Sunday, December 29, 2013

Building a Fabric House

Recently I was delighted to be part of a lovely conspiracy - making a house portrait for a mother to give her daughter as a surprise for Christmas. What made it even better was that the two parties concerned are dear friends, Sharon of the blog Sallymomsprouts and her daughter Anne of My Giant Strawberry.

First, a photo of the house from Anne's mom

Next, photos of Anne's pets, gleaned from her blog

Then, a drawing of the house

And a version in colored pencil and cut paper, with animal faces in the windows

Fabrics selected, shapes cut out and prepared for fusing

Picture fused and machine embroidered

Little faces in the windows

Border added with embroidered vine...

Picture completed and mailed in time for Christmas!!

Unfortunately I wasn't able to finish another project I had hoped to complete, but it is first on my list for the new year. Thank you for your patience, Julie.

Hope you have had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Christmas!

Wishing you



and Joy,

for Christmas and the New Year!

To all my blogging friends,
 thank you for visiting me here throughout these past 7 years. 
I have loved getting to know you through your blogs, 
and look forward to sharing a new year of ideas,
artwork, and the wonderful happenings of  our everyday lives!

Big hugs to all of you
and Merry, Merry Christmas!!

Love, Judy 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Quilt Collage Class Update

Last night was our 5th quilt collage class with Amy Ropple
 after arriving, everyone quickly spread out their collages and got to work.

My friend Barbara, who makes costumes for a local theater company as well as running a machine quilting business, decided to use this beautiful gown as the subject of her collage.

It's even more stunning in person and you can see the beautiful quilting in the background.

Another class member, Amy, is working on this coffee themed collage with a pieced background.

I love the graphic quality  and the colors.

Barbara (we have 2 Barbaras and 2 Amys!), who fosters cats available for adoption,
chose to work on this collage of one of her babies!

It looks so sweet against the blue background.

I spent time beading the center of one of my poppies,

and our instructor, Amy, worked on one of her beaded vessels.

These classes are a lot of fun and there's a good amount of chatting and laughing
going on as we bead and stitch. Our last class is scheduled for the week after New Year's and by that time we should have our beading and embellishment finished and be ready for borders. Lots of work to do before then!!

Meanwhile, today I caught our two cats napping in the dining room with sunshine streaming through the windows - pure contentment. Just had to snap a photo!

Hope you've had a great week so far!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Quilt Collage Class Update

I've been taking the quilt collage class with Amy Ropple for 4 weeks now.
Here are some pictures of the progress I've made with my quilt.

This was my original drawing, which turned out to be a bit complicated,

so I simplified it and cut out shapes from fabric.

Then I added some fabric scraps and trims to the border,

added black tulle over everything and machine quilted the whole thing.

I've started adding beads and will continue this in the next class on Wednesday.

This is a very different approach to appliqué than what I'm used to -
no fusing at all, so beading is much easier with softer fabric.
The overlayer of black tulle holds everything down and adds a depth to all the colors -
hard to see in this photo.

I'll be happy to finish this project , but it has been a very enjoyable experience!
I'll post more photos later!

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

First Snowfall

The snow! How silently it falls,
A lacy curtain for the walls
and windows of the winter sky.
See how it drifts for hours and hours
And blankets all the beds where flow'rs
In slumber lie.
And trees, with outstretched arms embrace
The lovely, fragile, folds of lace
That downward fly.

To watch this white tranquility,
Another person could not be
As glad as I.

Written when I was very young - probably when studying the Romantic Poets!

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Bookcase Makeover

As part of our recent house renovation, we moved
some furniture around and changed things up a bit.
This narrow bookcase used to be in our living room, 

but I decided to move it to the dining room to balance 
my mom's curio cabinet which is in the opposite corner of the room.

The curio cabinet has a gold-tone back, and the bookcase is very dark,
so I went to the art supply store and bought some decorative gold paper,

cut, measured and adhered it to the back of each shelf,

added a holiday candle to the top, some books and pieces 
of my great-grandmother's china to the shelves,

and voila! A nice result with very little effort - what do you think?

Off to do some sewing!

Hope your week is going well!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fabric Sketch

I'm so happy that I found a few minutes today to do this fabric sketch.
Should have added whiskers!!

Hope your day is going well!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Quilt Collage Class

Last night I went to my quilt collage class, with my vase of flowers cut out and glue-sticked on to muslin. I had simplified the design drastically when I saw how much work my original drawing would be, with so many pieces. I'll hold on to that drawing and some day make an appliqué picture out of it.

