Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ten down, two to go!

With just two days to go until the official release date of our book Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge, special deliveries are continuing all around the world:
It's Day 10 on the Twelve Days of Twelves series on the Lark Crafts blog and Diane is the feature Twelve (there's also a giveaway opportunity on the Day 8 with Terry).  The Twelve by Twelve project was founded by Diane when she sent us an e-mail with the heading "Wanna Play?!".  Eleven of us said yes and three and a half years later, we're still playing and having fun.  Thank you Diane.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm Almost There

I think I'm getting somewhere here. As always, reader comments have been very helpful. I'm taking to heart Ann Marie's suggestion of more triangles -- I have seriously considered scrapping this version and making one with smaller squares! I pulled myself back from the edge but you never know -- if my current try doesn't work, I'm going for 144 little Squares and half square triangles. On my blog, Tonya wanted a punch of the blue. Yup, that was a good one. I've also added a richer green. This is a balancing act here. Jenny seemed a bit hesitant to suggest quarter square triangles, but that was the comment that really excited me! I'm liking the little pointy-up triangles. I'm also liking the patches with the pointy-down brown triangles. They remind me of flowers, or clusters of leaves reaching up. I think the solution is somewhere in these.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Brown Blue and Sage View

The thing that keeps coming to mind when I think of Brown Blue and Sage is the view out of the window of my studio, especially on sunny days this time of year.  I see the beautiful blue sky, sparkling Mt. Jupiter, the hills covered in evergreens and not so beautiful, scrubby, bare alder trees. I decided to try capturing the scene with free motion stitching.   
For this piece, I decided to just stitch the mountain, without the alders and power lines cluttering the view.  I used circles for the neighbor's fields, spirals for the mountain and lines for the clouded sky 
For the alder trees, I used a very messy, sketchy line.  I stitched as I looked at them out the window.  Lines are going every which way.  It was fun to actually draw with the sewing machine.  I'm not a very confident drawer and I have a feeling it shows.  I did have a lot of fun doing it and didn't really worry about how it turned out.

 My final sketch was the tree line.  I used straight lines for the trees and swirls for the sky.  I actually did a mirror image of the view out my window because of the way the fabric was moving as I stitched. 

After quilting, my next task is making more fabric paper to fit the color scheme.  These are the background papers that I thought.  Brown blue and sage seems to be a popular color scheme, as I had no problem finding a plethora of choice in my stash. 

You'd think I'd never done this before...

I just sewed a beautiful pillowcase facing on to my 12x12 quilt.  And realized I'd put the front of the quilt INSIDE. 

I guess it wouldn't meet the color criteria if the colors are sealed inside, huh?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

In Search of the Perfect Embellishments

I'm a little behind on this challenge.  All the excitement over the book and other projects have had me distracted.   Truth be told, I really don't know what I am going to do and we only have a week to go.  I figured that I can't let that stop me though and I will just have to fake it until a plan comes to me.  I'm hoping that playing with the colors will inspire me and a quilt will just develop.  Today's activities included quilting a bunch of fabric in preparation for painting and pulling out a bunch of brown, blue and sage embellishments.  Most of my greens are too bright to be called sage and brown is definitely lacking.  Thankfully, the stash is deep and  I managed to find some beads, wire and ribbons.  I'm finding that I do like all the colors together.  Perhaps when I start playing with fabric and paint inspiration will come to me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Special Deliveries

The delivery of author copies continues and the mosaic is filling up. Just look at those happy smiles!
Don't miss the Twelve Days of Twelves on the Lark Crafts blog which includes some giveaways for lucky readers.  You can also order your very own copy of the book from suppliers such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon. In Australia, you can pre-order from Can Do Books (Melbourne) and New Zealand Quilter/Minerva has a shipment arriving very soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Colourful Dogs

Remember Diane's Labikeet piece made for the Lorikeet Colorplay challenge? Check out this Labrakeet on exhibition at part of the Doggie Dogma - Dog in Art exhibition in Sydney.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Deliveries

Thanks to some Valentine's Day deliveries, the mosaic is filling up:
All the Twelves in the mainland US have received their author copies and Kirsty and Brenda got to see the early advance copy.  Who will be next - Kristin (Hawaii), Helen (UK) or Francoise (Belgium)?

