Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Be Joyful

At the hair salon I work at we do a Secret Santa exchange and I got the same co-workers name I had 3 yrs. ago. I made her a wall hanging for the salon and it's still hanging there across from the shampoo bowls. I Facebook messaged her adult daughter and asked what her Christmas decor style was because I wanted to make a Christmas wall hanging. The daughter suggested golds and I decided to make a gold version of the "Be Attitudes" book of mini quilts by Art to Heart/Nancy Halverson. I have made several of these little quilts because I love the lettering/messages and they are whimsical, fun and easy to make. The golds were readily available at Pine Street Quilts, my Tuesday job, and I had fun doing a gold monochromatic color scheme. I don't have a lot of gold embellishments because I lean toward silver but I found a few gold beads for the end of the Santa hat and I had brown beads which became Santa's eyes. I used a Q-tip and some blush to add color to Santa's cheeks. We do the gift exchange on Friday so I get to enjoy this little quilt until then. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a creative, healthy and abundance 2012. Laurie :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cardinals at My Bird Feeder

While working at Pine Street Quilts, I stared at the fabric with the cardinals and decided I needed (wanted) a piece of it for a wall hanging. Ken feeds the birds outside of my sewing room window and the male and female cardinals have been showing up and I thought a cardinal quilt was timely for the season. I gravitate toward florals but told myself that florals/girlie prints and winter do not go together and I chose wintery, outdoorsy and woodsy themed fabrics. My pattern is a free download from Blank Quilting called "Duquesa" which I tweeked a bit. I love this pattern-when it is in its original size from the pattern it has a 4' x8" flying geese block. This one is a 3" x 6" block and I have also done a mini 2" x 4" block. The math is pretty basic to convert the pattern smaller!! I used a piece of hand "rusted" fabric from my art quilt friend Pat Bishop from Appleton in the center area under the red silk leaves. She was at quilt retreat and warned me that it will be hard to quilt because it was such a heavy weight fabric. She was right and I had to do a minimal amount of quilting in that area. I usually add bling to my work but since this represents winter and the outdoors it didn't seem appropriate so I added a few silk leaves and in the close up photo I show the cardinal button I added to the center of the quilt. I tend to select bright colors and when chosing fabric for this quilt I found I was lacking in golds and rust tones but I made it work (Tim Gunn!!) and was able to pull fabrics from my stash to complete this quilt.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Card of Hope

I have a customer in the hair salon that I have known for a few yrs. and she stopped in the salon last week on the day I am not there because I am at the Quilt store. She told the salon owner she just found out she had lung cancer and wanted an emergency short haircut. I wanted to reach out to her by sending her a card since I couldn't talk to her personally that day. I thought why not send an art card instead of a store bought card!! I found out online green is the color of hope and I happened to have some predone green batik strips to make her card. I free motion stitched "hope" in the cheekbone area and kept it subtle and did not add any bling. I then flipped it over and added lots of inspirational messages and dropped it in the mail. I received an e-mail from Sharon and she loved the card and the thought behind it. So art can be a form of inspiration and not just an aesthetic image.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Newest Hat

 I discovered this funky hat pattern at Keep Me in Stitches Quilt Shop in Appleton WI, my hometown, and where my quilt friend Jacqi owns the shop. The pattern is called "We're All Mad Here" by The Quilted Fish. www.the I decided to make the hat in Christmas colors and it called for 3 fabrics and double fold bias tape which you could have substituted bias cut fabric. There is Fast2Fuse or Peltex in the brim, sides and top of the hat and there is about 25% sewing and 75% hot glueing the parts together and securing the ribbons and do dads. I purchased some holiday wire ribbon and I had a large sequin Christmas thingie which I took apart and only used 5 strands to get the vertical frou frou!!. I need to get a plastic headband to actually wear it since a hairclip wasn't enough to hold it to my head.
The second photo is a different view of the hat from the top. This project went way too fast compared to the other hats I have been making. I said to myself "I'm done already?!!" I will wear it to work at the quilt store and the hair salon the week before Christmas and on Christmas Day with my family.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back to Back Quilt Retreats!!!

