Monday, January 28, 2008

Perfect Lettering, Cherry Tea Cloths and comments to questions

Mary Lou's Alphabet below available on her website. Have you tried it?

Two simple words I made by sewing my fabric alphabet together (say anything!-so easy!
NOTE- when you take your seam, only the background color shows-easy!
Below is what the alphabet looks like when you buy it-we have it in yellow and black! 2/3 of a yard gives you 2 alphabets
I have these letters cut apart and safety pinned together OR....

Above I am building the word "every" for a border
BELOW is a chunk of cardboard (sideways) that I keep alphabet letters at the ready-this is so cool for names on anything including pillowcases and little "room hangings"
Some of you have asked where I got my cherry things. No I did not get them at Target. I travel alot (180 dayes last year) and so I see cherry things and my family and good friends know I LOVE anything with cherries in it and have since I was a little girl. I remember painting a big fat cherry with a bird on it in second grade and the teacher asked to take it home. I wish I had that little painting today. :-)
I like Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and I also will comment on my favorite shops to buy things as I travel. If you check this blog, you will see that I post photos of fun places.
Brown cupboards aren't such bad thing. All you need is a little wall paint to add spunk to your kitchen and some accessories...if you can't afford things, do what I did...artwork of my own and my kids! Now I am training my Grandkids so in a little while I will have all of their stuff everywhere. How can you beat kids who know color and design and don't care what others think (yet). The challenge for us as adults is to keep that going in our children around us and to encourage "out of the box thinking." I will be writing more about this is my new book.
It's not too late to sign up for the workshop in JonesboroughTN (Tn Quilts) and also Amidon's retreat in Temecula. Check it out on my schedule on my

Saturday, January 26, 2008

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

This darling cookie jar is my favorite for today that is. The little poodle dances on a spring when you go to get a cookie. I love the whimsy, the color and the fun of the whole thing. TeeHee.

When I was in France I went to a place I know how to say but could not begin to spell. I adore France and the people who live there. I never met a Frenchman (or girl) I did not like nor a New Yorker. They get a bad rap which is sad because they have delightful senses of humor!

Anyway, I bought this red enamelware set at a flea market in France and I fill it with fun things at Christmas and if I have time will have Valentines coming out this weekend.

The plate below it belonged to my Mother (from Canada) and is one of my most treasured items.

Now I can look at it each day.

We just had a family birthday party and I am sitting between my daughter in law and my daughter and my Granddaughter is in pink. I love being with them.

These pillows are from one of my patterns (available on my website) and a fabricline I did called Cherry Jubilee). They are in a chair I love and no one sits there because it is simple a fun thing to look at...haha.

The chef above is from Bavaria. I rushed off a tour bus and ran down the street because we only had a potty break. I wanted an Oberammagau wooden doll (King Ludwig) and thankfully, I found a shop that had one. I also bought this darling chef because I knew I could use him as a nice reminder of a lovely trip (in my kitchen). he is cute when he hangs as he is supposed to do but for now this is fine.

This silly chicken came from the Folk Art Museum in San Antonio. It was the only thing I could afford...and even he was expensive...but worth it as he makes me laugh.

The little people above were picked up here and there and they are my "cupcake buddies." There is nothing more fun and maybe creative as making cupcakes and giving one to someone with one of these funny little figures on it. It makes an ordinary day become special and isn't this what we all need?

I have lots more treasures and new quilt things and creative things to share, I do hope you will visit again.
Hint: I got a couple of neat things in the mail to show you soon....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Story quilt closeup's for color and smiles

Just thought I would share some color for create in 08! I am in love with the colors this year. Can't wait until spring to see what's out there, though I think I already know. :0)


A smiling angel that is a perfect quilt to hang on the wall and share. Do you love angels" Has it evered occured to you how many different kinds of quilts you can do with this subject? That's the why of story quilt workshops. I help YOU be original!

Happy Cats are often the subject of a person's story- how many quilters have and love cats? Loads of them!

Flowers and leaves make for a great quilt if you know the secrets to a good stash....this is something alot of teachers fall short on. Seven fabric personlities and you need some of each!

Why do a boring bird if you can do something fun and use some good graphics and some light giver fabrics? If you don't know the secret to light giver fabric, you are missing out. Take a workshop this year (sheck my schedule) and find out how to make your quilts more dynamtic and winners also!

Flowers and little birds are a Happy "given"
Hey, and do you know the secret to using cheddars and why everyone should have it in their stash? You should...especially now with color being so highlighted.

Just thought I would share some color for create in 08! I am in love with the colors this year. Can't wait until spring to see what's out there, though I think I already know. :0)
For workshops in your area please check my schedule on the left of any page on my website.
I would LOVE to see you in Jonesborough TN in March at the oldest town in TN and the coolest old buildings, history, antiques and cool people. I will be doing a four day story quilt class and a one day Flower Power class. This shop is loaded with fabulous fabrics!
I am also doing a workshop for Amidon's in Poway (Temcula retreat house). You can find info on the website.
IN 80 YEARS WHAT WILL PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU PERSONALLY FROM THE QUILTS AND ART WORK YOU DO? I encourage telling who you love, what interests you, your friends, your city and your family and your job and home etc. Hope you take me up on this and come join us for wonderful eye opening experiences. If your quilt gets finished by this Fall, I would love to include it in my new Creativity book.
Watch for more images...
Happy Tuesday,
Mary Lou

Monday, January 21, 2008

Simple things can make fun quilts

Simple shapes , buttons and color can make a great quilt

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Simple Things are Quite Wonderful

Have you ever thought about how many times you walk by something that is visually quite wonderful? I often have people ask me how I come up with so many ideas. It is because I "notice" how wonderful a little row of my Granddaughter's shoes is. Wouldn't childrens shoes be a wonderful quilt for a bedroom? This could be done in so many ways.
I have a new fabricline coming out this Spring at Portland Market called "Happiness Is". It is a children's look at the world. I think "Happiness" could be a quilt with little girl's shoes. I may have to work on that....stay tuned.
Please ask for my new fabric at your local quilt shop. It is by Benartex.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Honey You Need to Laugh to Stay Healthy! Read on....

