Saturday, January 29, 2011

new Murphy Bags

I'm doing well on my 2011 bag a day pledge... To save time I've been quilting them on my Bernina quilting frame with my Bernina 440 and it has been so quick! 

Here is the finished bag -  the color is so happy and bright.
I thought this was sweet for Valentines Day and beyond.
I used a bunch of my favorite fabrics for this bag, I'll be making more like this!
I used one of my green hand dyed fabrics for this bag, it quilted beautifully.
Another patchwork with lots of fun fabrics.
Love this! I used my hand dyed turquoise for the top of the bag and quilted it in variegated pink thread.
I love this combination of chartreuse and olive green.

I will put these bags in my etsy shop soon...if you can't wait till then, email me.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the sketchbook challenge - Highly Prized 3

Here are a few more sketches that fit into the theme 
Highly Prized....My opportunities to sketch are infrequent but I've learned to sketch whenever I can even if it's only for 5 minutes. 
I went to lecture about bullying by Joe the Biker at my daughter's middle school last week. While sitting a room with 500 7th and 8th graders I watched the teachers standing around the gymnasium watching the kids. I am thankful we have so many excellent teachers in our school system. Bravo to all the teachers my kids have had!

 We've had bluebirds come and go over the past 6 years but since I made some suet and hung it on the Christmas tree that we moved out to the deck we have had a fabulous bird show a few times a day.
Can you see how many birds are on the tree? I think we counted 7.

I made a little postcard to send to my daughter's friend Sarah...she was diagnosed with Leukemia shortly after Christmas. She is back home for a bit and doing better everyday. Please keep her in your thoughts.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Massachusetts Landmark Raffle Quilt in progress

I have been making more ice/heat Murphy Bags ~ love the whole process from picking out the fabrics to selecting a quilting design. I've been filling them with rice because it allows them to be very flexible. I have been writing the heating instructions on the back with a fabric pen. When I figured that out I wanted to push the "that was easy" button. Feedback about them has been good so far, I know I enjoy the one I made for me:) You can see them for sale in my etsy shop.

Below is a laptop bag I made for my nephew Tyler, he's a Fashion Design major (check out the tape measure fabric I used on the strap).

Here are the blocks for the Massachusetts Landmark Raffle Quilt we are making for our guild. The blocks are amazing!!! There are three pieces of paper used for filler blocks. We have one outstanding, hope she finishes soon:)

We got together last week to decide on how to handle the background. We decided on a blended look with 1 1/2" squares in lots of different blues and greens. 

These are from my stash, funky but  they'll work perfectly.

I used this technique  on my Slice House quilt and it was a fabulous way to finish the picture.  On the quilt below I sewed strips together and cut them at varying widths, the eye naturally blends the colors, so cool.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 goal - a bag a day!

My goal of making a Murphy Bag everyday this year is going well so far!
This bag is for Jane my client in FL...we customize each bag via a blog I set up that she can look at options and make's working out nicely.
I love adding little details to my bags...
plenty of pockets!

During one of my guilds Get A Ways I made this wallet with the help of my friend Sharon M. It's a brilliant design that I think she may write a pattern for, I will let you know if she does.
It has tons of credit card holders, pockets and a nice big zippered section for change, etc. I was making it for my daughter Jill (17) so she chose the fabrics! Then decided it was bigger than she needed so I took it! I may make a new one is fabrics I like but for now it's an awesome wallet.
Sharon was a huge help! She walked me through the process and had lots of good tips!

I made another large tote bag...I have to make this for myself. I quilted it on my Bernina 440 QE using my Bernina quilting was so quick and easy I will do that again!
28" long x 15" tall x 8" wide - great for travel, trip to the mall or the beach...I know you are thinking it will get dirty...throw it in the washing machine! Seriously it will look great and the crystals won't fall off, I promise:)

There a re 12 pockets and a zipper closure for safe travels.
A welt at the top of the bag adds some body to I get to add another fabric to the bag!