 I work one day a week at Pine Street Quilts in Marinette WI and the owners treated the staff to a "sleep in your own bed" quilt retreat the weekend of Nov. 11-13. I made this cute hat for Jordana, my daughter, who requested pink, white and black. I had tons to of trouble making this and didn't like the instructions. I said I would never make another one and when I gave Jordana the hat she loved it and when we were in Joann Fabrics she saw the "tacky" Hello Kitty Christmas fabric and Xmas peace sign fabric and asked if I'd make another hat. She picked out red feathers and a lime green sequin flower for embellishments. The next 2 pics are the finished hat. I aplogize for the photography. It was easier to do this hat since I did it MY way not following the instructions

 I will see Jordana on Thanksgiving and she plans to wear it shopping on Black Friday.

 these little purses I made at the first retreat. I made one for myself and love the small size, zippered pockets and long shoulder strap. I made these 2 as Christmas gifts. I added the pattern to the picture in case you want to make one.
 Then there is a boomerang pillow that Jordana bought and it came with a thin white yucky pillowcase. She asked me to sew her one-I did a few quick measurements, since I couldn't find any pattern or universal sizing, and used this great large scale Alexander Henry print. It looks kind of weird and I hope it is the correct size. I made it large and if I have to take it in that's okay.
I made 7 of my favorite postcards using Christmas colors and a bit of red glitter. They will be Christmas cards for my special peeps!!

I also nearly finished the 2012 Hoffman Challenge but that one is a secret until next summer. I am entering a wall hanging in the Milwaukee WI Public TV "Quilting is Art" Art Auction next spring and I started this project as well.

The second retreat was NOv. 18-20 in Door County WI at a beautiful facility that Lawrence University of Appleton WI owns. I get to see quilters from Appleton, where I used to live, sew my brains out and eat awesome food (too much!!) I was able to visit a quilt shop in Sister Bay WI and found some great batiks. It was a great time and now it's back to reality with responsiblities etc. but there's no place like home....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

South of the Border Exhibit at Spies Library

Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational 2010 themed "South of the Border" is on display at Spies Public Library Gallery, Menominee MI currently until Friday December 30, 2011 during library hours. This is a group of art quilters from both Upper and Lower Michigan that create a 20" x 24" themed wall hanging of their choice and the exhibit travels throughout the state and is free of charge to view.This years theme is "South of the Border" and of the 30 quilts displayed I am teasing you with 7 of the beautiful quilts. The warm tropical flavor of the exhibit is just in time for the midwest cold weather approaching!! Check it out if you are able. As a quilter I am amazed by the wonderful techniques especially the outer edges and bindings or lack of a binding!!This blue and white quilt has such awesome contrast
 and the tile wall looks so real!!
 What can I say-this quilt has all the colors of Mexico and South America!!
 This piece got my attention because it wasn't bright and it created a calmness in me when I viewed it!!
 This quilt has my favorite-circles in it and I love the fabric fringy lower edge!! What a great idea!!
 This chihauhau quilt is called "Border Patrol" and has me laughing since I love the movie "Beverly Hills Chihauhau" and thought of the talking chihauhaus!!
 This blue and orange wall hanging is by my blog friend Robbie Payne and needs to be seen up close since her detail work is mind blowing. You rock Robbie!!
This piece has lots of chenille which gives oodles of texture and very colorful!!

I hope you are teased and tempted and have the chance to see this colorful, happy and creative art quilt exhibit!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I decided to tackle the sewing room and clean, purge and organize because it needed it and I am going on 2 quilt retreats in November and want to be onganized. So I have this lovely thread rack Ken made and I have the thread organized by color but...

 there is my cat Mia, age 13, who has Pica and gets in my thread and then has to go to the vet for thread removal. She had 2 surgeries in 2003 when I lived in Appleton WI and I have to constantly my on guard with thread, tinsel, rafia, curly gift ribbon, threads hanging from towels amd fabric raw edges. Pica is eating non-edible things. The thread gets all tangles up in her intestines and could sever them which almost happens in '03. I quit sewing for 2 years because I was so upset by this but went back to it becasue I love to sew and quilt and I covered my thread.

I thought all was well in my house in Menominee until last January when the vet found thread wrapped around Mia's tongue. Now I have a cafe' rod and a curtain I made, a wastebasket with a cover, and a covered box to store my bobbins. Sometimes I still catch her going under the curtain for a snack but she knows when she's caught she's in deep doo-doo!! What we don't do to have pets in our houses!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Art Garage Project: Art Meets Heart 2012

I did this fundraiser last year at the Art Garage in Green Bay WI and it was fun so here is my entry for the February 2012 exhibit. Each artist gets a 6" x 6" canvas to do anything they want with it and they are placed together to form a huge heart on the gallery wall. Then the pieces are auctioned off for the American Heart Association. Last year I did a mixed media piece with paper and minimal fabric and I am over the mixed media thing-I am a FIBER artist and why compromise!! Here is a picture of last years display:

