Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Capturing Brittany Wins in Grand Rapids AQS Show!

I'm very excited to announce that my piece, Capturing Brittany, just won Best Machine Workmanship in the AQS Show in Grand Rapids yesterday!  How exciting to win a great prize like this for a technical skill and design.  I have worked for many many years to improve my stitching and I guess it is ok now.  I have a new machine I have been using for the past three years, Janome 7700.  It is a fabulous machine that has been very user friendly especially for the work that I do.  I have gone through many high end machines and had lots of problems with tension and thread breakage.  This machine doesn't care what I use in it which is lots of different top threads and ONLY mono-filament in the bobbin.  I have tried lots of different mono-filament threads over the years and my favorite one is CHEAP!  The cheaper the better.  They all work pretty much the same.  They don't melt as some have suggested and are very great for not showing up on the top of your quilt.  You can fill the bobbin three times more full than with regular thread so you don't have to change it as often. 

Here is a detail shot of a student who was sketching in the village the day we visited with her art class.  I loved the architecture of this northern France village called Dinan.  I used several Stonehenge prints by Northcott in this design.  I love the variation of texture of these prints.  Also you will see a very tiny amount of fabric paint I always use to add the fine detail to my pieces  like the shadows behind her legs and arm, shoe details, shading around the windows.  I use my opaque fabric paints for this because they cover up the fabric and allow for blending of different fabrics together.  You can see more about them on the Tools Page of this blog.  Also you can learn to make your own art quilts like I do on my Fusing/Fabric Painting to Create an Art Quilt CD-ROM on my website at this link.  Thanks to everyone for your nice comments on my win on my Facebook page!! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My New Pattern, Quail, Is Now Ready!

My piece, Quail, is now in pattern form for you to try!  Check it out on my website at on the CD/Patterns Page. 

Quail Pattern, 2012

So hopefully the links will all work for purchasing the patterns.  If it doesn't please email me at so I can just send you a Paypal invoice for it.  I am also working on a new pattern, Rose, from the picture below I took a while ago in California. 

This will be a pretty pattern for you to try too!  I love roses!  So the other thing I want to tell you about today is that I have entered my big new piece, Enter My Sanctuary, to an art competition of which the prize is a trip to Paris.  Of course I had to enter and now you get to help me get to Paris.  Here is the link to vote for my piece!  I hope to get there again one day to take more pictures for inspiration for new work! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Home From New Zealand

We are home now from our fabulous trip to New Zealand!  What a great experience!  The countryside is incredible and the people were very nice.  This was the scene at the end of Lake Taupo next to our hotel.  I opened up my curtain everyday to see this view!  This is what I guess was called Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings.  It was winter there but not really winter according to we from Michigan.  I loved the weather, about 50 to 65 in the day and colder at night of course.  Great fall weather so we didn't die in 95 degree weather like back here in Michigan. 

The classes were great and my students were brilliant as usual!  There were 35 teachers at the Taupo Symposium in all.  A great lineup of teachers like Gloria Loughman, Michele Hill, Phillipa Naylor, Susan Brubaker Knapp, and so many more.  I would love to go back to another New Zealand quilt festival one day!  I guess in 2017 it will be in Christchurch which would be great because it's on the south island that we didn't get a chance to see. 

Mud pots are basically boiling mud in this volcanic area.  The patterns are beautiful.  Above that are dormant volcanos that erupted in 1886 and killed 200 people including the Maori that lived there.  This is Lake Tarawera outside of the Rotorua area.  While we were there, an earthquake occurred in Wellington which was about 4.5 hrs south of Taupo.  In our classrooms every morning we went through the evacuation procedures and what to do in case of earthquake.  Seemed a little unnerving!  But they are used to it (like in California).  Now I have to go through all of my photos to get inspired for a New Zealand wallhanging.  My husband and I took lots!!!!  We also visited Hobbiton, the location for the filming of the Hobbit village scenes in the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.  It was very fun.  Movies sets are really well done.  Sort of reminds you of Disneyworld!!  More later after I go through the rest of our pictures.