Posts Tagged ‘Color’

Monday wrap-up

So here it is the last day of April, and I’m still behind on the Quilt Studio 12x12x12 challenge.

But now, I’m only 1 month behind, instead of 2. Click to view this larger:


I was so tickled with my rainbow idea for the ABC Round Robin book (see yesterday’s post), that I did it again as a 12×12 quilt for myself.

It’s the same but different. It’s a 6 by 6 square of inchies, rather than the 6 by 7 rectangle for the book. You’ll also notice the addition of some buttons. And beads — the buttons on the inchies each have a black bead on top of them, in addition to the beads in the fringe. I love beaded fringe. I think I need to do more things with beads and buttons and fringe.

The funny thing is that my theme is supposed to be the Alphabet, with the idea that I will incorporate text on my quilts. Um yeah. Well, I forgot today. I had an idea that I was going to try, but I didn’t remember that I was going to try this idea until….the quilt was completely done. Oops. I still have a few ideas that I may play with, but for now, this is good enough. *I* know it is supposed to be a representation of “R is for Rainbow.”

Learned a few things from it. Still need to work on my satin stitch technique. I was brainstorming about why it is so messy, and it occurred to me that changing my needle might have helped. Any tips on how to do a clean satin stitch around the outside edge of a piece? The inchies are made of fabric fused to Timtex.

My next 12x12x12 is in progress. It’s covered with beads and buttons too. It’s taking me some time to do, but I hope to be done in a few days. And then I need to get going on something for May!


On a completely unrelated note, as I was looking through pictures, I realized that I never showed a picture of this little book I made. I saw these on Lisa‘s blog last week. She also provided a link to the tutorial where she learned how to make them, which is here.

I learned from this project that I am a very messy gluer. Actually, I knew that already, it was just driven home to me with this project. No matter how hard, I try I get glue allover the place. I’m not sure what my problem is. Maybe I need to go back to Kindergarten for some gluing lessons.

Last, but not least, I thought I’d show off a picture of my athletes. I didn’t get very many decent pictures at the soccer game on Saturday, but was glad that at least one of them had both boys in the same shot.


I think that’s all from me for today. I need to go sew on some more buttons and then go to bed.




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R is for Rainbow

I’m coming up against the due date for mailing on the ABC RR book that is currently in my possession.  I did Tiptoe through the Tulips a few days ago, but just haven’t found the right inspiration for my second spread in the current book.

Until this morning!

I started with a rectangle of Sulky Totally Stable.  I started cutting squares of fabric and laying them down in columns.  One side of the stabilizer is iron-on, so as I added a column of color, I would lightly press it to get it to stick.

After I got all of the columns laid out, I got out some thread.


I did a little free-motion squiggle on each column in a matching color.  After I was done stitching, I cut the rectangle up into 1-inch wide sections.  I thought I was going to be able to get away with just the Totally Stable, but when I tried to Zig-Zag the edges, it proved to be too fragile.  So, I fused on some fusible Timtex.

Here’s what it looked like after I  had cut the columns apart, fused it to the Timtex, and zig-zagged down both sides of the columns.  dsc01942.jpg

The next step was to cut each column in to a 1-inch square, and then zig-zag the other 2 edges.

Here’s all 42 of my inchies:


I have admired the inchies I’ve seen on various people’s websites.  The thing is that the pictures on websites are very deceiving as to the actual size of these puppies.  Inchies are extremely small.

All of this work of sewing things together and then cuttnig them back apart was so that I could end up with the following page spread for the ABC RR book:

The edges are curled a little, the glue is still wet.  After it finishes drying, I’ll be mailing this book on, and hopefully seeing another one showing up soon!


After I fused the inchies on to the blue sky background, I stitched across with matching thread, just to catch them.  I had to add the black edging because I had managed  to cut the blue sky backgrounds too short.  Duh.  There is also a ribbon dangling down the center with letter charms on it that spell out “RAINBOW.”

I’m very pleased with how this turned out, and I’m actually contemplating how I can use some of the ideas I had for this page spread for a different project for myself.  For now, though, I’d better go clean up my mess and find something else to do.



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One of my favorite albums growing up was by Harry Chapin.  I think it was a Live album.  Recently, my DH and I got a greatest hits type album.  I was a little disappointed that one of my favorites wasn’t even on it (30,000 Pounds of Bananas).  I did discover some new-to-me songs of his and one of them has been running around in my brain a lot lately.

