My Studio

Would you like to see my studio?
I love my space where I work and how I have a place for everything.
Just to the right, when you enter from the carport, is my cutting and drafting table. It’s so nice to cut when your table is at a slant because it saves your back. I don’t get all bent out of shape leaning over a table while I cut, and it is the perfect height for me. We set 4×4 blocks of wood under the back edge so it would be firm and very stable when I press as I cut. It’s permanently at the angle I want and I just love it. If you are thinking of getting a cutting table, try using a table at a slant like this. Bonus: My husband used a jig saw and cut a hole in the left side of the table. We had glass cut to fit the hole (he put some brackets around inside the hole) and lights underneath and I have my very own permanent light box to use. It’s wonderful. I have a rack for the rulers I use, a wooden silverware holder for my scissors, rotary cutters and other tools, and the long drawer in the bottom of the table stores extra cutting mats. cutting_table
Tom hung a light fixture above the table so I have plenty of light and I use plastic bins underneath to store more of the supplies I use when creating.

Here is my sewing area. I sit in a bay window. I removed the lace curtains and now I have blackout cellular shades that open from the top and the bottom. I can block the strong sunlight in the summer, as well as some of the heat. You cannot believe what a difference it makes. I also put reflective film on the windows to block the light. In the winter, when the sun is not so strong, I leave the shades open all of the time. But during the summer months I am really glad to have the protection.
See the antique cabinet on the right? That is where I stash all of my beads. Yes, I am a bead freak. I love them.
See the drafting table to the left? That is where I cut my fabric. Right now (not like in this picture) it is simply COVERED in fabrics I am previewing for the new strip quilt book I am in the process of sewing. I leave myself about 18 inches square to cut in. Thank goodness the table is oversize!

These shelves were made for me by my wonderful, creative, handy dandy husband, Tom. He measured it all so that the plastic bins we bought would fit perfectly in there. Then, he put a laminate counter top that matches the tops on my drafting table and my sewing table so I am all color coordinated. I really like having my fabric where I can see it. I just need to have another whole set of shelves for the new fabric I have sitting on the drafting table… waiting for a home. The shelves on the bottom, under the counter top, are for my craft items like fabric ink, more fabric ink, fabric pens, foil, foil glue, stamps, more stamps, applicators, sponges and spray bottles, acrylic paints, metallic paints, glitter, glitter glue, more glues, stamp pads, more stuff, and more and more stuff….
On the countertop I have boxes of threads. And I still don’t have enough threads to do all of the things I want to do. It is a sickness.
Look at the wall to the right of the shelves and all of the stuff that won’t fit in the bins, is a weird shape, or is too small to find if I store it in containers (out of sight, out of mind) is on a pegboard. I put a dowel with all of my spools of ribbons on it across the pegboard so I could easily unroll whatever amount I need. I have extra rulers and stencils up on top and I have a ladder I use to reach the top of the shelves and pegboard. The only thing I need that I don’t have figured out, yet, is a place to put my oversize rolls of stabilizer. The LARGE rolls (60″ wide) are stacked in the closet by the entryway.

Speaking of which… the entrance to the studio goes directly out to a really spacious carport. When I need to spray adhesive on my fabric I go right out the door and put it on the gravel pad next to the carport so I don’t have to breathe the fumes. It’s great. Sometimes I pick leaves from the weeds I haven’t pulled from my flower boxes that are against the front, too!
When you enter the studio from the carport, you can walk directly through to my house, since the house and studio are attached to each other.

Here is my design wall. We went to Lowe’s or Home Depot… can’t remember for sure… bought a large sheet of insulated paneling. It’s about an inch thick and reminds me of a finely made styrofoam board. I put white flannel over it and Tom bolted it to the wall. Now I have a place to stick my work in progress as well as a place to pin stuff I have no idea what to do with. Some things you just don’t want to throw away, but it won’t “fit” anywhere!designwall
You can see my file cabinets to the right. I try to file once a year, whether I need it or not. To the left is a closet where I keep my fabrics for sewing clothing… not that I have been able to sew any, yet. and I have my watercolor art supplies in there. I haven’t had time to paint, either. Or bead. Or really remember to keep up with the garden. But I am getting better at balancing work and my life. Which is why things are appearing a little more slowly than I plan on the website.

