Saturday, November 12, 2011

Words of advice from Lyric Kinard……

I subscribe to the Lyric Kinard newsletter and loved this post from her about creative slump……

“When you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun.   Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.   You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.   Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Every once in a while you need a change of pace. You feel that you are in a slump, are feeling blue, or you’re just plain tired. Too many deadlines, too much pressure, too much on your plate. You feel creatively blocked. It happens to the best of us once in a while.

I believe it’s part of the process and part of life. Energy and enthusiasm can wax and wane.

It’s what you do with yourself once you hit that slump that matters.

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping stone in the pathway of the strong. ~Thomas Carlyle

Go for a long walk. Breathe. Look up at the sky. Notice beautiful fallen leaves or fascinating cracks in the sidewalk. Take your camera. Getting out of your narrow environment and looking at the wider world can work wonders.

Try something new. Take a class in an unfamiliar medium. If you are struggling with portraiture, try a wild abstract. If your usual palette is earth tones, do a quick exercise using only saturated brights. If you only machine quilt, pick up a scrap of cloth and some embroidery thread and randomly stitch by hand for a bit.

Clean your space. Methodically clear the clutter away and make space for new ideas and new projects. You will find materials you had forgotten that will inspire you. Cleaning might also become more unpleasant than the making of art - so you’ll want to get back to it.

Wait. Sometimes, it is best to just wait it out - Continue to just keep doing. Let the ideas stew in your subconscious. Studies of creative people show that many brilliant ideas come not during the period of intense study, but in the quiet resting time afterwards when the ideas have had time to mix and mull in the unconscious.

Stop. Sometimes, if you are still blocked, it is time to make a change and leave what you were doing.

There is the possibility that you will emerge a different, a better artist. Don’t wallow or fret - slumping may be a natural part of your growth process. Look up, look out, grow!

I’d love to hear what you do to “un-slump” yourself.

All my best wished to you!

Lyric Kinard, Artist, Author, and educator, can be found at
You can sign up for her monthly newsletter there.
© 2011 Lyric Montgomery Kinard. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How to Face a Quilt


When I was at Arrowmont, Elizabeth Barton gave us a fantastic demonstration of a different method of facing a quilt.  I used this as I was finishing “Wheatley”.  Here are the steps……

  -  Cut four, 6 inch squares of the facing fabric.  Mark 2 inches in from opposing corners and free-hand cut an arc between the two marks…..


    -  Cut a 3 inch strip  from the facing fabric.  Fold in half lengthwise and press.

  -  Measure the sides of the quilt and subtract 11 inches from the measurement.  cut the strips in lengths equal to this.


  -  Lay out the facing as shown…..


  -  Sew each of the pieces together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Note that the arcs are slightly longer than the strips.

  -  Place the pieced facing (face down)   on the top of the quilt and pin in place…..


  -  Sew around all four edges and then clip the corners….. DSC01231

  -  Gently turn the facing to the back of the quilt….DSC01232

  -  Press the edges straight, turn under the bias curves, matching them to the pieced strips.  Pin in place and then stitch by hand…..


The finished piece lies flat and the corners are square …..DSC01236

…..and it is SO SO SO SO easy to do!!!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to hang a quilt….


I love to make wall hangings to give to friends and relatives, but I always worry about how they will hang them.  A few weeks ago, Susan Brubaker Knapp posted a tutorial on her blog about how to hang a quilt on a nail (just like a picture).  Here is my version ……

  -  Cut a piece of fabric that is the same width as the finished quilt and about 2/3rds of the length of the piece.

  -  Fold all four edges in 1/4 inch, the fold them again and stitch in place…..


  -  Place the piece on the back of the quilt, approximately 1/2 inch from the edges and top.  Pin in place…..


  -  Measure 1/3 of the way from the top of the finished quilt and draw two lines, one inch apart.  Repeat on both sides……


  -  Hand sew around the sides and top of the sleeve, leaving the 1 inch area between the marks open.


  -  Cut a piece of foam core board slightly smaller than the width of the sleeve, and about 2/3rds of the length of the finished quilt. 

  -  Carefully insert the board into the sleeve making sure that it doesn’t bind or stretch the quilt.

  -  Insert a pencil in the openings on the side and mark the edge of the board…..

DSC01214 Use this mark as a reference for where to punch the hole.

  -  Remove the board from the sleeve and  use a needle to poke a hole thru the board.  I stuck a piece of Duct Tape on the front and back to reinforce the area….


  -  Cut two pieces of picture wire, each the width of the piece.  Thread each piece of wire thru a hole and twist off the end to secure it.


  -  Place the board back into the sleeve, running the wires thru the holes….


Tie the wires together and twist the ends to finish….DSC01222 

Now it hangs easily on a single nail and is flat and square and makes a wonderful addition to my husband’s office!!!!



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