Friday, January 12, 2018

Recharge your creative juices

I don’t know about you, but I often feel the need to recharge my creative juices. You may be inspired by a walk in nature, or writing ideas for the first 20 minutes of your day - before eating breakfast or talking to anyone. Listening to music or books on tape might also be inspirational.

Creativity has been attributed to everything from divine intervention to chance. Some say it is a trait we are born with; others say it can be taught. I think creativity is letting new ideas into your conscious brain.

For me, new ideas usually stem from new experiences. These experiences often come from travel. It can happen in far away places or as close as your hometown.

Recently I went to one of my favorite haunts; Rhinestone Rosie’s. The shop, owned by Rosalie Bryzelak Sayyah, is located in Seattle’s upper Queen Anne neighborhood. Rosie and her daughter Lucia, have on display thousands of pins, earrings, bracelet’s, dress clips, barrettes and tiaras. Rosie specializes in the repair and restoration of pre 1950, costume jewelry.

This may sound odd, but remember, I do love all things sparkly. A long look through the cases filled with different shapes and colors of jewelry sets my mind to wandering. Letting my eyes wander the cases and allowing thoughts to flow, recharges me. New ideas flood my brain. Then I can't wait to get into my studio and create something new and magical. Check out her store. You will be inspired for sure!

If you feel like you are in a creative rut, try going to the nearest costume jewelry store or park, go on an architectural tour or to an art gallery. Inspiration is everywhere. You just need to be open to the possibilities. Try it some time and see if it works for you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Quilting the Quilt -Inspirations

I like the different structural lines next to the leaves.
I can tell what interests me at any given time, by what I am doing. Right now it is quilting a quilt. I'm always on the search for interesting quilting ideas. These are a few photo's from my collection of ideas.
Flowers and leaves always inspirational.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Start the New Year Right-Label your quilts!

I love to print labels with my computer. Sew-On Printable Fabric Sheets work with any inkjet printer or inkjet copier and are colorfast and washable.

1. On your computer - prepare image to be printed. 

2. Set printing parameters at BEST for the print quality and PLAIN PAPER for the paper type. 
3. Print first on regular printer paper to test ink coverage - image clarity - size and placement. 
4. Cut (do not pull) any loose threads from the Printed Treasures sheet.
 5. Load Printed Treasures sheet in printer tray so image prints on fabric side. Follow your printer's directions for loading instructions.
6. Print image. 
7. Allow ink to dry completely - (approximately one minute).
8. Slowly peel paper backing from the Printed Treasures® fabric sheet. 
9. Before sewing - remove any excess ink that may be resting on the fabric surface. This can be done by submerging your fabric sheet in an oversized bowl that is overflowing with a constant stream of cold water. Keep fabric sheet submerged for approximately one to two minutes. The water will carry off any excess ink - and prevent it from attaching to other areas of the sheet. Do not twist - or wring out - simply lay flat to dry. 
10. Once dry - the sheet is ready to use. Care for completed Printed Treasures projects: As needed - hand or machine wash in cold water using the gentle cycle and a mild detergent. Air or machine dry using low heat. After washing or rinsing - Printed treasures is iron friendly using the lowest steam setting (silk or wool). For best results - avoid exposure to direct sunlight. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Scrap Quilts

The new year means it's time to set some goals. #1 on my list is to make some scrap quilts. I don't think I am going to win the "Whoever has the most fabric" contest, but I have my share. I realized that when the cupboard is too full to shove more in, something needs to happen.

Scrap quilts (or I should say multi fabric) are my all-time favorite type of quilt. History would have us believe that the majority of antique scrap quilts were frugal projects, made with bits and pieces of  leftover fabrics. While that’s probably true, I think quilters of past generations enjoyed the challenge of combining fabrics just as much as we do today, and likely used their fabric stashes to design scrappy quilts with lots of visual appeal.

                                          Now I just need to decide what to do with them!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year!

Jade Garden
424 7th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
Tel: (206) 622-8181
My favorite way to start the New Year is dim sum at the Jade Garden. It's a great way to have a meal and visit!
Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum traditionally are served as fully cooked, ready-to-serve dishes. In Cantonese teahouses, carts with dim sum will be served around the restaurant for diners to order from without leaving their seats.

You know you are in the International  district when you see signs like these!

Friday, December 29, 2017

All Work and No Play

Makes Melody a dull girl! Last night I went to see George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. It was every bit as good as the hype. It was the magic that makes the holidays. 

Tchaikovsky’s cherished score played live by the PNB Orchestra, gorgeous scenery and costumes by celebrated author and illustrator Ian Falconer (Olivia the Pig), brilliant dancing by PNB’s incredible dancers, a snowfall every performance, and Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall all dressed up for the holidays. I enjoyed every minute!

