Monday, December 15, 2014

Color and..Allie Aller's book, Crazy Quilting...

Merry Christmas!!! I'll be busy with family for a couple of weeks.
I pulled out Allie Aller's book, Crazy Quilting, she uses color so beautifully.

I had to include the bottom half of the cover,

 Allie Aller's book, Crazy Quilting, is so practical and easy to understand. Her chapter, Work in Progress helped me finish my crazy quilt, 'Prima Donna'. I was bogged down in the middle and didn't know how to wind it up. On page 119 she writes about a conversation she had with Erica Carter about just that thing, being at the point where 'you just hate it'.
Erica told her, "Oh, that's the best time! Do you know why? It's because that's when you become willing to take some risks. You have to make a leap. And that's when the breakthru comes." Words to live by, don't you think?
She uses color value; light and dark, skillfully, keeping your eyes moving to take in all the details.
Excellent book to have in your reference library.

This chapter is one of my favorites, she walks you thru the process.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Color Muse, what is a neutral?

Strawberries n' Chocolate sewing kit #1, trims have been sewn down.

Arranging embellishments, more to come...

Collaborative Quilting by Freddy Moran & Gwen Marston.

I've sewn down trim on my 'Strawberries n' Chocolate' series sewing kits. I'm 'interviewing' placement of embellishments now.
I checked out the book, Collaborative Quilting by Freddy Moran & Gwen Marston, from my local quilt guild. The authors' use of color is brave and amazing. Freddy Moran claims that red is her neutral. I looked up the definition of neutral and for the most part it seems to mean; no color or not charged, as in science.
I think that red is charged and packed with excitement. Perhaps she is using the obvious oxymoron to show her sense of humor. It's a great book full of inspiring uses of color and technique. It will brighton up a grey day.
Remember to check out, Sharon B's WIPW , to get inspiration and tips for finishing your project.

Page of Collaborative Quilting showing colorful blocks.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Speaking of Color and Christmas....

I passed this neighbor's house on my walk..glorious color!

Heavenly Bamboo bush, lovely reds, greens, yellows, purples..

On my morning walk I found examples of reds and greens working together nicely. They are opposite on the color wheel; complimentary. Both of these pictures show good value; balance of light and dark, the recipe for good eye movement, allowing your eye to 'see' detail.
More on color to come...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why is Color so Important and Yet so Misunderstood......

I'm busy making yo yos, using silks, eyelet, tulle, batik etc.......

My color wheel, a very important tool........

 I was thinking today that color is so important to a project's eye appeal ( that 'pop' thing). Why is it that so many don't have a clue as to what makes the colors in their projects lack pizzazz? It's very simple, they don't understand color. To some people the ability to use color well comes natural. For everyone else there are tools that really help. Using a color wheel and understanding what value is; dark/light, is a start. Then add practice, experimenting; this is training your 'eye' by using it. A well made color wheel will have good directions that are easy to work with. The Sew Red Glasses are handy, but squinting to see placement of lights/darks works too. Is your work all light or all dark? If there is a mix of both your eye moves and takes in the details. Color is the thing that makes it sing.
This is my work in progress, check out Sharon B's Pintangle WIP to see other artist's projects.

Sew Red Glasses, 'color value made simple'.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Clover 'Quick' Yo-Yo Maker is a fast way to make lots of Yo-Yos....

Yo-Yo maker ready, silks ready, 'interviewing colors....

           I have to get my stash of Yo-Yos built back up, that's what I will be doing today. I like to have a pile of them ready to use here and there. I'm choosing colors and embellishments for my 'Strawberries n' Chocolate' sewing kits #1 and #2. Embroidery floss was on sale so I had to buy a handful of colors.
Did I mention that I really like using the Clover Yo-Yo makers? So fast and efficient, great product.
Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, we did.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Documenting the Creative Journey.....

I'm fascinated by the colors here..

Hinkle Creek, fall time...

This Saturday we hiked around Hinkle Creek Nature Park.The creek flows into the American River. It was after a rain so the colors were a little more intense. Nothing like a walk out in nature to get the circulation and inspiration going.
I pieced some muslin scraps together a while ago to have a practice, experiment 'scrap book', to try out stitches and colors. I have added batting and a muslin backing and will get it quilted together. I got this idea from Karen Ruane who keeps such beautiful ledgers full of her ideas with stitch and color and texture. Documenting your creative journey is a good thing.

My muslin "scrap book" of experiments with color and stitch.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Elegant Stitches,great reference book, hand embroidery progress....

Strawberries n' Chocolate, crazy quilt style, sewing kit progress being made! I have add hand embroidery; stem, feather, cross, straight and french knot, etc.
 You can see my trusty copy of Elegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano, never far from my reach when I am embroidering.
For inspiration in embroidery and finishing projects visit Sharon B's Pintangle WIP .

