Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Hi friends.  A couple of weeks ago, I started working on a new quilt - hand applique butterflies.  I know it's a big project, but I love that it's portable until the blocks are all sewn together. 

I like to use freezer paper when I do hand applique.  That means cutting each piece from freezer paper (which I do in multiples) - I fold the paper twice, trace the pattern as many times as will fit on the folded sheet, then staple the center of each & cut them out.  I iron the shiny side to the wrong side of the fabric & cut those out with an additional 1/4" seam allowance.  I don't measure that, just guess.  Then I clip any curves and glue the seam allowance to the freezer paper with a washable fabric glue. 

For this quilt, I just pulled scraps from my stash.  I only needed enough to have matching upper or lower wings, but I cut both from many of the fabrics.  I am not putting any of the same upper and lower fabrics together on the same block.  This picture just shows some of the pieces.  These are prepped, but not sewn yet.  The stack in the lower left is just a small amount of wings that I've paired upper & lower. 

I also needed to choose background fabrics for the blocks and I don't want to use 2 the same.  The finished blocks will be 9", so I'm starting with 10" blocks, & will trim any extra off to 9-1/2" after the butterflies are sewn on.  That will allow for any variance if my stitching is tighter on any blocks. 

The plan is to make 90 blocks (9 x 10).  I think I have enough wings cut & prepped, but still need to choose more backgrounds.  As you can see from the pictures, I'm using both light and dark fabrics for the wings as well as the backgrounds. 

I made a basic template block from paper with the butterfly drawn on, so I can put it on my light table, lay the fabric on top & glue the wings down.  This way I can be sure that I have the butterflies centered on the blocks.  I roughly timed how long it takes to stitch all the wing pieces on & that was about an hour. 

Once the wings are stitched (blind stitch by hand), then I cut out the backing, leaving the seam allowance.

I then soak the block in warm water for a couple of minutes and pull out the paper. 

Once the block is dry, it gets pressed and is ready for the butterfly body. 
I haven't sewn any of the bodies on yet, but the process will be the same as the wings. 

Thanks so much for joining me today.  I hope you'll follow along on this journey.  I'll try to post more pictures as I go along. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

the great divide

Hi friends.  I thought I should post something, so you don't feel neglected. 

I worked in a booth at the stamp/scrap expo on Friday and Saturday.  I was demoing some dies, so I was on my feet all day.  It felt good to get home and sit. 

It's finally gotten really warm here... somewhere around 80, which for me is actually too warm.  We had windows and doors open, so there was a bit of breeze blowing in, but the breeze has tapered off now. 

I wanted to enter the StampTV release challenge, so I put together a quick card this evening. 

I used Gina K Design stamps hugs & prayers and stately flowers I.  The designer paper was just some scraps left from demoing.  They were too small to use, but just too nice to toss, so I threw them in my bag and brought them home.  The green strip was more blue-green, but I just added some green ink, so it would match the flower stem better.  The flower and bird were colored with distress inks. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Hi friends.  I was thinking that I should really post something on my blog, so I logged in and found that it's been over a month and a half since my last post.  How neglectful of me!

So here I am to show you a couple of cards I've made recently.  I bought a couple flower stamps on a facebook group.  One is a lily.  It reminds me of the tiger lilies my mom always had in her garden.  So the first card I made with it is a tiger lily.

This is a no layer card with no embellishments, made for a technique challenge on SCS.  The background was done with sponging through a stencil.  Then I added some shading with inktense pencils and gray copic markers.

I stamped the image right over the background and colored it by pressing distress ink onto a plastic sheet & picking up the color with a water brush.  I added the speckles with a black Pitt pen.

The black 'ribbon' was made by using painters tape to mask off part of the background, leaving a narrow opening and then inking the open area.

I decided to make another card using the lily.  This one was for the alpha challenge for the letter L.  I used lilies and lace to represent L. 

The lace edging is hand crocheted and I just happened to have one the right color to match my lily.  The other flowers are made with 3 different sized punches of the same shaped flower.  I sponged the edges, added some dots in the middle, and pressed the centers with a stylus to give them some form.  The leaves are a Martha Stewart punch.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Hopefully, my next post won't keep you waiting so long. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

flying butterfly pop-up card

Hi friends. 

Lately I've been working on cards that are a bit different than your typical A2.  I love cards that have something unique about them.  Splitcoaststampers has a tutorial section that has fun techniques, as well as cards that have unique folds or are interactive.  Of course, there are many other sources for fun cards as well.  Pinterest is another favorite of mine, although sometimes it's disappointing to follow a link only to find no instructions. 