This is the coordinating bag to go with the tote. I made them both for Linda my hair stylist - bartering again:)
I used this great sky fabric that goes from dark to medium blue with a hint of clouds for the handle.

I listed this Raspberry and Black Murphy Bag in my etsy using up small pieces from my stash to create a unique colorful bag.
It has a zipper, an adjustable handle in two funky fabrics and 8 pockets!

Now it's time to get ready for the Pat's VS. Jets game this afternoon....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the sketchbook challenge - Highly Prized 2

I'm still loving the sketchbook challenge! Below are some pages done between  1/5/11 and 1/11/11 using the theme Highly Prized.Thinking about the theme has been helpful in asking yourself what is Highly Prized to you and then can you draw it?

I'm using my fish and tackle box from college.  These are the supplies I will use throughout the year. The tubes of watercolors are 20 + years old...isn't it nice that art supplies and fabric keep for a while? My goal for this sketchbook is to get to know these mediums again. None of these are wonderful but I am learning something with each sketch!


I wrote about the purpose of this sketch directly on the's nice to make notations of what you are attempting to achieve on some pages.  Once I knew the colors I was able to create a playful Jacobean design...I will finish coloring it in another time...

I "collaged" using Oprah and Sports Illustrated magazines and rubber cement. In college we used magazine paper to replicate famous paintings,that's how I learned to do it with fiber. 

I quickly sketched a water glass and then later in the day found this eye. This sketch is a work in progress, I would like to add more to the page. This is good for a mom of four...leave something for later:)

I painted the watercolor first and then added the city scape and tree. I used to love to draw trees when I was a kid.

You can still participate if you haven't yet...if you are leave me a comment to your blog, I would love to see what you are sketching!


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

the sketchbook challenge - Highly Prized

I am following along with the Sketchbook Challenge with some very talented artist and enjoying every bit of it. I love carrying around the supplies and taking the opportunity when it comes ~ this sketch took 3 days to finish.
The theme is Highly Prized...this was easy to express and was a great way to do inventory of what's important!  I chose my kids, my marriage, my sight and some lovely treasures from my Grandmother Vava. The mirror in the sketch was hers and now hangs in my dining room. As I sketched it I could see the collection of blue and white plates she passed to me that started me collecting them back in my 20's.
Unfortunately I started it in a small sketchbook so I ran out of room...I will use my bigger SB for the rest of the challenge. I did use my new Swarovski Crystal Pencil!!!! I love it so much it has a crystal on the tip:)

To do my eye I enlarged  a photo of me and sketched in front of my laptop....
I used a favorite photo of my kids for the shot of them. It was interesting to look so closely at them trying to capture who they are on paper I will keep practicing:)
You can participate too ~ just go here. Don't say you can't draw, you can, you just need practice and this will ensure that. If you want to check out all the very cool sketchbooks go here...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

It's all good from here

It's all good here...Morgans home after her first wonderfully successful semester in the Nursing program at Northeastern, Jill has been getting acceptance letters from Colleges (as of today she is planning on going to UMaine @ Oreno), Paige played a solo at her school's Christmas concert (linked below) and Griffin had his room painted and redecorated finally! Now I need to start working on his quilt.
Paige (11) playing The Little Drummer Boy at her school's Christmas concert.

This is a commissioned Murphy Bag for my friends Mother-in-law for Christmas. It's a large tote ~ 26"L x 8W" x 15"T. Great for travel, beach, shopping, etc.

I happened to have this cool green zipper~I like to make the zipper this way because it maximizes your ability to open and fill it as much as possible.
Aren't these fabrics fun? I love the Amy Butler fabric - it's one of her originals. Franklin Mill still has it in stock:) I had fun fussy cutting the fabrics (the geometric on top and the dot welting)
This coat rack from anthropologie has come in very handy...

There are 10 pockets in two different fabrics to help keep it organized. Notice how the zipper folds down out of the way.
I free-motion quilted it and added Swarovski crystals...of course.

Happy New Year everyone ~ I hope for all of you to find time to do what you love!