Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Stitchin' Away


I finished both "Starbirth: Lagoon Nebula" & "Starbirth: Swan Nebula" and tossed in a postcard one called "Nebula Clouds" for good measure. I've started working on "Tish Groove" again--adding the wide borders (which my husband called "party lights"), which I used the wax pastels on. I quilted the central figure down and I'm happy with it because God knows I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most careful of stitchers--especially when doing free-motion.

I was originally going to enter it into the European Patchwork show, but the slides are due July 9th. Um, it's June 29. I dunno, y'all. It's not even so much my finishing it as getting the darn digital files into slides and back and off to France in time. Darn! It would've been perfect for the "rhythm & blues" theme. Dang. Whoa...that's a lot of "dang" and "darns" in this, LOL. Next time huh?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Inspirations of the Week:

  1. NASA Hubble telescope astronomical photos
  2. Victorian rowhomes here in D.C.
  3. the beautiful hot weather we're having right now

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Starbirth: Lagoon Nebula piece--Painted!

Well, in a fit of creativity, I sat on my front stoop "painting" with the wax pastels for #2 of the "Starbirth" series. I'm understanding the medium a little more. It had been a long time since I've sat outside painting--which is always interesting in an urban neighborhood because everyone's passing by looking at you like "What the heck is she doing?"

This one is called "Lagoon Nebula" for the Hubble telescope photo below. Emari, my 5-year old cousin, came outside and sat with me while I painted. "You do art? I didn't know you did art," she said. "I like it!" We had a great discussion about drawing and painting and space and stars and how she was so sleepy in the car that she wouldn't get up and missed out on the fabric store! She giggled and said that her daycare had a party and she had fun dancing and that's why she was tired.

I'm going to stitch this up and post it when it's done. They're only about 13" x 17". I'm having so much fun with this.

Lagoon Nebula space photo

This is the Lagoon Nebula, which is the basis for #2 of my "Starbirth" series. I love the concept that a newborn star could create these massive, twisting space "tornados". I thought this NASA photo was so beautiful with the starlight lighting these whirling clouds of gas.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hubby's Quilting Quote

My husband loves Slurpees from 7-11. We're getting out of the car and I'm asking him to hurry up and drink down the rest of it. His answer?

"C'mon now! It's like quilting--you just can't rush it!"

Couldn't argue with that, LOL.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Keisha Roberts

I saw a posting on the QuiltArt listserv today and discovered a new fiber artist named Keisha Roberts.

Drawing from her African American heritage, she has created some beautiful pieces. Check out her site and see for yourself!

And Sonji...she has BUNDLES! A fiber artist after your own heart. Look at her piece "A Wish, A Dream, and A Prayer Second."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

All I Want to Say...

...Is that I had a wonderful day!

Fabulous weather, work being a breeze, yummy cake, seeing friends and fireflies coming out as I finally arrived home? It's been great.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Simple Things

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I am going to face "Starbirth: Swan Nebula" so there's no binding. I enjoyed this piece with its ease and flowy stitches so much that I'm going to do a "Starbirth" series of them, all based upon different nebulas involving newborn stars. So there will be Carina, Lagoon, and 30 Doradus.

I would prefer to use black batting on "Tish Groove", but darn it, I don't have any. I suppose white will have to do...

Oh! What's up with the Hershey's bar?

A girl's got to have a little chocolate at the end of the day, you know? And I was so happy to find this unexpected surprise in my fridge. Sometimes it's the little things.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Starbirth--Free Motion Experimenting...

Well, here's "Starbirth." I've been having a good time working on this. I'm going to add some clear sparkly beads over the little white spots--which are baby stars in the photo--and embroider their colored points of light around them.

I got a little happy with the free motion stitching. This is the first time I've ever done it all over like this. So much fun! I'm going to put a binding on it--as I stitched through before I could "pillowcase it. Darn. I would've liked the look of no binding. Any suggestions? And, what about hanging sleeves if I pillowcase? How do you attach them then?

Starbirth Wax Pastels fabric

As you can see, the colors aren't as bright as I thought. I wasn't too heavy with the wax pastels. Now I know...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

And my answer was...

My cousin Tish (of "Tish Groove" fame--yup, she's real) came over last night. Looking at my newest piece and "Tish Groove", she said, "You are so awesome. Hey, how many quilts are you going to make?!"

My answer, "As many quilts as I have ideas and can possibly physically create."

I know that so many of you can relate to that feeling where the idea and the creation of it finally sync up. You can almost feel it all the way down into your bones because you are seeing it so clearly. It makes me so happy to see it become reality and the response it elicits in others.

