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?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

pinwheels n' cartwheels ~

hi friends ~

not that i could physically do cartwheels... but i feel that happy about it when i'm done piecing my pinwheel blocks! ... particularly in light of my recent enlightenment on our day of "sewing for cancer" a couple weeks back.  i learned a little technique to unstitch part of the seam in the back, and then saw how everything in those six seams coming together lays so nice, neat, and flat {and makes a mini-pinwheel} is joy enough for a cartwheel alone! lol.  i just love making that happen, and i love the suspense of seeing if i got the seams to match too.  so i've been practicing, i've even become {ever so slightly} addicted ~ and this time i'm choosing  fabrics from my kaffe fasset fabric stash for my 'pinwheel dance." 
well... they don't all match... but as one person remarked... "well, that one is 90%!"  yes. always a pursuit of the excellence factor.


and i have decided my quilting on these blocks will be thus:

pinwheel feathers?!
blessings on your day!
xo
leslie
soli deo gloria

Thursday, March 26, 2015

storm at sea ~ finished

hello ~

it's most certainly a labor of love, pinning and loading three layers of fabric and batting onto a long arm machine...  and it will be a challenge for me not to want to reverse things!  three times... i pinned and unpinned... but then ~ when it's finally right... the fun begins!  

this is my long lost ~ but not forgotten ~ "storm at sea" quilt.  it's been waiting a long time for me to "make it real!"  all the pieces of it were laser cut, part of a "kit" of sorts by quilter john flynn.  i purchased it about eight years ago... give or take a few?!!  having little piecing knowledge, i jumped into this kit because the colors... well... THE colors!  dreamy.  and i was quite enamored with the pattern of the quilt too.   i don't know how long it took me to piece it, but i remember the enjoyment of working out the placement of the stars and circles, and how they intersected.  

and when it came time to finally piece it... those delicate shapes that intersect within each of the blocks... all those diamonds, squares and triangles were a huge challenge for me at the time.  especially as i had no clue how to help seams lay flat, keep bias edges from stretching, and all that jazz {way back then!} lol. where was youtube, anyway?  well, it certainly wasn't in my radar, that's for sure! so, nice and folded back up, it went in my "i'll-get back-to-you-someday-pile."

and that someday arrived last week!  i picked out borders and stitched them on, and a batik backing, and this baby was ready to go to the shop for quilting.

and so "storm at sea" became the practice quilt, before i jump into the long arm for toni's zebra~new york beauty quilt i showed in this post.

this is a baby lock "crown jewel" longarm which is available for rent at the quiltaway shop.  toni, the owner, helped me load it:


i could have practiced on a plain piece of fabric... but for me, having a "real" quilt that i want to do well on is motivation to practice more seriously... and eventually... more precisely!

i had to do some "inner talking" to myself, and stop comparing the quilting that comes so easily to me when i do home machine quilting work. given the thousands of hours i've spent on my home machine... going to a longarm requires a different set of movements. and nothing changes! it will all require putting in the practice and time to hone one's skills.  so i got to embrace imperfections {more than i usually do}, and {enJoy} getting the lovely movement of a longarm machine and drawing with the needle instead of moving fabric... learning to embrace broader strokes, for sure.  and finding the wide open space both a bit intimidating, and limiting!  kinda funny how that works.  there is a space of about five inches toward the edge of the front roller bar that you cannot quilt in until you stop and advance the rollers... and learning where that "border" was, indeed... an adventure!  next time i think i'll mark it with an erasable pen or pins, or something.







and i tried out feathers, swirls and circles... randomly, on this quilt. i'd really like to do more detail quilting too... but in time.  the pattern is striking enough with color and design, so the quilting was not really the star of the show {thankfully!}  and i'm ever so glad to see it finished, and ready to bind. 

this piece took about three hours for me to quilt, and perhaps would have gone smoother, but of course, learning to roll the quilt, adjust, change bobbins, adjust tension... all those things are good steps to learning the overall process.  i would guess  it would have taken ten+ hours minimally on my home machine.

despite the quilting bobbles everywhere, i love it.  and now it will find a home somewhere off the ufo pile ~ yay!

bless your day!
xo
soli deo gloria!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

sewing for cancer ~

good morning out there y'all ~

i had a super fun day this past saturday with a few friends, and sisters... {and a very, very cute little boy!} sewing lap quilts for the chouteau county cancer support group this past saturday.

we got to set up {far and wide!} lol ~ in our highwood faith community church sanctuary, and had ourselves a good ol' time!  i helped piece blocks, and learned a new trick {for me} on sewing up pinwheel blocks.  so cool!  i've always wanted to be a better "piecer" and so saturday gave me that opportunity to learn:
























my first pinwheel block above.  not bad... always room for improvement, so i'm practicing again... cuz i am hooked!  and that little seven-month old boy?  of course, i got to 'help' entertain him, and he loved sitting in my lap, playing on the sewing machine!  what a happy little boy.  we played peek a boo with fabric swatches, and enjoyed his sweet smile and laughter... and we christened fabric with his giggles and drool!!  what a gift.

what a great time together.  thank you Lord. we pray the work of our hands and hearts to bless others, to your glory. amen.

soli deo gloria
xo
leslie

Friday, March 20, 2015

collaging onto a large quilt ~ {and winner}

hey friends ~

happy friday folks!  hope you've had a great week, and happy first day of spring!!

and to celebrate spring... here's another idea for y'all using the collage technique!

just take a look at this beauty:



pretty cool, huh.  

ohhh ~ the possibilities!  have you been inspired?  are you sorting out fabrics for floral collage?!

