7 Day Art Challenge: Day 7

We were in need of a new couch and I hated the thought of giving up my comfortable couch with a cozy hide-a-bed. After all, they don’t make things like they used to and the sofa has a good, sturdy frame. I called Francine’s Upholstery to get a quote on reupholstering my couch.  She mentioned her classes at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd, Virginia and I decided to take a class.  We were visiting about the project and I expressed my interest in using two fabrics.  At that point, I had the bright idea that I could have a quilted couch! This project took 2,000 hours to complete. I think the end result is stunning.

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7 Day Art Challenge: Day 6

Today, I am sharing my most elaborate blacksmith project–a “Camellia flower business card holder”.

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It has 24 petals and leaves.

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I used a hand-crafted tool, similar to pliers with ball bearings welding to the sides, along with needle nose pliers, to create the curves on flower petals.

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My grandfather, Minor McNeil, was a blacksmith. This photo was taken with his blacksmith hammer in hand, while working at the West Virginia coal mines. His anvil was made from a railroad track. Blacksmithing is in my blood. Photo courtesy of Casey McNeil.

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My completed flower (before blackening process). Specials thanks to an extremely patient instructor and master blacksmith, Steve Kalb of Florida, who taught this class at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd, Virginia.

Photos by Erika Ogier, James and Camelia Elliott.

7 Day Art Challenge: Day 5

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Evidently, I am yearning for spring and summer! This was one of my first needle-turn, hand-appliqué quilts. It is quite small and was challenging. Some of the stems are about one eighth of an inch. I’m a bit of a purist and my perfectionist mode kicked in, causing me to turn under all the edges. This was not easy when using such tiny pieces! The grapes are made of itsy-bitsy yo-yos, smaller than a dime. I love this little quilt.

7 Day Art Challenge: Day 3

I started this pineapple quilt years ago (over a decade ago). I am happy with the way it is turning out. It will take a while to finish since it will go on a king size bed!

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The fabrics that I used are feedsack reproductions. When mills realized that women were making garments for their children and curtains from feedsacks, they started using flowered fabric for the sacks. This tradtional started during the great depression and lasted into the 1950’s. Many quilters love feedsack reproduction fabrics.

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Notice the hangers in the background? This is a great way to organize strips of fabric. They are wrinkle free and you can see the next color you wish to stitch into a block. Another tip is to store and carry your blocks in a pizza box. It will keep them nice and pressed until you are ready to sew again.

7 Day Art Challenge: Day 2

It’s been extremely cold–in the teens with below zero chill factor. As March 20 draws nearer, this type of weather makes me yearn for spring, followed by my thoughts of the beach and long summer days. Today, I will share my “Lighthouse Cottage by the Sea” quilt created to commemorate our 30th wedding anniversary trip to Florida.
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I considered creating a scrapbook, but instead designed a scrapbook quilt that resembled 35mm film strips and beach memorabilia. I have to share a funny story about the lemonade block. My husband happened to be at Schoolhouse Fabrics with me when I purchase the fabric for this block. He was trying to get sympathy from the sales lady and told her, “I don’t get real lemonade, I only get quilted lemonade.”
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Working with the vivid, cheerful colors was a breath of fresh air and filled my heart with joy.

7 Day Art Challenge: Day 1

Tracy Stone Gallagher (a FB and high school friend) challenged me to a “7 Day Art Challenge”.

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I will start with a rug hooking project. It is a rare occasion that I get to do this but it is still cold enough in the mornings to build a fire and enjoy a cup of chocolate mint tea. This is one of my favorite fireside chairs. Probably because I gave this chair lots of TLC and rescued it. I purchased it for $5 from an uncovered and weathered porch of a knit shop.

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I refurbished it, refinished it, recaned it (similar to basket weaving on the chair’s seat) and made a rug hooking cover for it.

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I designed the fall landscape scene for the chair seat from one of my favorite covered bridges in Giles County, Virginia “Clover Hollow Covered Bridge” built in 1916.