Saturday, December 12, 2009

First, Second, Third...

First off, a heartfelt "Thank You!" to everyone. I deeply appreciate the wonderful comments and the positive feedback/support for my "Work Quilt", shown in the post below. You guys rock!

Second, the picture up top is of some beautiful Dupioni silks that I have been hoarding for who knows how long... I think it is time to use them!

Third, I am going on a Holiday vacation from blog posting... just for a bit... (will be back sometime in January). You see, Christmas is coming, the house is a mess, I have lots and lots of sewing I wish to do, and Eldest Daughter is coming home from her semester abroad in ONE WEEK!!!! WhooHoo! I can hardly wait, I miss her so!!! (Last week found her in Paris and this week finds her in Spain... oh, to be young and able to roam!) I am on pins and needles, just waiting to scoop her up and hug her tight, and to hear all about her adventures!

Happy Holidays to Everyone!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Work Quilt - Finished Photos

Early this morning the sun played a little game of peek-a-boo, before deciding to hide once again behind dark ominous clouds. It was just enough light to get these shots...

I know to some, this quilt may look like a lot of random patches just thrown on and sewn down, a bit of cloth chaos. However, each patch of fabric and every stitch was placed with a lot of thought and intention.

The oddness of it was intentional as my muse were the heavily patched work quilts from long ago, where scrap patches were placed wherever the hole was, and stitching was simple but often varied and sometimes a bit quirky.

I find myself becoming increasingly drawn to those old patched textiles. Maybe it's my age, for as I grow older I am starting to feel worn in some places, and with each new phase of life I feel a bit more patched and mended, (teenagers will do that to you) and layered with memories and stories but with a lot of life and purpose left in me... Just like those old quilts. I think there is an inherent beauty to that and I am looking towards exploring it and expressing it in my work during this upcoming new year. This quilt is the first step on that path.

Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback you have given me on this piece during its construction. I hope the final results didn't disappoint. I am really in an exploratory stage right now, fumbling a bit in the dark and I truly appreciate how accepting everyone is each time I shift directions in my work!

NOTE: You can see close up, detail photos of each of the individual nine blocks that make up this quilt on my Flickr site. You can also see the richness of the colors and the clarity of the stitches more true to life over on Flickr, (not sure why but the photos are always a wee bit fuzzy and the colors a bit off on the blog). xo

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Almost Finished

All the hand stitching is completed now and I am ready to sew the binding on, which I hope to do later this evening. The light is lousy today as it is pouring rain... so these are the best photos I have to show...

I struggled a bit not just with that whole perfection stuff, but also with the balance between overworking the stitching and under-working the stitching, and staying true to my initial vision... Hoping I got it right.

I will post pics of the whole (and finished) quilt later this week, assuming the sun comes out to play. :0)

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Silly BooDilly - Huge Holiday Sale!!

~ All items in my Silly BooDilly Etsy shop are now on sale for the holidays!

~ 30% OFF the listed price for each and every item in the shop!

~ (Difference will be refunded via Paypal once payment has been received.)

~ Note: This is a one time sale that will continue throughout the month of December. Any items left will be removed from my shop sometime in the beginning of the new year, (once I have new items to post). I am ready for a new look and direction. There are some great savings to be had here, so if you ever wanted one of my pieces... now is the time to buy!!

~ P.S. Thank you for indulging this self promotion!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Highland Cows and Happy Holidays!

Eldest daughter met up with some Highland cows last week while traveling through Scotland. After pleasant introductions they all became fast friends. :0)

Tomorrow will be the first Thanksgiving that we have not been together since her birth. And even though I will miss her so, I am so grateful and thankful to see her having such fun and adventure. She may be an ocean away but she is always in my heart.

