Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Day of 2009

Well, I started this post on the last day of 2009, but I got sidetracked in the process... Anyway, I'm trying to set my goals for 2010 and schedule my time in the Studio. Right now the Studio is a little bit of a mess because my husband and son are building a new worktable and ironing table for me. The worktable is 100% complete on the construction, and is in the process of painted. Hopefully the ironing table will be constructed during the New Year weekend. I'm really excited about these new tables. I asked Jeff and Ben make them 36" high, so I'm not awkwardly leaning over to cut and construct my art quilts. Jeff and Ben have cut out the space for my Bernina and also a space for a light box. The lift has been installed for my Bernina and I have sewn a few things sitting at the new table, all I can say is AWESOME!!!!! I bought a new cutting mat at the IQA show in Houston earlier this year. We have four flat files that came from Jeff's office that will fit underneath both tables. This will give me great storage for my patterns and mixed media supplies. The table is 60" wide and 80" long. The ironing table will be 60" wide and 36" deep. I've also reduced my stash (check out StudioJules on ArtFire!) and have moved my thread stash over to one of the fabric cases. This way it won't get as dusty and I have freed up the wall where we are going to put a window in. As soon as we get the tables finished and painted I'll post the Before and After pictures.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to sharing my goals and accomplishments with you in a few days!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is my favorite time of year. I love the Christmas season, I love that Christ was born for us and we are free to celebrate his birth and share His love with our family and friends. My heart just jumps for joy (usually in the form of dancing with two little girls), no matter how tired my body is. I'm a person that loves to give and sometimes I have to tell myself to "stop" more than once so that I don't exhaust myself completely.
Last night my son wanted to help me make the family famous chocolate pies. The recipe was created by my husbands' grandmother and they are thick and rich and wonderful! I made the first batch, Ben and his two daughters watched while I stirred the chocolate goodness, well, Betty kept wanting to touch, until she touched the hot skillet, then she decided playing was more fun. Ben made the next three batches of pies and I'm so proud of him! For being his first pie event he did a great job. Last year I had made an apron for Nickola since she loves to help in the kitchen. She's 4 now and loves to "count" when we are measuring out ingredients. Betty is 2 and this year I decided that she needed an apron too. As soon as I get pictures taken this morning, I'll post pictures of the girls in their aprons. They are darling!
Like most of you I had last minute Christmas presents to make, Betty's apron was the last item to be made in my studio this year. I made another present, but I will have to tell you about it later. I don't want to spoil the surprise for the intended receiver.
I'm looking forward to having all of the kids home for Christmas this year. Amanda, Sam and the twins fly in today from CA. Texas weather is going to greet them with snow! Can you believe?! We were blessed yesterday with the arrival of my daughter-in-law's family making it down safely from Kansas. They were able to hit the "window" on the weather for their drive and we are so thankful for that! And we are so excited that they will be sharing the holiday with us too!
Well, everyone, have a safe and joyous Christmas, be thankful for your friends, family and the Christ child that we are celebrating.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Where has the Month Gone?

Where has the month gone? I can't believe it it only 9 days until Christmas. I've been busy shopping, wrapping and planning for this week and next. This little quilt is one I did for the Dallas Area Fiber Artist group I am in. We have a silent auction each year to raise money for our group and this was my contribution to the auction. I had such fun with it. It is hand painted fabrics, appliqued to hand painted fabric. The vintage stamps (1946 Christmas stamps were to support the VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, Michigan) were scanned in and then printed on ExtravOrganza by Jacquard. The brown grass is hand painted cheesecloth and the snow is raw silk fibers. Everything was fused down with MistyFuse. I had such a great time making this little quilt that I am going to make a few more and for different seasons.
Well, I'm off to get ready for a party and ready for all of our family to be here next week, so I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season and are able to pass along joy to each person you greet!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the one big holiday that I get to cook and serve my family. I love to cook and I love to have all of my family in the house. With our kids being married and having kids of their own, that means we have 4 generations in the house at once! Usually we have a huge gathering, this year there was only 9 of us, there has been as many as 25 in past years, and I'm sure that number will increase in years to come. The turkey is the main item and I have been able to get it down to perfection. The secret you ask to keep it moist through the hours of cooking? Soak it in a brine overnight. I use the one the Wolfgang Puck has on Food Network. There are a lot of ingredients, but it is the best one that I have tried. Now, after the turkey soaks in the brine, we smoke it in an electric smoker that my dad bought back in the 70's, it's old, but it works like a dream.
After the Thanksgiving feast is done and we have had our fill of turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, dressing, gravy, homemade rolls and chocolate pie, it is time to bring out the Christmas decorations! After the family has gone home and I have rested a bit, the decorating starts and by Sunday we are done. This year the guys put the lights on the house, in the shrubs and even lit a tree in the backyard and lined the fence. As of this morning, the house is complete with the exception of the family treeskirt. Today I will embroider the names of our three grandchildren that were born this year and look forward to Christmas, because they will all be here!
Happy Holidays everyone and may your season be bright, heartfelt and full of joy. And through all the mayhem, remember the true reason for celebrating is the gift that was given to us in Jesus Christ and that we are to pass on a piece of ourselves to others.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Genesis 1 Quilt