If you would like your very own copy too, why not check out the giveaway on the Lark Crafts blog?  It's day two of the Twelve Days of Twelve and Kristin is the featured Twelve.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Brown, Sage, Blue Peek

I have finished my landscape! I just have to hand sew the facings. I had fun once I got going. I used a landscape technique that I learned from Sue Benner. The fusing is ironed to the batting and then strips of fabric are fused to the batting to create a scene.

It was so exciting to get our book delivered today. It is really gorgeous — just so full of beautiful photos of our quilts and our own personal stories. I am so proud of us. Thank you to the other twelves for staying with it and making art that we can share.

Twelve Days of Twelves on the Lark Crafts Blog

Today is the first day of the celebration of Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge on the Lark Crafts blog. Each day, for the next twelve (business) days, there will be an interview with one of the Twelves. Lark Crafts will also be giving away copies of the book on certain days, so keep checking back!

The first interview is with Gerrie. To read more, click on the image below.

Twelve Valentines?

The Twelves are eagerly awaiting delivery of author copies of our new book Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge.Some of us have already held the book in our hands, inhaled the new book smell and marvelled over the lush illustrations (see Brenda's re-enactment video).  The rest of us are hanging out by the mail box, ever alert for the sound of the delivery truck.  Maybe Valentine's Day will bring some special mail.

By the way, the official release date of the book is 1 March but several suppliers have the book in stock ready for immediate delivery.  Better still, Barnes & Noble are currently offering the book at the discount price of $10.89 with free delivery in the United States for orders over $25.  Have you ordered your copy (or more!) yet?

Saturday, February 12, 2011


OK, I admit it -- I'm stuck. I like these colors, but my creative juices are just not flowing. Normally, I would work this all out behind the scenes, but having decided that I wanted to share more of my process, here's where I'm at:
My first thought was "spa." I saw some peekaboo applique (not a technical term, just what I'm calling it today) and thought it might be pretty to have "windows" of blue and sage fabric peeking through chocolate brown. Kinda decorative though, and maybe a bit of a cop-out for me. I owe the group some deeper thought.
So then I thought about "sage advice," which led me to fortune cookies. That had me excited for about three days, but then I lost steam.

So I went back to the spa idea (but now fortified with sage), which led me to zen, which made me think of a zen garden, which reminded me of bonsai. Of course bonsai are little trees, and there's a traditional quilt block called the Tree of Life or Tree of Paradise (images from my Jinny Beyer book of 101 Quilt Blocks, or something like that).
I got very excited about building a little bonsai tree out of half square triangles and set to work. About a bajillion arrangements later, I had to step away.
So here is where I stand. I don't feel like I've captured the minimal elegance of a bonsai tree. Mine lacks the grace of the real thing. So now I'm not sure if I should keep futzing with this guy, or go back to my peekaboo window idea and admit defeat.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another landscape quilt?

This is what I pulled out from my boxes yesterday... ;-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Brown, Sage, Blue Deficit

I went through my stash tonight looking for Deborah's colorplay palette of brown, sage and blue. This is the best I could do. I have one green and the blues look pretty good, but my browns are really a much warmer than the one in the paint chips.

I am thinking that I have the beginnings of a nice landscape!!

Water Soluble paper

I have started working on my 12x12 piece -- 3 weeks ahead of the deadline, can you believe it?

Inspired by an episode of Quilting Arts TV (somewhere in the 600 series), I decided to experiment with water soluble paper. But I didn't have water soluble paper -- I had a lightweight water soluble stabilizer, and decided to give that a try.  So, I chose an image, and printed it on the stabilizer with my inket printer.

I've stitched through the stabilizer to put the stitching lines onto my quilt base.  And just now I dunked the whole thing in the sink to dissolve the stabilizer, and it's sitting outside in the sunshine (sorry, folks, but it IS sunny here in California) to dry.