Whether you are here, there or anywhere, wishing you and yours much love, laughter and gratefulness, today, tomorrow and always. Happy Thanksgiving. xo

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Inspired by Color

A few months ago I was contacted by the lovely Sonu Mathew, who is a Senior Interior Designer for Benjamin Moore & Co. She also is the host of Benjamin Moore's Living in Color with Sonu, a wonderful blog full of color inspiration. Sonu wanted to know if my little Abstract No.5, (pictured below) which I created about a year and a half ago as part of a small series, could be included in a future post featuring quilts as color inspiration. (Absolutely!)

Today the post ran and I am really delighted to find my work included in a post also featuring the work of Jan Myers-Newberry and Denyse Schmidt, both genuine rock stars in the quilt world! (Geez Louise, I sound like a silly groupie !)

Please be sure to check out Sonu's great blog and quilt inspired post here.


A big Thank You for all the great comments in regards to my current work in progress, (see post below) and the struggle to overcome the critical voice of the perfectionist, (something apparently many of us share). This piece is so personal to me, (not in terms of private, but in terms of a journey) and I am truly grateful for everyones encouragement and support. I will be sure to share the final results once I finish. xo

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Silencing the Inner Critic

Okey-dokey. I've finished the second layer of my work quilt, (which consisted of sewing on more patches, and quilting many more rows of machine stitching, both straight and zig-zag stitch). Now I have moved on to the 3rd and final layer, which consists of hand stitching, (I still have a long ways to go on the hand stitching.)

I knew from the get-go that I wanted this quilt to have a "rough" quality to it. By that I mean I didn't want it to be precious or perfect, with lots of neat and straight rows of stitching. I wanted the machine work to be a bit crude and crooked. I wanted the hand quilting stitches to be irregular, on the large size and a bit unevenly spaced.

Well, I have followed what I set out to do, but in truth the perfectionist in me, that part that likes everything just so, is really having a hard time. She is being very critical of this piece. (But my true spirit, where the child in me still resides, loves it.)

In the past I have often struggled with this overbearing, critical side of me, and have felt that although it comes in handy in insuring I make good, solidly constructed work, it also at times can be a real hindrance to my artistic self-expression. I feel that the perfectionist side of myself keeps me boxed in by playing on my fears. She knows how to keep me afraid to explore all of the ideas I want to explore. The perfectionist in me censors my creativity. I am really getting fed up with her.

I am fighting everyday to muzzle that perfectionist, appearance driven, part of me. I am pushing myself to keep going with my intial vision. I am begging myself to not get hung up on outside approval, or fear of failure. Ask anyone of my family members and they will tell you, this is a real and daily struggle for me.

So, this may appear to be just another quilt, but for me it's becoming an exercise in letting go, trusting my inner guidance, and following something that has been tugging at my heart strings for sometime.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Layer by Layer

Remember the shot cotton quilt I was working on from a few posts back? Well, what I didn't explain in that post was how I am approaching its construction...

Because my muse for this piece is old work quilts, (which I am not trying to duplicate, only be inspired by) I thought it'd make sense to build the quilt up in various layers...

I first started off with 9 12.5" x 12.5" base squares of fabric and appliqued various patches on each one. (These squares were to represent the various patched fabrics that would have been recycled into a work quilt.) Then I sewed them all together for the quilt top and did the first layer of quilting, (which is what I showed in the first post.)

Now I've moved onto the 2nd layer. This finds me sewing on more patches, (such as the ones in both of these photos) some overlapping patches from layer #1 and some overlapping the seams joining the base squares. (This is to represent the patching that would have been done after the work quilt got used and worn even more.)

Along with the shot cottons, I'm also starting to incorporate bits of really lovely woven cottons that have an aged look to them. (The white thread will be removed, as it was just used as a preliminary basting stitch until I could machine applique the patches in place. The brown threads will also get trimmed off.)

More long rows of quilting come next, (this time in a zig-zag stitch I think, just to add some interest).

After that I move onto layer #3... probably more of the same, just slowly building it up until either I have the look I want, or I have made a complete mess... hoping it's the first! More to come later!


