Dec 13, 2014


 A long time ago when I first started making art quilts,  I used a lot of what is called "cheater fabric"  when making scenes.  This is fabric printed with trees or grass or fruit etc.  At some point I realized the difference in a preprinted tree and a tree made from scratch with your own bark etc.   However, I still use this fabric in some cases.  Here is an example.  I have this fabric of grasses in the snow.
Just what I am looking for.
 So I cut it out in order to just get the naturalness and shape that I like.  I can also move the shapes I cut out around to decide exactly where I want them and how much I want in an area.  Once I make those decisions I snip the top edge to loosen it up ...all done at random just snip snip snip.  Once that is done I fuse them in the locations I chose. 

Then I thread paint them......the fabric fills the gaps between the lines of thread and blends it all together with it ending in a nice natural look.   I always add a few lines before and after the section to blend it into the background and add small "tufts" of grass here and there around the area of the large piece as it would be in nature.   Most would not know there is any fabric behind it.

Dec 11, 2014


 I am always amazed at how so many get upset about it being winter.  I do get it when it becomes frigid and difficult but there are many days like today when it is unbelievably beautiful and makes all the rest worthwhile.

 These photos are driving through the Kettle Moraine State Forest right near my house. 

 A grove of pines near someones farm house in Glenbeulah where I live.

The Mullet River which travels across my road to my house all the way into Plymouth where used to live.  I grew up skating and fishing on the Mullet River so am happy to still have it close by.
Just before you turn into where I just got that corn cut.

Dec 8, 2014


 I have been asked why I sketch on tissue paper and how I use that when making my art quilts.  So here is my process for you to better understand why this works for me.   One reason I like tissue paper as I only have to draw the bird out once and do not need a light table to see it once you flip it over in order to draw it or parts of it onto your fusible.  So I have flipped my drawing and now trace the entire bird onto  a piece of fusible.

 Once cut out he is facing the right direction.
 It is important to keep you sketch in the opposite direction of the way the bird is facing so you do not trace and cut out parts for your bird that are not the reverse of what they will be when on the fusible only. 
 I have traced out the beak and the lighter part of the turkey's head on the fusible.

 Then I place those pieces on selected fabric and fuse them, cut them out,  and remove the fusible.

I place my tissue paper drawing on top of my silhouette of the bird and with a needle position those tiny pieces right were they need to be.  I carefully remove my tissue and fuse it down.  When doing animals or birds I also use my pin to poke a hole in the drawing so when this piece of tissue is on the head pieces I can take a prisma pen and push it through the tissue to mark exactly where I want the eye to be.
So here is the bird now....ready for feathers.
When doing feathers I like to cut them out of prefused fabric that I selected prior to beginning the quilt.  I do this pretty much free form.   You must remember to start at the bottom most feather and layer them on top of at a time.
 You can cut them any way you like....sometimes angular like these other time I round out the bottoms.
 I usually cut a strip approximately the size I want the feathers and just cut back and forth until I have a pile ready to layer.

 Through this all I keep my photo that I took up on my desktop to refer to when not sure of the fabric choices.

 This is all I can do of these feathers because others must be done first.

 I lay my sketch on and begin at the bottom of the tail.

 I build up the tail from the bottom up.

 The tissue is layed on the bird to make sure each layer and different fabric choices are where they need to be.
 This is an example of a piece of fabric that many would not think would make a good choice for
feathers, but if you think "out of the box" so to speak, it is the perfect fabric for these turkey wings.
 Once again these feathers are cut free form and layered under the tissue just where I want them to be.

Looking good.....

 Now the brown feathers above the striped ones.....

 ....and then more of the irredescent black body feathers...

 I double check to be sure I have enough body feathers and to also add the legs.

 I think he is perfect.....

So I fuse him onto my background and he joins his buddies.  Now it is time to quilt him and make him pop!

I hope this has helped you all understand my technique just a little better.

Dec 7, 2014


 Finished quilting these two turkeys and then stepped back to see how I was liking the scene.

 Decided the original placement of the other turkeys was not as good as adding a few more and moving them around.   Sketches are only that ...... once you begin you can see better layouts and perhaps the need for more trees and more turkeys. 

I had just enough time to quilt down the left hand side trees...the right hand side ones will have to stay loose until the turkeys go in.....and that is for another day!

Dec 5, 2014


Viewers have asked me how long it takes me to make a quilt.   I can never answer that question as there are always so many variables but I do have a general idea.  So when making this turkey I decided to pay attention to the time factor.  He took me most of the afternoon...5 hours to construct and I was not happy with him.   So got up this morning and worked 2 more hours on him.  Then 4 hours quilting a total of 11 hours.  Of course there were some breaks in there for answering the phone, fixing mistakes,  cleaning out the machine, changing threads over and over but over all....pretty accurate.  Yes...the next one will go much faster just because I will not need to do as many fabric selections, thread selections, or make the mistakes that I did on this one, but it give you an idea at least.   All in all....I am happy with No. 1.

Dec 3, 2014


With all the background trees finished I have sketched out the new additions....yes....turkeys!
Since we moved here they have been daily visitors.  I enjoy them immensely and their antics and posturing.  Had to immortalize them or perhaps honor them in an art quilt.   So here is a sneak peek of what lies ahead. 

Nov 27, 2014

Nov 24, 2014


Still adding trees and quilting them as I do.   This will be all that will be added but some still need quilting and some needles put on two small pines.   Then comes the hard part....but I will not tell just yet.

Nov 21, 2014


Some birch trees added ....more will come .  Must have a lot of patience making is repetitious but relaxing at the same time. 

Nov 20, 2014


Made some progress today....lots more to come.....feel good with what got accomplished today.
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