Okay, she got it so now I can post a picture of a TQS badge that I made for Peggy (Weaver49).  I had so much fun making this and hope showing a picture will inspire all of you that have the digitized file to actually stitch it out and don’t forget to add either your real name or your TQS screen name.  After all, I want to be able to spot you, recognize your name and come give you a hug!  I’m sure there are many others out there looking for you too.

Here’s the front and my thoughts as I’m doing each section.  She likes purple so I’m looking for thread to coordinate with light purple and dark purple to stitch it in.  I stitched it in the larger size because she asked for her screen name to be included.   At first, I was going to add a pin to the back but being nearly 4 inches by 4 inches is a pretty darn big pin so instead I added a satin rope so she could wear it around her neck.  Hmmm…how to attach the satin rope.   I’m thinking about that at the same time I’m thinking it really should have a back.  Since it is a badge, I added several layers of thick stablizer to the inside to keep it flat.  I’m searching in my stash — sitting cross legged on the floor when I spyed lone blocks.  You know those blocks that you try out techniques to see if you like it and for whatever reason they never get used in a project.  Of course, you can’t throw them out because WHAT IF!!!  I kept looking until I found one with colors that could go fairly well with the front.  Now, since I didn’t pre-think this whole process out before I started, I made it difficult on myself.  Because I had added all those layers of stablizer, the badge was exactly like I wanted it — STIFF.  Now, I’m wanting to add a back and turn it inside out — yeah right oh baby!  I managed to do it but if you plan on adding a back, don’t add the stablizer.  Instead, add something after you have turned the piece. 


Okay, the back is on and the satin rope has been stitched on.  The edges look good, and I smile thinking cool — looks good and I’m done.  Then I’m admiring the front thinking hmmmmm…. wonder what crystals would look like added.  Let’s see, I have light green crystals and purple crystals and even a color called sunrise for the middle.  I’ll add the middle one just to see what it looks like.  Yeah, I like that.  Okay, maybe a few more around the edges, and many, many minutes later I stop and think.  NICE, now that’s adding some Bling.  Of course, I love bling and forget that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for SPARKLE.  I keep my fingers crossed Peg likes it and she says she does and plans to wear it at a TQS taping next month.  Oh, if only I could wiggle into her suitcase and go too!

Oh before I forget — here’s the back and a one more picture.




Many of you know that our baby dog, Dillan has had a rough 2010.  I give many thanks to the Lord for hearing all of the prayers going up to heaven on behalf of Dillan.  A huge thanks goes out to all of you too for the many personal emails received during this difficult time.  Dillan is continuing to improve and we have very high hopes that the disease will go into remission.  Just yesterday, his medication was reduced to a half a pill twice a day.  Yippee!! 

I have always had a deep-seated desire to create with my hands, heart, and mind.  Cooking began at a very young age and from there quilting, sewing, weaving, spinning, and not to forget embroidery which is my love and how I make a living.  There are many other artistic venues included in my life toolbox and I’m always growing and learning more.  It’s important for me to have my toolbox full and varied but at the same time it can sometimes create overload because I usually have several artistic creations going on at the exact same time.  This means that it takes me longer to completion but that’s okay because I love the process as much as the finished projects.

Lately, I have really stripped down to doing what most would scratch their head and wonder why.  Things like making homemade butter and bread and learning how to make my own natural soap.  For me this process has been very fulfilling and brings me closer to my grandparents’ days.  It’s also a very natural, earthly feeling which I find intoxicating and irresistible.  It’s also less expensive.  The older I get the closer I am drawn to nature and a more natural way to living.  And if you’ve followed any news these past many years, you have learned right along with me that what is available to purchase is not always the safest.  It doesn’t stop with our food, but other products have so many safety issues that it seems only normal to learn how to do as much as you are comfortable with in providing for your family.  For me, I want safer foods with fewer artificial ingredients, soaps that actually contain soap and lanolin.  Many manufacturers strip out the lanolin and sell it separately.  Please!  That’s an important part of soap — well besides actual soap that is.  I have a whole lot of information on soap that I plan on sharing later this year.

My back to basics with quilting started with pulling out my oldest hand pieced project.  I’ve since put all of the blocks together, added borders, and am nearly finished with the top.  I just finished all of the flying geese for the last border and need to attach it and then it’s ready to quilt.  Tracy, my husband and best friend, gave me a new hoop for quilting at Christmas and I can hardly wait to get it hooped so I can sit and handstitch with him and Dillan in the evenings while watching tv. 