There's a new quilt blog recently started called Modify Tradition. It's about the journey of marrying the look of a modern quilt with the techniques used in traditional quilt making. Discussion is encouraged and I am finding the posts and the conversation very entertaining. Check it out, it deserves a look!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Featured on The Fabric Shopper!

Recently, via Twitter, (which I am still trying to get the hang of) I had the good fortune and pleasure of meeting Rosie of l. blanch designs, and creator of the wonderful resource The Fabric Shopper. Rosie contacted me about the possibility of doing a little write up on my new experience in trying my hand at fabric designing, including what intrigued me and how I went about getting started. Today she has featured it on her wonderful site. You can see it here. Thanks Rosie! (And while visiting Rosie's blog be sure to check out some of her other posts, including this awesome 1950's style dress made out of fabric selvages! Also have a peek at this Max of "Where the Wild Things Are" costume that Rosie made for her granddaughter, it is the cutest thing ever!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sweet and Simple

The items are sweet and simple, the blog post is short and sweet...
(as well as one more shameless and self indulgent plug!)

Pincushion Pillows

Mini Patchwork Quilt

With very simple piecing and the help of some good 'ol solids, the patchwork mini quilt and the 3 pincushion pillows were all easily made using just 1 fat quarter of my Posie Party fabric. All the stitched items shown are also available in my BooDilly's shop!

And speaking of sweet, (and self indulgent!) enjoy your Trick or Treating! (Hopefully it's all treats and no tricks!)
Wishing everyone a very Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Open For Business!

Yippee! My new designs arrived in the mail late yesterday afternoon from Spoonflower, and I am pleased to announce that my BooDillys shop is now revamped and reopened for business selling my original fabric designs!

Blue Bells


Posie Party

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Orange Grove

(Also available in the shop are my Marrakesh Mix and Moroccan Medley fabrics.)


Good News! I'm starting to feel much better physically and am now trying to play catch up with all my projects. I am so behind in my sewing. Happily I did find time to use some of my Marrakesh Medley to make a quick and super easy table runner:

Wishing Everyone a super-duper weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shot Cotton

Here's a peek at what I am currently working on. It's a small quilt inspired by old, patched work quilts.

I'm using shot cottons, which are probably my favorite of all fabrics.

They are woven with two colors, one for the weft and one for the warp. This creates great subtle shifts in color as the fabric moves and the light hits it.


By the way, the photo of my daughter from the post below was taken at the White Chalk Cliffs at Brighton-on-the-Sea, England. And yes, my heart momentarily stopped when I first saw it, as my head screamed, "Are you CRAZY! What the $#@^%!! are you doing up there!!??!!" But then my fear was replaced with tremendous pride. I admire people who live full lives.

Thanks also, for continued well wishes. I have good days and bad days and a heating pad is my constant companion when sitting or lying. Ben Gay and I are getting to be pretty good friends, too! Back is slowly improving, but shoulder keeps wanting to pop and dislocate with even the slightest movement, (ouch). Taking it a day at a time. But today's a good day. After a week of rain the sun is shining. Sometimes that's all you really need!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

On Top of The World!

How's this for living large?
That's eldest daughter up there!
I, sitting here,
far, far away,
am in total awe.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blog Breaks Are Boring!

First off, blog breaks are boring!

Doing a bit better, but still having some problems with the 'ol back and sitting comfortably for even short periods of time proves very uncomfortable. The right shoulder is still being ornery, too. (Thanks everyone for your sweet words and suggestions!)

Chiropractor suggested 4-6 weeks of physical therapy 2x a week... my wallet thought different. So, I have been doing exercises that he gave me, at home, to try and get things back on track. (No pun intended!)

Happily as of last night, I am finally feeling some relief for the first time. Hope to make the rounds and visit blogs this week. I miss seeing what everyone is up to!