I have started working on my Genesis 1 quilt again. After taking a class with Paint Sticks at the Houston Quilt Festival I have decided to use the paint sticks in the "space" part of the quilt. The last few days I have been testing out designs to see what I like and what I don't like for the quilt. I have also taken away some of the hand dyed silk pieces, because they just weren't working very well in the overall design, so here is what I have so far.You can see in the first picture that I have just lightly used gold and silver paint sticks to soften the black background. I want the "space" to keep it's infinite feel and not fight with the major color pieces of the quilt.
The second picture gives a little more detail of the background image. I used leftover floor tiles to give the textured background
The last picture shows some of the testing I have been doing with color images, stars and galaxies. I printed out several pictures from the Internet of actual galaxies and star formations to work on these. If I'm going to create my vision of how God created, then I should use pictures of the actual galaxies and stars that He did create, right?
Hope you enjoy my journey with this quilt!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Fabric has been Flying!!!

Yesterday I finished posting my commercial stash of fabric into StudioJules on ArtFire. I've had several sales and at times I didn't think I could post fast enough because the fabric was selling as soon as I posted it! What fun!!! I have several yards of fabric from Moda, P&B Textiles, Northcott, and other high quality manufacturers. You may find the fabric you need just a little bit more of to complete a quilt or project. If you don't see it at StudioJules, drop me a line and I'll look through my stash to see if I have it in my "less than a yard" inventory. So, don't forget to shop StudioJules for fabric and supplies, and you can certainly purchase one of my handmade items too!
When you get to the check out cart and your shipping charges seem to be overstated, email me BEFORE you check out and I will issue you a coupon code so you pay the correct shipping charges.
Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Added New Fabrics!

Just added new fabrics to Studio Jules, and YES! they are only $2.50/yard! I still have more to add, but this was what I was able to get photographed and loaded yesterday and today. So take a peek and load up your shopping cart!
Studio Jules on ArtFire

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall Markdowns at Studio Jules on ArtFire!

Yes, the trees have started turning into beautiful colors in our area, the Trick or Treat event has come and gone, and the turkey has been bought for Thanksgiving, so it must be time for Fall Markdowns at Studio Jules! Here’s the list of Fall Markdowns!

Fabric by the Yard: Now $2.50 a yard!
Fat Quarter Bundles: Now 50 cents a Fat Quarter!
Measuring Tapes, Appliqué Motifs, Binding Tape: Now $1each!

Great time to shop for your Christmas supplies!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Quilts are hung....

The Quilts are all hung in the gallery with care, in hopes of more quilts and wall space to share. We shuffled and straightened with the most care and hoped that Jeff didn't fall of the ladder and into the air!
Our entry and stairwell are actually looking like an Art Quilt Gallery and showing my labor of love and my passion. It feels so good to have these quilts up! Today I have a few things to get done around the house and then I'm going to finish pinning the Batik Quilt and maybe get started on the quilting. I've picked out my threads and have my stitches planned out, now I just have to balance the time element. Oh, I even bought a new Foreigner CD so I have new music to listen to! Have to have the beat going to quilt, it's a must.
Wednesday my studio will turn into a guest room for my twin granddaughters, so I don't think there will be any quilting after tomorrow for the rest of the week.
So until next week, have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Store Sample Quilts

