Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fun Play "Project"

This being a kinda lazy Saturday, I decided to use some scrap pieces and make some string quilt blocks. I did these on muslin foundation squares that I cut 10" square. Since I have a 9.5" square ruler (the largest square ruler I own), my plan was to trim them to 9.5" and I did. That gave me a little bit of leeway for error. I did fine on three of the four blocks. Somehow on one of them I was "off" with one of the first two strips I put down and it didnt go to the edge of the muslin. Whew, thank goodness for some error room!

So here are my four blocks laid out. You will notice that I didn't measure the strips (on purpose) so it doesn't line up perfectly. I think it adds a little interest to the block. I ain't afraid of no quilt police! hehehehe.

Ahhh...nope, you can't tell which one I "messed up" on, now can you!

A giveaway alert

Okay, I entered another giveaway that I am going to tell you about. Green Fairy Quilts AKA Judi, is giving away a quilted bag that I want SOOOOO much. Plus she is throwing in yard of fabric and two fat quarter bundles. What a treasure trove! Gee, if I don't win and you do, why don't you send ME the prize, cause I told you about it? No? well I don't blame you.

Green Fairy Giveaway is Here

Tell Judi "Gene Black sent me"


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Finished - at least this part

I am so excited. My quilt top is finally finished. I did the borders and all the joining tonite. Now I have to pick a backing and get it quilted. Here it is for you all to see.

My Quilt top

I love it. Since this is only the second quilt I have "completed" I am totally thrilled. It is going to look so good on my bed. I am happy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another Giveaway

Hey y'all, there is another giveaway over at The Never Ending Adventure Lani is doing a Blogintine (Blog Valentine, I think) Giveaway.
Some fun prizes in the package of goodies. Go enter, or don't and I will have a better chance! Ha ha.

Good luck all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blog Giveaway Winner

Today was the big day. So I did the drawing for my giveaway on Post 125 - The Magic Number. I put them names on slips of paper that were identical except for the name on them. (hey I was as fair as I could be!) I put them in a hat, well actually it is my "Conch Republic" cap. See that picture above ---right at the top of this post.

Then I took a deep breath, shook them up (again) and drew out a winner.

Drum Roll - .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.







I am waiting to hear from you Gari. I need an address to send your prizes.
Thanks to all of you. This was great fun for me and I hope for you as well.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quiet weekend

I am being quiet and peaceful this weekend. I haven't done anything "creative" except maybe cook supper. I am doing that right now.
I did go to visit my niece and great-niece. So here are some pictures of them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Quilt for Myself and a giveaway alert

I have been blessed to have quilts made by my grandmother that I use and enjoy. Sadly, she made them all for a full-size bed and my bed is a queen-sized bed. While I love and enjoy using them, they are just a bit small. Plus they are beginning to show wear and need to be taken from constant service and placed in semi-retirement.
So, I have been working on a quilt for myself, hence the title of this post.

Several posts back, I posted the exported picture from EQ where I planned this quilt. Since then, I have been working on it in odd moments. A few minor changes have been made "on the fly." ((that means I pieced it together differently than planned and decided I liked it and didn't want to "un-sew" it))

Last evening and tonite, I made great progress. The quilt top is in three large pieces that I will put together within the next week. For now, the pieces were kindly modeled by my bed. You see, I don't have a design wall so I have to use whatever spot works. I laid the pieces in formation on the bed and took several pictures. None of them came out great, but a couple did okay. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

I did notice that I will need a top and bottom border. I am undecided if it will surround the sides also. Likewise, I am not sure what it will be. Ooooh, I feel a "fabric audition" in the near future.

Okay, I hope you didn't just skip my post for this - If you did, go back and read it BEFORE you click the link. (please?) The giveaway alert: Chris at WeLoveQuilting is having a new giveaway. She has a nice prize package posted. So go to here blog post here or to the We Love Quilting blog and see the February Giveaway. It closes on Valentine's Day.

Also, if you didn't enter my giveaway, there is still time. My giveaway closes on the 25th. Be sure you comment on post 125, that is where you will find the requirements AND the only place you can comment to actually enter the giveaway.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Backdoor Friends ---and yo-yos

There are a lot of "backdoor friends" eating today. This little fellow flies up to the feeder and grabs a seed, then off to perch on the leg of this old chair and eat it. His head was down when the shutter fired so you can't see his pretty little topknot. He is a Tufted Titmouse.

This lady is relatively new to us. We have seen the male version but Ms. Woody is new here. We think they are Downy Woodpeckers.

Now here are two little cuties feeding with no care that the other is there. Ms Cardinal is skittish so this is the best pic I can get of her. The other is some type of sparrow I suppose

And just so you don't think I have been totally lazy here are some fabric yo-yos that I have been making. They will eventually be sewn together into a nice "quilt," or as some perfer to call it, a coverlet. Even though there will be no batting or backing, just the yo-yos sewn together, I call it a quilt. Those things are surprisingly warm.

And How is your weekend going?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Post 125 - the Magic number

Those who have been reading my blog for a while know that I let post 100 slip by me. So I decided that post 125 would be my celebration. This post IS number 125. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I started my art blog. But anyway, here we are. I am glad you are with me. I hope you stay for the ride.

