Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fond Memories

I traveled by train from Oregon to Idaho to attend the Bossom Buddies quilters retreat. In a small duffel bag I packed a few clothes. In a BIG suitcase I packed fabrics and quilt projects I had in progress and planned to work on. For 3 days I listened to the hum of sewing machines, dined on delectable treats, was inspired by the work of traditional and art quilters, listened to laughter, made new friends and new memories.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.....

One of my fondest memories is waking up early each morning and sewing in my jammies with my Anny Donna. My aunt lives in Idaho, I live in Oregon. She is my Quilting Quilting Kindred Spirit. She has taught me more about life than she will ever know. I am a better person when I am with her.

My aunt is a member of the Idaho Bossom Buddies group. These talented quilters create comfort quilts for women diagnosed with breast cancer. They host several retreats each year to work on their own personal projects and spend quilty time together. I have come to know these outstanding women and have learned something from each and every one of them. I thank them for their generous spirit and creative nature.

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

With Fond Memories,

Friday, February 27, 2009

Homemade Comforts

Ring.....Ring........Ring........Grandma calling.........come on over......I am just taking bread out of the oven. We ran right over to enjoy this homemade comfort.

Click on each image to enlarge it......

Our Grandma is 89 and still bakes her own bread twice a week. Her bread is just as beautiful as she is.

Everything is better when it is made by hand, especially bread hot out of the oven.

Quilts are also better when they are made by hand. And like Grandma's bread, this one is being given away.

I am taking this quilt to my sister today to celebrate her birthday. It brings me joy to make her a homemade quilt, just like it brings Grandma joy baking her bread for us.

The label reads: Flowers For My Sissy. A sister is dear to you always, for she is someone who is always a part of all the favorite memories that you keep close to your heart. Made with Love for my Big Sister Tinker. Hugs & Kisses, LuAnn "Sisters are the creamer in your coffee" 2009

Flowers For My Sissy.........will bring my sister homemade comfort each time she wraps up in it. It will warm her just like Grandma's bread coming out of the oven.

This is the back side of "Flowers For My Sissy". A scrappy backing on a quilt also gives me that cozy homemade comfortable feeling.

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

To see more tips and tutorials CLICK HERE

Wishing you cozy quilts and the warmth of Grandma's homemade bread,

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kindred Spirit

One of the perks of being a quilter is the common thread you share with others. You belong to the sisterhood of quilting. Your quilting friends understand and share your passion for quilted textiles. You all agree that......."Everything is Better When it is Quilted!"

I would like to share the quilts made by one of my quilting friends, Kathi. This is just a taste of what she creates: Click on each image to enlarge it and see details.

This is one of her first journal quilts. It started out as a sketch on paper, and developed into a little quilt. This is some of her first free-motion work.

Landscape journal quilt.......isn't it wonderful! Click on it to enlarge it and see the free motion thread work on the tree.

Kathi enjoys putting vintage family photos into her quilts. The vintage linens and collage work add so much charm to this piece.

Family Tree......notice that she used tree branches to frame this piece.

Kathi used colored pencils to color in her gramma's hair and dress in this sepia tone vintage photo. It really makes her gramma the center of attention.

And this is Kathi.......when she isn't creating art quilts, she is welding. She loves metal art.
She started out as my student 6 years ago, and now she has become my teacher and my kindred spirit. I have enjoyed watching her grow as a quilter and as an artist.

CLICK HERE to go to Kathi's Blog

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

To see more journal quilts CLICK HERE

From a Kindred Spirit,

Friday, February 20, 2009

Works of Art

Crazy Quilt

click on each image to enlarge it and see details......


Mother Nature

The Artful Bras Project:  Members of Quilters of South Carolina have created a one-of-a-kind bras for Breast Cancer Awareness.  The exhibit consists of 49 works of art which are unique, entertaining, humorous and beautiful. 

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,
LuAnn Kessi

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't Leave Home Without It

There are two things I don't leave home without.......The first is my camera.
Just think, I could have missed the motorcycle riding cat in the photo above, if I didn't have my camera sitting on the seat beside me.  That is my red pick up in the background.  I was parked in town, when I heard this man talking......I thought he was talking to himself......until I leaned out my pick up window and saw the gray cat.  
Click on the photos to enlarge them and see the details.......