The new fabric I had printed at Spoonflower came the other day, and it was so much fun to see it in person! The coasters in the picture above were easily stitched up using the "Marrakech Mix" design. (Try as I might I can't get the green and orange to show up clearly in the photos... they just sort of blend in with the yellow... in person the colors are much clearer and distinct.)

Marrakech Mix:

Moroccan Medley:

And for anyone who is curious, here's my plan... as soon as I am feeling better, I am currently in the process of switching my BooDilly's vintage de-stashing Etsy shop, (which did very nicely the past year, but which I have grown bored up keeping) to a shop selling some of my new fabric designs. (Please tell me you think that's a fine idea and that I am not being delusional playing fabric designer!)

More new fabric, from 5 designs that I did the other week but didn't show, have now been ordered and are on their way. Here's a peek at what they will look like... (Click on the pic for a better view.)

Well, I hope you all like what you see...
(Feel free to lie if you don't.)
Time to go stretch and exercise now, as I have been on too long, and can now feel my back starting to seize up, (damn, damn, damn). I am getting very frustrated.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bad Back Blog Break

So sorry for the lack of blog posts and for not visiting everyone else's blogs as much as usual... I have been having upper back and right shoulder issues and finally went to see the chiropractor. Seems that the muscles between my shoulder blades have shut down! They aren't working at all at the moment and my upper shoulder muscles are in over-drive. This all has caused my right shoulder to become slightly dislocated. Dr. feels the cause is most likely from working at the computer for long periods of time. Ugh! So, while I work at trying to get myself back in good working order, I am taking as much of a break from the computer as I can... cutting down temporarily wherever it isn't absolutely necessary.

I have new things I want to share, (the Spoonflower fabric I ordered is on the way, plus I have a new quilt with a new look, in the works). So, I hope to be back soon. Till then, take care!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Catching Up

Well, it's been a busy week, (see "Note" below.)
I have lots of chores and blogs to catch up with and I have no new quilts to show, but I can show you two fabric designs which I have been working on and that I just ordered from Spoonflower.

I decided to go with two colorful patchwork, "cheater cloth" designs. I thought that they offered some really fun sewing possibilities and I am excited to see how they look as actual fabric!

I'll be sure to post the fabric once I receive it :0)


Note: After a very busy week, with lots of last minute details, (no matter how well prepared and organized one is, and my daughter is, there are always last minute details!) I am happy to report that as of early this morning, eldest daughter has arrived safe and sound in London! Whew!

Both of us are a wee bit obsessive compulsive and all the "what if?" questions such as, "what if the car breaks down on the way to the airport?" can become exhausting... the fear of something going wrong was growing with each day, so knowing that she made it, that she is finally in the place that she has longed to be in for years... I am very happy and very grateful!
(Love you, Em!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spoonflower Love

As promised here is the finished result of the fabric design that I had printed by Spoonflower. I got to say I was thrilled with the results and completely delighted by the colors, (even though they were a little brighter then I had imagined) and how clear and sharp the details were!

Now that I see the results I'm anxious to order some new designs, of which I have been diligently working on. (So many ideas!) However being of frugal means, I can't just willy-nilly order every design I come up with and like. No, no, no. Each one has to pass a certain test in my mind as I ask the question, "is it Spoonflower worthy?" ...I feel a bit like Elaine on Seinfeld wondering if the men she dated were sponge worthy!

On another note, I have jumped on the Twitter band wagon. My main reason is so that I can easily keep in touch with eldest daughter when she leaves, (in a week and a half) to study abroad for the semester, (have mercy, I will miss her) However, I figured if I have it I might as well use it. Trouble is, I feel like a slow moving turtle crossing a 4-lane highway... very out of my comfort zone. (Heck, I don't even know how to text message someone... pathetic but true.) Will soon see how this newest venture into cyberville turns out, wish me luck!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beautiful Batik

Hope you all like color because my latest piece is almost dripping color!

