Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Italian Quilt if Finished!

Three years ago at this time my husband, Dick, and I were on a wonderful trip through the Tuscan Hill Country. Dick planned the whole trip based on what he remembered from visiting the country 40 years prior! We traveled with another couple and forged our way through beautiful countryside, incredible vino rosso de casa, daily gelato, miles of walking, and the most incredible food!

When we got home I had to make a bedspread that told the story of our journey... So, 3 years later, the quilt is on the bed.

Take a look ~

The picture above is my representation of the floors in all the ancient catherdals. I saw almost the exact floor in St. Peter's Basillica. I used the Stonehenge fabrics from Northcott to do the large center. The fabric truly looks like slabs of marble! The cream colored fabric and the blue edge is from the La Scala collection by Robert Kaufman. Those two pieces so reminded me of the frescos. The covering over the pillows is also from the La Scala collection and takes my imagination to Venice, where we spent 4 days wandering the beautiful street and alleys.

These next two pictures show our Rome memories. I was so surprised when I came around a corner and saw the fabulous Umbrella Pines and all the wonderful ruins. Ceasar had the Umbrella Pines planted to provide shade for the city. It is such an unusual shaped pine and we were thankful for the shade. While in Rome we rented a small apartment in Trestevere, a small neighborhood and a very happening place. I have created an art quilt showing our most favorite restaurant with a great little enoteca next door. We were so happy to learn that an enoteca is a wine bar with free appetizers. They open all over Rome about 5:00 each afternoon and are a great way to start your evening.

You can see that I stuck a gondoleir in the corner. The picture also shows a better picture of La Scala Ristorante, our favorite restaurant in Rome.

The pictures below show the other side of the bedspread. Here we see a 'Hill Town'. Inside this little ancient town we walked the streets and discovered a perfect little cafe... Mordimi, Barga. I am sorry to say that Mordimi is no longer there, but my tastebuds will remember it forever! We had the most delicious lunch.... slices of rare fillet of beef quickly sizzled in olive oil, lemon and garlic! OMG! To go with it we also had petite artichokes that had been slow cooked in the same olive oil concoction. Of course their house red wine was to die for. ... right out of a barrell!

While we were walking the narrow streets of Barga, a tiny Fiat came whizzing by. We were pressed against the walls to give it enough room! Such a fun memory... The quilt just had to have a Fiat!

So there you have it! We both look at this quilt, smile with good memories and fall asleep to wonderful dreams.

Hugs from Mary

Friday, April 24, 2015

I just finished making a golf cart sear cover for a friend.  It was very fun to do! Now, on to the next project.

Monday, March 9, 2015

So this  is a test to see if anyone reads this blog along with,  has stitched in the ditch while enjoying a glass of wine.....
If so, did the stitching get better, worse or did you really  care as the wine got less and less? 😀

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tuscan Window

I just finished a fun art quilt .  While we were visiting Italy, I  took lots of  photos  of windows in Hill Towns. I just had to create an art quilt wall hanging. And, I   just had to include our adorable kitty, named Taz, short for the Taz mania Devil

When doing art quilts of ancient European  architecture, all I   can say is thank goodness  for Stonehenge fabric!
so here you go..... A Tuscan Window...

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Farm

I have been working on so many things. Most recently, a commissioned piece! That's right! There is a person out there who is actually paying me to quilt! Wow!

This is to be a Christmas present to a ladie's daughter. The two girls are the granddaughters. With all of the animals, trees, barn, fence and kids.... Well, this has been a project. The trees are partly confetti method. I still need to add straw in the barn, sketch in the girls' shoes and pants, bind and quilt the border.  I do see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Hope you like it... Always love your comments.

Hugs from Mary

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tuscan Hill Country

Created from a vision in my head and the help of my DH,
 the civil engineer who understands the elements of perspective.

Detail of the bell tower.

The wine bottle, grapes and glass were photos that I printed on white fabric backed in 'Wonder Under'.