This cat absolutely loved riding on this big, noisy motorcycle.  I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself.  I grabbed my trusty camera, jumped out of the pick up and introduced myself to the cat and his motorcycle man.  They were more than happy to pose for a few photos.  They also told me they were at McDonald's every Sunday morning for breakfast......just in case I wanted to see the motorcycle kitty again.
So remember........don't leave home without your camera!

The second thing I don't leave home without Featherweight 221 portable sewing machine.  When we are going on a trip, I always bring along my FW221.  It is small and doesn't take up a lot of precious cargo space.  I also have a narrow folding table that goes along and is a perfect work table for wherever we end up for the night during our travels.  There is always enough space to set up the table, sewing machine, I grab a table lamp from the room and I am ready for some quality sewing time.

This FW221 was made in 1959.  It is a little, lightweight workhorse.  It has the best piecing stitch of any of my sewing machines.  It is a pleasure to work on, and is so easy to bring along when we are on the road.  On this particular trip we traveled to eastern Oregon to the painted hills country.  My husband and son went on a bass fishing trip.  They fished and I sewed........all the world was in harmony.

These are the gorgeous painted hills in Oregon...........yes, this photo will make its way into a quilt someday.

These are my fishermen.  It was a great trip for all of us!
Remember that camera.........and that sewing machine.

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

Don't Leave Home Without Them,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Happy Place

I have sewn everywhere.........the kitchen table, my bedroom, a walk-in closet, motel rooms, on trains, planes, in camp trailers, and in pick up trucks. I have even been tempted to take a few stitches while I am stopped at a long traffic signal in town. If there is an inch or two of space and I have a moment of time......I sew something.

The summer of 2001 the Thread Shed was born. It is 16 feet wide and 20 feet long. A free standing building in our yard. My husband and 2 sons built it in 90 days! As they worked on it, they had lots of questions for me: How big do you want this thread shed? How many windows? Where do you want the outlets in this thread shed? When we moved everything into my new quilt studio, of course, it was officially named "The Thread Shed." My brother-in-law, a sign maker, came by and put Thread Shed on the front door. Click on each image to enlarge it.......

Over the years we have landscaped around the Thread Shed. A license plate, Jersey Girl, hangs from the arbor by the front door.

The Thread Shed has become my happy place. This little building brings me joy. And, the textile art that is created in here brings joy to others.

I have a gorgeous view of Mary's Peak out the back window where my sewing machine is set up. From the big picture window I can watch my favorite guy out at the barn while he is working. In the summer, when the windows are open, I can hear the cattle and smell the horses. I am surrounded by inspiration.

Quilting, Photography and Gardening are my passions. Holly hocks are the newest additions to the Thread Shed flowerbeds. When I have quilted for hours, and need to get up and stretch out a bit, the hollyhocks lure me outdoors to photograph them and appreciate their beauty.

I am never alone......the hen house sits right next to the Thread Shed. The girls are good company. Their gentle clucking soothes me as I sew.

Wherever you sew, whether it is the couch for handwork, the kitchen table or a motel room, may it bring you joy and may you always have a happy place.

To see more of the Thread Shed CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

From The Thread Shed,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Year of Journal Quilts

"Leftover Sunshine" was made from leftover fabrics from my sunflower quilt. Sunflowers have always reminded me of sunshine. This 9x12 inch journal quilt was later donated to the Alzheimers Priority Quilts auction.
Click on each image to enlarge it and see details.

"You Rogue" is a memory quilt I created from a wonderful day spent with my favorite guy fishing along the Rogue River. This is a photo transfer journal quilt of pictures I took that day. The water was so crystal clear, we could watch the fish follow the lure right up to the bank. The background is different water photographs.

CLICK HERE to see more Photo Transfer work

"Bounce" the result of my obsession with circles. I love them, I am attracted to them and can't get them out of my system.

"It's Been Lovely" A gelatin printed background using bubble wrap, rubber stamps with images of women parade across the top. We have all had days when we felt just like this......It's been lovely.....but now I think I'll go scream!
Click the image to enlarge it and see the detail.

CLICK HERE to see more Jello/Gelatin Printing

"You Spoil Me Rotten" Photo transfer of a copyright free image. I struggle in the summer with trying to find time to quilt and work in my flower garden. My husband doesn't mind the laundry piling up and no hot cooked meals. He puts steak on the BBQ and calls me when dinner is ready......he spoils me rotten.

"Tinker turns 50".......12 x 12 inch journal quilt to celebrate my sister's life. I like to remind her that she is my 'older' sister.