After this top is in the hoop, my free time will be devoted to working on The Lady again.  She’s been very patient waiting for her turn again.  I love looking at her on the design wall.  She almost looks like she’s looking at me and smiling.  This is my first artistic quilt that I’ve designed and it really has been a satisfying experience working on her.  Am I the only one that actually starts to talk about a creation as if it were living being?  Bizarre I’m sure to some.

Don’t forget to spend a little time on something creative today.  It’s good for the soul. 



The Lady 12Sept09web

Well, she’s coming along better now that I have found new fabric for the moon and earth.  And, notice the sky’s fabric has a new look too.  I figured if I were going to redo, I might as well go all out.  LOL  The hair is gruling to sew together but will be worth the effort when it’s done I’m sure.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself!!!

And look what else I’ve found.  Oh la la…. Isn’t is simply perfect.  Don’t ask me yet how I’m going to sew it yet because I have NO IDEA, but I love a challenge. 

The Lady 12Sept09web2

I’ve been in the midst of a huge work order and haven’t had any time or energy left at the end of the day to get in my creative fix.  And to make matters worse, I’m coming up with all these ideas this week.  Finally, I pulled out my journal and each time an idea pops in my head, I stop to take a moment to write it down.  Sometimes it is just a word; other times it’s a picture.  Then I get back to work and continue on until I need a creative break again.  This has been great fun and I don’t know why I haven’t ever done this before.  Maybe the busyness of work has made my brain become more conscious.  Whatever it is, I’m loving it and it is guilt free.  I’m still working and periodically still being creative.  And I don’t know about you but ideas are like dreams.  If I don’t write them down pretty quick, later on I can’t remember them.  So if for no other reason, I have a great start to some fun playing when I have some quiet time. 

Remember the Nike slogan ‘Just Do It’?  It really is a great slogan and something we should all strive to do and do every day whether it is an exercise program that we’ve promised ourselves to start or that quilt project that’s been silently crying out to you from your studio.  Oh, and I’ve decided to call “my area” my studio even though it’s original purpose in our home was to be used as a second bedroom.  Well, after years of having a bed that never got used, my husband and I made the decision to give the bed away and redo the room for just me.  I love my area but never thought of it as a studio until this week.  After all if you think about it there are apartments that are advertised as ‘studio apartments.’  I believe that meaning is that it is one small area that you will have to live in.  Well, that describes my area perfectly so as of today, JoJo has her very own Studio.  Oops… I guess I got a little sidetracked… I was talking about the ‘Just Do It’ slogan.  Here are two thought-provoking quotes to help you do just that — JUST DO IT!

            “I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.”  Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941

            “Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”  Sara Henderson, b. 1936

Oh and I almost forgot — my order of Angel Paint arrived today!!!  Dilly and I went to the mailbox and retrieved the mail and my mail carrier left a ‘key.’  I instantly got excited because that meant that the parcel was too big to fit in my box.  I knew as soon as I opened the larger box that it was my paint.  Dillan wanted to explore the neighborhood but I pleaded with him to wait until later in the day when it was cooler!  LOL – He’s a dog and believes everything I say.   I received 11 of the cutest mini jars of paint that you ever did see.  I’m attaching a photo for those of you that don’t believe me.  See – aren’t they just the cutest jars. 





 Unfortunately, I will have to wait until next week before exploring more with them. 

My love of my life and I are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary.  I am so fortunate to be his wife.  He is a wonderful husband, great provider, my best friend, and just a joy to be around.  I feel like I am the luckiest woman on the planet to have found such a perfect soul mate.

Now the humorous side of me found the following poem at, and Tracy and I laughed.  It’s a great site to peruse.

‘After 27 years of marriage, a couple was lying in bed one evening, when the wife felt her husband begin to touch her in ways he hadn’t in quite some time.

‘It almost tickled as his fingers started at her neck, and then began moving past the small of her back.  He then slid his hand across her shoulders and neck, slowly worked it down over one breast, then
the other, stopping just over her lower stomach.  He then proceeded to place his hand on her left inner arm, caressed past the side of her breast again, working down her side, passed gently over, and then in between her buttocks and down her leg to her calf.  Then he proceeded up her inner thigh, stopping just at the uppermost portion of her leg.

