About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

giving thanks ~

ahhh thanksgiving.
a beautiful day, which is in it's most simplest form ~ truly ~  and only ~ a day for giving thanks to God.  for everything.
originally, thanksgiving was a religious holiday. it has morphed into making idols of our families in many respects. we have forgotten far too often to whom it is that gives us these blessings of family.  
we have forgotten the blessings of living under The Lord's providence and guidance, and it would seem that the overwhelming american response to "what does Thanksgiving mean" is only to give thanks for family and food... i hear it on tv; in every show, in every commercial, in our culture, and in our own statements to each other... every minute.  how sad... to forget. 
yes, it is very good to give thanks for our families, homes, for bounties of food... friends and more.  but that is not the real reason for thanksgiving day.  originally this day was a holy day; {a day set apart for thankfulness; which is also part of the word meaning of "holiday"},  a holy day set apart specifically celebrated by the pilgrims, to give thanks TO GOD, and for God seeing them through horrendous, and very difficult circumstances, for a life blessed under His care;  despite the death of loved ones,  hunger, fears, tears, and challenges of living in a new land. 
and yet... our loving God never forgot, and He never forsook them. He remained faithful. and He still does.
sadly, at least here in America, while God is largely  forgotten by many, and left out of the story taught to our children in so many places... He is still the only story of a truly thankful heart.  of life to the fullest.  of grace.  mercy.  and His justice.  in His sovereign wisdom, we live and trust.

Brian and I are so thankful for His loving kindnesses, His faithfulness, and most of all, for the gift of eternal life through the most beautiful sacrifice of His Son for us on the Cross.  
This Story ... this one life... is only the beginning for Christians who's hearts belong to Him... in whom heart's have said the "divine" yes.  

while it saddens me that america doesn't seem to recognize Him, or that we were a country based on Christian values, {more and more}... that is also the story of God. He knows, and He knows the whole story, the beginning... and the end. 
We give thanks, and praise Him for his never-ending love and mercy, grace and forgiveness, and life everlasting.  our living redeemer, the rock upon which we build our foundation of faith.  
may you be ever mindful, and ever thankful, noticing you are walking on holy ground every where you go.  may you know  that a Mighty God is still on the throne, He knows and sees all; He never misses a moment of your life.  may you know the break through of the freedom of looking to the One who knows all, is all, and is the end-all. Be thankful that He knows... your story!  may He fill you up, pour you out as a blessing to others.  may you drink from the living water that never runs dry.... thankful that God Himself will fill you with holy confidence, and humble dependence so that others will taste and see... and know He is God.  Our Loving One, and 
in His Loving Hands,  Amen.
Blessings upon your life, your family, and your day of giving Thanks to Him.
xo
leslie

Friday, November 21, 2014

red and white snowflakes ~ placemats

good morning all ~

i am enjoying a burst of happy contrast using white on red, and of course prepping for christmas, and since i'm enjoying using my die cutters... {accuquilt go! and size big shot} it's the perfect time to put them all together and make fun stuff:

it's been a madhouse of fusing and cutting! how fun it is to play with these pretty puzzle pieces and combine them onto holiday-styled placemats. (and coasters}
and while all that red and white is super for christmas and holiday decorating, the quilting with white thread totally makes my bells jingle!  {sorry - very corny!}  it just becomes dynamic, slightly graphic, and really very pretty to me:
{they are listed in my etsy shop too} 
it was easy-peasy to outline each snowflake quickly with white thread, and then move into the overall quilting:

and i have a new thread to play with; this is a wonderfil brand, "dazzle-dazzle" ~it's a bit of satiny rayon, combined with silver metallic; a very thick thread, which i couched into the binding seam, and it was the perfect choice for the fabric snowflakes as each has that little touch of sparkle and silver:







happy day to you ~
xo
leslie

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"joy" coasters with snowflakes ~

hello!

it's a simple formula.  red christmassy print meets silver white snowflakes in a joyful match.

this pretty red christmas fabric was quickly fused, and even more quickly cut with a round 5" die shape from the accuquilt "go" system.  round two; repeat with white christmas fabric for snowflakes and the word "joy" and there you have it...

joyful red and white.

and it becomes a simply charming set of coasters:

 "quilt as desired."


done.
fast and sweet.
blessings on your day~
xo
leslie

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

minkee blankets and baby stuff ~

morning!

i have a small pile of minkee and flannel goodies finished, at last!  i believe many of the fabrics from this pile are at least 5 years old, probably alot longer.... and so alot of washing, trimming frayed ends, and pressing flannel fabric has taken place, with a good deal of reassessing, too!