Yes, that is a real cork from Greve in Chianti... I cut it in half
and glue gunned it on. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Another Table Runner

This past November my local garden club held a charity auction. My table runner garnered the highest bid at $360.00! I was overwhelmed with pride! Luckily, at the last moment, I thought to take a few pictures of it with my phone. They're not the best, but you get the general idea. I titled it, "Morning In the Marsh"

I set the runner on the carpeting to take the pics. The carpeting makes the background confusing, but that's the best I  have to show.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Swamp Egret is Completed!

It measures 13.75" X 24".  Tomorrow Swamp Egret will be on her way to Florida! Would love to have hidden an alligator head in the water. Too late now!
Be sure to visit all the WIP's at Creations-Quilts, Art

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Wall Hanging!

I have been so busy making table runners for friends and charity auctions... it is nice to actually be working on something that I am being paid to do. I am going to bring a few pine pine boughs in from the top left corner, and stitch in some grass around the rocks. Not sure how I am going to stitch in the border... maybe a simple vine.

The white thread used in the water and on the egret is a very old silk thread... so old it is on a wooden spool! It has yellowed somewhat with age and matched the Fairy Frost fabric of the egret perfectly.  

When the hanging is finished it will be stretched around a wooden frame (which my DH builds) with 2" of the border showing.
I'll post more when it is completed.

Hugs from Mary and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I've Found Mary!!

Talk about being the lazy blogger........ I win the prize!!! Where in the world have I been? I lost myself to company, travels, projects, gardening, cleaning (which is what I should be doing), reading...

Company started in March and appeared every month through yesterday. Last night my husband and I sat at our little bar and toasted the quiet normalcy with a wonderful vino rosso. We almost giggled knowing that no one was going to appear until our daughter comes home for Thanksgiving.

Don't get us wrong... We love to have visitors from California. We catch up on all the news of our old school district. I love finding out about my former first graders and what they're up to. And, we do live by the beach. CA people love our beach because it is warm. The Atlantic vs the Pacific is like No Wet Suit vs Wet Suit! The pacific is cold!!

But, now we're alone. It's quiet. I need to pull weeds.   Forget that! I NEED to quilt. I'm going back to work on the Italian quilt and wrap that baby up! It is not going to be a UFQ... unfinished quilt. Do you even remember the Italian quilt?...

We went to Italy last fall and I was inspired by the marble floors at San Marcos in Venice. The floors are quilt patterns done in marble and granite! While everyone else was looking up, I had my eyes and camera on the floor.  Check it out.

What quilter wouldn't be inspired by this?

So, I'm off to the sewing room (which also needs to be cleaned). DH is playing golf. The morning is mine!!

Hugs to you from Me...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's For the Birds... Blue Birds!

Welcome & Thank You to Mary Winegar and Madamme Samm
for organizing and officiating this event! 

I'm sharing a Blue Bird table runner today.
The basic directions for making the table runner can be found several posts below.

Also... Hope you notice that I have a "Bird Series" tab above. 
Take a look...I love to do egrets and herons!

I made this runner as a birthday present for a sweet lady who
 loves beige and Blue Birds!
The runner can also be hung as a wall art panel.

The three blue bird sections are 8.5 X 11... 
Yep, you guessed it! I used my regular ink jet printer.
All you need to do is iron freezer paper on the back of the fabric,
carefully cut it to printer paper size, and then just feed it through fabric side down.

I chose pictures from a public domain site,
 making sure they predominately had a beige background.

Once I had the pictures printed on the fabric, I pulled
the paper off the back.
I stabilized the three pieces with a
 fusible interfacing on the back before 
doing the Thread Sketching of the birds.

I was pleased with the effect of the batik pattern showing as part of the background.

Having the photos of the birds showing made for easy thread sketching.
I also used fabric markers to emphasize some areas,
particularly the branches.

I then added the purple piping and finished off the backing/borders with mitered corners.
I also secured the whole runner by adding a decorative stitch
 in metallic gold along the seam lines
Metallic thread is easier to deal with if you use a metallic thread needle.
The eye is larger and the thread flows through more easily.

