January 16, 2017

Walk With Me

I admit that when the weather turns wintery, I'd much rather be inside with a cup of Earl Gray and a good book. There is something beautiful about freshly fallen snow though. I like the stillness. So here's my latest walk . . .

Snow means  . . .

Have you ever noticed how blue the shadows are on snow?

The trail is barely there. So peaceful . . .

Goose tracks. They don't seem to mind the snow.

I'd rather be sitting here with a beer soaking up the sun but it will be a few months yet.

This wintery white is beautiful but I'm kind of glad it's not going to last. It's supposed to be in the 50's for the next 3 days. Maybe another walk will be in order.

Have you taken any interesting walks lately?

I've created a Walk With Me tab at the top of my blog so now you can find links to all my walks in one place. If you like these white images, you might also take a look at my White post found under the Color Inspiration tab. Take a look and then go take a walk.  : )


December 14, 2016

Wrapping up Four Years with the Mid Century Modern Bee

Four years ago, Cindy of Live A Colorful Life sent me an email. She said she was starting a new bee for quilters that were 50+ in age with a modern aesthetic. I will be forever grateful for that email. It was the start of many online connections and true friendships right when my blog was getting off the ground.

Now, four years later, the Mid Century Modern Bee is coming to a close. Over the years we've had a few people come and go and I've enjoyed meeting each and every one along the way. The bee also gave me the opportunity to make a wide variety of blocks including ones I'd never sewn before. Dresden Plates, Spiderweb, Churn Dash, 9-Patch, Log Cabin, lots of paper piecing . . . these are just a few of the blocks I've had the pleasure of sewing for an amazing group of quilters.

Today I thought I'd share all the blocks made for 2016.

January 2016 for Elizabeth of OPQ, also found on Instagram @occasionalpiecequilt

February for Cindy of Live A Colorful Life, also found on Instagram @liveacolorfullife

March for Linda of Chirp, also found on Instagram @lkhomework

April for Stephanie of Peas in a Pod, also found on Instagram @stephiepeterson

May for Carla of Grace and Favour, also found on Instagram @carla_knit2yarns

June for Rene' of Rene' Creates, also found on Instagram @renecreates

July for Sherri of A Quilting Life, also found on Instagram @aquiltinglife

August for Mary of Needled Mom, also found on Instagram @needledmom

September for Mary of Mary on Lake Pulaski, also found on Instagram @maryonlakepulaski

October for me here at Springleafstudios and also found on Instagram @springleafstudios
I had everyone make the letters for the word Bee. I asked each quilter to use their favorite fabric for the capital B and was quite surprised that I got so many reds and bluish greens. At this point I have only a very vague idea of how I will use these. It will be a long while before the concept works itself out into a finished quilt. When done it will be a lovely reminder of my connections to these women.

November for Nancy of Patchwork Breeze, also found on Instagram @patchworkbreeze

December for Elizabeth of Pieceful Life, also found on Instagram @piecefullife

Isn't the word "Bee" just the perfect block to bring this bee to an end?

It most certainly was another year of variety and fun. I'm sorry to see the bee come to an end but happy to know my friendships will go on. Thanks for a fun four years ladies. And thank you Cindy for inviting me to play along.


November 18, 2016

Walk With Me

Time for another walk. Are you ready?

I love taking walks in the fall.
I love kicking up the leaves and hearing them crunch beneath my feet.
I love the colors of fall . . . yellows, golds, oranges, reds.

This walk was all about color . . .

The soft yellow and gold in the photo above was a happy accident as I didn't realize the camera setting was on soft. The painterly quality of the image is just lovely. In another life, I'd love to be a painter. I dabble here and there but have little real training. My aunt was a wonderful watercolor artist and I believe I inherited her artistic side.

As I walked, I noticed that some trees are still completely full of leaves and beautiful glowing colors. The range of colors here is just amazing . . .

On the other hand, some trees have only a handful of leaves still hanging on set against an intense clear blue sky . . .

The park nearby has this lovely mini grove of trees. The band of bright green running through the middle of the photo caught my eye.

The intensity of the reds is always beautiful. Colorado falls are mostly yellows and golds so the really red reds here and there are a real treat . . .

The golden tones of ornamental grasses simply glow this time of year . . .

After all the beautiful colors, this is what I found outside my back door this morning. White! We've had a lovely long fall but this was bound to happen sooner or later . . . 

I'm hanging on to fall just like this last little leaf . . . 

In case you're wondering, I am still sewing. A little. Just not as much as usual because we've got some house projects that are eating into my time right now. 

Hope you enjoyed another walk with me. Each time I go out now I find myself looking at things in a whole new way. Try it. You might be surprised at what you actually see.


November 3, 2016

Walk With Me . . .

I go for a walk most every day. On the treadmill. Around the neighborhood. To the park. Along the nearby trails. Many times I take my camera along.

I'm starting a new series called Walk With Me. My plan is to turn my daily walks into little trips of discovery. To pay attention to both the details and the overview of my surroundings. To see the little things that are often overlooked. To record the things that catch my eye or inspire me in some way.

When I did my Color Inspiration series, I was specifically looking for color in my world. Paying attention and really seeing color. With this new series, I'll be challenging myself to simply see more. Wildlife. Texture. Shape. Line. Composition. Ordinary things. Extraordinary things.

There is no big plan. No set schedule. Just walks and photos.
I'd like to invite you to walk with me . . .

As I leave my house each day, this little red brick sidewalk leads me out into the world.
And this is what I found on a recent little stroll around the park.

