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?

Friday, October 17, 2014

"northern night lights" ~ for superior threads

hello! 

my oh my, where has the week gone?  wait ~ i remember. perfecting a buttermilk biscuit recipe... test driving a mid-arm quilting machine at a local quilt store {babylock}; studying isaiah, {i'm leading bible study and giving the messages for awhile!}, and i've joined a local gym to help alleviate joint {hip} pain issues, sending out orders from my etsy store, and besides enjoying our amazing october weather, i got out for some lunch with friends, and even {semi-enjoyed} grocery shopping!  whew.  am certainly loving retirement!

and... a great portion of time at the sewing machine.  now that's what i call a terrific week!  

i'm really honored to have been asked by superior to create this special piece, and very excited to show you my quilted rendition of "northern night lights" ~ a special commissioned piece for my favorite thread company:  superior threads!

approximately 20"x 34" in size, it began with a beautiful inspirational piece of hand dyed fabric that gave me the idea for the northern lights theme, dyed by the talented vicki welsh.

i hand painted additional colors, with silks acrylic glaze paints, added real silver leaf, and layers of bits of angelina fibers i melted together to create custom colors, as well as a strips of textiva film, and other accent pieces of hand dyed fabrics that were added to the base of the quilt fabric, all prior to quilting it.

i used quilters dream batting, 'dream orient' between two traditional layers.  no extra stabilizer. 

let me give you some other facts about this completely thread painted art quilt.  approximately 16+ jumbo bobbins from my bernina 830 were used;  about 13 different threads {at my last count ~ i may have missed some!}, and i think maybe 20-30 thread changes, as i went back and forth, looking, pausing, and adding thread colors here and there as i quilted along.  silver metallic, razzle dazzle, magnifico, masterpiece, and bottom line all made their way into this piece; size: 21"x 34."

how much time from start to finish?  about 50-60 hours.  and i loved every minute!
looking from the top down into the body of the quilt.










 the back side:  {i always love using bottom line in white, with all my silver metallic threads, especially in free motion.}
 yeah... lots of pics, and the weather was beautifully cooperative with no wind, and pretty sunlight, {although my last pic wasn't so great of the entire piece} and now it's time to pack it up and mail it off to superior threads where it will be in wonderful company i am sure!  {pun intended!} lol
thank you superior threads, it was an honor, and i give all the credit to our loving, and living Father Above.

Soli Deo Gloria!
XO
Leslie

Monday, October 13, 2014

a tuscan inspired sunflower quilt ~

morning salutations people!

ahhh... one more project off the sewing machine, and into the mail. this was a special commissioned piece, and i love how it turned out.  i put about twenty hours into this piece...  and it began with very basic sunflower shapes i drew, cutting them from vicki's hand dyed fabrics, and then adding brown velvet for the flower centers.  

then ~ time for some thread action!  free motion, bobbin play, and {lots} of quilting! {yay}  this was a very large piece by special request, at 55" long and 15" wide.



getting there... bit by bit, and stitch by stitch:



and completely finished:

{and the puppies we're anxiously waiting to see it too!} LOL 
finished with free motion couching, where i excitedly placed a beautiful hand dyed yarn, as well as another accent of flashy, and yet subtle "double framing" finish applying razzle dazzle thread on the inside edge, alongside the yarn, to complete the framed finish on this beautiful piece of artwork.


soli deo gloria!  
thanks for coming by!
xo
leslie

Friday, October 10, 2014

takin' the high road to upper highwood creek ~


good morning glories ~  

if you've been reading this blog for very long, you know that i very much enjoy "getting out" into the gorgeous montana landscapes that are everywhere here!  

this is one of our favorite places... the highwood mountains, and the photos i took last weekend when we decided to take a little sunday drive detour on our way home from church.

oh for the love of a sweet autumn... via the road {somewhat} less travelled to upper highwood creek:
one has to catch autumn fast in the mountains, the bushes lose their leaves first, and then the cottonwoods...
there's nothing to compare to getting down low!  the view is  as spectacular down low as it is up higher... {except for a few thorns in my hand!}  lol

and... the "bridges of choteau county!"
and upper highwood creek, shining in the afternoon sun:

ahhh yes.  i could definitely live here:
all in God's good time... and glory alleluia.  amen.

have a wonderful autumn weekend!  i've got a few major projects to share, so we'll see ya back here on monday!!

blessings on your day!
soli deo gloria!
xo
leslie

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

autumn splendor ~ a hand painted quilt

good day ~ 

leaves... leaves... leaves!  always a fun, artistic motif to play with, especially this time of year.  and i have a gorgeous view in my imagination!

