Posts Tagged ‘design’


Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Some progress to report in spite of having a lot of US Nationals Figure Skating to watch on TV.  I usually have the TV on when I sew, just for company, I guess, not to really watch.  But certain shows require actual watching, and skating is one, so it does cut into the productivity!

A lot of the time when I sew these pieced pictorial pieces, I use straight line seams, it is easier;  but these fire scenes seem to require curved seam piecing which is definitely more time consuming! What takes the most time though, is choosing which fabric goes next.  Then the cutting and auditioning and sometimes even sewing before deciding perhaps something else might be better!

Here, I thought I might extend the fire’s glow a little higher,

Or perhaps a darker fabric would be more dramatic!


Spring Burning

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Another thing about spring — here in Kansas at least, it is the season for burning the pastures and the prairie. The burns are planned and carefully scheduled and are necessary for managing healthy grasslands. They are also a thing of beauty, especially at night, and there is a lot of art inspired by them. I have made 5 or 6 wallhangings on the subject and they have all sold, even the last one intended for my own wall! Better get busy and make another, or maybe try my hand at a watercolor version.


Focus Friday -” The Northern Lily and the Southern Rose”

Friday, February 26th, 2016

For today’s Focus Friday, I am showing you “The Northern Lily and the Southern Rose”. This bed size quilt was inspired by a talk by quilt historian Barbara Brackman, and pictured in one of her books. She talked about how the Northern women made utilitarian quilts for the Civil War soldiers which were long and narrow, small enough to carry but large enough to lie on or under. In an effort to keep Kansas a free state, ads were placed in northern newspapers to recruit settlers sympathetic to that cause to come west and settle Kansas. The quote in the border, included in the pattern, by Lucy Larcom from 1855 was from one of those ads. “Sister true, join us too, where the Kansas flows. Let the Northern Lily bloom, with the Southern Rose”.
This design is not meant to be an authentic reproduction of those quilts, but rather, a tribute to the women of old, who, in ways both quiet and bold, endured and participated in times of war. The central portion is reminiscent of the soldier’s quilts made by the women and the border holds appliqued roses and pieced lilies as well as the verse by Lucy.


“The Northern Lily and the Southern Rose” ¬†¬† 80 x 94″
INNOVATIONS Pattern # 97309 $8.00.
Click on Patterns in the side bar to order.

NoLily det2

The cover sample quilt is machine pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted. It is for sale at $4,000.00. Email if interested.


Focus Friday–“Star Flowers”

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Today for Focus Friday I will feature “Star Flowers”.¬† This is a variation on the old traditional Seven Sisters design. I found the old yellowed newspaper clipping in a box at Houston Quilt Festival and it came with the warning ” Experienced Quilters Only!” which only challenged me to make it easy enough for anyone, which I did!¬† I devised a way to piece it so that those points just happen. To finish it off, I designed the applique to mimic the shape if the stars and to me they resemble Clematis, one of my favorites. There is a LOT of applique, but the shapes are easy and can be done by hand or machine to compliment this popular bed quilt.


INNOVATIONS¬† 94804¬† “Star Flowers”¬† 86 X 106″¬†¬† $9.00
click on PATTERNS in the side bar to order.

Pattern Sample Quilt for sale $2500.00 email for details

Focus Friday – Seasons

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Fall has officially arrived and with temperatures last night in the 30’s, I can believe it! I do love the change of seasons, though, and fall is one of the best, but it does promise winter, which is NOT a favorite with me!

In honor of Fall, and the changing seasons, today I decided to feature the SEASONS banners. I designed these to hang either separately or all together with the shared fabrics complimenting each other across the surface.


They are grouped as patterns in sets of two that share the same fabrics. The backgrounds are pieced and the simple applique shapes can be added either by hand or by machine. They were inspired by the plants and animals that are drawn to our water garden/fish pond throughout the year.

SEASONS РWinter and Fall  $8.00

SEASONS – Spring and Summer $8.00

To order, click on Patterns in the side bar.

The SAMPLE quilts are also for sale at $150.00 each, email me if you are interested!

Focus Friday – Sunflower Patch

Friday, September 18th, 2015

This year, probably because of all the rain, the wild sunflowers have been extra lovely. In the roadsides and in the fields, they are a delightful vision to brighten our days and remind us fall is just around the corner.


So in light of that and the fact that on my recent trip to the Kansas City Guild, my Sunflower Patch pattern was one of my best sellers,  I decided that today it should be my featured pattern for Focus Friday.


Approximately 70 x 85 ”¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† $8.50¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Click on Patterns in the side bar to order

A bright and sunny pieced quilt, quickly made from only twenty pieced 15″ original design blocks.¬† I used two different black and white prints to effectively set off the scrappy yellow and brown flowers – but imagine it with a scrappy blue or cream background instead!


SUNFLOWER PATCH sample quilt
Machine pieced and free motion machine quilted  The backing is also scrappy, created from a variety of green and gold and sunflower printed fabrics.  $1500.00. To purchase, email me.


The End Is In Sight!

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

The two main sections were completed and joined together; the only change I needed was to refine the dark background in the middle which had an awkward shape after I changed the background between the cattail leaves.


I’ve literally looked at thousands of batiks on line for the perfect sky fabric to complete the top. I know which one I want but it is apparently no longer available.¬† I purchased two possibles in Topeka, this one is too light, the other too dark.


