Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Silhouette Art Quilt

Many years ago, my mother commissioned an artist to complete a silhouette drawing of my two brothers and me. Each was individually beautiful, with their distinct black profile against the light background. Back then, it was all done by hand, no computer images and the drawing software creator probably wasn't even born yet. Oops, there's my age peeking out. Anyway, I've dreamed of one day creating a silhouette of my daughter's profile, but since my drawing abilities are next to none, I've never tackled it. I was flipping through books at the library this week and saw this idea from Alicia Paulson to create a silhouette art quilt. Hey, I just love freezer paper, and since that was the main component in creating a template for the picture to paint, it sounded like something I could do.
So first I took a profile shot with my digital and then printed it on my regular printer to the size needed. I traced the outline onto freezer paper, then cut out the center, leaving the outer part of the pattern intact. Then I ironed the freezer paper to fabric, shiny side down. and applied fabric paint to the pattern's hole, carefully working around the edges. You don't want the edges to curl up, so be gentle and work from the paper's edges towards the center. After letting it dry overnight, I ironed the piece from the back side to set the paint. The kind of fabric paint I had has some puffiness to it too, so once ironed, it added a bit of dimension which turned out pretty cool. The fabrics are all torn and layered a bit skewed, and then onto a piece of wool felt that has been cut with pinking shears.
That's it. Super easy, and it looks just wonderful on my wall. Best of all, my daughter loved it too, as some day it will go to her as a memory of a time gone by.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A little prim for the rear end

Sitting in the bleachers waiting for my little one to get through cheer practice can really drag on, so I always try to keep my hands busy. These chair pads have been on my 'to do' list for a while, as we have 2 captain chairs in my kitchen/bar area that need some help to make them look just a little primitive. Right now they squeal 1980's with their gold accents, so I really need to give them a thorough painting makeover too. However, I'm really not much of a painter (except for my walls), so I keep putting that project off.
So for now, I made these and they came together pretty quickly, since all of the details are done in black, and the stitching is easy, portable and fairly relaxing. A little batting, some machine sewing, and poof...they're ready for the usual crumbs and spills that kids dish out. And now that my daughter has a fondness for my iced coffees, that should just prim them up quite nicely!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pear perfection

As we roll through August, I'm reminded of the crisp fruit that is just about ripe here in Washington. Of course, we're known for being one of the biggest apple producing locations in the US, and boy, there is nothing like a fresh juicy apple! But for some reason, I'm partial to the shape and delightful colors of a beautiful pear. While the pear isn't my favorite to eat, it is one of my favorites to create. Recently, I picked up some golden hand dyed wool with all the hues of a luscious pear. I saw this painting project and decided that I would create it in wool, and I think it looks just perfect. The size is quite small, and it fits nicely on a tiny round end table that is in my entry hall.
Add a bowl of these painted muslin pears with cinnamon stick stems and you have a wonderful August display!
Hmm, maybe now might be a good time to head to the produce stand for some fresh fruit?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pin Keep Passion

I have found a new love. The love of a beautiful place to store the multitude of pins gracing my sewing room. These little gems are made with wool and are affixed to teeny tiny tartlet pans. They make a beautiful display together; however, my favorite is the hydrangea (at the bottom, left). What a neat idea for someone who does a lot of stitching! These are available on my Facebook fan page under the "Shop Now" category. I've been working up a few more penny rugs to share soon and am starting my Halloween celebration items for an upcoming promotion. Whew, and it will be nice to have more time available once school starts in just two weeks. This summer certainly went fast!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Three little lambs

Sometimes knowing that a friend is always there for you, no matter how little you get together or chat is worth so much. A dear friend of mine, Marie, is just that person. We've been through a lot together, growing at each stage, but there is one thing that Marie does for me better than anyone I know (other than my hubby!). She supports my desire to create in every way. Marie is a beautiful, creative person herself, and certainly could make most anything, as she continues to shine in her successful crafty businesses.
A while back we discussed a wool piece to reflect her three little lambs (aka girls). One who is 11 and 6 year old twins. I came up with this piece and finally completed it for her. It's made with hand dyed wool and the little lambs have been needle felted. The pink flowers are to resemble forget-me-nots, which have little stars in their centers (didn't know this until she pointed them out in her yard). Hope she likes it!
If you'd like to see Marie's work, check her out on Etsy ( She makes beautiful glass beads and art pieces that are known world wide!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Grandma with the red lips...

As some of you know, my paternal grandmother was a big influence in getting me interested in hand embroidery. She is now 87 years old and still makes the most beautifully stitched tea towels. For years I have treasured the two sets in my possession, using one and keeping the other in new condition. As we embarked on the incredibly long journey to visit her a few weeks ago, I had forgotten that I had asked for a new set from her a year ago. Imagine my delight at receiving this beautiful set!
Now, Grandma doesn't just whip these up. She is VERY particular about the quality of fabric, size of the towel and makes sure that the threads are pulled before hemming to ensure a straight towel. These babies are starched and pressed to perfection after washing. The stitching is exquisitely perfect in detail, as beautiful on the back as it is on the front. Grandma often muses about the times in her early life that she was in awe of her own grandmother's talent at making these towels. What an incredible history of loving care. And as I listen to her talk of times past, I'm reminded of those afternoons spent stitching with her as a young girl myself. Her kind attention and encouragement always made me want to do more. They represent a special place in her heart and in mine.
Here's to you, Grandma. And if you're curious as to how she achieved noteriety as "Grandma with the red lips," well that's thanks to my daughter who remembers this very special lady by the beautiful smile she always has. Grandma just relishes in being known by this, as she's got a tale about her very first tube of lipstick that'll make you just giggle...times were different then for sure, but this lady is timeless to me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Come on! Let's celebrate!!!

As a newer member to a great group of talented primitive artisans, I am just in awe of the beautiful items now available in our Autumn Celebration promotion. I hope you'll take the time to check out these by typing in ACOFG in the search section at You won't be disappointed!