Posts Tagged ‘Heart’

Create…bring into being

August 29, 2013

This past week has been a fun week of creating in my studio with my sister Suzanne. Each summer, she visits me for an extended week-end, and we have a sew-athon. With the exception of Sunday, we avoided putting on nice clothes and make-up or fixing an elaborate meal. We were fortunate to have my husband who most nights ran to the grocery store, fixed a yummy dinner or  brought dinner home.

One night, Suzanne’s daughter brought dinner to us. She knew we wouldn’t be all “dolled-up” and told us so. She reminded us of the sewing marathons we had at our family lake house when she was in elementary school, and I was in college. She called us “sea hags” then, and she wasn’t expecting much more than that the night she came over. We had a laugh over that. Some things just don’t change.

My Sister Suzanne

My Sister Suzanne

Suzanne spent our time together getting many projects ready for her booth, “Apples of Gold”,  at Quilt Festival/Houston. She cut pumpkin wedges from dyed cutter quilts and stitched a few together. We have been making these pumpkins for at least 10 years, and they are still popular among her customers. Suzanne has made hundreds of them. Being the big sister (actually she’s much smaller than I am) she of course knows how to make the best pumpkins. She told me I wasn’t using the correct color of dye or strong enough solution on my cutter quilts. Being the “little sister,” I took it all to heart and, after a day at the office on the day she left, I dyed my quilt scraps in my jammies. It’s important to make my big sister proud.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

Yesterday, I cut and sewed patchwork pumpkins from those “dyed-again” cutter quilt scraps. I put one in my etsy shop, but there will be more to come in six different sizes and from different quilts. They are so much fun to make and decorate. They take a little more time and effort  than the pumpkins cut in a circle that I showed you in our last Play Date #7.

Dyed Patchwork Pumpkin

Dyed Patchwork Pumpkin

Each time Suzanne comes for a visit or I see her in San Antonio she gives me linens, fabrics, laces, and trinkets she has cleaned-out from her collections. I never turn down any of it,  because it’s very possible I will use it and often I do. I just keep adding it to another cupboard, drawer, or closet. I told her I hope I have an opportunity to give-away all my collections before my children have to deal with it. My three granddaughters would take a lot of it home with them now, but I know their mommies wouldn’t be happy about it. Oh, well I accepted another full bag of goodies. My husband had to carry it upstairs it was so heavy.

Another bag of goodies

Another bag of goodies

Suzanne isn’t the only one who cleans out her closets and brings me what she wants to get rid of, but aren’t I the lucky girl? My good friend Teresa brings me boxes and bags of fabulous sewing supplies. It’s like Christmas. The latest batch of discards was all kinds of ribbons and trims. I love them and had a great time stroking them as I sorted them and wound them on cards for neatness.

I love ribbons and trims

I love ribbons and trims

I’ve read recently that you are not a hoarder if your collections are organized. Just want to show you proof that I’m not a hoarder, as each of my ribbons and trims are categorized and labeled in boxes. I do need to add some larger boxes, however.

Ribbon and trim closet

Ribbons and trims closet

My friend Sheryl also gives me decorator fabrics and heavy trims that are left from her very successful custom drapery and bedspread business. Do you think these friends feel sorry for me, or are they glad someone will take the excess off their hands? Sheryl sent me a box of goodies recently, and I was able to coordinate them to make large tote bags. I have put four of them in my etsy shop recently. Sheryl chose some of her left-over fabric for a tote for her and gave it to me in Long Beach. I’ll make it and give it to her when I see her again in Houston. She comes to our Festivals and is a great worker on our Education Team.

Grey/silver combination

Grey/silver combination from Sheryl

And ta-da, here’s a tote from Sheryl’s scraps. “Waste Not, Want Not” my mom always said. Maybe she shouldn’t have taught me that mantra. I do live by it. Oh, dear.

And here it is.

And here it is.

While Suzanne was here for her visit, I finished that tote plus a couple of others and fall table runners and toppers that are in my etsy shop or will be for sale at our church’s Festival on November 9th. I’ll share a booth with my dear friend Joan Hill, and I hope it’s full to the brim and that we get lots of shoppers.

I do love to create and am reminded often of it’s importance by my friend and mentor, Lesley Riley. She will be teaching and coordinating some Artist Development classes at Fall Quilt Festival/Houston  that I highly recommend. Check out her blog for lots of inspiration. Her recent post, “Did You Forget Where to Look?” on August 26 hit home with me. This paragraph in particular was another one of those a-ha moments.

“I am again on a search for myself! Yet, as many times as I’ve found myself, I seem to always forget where to look. Why do I go seeking elsewhere when the very thing I desire can only come from my heart, my soul, my hands?”

When I get it right, I feel like my granddaughter Madison who has no problem finding her true self. She has created from her heart since the day she could move and talk, and has let that creative energy flow and take flight at any time all her 16 years. Love your creative spirit, Little MEM.



Another place I look for inspiration when I know I need to create with my hands is my most favorite magazine in the whole world, “Where Women Create.” Jo Packham, another mentor and dear friend is the Creator and Editor-in-Chief of this quarterly of inspiring work spaces of extraordinary women. Jo will also be teaching at Fall Quilt Market and Quilt Festival. Check out both schedules on the Quilts website.

This issue was given to me in a welcome basket from our sales person in Long Beach. Even he knows it’s my favorite magazine. I was so delighted I would have it to study on the flight home.