It’s called Flowers are Red.  Like most of Chapin’s songs, it is a story.   The most effective way for you to understand is to actually read the lyrics:

Lyrics to Harry Chapin’s Flowers Are Red (orig. released on Living Room Suite, 1978)[1]

(“Rant, rant, rant, rant, rant, rant” – It’s an education beat.)

The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and started to draw
He put colors all over the paper
For colors was what he saw
And the teacher said, “What you doin’ young man?”
“I’m paintin’ flowers,” he said
She said, “It’s not the time for art young man
And anyway flowers are green and red
There’s a time for everything young man
And a way it should be done
You’ve got to show concern for everyone else
For you’re not the only one”

And she said,
“Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen”

But the little boy said,
“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

Well the teacher said, “You’re sassy
There’s ways that things should be
And you’ll paint flowers the way they are
So repeat after me,” And she said,

“Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen”

But the little boy said,
“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

The teacher put him in a corner
She said, “It’s for your own good”
And you won’t come out ‘til you get it right
And are responding like you should”
Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said… and he said,

“Flowers are red, green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen”

Well, time went by like it always does
And they moved to another town
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found
The teacher there was smiling
She said, “Painting should be fun
And there are so many colors in a flower
So let’s use every one”

But that little boy painted flowers
In neat rows of green and red
And when the teacher asked him why
This is what he said… and he said,

“Flowers are red, green leaves’r green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen.”

But there still must be a way to have our children say,

“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

[1] Lyrics ©1996-2002 Harry Chapin, taken from www.harrychapin.com; album information
from www.allmusic.com.

Are you still with me?  It’s a beautiful song to listen to.  Chapin is masterful at using instrumentation and his voice to add to the story.  When he is the little boy, he changes his voice, sweet and wonderful at the beginning, sad and depressed at the end.

Which all brings me to my subject line.  Elephants are grey, right?  Nope, not today.  Today, my elephant is blue with red polka dots.  (This is day 5 of my decorated business cards).


And tree trunks are brown, right? 

I’ve been thinking about my first 12x12x12 and the tree I’m trying to depict.  I had decided to use threadpainting, and yesterday I stood contemplating my thread colors.  The first thing I discovered is that most of my browns are actually tans, and weren’t dark enough for what I wanted.  It also occurred to me that I was thinking "brown" like the color of a brown Crayola crayon.


Well, that’s a very nice brown, but really — how many trees are that actual color?  My dogs thought I was nuts running around the yard taking pictures of trees (and it was kind of cold, so it was kind of crazy…)  But look!  These tree trunks don’t look brown to me — they are more grey and silvery and green and can you see the lines of red running through them?  Wow.  Now that I look at them more closely, they actually make me think of elephants, but maybe that’s just because I have elephants on the brain at the moment.


My tree is supposed to be more stylized than realistic, but already I feel like even in stylizing it, I’m going to do a better job today than I would have even a week ago when I still thought that tree trunks were brown.

Last night I did play with some threadpainting on the longarm.   And even though I did use a few of my browns, I threw in some olive green, and the color is not so bad.    I have some technical issues to deal with as far as what I ended up with.  I used a water soluble stabilizer, so the tree trunk is just thread.  I didn’t catch the edges well enough, so it’s falling apart around the edges, but I know what do to differently next time.  Plus, I think I have an idea as to how I can still use what I made last night.

Well, I have now well-exhausted my morning computer time, so I’d better go get something useful done.  I did manage to finish a customer quilt yesterday, and need to go get some more done.  If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me on my journey of discovery.  I’m having so much fun and can’t wait until I have my next epiphany!

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A Colorful Meme — Red answers

A month or so ago I found this meme over on a blog that I like to read (Red Shoe Ramblings).  There are actually questions that go along with all of the colors, but I’m getting tired and am only going to post the questions that go along with my current obsession — Red!

Before I do, I have to say that I have been reminded today of why I need to take a break from customer quilts.  I fully appreciate the fact that just because a certain quilt is not to my taste, doesn’t mean that it is bad or anything like that — I appreciate that people have different tastes, and that the quilt they have made is meaningful to them.  Even though I *get* this, I am unable to enjoy working on some quilts that are just really awful.  They suck the creative life out of me.

