Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Beach Blankets have arrived!

My in-laws arrived with bells on to visit for the holidays and I was thrilled when my mother-in-law Helen pulled out the 2 beach blankets I pieced together this past summer. I had given them to her, since they were scrappy beach quilts, so she could practice quilting on her new longarm machine and she did a fabulous job! Here's a look back at how and why I made them.

If you have a long arm machine you are just learning to use, these scrappy beach blankets are a great way to get your feet wet! Another great way to practice long arm free motion is to piece together some scraps you love to make a charity quilt. It's great for the community and gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment and self-fulfilment while you hone your skills.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Beach Inspiration

It got so warm and sunny on this lovely Okanagan winter day (5ÂșC)  that the snow started melting and we went for a walk with the dogs at Sunoka Beach. There is so much inspiration to be found wandering the beach that I could stay there for hours. Just look at the vibrant colour of this beautiful leaf on a sandy background. It's just begging to be brought to life in an art piece. 

And this tiny feather was less than an inch long, but when photographed against the rocks, which are most colourful when wet, it looks stunning and much larger than life. 

And then there's the ice. When water is in its changing stages from solid to liquid and back it forms the most beautiful designs. Last winter we encountered such a big hole in the shallow ice at the beach that we laid down and peeked our heads into the hole. We were able to see the vast airspace under the ice for over 10 feet. It was very cool. But then again almost anything that involves getting wet and dirty is cool with a 10 year old. 

There is so much beauty around us, it just takes a minute to stop and look - take out your camera and capture a moment. I hope your holidays are full of joy and inspiration. Cheers!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thermofax Fun

I've had so much fun with thermofax screens since the launch of my Inksations Table Runner Kit. With a thermofax machine and riso film you can literally draw anything your heart desires and make it into a printable screen. After teaching one of my Inksations classes one student suggested that I make a screen for the holidays which inspired the Holly Berries Screen.

Recently, I designed a new class featuring several fibre art techniques to teach at my local quilting guild (the Summerland Material Girls) in the New Year. Since I live in Wine Country I decided to go with the theme of grapes. Here's the first draft of that screen . . .

Both of these screens are available by contacting me through the Brandy Lynn Designs website. Just fill out the contact form and ask for the screen of your choice. I'm having so much fun with this . . . there are plenty more to come.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The 12 year UFO

I'm so excited to have finally finished my longest outstanding UFO. And I say outstanding because it feels incredible that I actually completed a hand pieced, hand quilted, hand bound quilt. I started it way back in 2000 before my son was born. I took a community quilting class. I pieced the top of the sampler and even quilted half of it but then found myself discouraged by a grumpy teacher and tucked it away. (Don't be a miserable teacher! People remember you forever!) I even convinced myself that it wasn't a big deal because my new infant turned out to be a boy and the quilt was a bit girly with the flowers and light fresh colours.

Now that I have been working at Brandy Lynn Designs for almost a year now I was invited to do my very first Trunk Show. (which took place yesterday, and it was so fun!) SO I decided that once and for all this quilt needed to be finished. So I put the last stitches in the binding just in time for the show. As I was talking about it, a quilter mentioned that I should put on the label:

This quilt took 12 years to make and was finished just in time for my very first trunk show which took place on the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year!

Here's my lovely little sampler quilt. ALL DONE!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12 Trunk Show

What were you doing on the 12th day if the 12th month of the 12th year? I was doing a Trunk Show. And I'll never forget the date because this was my very first Trunk Show! It was an honour to be a part of the Penticton Quilting Guild's holiday brunch as the guest speaker. The holiday outfits were fabulous and the food was sooo good.

Are you doing any quilt projects over the holidays? Here's a quick snapshot of another placemat I whipped up for Meals on Wheels.

It is so important to give back when you can, especially over the holidays, and I love to make quilted projects out of scraps that someone can use when they are alone at this time of year. Please leave a comment and let me know how you like to give back to the community! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Miniature Binding

It's charity time with the holidays coming! I always have so much fun playing with scraps and busting my stash to create some quick little treasures. Here's an adorable holiday placemat.

It's as simple as choosing a feature fabric that speaks for itself and then adding a border fabric and practising a new machine quilting technique. Here's a quick sketch of my quilting pattern. I started on one side and stitched short, medium and long stripes and then matched up with opposite stripes on the other side. You just have to be sure you are sewing straight and use the same number of stitches for the short ends of the stripes. (I used 6 stitches every time to make it even.)

My local quilting guild makes holiday placemats for Meals on Wheels every year in November. This year we need over 30 for our local community. For this one I had just enough red for the backing and border and could find NOTHING in my scraps at home to match for a binding. All of my yardage fabrics were at the gallery studio downtown, so I decided to make an extremely mini quarter inch double fold binding by pulling around the backing fabric.

It's the wobbliest little binding I've ever done - I mostly bind by hand which, of course, is always perfect. (wink) But, it worked out quite well and if you look closely it's half the size of the usual hand stitched binding so it's as cute as a button. It looks like a machine sewn miniature binding. 

