Saturday, September 24, 2016

Creating The Cat's Meow

So I've found my next quilting project and as usual, my heart is a flutter of creative excitement.  I knew I wanted to do something in bright colors featuring a range of lime green to turquoise and dark blue.

I almost chose the free McCall's pattern Caribbean Sunset for it's pictured use of this fun color range. However, I found that I wanted to make a gift quilt for a real cat lover so I searched for cat quilt patterns and found this super fun one called Cat's Meow from Lunch Box Quilts. I ordered the pattern in Canada from Hamel's Fabrics and Quilting.

After looking at the pattern on the size 8.5 x 11" paper I determined that I wanted to work with a larger size applique, so I enlarged the pattern to 11 x 14" paper at Staples.  That gave me my preferred size larger applique pattern.

I was able to use a lot of small pieces from my batik stash, and it felt really good to finally put those "saved for a rainy day" pieces to use. (See below for my organizing task...ugh).

I ordered my main front fabric, fabric for the cat block backgroundbinding, and backing from  I love using their online design board!  Unfortunately, I didn't really get my usual cost savings (compared to purchasing at my local quilt shop) because of the Canadian dollar exchange rate AND I had to pay a large duty fee at the post office.  Not happy about that...but still pleased with my purchase!!
I loved  choosing the colors for each cat and I worked steadily away each evening over the past month.  Even the satin stitching was fun and didn't take as long as I thought it would!

Before I began this quilt I FINALLY decided to sort all my fabrics into separate colors. That took up one evening and NOW I need to do another blog about figuring out how to permanently organize this gong show of fabric that has been in my living room for the past month!!   Any ideas would be highly appreciated!!  I don't have a separate sewing room right now, so need to store my fabric in something portable.
That's another blog for another day!  Cheers -

Saturday, May 28, 2016

How I learned to Color at Age 46

Okay...if you have entered a Michaels Craft Store or a bookstore at any time in the recent past you will notice that their is a plethora (I just wanted to use that word in this blog post some where) of ADULT coloring books exploding on the shelves.  ADULT coloring books. It almost sounds R-rated.

ANYWAY coloring was not something that I had even the slightest interest in exploring, even though I do deal with anxiety disorder and this coloring thing is supposed to rewire some circuits in the brain for relaxation.  According to an article on, Anti-Stress Coloring Books can decrease stress, induce relaxation and improve concentration.

I had purchased one of these coloring books for my 9 year old daughter last year, but I think she only did about 1.5 pages. (I am now dying to find that book in the jungle called her bedroom...aaargh.)  And I'm also trying to find the Artist's Loft Michaels' brand of felt pens that I got her...they are cheap, dual tipped and surprisingly awesome.  I only have yellow and navy right now.  The rest are hiding in the depths of her bedroom, along with the missing coloring book.

Anyway, I had surgery last week and was pretty much stuck in bed.  So on day 3 of  being in a drugged stupor, I begged my boyfriend to drive me to Michaels and despite seeing double (good painkillers) I picked out ONE coloring book:

I purchased a set of 10 Gelly Roll brand pens. These are not the cheapest, but super smooth and a nice change of coloring technique. I had looked up some posts on best coloring tools and the Gelly Roll brand were recommended.  I also picked up some Michaels Artist's Loft Pencil crayons, however I have only been able to use each color once, since for the life of me, I cannot find a pencil sharpener anywhere in this house.

Fortunately, I had gone through a bit of an art journaling phase a couple years ago and I had purchased a beautiful set of  Prismacolor Felt Pens on Ebay for half the price they are in the store.  So those babies came out of hiding.

So I had my supplies in hand and began to...color. At first I was a little stumped about where to start (the perfectionist in me) but then I just thought, if a 3 year old can do this, so can I!! The power of positive self-talk!

I used to do all my paper scrapbooking on a small table in the living room while my hubby watched  t.v. in the evenings.  That was my sanity in bed and getting their baby books in order felt awesome!  After that I tried knitting. That lilac colored baby sweater is still somewhere in my basement in separate pieces waiting to be sewn together.  I figure a grand child will get it one day.

After that,  I found that unless my hands were busy, I just could not sit still to watch TV, thus I have not watched TV for years.  Instead I would go upstairs and quilt. (I will soon be posting a blog about my attempt to learn to hand quilt for this very purpose of being able to sit on the couch and quilt,)

Over the past 10 days I have been forced to convalesce, but I have also discovered that coloring allows me to sit still and RELAX with the TV on without feeling like I have one hundred ants in my pants telling me to get up and DO something.  I have managed to complete numerous detailed coloring projects shown below:

I posted this picture on Facebook, saying how much I was enjoying my new found craft, but that I had no idea what to do with the finished pages.  Friends suggested laminating them into table placemats, or framing them for wall art, but the idea I am totally in love with is to eventually have my favorite pics put onto fabric (like a photo memory quilt) and make "My Coloring Quilt."  So now that my colored pages actually have a purpose, I am enjoying the process even more. (I have also done some 4x6 card size pictures that I will be able to use for greeting cards.)