On a happier note, I did spend part of the day working on a new entry for the Have a Heart contest sponsored by Unlimited Possibilities.  I think this new version is going to turn out pretty nicely.  More about that tomorrow, maybe.

And now, on to the red portion of today’s post:


1. Closest red thing to you? The walls in my office/laundry room. It’s a red with a lot of pink in it, but it
is definitely red.

2. Has anyone ever cheated on you in a relationship? Not to
my knowledge!

3. Last thing to make you angry? My former long distance
company and their horrible customer service. Yesterday I probably spent 45 minutes on the phone with three different
people, at least one of whom was difficult for me to understand as English was
not her first language. The first person
was completely worthless, the second one had me on the phone for 20 minutes
before she finally determined that she couldn’t actually help me, and the third
was actually able to do what I wanted (i.e. cancel my service), but could not
(or would not) accept that I should have gotten a refund, considering the fact
that I thought I had canceled my service way back in September. Grrr. Can
you tell I am still angry about this?

4. Are you a fan of romance? Hmm. Romance as in flowers and
poetry and heart-shaped candy boxes? No,
not really. That kind of stuff is nice
and all, but at the end of the day what you’ll probably end up with is a bunch
of dead flowers and an extra couple of pounds because you ate all of the candy. If the intent is romance as in romantic
stories (i.e. books or movies…), then my answer is sort of. I can’t stand the really sappy silly
Harlequin-type romance novels, but I have read lots of books that are centered
on romance that are truly wonderful. I
also enjoy a good chick-flick, but only sometimes.

5. Have you ever been in love? Yes! And still am with my
wonderful husband.

6. Do you have a temper? I’m guessing the intent of the
question was to ask if the respondent has a bad
temper – a temper in which he/she is quick to anger. I would have to answer this one no. Mostly. My children seem to know how to push my buttons, and I can get upset
with them probably more quickly than I ought to (and who is the adult in this
house??), but in general I would say that no, I do not have a temper.

I can’t decide if I’m going to try to answer the rest of the questions that go with the other colors right away or if I’ll wait until I am focusing on those colors.  Some of the questions are kind of odd.  In the blog-reading I’ve been doing, I’ve had a suspicion that some of the memes I have read were originally written by teenagers.  It is definitely an interesting way to read about and get to know people, and if anybody wants a copy of the complete list of colorful questions, I’d be happy to send it to you.  Just leave a comment or send me an e-mail!

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Take Heart!

It’s finished!  Well, almost — it still needs a hanging sleeve, but…it’s done enough for me to want to show it off.

Click on the picture to view it larger.

The impetus for this piece came from two sources.  First off, the Fast Friday Challenge group’s challenge last Friday was to create an odd-shaped small quilt.  The only "rule" was the shape — everything else was maker’s choice.  The second idea behind the quilt was to maybe make something that would fit the guidelines for the Have a Heart contest sponsored by Unlimited Possibilities.  Keep in mind, that I already had an idea for that contest, and the start of that quilt is still on my design wall where I abandoned it last week to work on this idea. 

OK, a third idea that came into play was wanting to continue playing with red.  Can you imagine?

As part of the challenge, the moderator gave us a website to visit for pictures of quilts that are most definitely rectangles or squares or anything close.  The artist is Sonji, and she creates some very wonderful, unique pieces. 

Several weeks ago, I had written down all of the sayings with the word "heart" in them that I could think of.  I picked one of them (take heart) and started doodling.  I didn’t want to imitate Sonji’s pieces, so I tried to think of other ways I could use the words and create something that was oddly shaped.  One of my original sketches was to have the quilt itself be a rectangle, with the some of the letters hanging off the edges.

I picked a font, printed the letters out and went into my studio to get busy.

Dsc00427 I threw the background fabric up on my design wall and cut out the letters.  I stuck them up and just started playing.  Eventually I decided to contain the letters on the background, but took my chalk and started drawing outlines that sort of vaguely followed the overall line of the words.  Vaguely.  I cut it out (freehand with the rotary cutter…).  Layered with batting and did the applique.  Then I got the wild idea to make the tabs for the outer edges to mimic the letters.  And of course, my heart had to have the same tabs.

Figured out how to make the tabs, enveloped the quilt and turned it right side out and stitched in the ditch around the letters on my DSM with clear thread.  I thought it would be faster than trying to figure out how to load it up on the longarm.  I was reminded of exactly why I’m a longarmer…..