Now, as my part of this celebration, I am giving away a prize package. Included in the package will be a 5 by 7 inch journal in a quilted cover. I made the cover and quilted it myself. The journal has blank pages with no lines. So it could be an art/drawing/ sketching journal. Or maybe you would use it as a diary.


In addition to the journal, I am including a pendant that I designed and made from polymer clay. I carved a rubber stamp and used it to create the impression on the front of the pendant. The color did not seem to photograph well. The pendant is a muted purple with accents of iridescent bronze.


You must have a blog to be able to win. You must post a comment to this post telling me which of my posts (not including this one) that you have found most interesting. If your email is not available on your blog, please post it in your comment. Your comment must be posted by January 25th at 5 PM Central Time USA. The winner will be contacted and also will be named in a future blog post. If you want TWO entries, blog about my giveaway and let me know where to see your post. Otherwise it is one entry per person.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Art inspires poetry (post 124 for those keeping track)

I received a request from an art organization to use one of my images. As this organization is one I am registered with, I gladly granted that permission. I do not know what text will be used with the image. However, thinking about it inspired me to pen this poem. (I am not a writer or a poet, but I hope you enjoy it.)


Here with my faith I stand in a valley

Surrounded by fear, my losses I tally.

Fear, I have little. I feel a strong hand.

My soul reaches out grasping, hoping.

Admiring the wonder, I travel this land.

I seek truth in beauty, my path upward sloping.

Herewith, content I will be, and yet I still seek

The wonder of wonders, a Holy mystique

Copyright 2009 by Gene Black


I am happy to report that both this image and my poem have been published on the Image & Spirit blog. Go see it there!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Plan and an Update

First the plan: A while back I ordered a fat quarter sampler and a jelly roll of some fabric that appeals to me. Using some lovely software, I have planned a quilt that will be just for me. The fabric collection is called "Irresistable Indigo 2" and is from Connecting Threads. I may possibly add a border of some other fabric, but that decision will be made LATER. Here is an exported picture of my planned quilt. I think it looks perfect for a man's bed. It is not at all frilly and the colors are pleasantly masculine. Don't you agree?

Now the update, I would like to thank those that comment both on and off the blog about my wall hanging piecework. Thanks to you, I added the two extra rows at the bottom. It does look more in proportion now.

Next will be the fun part. I will add the white outside pieces. Then I will put the "quilt sandwich" together and be ready to make it a quilt! I am both excited and a bit scared about that part. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Nana Cross

Nana Cross
Originally uploaded by GeneBlack
Some of you may have seen my earlier post about the "Nana Cross." Here is a link to it. The Nana Cross Layout

Tonight I have made a big stride in it. I had changed the design a bit. The crossbar looks better, I think, with 4 rows instead of 3. It is NOT all together yet. The top section (3 rows) is one piece. The center section -the crossbar- is one section. And the bottom part is one section. (I hope that makes sense.)

Anyway, I am wondering if I should add one more row on the bottom to elongate it a bit more OR should I just go with it?

I am loving the "accidental" color design I see in it. The batiks seem to have almost completed some color bands that make it look like it was cut from a diamond patterned piece. I must confess: that was pure serendipity. Or else a higher hand reached out and guided me a bit.

I would also like a bit of quilting advice. I will be putting this on a white background with a blue border - per the Nana's request. How should I quilt it? And for that matter what will be the easiest way to get this set into the white? (I have an idea which is why it is still 3 pieces. )

I am ready for some advice from the more experienced of you. (Exuberant Color -Wanda, Stitchin by the Lake - Marlene if you are reading either comment or email me!!!) Everyone else, I am willing to consider your thoughts too.

Now I know that my piecing is not perfect (heck not even close!) I learned a lot from this piece. Matching all those angles and getting pretty points is NOT EASY. I guess I am glad no one warned me about that, I might have chickened out.

This is post 122. Don't forget to watch for 125. I am planning a "milestone" giveaway for that one. Oh, yes, I am still taking ideas for what I should give away.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Doo doo doo lookin' out my backdoor

I am on a small break from creating anything that would be interesting to share. So I am going to share some pics from out the back door where I am staying. (I confess that I didn't take these, Dave did.) There are no "giants doing cartwheels" or "statues wearing high heels." However, the birds are feeding like there is no tomorrow.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Contests, Milestone and a Brand New YEAR

First let me confess. I slept thru another changeover into the New Year. I think the last one I stayed up for was "the millenium" changeover. I think sleeping and waking up in a new year shows trust that the world goes on. Okay, so that is my excuse, and I am sticking to it.

There is a Whirl into Winter event going on. It involves a group of contests where YOU, my friend, could win prizes. I learned about it on Pat's blog: Did you read that name in the address? I love it. "A little of this and a little of Pat" I smile every time I read it. My blog name is okay, it is ME but it doesn't sparkle like some do. C'est la vie!

Anyway, in a few days, or more depending on how prolific I am, I will make my 125th post. You see, I totally missed the 100 mark. I wasn't paying attention. So at post 125, I am planning a giveaway. I don't know what I will be giving away....but maybe you can suggest something!

Ideas that I have are: Fabric, notecards with my art on them, something I make (but what???) or ???? something you suggest. Please post a comment right here and tell me what YOU would like to win.

Happy New Year.