Archive for April, 2016

Focus Friday- Baltimore Album – Baltimore Oriole

Friday, April 29th, 2016

A few days ago I had my first sighting this year of the male Baltimore Oriole at the Hummingbird feeder – such a gorgeous bird! Usually the Hummingbirds are back before the Orioles but so far this year I have not seen any. I wonder if bad weather south of us has interfered with their migration and even if they will make it this year.oriole

We usually have at least two pairs of Orioles nesting in our yard and it is fun to see them at our feeders. They are so beautiful that I wanted to design a quilted wallhanging about them. This little 24 x 24″ piece combines piecing in the style of the Baltimore Album block, and applique. I like to make my applique designs in simple shapes that are easy to sew by hand or machine, which is the case for this bird. But I have to admit that those leaves, which are actual shapes from my Porcelain Berry Vine are anything but simple! But they are beautiful and I recommend fusing and zigzagging the raw edges in this case, which makes it very do-able! Porcelain Vine berries are not orange, but I thought a little artistic license was in order to compliment the bird. I hope you will want to make one for yourself or for your bird loving friend! Click on PATTERNS in the side bar to order.


Baltimore Album/Baltimore Oriole, INNOVATIONS #03838      24 x 24″       $9.00

The machine pieced, machine appliqued and machine quilted pattern sample is for sale, $300.00. Email for details.

Catching Up

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Last week, I finished the watercolor of the Giant Swallowtail on the Zinnias.  It’s hard to know when to stop.  Perhaps I should have stopped sooner, but at least I did finally stop!  My favorite watercolors are those that look fresh and spontaneous, and not overworked. This was beginning to go there!GiantSwallowtail

I started a new one, of my late Komondor, Griffin.  I used mask to define the edges of some of his cords and let the background wash flow down into that area to give depth and shadow. After lifting some of the color and softening the edges of the masked area, I am ready to attempt the definition of the cords. My instructor, Ye, said “Oh, another complicated one!” I think he does not quite know what to do with me!griffWatercolor1

I also finally made my offering for this year’s SAQA  12 x 12″ Benefit Auction.  The deadline is coming up so I decided this year to forego my usual pieced format and go with a whole cloth hand dyed piece.  When I first saw this piece of fabric, I saw within it, a woodland scene. It reminded me of looking ahead through the trees to what might be a clearing up ahead, so I free motion machine quilted the trees and the foreground foliage.  I think I might call it “Through The Trees”.  12x12-2016450

Focus Friday – Bluebird

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

It must really be spring when you see that first flash of blue that means the Bluebirds are back! There is nothing quite like it, they really are special!

My series of Picture Piecing patterns includes this one, simply called “Bluebird”.


I have done the hard part for you, the plotting of the seam lines, so all you have to do is to follow the numerical order and color coding to sew the pieces together – all straight seams! It’s a super fun and satisfying way to have your own Bluebird of happiness right in your own home!


“Bluebird” INNOVATIONS #09355 24 x 24″  –   $9.00

The workshop sample has already sold, but this pattern cover sample, machine pieced and free motion machine quilted,  is for sale at $300.00.

Focus Friday – Traditional Tricks

Friday, April 8th, 2016

You CAN teach an old block new tricks! For today’s Focus Friday selection, I am showing you Traditional Tricks, which is a bed quilt, approximately 84 x 105″. It features original blocks and is made up of mostly squares, half square triangle units, nine patches and log cabin blocks – what could be easier? I wondered what would happen if I gave that space usually taken by sashing strips and placed them as accent strips instead, and the accent they provide is just perfect! for someone who wants a bed quilt that goes beyond traditional!


Traditional Tricks – INNOVATIONS # 02231 $9.00
Click on PATTERNS in the side bar to order.

The machine pieced & machine quilted sample quilt is for sale, $2000.00, email for details.

Planting Trees and Painting People

Friday, April 8th, 2016

This morning I cannot get my email on AOL. I can get online so I will see if I can post here.

Yesterday’s watercolor class was ok, But I am not satisfied with my first effort at portrait painting. It is soaking in a tray of water so I can scrub it out and try again. No point in keeping a bunch of failures around!

We got the trees planted, a Pear and an Apricot. That makes a nice addition to the two Apple trees, a Peach, a Cherry and two Plum trees we already had. I’m not sure about the two Blueberries I planted last year. One looks dead but the other may have buds. The Blackberry and Raspberry plants look good – fingers crossed for no fruit flies this year. I got my first tick on tree planting day!


Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Last week in my watercolor painting class we were supposed to do flowers.

I found a photo that I took several years ago of Zinnias with a Giant Swallowtail butterfly in one of my gardens and thought it might be a good choice. On Tuesday I made a nice start.


On Thursday I continued, adding more layers of color. I had planned on finishing it over the weekend, but did not find the time to do so. Monday I spent most of the day in town, so it didn’t happen then either.


I barely had time to prepare a drawing for Tuesday’s portrait painting class.  But we spent Tuesday’s class time looking at videos of excellent portrait painters working.  I really enjoyed that!  I’ve never tried to paint a portrait and I need all the help I can get!!  The plan for today is to try to paint something, but, among other things,  I also have to prepare and ship a quilt, plant two fruit trees and fertilize the roses!

“Layers Of The FlintHills” Top Finished!

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

The latest top is DONE!! I sewed the last seam yesterday morning, removed all of the freezer paper and gave it a good pressing. Now it is hanging on the design wall and if I don’t notice something that needs changing I hope to get it layered and ready to start the quilting next week. It’s been a long process, working an hour here and a day there between other obligations, sewing and un sewing, making changes and additions.  It went from this the last time I posted about it

KSlandscape2to this.  I tweaked the greens, added more flowers in the foreground and a distant hill,

Landscape progress

then to this.  Changed the distant hill to a darker shade from the hand dyed sky fabric. It felt like that side was too low, so I added a second distant hill from the different lighter hand dye that was rejected in the previous shot.  Added a pond to the right side as it seemed to need to have the blue repeated.

LayersTopI do believe it is now finished and I know the quilting will add another dimension. Can’t wait to get started!

First Friday

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Last night’s First Friday reception at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery was especially fun because there were so many new or returning members to get to know. A big welcome to Leanne, Doug, Kevin, Cynthia and Richard!  Also lots of wonderful art to enjoy. And the food and wine! We always have a great spread. This is our 100th anniversary year, so everyone wants to celebrate!Me&Splash

Me with my “Splash” which was awarded the first place ribbon and which will get to be displayed at the Public Library exhibit in the fall in celebration of our 100th year!

First Friday

Friday, April 1st, 2016

It’s First Friday and I will be working at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery from 2-8 today for the opening of our new judged spring show. My entry, on display, is “Splash” an original 40 x 40″ art quilt.


It won First Place!!!

It’s a great show, as usual, with many beautiful entries – hope to see you there!

Focus Friday – “Think Pink”

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Every day as I drive in to my classes, I am treated to so many beautiful spring flowers and blooming trees, so many shades of pink!

For today’s Focus Friday I am showing “Think Pink” which incorporates many many shades of pink. This little 32 x 40″ wallhanging (great size for a baby quilt!) – could just as well be made up of any color that you like, to use up a lot of scraps. When I designed this original block, I was actually thinking of Breast Cancer Awareness pink.


INNOVATIONS #06949 “Think Pink” 32 x 40″ $9.00

The original pattern sample quilt, machine pieced and machine quilted, is for sale, $450.00