I'm not sure about this.  It looks like some of the ink marks from printing on the stablizer transferred slight smudge marks on the fabric when it dissolved.  Not good.

But we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Midsomer Quilting Exhibition

I am now able to confirm the exact timings of the Twelve by Twelve show at Midsomer Quilting which I prevoiusly vaguely introduced as ' Easter weekend'.
The show will be on from Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd April 2011 during shop openings which are 10 - 4pm each day.

Directions are available here.

I shall be dipping in and out of the show but if you plan to go and would  like to chat please email me and I will do my best to be there when you plan to attend.

Copies of our book will be for sale- come early or ring the shop to reserve a copy ( which I can sign if you don't think that will devalue it!)  as stocks are limited!


Saturday, February 5, 2011


I like these colors. They are colors I could live with. But I'm stalling out on what to do with them 12x12-wise. My first reaction was "spa."

I saw something that was kind of like a cathedral window construction that reminded me of a curtain or room divider. So, I've been thinking that maybe I'd do something that was like a screen at a spa, allowing for glimpses of the treatments beyond. Seems rather decorative though.

Then I riffed on the color names. I rather like the idea of "sage advice" and was convinced two days ago that I would do a composition in sage, blue, and brown based on fortune cookie papers. Then I thought about my dad, who's always been my sage when it comes to my artistic career. Maybe a portrait of him. Maybe not though since I have issues with people in art quilts. Or maybe I need to do it to push myself out of my comfort zone.

After pulling out these fabrics (as you can see, I am of the grey-green school when it comes to sage), I am back to liking little windows....

Working on the next piece

Usually I keep what I am doing for the next 12 x 12 challenge pretty much under wraps until the reveal. I'm not sure why we have done this. I think in the beginning we thought the blog would be a good place to talk about progress and what we were doing. This one seems to me that it might be somewhat interesting to talk about as I go and show my thought process.

I think I've mentioned that the color scheme doesn't do a lot for me, but, hey, that's why they call it a challenge!

I got to thinking maybe it would be interesting to redo an older piece of mine, using the new color scheme. That could be fun, right? I chose a little piece that was in the traveling show called "Fine Focus" several years ago.

So I went to work, starting with the bowl and the bird. It seemed a lot like this one, but somehow it didn't make me happy. This is beginning to be a pattern, I think! Remember the chokecherry piece? I made it first, using the techniques and way of working that I am accustomed to and it seemed tight and dead. Same with this piece. So then I made it again, using, I hoped, a freer, looser approach. Here are the two .

It is probably obvious that the one on the left was the first and the one on the right my second effort. These are just laying on that background fabric and are far from finished. This is just my start and I think that the stitching that will eventually happen will change whichever one I decide to use rather substantially. Already, though, I am feeling more life in the second one.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I grew up in classic sagebrush country and this is the color I think of when I hear "sage green." It is almost gray, and definitely more toward the blue, than the yellow end of green. When I first saw Deborah's color samples I thought, "that doesn't look like sage to me, but..." Then I saw the photo of the herb, sage, that Brenda posted and the color was pretty close to Deborah's green.

I just did a Google image search on the words "sage green." and this is the top of  the images shown.

Ha! It looks like quite a number of medium to light shades of green can be called sage. What do you think sage green is?


A big box of luscious fabrics arrived in the mail last week. (Prizes for the Navy Quilts Challenge.)

There were brown/sage/blue choices in both solids and prints.I'm not sure if I'll use those prints for this challenge, but I will definitely use some of those solids and they will definitely get some surface design.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby colors?

I keep seeing that blue/green/brown combo everywhere I look these days! It seems to be the hot fashion color scheme of the moment. This was how my baby grandson was dressed yesterday.

He has been sick, poor little guy, and wasn't too happy about much, so this isn't the most flattering shot. He is much cuter usually! His little fleecy sleeper was definitely our colors. And look behind him at the car seat.

There it is again.

Brown, sage, blue...

I see a landscape quilt...