The GRAND FINALE to this week's new coloring escapades came today.  In my drugged stupor, I manged to order the Chameleon Pen Set that I have been lusting after since I first saw the video a few years ago.  Those pens captured my mind and Tylenol 3 allowed me to buy them.  I even kind of forgot I ordered them until they arrived today!  What a sweet (expensive) surprise to myself! I love them!!  Here is my first attempt with the free card set that came with my order (the top card is the tutorial, the bottom card is my copied creation).
These alcohol based pens are just so cool and so much fun.  I MIGHT even let my daughter try them...after all what good is coloring if you can't sit down and enjoy it with your 10 year old? (She was using the Gelly Pens to create some cool "tattoos" on her ankles last night.)

Here's the super groovy video that got me hooked on the idea of getting my hands on these beautiful pens:

And here's another video showing some great ideas for using the pens in different ways.

So stay stunned, I mean tuned (still on painkillers) for more of my coloring pics AND eventually 
"My Colored Quilt!"  I think I might be on to a whole new art form combining my colored artwork with fabric creations.. Whoop Whoop!!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

It is Finished - Illustrations (...oh except for the label)

I finished the "Illustrations" Quilt about a month ago..binding and all. It was very easy to put together and a very quick and simple quilt.  I did the detailing in the free motion quilting.

Lots of Free Motion Quilting in Circle like motions...good practice! Sore wrists!

Illustrations by PB Textiles

This was my first "black and white" quilt and I really, really enjoyed working with the modern looking contrast.  I'm sure I will work with the leftover pieces and continue to explore patterns featuring black and white!

The Wedding was in late is now December 23, 2015.  The Quilt was finished almost two months ago.  I just have to do the label.  And I can't seem to get down to it! 

Happy Quilting

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


So I'm really excited because I just spent a whole lot of time and money on picking fabrics for a quilt for my cousin's wedding gift at the end of this month.  

Last week, I created a new board on Pinterest called  Modern Quilt Patterns and I wasted quite a bit of time searching for Quilt Patterns that I considered to be trendy/contemporary, but not in the category of the art quilts that I do, where I create my own pattern entirely.

I was surprised to find some great FREE patterns online...I guess I've been working away at my own art quilting for the past couple of years, so I haven't really been on the hunt for quilt patterns lately.

I narrowed it down to two patterns, with the thought that I was going to "combine" them into one quilt.  The first pattern is called "Illustrations" from PB Textiles (click here to get the Free pattern).  

The second pattern I was considering is called "Baker's Dozen" from McCall's Quilting (click here to get the Free Pattern).
You can see that they both have a similar kind of theme with the idea of the main quilt squares kind of "hanging" on a thread on their way down the quilt.  I think I saw somewhere that the McCalls Pattern offered a more neutral color variation as well, or maybe that was just what I was going to do with it.  I wanted to use the soon to be married couple's living room color theme of grey/white/black.  (I couldn't secret an accent color out of anyone so I decided not to risk yellow and just stuck with the basics...I've been wanting to do a black and white quilt FOREVER anyway!)

Once I discovered that the "Baker's Dozen" Pattern actually required piecing for all the blocks, I decided to go entirely with the "Illustrations" pattern since it uses larger pieces of fabric for the blocks.  There is some finicky work with the edges of the squares (creating triangle pieced edges)  that I may decide to skip depending on the time factor: I have less than a month until the wedding!

I went to Staples to print out the pattern for "Illustrations" and I didn't realize until I got to my car that for some reason the pattern, which I had printed out in color, just showed one big black box on the front page. I sketched out what I needed, looking at the pattern on my phone and went off to Fabricland to return with my wallet feeling just fine and my hands completely empty.

Not to an excuse to shop at my favorite online quilting store EVER:

I probably spent two hours mixing and matching my fabrics (I love using their virtual design board) until I got exactly what I wanted! (The kids weren't uninterrupted virtual planning and shopping!) 

I could attempt to copy and paste my fabric selections here, but I think it will be easier to wait until they arrive and then I can take pictures here's to waiting for the courier to arrive. Fabric on the way...Yay. I just made my own day :)