Monday, September 26, 2016

Rebel with a Cause

My color palette for this particular project. The top is my own artwork printed by Spoonflower in black and white, and I colored it in and heat set it. The dots and stripes are made by RJR fabrics.  Aren't they fun?

I was contacted by The Quilt Show to make a bear in my signature style. Rare Bears website

RARE Science is a non- profit research organization that focuses on accelerating identification of more immediate therapeutic solutions for kids with rare disease potentially through repurposing currently approved drugs and other therapeutic approaches.

The bears will be on display at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas this fall in the Quilt Show booth


I placed the pattern just where I wanted it for the body. There were certain words and objects that I wanted to  be visible

I agonized about this project for days, because I was uncomfortable with making seams and using stuffing. I have never been good about making animals or dolls. I'd rather have the open seams on the outside, rather than turn them inside out, but I forged ahead because I made a commitment

I felt like it was quite the stuggle to even get his head made. Yes, it's a 'he.'

Arms and body. I might have wanted to plan this better and switch out the colors a bit, so they weren't the same on each side. Oh well. I am growing tired of ripping out seams. I had to hunt for my seam ripper, because I never use it.

I hand sewed his black felt nose on and then decided that he needed kinda dorky eyes. They are made with felt and hand sewn.  I love his head.

This the exact part that I messed up on. Pattern writers should have clear illustrations on what to do next. I could not figure this out to save my life. A couple of friends gave me suggestions, because they had already made their bears. Deep breaths. I forged ahead because I want to get this bear made.

He's wondering too if he will get any legs or arms


When in doubt, just change the pattern and make it right for you. My bear will be different from everyone else's. I am okay with that. Variety is the spice of life.
He's looking pretty cute!

Don't you just love the color Orange?


and he has a red zipper with aluminum teeth sewn on the back as an extra bonus.  You can see my bear on  The Quilt Show here

My bear is a Rebel with a Cause. Dedicated to my step-son (dbfs) who was diagnosed with a rare cancer this year. This became very personal to me. I kept going on this difficult project, because my son has forged ahead with his treatment like a champ. If he can do all of these really hard things, I can at least make this bear.  Love you, Dan.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Craft Napa 2017 - I am Teaching!

I am so excited to be teaching for a second year at Craft Napa!  These are the amazing and colorful postcards to advertise the retreat weekend in Napa, California - Hope you can join us for the weekend!  January 12-15th - Registration is OPEN

I am gathering the fabric for both of my classes.  I want to make it easy for my students by providing the fabric!  You can view what I am teaching on the Crafting a Life website here

This is a detail from the Hexi Art Quilts class.  We will use Sizzix die cutting machines, which is way more fun than fussy cutting each hexi out by hand. Are you tempted?  This class is on Saturday!

Hexi Art Quilts uses only two fabrics to create an optical illusion

Twirly Whirly Swirls is a full day class that also uses Sizzix die cutting machines.  I mean really, who wants to cut out spirals by hand?  Not me!  This gives the artist much more freedom to create a really awesome quilt.

another detail of what the swirls

This is a detail of the actual quilt that we will make in the class! Twirly Whirly Swirls is on Friday!
Zen Stitching - if you follow me on Instagram, you have seen a variety of these felt constructions. This is a 3-hour night class on Thursday. Imagine a sewing circle, hand sewing, chatting, laughing and creating your own zen landscape. Zen Stitching - just for fun!  Hope you can join us for a very unique experience in Napa!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Drawing and Stitching

One of my newest projects that I've been working on are these white linen pieces that are hand stitched with black perle cotton 8 thread. The center piece is hand drawn with a Pitt Pen on rolling papers. Yes, you heard it right, rolling papers. The kind you roll your own with. They are very small and fragile. Mistyfuse is on the backs of the rolling paper and fused to the white linen. The white linen is also fused with Mistyfuse to wool blended felt for easier hand sewing. They are around 5x5

Tulip with circles

House with tulip and landscape. I love how the image sort of becomes part of the white linen, and it is hard to tell how it was drawn. Gotta love that!

It takes a village. Yes, I do make mistakes, and this is a perfect example. The top portion looks a little weird, only because I ripped out the very complicated sky that I created, and did something simple. My goal is to have some of the stitches hit the edges of the rolling paper. I am pretty happy with how the group has turned out so far. I may mount them on watercolor paper and put in plastic sleeves. This has been a really fun project

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Favorite Things in the Studio

 Havel's Sewing tools of the trade. Snips for the sewing machine table, pinking sheers, rotary cutter, scissors.

A wooden paper dispenser from Ikea (kids dept) for rolling out a 12" wide bolt of Mistyfuse

My first Bernina. 153 QE from 2001

My Bernina 750 QE

Inspiration wall of my favorite quilts

The best iron ever. It has a flat bed, dry and doesn't shut off, unless you un plug it. I buy two at a time. Continental is the brand. Amazon.

Sizzix die cutting machine, portable - Fabi (same as a Big Shot)

Wire racks on wheels.  I buy them at Target, and I have to put them together.  They are incredibly sturdy and I can move them easily.

Bakers rack. I friend of mine closed her catering business and offered me this. It is a fabulous 'project cart,' with slide out trays
Sizzix Big Shot Pro (not portable), but the greatest for cutting large dies. It is on a table with wheels which makes it nice!

a really big design table with room to sit all around it, and with storage underneath. I had it custom made for my studio

Ikea CD shelving is the greatest for storing fat quarters and other small cuts of fabric. I wish I had bought more at the time, so I could have 6

When I start questioning myself, I look at the bottom shelf of all of the publications that my work has been in since 2003. I have value, I have a voice, I can do this.  And there is Yvonne Porcella staring back at me from the Mistyfuse package, and I smile

My vintage Royal typewriter, which has been the model for my typewriter quilts. The apple and dog were made by my friend, Cindy Cooksey!

World globe from my dad's office that I collaged with pieces of my life. The dream big sign, made out of license plates was a great find at a store in Santa Barbara

A few of my favorite things

Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer Trip - Part 2

Elandan Gardens - getting our zen on

This place had the most amazing gardens with a concentration on Bonsai trees. I just loved the views, trees and gorgeous setting. It also had the best gallery store!

I love a tree with a beautiful blue sky behind it

I could just bask in the glow of this view

Great sculptures too

I see quilts everywhere

Art glass hanging from the trees

and some picturesque ponds

bonsai, pronounced bones eye



Steve and Steve


the guys getting ready to go fishing for the day
a little game of pool

Out to lunch with Steve & Mary with Steve and me.  We had such a great trip!