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?" a journal quilt to remind me I am as old as I feel. I am 17 in this photograph, which is how old I feel most days.

Quilt Pink......a memory quilt I made for myself. These are leftover fabrics I found in the trash after the class was over. 20 quilters gathered to create quilts to be sold at auction to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Free-motion quilted feathers and embellished with glass beads.

" A Study in Purple" Created as a sample quilt for a class I was teaching to beginner quilters.

"Big Bloomers" was also created as a simple quilt for a beginner class I was teaching.

"Reflection" was inspired by the background fabric in this journal quilt. I loved the black trees, so I free-hand cut a tree from black fabric, then free-motion quilted the tree to attach it to the quilt top. This was also created as a class sample for beginners.

"Fly Away Home" the background was created by making a print on gelatin with acrylic paints. A feather is free-motion quilted across the top, and embellished with crystals.

Journal quilts are a wonderful way to complete a project in 2 or 3 hours. It gives you a sense of completion in such a short period of time. Most of our quilt projects take weeks, months or years before we get that feeling of completion. With a journal quilt you can try out a new technique, put your thoughts into fabric and thread, and create something tangible in just a few hours.
Give it a are worth it.

p.s. To see more Journal Quilts Click HERE

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,
LuAnn Kessi

Sunflower Quilt........In Progress

Sunflower progress.
Random size strips of sunflower fabrics pieced into 8 inch blocks. The piecing of all the strips was very therapeutic and I got in my "piecing fix." Sometimes we just want to sit at the machine and is good for the soul.
After most of the blocks were together, I put them up on the design wall in random order. The blue blocks were just begging to become the sky, so I moved all the blue blocks to the top portion of the quilt.
A vertical design wall is a necessity when designing your quilts. Get those blocks off the table, off the floor, and up on the wall. You will be amazed at how much your work improves when you can see it up at eye level.

When I was happy with the block arrangement, I pieced the top together and began adding the sunflower applique. I love the contrast of the sunflowers against the blue sky, they just jump off the quilt.
I began introducing batik fabrics in the sunflowers. I did not use batiks in the background blocks, but they were perfect for the flowers. The shaded colors of batik fabrics lend themselves well to flowers.
In this photo the sunflowers have no stems, they are just hanging in mid-air.
Click on each photo to enlarge it and see details.

A close up view of some of the sunflower heads. Rather than just use one fabric for the center of each flower, I chose 2 different browns to represent the middle of some of the flowers. If you look closely at a real sunflower, they appear to have an inner circle within the center.
I also turned the flower heads at different angles to give the impression that they are 3 dimensional and bowing their heads forward or to the side.

Close Up view of sunflowers with stems.
I used Steam a Seam Lite 2 fusible web. I like this product very much. Once the fusible is applied to the back of the fabric, you can place the sunflowers temporarily on the quilt and they stay there.......they don't fall off the design wall. The flowers stayed in place so that I could do the design work, be happy with all the placement, before I ironed them in place. This product is also very light and does not leave a stiffness in the fabric, or gum up your needle when sewing through it.

This quilt.......still in progress......measures nearly 100 inches square. The sunflowers are 7 feet tall. I plan to add a few more sunflowers in the lower portion, and add chickens at the bottom pecking around in the grass.
Right now I don't feel the quilt needs a border treatment. I think a border will close it all in.........I like the open feeling it has right now.
I will post more photos of this quilt as I work on it.
I hope to have the quilt completed in time to enter it in a show in September 2009.

I asked my husband if he could work me up a flowerbed in the yard so I could plant a few sunflowers. Later that day I arrived home from town to find a 100 foot long flower bed ready to be planted...........what a guy!
These are photographs I took of the sunflowers that grew. These became the inspiration for the sunflower quilt.
The blue sky in these photos inspired the blue sky in the quilt.

I kept these photographs close by as I was designing the quilt. They were a big help in determining what the flowers should look like, the shape of the leaves, the centers of the flower heads, etc.

Later in the fall, as we were cleaning out the flowerbeds, I cut the last remaining flowers and brought them into the house to enjoy.

Just looking at these photographs today transports me back to days filled with flowers and sunshine and warm weather. They make me feel a bit warmer this morning when the thermometer reads 30 degrees.

p.s. To see more Sunflower Quilts Click HERE

CLICK HERE to view My Quilts

Wishing You Flowers and Sunshine,