Somebody help the girl!!

Like most artists, I have a lot of STUFF!!

Over time, I have figured out how to store my fabrics…..

….and recently, how to store my threads…..

….and even how to store my fabric paints…..

But this summer I want to spend time playing with paints….water, gouache, acrylic and anything else that I can find…..

But how can I take control of all of this??

My friend Andrea Arhuelsesnbeck writes a daily blog called “ARHtistic License…Thoughts on the Creative Process”. You REALLY should check it out!!

She recently wrote a wonderful post called “Organizing Your Art Supplies” and I think that it is worth a read. I hope that you enjoy it!!


Probably my biggest takeaway from this article is that I need to “curate” my supplies….well, really everything!! THAT is a novel thought!!

YouTube Heaven….

My husband, Michael, and I try to go to the gym 5 mornings each week and we both spend some time on various aerobic exercise machines. For me, it is an elliptical machine or the treadmill.

Although these machines are great for exercise, they are supremely BORING.

Over the years, I have read books, listened to music and watched Netflix to try to pass the time quickly. In the last few years, I have discovered the world of Youtube Channels!!!.

And, quilting ones in particular.

Here are three that you might want to check out…..

Angela Walters (Quilting is My Therapy)….. you know that I love Angela Walters and can watch her quilting videos over and over again!! She quietly encourages me that I can quilt anything that I want to!!!

Karen Brown (Just Get It Done Quilts)…..she is a Canadian quilter and has great ideas, particularly for how to conquer “Mount Scrapmore”!!!

Theresa DownUnder…. she is an Aussie quilter and does simple video tutorials of basic quilt blocks. I have been inspired by her blocks and have learned so much too!!

Now, please tell me what YouTube Channels you frequent….quilting or NOT!!!!

More from the British Quilt List….

For the last few Thursdays, I have been sharing quilts that I made thru the “British Quilt List” (Yahoo group) challenge.

Now we are up to April and this was my absolute FAVORITE quilt!!

We were told to design our own geometric shapes that would finish to a 4-inch square and then use our imagination to turn them into PURSES!!!

I decided to use some fabrics that I had bought in India for the bags themselves and then had SO much fun embellishing them!!

The final quilt is so fun….

…and brings a smile to my face whenever I see it!!!

AND…..isn’t that what a quilt is supposed to do????

Do you have a quilt that makes you SMILE???

Retreat Roundup

And just like that, it was over!!!

That is often how I feel about quilting retreats. I anxiously wait for the day to arrive, I sew madly while I am there and then… is time to go home!!

These past 5 days were the perfect example of a great retreat.

We have a wonderful room to work in with lots of light and space to spread out…..

The food, while not always healthy, is amazing…..

I worked on several projects that I will show in upcoming posts, but I did try one new background technique that I will DEFINITELY use again….

I normally take at least one walk each day, but this time I chose to be lazy and sit in a swing by the lake and watch the ducks and geese….

It was SO relaxing!!

On one of my very short strolls, I came across this boarded up window….

Don’t you just love how the boards have weathered!!

There were a bunch of finished tops before the week was over, but these two were my favorites….

Linda put her Kaffe fabrics to good use and created this gorgeous top….

…and Mary and Pat each finished their sweet nativity scenes…..

I find this quilt so appealing!!

I taught a short lesson on making half-square triangles and enjoying answering some questions about the technique.

On the way home, I stopped by a local quilt shop that is part of a feed store!! Yep, you can buy your horse feed, tomato plants or work boots up front…..

and your fabric in the back…..

Now THAT is the perfect store!!

So, everything is back in place in my studio, my travel quilting stuff is put away and I will start the process of anxiously awaiting the NEXT retreat in September!!

The Challenge of Challenges…..

A few months ago, our guild speaker made the comment that quilters should NEVER… ..EVER…..participate in a challenge!!

Her contention was that the challenges put too many parameters on the quilt, meaning that it funnels you into one direction.

I don’t know about you, but I COMPLETELY disagree with this comment.

In my 35+ years of quilting, I have participated in over 60 challenges and mysteries and I have learned SO much from them. So let’s start on a journey of Challenges….talk about the successful ones as well as the unsuccessful!!!

The FIRST challenge that I ever participated in was back in 1987!! We had just returned to the US after spending 6 years in Australia and were living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I was only 2 years into my quilting career and was excited to join the “River City Quilters”!!

Not long after I arrived, they handed out a small packet of fabric and challenged us to make a quilt from it. I don’t remember all of the details but I remember being so excited as I looked at the fabrics and let design after design pass in front of my mind!!

Unfortunately, my ideas were greater than my abilities but I still played with the fabrics and came up with my FIRST completely original design……

This was made before I was machine quilting, so I did a minimal amount of arc quilting….BY HAND!!

My stitches are actually pretty even and small but I will say that the batting is SUPER thin so that helped!!

Now….would I have EVER tried to design this quilt without the push of a challenge???

The answer is a resounding …..

I believe that this first challenge DEFINITELY propelled me down a path that I might not have tried before and that is why I do challenges!!

Next week I will show you my SECOND challenge….it is interesting I promise!!

Do you like challenges?? Why or why not??