The instructions for this card I have to show you today were found on Jill Berry's blog.  The way the card is put together makes the butterfly wings flap.  Very fun. 

I made one for my man for valentines day, and he couldn't figure out how to make the wings flap, so I decided to add the word pull on each edge. 

Isn't it fun.  If I knew how to do a video, I'd show it in action, but I haven't figured that out yet.  Maybe someday... 

Thank you so much for taking time to stop by. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

corner butterflies

Hi friends.  I've been in a creative mood lately, so I've actually been making some cards.  Of course, some of them are for upcoming classes, but a few have been just for fun. 

I've been browsing through the tutorial section on splitcoast to get some ideas.  I love cards that have special folds or that are interactive.  The decorative corner card is a very easy fun card that stands on its own.  I made my first one to use in class last month.  Then I made one for a get well card, but forgot to take a picture.  This one uses the same background as the get well card.  The background is made from strips that are trimmed off cardstock when creating layers.  These all started as ivory, the same color as the card base, but I swiped them with different colors of ink (mostly distress), and then sponged some gathered twigs distress ink on all the edges.  Sometimes, I just make up a bunch of them, so they are ready to go.  They make a great faux wood background. 

The butterflies were in my stash -- you know, when you make more than you need.   

All I needed to add was the sentiment.  

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

purple maple

Hi friends.  I needed a gift for my niece's wedding on January 30th, so I decided to make a quilted table runner.  One of my favorite quilt patterns is the maple leaf, so I knew that would be an easy one to use. 

I dug into my fabric stash and chose some purple and turquoise fabrics. 

Then I went hunting for my Easy Angle tool for ease in cutting the triangles.  Nowhere to be found.  I actually have two of them - the original one that is about 4" long and a second one that is about 6" long.  But I couldn't find either one.  So I made a quick trip to the closest JoAnn's to buy another, and used a 50% off coupon, so I didn't feel too guilty.  Unless I'm making an appliqued quilt, I use a rotary cutter to do all my cutting, so it was absolutely necessary to have the triangle ruler.  I need to figure out a better storage system, so this doesn't happen again.  I still don't know where they are hiding, but I'm sure they'll turn up eventually. 

I cut, pressed, and sewed, and before long I had three blocks made, each using different fabrics.  I put them all together with borders.  Then I layered backing fabric, batting, and the top together with pins, and then hand basted it.  I sewed the binding on the front and trimmed off the excess batting and backing.  Then I quilted.  I just quilted it in my lap without a hoop, since it was small enough to handle that way.  When I was finished quilting, I blind stitched the binding to the back. 

Then the only thing left to do was make a label.  My usual method of making a label is to print the label on paper and then tape it to my light table with fabric taped over the paper and trace it.  I actually made one that way. 

But I'd been reading about printing on fabric using an inkjet printer.  I really wanted to try that, so I printed a test label on paper to make sure I liked the size.  Then I ironed my fabric to the shiny side of freezer paper, cut it to 8-1/2"x11" and put in the printer and sent the page to the printer, nervously hoping I wasn't messing up the printer.  It printed!  Perfect!  I peeled the fabric off the freezer paper, and pressed it to heat set the ink.  Then I let it set in some vinegar for awhile, rinsed it well, and pressed it again to remove all the wrinkles.  Then I stitched it to the back of the table runner.  I'm really pleased that it worked so well.  The print is so much cleaner and neat.  That was sure a much easier method of making a label. 

And the quilt was finished  It only took about a week to complete.  I have no idea if my niece reads my blog, so I'm scheduling this post for after the wedding, just in case. 

Thanks so much for taking time to visit today. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

mixed media

Hi friends,

This card was made for a mixability challenge on SCS that was tie dye tissue.  I used some shipping filler paper instead of tissue, so I had some problems with the paper not absorbing the color like it was supposed to.  I used food coloring to get more brilliant colors, and I do like how the background turned out. 

The stamps are SU's You've Got This, sponged with ink. 

The ribbon was a find at Good Will - a mostly full reel of seam binding for a dollar.  It's a very pale pink, but I thought it was pale enough that I would be able to dye it with ink.  I pressed mustard seed distress ink on my craft sheet, spritzed with water and pressed the seam binding into the ink until it was fully colored.  Then I used my heat gun to dry it.  I was really pleased how well the color changed, and you can't tell that it started out pink. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today.