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Antique Sewing Machines, Saturday fun....

Historical pictures from the fruit packing plant archives.

 Fun Saturday!! We went to Loomis, Ca to visit the High Hand nursery and restaurant. They are located in and around an old historical fruit packing plant. There are also other fun shops in the warehouse selling antiques, pottery, art, vintage sewing supplies, wine, and more.
We had brunch and enjoyed the color, and relaxed atmosphere.
Very inspiring. I think I will start collecting old sewing machines.
Visit me and we'll do lunch there!

High Hand nursery, very picturesque.

Koi pond outside High Hand Restaurant.

The Rug Co., one of the many shops inside.

Pottery shop downstairs...

Interesting iron fencing.

The Tin Thimble, selling vintage fabric and sewing supplies.

Antique sewing machine outside the Tin Thimble.

Antique sewing machine in one of the antique shops.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Silks and taffetas,hand embroidery, Strawberry n' Chocolate sewing kit progress...

I had extra time with the long weekend to get a few things done.
Crushed velvet ties sewn on.

 Strawberries n' Chocolate sewing kits 1 & 2 both have felted wool needle keeps sewn down and crushed velvet ties sewn on. Next I will sew the pocket sides closed.
Then embroidery and embellishments will continue.

Visit Sharon B's Work in Progress Wednesday , for inspiration and encouragement finishing your projects.

Felted wool needle keeps sewn in.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Give Thanks mini wall quilt....

I got out some of my fall decorations, a bit slow I know!

 My husband has been collecting fall leaves, so I took the cue and brought out some fall decor. The little wall quilt is hand embroidered, machine pieced, then the little mini blocks are sewn together in a row, layered with batting and backing and hand quilted. Sew on a ribbon for hanging and there you have it!

I made this from a really cute pattern I bought at Pacific International Quilt Show.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Prairie" #3 Sewing Kit, finished...

I finished adding all the embellishing.

"Prairie" 3 is in my Etsy shop. I added just a few more beads around the button, bottom left, and called it done!
I have started work on my new sewing kits, Strawberries 'n Chocolate. I sewed on the crushed velvet ties last night, next onto making up the felted wool needle keeps. I found a fun shop in Loomis, CA that sells felted wool in all sorts of exciting colors. The shop is called The Tin Thimble .

Be sure and visit Pintange's WIP , for inspiration and encouragement finishing your projects and seeing other artists' work in progress.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Crazy Quilt style, silks and taffetas, Strawberries and Chocolate series, new sewing kits....

Strawberries n Chocolate sewing kit #1

Different view showing the silk turquoise inside.

I made progress on my Strawberries n' Chocolate sewing kits, Yey! I got the batting and silk lining sewn in. That turquoise silk is certainly lovely, I should have bought the whole bolt. I will next sew on the crushed velvet ties then make up the needle keeps, with felted wool, get them sewn in and finish the embellishments.
They have a nice feel to them. I'm excited to get these rolling.

Strawberries n Chocolate #2 , smaller than #1

Another view of smaller version, there is no embroidery on this one yet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crazy Quilt style "Prairie" #3 almost done....

Beads added....

Roomy pocket here...

The "Prairie" #3 sewing kit is almost done! The pocket  can hold a lot of embroidery tools. I am waiting for more sun to take a good look at it to decide if I am done with the embellishing.
Almost ready to get listed in my Etsy shop .
I am going to start another series of sewing kits, "Strawberries and
Chocolate". I like the idea of having constraints on my projects,then I can focus on what I like best, embellishing.
For inspiration and encouragement with your projects visit, Sharon B's WIP .

Back opened out...You can see the crushed velvet ties here.

Close-up of beads added around silk yo-yo.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Embroidery tools and inspirations... Happy Friday!

This silver tray keeps some of my embroidery tools and pretty things close at hand. The Altoids tin
holds beads. I am a collector of sparkly things, I recycle and trade in and out, so to keep it fresh.
Karen Ruane always posts interesting and inspiring pictures of her work space and tools and ledgers.
Make sure and visit her blog, here, Karen Ruane .
Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creating Romantic Purses book review.....

"Family Album" purse, page 18-19 in book, how beautiful is that?
 Creating Romantic Purses by Marilyn Green & Carole Cree is such an inspiring book. They wow you with gorgeous color combinations and to die for embellishments. The directions are very practical. My inspiration levels soar when looking at the pictures.
I highly recommend this book. You can buy it thru, Flights of Fancy Boutiques .

I got a bit more on my "Prairie" #3 sewing kit done. Some embroidery and another silk yo yo sewed down.
Keep yourself inspired, keep the artist within alive!!

 Visit Sharon B's Work in Progress Wednesday for some great encouragement and inspiration.

I added some beads and orange french knots and the silk yo yo; right.

I added beading around the big turquoise bead on the pocket.