He continued in the same manner on her right side, then suddenly stopped, turned over, and became silent.

As she had become quite aroused by this caressing, she asked in a loving voice. “That was wonderful.  Why did you stop?”

“I found the remote,” he said.

Whew — what a fantastic feeling it was to spread the dress out for pictures.  A large portion of the dress (about 90 percent) was completely sewn by hand.  The remaining 10 percent of mostly the straighter seams were sewn using my Bernina.  I had so many deep curves that it was so much easier to sew by hand and I found it quite relaxing too. 

So without further delay, here is the “Lady’s” completed dress.



 I’m not sure what I will work on next but I think it will either be the sun or stars.  I need a little break from all those curves!  :)


Help me out here please — what words am I missing.  And, please be kind — I’m gathering words that could be included on the quilt I’m working on (see pictures below).

A – Artful, Amusing, Astute, Artist

B – Bright, Brave, Bewitching (Thks Eileen!)

C – Caregiver, Creative, Compassionate, Crafty, Cook, Cuddly (Thks Eileen!)

D – Daughter, Discerning, Disciplinarian

E – Eager, Equal, Encourager (Thks Dana!), Eternal and Exuberant (Thks Eileen!)

F – Friend, Feminine, Faithful, Fearless

G – Grandmother, Good-natured, Goddess (Thks Eileen!)

H – Healer, Homemaker

I – Inspirer, Imaginative, Intelligent, Impish (Thks Eileen!)

J – Jovial

K – Keen, Kind

L – Lover, Learned

M – Mother, Majestic (Thks Pati!)

N – Nurturer, Noble, Nonjudgmental (Thks Dana!)

O – Open-minded

P – Peacekeeper, Protector, Provider, Powerful

Q – Quilter, Queen (Thks Eileen!)

R – Resourceful, Respectful

S – Sister, Soul Mate, Servant

T – Teacher, Taskmaster (when needed), Tender

U – Unbounded, Unique (Thks Pati!)

V – Valuable, Virtuous (Thks Pati!)

W – Wife, Wise, Wholesome

X –  XOXOX [thanks to Karen [wren1010] from TQS!]

Y – Young-eyed (forever and ever)

Z – Zealous


Whew… thanks for your patience for the next post.  There are a lot of pieces in her dress.  A couple of them are really small and will definately have to pieced by hand.  There are a few of the darker colors that really don’t show up well on the picture above.  I think I need better lighting.  Time to get my camera manual out and hone up on my picture taking skills!

It’s great having all of the pieces cut out and placed on the design wall.  Now I can really take a few days and see if anything screams out at me to change.  So far, I only changed one fabric that didn’t play with its neighbor.  You do NOT want to see my sewing room right now!  It looks like a tornado hit it.  Fabric is everywhere but mostly on the floor since I sat there cross-legged squinting my eyes trying to see if I had the tones right as I pinning them up.  

I think I’ll fix some popcorn and watch a movie and periodically, sneak a peak at her because you never know – she may want to talk to me a little before I start sewing the dress together!  LOL

Finished another section last night and thought I would continue to give you sneak peaks of my progress.  I’m really enjoying creating this quilt.  Perhaps because each section is a mini-quilt all unto itself.  I’ve titled this section – sky.



I’ve made some headway from my last posting of the 8 ½ inch sketch I finished.  Since then I’ve enlarged it to 51 inches by 51 inches on poster board and have recreated all the parts and pieces onto freezer paper.  I also picked out most of the fabrics and have started cutting and piecing the parts.  The whole quilt will be pieced so handling all these seams and bias edges are interesting to say the least.  I could have made it much easier on myself by using an adhesive web and then ironing it and blanket stitching the edges or even appliquéing the whole quilt, but the traditionalist quilter hiding in me longed to push myself to stretch outside my comfort zone and piece all those little suckers.  LOL

I asked for help from my friends at The Quilt Show and everyone loved the darker hair fabric so that’s what I’m using.  I found two other shades of fabric to use as well for shading the hair.  For the skin however, I’m most pleased with the fabric because my friend Ritzy recommended using what I was originally considering for the hair for the skin, and you know what!  It looks fantastic.  Thank you Ritzy—you rock!!!