When I got back to the office I had another copy of this issue from Jo. So, now I have two. One has lots of writing in it, and the other one is pristine. Would you like to have a chance to win it? All you have to do is answer this question at the end of this post where it says “Leave a reply” and “Enter your comments here.” “Where do you get your inspiration to create?” I’ll randomly choose a winner on Tuesday after Labor Day. 

My most favorite magazine

My most favorite magazine

I devour this magazine from cover to cover and have since the very first issue. I literally read every single word. On the inside cover, I write page numbers I want to refer back to. Often I have underlined or starred parts on those pages. Page 91 was so important to me that I wrote the number on her skirt on the cover of the magazine so not to miss it.

Important Page Numbers

Important Page Numbers

So what was so important on page 91 of the August, September, October 2013 issue? It was a tip from Jessica Swift, a painter, surface pattern designer, and author from Portland, Oregon. I’ll leave you with her words.

“Follow your intuition wherever it takes you, even if it’s scary or feels confusing. Listen closely to your inner voice because it’s pointing you in the exact direction that you need to go. You never need to listen to what someone else is telling you you’re “supposed to” do. The answers you need are already within you. Get quiet, listen, and then act accordingly!”

Until we meet again, I wish you lots of “bringing into being.” Judy


Play Date #2 Heart Pillow

January 15, 2012

Each of the holidays throughout the year is special to me for one reason or another. I decorate our home for each of these holidays or seasons, and many of the decorations are things I have created over the years. This past week I decorated for Valentine’s Day so my husband and I and any guests or family who visit can enjoy the decorations, too. In a later blog, I will show you little Valentine vignettes, but today I want to show you how to make another kind of Valentine.

The instructions for how to make this Heart Pillow are much the same as those I showed you in Play Date #1 on making Valentine Cards. You will gather some of the same supplies. My studio work table is covered with things to use for making both Valentine Cards and Heart Pillows. The pillow starts with a batting foundation, and the card starts with a paper foundation. Today let’s make the pillow.

Embellished heart

Embellished Hanging Heart

Here’s a list of things you will need: batting (I use Warm and Natural because of its firmness.), stuffing, ribbon, fabric scraps, lace, photos, sayings/quotes, buttons, beads, trinkets, patchwork pieces, mixed media samples, ephemera, glue stick, basic sewing supplies and sewing machine.

Are you ready? Let’s get started:

  1. Make a heart shape pattern. The largest heart pattern I use starts with a 10″ square of paper. Fold a square of paper in half and cut half of a heart. Open. If you are pleased with the shape and size, cut a foundation using this pattern from batting.

    batting foundation

    Cut heart pattern from batting

  2. You can cover the entire foundation with one piece of painted fabric, vintage embroidery, tea towel or quilt piece, etc.  Or, you can use bits and pieces of a combination of fabrics to patchwork the foundation. If you choose the patchwork method, start by pinning a piece of fabric right side up in the center of the heart foundation. With right sides together, stitch and flip fabric pieces out from the center until you have covered the foundation heart shape. Stitch the outside close to the edge and trim fabric even with the foundation heart.
  3. Embellish the patchwork with ribbons and laces or other trim. Add the photo, quote, and any other elements you have gathered to create an interesting and pleasing design. Pin and/or use a tiny amount of glue stick to hold the objects in place until you have stitched them to the covered foundation. When you are pleased with your design, straight stitch and/or zig zag the elements to the fabric covered foundation. Embellish further with machine or hand stitching or trinkets, buttons, beads, etc.

    Covered foundation

    Cover foundation with fabric and embellishments

  4. Cut a backing fabric using the finished heart design as a pattern. It’s possible your original heart may have shrunk slightly with the stitching and embellishing.
  5. Cut a ribbon for hanging the heart approximately 12″ long. Pin right sides together to the very top of the patchwork heart. Pin old or new lace straight edge to the outside edge of the heart, right sides together. Some lace needs to be gathered to hang nicely while other lace, usually hand crochet, needs only a slight amount of gathering to the heart front. Stitch lace and ribbon to the heart.

    lace and ribbon attached

    Pin ribbon and lace right sides together to pillow edge

  6. Pin backing heart shape right sides together with embellished heart. Stitch leaving an opening on one side large enough for you to put your hand in to stuff it. Clip top center and curves to stitching. Turn right side out. Tug gently on ribbon and lace to get the edges out. Fill  heart with stuffing and potpourri, if you like, until firm. Pin and stitch opening closed.
  7. If you want to decorate the pillow further with keys, small bottles, buttons, flowers, stickers, etc. use a glue gun to adhere to outside of heart.

    Be Mine finished

    Be Mine Heart Pillow Complete

  8. Enjoy hanging in your home, or give away to someone special.

You can see other samples of these heart pillows in my etsy shop. Just click the etsy link on the right side of this post to go there. I will have these heart pillows, Valentines and some heart designs on canvas at my nephew’s art party and sale on February 4th. If you are interested in attending, let me know and I’ll email you an invitation.

It’s been fun showing you another way I use lots of my embellishments. I hope you will express your creativity and make some of these memorable, treasured greetings for youself or someone special. Please let me hear from you and send pictures to my email address. I’d love to show them on my blog before the end of February. Happy crafting until we meet again.

Bright heart

Bright Pink Heart from paper and fabric

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