Here is where I seem to spend most of my time. At the computer. I wish I had as much time to sew as I do putting my ideas into graphics and words. A lot of my work is done before I ever get to cut fabric. I work with CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator as well as Dreamweaver for the website. Some of it is done at this desk, some of it is done on my laptop, sitting in the recliner in the living room. I draw up ideas in pencil, too, on graph paper, then translate it into one of the graphics programs. That way, if I modify it, I can work on it in the program and it comes out nice and pretty in the patterns. It took a long time to get as proficient as I am and I am still learning more about how to use them. I am working on adding patterns I have created for sale on the website available for immediate download. Lots of ideas in the works. Not a lot of extra time.
The other thing I do on the computer is digitize embroidery designs. I will probably add those to the website for sale sometime in the future. You will be able to pay for them and download them immediately. Most of them I did because I liked the designs I drew and wanted to use the embroidery module on my sewing machine.
To the right of the desk, you will see my white “office supplies” cabinet. Above that is the extra screen my husband got me for my birthday. I can use it when I need or want to use two screens for the graphics I am working on and it also doubles as a television! So if I am sewing I can pop in a dvd or watch something from the internet OR from our directv programming. It makes time fly if I can sew repetitive things while watching DIY or HGTV! The closet in the corner holds my large rolls of stabilizer as well as hanging up tops that are in need of quilting. Plus a basket of gourds that I have been wanting to work on and make into pretty containers. In my spare time. They have been waiting on me for about 2 years, now.

Well, that’s the studio! Here is a picture of my dog, Brandy. She let’s me know when I have been sitting too long and need to play or go for a walk. If I stay up too late, she mumbles and groans and flops down and looks at me with bleary eyes. Sometimes she will go to bed before I do, but if I am not in there when she wakes up in a few hours I get in trouble. She comes and gets me. Probably a good thing or I would get all turned around. brandy

I’ll add a picture of my husband and my son later on. They are both HOT! Beautiful, friendly, compassionate, supportive, intelligent, funny, good looking men. I’m so blessed.
And Matt (my son) has a fiance that is beautiful inside AND out. So I’ll add her, too. Her name is Emi (pronounced Amy).
Hope you have enjoyed the tour.


New strip book

I’ve started piecing the tops for the new strip piecing book and it is looking so good! I am really excited because the fabrics I am using are great, but the ideas are starting to really flow. I just cannot WAIT to show all of you what these quilts are going to look like. I may give a sneak peek soon. We’ll see how it goes.
More soon,

Show in Harlingen

This was so fun. I went to work a retail show with my friend from Corpus Christi, Patty Dunn. To visit her site you can go to She has a blog, too.

Every time we travel together to do a show (we have done that a lot in the past three years or so) we end up in a car, trying to FIND someplace.

Naturally, we ask people that are “local’s” for directions. I swear, they always say “It’s about a mile down the road on the right/left”. Usually it is at least FIVE MILES. Sometimes they forget to tell us to turn somewhere. That being sort of a critical part of the directions you can see why we are laughing hilariously.

So now it has become a joke. Whenever someone tells us “It’s about a mile” we figure it is probably 5 miles. We are right more often than not.

Here are some pictures of our trip…
Linda's Trees
We began in Corpus Christi where Patty lives, then we went to this house. It belongs to a fabulous artist. Before we even went in, I fell in love with the trees.
more of Linda's Trees
I cannot believe how beautiful these trees are. I am SO going to use these in one of my quilts.
After they got me past the trees we went inside and was I ever in awe. Patty had told me that she had art all over her walls. So I thought “Oh, Trompe L’Oeil”. I don’t know if I spelled that correctly. Sorry. SHE HAD all of her PAINTINGS in frames hung on her walls. So I was expecting one thing and saw something totally different. I had so much fun. I just wish we would have had more time there.

