Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sneak in a Zentangle or Two

I've been working like crazy and trying to set some time aside for the stuff I like to do.  Found a slice of time on Thursday night to visit with my friend Sharla at Soft Expressions.  Seems she has been zentangling with a wonderful bunch of people from dusk till dawn.   Yep...Its a zentangle friendship group and they welcomed me with open arms.  I sat down and got back to tangling.  They meet once a month at Soft Expression and usually learn a new tangle pattern or two.  Maybe a new technique, tool or toy to play with.

This is the first one I made when I sat down.  After some direction from Sharla, I just started drawing and this is what came out.  The piece is only 3"square so not very large.

Then she passed out some more of her favorite tools, This is white on black was done with a white Gelly Roll Pen and Pastel Chalk pencil for the shading.  I am learning shading as you can see.   These two pieces were done in about 2.5 hrs
Sharla Hicks is a Certified Zentangle Instructor and owns and teaches at Soft Expressions.  Here is a list of her upcoming classess 

If you have never taken art classes or are an accomplished artist.  This is a different way to expand your brain and learn to fill space.  It is typically done in smaller bite sized pieces so you can actually accomplish something incredible in a small amount of time.

I started zentangling in 2011.  It has really helped with my quilting by showing me how you can free form draw in a structured space.  I highly recommend taking the time out to take some classes you will amaze yourself at what you can create.  

I hope you all get a chance to sew and relax this weekend.  That's what I'm doing ;]
Love Aunti Nicole

PS - Some anonymous commenter asked about my blog design.  I created my own background and logo in Adobe Illustrator.  Thank you for the kind words.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Budding Quilters

Yesterday I got to spend my Saturday with a couple of budding young quilters. Amanda and Tessa King spent about 5 hours with me yesterday.
First we talked a little about what we wanted to do.  They learned about contrasting and complimenting fabrics.  Then I gave them some time to poke through my stash of larger pieces and pick a focus fabric.  I planned about an hour for this.. and they were done in 10 min.  No brainer for them, I need to learn that trick.  Look at the wonderful fabric choices here.

Then they learned:
Rotary Cutting
Trimming threads
Ironing again!
Pinning again!
Sewing again!

Tessa's First Block

Amanda's First Block

Breath....Time for a break... so we took a break.  Had a yummy snack.  Apples, beef jerky, chicken.  Went for a short walk.  

And back to make the next one...or is it two ;] muah-ha-ha!

I had them each take two squares and draw an "X" diagonally.  Then they had to sew 1/4" on either side of each line.  Wow Aunti this is hard.....after a while, Wow this is so easy!  Then we cut them apart for 16 little half square triangles.  Magic!  Sewing the little pieces together took a little helped with the pinning but they did all the sewing.

Check out those Points!  Awesome Sauce! High fives! Whoo hoo

Took a little longer to sew these together, but the girls did very good and we pressed on even though we were getting a little tired.  Around 3:30 we started looking at the clock.  
Girls:  "Are we going to finish with the quilt today?
Aunti:  "Girls, we are just getting started we've got 9 more to make!" Big toothy grin ;]
Girls:  "Ooo no!" girly giggles all around

Their Mom and Dad came back about five as we were finished up our last seams.  They got to see a little of the action.   

This is Tessa, she was student of the week last we at school.  She loves pink and blue and found some fun fabrics and even got a chance to use one of the ones she brought.  Her favorite part is the ironing part and asked her Mommy if she had any shirts she needed ironing.    Her Mom (Dawn) and I both looked at each other and said "Really?"

This Amanda.  She likes all the parts of quilting, but probably sewing on the machine the most.  She has a headband that disappears and reappears on her head right where she left it.  Apparently her sister has the ability to make it reappear.  I have glasses that do that...

Willie came in and investigated and played and hid a lot, and napped a lot.  Toward the end, Pete went into the kitchen and willie followed him and this was what we heard.

Willie:  "Mrowww"  trans. (hey dad)
Pete:  "Hey buddy, theres girls and girly stuff everywhere huh?"
Willie:  "Mroww rowwwo wowo wwow mrow" trans "Yeah you should see it, there needles and razors and hot irons and momma's eyes are all bulgy!"

So we got to finish 3 blocks.  We are probably going to make a 12 block quilt, MAYBE one or two with fusible applique.  Add a border and binding.  We are going to display their quilts in our guild show that's coming up in September.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our day, we sure had a great time.  The girls follow directions and were such a great way to spend my sew day.  I am looking forward to their next visit.  

Now i have to go grocery shopping and our breakfasts and lunches for the week.  Pete and I are enjoying a 28 day Paleo Challenge.  Basically Meat, Veggies, Fruit, Nuts and Seeds.  One week down and I think we are doing pretty good!  Its a little more effort and planning but the results are worth it.

Hope you all get a chance to sew this week!
Aunti Nicole

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Dana!

Today is my big sister Dana's birthday.  I know I posted this before, but this is still my favorite photo of us.  My sister has ahold of me, probably because I have a bit of a lean, haha.  Always looking out for me.

Happy Birthday Dana, Love you!

Since this is a quilting blog, here is the latest skinny at Aunti Nicole's Corner.  Was at Road to California weekend before last.  My Mom and friend Phyllis stayed with me.  I took Friday off to go with them to a long arm quilting class with DeLoa Jones. 
This is her entry in the quilt show, just amazing!
Great class I highly recommend it.  I bought some new tools which I'll post soon

The class was called Block Party and it discussed what to do with sampler blocks.  The challenge is to make a continuous pattern for each block and not have to stop.  I win!

Here is one I just quilted this last weekend for neighbor Betty.

Great fun and I'm not just making a mess, Betty really liked the results!

Lots of stuff going on in February including some quilting mentoring of a couple of angels this weekend.  Can't wait to share their progress with you.

Hope you get a chance to sew this week!

Aunti Nicole