and the studio remains a disaster area. I am still coughing, it's still snowing, the Hampton show is going on with one of my quilts hanging there and I'm NOT there to see it. Life is just so daily.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cole remembers walks

Cole remembers when we used to walk...

Now it's just trudging through the ice and snow, in the middle of the street, where a poodle still slips on ice.
Mostly with the Daddy as the Mommy is less able to stay vertical on ice.

While I have you here, I'll tell you a little story. Both my humans were sick again this week so I had more back yard time than usual. As I was looking out the porch door, who do I see but more birds.

Okay, I might have left the porch screen door open again... this time TWO cardinals came in for a tour of the porch. A couple shopping for a new home. Big fat red one and big fat brown one.

 He mainly hopped around on my bed, unable to find his way out of the 'hood (porch) The lady cardinal panicked when she noticed me. Flinging herself against the screen over and over.

Duh the door is thataway.

She finally settled down on the fake tree next to my bed.
I guess they are looking to settle down somewhere and raise some eggs.
 I was unimpressed.

 After all, if you've seen one bird on the porch you've seen 'em all. Old story. Poodles need new stories which we'd find IF we ever do a real walk again. Cole
story of the First Cardinal adventure CLICK HERE

Friday, February 20, 2015

And now, Pink Cow!

 I am continuing the cow series for my RSC2015 (click here) and thankfully the color this month is pink.
I like pink.
I like cows.
I now like pink cows! But when you pull out little scraps of florals they don't always look like they will in the finished project, for instance the sides of my girl's face are a bit mauve. I thought, what if I put a little heart ornament on her forehead??
It's not permanent, just sticking there for a picture. I will likely remove it but still...kind of like it.
 She seems to require long eyelashes as well.
In the quilting I think.

Here she is with Blue cow. Adorable. I kind of imagine them with the sashing, very Warhol-like.
You can't tell from there but her mouth is little heart fabric.
All from the pink scrap bin and white scrap bin.
The pattern was as challenging as I remembered. See the post on Blue cow(click here)  for the pattern source.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentine Dance Adventure

On Valentine's day we got all gussied up and went to a special dance.
The Baltimore Folk Music Society (bfms) has an all day dance on V-day each year, in a lovely church called St Marks on the Hill. We arrived in time to take the Swing dance lesson. Then went on to couple dances and an advanced Contra.

We learned some new moves and got a chance to dance with new people and long time friends.

The committee decorated the church to look very cozy and cheerful.

It reminded me of old time birthday parties growing up in Fl.

We'd go to outdoor pavilions, hang lanterns and crepe paper streamers and play music on portable record players  for parties. As a child it was magical and this reminded me of that feeling.

As the day went on, it began to snow. So pretty looking out the leaded windows and seeing snow.
We had looked at the forecast and weren't worried as it wasn't supposed to accumulate.
In Severna Park.   However...
We were currently north of Baltimore.
When we left the dance mid way at 7 pm (before the chocolate contest and evening contra) it was ramping up to white-out conditions and the road was thick with snow already.

We crept along the Baltimore beltway at 30 miles an hour instead of the usual 65+ clinging to ruts from the car in front of us.You really couldn't see the lanes. Cars made one lane out of the usual 3.

 It was nerve wracking and got worse as we went. At one point the truck we were following started to skid, and right before our eyes hit a car already stranded in front of them.

Due to Drew's good driving we were able to stop, and thankful to our angels, the car behind us was able to stop as well. It was unnerving to watch something like that in slow motion, and  hearing the sound.
We made it home,  a normal 45 min drive turning into 2 hours,   happy that we were safe.
Y'all be careful out there... it's a wily winter! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Mischief, poodle personal ad

Awwww   Mommy's little praying mantis
I laughed so much at Jen's newfies personal ads I wanted to do one for Cole...

 Even older folks need love... never too late... here goes...

Cole, age almost 13, Black standard poodle
"Only dog"

Looking for a good female companion.
One who doesn't mind being told what to do now and then, and if I don't tell her she just knows what to do.
I like quiet dogs who make me laugh as I tend to the serious.
 I love a girl who knows how to play, but can also just mill around the yard in the off times.
I enjoy hunting, so she better be okay with that, and help when I need someone to double team a squirrel.
Dining Al Fresco, join me won't you??
I'll share food, and toys, beds and snuggles, and I'm fiercely protective of those I love.
 (My motto is, If you don't like 'em,  I don't like 'em)

I might not be willing to share my duck toy.
Or the giraffe ball.
But all the others are okay.

Must be a good conversationalist. I have a lot to say and my people have no idea what I am trying to get across.
If she is bilingual.... poodle to human..... that would be a plus.

Yep, sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits
I don't care about looks, but warning, my people are way into the grooming so she should expect monthly baths and shaves.
Mainly I want someone to share time with, lying on the bed together, sharing a good ear lick.