This piece began with my fabric postcard design adding 2" more and some hair. I was in the mood for greens and orangey reds and strip pieced batiks. I fused and stitched the applique on w/o batting (weird) and zigzagged the raw edges. I stapled the fabric around the canvas then glued rhinestones near the eye, some Jacquard paint and some green glitter eyeliner (Urban Decay!!) to accent it and wha-la it was finished in less than 24 hours. There was no quilting or binding so it isn't really a quilt but a fiber art piece. I am calling it "Heartburn and Green Around the Gills!! I deliver it in November and the exhibit runs the month of February at The Art Garage.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sapphire and Topaz

This is the photo of the brain buster quilt!! It is big for me at 51" x 40" and I am entering it in an unknown contest based on a minimum size requirement. The design influence began with a small photo of a hairstyle in one of the beauty supply catalogs I receive. I have a female attorney as a hair customer and consulted with her about copyrights and using this photo. After the conversation I decided to mirror image the woman in the picture, change the colors of the hair, and I added things to the face and hair and took away the body of the woman. I feel it is okay now and is not a copy but an inspiriation. Any thoughts on this subject??

I then decided to work in a blue and orange color palette because I was doing the lecture on the elements of design and these colors kept popping up in the research. I also have not worked in this color combo so why not. Pink is my favorite color but orange is my new favorite and I had fun with these colors. They remind me of Appleton West High School colors and the orange reminds me of summer, sunsets and warmth!!

I chose a realistic color palette for the face and suprisingly I kept the face fairly simple without glitter and rhinestones because I thought it turned out nice the way it was. The way the batik was cut I was able to get great shading without trying too hard!!

For the hair I found this great metallic which had both blue and orange and a batik that was interesting. for the highlights/lowlights.

The background was made of various oranges cut into squares and I sewed many, one weeks worth of, circles to look like a bullseye using an orange variageted thread. The blue outer border repeats the circle motif and is free motion quilted with a freeform flower design using a Sulky Blendables thread. I always block my quilts when they are finished but this piece became very distorted from the circular quilting and I "preblocked" the quilt and then added the flowers, binding, and embellishments and blocked it again when it was completed.

Next I used three different large scale florals and fussy cut them to add to the outer border, the hair, cheeks and a few scattered. I then sewed blue felt and regular buttons to repeat the circle theme and orange flower buttons, both felt and regular, to the quilt. I have beads in both colors in various sizes to accent the flowers using Silamide thread which is awesome!!

This quilt took me so long mostly because of all the machine quilting and hand stitched beads/buttons. I named it after the color theme and "Blue and Orange" seemed a bit bland so it became "Sapphire and Topaz" since topaz is my birthstone so it seemed fitting.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunflowers and Cat Tails

I have been unable to post any finished projects because I was working on two things at once and nothing was getting done. The intense quilt which I am making for a quilt contest had to be set aside to give my brain a break. During the brain vacation I worked on this wall hanging. It began as a pre-printed South Seas Imports panel which I stared at while working at Pine Street Quilts. The manufacturer had a pattern for it but I wanted to make it "artsier!" I usually poo-poo panels but this one spoke to me!! I went into my stash and found many oranges, golds, yellows with a few greens and browns for the outer border. I did a gradation of color around the panel placing the browns at the bottom and the brightest yellows near the top. I stitched a decorative flower stitch in the black area of the panel and free motion quilted the remainer with one of my new Sulky Blendable threads called Sundown which is a beautiful rich gold/yellow combo. I embellished with the fun felt sunflowers from Hobby Lobby, a few rhinestones in the pieces border, some glitter nail polish on the flowers and some beading on the flower centers using my new Silamide thread (thanks Robbie!). My boyfriend Ken thought it should run horizontally-I showed him the manufacturers example which ran vertically and that's why I placed the quilt vertical like a banner. Horizontal or vertical?? Here a some close up photos. I love the beautiful autum colors in the quilt!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Can't Stop Making These Things!!

I love batiks and all the color combinations you can create with them and I love the new felt buttons available to us and I can't stop making these postcards!! These two cards are made as birthday cards for two of my friends who have upcoming birthdays. I will mail them in envelopes to avoid the post office drama of trying to explain hand cancelling and them being confused and overcharging me postage. I added some glitter to enhance the eyes area and added a "pretend" nose piercing! Now back to the brain busting quilt!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