The music and dancing were wonderful. The whole experience was a feast for the eyes! One of the most delightful parts was the children. This year there were 1000 kids in PNB classes 260 tried out 209 were chosen, including three Claras. There are two casts of children, they preform about 20 performances each.

Pacific Northwest Ballet, one of the largest and most highly regarded ballet companies in the United States, was founded in 1972. In July 2005, Peter Boal became artistic director, succeeding Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, artistic directors since 1977. The Company of nearly fifty dancers presents more than 100 performances each year of full-length and mixed repertory ballets at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle and on tour. The Company has toured to Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, and throughout the United States, with celebrated appearances at Jacob’s Pillow and in New York City and Washington DC.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Seattle's White Christmas

I am not ignoring you, it's year end and the paper work is head high! But joy of joy, Seattle had the first white Christmas in years!

It was so beautiful!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

There is nothing more magical than decorated trees, lights, presents, family and friends to brighten up your life. Merry Christmas! Give and receive love this holiday season and you will surely have a joyous Xmas. Best wishes to your family this season and always. May Christmas spread cheer in your lives!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Round Robin Quilts

Six Blonde Ladies, 50" x 50", was completed using 100% cotton materials, machine piecing, machine and hand appliqué & hand quilted.  It has not been exhibited.

This is a "Round Robin" quilt. The friendship block exchange of the '90s. It's the unwritten journal of our friendship, so fragile in this era of change. Each quilter adds a new border, to record her space in time.  The completed quilt is always a breathtaking surprise and this one is no exception. The whimsical title reflects the fun experience we shared.

 The name? There were six of us, no blondes, but we had lots of fun!

Center block: Melody Crust
Triangle border: Jill Christenson-Loll
Appliqué border: Nancy Brister
Northwest Flavor: border: Kathy Park
Anything Goes border: Ros Rowley-Penk
Curved border: Nan Naubert
Quilted by: Melody Crust

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Quilt Show


My inspirations frequently come from the shapes and patterns found in nature. I express my love of flowers and color through the medium of quilting. The floral shapes, the soft gentle curves, represent peace and tranquillity.

As often happens, a design problem turns into something wonderful. My original idea, fans decorated with flowers, was not working so I folded it up and put it away. It used shapes, that when separated from the rest of the piece, reminded me of fire.

Fire creates a hypnotic state, the way the fire glows, changing color, dancing across the logs as it burns.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It's All in the Thread

If you are using high quality quilting fabric, be sure to piece your projects with a high quality thread.

When piecing with 100% cotton fabric, it is important to use a 100% cotton thread. Choose a neutral color (many quilters use white, cream or gray for all of their quilting projects) or choose a thread to match the fabrics you’ll be sewing. (I use matching colored thread).
Good quality cotton threads produce less lint than lower quality cotton threads and are visibly “smoother” than the lower grades of cotton thread. High quality threads, which produce less lint, are also good for your sewing machine.
Excellent thread choices for piecing are Superior Threads MasterPiece, Wonderfil Tutti or Aurifil Mako 50 weight cotton thread. These threads are smooth and fine, while at the same time, strong and durable.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Remembering Judy Murrah

From Karey Bresenhan
Founder and Director Emeritus,
International Quilt Festival and International Quilt Market

"With heavy hearts, we have to share with you the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Judy Murrah.

Judy, as our Vice President for Education and Administration for many years, was an extremely important member of our Executive Committee. But more than that, she was our long-time dear, dear friend, who shared many wonderful times with us, from the early days of our company up until our recent fall shows.

She was an incredible teacher, author, designer, and quilter who shared her knowledge and love of quilting, and of our company and its mission, as well as that of the Texas Quilt Museum, with people both near and far. Her skill with a needle was matched by her skill in planning our International Quilt Festival and International Quilt Market classes and running our Education Department, all backed by her knowledge, experience, and people skills.

Judy will be greatly missed by many."

Judy Murrah passed away on Monday, December 11, 2017, following a courageous battle with cancer.  A service of remembrance will be held in the Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church Missouri City on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM.  A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Quilt Show

Dimensions: 36”w X 48”h
This theme suggests the separation and protection of natural beauty necessary in the sometimes harsh urban environment of today's inner cities. The dramatic directional lines of the fence were chosen to add a rhythmic strength to the composition. Light airy floral gradations heighten the effective contrast.

This quilt is hand appliqued and machine pieced using many commercial fabrics. The machine quilting adds the final textural effects.


22½" X 22½"

New Year's Eve              
Embroidery has been one of my favorite methods of expression. This piece combines several enjoyable techniques; machine quilting, machine piecing, hand embroidering and embellishment.The quilt feels all dressed-up and needs someplace to go, hence the name "New Year's Eve".
Cotton, silk & real polyester materials, hand embroidered & beaded, machine pieced, appliqued & quilted.