Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It seems as if I have a couple of things going on at the same time in the studio right now, which is actually nice. Some I can work on in the studio others I can pick up and do anywhere, and others are nice to see as a progression over time. I am good about finishing work but sometimes I do like to multi-task so that nothing becomes mundane. This is especially important to me, because I usually choose projects that require a lot of steps that are often very repetitive and time consuming. I have had people close to me say that the only thing I have patient for in my life is my artwork, and I must admit is probably true.
In the idea of repetitive, detailed work, here is my latest project, that I am prepared to spend some time on to get it exactly like I want. (In addition to being patient with my work, I am also a bit of a perfectionist.) 
This project which for now I will call Terrain, happened because I have been collecting a couple of different brands and designers of maps, terrains, and geographic things in general. It seems that maps are everywhere at the moment, and I have long been interested in their appearance. I mixed 6 different lines of fabric for this piece and have the whole thing planned out on paper, so UN-like me. Usually I just make, but I wanted this to be just as I see it in my mind. All of the fabric is cut and ready and I have begun piecing most of it. About an hour into planning this with fabric I realized that I needed a wall to work on, so that the mistakes would be kept at a minimum. So I finally installed a cork wall in the studio, something that is way overdue. It is really easy to work on and has been nice to get things off the table, ironing board, dining room, and the floor. 

A detail of the part that I have begun piecing...

Another part... 

Coming together... The new corner of the studio.... I will show this in pieces and process and can't wait for the final work. 


This small quilt has been finished for a while, but it has taken me a long time to get around to photographing it. It is a winter/Christmas quilt that is meant more as a display than to be used for warmth, even though it would be a good child size. I used an altered log cabin to make the blocks, and the whole thing is a square 60"by 60". Most of the fabric is Aneela Hooey and there is a little Heather Ross in there too. The solids are a mixture of brands, and I can not remember what the red is, but it is very soft! This was a quick project that I wanted for the holidays, even though it was not really done until January. And while there are some Christmas motifs I think it could be a nice winter piece. At the moment it resides in my guestroom on my quilt hooks that usually hold vintage and antique quilts. 

I love this snowman teapot. 

The back is clothes pieces by Aneela Hooey,  and I almost like the back of this one better than the front! 

It is nice to be done with another project... 

needles pulling crosses

It has been a very long time since I made an embroidery from a pattern that wasn't my own, however when I saw this "Virginia" map, I had to make it! I love the appearance of maps and geographic drawings and this one was very sweet without being too "cute." I am almost done with it, and there is a little surprise altering I am doing to it, because it is going to be a present. I think the last time I made a cross-stitch pattern I was still in high school, I must admit sometimes the repetitive action without all the thinking help to calm the mind. 

I used a silk/linen blend for the cross stitch fabric and pattern that I got at my local quilt shop, Quilting Adventures. They have a huge selection of embroidery materials including hand dyed fabrics, many different floss options and patterns, patterns, patterns. I am always intrigued by this section and love the floss options which I have built a nice collection of. My favorite to use is Sullivans, they seem to glide through the fabric and they do not knot as much. I still have a huge assortment of DMC because they have many many colors and the price can't be beat! I have also been collecting some WEEKS hand dyed threads. The colors on them are so life-like, and diverse. 
For this project I did use my own colors and only looked at the suggested ones as a guide. 

I used to wind them on little cards, and recently just gave up on the time it takes to do that. If you pull the thread from the end it will stay in place on the paper rounds, and it also stays marked with the color, which takes the guess work out of it later. I just keep them sorted by warm and cool, and brand. 

like myself.

This month seems like it has taken forever to pass. It must have something to do with the fact that I have been at home sick most of it. Normally I feel as if I can't slow time enough and at this point I am just ready for a new month! I have been home a lot, almost to the point that I don't want to be, which is unusual for me. I finally feel better and am ready for everything that is to come. I have finished and started some projects, inbetween the moments where I could not pick up my head. I have read a lot, caught up to season 3 on Downton Abbey, which I am in love with. And now, finally have gone back to work and spending time in the studio.... It feels really good!! Being someone that does not stay still for too long, it was killing me to have to.

One of my Christmas presents was concert tickets to one of my favorite bands, Tegan and Sara, it was here in Richmond, and despite the snow on the ground it was packed. They put on a great show and played all the way through. While I love their new music and will probably buy their new albums, the old songs bring such nostalgic memories to me, of a time when I was UN-certain of everything and enjoying every moment of it. It was a great night, and helped me finally feel like myself, again. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013... relax?

I seem to have started this year a bit sickly... I am the one that never gets sick, and usually runs circles around those that do get colds, flu, and any other nasty thing... well it seems to have hit me hard this new years. It started a few days ago and my nose is so sore from the blowing and sneezing that I no longer know what to put on it. Anyhow this being sick "thing," has allowed me to catch up on my reading. All of my January magazines are read and put away, the blogs are read and caught up on, the websites I have been bookmarking have been read and studied, and I even finished and started another book. If there is one thing about being sick that isn't so bad, it is that I am forced to sit and relax. I often times have problems with that, and I wish that I could do it on a normal day... I guess that is what resolutions are for, and that is one that I can always work on.
So the books I have been reading lately are a mix of mystery, history, and small town life. I love the way that the writing takes you to a small town in Canada and makes you feel as if you are there. The books are by Louise Penny, who is Canadian herself, and has written many books in this Inspector Gamache series. I started reading them in the middle by accident, not that they need to be read in order to make sense, but small details to make more sense now that I am reading them in order. I love the way that these books are written so visually, and can't wait to read all of them. I do love a good series!

The first in the series is Still Life, which I just finished and it lived up to my expectations, The Brutal Telling, is in the middle of the series, but was the first one that I read and it got me hooked with all of the interesting details. Definitely a good series to check out if you are looking for your next book.