Monday afternoon on the way to my Dallas Area Fiber Arts meeting I stopped by the Bernina of Dallas store to pick up some supplies. To my pleasant surprise I was able to bring home several of the samples I had made for the store. Most of them have sleeves on the back, but a few do not. So this afternoon I am going to put sleeves on the back of three of the quilts and get them ready to hang in our stairwell gallery. I’m so excited to have these back and to be able to hang them in my house! If you want a close look of these quilts, they are in my gallery.
I still haven’t quilted the Pumpkin BOM I made earlier in the year, but I think I’m going to hang it “As Is” for now, just for the season. I’ll run the edges on the serger so I don’t have any fraying issues. Hmmmm……I may do that with the Batik Sampler BOM I did too. I love these quilts and just hate that I haven’t had time to quilt them.
I am also tacking up fairy costumes for two of my granddaughters to wear on Halloween. All I have left to do is put Velcro on the wings and the back of the costumes. They are so excited to be fairies and then to be able to play dress up in these costumes later. My other two granddaughters are going to be fairies too, and our little grandson is going to be Peter Pan. What a fun night it is going to be!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Busy end of October!

I know, I know, Halloween hasn't even past and I've started on Christmas already, but I have too! I've been working on 6 Christmas Stockings for my 3 new grand babies. I love decorating for Christmas and one item that is all over the house is stockings! The Red, White and Blue stockings run down the banister. They each have white hankies in the denim pockets with our individual names on them. The panel stockings (from Art to Heart a few years ago) are on our "Family Trees" in the foyer. I start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. It takes a couple of days, so when we are done I'll show you the whole shebang. Some people in my family think I go overboard with my Christmas decorations, but I don't do near as much as some people I know. Plus I just love to decorate for Christmas and light up the house with joy, friendship and love ~ showing our love for the season and the Christ baby that made it all possible. Isn't that what it's about anyway? So, I'm back in the studio today to finish up the stockings and then continue testing ideas for a quilt I started before I left for Houston. This is not an original design, I took it out of a sketch book that I found when we cleaned out the house of Jeff's aunt earlier this year. So above is the sketch and below is my interpretation of the sketch. Quilt name? "Genesis 1" I have fused hand painted silk (thank you Frieda Anderson!) and the background will have celestial images made with fabric paints and paint sticks.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Home from IQF (Houston)...with a cold

Well, I'm home from a wonderful week in Houston at the International Quilt Festival. I participated in classes all week and brought home great ideas from each class. I am in the midst of working on two quilts and the classes I participated in gave me great ideas for them. I had a great time meeting up with my quilting friends, instructors from past workshops and meeting new quilting friends and instructors. The quilts were awesome!
I bought new dyes and new books for research and entertainment. Oh, what books you ask? Well, "Art + Quilt" by Lyric Kinard. Great book and the class I had with her was great too. We basically went through the book and did the exercises. It really took me back to the basics of what I learned about design in high school. She gave us 10 minutes to do an exercise. The lessons of learning, texture, line, color, shape and value, well gosh, I just create, I forgot to think specifically about those things in my quilts! So, on my drive home Saturday, I was looking at buildings differently, clouds with a new perspective and fields of animals and vegetation with different texture ideas.
The other research/instruction books I bought are "Bold and Beautiful" by Judi Dains and "The Painted Quilt ~ Paint and Print Techniques for Colour on Quilts" by Linda and Laura Kemshall. I can't wait to dive into these books and get started on more dying and embellishing on fabrics. When I was in the Quilting Arts booth looking for these books I had the opportunity to meet Pokey Bolton! She is a wonderful lady! Wish I had had my camera with me so I could post a picture!
Fiction books about quilters are a entertainment passion of mine. I have a list of authors and books I like and want to read. One of the authors I have had on my list for a while is Sandra Dallas. To my surprise she was at IQF signing her books. I was so honored to meet her and talk to her about her books. Her newest book is "Prayers for Sale", so I bought it and will probably start reading it later today.
Well, I think that is it for today. I'm going to go tend to my whining dog and my cold.
Have a great day and because I plan on making my better than it started off!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sketch Book

Well, I just can't leave well enough alone. I always push myself before I go out of town. The compulsive artistic voice in my head keeps saying, "Just one more project....", "Oh, just finish this project before you go...", "It won't take long, and you can take it with you..." So, what did I do? I got out my hand painted fabric scraps, my fabric markers, paint stiks, Sharpie Markers, alcohol, Misty Fuse, stamps, and various mixed media items...

There are several classes next week where I am to bring my sketchbook. Now I'm a Fiber Artist, how can I go and be with all the creative people with a plain vanilla sketchbook? The front is the only part that is completely done. The back of the front and the two sides of the back are covered with hand painted fabric, but I have left the unadorned so I can embellish them with things I learn next week.

