another little quilt swap

* Water (on my mind) - A Journal Quilt for an exchange * 

Kate North

is hosting a Journal Quilt swap called,

Another Little Quilt Swap 5.

I signed up for this exchange because it was a small Journal Quilt size swap and all types of quilts were welcomed. I am not a traditional or even contemporary quilter, but I love making small arty mixed media quilts or quilties. I have hosted lots of quiltie swaps and even have a tutorial on my teaching site on how to make quilties -

check it out here!

My journal quilt is an exploration of the colour blue and the theme of water. As I said, I am not a quilter but more of a mixed media artist who loves fabric! My idea for this challenge/exchange was to work with shades of blue and the feeling that water brings to mind. I gathered various leftover pieces of cotton, some I had painted myself on the banks of a river, on the left side of the piece - and a portion of an old silk shirt that looked like water on the right side.

gathering fabrics

I ripped and snipped pieces of fabric to fit the 8 1/2" X 11" size, first pinned them and then stitched them together using various machine stitches to a piece of batting. Here is a photo diary of my process.

getting started

 - making sure it fit the required size -

One of my main stitches was a large wavy one that I used across the piece.

Click on any photo for more details.

first stitches 

adding fabrics

To embellish the journal quilt I added a line of mini mosaics in blue and 2 pieces of blue sea glass, attached to the fabric with extra strong glue. I also hand sewed on iridescent sequins and tiny seed beads. To finish my journal quilt I sewed a piece of watery light blue fabric to the back by stitching around the edges of the quilt.

hand stitching details

The finished journal quilt - 8-1/2" x 11"

A scan for details . . . click to see more.

It was a lot of fun, thank you Kate!

Kate is in process of posting all the photos of the Journal quilts 


. After January 31st, we will email her with a list of our 10 favorite quilts and she will match us up with

a partner

to mail to and receive from. : )

This is a great way to run a swap - i love it! 

I was challenged and it was fun to work on a quiltie again.

play with pink & green!

Over at My Artistic Life, Helga Strauss has challenged us to play with pink & green! Today I was inspired by all the wonderful entries I saw on the ARTchix Studio Yahoo Group and decided to make some time myself, for this challenge . . . tonight! I love pink & green so it was not too hard to find some good things to work with. I gathered up different fabrics & images to fit the theme and then played! This 'playing' morphed into a 9x12 art quilt.

I laid fabrics out and then stitched them together on my machine, attaching them to a batting piece at the same time. I started out around the edges and then changed the stitch and sewed randomly around the entire piece. That was fun! Then I sewed on various ARTchix Studio collage and transparency images. I used a white pen to accentuate and extend some of the lines on the fabric. Lastly, I glued a quote I had previously printed in pink onto plain muslin fabric with my own printer. It is one of my favorite quotes, and most appropriate for all the fun we have with Helga's blog challenges, yahoo group activities, swaps . . .

"Each of us has a spark of life inside us, and our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that spark in one another." -- Kenny Ausubel

: ) lenna young andrews, September 24, 2009
note on September 29th: I found out this afternoon, I was one of the winners for Helga's Pink & Green challenge - Whoo whoo!! follow that link to her blog to see all of the winners. My prize was to choose 3 ARTchix sheets of my choice, and here is what i picked: Tell me More Collage Sheet, the Royal ATCs Transparency Sheet, and the Gothic Arches Transparency sheet. Lucky me! more wonderful variety to play & create with : )

art and fear and friends

~ Above is a close-up of a small art quilt i made for my dear friend Frieda Oxenham, as it was her birthday last week. Earlier, i was relating some thoughts about creating (in general) to Frieda in an email; we were discussing the book, Art and Fear. I wrote to her, "I don’t have much fear anymore for jumping in & creating (except a little when I think of making something for you!!!!!) but I still got so much out of that book (she had recommended it). I copied two passages that had a lot of meaning to me, here they are:

"The desire to make art begins early. Among the very young this is encouraged (or at least indulged as harmless) but the push toward a 'serious' education soon exacts a heavy toll on dreams and fantasies. Yet for some the desire persists, and sooner or later must be addressed. And with good reason: your desire to make art -beautiful or meaningful emotive art- is integral to your sense of who you are. Life and Art, once entwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age 90 Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Stravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting." . . . .

. . . and in another section of the book, this: “in a supportive environment –one found, more often than not, within the artistic community itself- approval and acceptance often become linked, even indistinguishable." ~ from Art & Fear, David Bayles & Ted Orland."