If interested, fill out an application and I'll think about it. I'll google you, do a bit of research, ask around, sniff where you've been, and make an informed decision.
Cole  AKA  Cole Porter Paylor

Sunday, February 15, 2015

In my Heart of Hearts... V-day 2015

In My Heart of Hearts I love you best  23" X 19.5"
Number 20 in my Valentine series, which means we have spent 21 Valentines Days together. I knew when I met Mr. Not-afraid-of-color that he was the only Valentine I wanted! After we married I began making a heart related quilt each year. One of my current lectures is on working in series, and I show them all.
I often think of an event we've been through that year, or a meaning to convey when developing a design. This year is our 20th, and I wanted my husband to know In my heart of hearts, I love him best.

While looking through heart quilts on the internet I found one made of hearts which inspired me (pippapatchwork)  Although I design my own work, I want to acknowledge their work.

I started with my box of fusible scraps ( Click here for pics  )
Once I chose a background fabric and allowed myself to cut into a beautiful batik, I arranged the hearts, the spirals, the flowers allowing some to float away from the general shape. I wanted the heart to be defined enough to know it was a heart, but to have hearts melting into the background, as a visual treat for looking closely.

Before quilting it, I took some SETA color metallic gold paint, and a sea sponge, and dabbed on gold paint to soften the hard lines of the hearts and blend them together.

I took out the love stamps and ink I used in my last playdate, (click here to see more   )  and stamped words on the hearts. Because the ink wasn't strong enough I went over the stamped images with a fabric ink pen to darken them.

They look a little bit like candy hearts to me!

The quilting choices... does anyone else have a bit of trouble choosing a quilting motif?
I knew I wanted some straight lines as balance to all the curves, and got out my quarter inch masking tape.

I placed it where I wanted to use my walking foot, and gold metallic YLI threadwork.
I carefully followed along the sides of the tape. Removed it, and added repetitive lines around the heart, and more lines to the rays on the right.

The last walking foot stitching was the repetitive lines at the bottom left of the heart. (Look at the top photo closer)

It adds a base to the whole thing and a balance to all the free motion designs. 

 Ah, then the free motion stitching began. The whole top is quilted with YLI gold metallic and sparkles.
I just went where my heart sent me, some feathers, some intersecting hearts some leaves, some flowers.

 I even went in and quilted a few individual hearts inside the rays.
It needed more sparkle so I ironed on some rhinestones.

I added in some pearls as we had pearls on our wedding cake. The colorful beads around the rays are from my friend Bunny. She showed up to bee one day with a bag of them, handed them to me and said you're the only person I know who might use these! I've used them on three quilts now, Bunny.
 I resisted putting the letters on til the end. Then I couldn't help myself. I pulled out the fusible scraps, and just cut out letters letting them come out how they might, arranged them, and quilted around them with a quick free motion zigzag and gold thread, to blend them in.
Look at that bit of quilting on the bottom right... hearts on hearts. I just kept going and they developed and I love them. Maybe even more than the feathers. Please note, I didn't painstakingly stitch around each heart. I made sure each one was caught, and actually free motion quilted around several inside the center but mainly let them come and go on the background.
My inspirational quilt is very orderly, with a hard edge. Mine is loose, blended, some hearts indistinct, some must be looked for, some look like they are just quilted but are appliqued. (hint click on pics to enlarge)
last but not least, the back.
There you can see quilting better! The quilt is not smoothed out, so looks rumpled but it's not. Those are old fashioned valentine images... like the ones I used to give school mates in elementary school. Sweet! Like my husband.
Thank you to my friend nancy for asking if I'd started the V-day quilt yet!! Love her too! 
Oh, and I have a V-day story to tell, later in the week! We had an adventure!

For more Valentine quilts check out Feb/ 2014

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pink is perfect for flamingos

If I didn't know how much I like paper piecing I would think I hate it.

This little block nearly
I had to rip out many times.
It wasn't til I took this picture that I realized I made mistakes on each block.


This little scrap of blue used is pretty and perfect for water, isn't it. All gone now. It's hard to use up some fabrics while exciting to use up others... interesting.
linking to RSC 2015 whose color is pink for February

Tomorrow, V-day, come see our Valentine quilt for 2015... it's really pretty!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday- Valentine edition

                          Wear your heart on your sleeve
 put on a happy face!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Music & Dance & Creativity all at once! 2015 MiniFest

This blog is a celebration of Creativity!
My husband I were able to celebrate many forms of creativity last weekend at the FSGW Mini Fest.
Music, dance, handmade crafts, song, story telling all came together for a day of fun. I would love to share it with you.
The above picture is a fabric scrap coiled basket. The artist makes a lot of fabric items and  humbly said "it's just scraps"
HA! She doesn't know who she's talking to!!
The photo is a testament to cropping by the way. When you saw the whole bowl, it was beautiful but when I came in close to get just a portion of it,  the artwork takes on new meaning. Now it's about line and color.
 There were musical instruments being played and sold.

