Tag Archives: journal

Arbor Lane Initial Sketch

Arbor Lane’s humble beginning started with this lovely rough sketch.  Every one of my quilt designs starts with my own hand, pencil, and paper.  I spend so much of my day at the computer, I welcome the back-to-basics of sketching and playing in my journal.  And that’s exactly what I was doing here:  dreaming of a medallion design I would love to make.

I wanted it to be a quilt that a beginner could make, especially since the blocks are pre-cut.  While the piecing and applique would be simple, I wanted a sophisticated look to the quilt.  No sampler look here:  I wanted a beautiful harmony in the design.

Ten designs were ultimately offered to JoAnn’s, and they selected mine.  The process was much like Project Runway, but we were each in our own studio, sketching, measuring, coloring, and giving it our all.  Our own version of Tim Gunn would guide us in the right direction:  center design too similar to what had been done before, tweaking color schemes, sending block designs every week to my tester Scarlette for her wonderful work.  Every moment of dreaming, design, and making Arbor Lane was a joy.  I learned much and grew as a designer and an entrepreneur

See that vase and those birds?  While JoAnn’s didn’t use them, I did later in my table runner series.  The vase shows up in Petite Pineapples and a simple version of the birds is in Winter Bird and Petite Pineapples.  You never know where a creative journey will take you.

Remember, you have until the end of the week to guess how long it took me to make Arbor Lane:  cutting, piecing, and applique.  Some lovely fall fabric could be coming your way!

Self-Portrait

I took this photo of me around Mother’s Day.  I’m in my bedroom, painted a creamy yellow color, which I love but so many find it difficult to get right.  Behind me is a quilt made for me by my bee group:  we each asked for specific blocks that we would put into a quilt, and I wanted house blocks.  The whole notion of home and nesting I love, and this quilt hangs in my room to remind me of home, family and friends.  Many made the traditional Schoolhouse block, but Ginger made a Mayan ruin reminiscent of her trips to Mexico, Cheryl made a birdhouse, and my funky home sits in the center.

My boys’ artwork and photos are tucked into every nook of my dresser, which we’ve had since our first apartment.  It was our first big purchase, and was oversized for a tiny apartment, but has proven durable and fit into our homes since.  The artwork is my favorite way to greet the day, and includes a bookmark from kindergarten, a Mother’s day bonnet made from a paper plate, a sonogram photo of a baby that didn’t make it to us, birth announcements, and even my own class photo from first grade.  I take a copy of this and show it to the students I speak to at schools.  Giggles abound as they try to pick me out of the class photos, and it helps to show them that even adults were kids once!

I could have all these precious items in an album, but I prefer to have them out where I can see them everyday, touch them, and remind me of what a delightful and abundant life I have.

Delightful Summer Days

One of my favorite summer events is Symphony on the Green in my community.  The local symphony orchestra sets up on the golf course, we bring our quilts, picnics, and sparklers.

Symphony on the Green

Symphony from the lake

These folks had the best seat in the house.  They were across the lake and could watch from the comfort of their back porch.

Symphony on the Green flag

My absolute favorite part of the event is making my sketches.  After all the cooking for the event is done and packed, we’ve set up our quilt on the ground, the kids are tossing the football, my husband is munching on the goodies, I can steal away and sketch.

Symphony on the Green Sketch

It’s a great way to remember the details of the day in my journal.  And you never know where these images will show up in my quilts later.  Maybe.  Or not.  That’s the great thing about creativity:  the options are endless.

Nesting

I feel like Dorothy after she dreams of faraway places and travels to Oz, only to find out there really is “no place like home.”  I adored every moment of my book tour, all the women (and men) I got to know personally, their stories and quilts, and spring Quilt Market was a fantastic experience.

And now . . . home.  I’ve been hiking among the mountain laurel and ferns.  Sketching every day.  My goal is to sketch each day in June.  To walk in my community and find the everyday gems I’m usually too busy to stop and appreciate.

I’m cooking – a lot.  Nothing like food on the road to make me crave my own healthy cooking.  Today my younger son and I made mini-pizzas for lunch, including our own pizza dough from scratch.  “It’s as fun to make as it is to eat!”  Yep, he really did say that.

And quilting.  Even some hand work at night.  Nothing I can share now, but I promise you’ll see it soon.

The pool every day.  I’m getting golden brown even though I use an SPF 50 sunscreen.  Today we were forced to take a break because it was raining – a downpour really.  So, we sat on the screened porch and napped instead.

This weekend I’ll be at Lake Oconee in Eatonton at the Stitching Barn teaching my Color Mastery workshop.  Join me and shop owner Becky Pittman for a fun-filled Saturday.  Call 706.485.0028 to sign up or just say hi to Becky.  Her shop is brand new this is grand opening week, so stop by, fondle fabric, and enjoy a bit of retail therapy.  I will.