Last year I was in my Thursday evening writing group and a friend that I'd known for a few weeks heard me say for the first time that I'm a quilter. He jumped on the chance to ask me to give the quilting guild a message. He said the best part of his Christmas holiday is receiving his new placemat every year. And he really appreciates our generosity. I am so grateful, just so, so grateful for my wonderful family and friends.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Student Treasures

Sometimes I feel like I write this same blog post about my students again and again, but I can tell you for sure that I will never get sick of this topic - EVER! I just LOVE it when a student from a recent workshop stops by to show me her finished art piece or quilt and that is just what happened this week. Heather stopped by to show me her finished Embellished Fibre Art piece.

She made some wonderful additions to the basic pattern by couching the fibre on an angle and adding gorgeous bunches of beads along that as well. She also added further touches of the gold paint at home by using a dry sponge and attached a tiny gold pendant of a bird. (A little birdie told me that she is crazy about crows!)

Then she also pulled out her Inksations Table Runner. It is so gratifying to see the finished quilt from a pattern that I designed! And she quilted it herself by domestic machine. It looks amazing!

It eases my heart that quilters can follow the directions perfectly and I am always so impressed by the refreshing colours. You know how you love what you love and you tend to pick the same colours all the time? Well, seeing my pattern in every beautiful colour under the rainbow is just a dream come true.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good Border Girl

If you know how much I dislike pinning you'd know that I'm being a very good border girl measuring and pinning a nice wide strip onto my charity froggy quilt for Prince George. A generous quilter named Barb there offered to quilt and bind it. Thank you darling! It will be in the mail today.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Embellished Fibre Class

This past Saturday I taught my Embellished Fibre class. It was a full house at the Art Gallery (which is such a nice venue!) and the ladies were fabulous (that means well behaved but adventurous). I love it when a student sends me a photo or comes back to my studio a few days later to show me a gorgeous finished piece.

The class is designed to explore a pile of fun techniques and just give students the tools to create something beautiful. I am so impressed by Jul's the triple stack beaded clusters and the fabulous bursts of stitch. Great job! Thank you so much for coming back to the studio to show me the finished art piece!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Charity Quilt (Prince George)

I have been requesting and receiving least favourite fat quarters (and more) from students in my classes for a few months now and I have quite a stash built up of little gems. But I don't think students are getting the part about least favourite. I have been receiving fabrics that are not only beautiful, but also colour coordinated with the other fabrics donations from the class. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the ladies are getting together to hand in fabrics I can use together! But regardless of what comes in, I'm having fun and it is a challenge to use it all up so it doesn't take over my studio.

So for the Prince George charity quilt I'll have some fun piecing together either a spring time froggy quilt or a fabulous fall quilt, whichever one comes together faster. And the left over fabrics will be made into pet quilts for Critter Aid in Summerland as usual. Thank you ladies! Your package will arrive soon!

This beautiful plant!

I received this beautiful plant as a studio warming gift a few weeks ago from a potter named Enid. The pottery guild shares the basement of the art gallery with the artist in residence (me), so I see them all the time. Anyways, she came in with this lovely plant for me and my first thought was, "Oh, I hope I can keep this poor thing alive!" She had no idea that I do not have a single live plant in my home.

I don't know what kind of plant it is but I've been watering it gingerly whenever it is dry. It has these deep purple butterfly leaves and just started sprouting tiny delicate blossoms. It is so nice I can't believe it belongs to me. It really brightens my day every time I look at it. Thanks Enid! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The New Art Space

I've had so much fun over the last few weeks teaching, travelling and now my son's birthday and Halloween cap off a busy month. But the biggest project of all was moving my art studio from home to the Summerland Art Gallery space. I've been packing sorting, organizing, unloading and I've finally got things set up so that I can start to have fun.

For a basement space it has been beautifully painted by the previous artist, and has loads of windows and natural light. The blank white wall in the bottom photo now has a design wall so I'm ready to play. The blank wall in the top photo will soon be covered with cork tiles so I can adorn it with pages of brainstorming ideas for the poetry to art translation. 

My art gallery studio hours will be 10am to 2pm weekdays, but do call ahead at 250-488-4168 as I teach often and have a lot of fibre art and guild meetings.  I'd hate to miss you especially if you've travelled far. I love visitors, so please do stop by!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I had so much fun last week teaching the Inksations class in Penticton! I am always so impressed by the fabulous colour choices that the students bring to class. Here are a few more of my star students with their finished table runner tops...



Louise (still tackling the borders)

A fun time was had by all and Barb and Cathie were a dynamic duo at Poppin's Quilt Parlour. Thanks for hosting! 

If you'd like to take the INKSATIONS Table Runner and Silk Screen Workshop, visit the Brandy Lynn Designs website to fill out the online request form and I'll send you a list of upcoming classes or you can book a date for your guild today! It's an excellent way for traditional quilters to take a small step out of their comfort zone and try something artsy. 

These are exciting times...

I'm having so much fun teaching all weekend in Prince George. What a fabulous bunch of ladies! My favourite part of class is always the reveal of a pieced top with the student's fabulous colour choices on display. This was the INKSATIONS table runner workshop...

Here's a huge line of photos of the finished toppers...enjoy!

We all had so much fun and every single student finished their project. I even had a first because in this last photo the student completed 2 table runners in one day! Way to go Louise!

Up and at 'em first thing tomorrow to teach the Crazy Quilted Baby Blanket. Nightie night!