Original drawing

We cut our image away from the muslin and auditioned different backgrounds. This is what I came up with - both fabrics from my friend Barbara's stash. Nothing in my bag o' fabric seemed to work.

Meanwhile, our homework for next week is to make a quilt sandwich of our collage, glued on to the background, with batting and backing. Then we are to free-motion quilt it by machine. This is something I've done very little of, so it will be an adventure for sure! When that is done the real fun begins as we add beading and embellishments! Be warned - this will get very bling-y!!

Hope to get to those fabric sketches tomorrow.
Hope your week is going well!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fabric Sketching or Sketching with Scissors?

I'm doing some quick 'fabric sketches' this month. just for the fun of it and because I have SO much fused fabric! I'm putting a time limit on this - say 1/2 hour, and using whatever scraps of fused fabric I come up with each day - mostly free-form cutting - I could call it "Sketching With Scissors" - just thought of that! If any come out well I can finish them with stitching. A challenge for myself!
Just trying to keep the creative juices flowing now that Art Every Day Month is over…

So, here is today's quickly cut sketch. I used leftover fabric from yesterday's piece. The leaves ended up being too dark for the background so I spent time fussy cutting lighter edges for them. Too much fussing!! All in all, it ended up taking almost an hour. I'll give it a B- .

Now I'm off to do some much needed house cleaning!

Hope you are having a great day!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

AEDM Day 30 - Fabric Sketch

I'm sad that this is the last day of Art Every Day Month!
I certainly didn't make something every day, 
but this challenge made me think about what I might create every day
and I followed up on a few of those ideas.
I felt as though I looked at my day in a different way, daydreaming
about design ideas and about trying different media,
walking around with a creative buzz going on in my head.
Many thanks to Leah for hosting AEDM, as she has done for over 10 years.
It is a great group of artists and I've enjoyed the exchange of greetings and comments.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

AEDM Day 28 - Giving Thanks

Throughout my life,
I have always had a lot to be thankful for.
Today I'm grateful for my life, my dear family, 
 my wonderful friends,
and all the blessings that surround me every day.

I wish abundant blessings for you, my blogging friends.
You make my life so much richer.
For you,
I give a heartfelt
Thank You!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

AEDM Day 26 - Fused Flowers

I've missed a couple of days of AEDM, and today I was searching for a quick project to do.
I came across a box in my studio closet which reminded me of something I used to love doing...

Making cards!
These are some original cut-outs I've done, made with scraps of fused fabrics. I would have them printed on textured paper, mount the prints on cards and sell them in a craft co-op.

The box I found today contained backgrounds and vases which I had previously cut, along with "stems" and "leaves".

I used a linen background, chose some scraps of fused fabrics and started cutting.

Once petals and leaves are cut, it's almost meditative to arrange them in the fabric vase,  embroider the flower centers, iron everything down, mount it on colored card stock and glue it on a blank card.

This will make a nice note card for someone special!

Hope you're having a great day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

AEDM Day 23 - Quilt Collage Class Update

I had a great time at our class with Amy Ropple Wednesday night.
This is the drawing I'm working from.

Our next step was to trace and number all the pieces that make up the drawing on to freezer paper.
I have 80 pieces! I never thought about that when I was drawing!

After that we were to iron the pieces onto fabric and cut them out.

I never even got to that step, but will do it for 'homework',
since we have no class this coming week.

Amy brought one of her parrots, Cairo, to the class and he sat on her shoulder the entire time,
with only a couple of squawks ! Can you believe his beautiful color?

She also brought more of her own work for inspiration. 
Some of these are works in progress. This is one talented lady!!

One last thing - I began 'auditioning' some fabrics for my collage -
what do you think?

Thanks for visiting!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 22, 2013

AEDM Day 22 - Three Days in November

I was 15 years old, in Latin class in the parochial high school I attended in Boston,
when Mother Antonia's voice announced over the loud speaker,
 that President Kennedy had been shot.
As high school girls, we idolized this handsome president, 
his beautiful wife Jackie and their adorable children.
We were frozen in disbelief, tears were shed, school was dismissed.
and we rode home on public transportation in stunned silence.
No iPhones then to call our parents, keep up with events,
divert ourselves with entertaining apps.

For the next few days we were glued to the TV, watching the continuous news coverage.
My sister on the left with her pouffy "flip",
I on the right with my curly bubble cut.
As we sobbed, we watched in awe as the dignified Mrs. Kennedy led the nation 
in honoring her slain husband.

Today's Boston Globe, with an insert replicating the front page of that historic day,
brought back a flood of memories. 

Where were you (or were you even around then?) when you heard the news?