need i say more?  no, not really. except... that i get to quilt this magical quilt... and i'm happy about that... it's going to be an exciting challenge, as i am going to quilt it on the store's long arm machine.  my first~ever!  and.... this quilt is going to the local quilt show the end of april!

oh ~ and let me not forget to announce the winner of my brand new pattern "Izaak ~ a Bloomin' Bighorn Sheep!"
 and it's autographed ~ lol!
there were 20 commenters {thank you very much!} such good odds, too!  so the winner is "kaholly  as commenter #18, chosen by brian!  i'll contact you via on your blog, soon, and get this in the mail to you asap. 

i'm finding  pattern making is a not for the faint-hearted, budget wise ~ just sayin! but i do enJoy creating my own designs very much.  the paper pattern of izaak cost $7.80, {it's a 3' x 4" sheet of paper!} .. plus color covers, instructions and engineering services makes the total cost to me just to produce the pattern at: $9.36!  These will sell for $20 on my etsy store, {in the pattern section}, but you can get "izaak" or "rocky" for 20% until April 1st!  coupon code: RKY20.  and i appreciate your support... always!  

have a blessed spring day my friends!!
leslie xo
soli deo gloria!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

collage class #2 inspirations ~

morning folks ~

ahh ~ be prepared to be amazed!  our collage class #2 included lots of laughter, tons of sharing ~ and sweet artists of collage!  fuse fuse fuse!  cut cut cut!

once again, we had such a good time together this past weekend, seeing each person's collage evolve, as they developed their own color story and design for the pattern of their choosing: 















pretty cool, aren't they!  

and a good time was had by all!  

soli deo gloria
xo
leslie


Thursday, March 12, 2015

izaak ~ rocky mountain bighorn sheep ~ {giveaway too}

happy friday ~

meet izaak.  the rocky mountain bighorn sheep.  big and bloomin' he is!  that's because he's laying in a mountain meadow, enjoying the lush green grass of summer time livin' ya know.  

i came up with the name because a reader {thank you vickie} reminded me of a bible story; abraham, his son isaac, and the ram.  also, in glacier park, we have a classic old inn, named the izaak walton inn.  so there... lies the story of how he is named.  i loved the others, too.  "rosy ram," "ram-beau" and "bloomin' bighorn" were among my other favorites!  {you guys are so cool!}

so he went from this: 
 to this:  
and other changes.  most of them subtle, but some not as much. the biggest one was the horn color contrast of the horns.  if i had more blue flowers i would have reversed their roles, and made the blue horns come out of the blue head.  {sounds kinda funny doesn't it}  because pink is what i have the most of, that's the choice i made for the larger areas of the horns.  the blue tips... well, i wish they showed better against the background, but i may finish them with a bit of dark thread around the edges to separate the imagery better. i could have used a different background fabric... but i wanted to use this one. {made by vicki welsh of course}. this is her thrive gradient. it's beautiful isn't it.  big blue skies... lush meadows... perfect!

notice too, that i covered up the large blue flower in his forehead?  i found it distracted from the face and eyes.  so i covered it with another blue flower, taking out the most graphic 'eye-catching' of the first blue flower.

and i changed the eyes.  i cut out some of those multi-petaled black flowers.  i like them on the side better. and i also angled them ever so slightly, as well as added thread play in a small rectangle in the eye's center.  

i also added bits of the darker blue millifiori flower circles to the face to {hopefully} emphasize curvature of the head, and shadow illusions. these are the same ones added into the horn structure, and the totality of their use brings a bit of cohesiveness to the whole design.  {i also added them into the foreground flowers, that's he laying in}.  
and i cut the nose ~ the brown part {the shadow} down slightly, too.  i like the lines i quilted into the nose area, emulating some of the curvature of his nose.  
 notice the pink flowers just above the white nose section?  to me, they speak to fur, and texture, but also to separation of the major face features of the sheep, defining and setting apart the white nose:



i added a hint of white butt on him, too.  even though he's laying down...and one may not see it clearly, i decided that's just part of my creative decision making!

 here are some of the details of the flowers that are in the foreground.





and these are the color choices and thread types i chose to quilt mr. izaak.  by far, magnifico {by superior threads}, which is 100% polyester, 40 wt thread, is the easiest to quilt with. no fraying, smooth quilting, and it has no trouble going through all the thick layers of fabric and fusible.  at times... there are probably 7-8 layers of all of those, including batting and backing!

i also used masterpiece {the gray} 100% cotton, 50 wt in the bottom.  i used the blue magnifico in the blue part of horns, the same for the pink, and brown for the body, as well as white for the nose, etc.  and a must have, is superior's titanium coated, 90/14 topstitch needle.  it's certainly my dream team!  i've used several other types of thread now in my collages, and by far, there is no comparison as to ease in quilting.
 after much debate in my mind, i decided on a curvy two sided cut for the outer edge.  i'm ready now to make some modifications to my initial pattern, get it printed, photographed, and ready for packaging.  it will be listed in my etsy shop, soon!  

if you like mr. izaak ~ and would like to try making one from my pattern... just leave a shout out on this post.  when i get the pattern printed up {hopefully by next week  i'll send the pattern to a lucky reader, free!   i'll pick the winner next friday, march 20th. 

also, i've been asked quite a lot for a pattern for the table runners, mug rugs, toppers... so i will be developing that more completely, as well.  wahoo!  and i'll be announcing the facebook winner of the "rocky" pattern, next monday!  

another fun and full weekend of collage class coming up!  i'm ready!!!

thanks for following along my process... my craziness for collage!!  

...bobcat, anyone?  

xo
leslie
soli deo gloria!



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