It's another patchwork table runner, (or wall hanging if you prefer) this time done in assorted batik fabrics. (Actually, one of those fabrics pictured above is not a batik but a commercial print... anyone spot it?)

I rarely use batik fabrics yet am highly attracted to them. These two factors have helped me, over the years, to amass a nice little stash of the beauties and I thought that they would be perfect to finally use in some runners.

I am really enjoying working in this style of patchwork and quilting. Maybe it is the former weaver in me but I find myself very intrigued by this closely spaced, straight line quilting. I am definitely going to be doing more!

This Quilted Patchwork Batik Table Runner is now available for sale in my shop.

Also, I received my first order from Spoonflower, (Heaven help, me I like it!) Will post it next time around.
Till then, have a great day everyone!

P.S. A mighty big thanks for all the kind words and support from my last post. You are a wonderful group of people!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cheating Yourself

This morning I accidently stumbled upon an Etsy quilter who had copied some of my work and the work of another well known Etsy textile artist. At first I just wanted to chalk it up to a freak coincidence. Two people who had similar ideas at the same time. It happens. But when I looked at the whole shop, I couldn't deny that some of the pieces were blatant rip-offs. They had even used parts of the wording and phrasing found in my descriptions for their own. I was shocked.

I am not going to name names, or pursue this, as I don't want to use up my energy on negative issues.
But I will say this...

We all get inspired by others. It can not be helped. But inspiration should take the form as a starting point towards blazing a new direction, it should not be an invitation to trod down someone else's path. The main work and reward of being an artist is to tap into yourself and mine what treasures of your own you have to offer the world. That's your job.

It is of course wrong to take from others, and pass them off as original works of your own. However, in my opinion, it is even more morally wrong to never explore your own voice, to never dig down and find what gifts you can bring to the table.

When artists share their work, they are doing so in a spirit of community. There is an honor code and a sense of trust. When you take their offerings and try to prosper by selling them as your own, you break that code of honor. You cheat them but you cheat yourself more.

You will never know the joy of being in that zone, when creative ideas flow from you and time stands still. You will never know the thrill of having that kind of energy rush through you. You will never know what you could have accomplished, what new offerings YOU could have brought to the table, had you only done the WORK.

Learn from those that have gone before you. Let yourself be inspired by them, but take that inspiration as a light to help guide you on your own path. Don't be afraid. Discover YOURSELF, don't cheat yourself!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Patchwork Days

Hard to believe that this summer is coming to an end soon. Weather wise, the days have been so spectacular! Before the season is officially over, I thought I should make something that reflects the beautiful colors and wonderful patchwork of unstructured days that make summer so special.

This pretty patchwork table runner features various prints from Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs.

I stitched the quilted rows very close, (3/16" apart) and used various colors of thread, (Sulky's Premium Cotton which is slightly thicker then regular thread.)

The various stitched rows of color thread help to create a very subtle color overlay pattern on top of the fabric prints... a bit hard to see in these photos but a really lovely effect in person.

The back of quits can be as much fun to make as the fronts!

And of course, this Patchwork Table Runner is currently available in my shop!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Play Time

I have quilts that need to be sewed, floors that need to be vacuumed and laundry that needs to be washed... so what am I doing?

Playing fabric designer.

I can't help it. The lure of Spoonflower has proved too powerful. The idea that I can draw my own designs, upload them to Spoonflower, and have it printed into my own fabric... How could I keep resisting? (Believe me I have tried!)

Now I am a complete freshman newbie when it comes to the school of computer illustration and all I have is Photoshop Elements, (the poor man's version of Photoshop.) But with a little bit of trial and error using the illustrating tools available, I came up with this retro barkcloth inspired design and liked it enough to place an order for a fat quarter, just to see what it will actually look like as fabric.

Stay tuned for the final printed fabric results, and heaven help me if I LIKE the results... the lure will be so strong to do it again, my floors may never get cleaned!