Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cottage Chisel

Do you have an AccuQuilt?
Today I'm presenting how to create an adorable baby quilt from the chisel die-cut.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Modern Cowboy

For this week on Project Quilting we were asked to create a work based off a song title. I knew immediately that I wanted to work on this quilt for my family. I've envisioned this quilt for several months and just haven't had the time to dedicate to it. My song inspiration was "Modern Cowboy" by Tesla and I was also inspired by my family.

I wish I could photograph this piece in a way that does it justice. There are a number of painted layers with thread painting as well.

I can't wait to hang it in our bedroom. I know my Cowboy's life is nothing like he envisioned, but more importantly, I know he loves it with every bit of his heart..

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

The lucky winner is #6!

Gil please email me at allthingsbelle@hotmail.com
with your mailing address.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Need More Inspiration??

Sorry for the quiet on my end - just a crazy week. I finally thought I had a breather, but upon looking at my calendar..I don't. I have Moda & Riley Blake patterns to do next week. Back to the sewing machine for me, but that means more fun & free patterns for you!

Luckily I already have projects in mind and I'm not stressed about the design. I never know when a dry run will strike. It weighs on me because it's crucial to always be thinking of the next project.

For this reason, I was thrilled when a friend of mine, Ebony Love, asked me to try a new inspirational quilt product for her. They are called Quiltspirations! It is an awesome card pack of the best prompts to help you try something new. I think they would make a perfect gift for a quilting friend - I would love to pair it with some fabric and a rotary blade.

In my last Project Quilting project, I used a few prompts to mix it up a bit.
*I tried the Pantone color of the year.. I used both 2011 (Honeysuckle) and 2012 (Tangerine)
I loved the warmness that the colors gave the quilt.
*And I nixed my neutral! After I submitted the quilt, I wasn't happy with the binding (always my Achilles' heal). I tossed the neutral binding and redid it with bright yellow...loving it..

Loved working these into my quilt! I can't wait to pick them up again soon. So many great ideas - I highly recommend you take a look at the site as there are lots of fun freebies too.

Thanks Ebony!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Where Does Inspiration Come From

There are times when I'm flooded with ideas. They always seem to hit me at inopportune times..like when I'm trying to fall asleep, driving Kiddo to school, or in the shower. And there are plenty of times when trying to think of something new and creative is painful and my brain stalls. What do I do? I look for creative prompts and try to work past it.

I'm so glad Project Quilting is back in full swing. Kim has worked at hard at creating an atmosphere that is welcoming and encouraging. The week long challenge is never long enough for me to complete what I envision, BUT it gives me incredible inspiration and a safe place to try something new. Whether you are a novice or experienced, modern or traditional, you have to give it a try.

This week the challenge was to be inspired by architecture. I had a number of ideas, but they always ended up being too literal. The week was coming to an end and I had nothing to show for it. On the way to Kiddo's school I was listening to The Muppets soundtrack and racking my brain. This started a very long train of thought..

..The Muppets.. "The Muppets Take Manhattan" movie..famous New York buildings..
The Empire State Building... "Sleepless in Seattle" and the Empire lit up with a heart for Valentine's Day..
Valentine's Day.. love.. so in love my with my husband.. haven't painted much since I fell in love with my Hubby...miss painting.. favorite artist Van Gogh..favorite painting "Starry Night"...

Does everyone's else brain work in such crazy ways?
So.. what I came up with is to take a spin on "Starry Night".. something romantic and something that focuses on the beauty of architecture instead of nature. 

I wanted to try a few new techniques as well. I had recently read about an alternate to using fusible when working with appliques. The main idea is to over saturate the fabric with starch and lots of hot ironing. It worked great - really cut down on fraying with raw edge applique, considerably cheaper, and pretty quick.