So! When I wanted to do something special for Frieda for her birthday, I would say that I hesitated slightly on exactly what to do for her because she is such an accomplished artist. When her birthday was becoming imminent and I was lamenting not doing anything for her yet, Steven suggested I give her some unusual and interesting things to work with - good idea, I said! Off to my studio I went with the intent of gathering things for her when I came upon the lovely image above, which I believe it is a Waterhouse painting? Helga Strauss of ARTchix Studio has this image on a transparency sheet. I took the transparency and color copied it onto a prepared fabric sheet; this I had done previously, and the image on fabric was already in my supplies in my studio. When I saw it I said, perfect! Look at this woman, really loving and savoring those roses. It said "Frieda" all over it! At that moment I said to myself, why couldn't I use this fabric image to make something for her birthday? It was the spark I needed.

I stitched the fabric image to a piece of hand painted fabric from my peace banner project; I made lots of extra painted fabric when i did that project, much to my delight now. Then I gathered the olive green velvet leaves and arranged them around the image; these were glued down with E6000 glue. I hand sewed on two carved shell flower beads from Alpha Stamps and then I added bits of broken abalone shell to the woman's dress. Frieda has told me she is often like a magpie, being drawn to glittery and shiny, luminous things . . . . so I also reached for two colours of iridescent glass spheres in 2 different sizes, also from Alpha Stamps and added these to the piece with tacky glue. The gold fabric which serves as the back of the piece and a frame of sorts, came to me as I was searching through my fabrics; it seemed appropriate for celebrating the treasure of a good friend.

The small words on the bottom of the image read, "admired and loved"(ARTchix Studio) which is how I know Frieda feels about roses, and how I definitely feel about her. We have know each other perhaps 5 years now, maybe more, and even though I have not yet traveled to Scotland and she has not yet traveled to Connecticut, I feel it is safe to say we have a long and slow growing friendship that seems to deepen every year through our artistic and personal sharing. Happy birthday to my dear friend! How lovely to be working on this post in preparation for the quilts arrival in Scotland and have Frieda email me in the middle of writing it and say, "Dear Lenna, your present is here, it arrived today and it left me totally speechless, so it's just as well I'm typing this!" I do believe she liked it! : ) oh happy day, from lenna young andrews on September 5th, 2009 (my son Decklin's 28th birthday - wow!)

Art Quilt Received : ^ )

This is another gift that I made and sent out for my generosity project, and this is definitely a special one. I was so pleased and so happy that my very good friend in Scotland, Frieda Oxenham, responded to my original post. That meant I had my chance to be extra generous, and create a special gift, just for her!

Frieda was picked as one of the 'winners' for this particular project I blogged about, and so soon afterwords I set out to think of what to create, especially for her. This was a bit of a challenge for me because I respect her so much as an artist, and I found it was a little intimidating. She has won so many awards for her art quilts and she is also such a generous and prolific artist in the mixed media world! I festered about what to do for just a bit . . . but I knew I wanted to do something with FABRIC for her and something that had meaning for her and also for me . . . and definitely something she would like!

Finally, I started by simply choosing bright batik fabrics that I imagined Frieda would like - as she has mentioned her love of bright fabrics before. I ripped out a 12"x12" section of two different fabrics; pink & purple! Then somehow, I got the idea of doing something related to her garden. Probably because Frieda has been sharing so many beautiful and appreciated photos of the flowers in her garden in Scotland as of late on her blog, which I have so enjoyed. Occasionally, if a larger version of a photo was available, I would copy it and save it to my own computer for reference or possible use later. While creating this art quilt I remembered I had a very lovely photo of what I believed to be one of Frieda's gardens when the daffodils were in full bloom. I got the idea to print that photo out onto fabric and incorporate it into the art quilt I wanted to make for her.

I ripped out another rectangle of the pink hued batik fabric, gathered some batting, and also the Alpha Stamps floral and leaf beads I had on hand. This made very much sense too, as Frieda still is, and I was, an Alpha Stamps design Team member! I took the top two pieces of fabric with the batting behind them and sewed them together. Then with a decorative leaf stitch from my sewing machine, I added the garden photo printed on fabric. To the top right corner, I added a small bird image from ARTchix Studio's garden sheet collection. I could not resist hand-beading some teeny tiny beads around this image, mimicking the beautiful work Frieda does on ATCs and her larger quilts.