For everyone out there making beauty and thought-provokers, "Keep on creating."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I realize there may have been a misunderstanding!

The photo is of the nebula itself, not of my piece.

My colors, as I said in my earlier post, are not as brilliant. I will end up doing it again to try to get closer to the photo now that I understand the nature of the wax pastels better.

"Starbirth" Inspiration

I've decided to call the piece "Starbirth" (based upon the above photo of the Swan Nebula). Using the wax pastels worked out pretty well for me. I wasn't certain how much to use, so the colors are more muted than the photo. OK, they're pretty darn pale actually. I did go ahead and treat it kind of like a wholecloth piece to give myself a chance to practice freemotion. I got a little happy with the quilting, but I think the stitches enhanced the colors and the flowy feel of the colored gases more. I'll post the pic when I'm a little more "done."

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Went to a "secret bee" with some of the ladies from my quilt guild and three other quilters. The host had a gorgeous home with this dream quilt studio in the basement. I had a great time talking, sewing and eating. I actually felt productive. I also had a chance to try out someone's Bernina Aurora 440QE w/the stitch regulator. I was surprised and tickled by how easy it made free motion quilting--with no foot pedal! I went reallllly fast and I went reallllly slow and it made no difference! Amazing! Technology! That's what I'm talkin' about.

Last night I tried that wax pastel technique from Quilting Arts magazine and made a pretty fabric based upon the Swan Nebula--a star nursery. I'll quilt it like wholecloth and call it "Starbirth." Making the fabric was a lot of fun. I felt like I was watercoloring (which is my painting medium) and it was pretty easy to do. I was really happy with the results. I'll post a pic of it soon.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Cute Artsy Chairs!

This pretty little school chair ("Stained Glass Chair") was painted by my 5-year old goddaughter/cousin Starr and her kindergarten classmates for their "Reclaimed Chair Silent Auction." One chair was being bid on for $235 last time we checked the clipboard! If you look closely "Van Gogh Chair" is to the right and has "his" sunflowers on it.

Aren't they great?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Oooo! my copy of Quilting Arts and now I know how I want to do the jazz-themed quilt. The possibilities are so clear now! I went to the art store right after work and got some Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels. This is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!!

1st Try at Free Motion Quilting

OK, I'm a little shaky handed, but that just means practice, practice, practice, right? I was so tickled. I'm a hand quilter, so this is new territory for me. The four squares were given to me during my guild's "Back 2 Basics" Day so I didn't have a choice about the designs, but I liked it. I decided that I was going to take them home and really finish it and practice on it. You can't really see it here, but I did an acorn and leaves on the lower rt. square. I had lots of fun painting the copper leaf on the lower left. It's unfinished (you can still see my marking and there's no binding yet), but this was a lot of fun and Ol' Singer seemed up to it. I can't wait to do more things now!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Crack! BOOOM!

Last night I hung out again with the ladies of the New Moon Gathering--young, female, African-American artists and creative types. We joke that it's our very own support group for those who refuse to think inside the box. We had a great time talking, singing, reciting poetry, sharing artwork, eating healthy good-for-you vegan dishes (I'm not vegan, but it was so good.) It's so inspiring to be surrounded by 6 other artistic, creative sistafriends like that. You can't help but to be inspired by them and hope you do the same in turn. I showed them the top for "Tish Groove" and they thought it was great.

Only thing is, it was thunderstorming like CRAZY outside. I mean, wrath of God lightning coming down left and right with torrential rain and loud thunder to match. We thought it would be quick, but noooo...we're talking at least 3 hours and it was still going when I got home. I put a plastic bag over my hair and made a run for my car. I was terrified driving home and I don't get like that! Trees fall down all the time during storms here and that lightning! I mean the skies were bright and it was touching down everywhere. While I was on one of our highways, a really nice driver in front of me--and there weren't that many on the roads--put on their hazards so that I could see since the lights were knocked out. I was so relieved when I made it in the door I didn't know what to do.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Tish Groove--Ready to Quilt!

Here's a detail of "Tish Groove". All the outlines are done and couched. By hand. Good Lord, I must be insane because that took forever, but I like the effect and the texture it gives it.

Now I'm ready to quilt! I've never machine quilted before and I can't say I am the most confident about doing so on this particular piece. Deep breath Elle, breathe. My husband's like "Go for it!" I'm like, "Yiiiiiiiiiikes!" because I'm scared I might mess it all up! LOL. Does anyone else get like that sometimes?

Whooo...OK...needle to fabric...let's go! Wish me luck to not have an "Uh-Oh of the Day"! LOL.