That's it!
Now travel on to the other blogs!

Crooked Gulley Art Quilts  *you are here

Keep Stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from,

Friday, May 10, 2013

Koi Table Runner

I just finished this table runner using the pattern/directions
 in a previous post a week ago. 

The backing and border is one long hunk of  fabric 1/2 yard wide.
This pattern is so very easy.
The basic design is to sew a long tube and then finish the ends.

The picture below shows how I used one of the many machine decorative stitches
 to outline the picture/border

I backed the blue fabric with a fusible interfacing to stabilize the fabric
 for the Free-Motion quilting process.
I did not do any stitching on the blue - just the FMQing on the koi. 
When I use a metallic thread I use a metallic thread needle.
The eye is larger and the thread feeds smoothly.
The soft pink blotches were created by using
Ink Tense Colored Pencils and a water color brush.

The pattern for the koi is from Java House Quilts . 

Keep Stitchin' For the Ones You Love!

Hugs from Mary

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Wall Hanging

Well, as you can see in the previous post, I have donated the oak tree quilt and now have a bare wall above my old treadle machine.

Here is the replacement. 

We have so many Great Blue Herons and Great White Egrets that inhabit our coastal salt marshes.
We even have a large rookery where both types of birds nest high in the pine trees surrounding a pond. It is not unusual to see six to eight nests in a single tree. It is real apartment living!

I tried some new skills on this hanging. I wanted the full moon to have texture so I did areas of small circles. 
To the left of the moon I made a large nest in the dead tree by using a technique called needle lace. 
It is not a heron nest, they prefer pines. 
This is a typical Osprey nest which can be found everywhere in our neighborhood. Right now the females are sitting on eggs. The chicks usually hatch late May into June.

The picture below shows marsh grass. Rather than stitching it down flat on the edges, I chose to do one line of stitching right up the center. The effect gives a three dimensional look. I like that and think I'll do it again.

This large tree is shadowed on the right edge of the trunk by using a black Sharpie pen. I used a gold and cream variegated thread to show moonlight shining on the left side of the trunk. I think it works. I need to take some basic drawing lessons so that I'll understand all this better.

Again, here is the overall effect. I'm learning... Love doing this, but honestly have a ton yet to learn.

Hugs to you and keep stitchin' for the ones you love.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Relay For Life Donation

Final Update...
And the winner is...
Betsy Slover,
one of my many Sea Trail neighbors who bought raffle tickets.
Congrats to sweet Betsy... a breast cancer survivor!
I'm thrilled, Betsy is thrilled, American Cancer Society is thrilled!

Thanks to the genrosity of many,
I was able to sell nearly $500 in raffle tickets!!
Thank you!

I am donating one of my favorite art quilts to my
Relay For Life Team ~ The Sea Trail Strollers. 
We are selling raffle tickets for $5 each.
The quilt measures 36"X50", is based on a pattern by Nina Stevens, and made of beautiful batiks and prints.

All $$ for raffle tickets must be received by Friday, May 3rd.

So, Hurry!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Showers Mug Rug Blog Hop

Welcome! So happy you could stop by to visit on this beautiful spring day.
Erin Davis and Madamme Samm have done a fabulous job of scheduling and coordinating this event... 
To them I send ~
 A Grand Thank You!

My mug rug is a bit on the large size and does not have a thing to do with rain, showers or April. In fact, I should have saved it for next month's bird blog hop.
But it is the one and only mug rug I've ever made,
and I just love it.
 (Oddly enough, so does my DH)

It all started with this litte table located in our cozy reading corner of the kitchen.

It's functional because it holds magazines and has a lamp. 
However, the top is not real wood! Tacky! 
And, our kitchen is pretty nice... We love its open style and views. 
Enjoying coffee there in the morning is quite nice.
I wanted a nicer looking table.

That little table was just screaming... MUG RUG!

We have a bird feeder just outside the window that birds often visit, especially a cocky little Carolina Wren.
So I began a search for a pattern that would include
a cute wren with attitude. 
I found it... Sandra Leichner has a wonderful pattern.
I also wanted to use fabric from the panels over our windows.
 The panels are there to add the touch of color instead of window treatments.
We love our view and don't want to block it.

