Happy Halloween

Want to wish all the ghost and ghouls a happy and safe Halloween!!

We are still without power but safe and trying to get in the festivities. Thank goodness for smart phones!!


Bonus Storm Prepping

I guess everyone knows by now there is a gigantic storm headed for the east coast.  Here in NY we are bracing for what looks like a lot of wind and rain (crossing my fingers there is no snow) and power outages.

I encourage you to use the FEMA website to follow their storm preparation advice and check lists.  I have.  But, I wanted to share some of the other things we do to get ready. 

::  Charge the Kindle ::  Nothing like having a good book to get lost in during a power outage.  I'll be most likely finishing "The Dragonriders of Pern."  And reading the kindle by candle light sounds marvelous!  Yes, you could also run to the library and have a nice new book on hand.

::  Tire Out the Pups ::  We are very outdoorsy people and dogs... so one of the bummers of a storm like this is the cabin fever of not being able to really go outside.  Yes, we'll run out for puppy business, but we will probably have to forgo long walks or playing ball outside.  So, this morning we had the pups outside running, chasing, romping in the leaves and any other form of getting them tired.  This afternoon I'll also take Sammy for a doggy play date to squeeze out every drop of energy possible.  A good healthy tired will keep them more relax during the storm and keep them from getting too bored.

::  Do all the Laundry and Dishes ::  If someone sneezes around here we loose power, so we more or less expect to loose it during the storm.  Nothing like having a full drawer of clothes and a cabinet of dishes to use during the ordeal to make us more comfortable.  I may also wash up a quilt or two for optimal snuggling!

::  Have Board Games Handy ::  Nothing worse than sitting in a dark house, with no power, and everyone whining that they are bored.  My cure for keeping entertained is a combination of board games, books, sudoku puzzles, and hand sewing.  I make sure these are all out and handy so that they are easy to grab when needed. 

Wishing everyone a safe and uneventful storm.  Please be sure to check on your family and neighbors -- together we are all stronger and more resilient!  Catch up with you soon!


Fall 2012 Bloggers' Quilt Festival :: Off to the Pumpkin Patch

Off to the Pumpkin Patch Stats
Finished quilt measures : 16″x 32″
Special techniques used : whole cloth quilting, fabric painting
Quilted by : myself on my home sewing machine
Best Category : Art Quilt, Wall Hanging, Home Machine Quilted

I love this time of year, the cold weather is starting to settle in.  We wrap ourselves in warm sweaters or snuggle under quilts.  And I finally return to my sewing in earnest.  I am also excited that today is the start of the Fall Bloggers' Quilt Festival!!

Amy's Creative Side

These are put on twice a year by the amazing Amy from AmysCreativeSide and it's a fantastic reason to pour a cup of tea and read until you are so inspired you run off to start another quilt (or finish one!!) -- just click the button for all the other inspiring entries!

Today I'd like to share a new art quilt with you.  I'm calling it "Off to the Pumpkin Patch."  This quilt is a lot of firsts for me, but let's see how the idea for it came together. 

It all started with a call for entry for fall themed art display we will be putting together at work.  I have had a pumpkin quilt in my head for a long time, so it seemed like the perfect fall theme.  I started by sketching, first on a smaller scale in my sketch pads, and then larger right on fabric.

You see, I've been really smitten with painting on fabric since the start of the summer.  You can see how that's taken shape in my Sammy Quilt.  But, for this quilt, I wanted to try the whole cloth quilted technique that you do the quilting first and then add color through painting.  So, I attached my free motion foot and set out to quilt my sketch.

I quilted the normal three layer quilt sandwich using cream thread and more or less traced the pumpkin farm I sketched on the fabric.  And even though I will admit I was so very scared... this was so much fun! 

I found myself loose and the quilting stitches better than I've ever accomplished.  It really had a drawing with thread type of feel.  And as the farm emerged with all that fabric texture I was beaming ear to ear!  The next time I try this I think I'll try different thread colors.  The cream became challenging to later cover with paint. 

Has a lovely feel to it, doesn't it?  A part of me really wanted to leave it just like this and call it a success.  And I did leave it like this for days.  But, as the time passed I knew I had to try and paint it.

I started from the top not knowing where else to dig in.  Colored the sky, mountains, and roofs.  In case your wondering the fabric paint I used is called PROfab transparent which I sourced from Pro Chemical & Dye.  And I am painting on white cotton that is prepared for dye (PFD).

The paint has a fun quality to it once you mix it with water.  And I'm beginning to get the feel for how it will act when applied to a dry vs. wet quilt.  As you can see my fear melted quickly and I was happily lost in painting!  Once the painting was complete, I heat set it with the iron.

I wanted to give the finished quilt an art like finish, so went with an invisible binding method I found well described in this tutorial from Simply Robin.  I love the way the painting and quilting falls right off the edge. 