This is the point at which the quilt started talking to me.  I tried beads, but those were too subtle.  I’m not even entirely sure what possessed me with the buttons, but I started laying out long lines of them and eventually drew in some chalk lines I liked and started sewing them on. 

Dsc00426 The hardest part was deciding what to do on the heart itself.  I have some letter charms that I tried to use, but they weren’t cutting it.    I wanted to add in the words "care of your" to add extra meaning to the phrase.  I’m feeling especially clever about the many meanings that the words on this quilt have.   I wanted the TAKE HEART to mostly stand out, and the rest to be there, but not be as important or as obvious.  I wish it were a little more subtle, but I’m OK with what I did end up with. 

Well.  If you have actually gotten this far, I applaud you!  Most of that was probably really boring, but it’s been interesting for me to sit here and think about how I got from point A to point B.  There are a few leaps in there that I’m not sure I can exactly explain even to myself.  One thing I did was to not let myself think too hard about the decisions.  No agonizing allowed.

So now that it is all done, I’ve actually gotten quite attached to it, and I’m not sure I’m going to use it for the Unlimited Possibilities contest.  Part of that is because the only machine quilting is that poor edge stitching around the letters.  It’s a machine quilting magazine!  I’d like to show off a little more than this does, I think.

I’m thinking about going back to my previous idea and seeing if I can make it work.  I also have another idea to do this piece again but different.  More quilting (on the longarm), less buttons.

By the way.  The total button count is 203. 

All but 2 were by hand.  I started doing them on my Bernina and decided that was using too much thread (they don’t actually have to be functional, so they don’t need to be *that* secure!) and it was taking longer to fuss with getting the button placed, the quilt under the needle, etc, etc, etc, than if I were to do them by hand.  I’m not sure if I’m right or not, but the satisfaction of being able to say they are all by hand is pretty high!

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Red postcard

Most of you probably know about the Fiberart For A Cause fundraiser in which artists from around the world created fiber postcards.  These postcards were used as thank yous for a $30 donation to the American Cancer Society.  The project has raised over $110,000 in just 18 months. 

My friend Lynn got to go to Houston this year to Int’l Quilt Market and Festival, where the postcards were available. I asked her to make a donation and pick out a postcard for me.  I received mine today, and I’m very excited about what she picked:

Dsc00367Keep in mind that she picked this out for me almost a month ago.  Do you suppose she could see into the future and know that I would be on a red kick right now? (Thank you, Lynn, for picking out such a cool postcard for me…)


A few weeks ago, somebody somewhere (on one of the many lists I belong to) was talking about how to display fiber postcards.  One of the ideas was a photo album-y thing they had gotten at IKEA.  Well, guess what!  I have one just like it, only mine came from Target about a million years ago.  I had only ever managed to stick one picture in it (there is a frame on the other side that flips over, but I wouldn’t use it on the postcards, as it "mats" it to a smaller size).

Now all I need to do is fill it up with more postcards!  I’ve thought about joining the art2mail project, but I think that involves more postcards than I can commit to making at this time.

How’s this for a deal: if you send me a postcard to fill up my frame, I’ll send you a postcard in return.  If you are interested in trading with me, send me an e-mail and I’ll give you my mailing address!

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Stained Glass Pine Tree

About a year ago, a stained glass business opened in my small town. Dreamland Productions is the company — they do beautiful, beautiful work.

Over the weekend, they had a few pieces on display at our quilt show — one of them caught my eye, and today I decided to go get it and bring it home.

Isn’t it pretty?  It looks much better hanging in the sun.  I’m not exactly sure where to put it.  Maybe in one of the windows in my studio.  Maybe in one of the kitchen windows.

I love the shapes in the design.  It also kind of ties in with the great big pine tree we have out in front of our house.  I should get a picture of that tree some day.

More red things:

Dorothy’s ruby slippers
clown nose
red hot candies

I did do some work on a project that is using some of my new red thingies, but it’s not far enough along to share, plus it’s for a contest, so I might not share it at all until after the contest is finished.

Speaking of the contest, it’s for a very good cause. Unlimited Possibilities is sponsoring the contest:  "Have a Heart" Competition — all entry fees will be donated to the American Heart Association, and after the quilts are done touring, they’ll be auctioned off to benefit the AHA.  Quilts have to be 1/4 red fabric and include at least one heart motif.  You can find out more about the contest on the Unlimited Possibilities website.

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