No Brainer and Big Concentration Projects

The photo above is the no brainer project. I love making these strip pieced and raw edged fused appliqued fabric postcards. I have made many and was in the autumn mood and plan to send a few to my friends with fall birthdays. I found the fun felt buttons in a leaf shape at Joanns. They came in three colors and I sewed one of each to the postcard for a bit of texture and dimension. I added some  orange glitter/glue to the eyes and to make it look like a nose piercing.
Then the other photo is a teaser of my entry in the 2011 Joann Fabrics Quilt Challenge. It is the huge brain buster project that I only do 2-3 times a year because i want it perfect for a conpetition. I was one of the top 20 last year and my goal is to be in the top 10+. The rules for the quilt size is 36" x 36" minimum and this one is horizontal at 53" x 43." I have this attraction to orange since gardening season began and it's overflowed into my quilts as well. I wanted to work in the blue and orange color combo and it was a "challenge" finding fabrics that I liked at Joanns that had  prints with these two colors in them and finding enough batiks to do at least the face. I also was trying to find florals in blue-not easy! I went to the Madison East, Green Bay and Escanaba MI stores and finally felt like I had enough fabric selctions to work with. I'm used to going to my stash and/or purchasing extra at the local quilt stores and not relying on just Joann Fabrics for my fabric choices-perhaps that's part of the challenge!! I have all the applique pieces stitched in place and I am quilting the orange background in a circular "bullseye" pattern at the moment. I have plenty to do but the deadline isn't until January 2012 so I'm good. I setnit aside and do the no-brainer sewing. I plan to make another hat soon and more cards and the list never ends...!! I am never bored and that's a good thing

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SAQA Auction Piece is Sold!!


This quilt sized 12 x 12 was my donation to the Studio Art Quilt Associates 2011 Auction. I call it "The Woman with Copper Hair."  I have been a member of this art quilt group for two yrs. + and thought it would be nice to donate a piece for their yearly auction which raises money for thier educational events. A lovely individual from Mountain View CA purchased my little lady and the woman with copper hair lives far from me in California.

The first part of the auction is done and Section 2 begins on Monday Sept. 19th. This is the website to access the

I would like to share my good news of me now being a PAM (Professional Artist Membership) which I had to apply for through the SAQA webiste. I did this in March and was not accepted. They didn't care for the borders on several of my quilts. I thought about what they said and I agreed and the majority of my new work has no borders. I reapplied in August with newer/borderless art quilts and I was accepted. This is a competitive thing for me that doesn't mean much to many outside of this group but I wanted it bad!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wisconsin Quilt Expo 2011

I want to share this book by Joen Wolfgram. When I spoke at the WI Quilt Expo on the Element and Principles of Design someone in my class asked about a great color resourse. I didn't think to bring the book so I'm hoping they go to my blog and see this post!! This book is a awesome and very visual and well worth a purchase.

This is a sample of the items I purchased at the expo. I love Sulky Blendables Thread and I got to share an elevator with the company owner and I told him how I loved his thread!! When I got to the Sulky Booth I was way excited to find they had created 42 new colors to join the already 84 colors. I bought 5 colors but wanted all 42 but couldn't justify $189!! I finally found the Silimide thread for sewing beads on quilts. The vendor I purchased this from is Bead Ranch from Oklahoma and it was a very fun and inspirational booth. The owner Sherrill and I had good karma!! I found these great floral prints in my favorite colors-pink and red. I have no idea as to what I'll do with it but I purchased a necklace/earring set at the West Towne Mall at Charming Charlies in these colors so maybe a funky hat or a garment.
I am having visual overload from my purchases and all the literature I grabbed. Then I also decided to buy my fabric at Joann Fabrics for their next quilt challenge. I am working in blues and oranges (complementaries!) I discovered these colors together are not common at Joann but I will go to my "local" store in Green Bay. Until next time..

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Funky Hat Pattern

I was in Appleton WI on Monday and had a chance to visit Keep Me in Stitches, a colorful fun quilt shop, and my daughter Jordana spotted this cute hat with a ruffle on the band and a flower pin with a button in the middle. Jordana asked me if I would make her one in hot pink, black and white and I wanted mine in greens. I was pleased to discover the pattern was sized from infant to adult. There is fusible fleece for the brim and fusible interfacing for the body of the hat.

So here is my finished hat modeled by the lovely Erica-my hairdressing manniquin with my pink/red Halloween wig!! Once I read the directions the construction went well and it wasn't difficult. There is a buttonhole in the band to help anchor the flower and I've had my sewing machine 3 yrs. and didn't know how to do a buttonhole!! So I got out the owners manual and learned something new today. The flower went together in 10 min. and I used a large purple felt flower shaped button, a medium hot pink flower shaped button and a green small shank button to the center of the flower. I hand stitched a pin back to the flower and pinned it to the band where the buttonhole is. When I make Jordana's hat I will tweak it a bit to my liking. I really like the flower pin idea and plan to make oodles of them since Christmas is coming...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Altered Couture:Fun and Finished