I'm still waiting for better daylight to take a picture that has more true colors and shows the quilting texture more prominently, but here you go.  "Off to the Pumpkin Patch!"  What I'm sure will be the first of many painted art quilts to come.

Thank you so much for stopping by and I'd love to have you leave me a link to your entry in comments!!  Happy festival!

Fall 2011 Quilt Festival :: Big Blue
Spring 2011 Quilt Festival :: Tribal


Someone had a 1/2 Birthday!

Here's what's going on...

::  Fall naps on or with a quilt is a must
::  Apples abound for homemade applesauce
::  Sammy never tires of playing fetch with her favorite toy of the day

::  The pups are getting more and more alike and same-sized.  Getting harder to tell them apart at first glance
::  I got my hairs cut and am loving my bangs
::  Puppy butts.  As in, taking lots and lots of fall weather walks

::  This is a tree in which I am nearly 99% sure that faeries live in
::  Good hard chewing bones are a must on those colder rainy days to entertain the pup
::  Sammy may be everyone's shadow, but 1st she is Katie's shadow.  It's more evident lately that Sammy wants to be exactly like Katie when she grows up.  We just hope that's sooner, than later. 

p.s. Sammy had her half birthday recently.  She's is officially 1 and 1/2 years old.  Aww!


Island Inspired Recycle Box

The Mister is the kind of guy that is very handy.  He can make most anything he wants.  So, when I asked him to whip up a crate-like box, that I could use to recycle our paper junk mail, he made me the coolest thing!  It's a wooden box made of individual slats, but the part that makes it so cool is the randomness he incorporated for crazy 'ole me.  The slats have varying heights and angles.  He called it the island fence box and when he gave it to me... he instructed me to paint it up using lots of color to get that island feel.  Isn't he wonderful?

It was so relaxing to snuggle up on the floor in front of the TV and spread out my paints in anticipation of going a little paint color crazy.  As I painted and changed colors, I actually didn't rinse or clean my brush in between.  The result was a really dynamic mixing and swirling of colors.  Gives the box a great texture.

While I was up to my elbows in paint, my assistants weren't too far away.  It's amazing how close Katie (left) and Sammy (right) have gotten.  I mean they are laying less than a hand length away from each other, nose to nose.  Ad-or-able!

And, then I was spotted.  Time to get back to painting. 

Here's a shot of my work space.  I used a plastic palette and you can see how the brushes are covered in many colors.  I think the mixing and blending is what made this project so much fun for me.  I painted all the surfaces with the exception of the bottom and am really head-over-heels for the result. 

...and so was Sammy.  She kept trying to put balls, toys, and bones in the box while I had it on the ground to take a few pictures.  It was heart breaking to explain this wasn't for her.

The inside.  I was really getting the hang of the mixing and distressing once I got to this part. 

One of the corners and sides.  I think the red-purple plank may be one of my favorites.

Sure makes getting junk mail a more enjoyable experience.  I mean, any excuse to stare loving at this box!  And once the box is full, then we wrap all that unwanted paper, fliers, and magazines with twine and stick it in the recycle bin on trash day. 

Feels almost as good as sipping a rum drink on the beach in Caribbean, doesn't it?  Do you recycle your junk mail? 


Falling for Fall

 Hello, Fall!  My, oh my, have we been enjoying you... let me count the ways!

::  Got to spend some one-on-one time with Katie... even if it was taking her to the vet.
::  We've been staring at the trees, marvelling at the colors, and laughing at the falling leaves.

::  We have been enjoying naps and snuggling on the couch.  Especially when there is a fire is in the fireplace.
::  We have been totally enjoying every minute of football.  It almost doesn't even matter who is playing, as long as it's a good match up.  Bonus points if it's a Giants game and we Giants fans can live the game play by play.  It's not a quiet thing.

::  We have been enchanted by the deep blues of a clear fall day or the clever patterns of the clouds.
::  We have napped in other places.  The four legged babes are dropping off quick from all the time moving outdoors.

::  We've groomed trails for hiking.  Thing are a little tidier and blocked paths are more ready to recieve visitors.
::  I've sewn in preparation for the Pat Pauly art quilting class I am taking tomorrow.  More on that soon!

::  I've continued my hand sewing adventure on the healing cloth that I started earlier.
::  We stopped to play in the sand (at the lake beach).  It was a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the sunshine.

::  The pups were bathed.  It was a long time coming, but Ms. Sammy helped things along by rolling in and attaching poo to her head.  Smelly business.  They are so soft and fluffy now.  It won't last, but it was a nice reminder that they clean up alright!
::  I have packed a ton of my favorite fabrics for the art quilting workshop I mentioned above (the one with Pat Pauly).  It's called Slash and Burn.  I'm nervous... but it's that good kind of nervous.  The kind when you know something special is about to happen!  It's all about improv creating.  I promise I will share more on the experience.

...and as always, if you'd like to see more of what's Happy in the moment... I'm instagramming up a storm; @cwiltex gets you there!
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