Monday, May 31, 2010

Machine embroidery demonstration

On Tuesday I had a wonderful time at the Quilter’s Arts Alliance meeting in Athens.  The speaker for the meeting was Mary Ann and she gave an excellent demonstration on the use of machine embroidery.

Here is one of her first pieces…….


The pattern was made from a photo of mushrooms and transformed into fabric and thread.

She demonstrated two different methods of doing machine embroidery.  The first was to do the  threadwork directly on the fabric.  She emphasized the need to stabilize the fabric very well before stitching.  In this piece, she had placed a sticky backed stabilizer in the hoop and then stuck the fabric onto the sticky side….it worked great.

The first step in doing the embroidery was to do some lines of stitching in the opposite direction to the main stitching line.  This helps to further stabilize the piece and keep the top fabric from stretching out of shape.  You can see these sideways stitches in this photo……



The second method that she showed was to sandwich a piece of netting or tulle between two pieces of heavy duty wash-out stabilizer.  Put this piece into a hoop and start making circles (or lines) to create the design that you want.   VID00069When you are finished, you cut out the embroidered design, wash out the stabilizer and attach the piece onto your picture.   The tree in this photo was done with this technique…….


I have this photo from Australia that I would love to try this technique on…….


…….guess I will add it to my “to try next” list!!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And again…..

I am beginning to feel a bit like a player on Sesame Street…..

……And now there are FIVE….count them with me……two…three…four….FIVE!!!



We have decided that they are a pair of House Finches.  This morning, I searched the internet looking for information on how long the eggs take to hatch and then how much longer to fledge.  In searching I found this wonderful site.  This gentleman has taken bird watching to a whole new level, installing a web cam and stop action camera to keep track of his door wreath bird’s nest.  Have a look at it to see some WONDERFUL photos…….

In addition to this nest watching, I am also doing a bit of quilting and hopefully will have something to display soon.


Bye for now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


I hope that she stops soon or there wont be room in the nest……


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Eggy, Eggy, Eggy


And now there are three……



It is so much fun to look  thru the sheer curtain on the window and see her little head and beak sticking out of the nest!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bird’s Nest Update


And then there were TWO……..


Friday, May 21, 2010

A fun welcome home…..

We arrived home from Kunming, China on Wednesday morning (3:30am to  be exact)!!!!  We had a good trip, but made a decision NOT to make a move there, so we returned a week early.

On Wednesday morning I looked thru the sheer curtain on my front door and saw two little birds busily working around my door wreath.  I walked outside and found  two flowers on the front porch and this nest……


It has happened before, but I normally pull out the bits and dont let the birds get this far along.  I couldn’t stand to make them start over again, so instead I installed a note on the front porch…….

_5215536…..and another one on the inside of the door to stop us from opening it!!!


Then this afternoon, my husband announced that there was an egg…..

_5215535I hope that the birds will be able to make this a wonderful home for their hatchling, but we will see how it goes.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chinese inspirations

I am currently in Kunming China and, as usual, have been looking at the world through my “Quilt-Colored” glasses.   Here are a few photos that I have taken as possible inspirations for a  “Chinese themed quilt”…….


A grate found in a Buddhist temple….dont you love my toes…..


A carpet design in our hotel hall…….


And finally, two from the sidewalks…..

_5145361  _5145362

Do you get the feeling that I am spending more time looking down than up!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kunming, here we come

Michael and I are flying out in the morning and returning to Kunming China for two weeks.  For those of you who haven’t already heard this, Michael has been offered a job there and we are returning to try to get an idea about whether or not we could live in Kunming.

I will be blogging from there.    You can check it out at

Until then……

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day


Here is the front of a card that a good friend sent to me for Mother’s Day. 

Scan_Pic0015…..haven’t we all felt that way one time or the other!!!!

I hope that you have a wonderful day of celebrating your Mother!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fun Workshops – Day 2

The second day of Margaret Hunt workshops was about using threads to enhance fabrics.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the entire workshop, but at least had a chance to make this threadwork  butterfly……..



I am most excited to be able to use this type of thread embroidery to enhance some photos or create a thread landscape.  Here are some of Margaret’s examples…..

  _5015103 _5015104 _5015105 

Be sure to check out her wonderful borders….in many cases there is a pieced  border and a tiny, tiny flap border.

AHHHH…something to aspire to!!!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fun Workshops - Day 1


Friday and Saturday I had the privilege of spending the days in workshops with Margaret Hunt from South Carolina.  She is a renowned fiber artist and has won many ribbons and accolades.

The class on Friday was about using Portfolio Oil Pastels to color on fabrics.  These are water soluble so you can draw on the fabric and then brush with water to blend the colors.  Here are some photos from the day……

This is how the fabric looked before the water was added……


Now, brush on water and this is what you get……..


This little piece was quick and fun to do……..



Marilyn did this wonderful bunch of flowers…..I would love to take these to a sewing machine and add a lot of machine embellishment to them…..

Here, Margaret (center) watches Madeline work on her piece while Nancy and Francyne look on……..


After lunch, Margaret donned an apron and demonstrated the use of Seta colors to produce wonderful Sky Dyes……_4305076

This sunset is gorgeous……_4305090

Margaret was fun to watch because she worked quickly and didn’t worry about making a mess.  Her painting method was fun and free…..

Here are a few more of her pieces……._4305067


She even does some on paper……._4305066

Finally, I just had to take a photo of Anita taking a photo….check out her blog for more info about the day…….    _4305050

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