Posts Tagged ‘nature’

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.

Baltoriole

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.

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!

A Hint Of Springtime

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Yesterday we had a hint of springtime, as the temperature was a perfect 75 degrees and I spent an hour or so weeding in the perennial beds. Just those little weed seedlings that are so easy to get rid of this time of the year before they really dig in deep. My snowdrops are blooming right now and I am sure they would prefer it to be more seasonably colder. They always remind me of my wonderful trip to England and Wales which inspired me to plant them. Of course they will never be as lush here in KS as they were there!  Once again all of the buds on the Hellebores have been eaten by some varmint because I forgot again to put the wire cages around them last fall, and judging by the mass of chewed off stems, they would have been really nice this year. The catalogs all say they are deer resistant, but somebody loves them!

So far no dandelions, but it won’t be long!

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My ultimate springtime quilt is “Just Dandy” which I made for IQF Celebrate Spring in 2008. It contains some lovely hand dyes.  It was juried in and traveled with that exhibit to several major venues. Then it went to other shows where it won several first place awards and a Viewer’s Choice. It is 41 x 41″ square and is for sale at $2750.00. I should get it out and hang it  to brighten things up and bring the spring inside.

Focus Friday – Goose on the Loose

Friday, October 30th, 2015

“Goose on the Loose” is one of my earlier patterns that continues to be a best seller. Now at the end of October, I am reminded of how it came to be as the wild geese are flying overhead. They don’t stay in those nice orderly V’s as they are usually depicted, but rather they tend to ravel out into tangled skeins as they constantly switch positions, honking loudly at each other as they go. Usually a quilt gets named after it is finished, but this one had a name before it was even started. I looked for a block that would portray the vision, maybe with Flying Geese blocks, but instead I settled on Fox and Goose, which doesn’t even contain Flying Geese. Instead it is worked from half square triangle units and what can be easier than that! Half of the blocks have gray sky centers and half have autumn leaf colors and it is the way that they are sewed together that gives the effect of the geese straying from their formation. I love to make it so you have to really look for where the block is, makes people think it was harder than it really was! Of course that is all laid out for you in this very easy pattern.

The pattern contains instructions for both a wall hanging and a bed quit. There is only about half a box of patterns left and it will not be reprinted, so act fast if this is a quilt you would like to make.

GooseSample

Goose On The Loose – approximately 36 X 42” or 72 X 84” Pattern: $8.00
Click on Patterns in the side bar to order.

Cover Sample quilt for sale, lovingly hand quilted, a steal at $400.00 Email me for details.

The PRIZE winning bed quilt, made from batik fabrics and free motion machine quilted in swirls and maple leaves can be seen in the Large Quilts Gallery on my website.  It is also for sale.

Focus Friday – Third Weekend In October

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Ooops! Focus Friday was supposed to keep me on track, but we did a road trip on Friday and I totally forgot! Then I got busy over the weekend. This was supposed to be a no brainer, since it was the third weekend in October and I happen to have a pattern by that very name!!

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I designed Third Weekend In October to be a contest quilt and it made the rounds and did very well. It is all pieced, partially using unique foundation papers and my quilt is all hand quilted. I started getting requests for the pattern, but I resisted for several years because this quilt which is meant to look like fallen leaves, has no repeated block and I thought that quilters would be frightened of the graph that lays out the design. You work the individual units, then sew them together into nine patch blocks. From there on out you are in familiar quilter territory – sew the blocks into rows and the rows into a queen sized quilt top.

I finally gave in and produced the pattern and I am so glad I did! It has been my all-time best seller and continues to claim that distinction, having sold well over 30,000 copies!!

Third Weekend In October – approx. 85 x 110″  pattern $8.00 To order, click on Patterns in the side bar.
The sample quilt is not for sale.

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.

Seasons-2

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 – Winter and Fall  $8.00

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SEASONS – Spring and Summer $8.00

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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!

Konza Prairie Spring

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

The current issue of SAQA Journal (Summer 2015) features a photo of “Konza Prairie Spring” in the Member’s Gallery “Creatures”.

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Made in 2013, it is 24 x 54″ and sold before it ever got to be shown so it is nice that it is getting some exposure! Thanks SAQA!!

Progress

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

heron6Quite a few more seams are sewn and I found this neat batik for the legs that looks sort of scaley. The bird is starting to moosh into the background so I need to get some more contrast going on.

heron7-1

This dark batik helps a lot. Nature wants to camouflage everything but in art— not so much! It also helped to tone down the black on the bird. So much to think about!

It is STILL raining!

Top Done

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The top is finally finished. After putting it up on the design wall and living with it for a bit, I saw things I wanted to tweak. That second swirl especially needed to flow better, so I divided the upper reddish piece and made it join into the yellow/red heading off toward the edge. This piece has had a lot of changes from the original sketch as I work improvisationaly , making changes as needed, even if, as in this case I have to spend a day un-sewing what I have previously done!

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The upper right corner was getting pretty dark and I really wanted to get some of that lighter sky fabric in there to add a little sparkle to the piece, but also to set the time. Originally I had planned a night scene, but you would not see this much detail at night.

I’m anxious to get started on the quilting because I know that will only make it better!

prairiefire16Linking to “Off  The Wall Friday”

78 Degrees in Jan

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

With the amazing weather we have been having it is easy to get distracted. I know it is not a good thing to get 78 degrees in Kansas in January, but when you do, you might as well enjoy it, right?  We did some tree trimming and watering.

I want some of that great grass fabric that I used in some of the other prairie fire quilts, but so far I haven’t found it and I didn’t think I had used it all up. The fabrics I am auditioning are just not quite doing it for me. The dark tree fabric I tried just disappeared against the dark background and this lighter piece for the tree isn’t working either.

prairiefire10

Driving to town, I noticed the Sycamore trees are almost white; perhaps we will have a Sycamore tree. It’s a challenge, but thankfully one that I enjoy, to find the right balance of fabrics to make a piece work.

In the meantime I am sewing some fire sections that I am happy with, and continuing to audition fabrics.