Here is the finished project in which I posted last Sunday with the original jacket and now the jacket is a vest. I used the flowered fabric on the front and back yokes and the striped fabric on the collar and the inset belt. I chose to hand sew the fabric to the denim because I had more control than with the sewing machine. I added a multi color trim to the armholes and a multi color flower theme trim to the collar with hand sewing as well. I then took these fun flower shaped buttons and added them to the front band area. The hard part to decide when to quit adding embellishments.
In the back I decided to not add buttons beauase they can rub on things and break and/or fall off. I didn't add the flowery trim to the waist area because I didn't want to draw the eye to my waist!! I kept the interest up high and away from the parts of me that I don't want to accentuate. I thought it had enough doo dads and quit!! I can wear it this fall with a short sleeve t-shirt and when it gets cold I can wear a long sleeved t-shirt or in the summer with a sundress. I will wear it to the WI Quilt Expo and be able to use parts of my vest as a learning tool for my lecture. Below are two close ups of the vest.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Project: Altered Couture

I went to the Green Bay St. Vinny's Store to find jackets to alter and embellish. I found this srtetch denim jacket for $3 and will slice and dice and add to it to take it from boring to fun and colorful!!! I plan to finish it and wear it for my lecture at the WI Quilt Expo on Sept. 8, 2011.

I chose these two fabrics to add some color, pattern and ruffles. I will add plenty of embellishments and variegated threads. I have already cut the sleeves off and am excited to do some "altered couture" like the magazine and Project Runway!! What would Tim Gunn say???

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wisconsin Quilt Expo 2011

I am posting about the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison WI on Sept. 8-10, 2011 because it is a fantastic regional quilt show and I am presenting a lecture on Thursday Sept. 8th. I will be lecturing on "Create Better Quilts Using the Elements and Principles of Design" My lecture is at 1pm. I am excited to share my love of  art and design and a bit nervous too! I have made a decision to pursue the workshop/lecture process and have a nervous excitement about this!!

I have a quilt in the show and I chose "Bubbly Blonde" because I am rebellious toward the typically traditional judges at this show and thought this would be a good choice!! I few of my Appleton WI art quilters are not entering in the Madison show anymore because they feel the judges award ribbons to the traditional quilts and ignore the art quilts. I like the huge traffic flow and the fact that my quilt is viewed by 1000s is awesome regardless of a ribbon. I find quilters may not want to create their own art quilt but they enjoy looking at them in a quilt show. I chose this quilt because it is so oversized and bold with the crazy blue eye shadow, frosty lips and circles. Perhaps it will get at least a chuckle out to the judges!!
The website for the expo is Go to classes to register for my lecture or any other one. Hope you can attend!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Quick and Easy

This was a quick and easy Mary Engelbreit panel I picked up in the Sturgeon Bay, WI quilt store last November when I was on my quilt retreat. I purchased it for my sister Wendy whose birthday is today. We both love Mary Engelbreit, she is also a gardener and has a three seasons room with these colors. I machine quilted the borders by using two decorative stiches from my sewing machine using flower motifs. I added baby blue rick rack on the small blue border and a few yellowish rhinestones on the background. I didn't want to get carried away. Sometimes it's good to free the mind and do some easy projects to feel accomplished yet not overwork the brain!! It is cutesy but I like cutesy/whimsical sometimes. The second photo is details of the quilting and embellishments. Wendy is not a follower of my blog so it's safe to post this and have the gift a surprise.
I have been busy with entering upcoming quilt shows such as Road 2 California and the Bonifas Art Center in Ecanaba, MI and prepping for teaching in Sept. and Oct. Lots of paperwork, computer time and CD prepping. It's a necessary part of the process but not my favorite. I will post later about the teaching gigs!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Heaven or Hell Exhibit

I belong to an artists group in Green Bay WI called New Art Council and they posted a Call to Entry for an exhibit called Heaven or Hell. Green Bay Community Church is hosting a non-juried art exhibit with a heaven or hell theme. Since I practice Universal Law/The Secret I thought I would stick with the positve and explore the Heaven theme. So what is Heave to me-a perennial garden that had no zones or seasons except summer??!!  I used my Angelina pattern and  made it in my coloring but my hair isn't that big, my glasses are off and my lips aren't pouty like that!! Then I fussy cut flowers from my large scale floral stash in a rainbow gradation of colors. I added a applique of Opie,my orange tabby who is in cat heaven, on the lower right. I embellished with my collection of flower buttons, felt flowers, beads, rhinestones, glitter, nail  polish and fabric paint. I added some funky flower trim to the bottom because I liked how it looked. The exhibit runs Aug. 28-Oct. 15, 2011 at Green Bay Community Church, 600 Cardinal Lane, Green Bay WI.