Now I'm off to dust the house...Two Year old Birthday Party for our granddaughter, Betty, tomorrow!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm off to Houston to be Active in the Quilting Scene!

Well, the weather in North Texas is getting me ready for Houston and the International Quilt Festival! It is in the 70's with 100% humidity! My class supplies are packed, my schedule is set to meet my network of friends for classes and lunch, my shopping list is growing (don't tell my husband) and I also have my list of vendor booths to go by and say "Hi! What's new?"(not all of us say "Howdy" in Texas)!

Oh, who are my network of Vendor Friends? Well, if you keep up with my blog you have read about Quilting Adventures. I love these ladies, they put on the best workshops! Barbara and Alice will be in booth #916. The QA ladies have a guest book to sign, and I think there is a drawing from the people who sign their guest book!
Then I have to venture off and see my new friend Frieda Anderson in booth #438, I wonder what beautiful hand dyed silk and cottons Frieda will have when I get there?
Now, Quilting Arts Magazine, booth #1244, I have to get my 2010 calendar and I think some of the books on my list will be in their booth and I'm sure there are some other tempting items!!!!

This will be my third year to attend the International Quilt Festival and my second to take classes. Last year I met so many wonderful women through my classes and was so surprised to meet so many that travelled from other countries for the festival and classes! Because of the friendships I make through the classes, and the knowledge passed on by the awesome instructors I look forward to this event every year and this year I decided to volunteer! On Thursday afternoon I will be with my friend, Gail Dentler, (Oprah isn't the only one with a friend named Gail!) at the Studio Artist Quilt Association (SAQA) booth answering questions and signing up new members! What a great way to network and expand our visions!

Well, I guess that is about it. I'm going to take my laptop and try to blog each day to tell you about my classes! So have a great rest of your week and a great week next week everyone, I'm off to stay with my brother and sister-in-law in Houston (Best Bed and Dinner in town! My SIL is the best cook ever!) and IQF!

Phantom Tree

Phantom Tree is one of the quilts I started at my workshop with Quilting Adventures in Boerne last month. The background fabrics are batiks from my stash. The tree is hand dyed silk that I bought from Frieda Anderson.

I really had to think about how I wanted to quilt it and how I wanted to bring out the three. Really I didn't want to bring the tree out too much, I just wanted it to fall into the background and I didn't want the background to dominate the tree. I was searching for a harmony between the two. I love the contrast of colors of the background and the movement of the batiks, so I decided to use the movement of the colors to drive the quilting. I echo quilted the tree and used my Fabrico fabric pens to give texture to the tree and emphasis the turquoise color in the tree.

Now, I'm sure you are wondering why the quilt looks askew...I planned that. I didn't want it to be an even sided quilt. Since there are bolder limbs on one side of the quilt, that side is a bit larger than the other side. The right side is an inch larger than the left. Just had to do it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Free Shipping on Fabric @ Studio Jules on Art Fire!

That's right, for one week only! When you make a purchase from Studio Jules on Art Fire you will receive Free Shipping on Fabric by the Yard and Fat Quarter Bundles! This offer is from today, October 3, 2009 until October 9, 2009. When you check out, use the coupon code FREE SHIP FABRIC and the shipping is one me!
So hurry and get the fabric you are dreaming about now!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Summer in the City Charm Quilt

I found the charm pack fabrics for this little quilt a couple of years ago and it has been hanging out in my cabinet, waiting its turn to be put together. Yesterday it got its turn and it was worth the wait! It measures 12.5" x 12.5" and is a great size for the following: Doll Quilt, Tabletop Quilt, Placemat (great for if you are single!), Vintage Decor item, and just to have fun quilt! If you are interested in purchasing this quilt, you can find it in my ArtFire studio, Studio Jules.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Small Projects

This past Saturday I participated in a workshop put on by the Dallas Area Fiber Artists group. Lisa Renner was the guest instructor and boy did we have fun! It was a great way to let loose and experiment with inks, dyes, spray paints, rubber cement, gesso, stencils and rubber stamps. We learned a lot about layering color and had a great time encouraging each other. This is a great group, I'm so glad I finally decided to make the drive to Dallas once a month to join this group. It is well worth the drive!
Here are some pictures of my "Painterly Book" that I made. After I got home and embellished it some more, it just looked too flat. I added the fibers to the front, back and topped off my pen. I also added fabric to the pockets and the front and back. I just have to add fabric!