Here is my final result of Sandra's darling pattern..   
The back ot the Mug Rug.

The front....

I fused the wren parts and the flowers
on to the cream background.
I then covered it all with a gray netting/tulle, which is pretty much invisible. The tulle secures all the edges and  allows the free-motion quilting to really protect the edges.
Once I had it all secured, I used thread sketching via free-motion to make all the branches and stitch around the flowers.
I then added the borders and binding. I always sew the binding on the back first and then turn it to the front to secure with whatever decorative stitch I want....
 in this case I used a blanket stitch and gold metallic thread.

The overall look...

What a happy little table!  Ironically we still use coasters
so that we won't stain the mug rug! (LOL)

Now, keep hopping to all of the other presenters;
thank you so very much for stopping by!
Mary @ Crooked Gulley Art Quilts    (That would be me)

Keep Stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

A Birthday Present from my Sweet, Talented Sister

My sister, Georgia Enid, is so, so talented. 
Just look at this beautiful, spring table runner she made for me!
A special birthday present for moi.

This is a super easy pattern. No quilting or batting involved. 
Just straight stitch sewing. 
A very good project for the beginning seamstress, or a quick project for the expert.

Directions For the Quick Six-Seam Table Runner

Fabric for 14" X 41" 
1/2 yard for runner back and borders
1/4 yard of second fabric for center accent


Straighten cut edges and remove selvedges from both fabrics

Lay fabric right sides together, matching the long cut edges of the crosswise grain.

Using a 1/4" seam, sew each long side together, creating a tube. The 1/2 yard will be wider than the 1/4 yard, and this creates the border along the center accent.

Press the two seams open then turn the tube inside out.

Center the accent fabric so that borders are about 2" wide and even on both sides. Press, creating crisp border edges.

Trim tube ends so they are straight and fabrics are even lengths.

With center accent fabric on the outside, fold the tube in half length wise and stitch across each short end using a 1/4" seam.

Trim corner at fold, press seam open then turn, pushing the trimmed corner into the fold. Work the fold corner until you have a sharp point. Seam should be centered on center of accent fabric and pressed down to form pointed end that matches the borders. Again, press to form crisp edges.

Stitch across the turned edge that forms the point base.

Press and Voila, you're done!!

I'm making 8 of these for my Wacky Women friends!
Talk about easy, sassy, classy gifts ~ I love this pattern.

I'm off to work in the garden, enjoy the sun, listen to the birds... life is good!

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Thursday, March 14, 2013

This and That

I've been working on a few things...
The Italian quilt is still my main project. I want to update the last post about stitching over the Glad Press N Seal. It is easier to pull off if you stitch over it once, peel, and then go back over the stitching (if you want).
I stitched my design several times and then peeled. Wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be! Also, I wanted the design to look like the rod iron you see in Italy... I needed a heavier thread. Below you can see where I re-stitched. I like the look so much better, and should have used it from the get-go.

You can see, in the photo above, the difference between the heavier thread and regular thread. I just wish my FMQing skills were better. Hopefully time and practice will work that one out.

I needed a break from the Italian quilt, so I have started another heron. This one is much bigger than my usual ones. It measures 44x30. I've already ripped out the tree on the right. I want to put in shadow like trees, as this is a night time picture. I got the inspiration for this piece from an art quilt shown in one of my quilting magazines. However, I haven't located the picture to give credit to the creator or the magazine. I'll keep searching.

 The other inspiration for this piece is a huge rookery in our neighborhood. We have an area where the Great Blue Herons have built nests high in the pine trees near a pond. Each tree has at least 4-5 nests. Did you know heron eggs are blue?

This picture shows 5 nests! But... there were more!!!

A close-up of one of the parents feeding a chick.

I also need to work on something to donate to my garden club's charity auction and fashion show next Tuesday. Need to hustle on that one.

That's it for now...
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love.
Hugs from Mary