this is how it plays out:
first, i hand-painted the leaves with silks acrylic glaze paints. and i added free motion quilting in two motifs, tiny stippling and miniature feathers.  a bit of bobbin play for dimension, and sparkle, and well, because... it was really fun!  the top and bottom edges were cut wavy, and the sides are deliberately not perfectly straight... it is designed to be a table runner or a wall hanging.   
the stems of the leaves are couched with a very stiff, wirey metallic thread called "facets" i found when we were visiting in washington state. i purchased it at the quilting bee in spokane.



and i've been using this new quilters dream orient batting. {love!}  so smooth, and wonderful to quilt.



it's for sale in my etsy shop.  

thank you for taking time to stop by!  

blessings on your day
xo
leslie

Monday, October 6, 2014

poppy art quilt #2 ~

hi everyone ~

this finished piece is another take on using a big flower print to create an art quilt with just a splash of thread painting on it.  the bernina timeless quilts store sent me this big bold poppy  print, as well as a very dramatic graphic-styled black and white leaf print, which i used as the backdrop for the gorge poppies.  they only asked that i "just have fun" with them!  {and i did!}  

if you click this link it will take you straight to the class listing, showing the samples from which we're basing the class i'm teaching on november 8th!  i taught here a couple years ago, and i'm so excited to be asked to come back and teach another great stitching adventure at this lovely store!  

here is "poppy quilt #2, a bouquet."

this one has just a dab of bobbin play, and was fun for me to dabble in, too.  it features a tiny bit of thread painting to accent the poppies... a fun process to experiment with, but so easy because you have a great floral print design to work from, especially if this is your first rodeo - or, i mean, art quilt!
and i focused on the bobbin play action for the centers of the quilt, using superior thread company's razzle dazzle bobbin thread, in black and silvery gray, "antique" for the definition.  i also added dark red, "ruby slippers," razzle dazzle which is red and black twisted together, for some slight shadows and just a hint of shine on the leaves.  and i used the lovely and brilliant satiny-smooth magnifico thread in light pink, white, and dark red, as well as a splash of orange for all the thread painting. 

{love these poppies}!




i can't wait to share all the ways to play and have fun with threads, tension settings and artistic expression using some simple skills, beautiful fabric and textures! if you've wondered exactly how you might use these big, bright and bold prints, this is just one of many.  they certainly make for a wonderful exploration in thread play and free motion quilting.  

have a beautiful day!
xo
leslie

Friday, October 3, 2014

blueberry hill artsy leaf quilt ~

good friday to you all ~

it has been fun to experiment with hand dyed fabric, adding a bit of color and pattern using a stencil i've had for a while now, {from stencil girl products} and the lovely and ever-lasting shiva paintstiks.  and of course, blending leaves and adding them on top is like taking me to a candy store!  i love doing it.  plus, it makes for a creative flow of possibilities, and it's so fun to lift off the stencil, and go ... "cool!"  always a bit of surprise, and pleasantly so!  

with that, here is the next little autumn art quilt:
the quilting is nothing to write home about, but i wanted to see what it would truly look like to quilt over the stenciled design, so i went for it.  sometimes the risk is worth the understanding of what you like {and what you don't}.  there is nothing sacred, and it's all good.  that's what is so fun about it.  nothing ventured... nothing gained!

so i decided to quilt the background on this one.  i feel it does compete with the underlying pattern, but at the same time, it's texture, and very appealing color, and because the leaves are pretty plain, i think it works great! 

i think we have a tendency to see our work as "pass/fail" or "good/bad" but that thought pattern can lead us down a narrow dark road at times.  there is always a place for improvement, and that room is called "get on the sewing machine and try it again" --- not something you call "i messed up" or "this is ugly!"  

we get to enjoy the process, and at the same time, our skills improve as we learn and grow.  that includes design decisions, and well as "what-if's" and of course, there is always more to learn.


each leave was edged with a thick thread {via my beautiful #39 foot}.  this method takes patience, and some skill with placement, but easily accomplished with practice time!
class sample
size is about 8x10" and a bit of curvy edge with bias cut binding, a beautiful hand-dyed yarn couched as a framing enhancement, and additionally, a bit of dazzle dazzle couched inside of the yarn.  it truly does sparkle!

we'll be exploring all those concepts, ideas and quilting design {and more} in the november 8th, missoula class at the quilt shop, timeless quilts and friends.  

blessings on your day! 
xo
leslie
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