I couldn't resist making a little Art Quilt out of the scraps from my workshop with Frieda Anderson and Quilting Adventures. I just wanted a small quilt to explode with color with a few hidden items. A few of the men my husband works with proudly graduated from Texas A&M, and my brother and his kids proudly attended and attend The Univ. of Texas. Being the great sister that I am, I hid a longhorn in the quilt, and loving my garden the way I do, I also planted a flower in one of the corners. This little quilt will be in my ArtFire Studio if you are interested in it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two Belles and a Bead on ArtFire

There is an awesome shop on ArtFire ~ 2 Belles and a Bead. I just looked through all the jewelry and it is awesome! I may have started my Christmas list!
Two Belles and a Bead is just one of the wonderful ArtFire shops that is part of Texas ArtFire!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mexican Sunflower in Batik

Finished! This is the first quilt in my Sunflower Series. The pattern was made from a photograph I took of one of the Mexican Sunflowers in my garden. I decided to create this quilt in batiks, the next one will be in hand painted fabrics. My goal with these two quilts is to show the difference between using the batik and hand painted fabrics and to use a new technique on each quilt.
The next two pictures show the detail of thread painting (my favorite way to quilt) in the leaves and petals. I used the thread to create the detail and movement of the leaves and petals. I really like to extend the movement outside the lines and into the background. Somehow it helps create the flow of the flower into the background.
I did minimal quilting in the background of the quilt. I wanted the sunflower to keep the focus, so I used the horizontal lines of the fabric and quilted with matching thread.
My new technique on this quilt was the use of hand painted cheesecloth in the center and then beading the seeds into and on the center of the quilt. This was a fun process. I hadn't used cheesecloth before. I first selected a brown batik looking fabric (my brown batiks are limited, so I had to punt). Next I hand painted some cheesecloth with different browns, bronze, and copper paints. While the cheesecloth was drying I created free motion embroidered circles on the center piece of fabric. I didn't put circles all over the fabric; I wanted to leave room for more circles after I laid the cheesecloth down. After the cheesecloth was dry I manipulated it by stretching and scrunching the cloth to make vacant and dense areas. Then it was time to free motion embroider around it and hand stitch the beads under the dense areas. Taking my time, I let my eye and follow the lights and dark areas of the fabric create the areas that were beaded.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Two New Shops on Artfire!

There are two new shops on ArtFire that have joined the Shops with Less Than 10 Sales Quild.

Bean's Boutique has great jewelry and some of her things are perfect for Halloween and the upcoming Fall! She has earrings and necklaces for all ages!

Made for Me by Oaklie has beautiful knit scaves. Very stylish and awesome colors!

Don't forget, Christmas is just a couple of months away, so start shopping now with Bean's Boutique, Made for Me by Oaklie and StudioJules!

Final Two Days of My Birthday Sale

Today and tomorrow are the last two days of my Birthday Month Sale on Artfire! All Fat Quarter Bundles and Fabric by the Yard 50% off! All purchases are 10% off and Yes! that includes the Fat Quarter Bundles and Fabric by the Yard! Perfect two days to start your Christmas shopping! I've even modified my shipping charges for multiple items!And don’t forget, if you are on Facebook, you can access StudioJules via my ArtFire Kiosk!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day Three Quilting Adventures with Frieda Anderson

Today was our last day with Frieda Anderson and it was a complete joy. Frieda is a wonderful teacher and quilter and I feel blessed to be able to spend the past three days with her and the wonderful group of women who joined me with Quilting Adventures.
Frieda did a wonderful job of explaining and showing us how to start, progress and complete our machine quilting. I will admit, machine quilting has not been my area of expertise in the past, but from this day forward, it will improve! It was refreshing to listen and watch and then execute what we were learning today. Heck, I have needles that are self threading in my stash and had no idea what they were or what to use them for! Now I do and they are now my favorite notion!