It still needed something! So, I sewed the Alpha Stamps jeweled flowers, leaf beads, and added the pearlized stick pins from Alpha Stamps .... I knew I also wanted to add words and had to think for a while before I knew what I wanted to say. Finally! Meet you in the garden! I decided to rubber stamp this, as Frieda says she learned how to stamp on fabric from ME! I practiced a little and then went to the main fabric. because the batting was already in place it was a little tricky, but it worked. I was happy because what I wrote/stamped could be interpreted in more than one way. It could be the little bird saying, "meet you in the garden" or it could be Frieda saying to her husband John, 'Meet you in the garden', or it could be ME in CT, USA ---saying one day, Frieda, I will meet you in your Garden!! : ^ )))

I got an email from Frieda today, a week after I sent the art quilt out, and I will share with you what she said:

"Oh wow, I could barely believe the wonderful package which was handed over by my postie today. What a beautiful gift and I so love the picture you've used of our garden and how you combined it with the gorgeous batik fabrics. And I do so hope that one day we will meet each other in the garden as your text suggest!! Saying thank you, really does not seem adequate, but at the moment it's the best I can do!! Thanks again so much, from the bottom of my heart!"

: ) she need say no more! I am smiling. What a fantastic project I 'larked' into! Here is a close-up scan, click on any photo for more detail:

generosity project

Two of the hand made gifts I sent out to the winners of my generosity meme project have been received - so cool! I found it very fulfilling to hear from the recipients personally, that they were so very happy to receive the hand made items I sent out. For me, it recharged my creative spirit to create for them and doing this project was just a very good thing all around!

For Sharon Schutt, I created a small fabric piece with her in mind. She has participated in many of my swaps and we have corresponded a bit. I just now went to her blog and found out she has already written about what I sent & posted a photo of what I made her! She has also decided to do the generosity project, so you really might want to go check it out: HERE.

I created with fabric for Sharon as I know she is a fabric person, and my theme for her was 'HOME' since she told me it is most likely her family will have to move to a new one soon. With teenagers on board leaving friends behind -- this can be rough, so I created a piece I thought would give her positive feelings about the move. Sharon wrote to me and said my gift arrived with perfect timing and she absolutely loved the piece - how sweet! I was happy to brighten her day. To make it I simply looked for fabrics and colors I thought Sharon would like, sewed them together and added some ARTchix Studio images based on her theme- sewing the collage papers & transparencies right on the the fabric with my machine. Easy to do and delightfully fun to make!

For Dottie Mucha, who actually lives down the street from me, I created a small fabric quiltie. I tried to use colors and images I thought Dottie would like --using a romantic transparency from ARTchix Studio placed over white gauzy fabric combined with pink & brown fabric, a little lace and some velvet leaves. ooh la la! Click on any photo for more detail.

Dottie wrote to me, "Thank you. What a beautiful surprise. I didn't expect anything so soon. I am so pleased with your "meme" for me."

: ) It was my pleasure! More notes and sharing as they are received . . . . .

12x12 Quilt for my swap

Here is a close-up of the 12x12 quilt I made for my own swap that just concluded this past week. Go to my creative swaps blog to view all the entries: We had lots of incredible fabric art produced for this 12x12 fabric techniques swap which also featured recycling or using what you had on hand. There were 32 participants that completed their quilts and sent them in on time, making for a very large & successful swap -Thanks to all who participated!

I recycled a dried rose that I had saved and used it on my quilt! It just seemed appropriate for my theme and I figured if I sealed it with a coating of gel medium, the dried flower would hold up. I swapped my 12x12 with Linda Garcia's 12x12. The swap worked out so that everyone had a partner and I swapped them 1-for-1, which I think was really nice.

To make my quilt I used fabric I had in my stash and Flower & Leaf beads from Alpha Stamps: Glass Leaf Charm Sets and Pearlized Leaf Stick Pins found here at Alpha Stamps and beads, also found at Alpha Stamp on this page. Such lovely, lovely items!

The back of my quilt is also recycled - silky olive green fabric I had saved from an old chemise. I had saved this for some time now, even though I was not wearing it anymore because I so loved the fabric. I cut the edge of the fabric all around to make fringe.

I am a little slow in getting this posted as we just finished our second weekend of Tag Sales designed to clear out our home and my studio. I am happy to say we have done an excellent job! Phew, what a tiring undertaking. But we are on our way. We met again with our real estate agent Charlie Kaylor yesterday, and our home will be put on the market very soon after I return from visiting my Mom & Dad in Florida May 8-12. My Dad is doing well; getting ready for his second round of radiation on the other lobe of his liver - next week. This starts with a CT scan and is usually a 3 step process. I am happy he is doing well, in remission and ready to fight some more! Hopefully it won't take too long to sell our home so that Steven and I will be able to join my parents in Florida. I imagine my attention will be elsewhere for the most part, in the upcoming days - finishing our clearing out & starting to pack, trying to keep the house clean for showings . . . but I am sure I will still be creating a bit (Colour Groupies ATCs, etc) and I will share here with you as I can! Stay well, lenna

happy birthday to me!