i had to do some reorganizing of the 'minkee stash' in order to find some of the fabrics i knew i had {and found others i had forgotten i had}, and like many other things we start... well, it leads to other things!  while i know it's popular to do all that "clean out" in january after the holidays, it felt right for me to do it now, so i can relax, plan and enjoy my own holiday sewing, too.  when i can't find {quickly} things i know i have, or buy/remake things i already had, it's time to take matters into hand and re-think about how i have things put together in the studio.   

one thing is for sure.  it's always good to take stock of what you have.  and i am glad i did, because it motivated me to use {and enjoy} what i have, but more importantly, to share the excess of things i likely won't use, and pass them on, or donate.  that's always a good thing.

and as long as you're making a mess... make it a good one, and then clean it all up at once!

and... i do have some tips for sewing minkee.  look for those at the end of this post.

i not only made blankets, but with the scraps, i made matching little burping cloths too.  {they are in the far right pile in the photo below}
i also used up some soft, luxurious cotton velvet in a rich, dark brown.  i think this material is beautiful, and while the photo doesn't show the rich color of the matching birdie flannel... it was real pretty, and great for a boy, too.
and one of my favorite edge treatments, a scalloped effect occurs using my bernina #10 edge-stitch foot, and a simple hem stitch function. just click on those links to see more tutorials and how-to's on this lovely foot, or use the search button on my blog ~ search bernina #10}. i love teaching this class, too... and then i finished it with a serpentine stitch instead of a straight stitch trim.
the stringy yarn seen below on the edge of this flannel blanket?  it was a pain to sew!  it kept getting caught, and well... lots of thread fraying, etc... although i do love the look... not sure i will try it again!
sometimes i round the edges of my blankets... sometimes i do not!  {aren't these little monkeys so cute?  i wasn't that thrilled with them, but one of my girlfriends thought they were adorable, so i took her advice, and i am glad i did buy it!

and new fabric, purchased for a baby gift, the ever-popular dr. suess; this is cat-in-the-hat minkee with a matching cotton for the other side, and finished with a white chenille yarn on the edge.  soft and cuddly, that's for sure. 

hello little monkeys...!
more of that birdie print, only this time with a dark green minkee.  love this combo, too, and this time i added a double topstitch on the edge, which is a nice finish, too.

and nice little cotton patchwork leftover pieces... stitched together, right sides together, and that's it.  simple, and practical use for those leftover blocks, they make handy burping or "anything" cloths for a mom or dad {and baby!}


TIPS:
~  i like to sew with the minkee fabric on the bottom when i am sewing two layers together
~ a walking foot or a dual feed foot is absolutely essential for sewing with a stretchy fabric, and especially one with a thick pile such as minkee
~  i like to use a basting spray, which helps to keep the minkee from shifting so badly when sewing
~  i also pin "lengthwise ~ that is to say, parallel along the raw edge, and pull them out as i am sewing 
~ some people like to use a narrow, sticky, water-soluble tape along the raw edges... {but i haven't tried that yet}
~  a ballpoint needle is helpful
~  a zig zag stitch, lengthened to 3.0 to 3.5 is sometimes a good alternative stitch for stitching stretch fabrics
~  sew more slowly!  this is probably the one thing i have found that helps the most!  it really helps  to be able to manage the layers, and keep the shifting of fabric to a minimum, as you sew with raw edges together
~ increase your stitch length when topstitching.  it looks so much more professional, and ... beautiful!

soli deo gloria~
xo
leslie








Monday, November 17, 2014

a rose... is a rose gradient ~

monday greetings to you all ~

well, it's definitely not "think pink" weather... {but it is warming up!}... good thing there is always sun shining in warm, vibrant and luscious cloth in my world!  

and i count myself blessed to have received a 'special' piece of dyed fabric from miss vicki welsh.  it was kinda a happy accident, as when i ordered it, it had gone a "walkabout" in miss vicki's studio {i totally get that!} and so i purchased other fabric instead, and then... later, when the lost became found, vicki sent it on to me, and i became the welcome recipient of nothing less than a custom-dyed piece of fabric happiness!

with this particular piece, i tried to add feather lines, that 'grew out' from the original feathers curvy lines... sometimes it was "ok" and others times... not.  

so i get to continue that lesson in my feather adventures, and i look forward to figuring it out with needle and design.





this is my favorite picture of all the gorgeous colors in this piece:

soli deo gloria
xo
leslie
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