One of my Favorite Shops and a Message

People are always asking me what my favorite quilt shops are. I have a nice little list. This is the "Buggy Barn" and Sisters Pam and Janet own it. It is on a farm along with dogs and cows and hay and all of the Washington scenery. They have too much to buy. I try to abstain from going to often as I can't help myself when I go there. They both have the best eye for color! Usually they sell country style packets and fabulous patterns and books. They often order my bright fabrics when they come out and I love the look of the brights with the browns, cheddars and funky greens and pinks they carry. If you want a lovely experince, visit the Buggy Barn which is close to the airport in Spokane. You might hit them on a day they have homemade cookies and hot coffee. In August (the last week), they have an awesome quilt show.

There is so much to see in this space and they even have quilts on the ceiling.
To all my friends in 2007 who sent me promises of Good Luck if I forwarded something, ...... it DID NOT WORK!!!!!
For 2008, ...... could you please just send either money, flowers, chocolate or gas vouchers.
Thanks so much. :0)
Cheery Week to YOU,
Mary Lou

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I LOVE COWS, they are funny and have beautiful eyes...have you noticed?

These first two photos are of Barbara and I from her home when I stayed there in TX. They raise long horn steers which scare the heck out of a city girl such as myself. Thos horns hurt. But they are cute and kind of fun to fee. Barbara is head honcho for Quilting Adventures in TX and ir is a number one conference if you are looking for somewhere first class to attend. There are NO cows there so you don't have to worry.

I am enjoying feeding these sweet hearts.

Someone sent me this photo of this amazing cow...look close at his markings...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hey! It's National Lurkers Week! Yippppeeeeeee

Thank you Rhondi for sharing this most important message!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Cousin Patty Comes Through with Another Smile

I don't think it matters who you are for this Presidential Season, you have to see the humor.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Creativity Lesson #1 for the NEW Year- COLOR everywhere

Fabulous fabrics that are spendy, colorful and fabulous! I'll take a yard or meter of each!...when that lotto comes through, that is.

OK, here is your chance to think the last time you were in a store, a super Market, or a shop that you were mesmerized by color and hues all around you.
What??? You can't remember seeing fabulous color? Red and green from Christmas do not count and the same goes with blues and golds for Hannkah. I am talking real color, real visual exciting, stimulating, bold color. You don't use real color? What? You are missing nature's best drug for euphoria and feeling great! Nothing can make you feel quite as wonderful as a big bag full of beads, fabrics, threads, wools, yarn or papers all in glorious colors. Want a life in 2008? BUY color and use it!

Ever notice grass and the amazing colors it has in it. Most kids would paint green grass one color of green. Grass has hundreds of colors, and not just green. Greens are exciting and so versatile and so varied! You can never go wrong with green-to wear, sew with or bead or glue.

Hey isn't it fun how something you can put in your stomach can be so amazing to look at?

And glass which is everywhere changes it hues simply by light. NOTE- this is one of the first things painting teachers try to instill in their students. Now why, wouldn't quilting teachers or other art teachers teach about the fabulous potential light plays on our work? It is everything!

Hey, who knew candles could not only smell good but be so beautiful visually! Colors and shapes.
Simple sqauares in a duvet cover become real art and give a restful feel since these colors are cool and remind us to "relax." That's why most sheets are bright red and orange. Though I have owned the 60's. I am not kidding.

How many times do you shop for ribbon for a package and not look at the spools together as one instead of just one at a time. Colors play on each other and this is what we need to know to do a better job in our art!

One can never own enough beads, have enough colors and enjoy the light that plays off of them enough. Anyone can have something in cotton or wool but add some beads and "joila!"
PURE Magic!

I know many of you knit. Has there ever been more exciting color than in a knit shop? Just buying one varied yard could be the creative spark you need for some exciting color combinations elsewhere! Think about it.

Warm (or hot) colored beads, can explode on a surface and it can create heat, sparks, and fire on something quite plain.

Who ever guessed that feathers could be so exciting and so inspiring? Well OK, Dame Edna but not alot of other people....

The beauty of flower is that their petals always vary in color and many times the greens play complementary color games in the flower garden. God truly is the Master of color and design.

Compare the photo above and the photo below....different subjects but both quite exciting and pretty in the same hues.

When paper has holes punched here and there, it lets light play on the surfaces and it makes the colors vary and dance. Here it does just that and layered as this is really is quite pretty.

Purple and yellow are complementary colors. The green below has enough "yellow" in it that these are great complements and would make a pretty quilt or other art given the same color play.
As you can see I am always taking photos of color any chance I get. I have many files of beautiful examples of color combinations and fun things to mix to get great results. All you need to do is play and have fun experimenting and have fun with what is right in front of you.