One of my favorite photos . . . me and my mom in 1957, the year I was born. This was a fabric page, a "quiltie" I created for Theresa Hall in the ARTchix Studio Fabric RR I hosted back in 2005. This particular photo of me & my mom has made it's way into many pieces I've created.

I have been enjoying a most wonderful birthday! Last night Steven & I went out to dinner with dear friends and they treated us to a most delicious and fun time. Carol and I share birthdays by just one day and she and her hubby took us to a place we had never been to before. We all had a grand time.

Today has been a quiet day and I have been catching up on work, which was what I wanted to do before I go to visit my parents in Florida on Tuesday for a few days. I talked to both my mom & my dad today. Dad sounded so good - Steven had a long talk with him too, about boats and computers! Dad goes for the 2nd part of his Interventional Radiology treatment on Wednesday, which requires a bit of a stay in the hospital for the day, so I am glad to be there to help out. This is all part of his battle against liver cancer . . . and he is really doing so well it is amazing. I am a lucky woman to have been born 52 years ago to Dale & Priscilla Andrews. Steven says he really has the best time hanging out with them, and I don't know how cool my parents are (I do!).

Speaking of Steven, my love - he made a wish come true for me today with his birthday card for me. Oh, how I laughed when I opened it! Some background for you: Steven is always joking and affecting personalities for our two cats, Star & Farfel -because even though they are brothers with very similar markings, they really have opposite personalities.
(and bodies!)

Star is a real 'bruiser' . . . he weighs more than Farfel, he is always hungry and will steal Farfel's food whether he is looking or not! Star is very assertive and will jump on you if he wants to without warning. He meows quite loudly, as if he is demanding things to happen. He is a beautiful cat, and I would say Star is Steven's favorite of the two . . . .

Steven is always joking around to me that Star has a beer belly, smokes a cigar, is quite the 'manly' guy, and often times has him making rude remarks! Steven even uses different 'voices' when he is vocalizing their thoughts . . . . and always makes me laugh with these characterizations!

Farfel on the other hand, is long & lean, and loves to walk the 'balance beam' on the cat scratching post Steven made... and does this very well! Below is a photo of him chasing a fly in my office!

Farfel mews quietly, his fur is soft and silky, he is extremely sweet and very affectionate, he is always looking for pets and nose rubs, he is very graceful and acrobatic - totally the opposite of Star. Steven likes to characterize him as being 'into' yoga and aerobics, home decorating, as very sweet and very sensitive! It is just so amazing what personalities you can come up with for your animals when they show you just a few traits!

Since Steven does such a good job embellishing their personalities and used to draw cartoons all the time - I have been begging him, pleading with him, trying to bribe him to DRAW for me what he verbally jokes about with our two cats! To tell you the truth I almost forgot about this plea and did not expect it to happen . . . . and then, Steven gave me my birthday card today & this is what I saw (below).
WOW! I laughed SO much!

First the envelope, because it is funny since I turned 52 today . . . .

And then, the card! Now, you probably won't find it quite as amusing as I do, but I just had to share this. Thank you so much, Steven. I have had the best birthday! Of course, click on any photo for more details.

: ) lenna


Playing with Mica

On the Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group, the discussion turned to mica . . . Alpha Stamps sells mica, both sheets and crushed. I knew had some tucked away somewhere . . . At the same time, when perusing the Quilting Arts newsletter online, I ran across instructions by Kelli Perkins for making mica tags -check out the instructions HERE. I did a variation on Kelli's instructions by not coloring the mica with alchohol inks as she did, and I used Alpha Stamp collage sheet images as my laser printed images for the tape treansfer and was quite pleased with the results. I sandwiched my transfers in-between pieces of mica and used gel medium as instructed to adhere the transfers. It took a while to dry, but it did eventually, and I was a happy camper!
Then I took my mica/transfer piece and brought it over to the plain notebook that I wanted to decorate. I opted to lay some handmade papers down first -click on the image above for more detail. I attached the papers to the front cover with Tacky glue. Then I adhered the mica piece over the papers with E6000 glue. This glue works great for something non-porous like mica. I added the stream of ribbon with Tacky glue but added the metal roses, magnetic words, bird & other charm with E6000 glue. On the inside, I covered the plain end papers with a different script paper and I created a pocket for my business card as I am thinking of selling this piece!
(I sold it in July, after I brought it to the Bleu Willow shop in Simsbury!)