Here is a picture of where I started with the simple appliques..
 And then I decided that I wanted to play with painting on fabric. It would be crazy to try a Van Gogh and not have any actual painting.I worked with both fabric paints and acrylic paints mixed with a textile medium. I have lots and lots..and lots to learn. BUT I had soo much fun and will do it more in the future.
 Then it was time for lots of free motion quilting. Some with colored thread, some with different colored bobbin thread, some monofilament.. You can't learn if you don't take risks and put yourself out there.
 And here is my completed quilt. I love the warmth and love that emanates from this piece. It just makes me happy to look at and it made me happy to make. In my opinion, quilting should be a release and not a source of stress.
 I have a love/hate relationship with the heart.I feel it's distracting,but it was the source of inspiration and it felt necessary to keep. I hope Van Gogh isn't turning in his grave.. hope he would enjoy a more romantic take on his breathtaking work..

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Facebook Fan Appreciation - Giveaway

I am truly thankful for each of you that follow my blog, Twitter, and/or Facebook. There are so many blogs these days, it's wonderful but sometimes overwhelming. The fact that you spend a part of your day with me is humbling and I appreciate it.

This past week I reached over 200 fans on Facebook and to show my appreciation, I am going to give this pillow away. My tutorial has been on Pinterest quite often, so I'm hoping this is a giveaway prize that will make one of you happy.

Rules are simple.. Just leave me a comment on this post.. Tell me anything and if you don't have your email available through Blogger, please leave your email too. The giveaway will end Sunday the 22nd at midnight Mountain Standard time and I'll post the winner Monday morning (when the kiddos allow!). And yes I am happy to ship international.

Thank you again for sharing your time with me..

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No Woman Is An Island

Have you seen the latest issue of Mary Jane's Farm? I hope you will take a moment to look for it and perhaps purchase it. In addition to the article about my art quilting, there are a number of amazing things to read up on.

No woman is an island though, and that article was a collaboration with two other amazing women! Kerrie More interviewed me and authored the article. She was also at The Creative Connection last year and I'm so sad I didn't get a chance to chat with her in person. As she interviewed me, we discovered we had a fair amount in common. She's also a librarian and lives in Montana (where Hubby & I honeymooned and dream of one day living). Kerrie is also pretty crafty herself! I hope that you will take a moment to visit her blog at www.kerriemore.com I'm a subscriber and always look forward to reading her latest post. I hope this article is the beginning of something big for Kerrie!!

And those amazing photos in the magazine? Taken by one of my dear friends, Vivien Van Leeuwen. Viv is beyond fabulous! She has taken so many photos of the precious times in my life, including Julie's birth. It is truly a blessing to have a good friend that is also an extremely talented photographer. I'm so thrilled to see her work in a national magazine (and wished they had credited her..) If you're in the Salt Lake area, I truly can't recommend Viv highly enough as a photographer for your next milestone. You can see more of her work her at http://www.vivienvanleeuwenphotography.blogspot.com/

Thank you so much Kerrie & Viv, I truly could not have done this without you..

Monday, January 9, 2012

Children's Relief Nursery

This year I will be participating in the Children's Relief Nursery based out of Portland, Oregon. I am donating my Piecing History Together art quilt. Here is a little bit of information about the organization in their own words:

"For the 11th year in a row, Children's Relief Nursery will be hosting Portland's Original Iron Chef on April 20, 2012 at the Portland Art Museum. Our most significant fundraising event, proceeds from Iron Chef helped keep hundreds of Portland's most vulnerable children safe last year.

Did you know that every eight minutes there is a report of child abuse or neglect in Oregon and nearly half of the victims are infants and toddlers? We focus our work on early intervention, because the best solution is to prevent abuse and neglect from happening in the first place.

Our mission is to keep children safe and families strong. Our vision is to prevent child abuse and neglect, because all kids deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our early childhood program builds successful and resilient children and preserves families. We work with at-risk families with children from birth through four because early intervention in the first years of life substantially affects a child's future. In our first year, we served 58 children. In just a decade, our program has grown to serve more than 250 children annually."

As a mother, helping children lead safe and happy lives is a cause I'm in great favor of.
If you are a quilter or another type of artist, I encourage you to share your gift to help those in need. Please contact Dana at:  dana@crn4kids.org and she can give you more information. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Soldering Surprises!

