Fall has arrived in Minnesota

After a couple rainy weeks, the weather has dried out and we are having a lovely weekend. Today, I spent a few hours outside adding bulbs to my flower gardens. I even put some in planter inserts that fit inside the copper planters at my front door.  It will be nice to see what sprouts in the spring.

In anticipation of the arrival of cooler weather, I have been working on a new bed runner. Since I really love flowers, sunflowers  runner would be nice.

Using my Bernina Cutwork Tool, I cut seventy-two oval from hand-dyed fabrics, 12 leaves and six center from green and brown scraps of fabric.

Since the sunflowers are mainly yellow, I decided to add color in a scrappy border for the runner.

And, a pillow with a scrap piping to add an accent!

Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair ended one week ago.  Finished up just in time, I entered my butterfly quilt this year.  A third place finish was a nice outcome considering that the Sweepstakes winner was the first place quilt in my category.

Butterfly Quilt on display at the MN State Fair
Quilt and Pillows on our guest room bed.
Pillow sham

After submitting the quilt, I did have some time to make a pillow sham and decorative pillow.  The sham was made with custom dyed fabric and thread painting similar to the quilt.

Decorative Pillow

For a decorative throw pillow, I did an on-line search for paper piecing butterflies and found a really nice site (https://lillyella.com/2015/09/02/butterfly-charm-block-paper-piecing-patterns/).  I really enjoyed using my dyed fabrics to make the butterflies for the pillow.

Butterfly Art Quilt – Quilting and Final Product

My butterfly quilt is complete!

From a distance, it is hard to see the details.  But, close up it’s really fun to look at.

I find inspiration for my quilting from a variety of sources – photos, coloring books, . Sometimes the quilt block “suggests” the quilting design.  Other times, it can be a bit illusive.

When planning this butterfly quilt, I knew I wanted the quilting along the edges to look like grass, but I also wanted to add some creativity to the border.  While at work, I found inspiration in a recent copy  of Martha Stewart “Living” magazine.  I liked the ferns and curly spikes in this photo and thought they would be a great addition to the quilting.
I also wanted to add some flowers and butterflies flying in the background.
Here are some close-up pictures:

The back is fun to look at as well!



Butterfly Art Quilt

As a pediatric dentist, I see lots of kids with interesting clothing selections.  Some have mismatched colors, some have their shirts on backwards (or their shoes), but some are absolutely adorable.  Last winter, one of my younger patients (she was a little over 3 years old) came in with a t-shirt on that had a large butterfly printed on it.
Now, I love butterflies – with their beautiful colors and graceful wings. This little girl was fearful of having me check her teeth, so I tried to help her relax by talking to her about her t-shirt.  Turned out that she liked butterflies too and gladly started showing me her t-shirt.  On closer inspection, this large butterfly was actually made up of smaller butterflies and was really cute.  After a successful dental checkup, she left cavity free and happy!
Since it was a busy day, I didn’t think more about the patient until my lunch break when my staff commented that they were happy she overcame her fears and was able to complete an exam and cleaning. One of my staff commented that the conversation about the butterflies may have been what helped her to relax. This conversation sparked an idea in my mind – to make a quilt with a butterfly made out of little butterflies.


An on-line image search was unsuccessful in finding a picture of the t-shirt that matched what I remembered seeing earlier that day. I did, however, find a link to the Missoula Insectarium. In their store, they sell a t-shirt with butterflies  that I thought might be a good inspiration for my quilt.

Using a graphics program, I did a quick design to see how the idea might look. This, I thought, was going to be a fun quilt to make.

Creating the applique butterflies:
Using the graphics program, I cropped the butterfly image around each of individual butterflies.  In doing this, I found that several of the butterflies were about the same shape.  So, I actually only had 12 different butterflies to work with.  Using the Bernina DesignWorks software, I created a Cutwork and Applique file for each butterfly.

For my fabrics, I used the samples from my many trials of fabric dyeing – shibori, mandala, etc).  These fabrics had symmetrical colorings and patterns that worked well for butterfly wings.

More on this project in my next posting…

Starting Something New

While I have a job that gives me satisfaction in helping others, what I really enjoy is creating things. Whether it is sewing, gardening or cooking, I like to do “my own thing”.  I am not someone who follows a published quilting pattern, or follows a recipe word for word.  I simply enjoy the thought process that goes into designing and creating, from the beginning thought to the final product. Over the years, I have made many things.  When showing them to friends, a few have suggested that I should teach others what I do. Well, it’s hard to fit a teaching job into my professional schedule. But, over time, this blog may become a tool to teach other about the things that are important to me.  I have many hobbies that I enjoy – Fiber Arts (quilting, knitting, crocheting), Flora (gardening and flowers), Food (cooking and baking). Of greater importance is my Faith – I see God’s creation around me and it inspires the creativity within me. Hopefully with time I will have a few good stories to share and some pretty pictures to post as well.  So, you can each have some Fun in reading these postings.
Yesterday was my half birthday.  Half birthdays are big days for many young children.  But, as an adult, we are not supposed to think about our birthday, let alone our half birthday.  I, however, have decided to ignore this normal adult attitude. So – Happy Half Birthday to myself!
It was also a delightful fall day here in Minnesota –  sunny with temperatures in the low 70s. So, to celebrate the beautiful day, I delivered a belated birthday gift to my sister-in-law. Several years ago, I asked her whether she would like a quilt for her bedroom.  In response, she sent me the following image and asked if I could make a quilt to look like it.
B&B idea flippedimage by Sheila Rosamond, digitaldoodle.com
Seeing this as a fun design challenge, I decided to see what I could come up with. Using EQ7, I designed  the following quilt, which was given to her for Christmas that year. It was made with batik fabrics and hand quilted by an Amish lady who lived near my mother.  Overall, a very enjoyable project to do at the time.
As a follow-up, this year I decided to be more creative and make a wall art quilt to match.  So, that is what I delivered to her yesterday.
Happy Belated Birthday Barbara!