I also made a second mica - packing tape transfer piece, see below. This time I used an image from a new Alpha Stamp sheet called Moon & Stars. I just love this new image sheet! Moon & stars is an important theme to me, but the images themselves are just lovely. Again, I used gel medium to adhere the packing tape transfer I made to the mica . . . and then this time, I elected to SEW the piece of mica to a piece of fabric, and old linen of my Nonie's! It was not as hard to do as I thought and it worked just fine, but I do have an old needle on my machine.

I took the mica/fabric piece and I added it to more fabric and batting. I made a 6x6 quiltie on a 'shades of white' theme that I will sew together with lots of other white quilties made by participants in a quilties swap that finished back in April! I have a beautiful stack of quilties in my studio that were given to me for hosting the swap and I really wanted to add one of my own to the mix before doing anything.

I hope you enjoy and this post inspires you to play a bit with different materials like mica. : )

More Quilties - July 28 class

QuiltieBook-frontCover4, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

I have been working hard (in-between going to work!) on this quiltie book. It is a small 5" x 5" sample for my July 28th class at Sew Inspired Quilt Shop in Simsbury, CT. I will post a few more photos below, but you can see all the pages in a slideshow if you click here and visit my flickr photo site.

Quilties: July 28 class at Sew Inspired

page 2a, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

* * * There is no Journal Quilt from me this week. * * *

I should have uploaded a journal quilt on Monday, April 30th! This is the very first time I've missed a week since I started my challenge in January. There was my art show at Flatbread to put up and lots of other things capturing my attention. I was a little sad but decided just to let it go! There are 52 weeks in the year and I am sure I will have lots of quilties to put together into a larger piece when the year comes to an end. Instead, I will share with you a few of the little 5" x 5" quilties I have made so far as sample pages for my Quilties class at Sew Inspired in Simsbury CT on July 28th from 10-4pm. There is a sample at the store now to show what the Quiltie book will look like, but I am working on pages that will show exactly what we will do in this class. It should be a lot of fun! I have my first class there later this month on May 20th from 1-4pm - Fabric ATCs . . . I can't wait! Below are some more 5x5 Quiltie pages from the class sample book I am working on. They all use images from Alpha Stamps; either paper OR Fabric - click on the images below for a closer look:

Journal Quilt #4

My fourth mini Journal Quilt - click on the photo for a larger picture. It is hard to believe I have created 4 of these already! It is not hard to do, and the weekly deadline I made for myself is what keeps me creating them. I always THINK about the journal quilts during the week, and then sometime on Monday the actual quilties come spilling out. I would like to start one earlier in the week sometimes, but maybe that is just not the way I work! The back of the quiltie has my journal entry printed on muslin; I attach my fabric to a piece of lightweight cardstock and then run it through my Epson printer. I write my entry in a MS Word document, and then print it directly onto the fabric. This week's entry is below.

January 29, 2007:
This is the fourth in a series of *mini* journal quilts that I am adding to my year long fabric journal project. This 6” x 6” quiltie reflects a visit we enjoyed recently with our friends Garth and Nora. Steven and I have known Garth since we were about 15 years old . . . . In fact, Garth is why and how Steven & I met each other in the first place, way back then! Garth and I went to the same summer camp and Steven and Garth went to High School together. We have known his wife Nora and been friends with her for almost just as long.
My mini journal quilt this week features gel medium transfers of photos from a walk we took when Garth & Nora came to visit this past weekend. The past few weeks I have been teaching gel medium transfers to my students in my Mini Art Quilt Book class and enjoying some of the results I have tried myself - image transfers can be very tricky. The two gel medium transfers on this small quiltie are the photos, ink jet printed with my Epson Stylus C88 onto transparency film and transferred to fabric with Golden Gel Medium. The transfers I have done from transparencies have been the ones I enjoyed the results of the most lately. It has been very cold here in CT – the transfer in the top left corner is a photo I took of some leaves frozen in the ice. Brrrrr! Stay warm, Lenna

Tiny Gears

. . . I am teaching a private mini art quilt book class right now to the dyehard surfacing group and they were asking me about the small "gears" I had listed on their supply list. I found mine online at artchix studio but they were looking at some interesting watch parts on ebay! Either will make an interesting addition to your fabric page. Here is a scan of a quiltie I made for I swap I hosted in 2005. You can see the tiny gears I mentioned sewn onto the page mostly on the right hand side (click on the photo for a much larger view). The central image is also from artchix - this is actually a paper collage sheet called Women in Art. You can read what one of the participants in my dyehard surfacing class thinks about the class so far and see some of her pages by going to Kate's Quilting Blog. Posted by Picasa