We went on to Harlingen, though and set up the booth. This is Patty in her booth. She allowed me to hang 3 of my Strip Quilts from the book I recently published called “UnderCover Strips”.
Patty - booth Harlingen show
The garments and bags are Patty’s patterns.
Patty in Harlingen booth
We had a wonderful time here. Here we are together in the booth. Patty is showing that it was only “one” mile to our destination. I’m showing it was “five”…
Patty & I in Harlingen
Then we had to go shopping…
Shampoo store
We finally found the store where I could buy more shampoo…

Go Up the Stairs!
I’m trying to convince Patty we should take the stairs…

No, Not the Elevator
NO. Not the elevator!!

Patty exiting elevator
Here the little stinker is… happily exiting the elevator after she won the battle.

Live Well
We found a sign that told us what to do.

Of course, here is where we are usually… on tilt.
No matter what happens or where we go it’s always fun to be with Patty.

Thank You Marguerite

Thanks, M, for helping me figure out how to get the right page up on the front and to post to it instead of an earlier one.
Good grief.
I’m off to church right now but after the Sabbath I will take a few pics of the next stage of the quilts…Have a blessed day.

Working with Wool

I’ve been working with wool recently. I LOVE IT! It is soft, so it sews totally differently than cotton. Those of you that have been into Penny Rugs already know this. I have two new patterns that will be ready for spring market in May using wool and applique. One of the things I have been doing is adding felting to it so I can “paint” the applique. Take a look.

Here is the image… I traced this Morning Glory to freezer paper so I could press it directly to the wool fabric. Makes it easy to cut out and it doesn’t hurt that these are large images, either.Morning Glory pattern

This is the first step for this Morning Glory flower. I placed the cut out image face down on top of the stabilizer. This stabilizer is fabulous. It is dense enough and soft enough that it doesn’t shatter when I felt on it. You can cut it away from the back and leave it attached to the applique. I decided to peel the applique off and then I’ll sew it to the top. It peels off so easy! Really a nice product. I was glad I had a small piece of it to try out. I plan on doing embellishing with threads, too.
After I placed this face down on the stabilizer I layered some Tussah silk and iridescent Angelina over the open areas.

Morning Glory 2
You can see the Angelina on the left, the Tussah over the Angelina on the right of the flower.

Morning Glory 3
Some of this has been felted.

Morning Glory 4
Here is the “right” side of the Morning Glory. You can see the Tussah and Angelina create their own “fabric”. Sometimes I think letting the background fabric show through the cut away areas is more attractive but I wanted to see how this would work.

Morning Glory 5
Now I have added wool roving in a darker blue for some shadows.

Morning Glory 6
Now I added some Fuchsia Roving.

Morning Glory 8
Here it is pinned to the quilt top. I just sewed a different top, in different colors. I’m not sure if I like the brown base for this. We’ll see.

That’s not all I have been working on. I painted two images to fabric. These are done on fat quarters. I plan on quilting and embellishing them with threads, maybe some foil, crystals… who knows. I think it would be nice to add pieced borders. I may paint these again in a smaller size or in a longer rectangular shape. Tell me what you think!
Sitka Roses
These are Sitka Roses. Before I did any color I used Batik EZ from Craft Pick and stamped the fabric. This allowed me to add color and the Batik EZ acted as a water soluble (and removable!) resist.
I wet the fabric first, laid some ink on the fabric and sprinkled salt on it. Once it dried, I brushed the salt off and heat set it.
Then I sprayed the fabric with water and used the pens and the All Purpose Inks with the Fantastix applicators to paint the flowers and leaves. I wanted this to look like a watercolor. When I wanted to stop the bleed I used an embossing heat gun to dry the fabric. I could have just pressed it with an iron but I didn’t want to smush the ink and make it spread out from the weight of the iron.
I think outlining these and doing some intricate quilting in the background could make this fabulous. Plus, doing french knots for the little yellow doodads in the center of the flower should really add some neat texture.

Here is the wolf portrait.
This is a blend of fabric ink, watercolor fabric crayons, inktense pencils, stamps, Batik EZ and I think that’s all. Talk about mixing mediums. I’m interested in seeing how this looks once I add thread work.
If you haven’t tried the Batik EZ it is really fun. It looks like a clear glue so I was actually wondering if I could use rice glue instead but haven’t tried it. You should be able to find Crafter’s Pick products at any of the local craft and hobby stores. I had to go online and search for it.

Please let me know what you think. This is really new for me and I would love to interact with you!