Laughing Dog Arts

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Quilting my style (Lazy)


I wanted to make a quilt using some pretty horse related fabrics I have been saving (hoarding) for years now.  Above shows not the main fabric, but a secondary one.  I love the colors in it as well as the green and violet Laurel Burch fabric that was my main choice.  Above shows how I begin my crazy pieced blocks.  I start with a 10 inch square of some cotton prints that I don't like.  I put a wonky cut piece of the main fabric approximately in the center, then I begin stitching strips along the sides in a sort of log cabin style.
Except I'm stitching and flipping the strips as I go, right on to the base fabric.  Sometimes I have used as the base, squares of batting, but the fabric stays squared up better.
Above shows one block completed.  I trim as I go, and end up with a 10 inch square block.
I have a pile of strips cut to various widths, mostly 3/4 of an inch to 2 1/2, and choose what ever size and color seems to be the right one.
Here is the pile of fabric I cut strips from as I need them.

Thirty blocks finished.  Now to sew them together.
I just butt them up and zig zag them together, two at a time, trying to keep them even.
Then I straight stitch strips down to cover the zig zagged seam.  After I have pairs stitched together I stitch rows together until they are all sewn into one big piece.  Blocks are still 10 inches so this top is 50 X 60 inches. 
Not quite big enough for a quilt and awfully busy so I made some borders to put along the sides.
Not really much less busy.  Used mostly my hand dyed solids for these stitch and flip strips on top of a base fabric.  I made two border pieces, each 60 inches by 10 inches, then cut them in half lengthwise to make four strips, 5" X 60".

I put 5" squares of the horse fabric in the corners.
This is the back of the quilt top showing my waste fabric squares. 
Since the quilt top is so well stitched to the base fabric, I decided not to traditionally quilt the top but to tie it instead.  I'm trying to use up my huge stash of fabric so instead of batting I used an old flannel sheet, and I pieced together some rayon for the backing.  It is soft.
Close up of the rayon challis prints on the back.
This is the gorgeous Laurel Burch print I have been hoarding. If you look closely you can see the little tie thread on the horse's neck.  Next photos show some close ups of the prints I used.  Love that color way!

So now it is finished.  On to the next one.  

Merry Christmas to you all, hope you have a safe and healthy new year.  Are you making any new year resolutions?  Picking a defining word for your intentions?  I intend to keep making quilts and other art.
Be well.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Self portraits

Today I'm sharing some self portraits I have made over the years.  The one above is one I created in a Laly Mille class I took online this year.
I used the same self image that I had used for this one which I created in a group challenge years ago.  It is titled Wind Tangled.
This is the photo that was my inspiration.
Here is one from an art journal, a more whimsical rendering.
My most recent self portrait is one I have been using as my Facebook badge.  It came about because I feed the crows every morning on my walks.  When I get to the fence where I put food on top of the fenceposts I call them. "Crows!!  Crows!!  Crow-de-os!!" I yell. They usually come flying in.  So this one is a fantasy of me feeding them.  They don't really come to my hands and I don't really wear a skirt.  I do have birds that come to my hands.  Chickadees mob me at times, demanding a peanut from my pocket that I keep just for them.  Nothing sweeter than a little chickadee landing on my hand, trusting me.  Gray Jays and sometimes Pine Siskins have also come to my hands.  So fun!  If you look closely you can see my three dogs in the picture too.
 Finally this picture is not a self portrait but one done by my neighbor Gwen, the one who has the cows I share pictures of.  I just love this, she shows me on a walk with Windy, Roscoe and Gunnar in front carrying a stick, and me with my nose in a book.  I sometimes bring a book along to read as I walk if the weather is dry.  The dogs don't like it when I do this, they can tell they don't have my full attention, so I don't do it very often.  But sometimes it is hard to put a good book down.
I think that's it for now.  I'm planning another self portrait soon, similar to my Crow girl one but one where I am dressed more realistically in muddy boots and jeans.  Maybe.  We shall see.  Until next time,
Be well.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Come with me on a walk

 On my morning walk today I found this offering in the middle of the path.  They are hawthorn berries.
 Very pretty I think.
 The cows and calves were enjoying the quiet morning.  I love that huge cottonwood tree in the background.
 A few weeks ago when I was walking here, I heard a rustling rumbling sound coming from the forest and I thought "What is that noise?  The cows shouldn't be in there.  Sounds like a big animal, maybe an elk crashing through the woods?"  Then this huge alder tree came falling down, right where I had been about to walk.  I have never seen a tree spontaneously fall down with no wind or logger to help it.  It is on the neighbor's property and they have been working on cutting it up for firewood.  I like the way the red alder shows why it is named so.  When a fresh tree is cut up it bleeds red.
 This is a big old stump with new trees growing up out of it.  I climbed it once and looked inside, it is hollow.  If I ever have to hide from someone, I might run here and get in.  You might be able to see how the cows have rubbed on that long snakey root piece and made it all shiny.
 I love leaves.  This heart shaped one is a cottonwood.
But I love my little Roscoe Bean even more.  Who could resist this face?

Be well.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Around the farm

I'd like to share some pictures I have taken from around the farm.
 Above is showing a footprint I spotted at the river side.  It is a beaver track.  I was surprised at how large it is.
 I'll call this a trunklet.  Kinda like a bracelet except it is on a tree trunk.  Chicken wire was wrapped around the trunk in hopes of keeping the animals from nibbling on the bark but evidently it made a nice spot to rub on. 

 Cows like to rub on things.
I noticed the muddy spot under this fence post where there is not any similar muddy spot near other fence posts so I had to investigate the reason.
 I discovered this metal nail head or something that the cows have been rubbing their heads on for a good scratch.  It is worn smooth.  I find many spots on trees and posts that are rubbed so smooth and a nice patina on them from the cows.
 This is my neighbors tree fort.  The boys are grown and off to college now, sometimes the cows use it.  Somewhere I have a picture of 3 cows standing in it but darn, I can't find it right now.
 No question as to why the maples around here are called Big Leaf Maples!
Here is Gunnar gazing through the fence slats at this thing.  Anyone know what it is?
Neighbors cows have been calving this past week.  Here is Ruby and her little calf from last year.  I saw this morning that she calved another little white faced baby.  She is a good mom.
That is enough for today from around the farm.
Be well.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Calendar pages

I haven't published a blog post in over a year!  Not sure I even know how anymore with the changes to blogger since then.  Thought I'd give it a test drive today, see if I can get some photos posted of some work I've done with my Stitch 'n Bitch group.  We all make what we call calendar pages, 12 of them apiece, then we trade around with each other and make our own calendar using these pages as the decorative part of the calendar.  Here are some of mine from last year.  Remember you can click on them to make them bigger if you'd like.

I'll try to post more often than once every year and a half.  
Be well.