Frieda, thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful learning experience and encouragement on stepping out of the box with fusing, quilting and sharing your beautiful hand dyed fabrics.
To all my new Quilting Adventure Friends, I hope you all arrived home safely and are ready to practice...practice...practice, and fuse...fuse...fuse. The time we spent together was so enjoyable and I love making new quilting friends! Mona, I hope you feel better!
To Barbara and Alice (Quilting Adventures), I will treasure the conversations and the encouragement that each of you shared and gave me. I admire your drive to allow us to learn under the best teachers in the quilting world. I'll be back!!!
To my blog followers, if you want a great group of ladies to retreat with, Quilting Adventures is the best! I promise, if you go on your own or with a friend, you will go home with a lot of knowledge, fabric and friends!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day Two Quilting Adventures with Frieda Anderson

Today was a great day. Freida had us put away the projects from yesterday and design our own project from the pictures we brought. Last night we had to complete some sketches from our pictures. I did two tree sketches that I really like, but to be able to complete the process in a day, I selected the easier one, duh.... Anyway, when I started placing the fabrics for the sky, I really liked the way it was developing, so I lost the idea for the ground and just did a beautiful blue, green, tan and purple fused background. It is always hard for me to start of selecting fabrics, I always end up changing my mind 100 times. This one turned out way different than I first expected.
After I was real happy with very excited about the background it was time to audition the tree fabric. This was just as hard as the background, but once I layed down the brown and turquoise fabric, I was pretty sold on it. This is one of Frieda hand dyed pieces and it is just beautiful, it actually looks like leather with turqouise layed on it. I just love to hold it!

The pink fabric you see in the corner is the fabric I picked to be the oak leaves of the tree. I'm anxious to finish this piece after I get home. It is really going to be stunning in my entry way!
Tomorrow will be our last day, Frieda is going to have us quilting all day and learning her techniques for beautiful and fluid quilting. Today she gave us a slide show of her studio and quilting examples.
It was a great time today. This group of ladies are the best. We have ladies here this week that are doctors, lawyers, CPA's, retired and fiber artists. All very supportive, genuine and challenging themselves to use the right side of the their brain!

Day One with Quilting Adventures and Frieda Anderson

Sunday and yesterday were great. Getting to know Frieda Anderson and meet the other ladies who came to the annual Fall Quilting Adventures has been a blast. Sunday we had a gathering to get acquainted and show what we have been working on and/or have finished from the last workshop. Then we had a "get to know" session with Frieda and saw a lot of her quilts and hand dyed fabrics, beautiful colors! Yesterday we had our first full day of creating a tree quilt. This picture above is how mine turned out. I love the vibrant colors. It is all hand dyed cotton except for the tree trunk, stems and roots ~ that is hand dyed silk. All of the hand dyed fabric I used today was from Frieda's stash (kit) that she handed out for us to use. We all opted to skip our break yesterday afternoon and continue working. Here are some pictures of our group.

We had homework for today. We had to create a few sketchs to create our own tree quilt today. We'll also be using our own fabrics...and what we want to buy from Frieda!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Busy Week

I am having a busy, busy week. I leave Saturday for Boerne, Texas. I am going to a workshop put on by Quilting Adventures out of Kerrville, Texas. Frieda Anderson is going to be the instructor for the three day workshop. I'm really excited to spend three days with other quilters and study under a quilter that loves color as much as I do!
This week has been full of appointments, errands and trying to get organized to pack my "supply list" and my clothes! My husband is going join me after the workshop is over with and spend an extra few days in Boerne, a little vacation at the end of summer.
One of the errands I did today was mail two boxes of fabric off to IBOL. I think this is an awesome ministry this serviceman is doing. Allowing us to touch people in such a special way! I love to touch fabric, and now I get to let my fabric touch others in another part of this awesome world. If you want info on IBOL see my previous post for the links.
Well, I've had the exterminator out today and the Sears repairman to stop the squeek in the washing machine. Now I'm off to get organized and pack some fabric to take to Boerne!
I'll blog some pictures next week from the workshop. Happy stitching!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Iraqi Bundles of Love

I was reading through some of the blogs that I follow and found a link to Iraqi Bundles of Love. This is an awesome act to send a bundle of sewing items over to Iraq to used. On the website is a FAQ section and how to make your bundle. The deadline to send items is coming close, September 7, 2009. Join me is sending a bundle to this selfless soilder to distribute to people in Iraq. OBOL is also on Facebook!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Three Day Birthday Sale at StudioJules!

Don't forget all Fabric by the Yard and Fat Quarter Bundles are marked down 50% at StudioJules on ArtFire! I wasn't able to offer this two days ago, on my actual birthday, but I can today....instead of 10% off EVERYTHING at StudioJules, for the next three (3) days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I am offering 25% off of EVERYTHING. Yes, that means that all Fabric by the Yard and Fat Quarter Bundles are 50% off and an additonal 25% off!!!
What A Deal!!!! Get it now, it may not be here later!