The displays were artistic and the instruments exciting. DH has just begun guitar lessons again as an adult.
He is having a great time learning.
Musical notes vibrate at the same frequency as color
It's all good, and all makes us more creative.
Look at the odd instruments here...
The blue circle thing sounds like a marimba
 There were many options for dance.
We thoroughly enjoyed the tango lessons. The band would have been worth the cost of admission alone.

I interviewed a musician who played the bandoneon.
It's like a large concertina. He said he loved it from the time he touched one.

Like I felt with fabric.

These are two friends that we often dance with at contras. Lindsey and Elliott. Such style.

Over the afternoon we also attended two contra dance segments, a cajun zydeco session, a hambo (Swedish dance form) lesson,

that was really the hardest form I tried all day

And my husband tried his hand (or foot) at

That's him in the white shoes, stomping, clapping posing! Ole!

The leader made a striking picture, all in black, with these red dancing shoes, flying and rhythmic. So different from other dance forms, so mesmerizing. Drew had a lot of fun. There was an 85 year old man next to him, who battles with spinal problems, nerve issues and doesn't let them stop him from the joy of dance!
Whew! We had to rest our widdle feet for a while after the flamenco!
to rest we watched these ladies doing some form of dance wearing clogs. Joanne? Seen this before?

We watched and listened to a variety of Morris Dancers jingling their bells, hitting their sticks, wearing masks or not. I skirted around them to get to a hand dye clothing person where I chose a new dance skirt in purples. It all comes down to color for me! Plus it had an uneven hemline, and was rayon which is cool.

We were really tired after 5 hours of dance and went looking for story telling, and concerts. We both fell in love with the band called The Squeezers. Three types of concertinas and a bass. The richness of sound they created entranced me totally. If I had heard in on a sound track, I would have had no idea it came from these 4 instruments. Rich. Layered. Like my quilts, it was full of light and dark, heavy and light, high and low. Resonant. Lovely. A great way to end a great day. We left tired and smiling.

Remember, my husband and I met dancing... a long time ago...

Monday, February 9, 2015

necessity is the (valentine gift) of invention

 Those of you who know me, know I make a Valentine quilt every year for Mr. Not Afraid of Color and I.
The top photo is the quilt in progress, background chosen, appliques on, stamped and painted. Waiting quilting now.
Sometimes the V-day quilt gets done a bit after the day... life gets in the way.
So last weekend we went to a Festival near DC.
We had the best time and danced our tootsies off.

DH asked if I could make a dance bag to hold his shoes so they won't get scuffed or dirty other stuff in the larger dance bag.

I had the last of the guitar flannel, the fabric I taught my 17 year old nephew to make a pillow case on, the fabric I used for dh's mug rugs, and thought it might just be enough.

I've never made anything like this. I didn't let that stop me!
The scrap of flannel was about 11" by 24" and the black notes flannel was 6" by 24"
Flannel frays badly so all seams needed to be finished off. I'll try and remember how I made this.

I know one can buy shoe bags but not shoe bags for dancers... so here goes...
I folded the white piece RST and seamed with a 1/4th in seam to within an inch of the top, backstitching.

I cut the black into two 6" X 12" pieces, hemmed the short ends simply by folding over twice and stitching.
Then I folded each one in half lengthwise, seamed the long edge and turned the finished tube RS out.
I now had two of these tubes.

Fold one side of the bag out of the way.

I placed the tube down on the table, laid the raw edge of the bag about quarter inch down from the tube edge and sewed a seam. When this seam is opened up, the finished tube edge covers the raw bag edge.
Topstitch this finishing it off.
Repeat on the other side.
Sew about an inch down from the very top of the black to form a tunnel for a shoe lace to go thru.

All the way across, then turn and come back along the other tube's tunnel until the shoelace ends are together.
Overhand knot.
Voila! It's a drawstring!

The tubes are free, open on the sides but all edges are finished so they don't fray.

The shoes are in there and my work to find a gift for my beloved is done! One he actually needs and will use. Win Win!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Little pink teapot

Welcome to Chez LeeAnna's !
Please help yourself to a cuppa tea and enjoy the RSC2015 here and over at superscrappy when you're done here.  The color is pink this month so it should be fun and cheerful. Speaking of which...

 you know my love of Betty Boop??  (link to It's not Tacky it's Kitsch!")
 This little scrap was hiding in the pink box waiting for just this moment!

As was this heart scrap. There was some indistinct edge issues with a white background, so I shaded with pencil, and it smeared.

All good!!
It'll work out fine when quilted, wait and see.

Looking forward to the PP cow block next.