Stay tuned for updates as the quilt progresses and please think kind thoughts for me on all those bias edges!  J

Okay, if you’re still interested and hanging in there with me on drawing and how to make it easier on your right brain, here are a couple techniques to try to make drawing more enjoyable.

Remember to choose something unfamiliar to you so that your left brain won’t interrupt and try to help out.

Next, cut a hole in a folder and stick your pencil in it.  Now draw.  I know you can’t see what you are drawing but that’s the whole point.  The left brain “wants” to see what you’re doing so that it can “help” you do what it wants you to (can’t you just hear the left brain saying “oops you’ve wandered outside of the lines”). Remember to choose something unfamiliar because the left brain stores everything and it can hinder your process even when hiding the pencil if it knows the item being drawn.

Draw for about 15 minutes and then stop.  Don’t worry if you have not closed a line that should have been closed (as in an orange slice).  Fix it at the end if it bugs you.  Remember this is just an exercise — you don’t need perfection here.

Ready to have some fun?  Yes?  Well, okay then.  Now draw one of your own eyes from memory.  Don’t cheat—you are more familiar with your own eyes than anyone else.  Just draw it on paper with as much detail as you can remember.  Once you are done, turn that paper over and get another piece of paper and a small mirror.  Now, while looking at one of your eyes, draw every detail that you see.  Compare the two drawings when complete.  I read that this proves how important it is to have live information versus relying on just memory.  Wasn’t that fun!

Have you enjoyed drawing these past few days?  I hope you continue on and post pictures of your progress.



Have you ever gone to bed tired only to realize that no matter what position you get in, nothing is comfortable so you continually toss and turn trying to somehow get in a position that will allow you to drift off to sleep?  Well, I’ve had this happen a lot in the last month and it is grueling.   In my last blog, I discussed left brain/right brain activity, and I believe that one possible cause for not being able to sleep is too much left brain activity.  Remember one of the most important jobs of your left brain is keeping you safe and if there has been a lot of activity or stress in the day, when you go to bed, your brain hasn’t yet got the clue that it needs to rest and recuperate. 

So, instead of making my husband become a part of my insomnia, I have been getting up and going downstairs.  I used to turn on the tv and stare mindlessly at it hoping to get sleepy, but it only made it worse.  Now, I understand that tv (and computer monitors for that matter) can actually keep you awake.  Oops…that’s not good.  So now, I grab either a note pad or my drawing tablet and start to write.  If my brain is screaming words, I write on the note pad until I write down every word that comes to my mind.  However, if there are no obvious words rambling around in my head, I will start to draw.  Doodling is relaxing.  I wish I had the gift that many have and could just pick up a pen and just start to create with abandon and it would come out perfectly every time.  I always use pencils with erasers because I am the erase Queen.  Many of my doodle pages become archived and never see the light of day.  But every now and then I find something that is interesting and work on it until I think it worthy of an audience.  My husband has a great eye and I respect his opinions of my art …. Even though sometimes I think he will like anything I do.  J 

Last night, I started drawing faces.  I’ve always been intrigued by faces but find them most difficult to do.  While my husband liked them, I finally gave up and drew just a faint outline of a women’s face, added hair, a gown, a moon, the earth, a star to guide her and Walla, a new art quilt was born.  I am making this quilt so that it can be either auctioned off or raffled off this fall and the proceeds given to one or two local charities that benefit women and children.  I am a member of my local chamber of commerce, and we have a networking group called Women in Networking.  This year at our annual big event in October is when the quilt will need to be completely finished so that it can go to its new home.

I plan on adding words around the outsides of the quilt.  Words that come to mind when you think of a woman — words such as Mother, Daughter, Sister, Wife and other words such as Comforter, Provider, Nurturer.  More words are needed so please email me or leave a comment if you can help me with others.  The words will be added at the end right before the quilting is done so please continue to leave me ideas as you think of them.

Prelude to next post – for your next drawing choose something you are unfamiliar with.  Your left brain will try to help you with anything familiar to you.  So don’t draw an eye because your left brain will say “hey – this is a face” and you will fiddle with drawing a head to fit the eye.  Instead, pick something you aren’t familiar with or at least turn the object upside down.  So, if you decide to draw a shoe, turn it upside down so your right brain can work easier.

Spend only a few minutes on your drawing so you don’t exhaust the right brain too much.  It’s really hard drawing with the right brain and you can become tired, which will interfere with your drawing.

Next, hiding your pencil from your eyes.

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