Friday, August 14, 2009

ArtFire Guild Monthly Contest

I think I mentioned before that I am in a couple of guilds with some of the other shop owners on ArtFire. One of them is called the "Shops With Less Than (10) Sales". Monthly they have a contest called "Where's Waldo", where shoppers can go to the different shops and look for the "Waldo" item they have listed. The August contest starts tomorrow, Saturday, August 15, 2009. It's a fun thing to do and there is a prize for the winner. The rules of the game will be posted tomorrow on the guild blog. You must follow the guild blog for the hints. So, go to the guild blog for
"Shops With Less Than (10) Sales" and join in the fun!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Networking is the name of the game when you are trying to meet others in your industry, it's that way in the Fiber Art world too. This past month I've been busy joining some of the professional organizations for Fiber Artists such as SAQA, Surface Design Association, and Dallas Area Fiber Artists. I've also joined several guilds and online networking sites. ArtFire has several guilds that are available, so I've joined one named Texas Artfire and another one that supports ArtFire shops that have minimal sales.
Shops with Less Than 10 Sales is an active guild supporting each other with ideas, contests and promotions to generate sales and traffic to each others shops. Both of these guilds have blogs too. Shops With Less Thans 10 Sales promotes different artists each month on their blog, plus there is a monthly contest for customers. Click on the link I just gave you for the blog and read about Rosetree Creations and Braggin' Rights. These are great shops with unique and fun handmade items.
Texas ArtFire is for Texans with shops on ArtFire. One of the great features on their blog is a block posting the sales and promotions of the Texas ArtFire members.
When you are on my blog and want to see what these two groups are up to, just click on the links in my section of "Blogs that I Follow" and check them out. If you are one of my fellow artisans and are looking for guilds to join on ArtFire, join in with us and have some fun networking!

Friday, August 7, 2009


As many of you know I love natural fibers. I found a great little shop on ArtFire that has beautiful hand dyed and hand spun fibers. Fiber Cycle has some awesome products made out of Bamboo, SW Merino/SeaCell, Rare Bread Wools and Silk. If you are in the market for fibers, this is a shop on ArtFire that you must visit! I've added it as one of my Markets on ArtFire! Hope you will too!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sunflower Center Progress

I was able to make progress on one of my sunflower quilts today. The first attempt that I made for the center of this quilt didn't turn out, but the second one did! I grabbed some cheese cloth, my paints and latex gloves and started painting the cheesecloth. I set it outside to dry and then I heat set it before I started working with it. Then I selected a scrap piece of batik looking fabric and started making circles and added a few scrap pieces on tulle and chiffon and circled those in too for texture and color. The next step was disfiguring the cheese cloth and completing the circles for the sunflower center. I used my 10" hoop to hold the fabric and then layered the cheesecloth so I could manipulate it as I wanted to as I was stitching. The first layer of circles are a dark brown Sulky thread and the top thread is a variegated thread by YLI. I used the variegated in the bobbin and if it showed through, then that gave more texture and contrast!
When you zoom in on the pictures you can really see the cheesecloth and circles.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hand Painted Fabric Day! Gotta Love the Burst of Color!

Yesterday was so much fun! I think I painted over 7 yards of fabric and I really didn't want to stop, but I had to get some other things done. I'm going to Blog these one at a time so I can tell you about each piece. When I started painting I was using foam paint brushes. At one point early on in the process I wanted to smooth out some of the brush strokes and like the feel of just using my hands, well I threw out the brushes and used my hands. So, these pieces are really handpainted! Being able to control the paint and the movement felt so good and led to some very interesting results.

This first piece is one of my favorites. My daughter-in-law says it belongs on a canvas and hung, as is. I think that is what I love about it so much, it is spontaneous, colorful and vibrant. It measures 1 yard and may be put into my Handmade items in StudioJules on ArtFire.

I decided to show these two pieces together because they are so similar. I painted them with my Sunflower Quilt Project in mind, knowing that I will need a variety of greens for the leaves. Each piece measures 1 yard and whichever piece I do not use, will be added to my Handmade items in StudioJules on ArtFire.

This piece is bursting with color. I just love the intensity of the pink, orange, red and yellow. This piece measures 1 yard and will be added to my Handmade items in StudioJules on ArtFire.