Lots of wildlife caught my eye. The park pond has always featured frogs at all stages of life. Tadpoles. Little froglets. Big voiced bullfrogs. Bunnies have now invaded and multiplied. And squirrels and birds are plentiful.

The wildlife around my home has always captured my attention. Birds visit the feeders and birdbath in my backyard. I especially love to watch the robins take a bath. Mama raccoon and her babies visit the tree right outside my bedroom window on a regular basis during summer nights. The great horned owls hoot on and on from dusk long into the night. An occasional skunk wanders through the yard. The coyote howls often wake me in the middle of the night. The cows bellow in the field . . . and sometimes right behind our fence if they've managed an escape. Deer are more infrequent visitors off in the distance. Thankfully the mountain lions, bear, moose and elk that are common visitors in many Colorado towns are seldom seen nearby.

I attribute my wildlife watching to my dad. He had a good eye for spotting animals while on country drives we used to take when I was a kid. He paid attention and that's what I want to do. Pay closer attention to my world.

I encourage you to get out and take a walk. Bring your camera along and really look at the details of your surroundings. Maybe something will spark an idea. Inspire your next quilt or creative work. Or simply brighten your day with it's beauty.

Hope you will enjoy walking with me. I'd love to have you join me.


September 23, 2016

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Original Design

Welcome to my Blogger's Quilt Festival post. If you're brand new to my blog, I do hope you'll look around a little. I'm a graphic designer turned quilter with a love for strong graphics, bold colors and an affinity for large scale prints. Thank you ever so much for stopping by. I also want to give Amy a big round of applause for putting on this virtual quilt show twice a year. Love it every single time.

Now on to my entry . . . I'd like to introduce Woven, a brand new finish that I haven't even shared on my blog yet. I am entering it in the Original Quilt category.

Woven is the fourth version of a new quilt design I've been working on and I have to tell you . . . it's my favorite. I love it!

The black and white prints were part of a cherished fat quarter collection I'd been saving and this was the perfect design for them. I only wish I'd had more fabric because I think it would be amazing as a bed sized quilt. It's a small lap size made for my new guest room which is mainly black and white with pops of bright color. Doesn't it look great with the black and white chair I redid last summer?

I thoroughly enjoyed the design process for this quilt. The initial concept started with an exploration of weave patterns. Basket weaves. Fabric weaves. I enlarged the weave pattern and played with the sizing of the different elements. Since I love working with large scale prints, the horizontal rows were sized specifically to show off big prints.  The vertical columns are narrower to contrast with the wide rows and make a good place for either large prints like I used for this one or smaller prints as you can see further down the page.

It was a challenge to figure out the piecing method but it really isn't complicated. Essentially it's a row quilt and is quite easy to piece.

When I first started the pattern idea, I wanted to explore color schemes and a simple use of fabrics. Lush garden blues and greens with purple accents. The pattern is being written with this quilt below as the primary design, but I'd really love to know which one of all these is your favorite.

The one below is a variation featuring a single fabric in all the horizontal rows. It has a real beachy feel to me because of the colors. Now if only there was a beach in Colorado.

As you can see, there are lots of possibilities with the design. That's what I absolutely love about designing . . . exploring all the variations of a single concept. I still have other ideas that I haven't had time to try yet. Right now I'm toying with a green on green idea for my family room and possibly an all solid one with waves of color from both top to bottom and left to right. Solids would provide some amazing areas to show off machine quilting.

The Woven pattern should be finalized and published sometime on October. I've seen this name pop up recently so am now undecided. I'd love to hear your thoughts on other names for the design. And please let me know which one of these three is your favorite. I'm curious since each new one I make becomes my latest favorite.  : )

I love designing my own quilts. Most are for my home and family plus some charity work through my local modern guilds. I turn a few of my designs into PDF quilt patterns that are sold through Craftsy and Etsy in case you're interested.

Thanks again for stopping by. Hope you are enjoying all the beautiful quilts in the festival. You can see my other entry here.


Blogger's Quilt Festival: Small Quilt Entry

Welcome to my Blogger's Quilt Festival post. If you're brand new to my blog, I do hope you'll look around a little. I'm a graphic designer turned quilter with a love of strong graphics, bold colors and an affinity for large scale prints. Thank you ever so much for stopping by. I want to give a big round of applause to Amy for putting on this virtual quilt show twice a year. It's always so good.

Now I'd like to introduce Tequila Sunrise, my entry in the Small Quilt category. This quilt is 42" x 58",
a nice small lap size made specially for my daughter.

Tequila Sunrise is my latest make using the Cascade quilt pattern. I had this great collection of Amy Butler fabrics in the orange/teal colorway and pulled several other fabrics by Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink that had similar coloring.

I would really love to get a photo with a great sunrise but getting up that early isn't my strong point. Maybe someday. I took this fun shot last week though and would like to go back when the lighting is better and get a few more shots. The color washed out a bit.

Cascade quilt pattern, Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Tula Pink

This shot was taken shortly after I finished the quilt in the spring. Another location I'd like to revisit.

If you'd like to read my original post about this quilt it can be found here.
I find it amazing how different fabrics and different fabric placement can change a design. That's the part of pattern designing that I really love to play around with. Just look at the difference between Tequila Sunrise and my original Cascade on the right. Fabric and position make all the difference!

I love designing my own quilts. Most are for my home and family plus some charity work through my local modern guilds. I turn a few of my designs into PDF quilt patterns that are sold through Craftsy and Etsy in case you're interested.

Thanks again for stopping by. Hope you are enjoying all the beautiful quilts in the festival. You can see my other entry here.