It needs the extra length to balance the dimensions, but perhaps I need to shift my focus and add it to the bottom instead of the top. What do you think?


I do believe this is the way to go, however this fabric is not in the main piece and I don’t have enough of any of the ones that I did use to accomplish this border.¬† I guess I will have to go shopping again, because I like how the dark bottom border grounds the composition and the sky is actually better smaller.


Empty Spools Students

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

I finished the freezer paper, including the tic marks yesterday for the new project and am anxious to start the cutting and sewing! But first I want to show you my students from “Empty Spools”. I am so proud of them!
I’ll go around the room in the order that they worked.


Joyce was working from a photo of her grandmother in her wedding dress, a very ambitious project for her first attempt at Picture Piecing but I think she is doing an amazing job! That little bit of blue in the eye is only laid in to keep Grandma from looking like a zombie for now. Joyce enjoys making portraits in various styles and she will probably ink the eye in later. The flowers with dark background fabric was a lucky find at Back Porch where we shopped Wed.


Susan is working from a photo she took of a Mama Robin showing her baby what a birdbath is for. This photo only gives basic information so Susan brought reference material and is really bringing them to life! This is her second Picture Piecing project. Another lucky fabric find is the Marsha Derse light green that she has laid into the birdbath to be the water. It has the perfect color and built in ripple lines. She will cut it up and add the reflections of the birds.


Linda is making this beautiful Sanseveria plant for her first attempt at Picture Piecing and I think it is going to be wonderful! That lovely hand dye is the perfect background to set off the leaves. She probably does not have enough of it so is trying to distribute it throughout, mixed with other fabrics which will only make it richer. Bits of lighter leaf edge fabrics in chartreuse and blue green will accent the dark leaves and add sparkle to the piece.


Janet’s rendition of this photo of her son in Ireland is being done in a combination of straight seam and curved seam piecing. She has done Picture Piecing before so she is up to the challenge and is doing a great job. I love that she chose to do that amazing tree with curved seams. Can you see that his red hair is a piece of autumn leaf fabric? Genius! Janet gets two pictures because I want you to see the curved seam part that didn’t make it into the first shot.


Barbara came to the workshop with no photo, just a sketch, because her inspiration came to her in a dream! This was her first try at this process and she made excellent progress. There will be a second elephant a little darker than the first. That batik she used really gives the illusion of elephant skin wrinkles and look how she found the eye and the ear within the print! Her very well behaved Boxer, Shelby was our mascot for the week!


Last but certainly not least, was Robin with her photo taken on a visit to Yellowstone. The orange that accents this scene is sulfur and there is steam from the geysers against the dark hills. She brought wonderful fabrics to portray the scenery and was able to find the perfect gray cloud fabric for the reflections on our shopping trip to Back Porch.  This was her first time using this technique and she made an amazing amount of progress in the time we had available.

It was a pleasure o work with these ladies and I hope to be able to share “finished” photos with you later!

Starting The Deer

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Charles Benton is a local photographer who has participated in the annual Inspirations exhibit, as have I, since the beginning three years ago. This year he offered me his “Konza Mother and Child” as inspiration, so this year for the first time I will have two pieces there. This one, and the “Eagles Soar” one inspired by Tammy Patterson’s “Eagle Soars” that I started earlier.


His copyrighted photograph is on canvas and I can’t get a good picture without reflections, but you get the idea. It is a wonderful photo and I am fortunate to be able to use it with his permission.

Susan said she would like to see the two layouts, so I took this picture this morning.


The top one was my first and I wasn’t happy with it so never finished it. Then I decided to start over without looking at the first one that had been done probably a month ago. It was interesting to compare the two after I was finished with the new layout.

Here is the progress to date, work done over a period of about three days.


Usually when I do animals, I start with the eyes, but in this case, remembering how much trouble I had finding fawn spot fabric for “Spring Encounter”, (click on ‘fawn’ in the sidebar) I needed to see what I could find to render the fawn’s spots and set my colors by that. I couldn’t do very much though, until I established the background fabrics.¬† That distant background is going to be hard. It has a lot of pink in it and I haven’t been able to find much of that. The foreground grasses were easy and the scale of the bush fabric was good. It was nice that it had dark areas that worked in well against the tree.

Seasonal Palette 3

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The first step was to figure out how to place seam lines that would integrate the deer into the whole. I did this by tracing the print to freezer paper and aligning it with the full sized freezer paper pattern on the wall. Then I could plot out the seam lines to be able to cut and sew it to fit into the scene. I wanted to fracture the panel and make some changes in the placement of the deer.

Luckily, the freezer paper allowed enough of the print to show through so that I could trace the basic outline of the deer!

I started the piecing with the bottom of the tree area, so that I would have a base on which to add the deer.

It has not been without drama though. After several day’s work, I was not happy with some aspects. I decided that the tree needed to be lower, more behind the deer allowing me to add more branches to the top of the tree to balance the composition.

I reworked parts and now I have the problem of fitting already pieced elements into a revised whole, but it will work out, I’m sure. I ordered more fabric from two different sources, as I found some sky and some coordinating foreground prints that might work in. The first arrived yesterday and the second is due any day now. It’s a little difficult to plan without the fabric here so I am working on the parts where I feel safe, knowing I may have to tweak later. This has enough challenges to keep it interesting for me!

To be continued……….