I painted these two pieces with my current Sunflower Quilt Project in mind. These two pieces will supply the petals for the Hand Painted SunFlower Quilt. I used Rock Salt on these two pieces for a bit to get some extra movement and texture for the sunflower petals. These are half yard pieces.

This was one of the first pieces I started with yesterday, along with the two previous half yard pieces. I love the vibrant colors and how they burst out of the fabric. This piece measures 1 5/8 yards and will be added to my Handmade items in StudioJules.

I really love this piece and it will be staying in my stash. I have a quilt stirring in my brain with this one. The first process I did with this piece was pleating the fabric and then painted a medium green horizontally, so underneath all the bursts of color are green stripes. It is a half yard piece.

I'm calling this 1/2 yard piece "Red White and Blue, and Some More!" because I added in little bits of green, yellow and orange. Then I wet the fabric and smudged it a bit, the red bled through a bit and when it ran with the blue, purple arrived in the piece. The blue is really turquoise, and it works beautifully in this piece, I think a darker blue would have dulled the movement of the red.
I haven't decided if this piece is going on ArtFire or not. What do you think? My stash or yours?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Painting Fabric

Today I am actually going to be able to get outside and paint fabric in my new paint station! My wonderful husband and son created a paint station for me at the end of our backyard walkway, where a hot tub use to live (previous owners). I have a little fence with a shelf to place my paints and whatever on and two stainless steel tables! I'm so excited! Today I'm going to work on painting fabric for one of the sunflower quilts that I am creating and additional fabric for my stash. If time permits I will paint fabric to put on my ArtFire account to sell.

By the way, like my new banner? Yesterday I worked all morning on this one and the one for my ArtFire Studio and was having a terrible time getting the size right. Emailed the ArtFire banner to my son and he had it fixed in less than 5 minutes. What would I do without him! Thanks Ben!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Birthday Sale at Studio Jules!

This is my Birthday Month, so I have decided to give YOU a Birthday Present. I have marked down the original price of all the “Fabric by the Yard” to $5 per yard and I have also marked all of the Fat Quarter Bundles to Half of the Original Price, that is $1 per Fat Quarter in each bundle!
In addition, I have marked down my entire Studio 10% for the entire month! Yes, that means the Fabric by the Yard and the Fat Quarter Bundles are an additional 10% off!

Enjoy my Birthday Present to You!

SAQA Silent Auction - September 10, 2009

SAQA has received 234 quilts for the 2009 auction. Here is the link to view the quilts SAQA 2009 Auction. Take a look at these quilts, they are inspiring, to say the least!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Birthday Sale at Studio Jules!

Today is my husband's birthday, so I'm celebrating by giving everyone 25% off their purchase at Studio Jules on ArtFire! If you been watching an item, this is the day to get it, this is a ONE DAY SALE!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Books to Review

Today is one of those days when I just couldn't climb the stairs and work in my Studio. Without a window to let the sunshine in, well, I just needed daylight today...the window is coming, I just don't know when.
So, I have reorganized my Blog a little bit and have added a page to my Face Book for StudioJules. I'm going to post book reviews and such out there and I hope you will sign up as a "Fan" and let me know what books you are reading and using in your art.
The two books I have in front of me now are "Clothdolls for Textile Artists" by Ray Slater and "Stitch Dissolve Distort with Machine Embroidery" by Valerie Campbell-Harding & Maggie Grey.
I am looking through "Stitch Dissolve Distort with Machine Embroidery" for some ideas to use on the Sunflower Quilts I'm working on right now. The results should be very interesting!
The "Clothdolls for Textile Artists" book is one that I have been wanting for awhile, so I bought it when Interweave was running their last sale. I can't wait to dive into making some Angel Dolls with the techniques they have in this book.
If you have used either of these books let me know what your thoughts!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunflower Quilts

Okay, you know I'm addicted to Sunflowers...first it was the shawl, now I'm working on developing two quilts. The pictures above are of a sunflower in my garden, I love the size and the colors in these flowers. I saw some sunflower pictures on the Internet that had water dripping from the petals, so I sprayed water on these flowers and started snapping pictures! After I uploaded the pictures I enhanced the color temp and saturation. Now it is up to me to choose the fabrics! As you know I love batiks and I love my hand painted fabrics, so one quilt will be out of batiks and one out of hand painted fabrics. I am anxious to see the difference in texture and moods these fabrics will bring to the eye, along with some mixed media. Hope you enjoy the adventure with me!