I'm not big on New Year resolutions. I believe that life can change on a whim for good or bad, and it's up to us to work daily on becoming a better version of ourselves. And I have to admit that 2012 so far is kinda kicking me in the pants. But all is not lost, I believe I have turned a corner and am back with all engines blazing! 

While not a fan of resolutions, I do like to set goals. This year I plan on learning how to screenprint - we won't talk about how looooong I have had all the equipment and that it is all still fresh in the cellophane packaging. I also wanted to learn, or should I say relearn, how to solder. I tried it once before Kiddo was born (almost 4 years ago!) and then quickly tucked it away. When I had tried it, I'm pretty sure I tackled it with no instruction and was completely dissatisfied with clumpy mess I had made. Lucky for me, I recently met Lauri Grimshaw-Cox, an accomplished artist & teacher.. and lives super close to me! When I saw her Soldering 101 Class go on sale, I knew it was a sign to try it again.

There is goofy ol' me! I had an amazing time - I learned fabulous tips and really was pleased with my final pieces. I made a double sided charm for a dear friend and the soldered glass bauble is for me.
 That is what I took home with  me last night and I spent this afternoon finalizing my gift.
There it is - a long silver necklace with a Cinderella pearl dangle. I love it.. I really hope my friend does too.
 Here is a close up of the loveliness. I added even more glam today! I goofed a bit on the corner of the glass and figured glitter just makes everything better. I used Stickles glitter glue and topped it with German glass glitter.
A sweet surprise for an amazing family friend that could sure use some spoiling these days. And lucky for me she doesn't read the blog, but we love her anyway ;o)

I triple dog dare you to go try a new craft or give one that horribly wrong a second chance. And I absolutely recommend that if you live in Utah, you simply must take one of Lauri's classes. She is a great teacher and completely enthusiastic about helping you enjoy the process of learning.

Thanks Lauri! I can't wait to take another class!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chocolate Kisses

I love rag quilts. They are so fluffy and only get more cuddly after each wash. The only thing I don't love about rag quilts..is cutting them!

Don't you agree? Well if you do agree and you're in Utah, you are in luck! Early this year at Thimbles & Threads I will be teaching this Valentine baby rag quilt and the best part? I will have all the fabric & batting precut & fringed for you! Yup! You get to come to class and enjoy the best part of quilting - the quilting! I alternated between traditional X's and free motioned hearts, but you can do whatever you like.

Now, I have the same fabric on the back - I personally love this look. It's like a whole new patchwork blanket on the back.

Don't live in Utah? Don't want to quilt, but want this? I have them available on my Etsy store and will custom make it for you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

MaryJane's Farm Magazine - Artist Feature

It's hard for me to keep secrets.. like super hard. So when good things happen and I have to keep it under wraps, I typically let little bits slip out before I can. As you may have guessed from previous posts and/or my Facebook chatter, I am in a magazine this month.

I was interviewed for MaryJane's Farm magazine about a new line of items that I will be offering in my Etsy store. I am creating DIY paper pieced fabric card kits that are perfect for the new quilter. They are small and not intimidating to create, but for the very lucky receiver they are mini works of art to be cherished. I love quilts - the love & the time that goes in to them. How wonderful would it be to receive a mini bit of love in the mail?

For those that don't want to quilt, but want to enjoy this textile loveliness - I am offering quilted cards made by me.. Now the real question will be, do you keep it or give it away?

I have just a few in the store right now, but there are many more on the way this month..

Monday, January 2, 2012

The ABC's of Paper Piece Quilting

I'm so excited about one of my new classes at Thimbles & Threads. I will have a year long class of paper piecing the alphabet. This would be an amazing baby or children's quilt for next Christmas. It will be scrappy, bright, and just so very cheerful. You will become a paper piecing pro by the time this beauty is completed!

I have a few more classes coming up in January & February and will post pictures soon.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Gene Meme

Tee hee..Now I try to stay positive and live & let live.. but sometimes I do have a snarky sense of humor. I love these memes and had to create one of my own..


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